It isn’t uncommon to find that you can’t access certain websites when you’re connected to NordVPN. Initially you’ll think the VPN connection isn’t working but then you realise some websites load and others don’t.

There are a few things you can try to solve the problem, but one very quick fix is to disconnect from the VPN and check the site is working without it. Of course, it may be blocked by your ISP, government or employer, in which case you still won’t be able to access it, but if you know this is the case, the follow the tips below.

Try a different server

Simply selecting a different server can make all the difference. This is especially true if you’re attempting to access a streaming service which actively blocks VPNs. One server might be unable to connect to the service, but another one can.

How to access blocked websites using NordVPN

Restart your device

This one’s always worth a shot. Restart Windows or your phone or tablet and check if the problem goes away.

Change protocol

This doesn’t apply if you’re using a web browser extension, but if you’re running the Windows, Android or macOS app (which uses OpenVPN) you can go into the advanced settings and set it to use TCP instead of UDP.

How to access blocked websites using NordVPN

You can also switch from OpenVPN to a different protocol such as IKEv2. But the method will vary depending on which operating system or device you’re using, so check the relevant tutorial on NordVPN’s website for instructions.

How to access blocked websites using NordVPN

Turn off CyberSec

One of the newer features in the NordVPN app is CyberSec. This attempts to block online ads as well as malware and phishing threats.

But on some sites it can cause issues, so go into the settings in the app and toggle CyberSec off temporarily to see if it allows the site to load. If not, turn it back on.

How to access blocked websites using NordVPN

Antivirus / Firewall conflict

It’s possible that your antivirus software or firewall is blocking NordVPN and causing sites not to load. Open the relevant software in Windows or macOS and have a look in the settings for an option to ‘manage exceptions’ or similar. If you can, add NordVPN to the list.

Typically you’ll have to navigate to the executable file when prompted. There are two you need to add: NordVPN.exe and nordvpn-service.exe.

But to check if this software is the issue, you can temporarily disable the antivirus or firewall and try reloading the problematic website.

You might also like to know how to speed up a slow NordVPN connection.