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Can You Use a VPN if TikTok is Banned in the US?

Imagine waking up one morning to find that your favourite app, TikTok, is no longer accessible in your country.

For millions of users and creators in the US, this nightmare scenario could soon become a reality. As you read this, the US government is considering banning the social media platform, due to growing concerns over data privacy and national security.

In this article, we’ll look in greater detail at the reasons for the proposed ban, explore its impact on users and look at the wider implications. But could there be a solution? Read on to discover whether a Virtual Private Network (VPN) could allow you to still access TikTok, even if the ban is implemented.

The proposed TikTok ban

Background of the TikTok ban

The threat of a ban on TikTok in the United States is nothing new. It stems from escalating concerns from both Democrats and Republicans regarding data privacy and national security.

TikTok, a social media platform owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has become incredibly popular in a relatively short time. Since being launched in September 2016, the app has amassed an astonishing 150 million users in the US alone. 

But as it has grown, so too have fears of prominent lawmakers and security experts. The primary concern centres around the potential for the Chinese government to access vast amounts of data about its US users. The data, experts argue, is not just limited to user-generated content. It also includes more sensitive metadata, location information and device details.

With tensions between the US and Chinese governments continuing to increase over China’s activities surrounding Taiwan, critics fear that ByteDance may be ordered by the Chinese government to hand over this data. If such fears were realised, it would be a move that most agree would pose a genuine threat to US national security.

Another area of concern surrounds the platform’s algorithm. Some argue that TikTok’s ability to influence what its users can see could be exploited for propaganda or disinformation campaigns, particularly in a presidential election year.  

Public reaction and implications of a potential ban

Public reaction to the proposed ban has been mixed. Unsurprisingly, many younger users of the app view TikTok as an essential everyday platform for entertainment and social interaction. In particular, those who rely on TikTok for their livelihood have expressed significant concerns, with some taking legal action.

If a ban is implemented, influencers who have successfully built careers on TikTok may struggle to switch to other platforms, whilst brands could lose an important channel for reaching younger audiences.

But the implications of a ban could have even greater consequences. American tech giants that trade in China may be at greater risk of retaliatory measures from the Chinese government.

What happens next?

The likelihood of a ban depends on what course of action TikTok owner ByteDance decides to take. The current US administration has given the Chinese company the deadline of selling TikTok by January 19th, 2025, or the ban will be brought into effect.

However, given the app’s huge popularity in the US market, it appears unwilling to comply. Instead, it has sued the US government after President Joe Biden signed a law that will effectively ban TikTok in the United States within a year. ByteDance argues the law violates First Amendment rights.

For now, it’s a case of waiting to see how that legal case unfolds, and whether ByteDance decides to change course as 2025 gets closer.

How would a ban work?

The simple answer is that until we know the ban is definitely happening, it’s impossible to say for sure.

Technically enforcing a ban would require collaboration with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to TikTok’s servers. This would likely include DNS blocking, IP address filtering, and app stores removing TikTok from their platforms.

However, such measures are not fool proof and could be circumvented by tech-savvy users. In anticipation of a ban, some TikTok users have been investigating potential workarounds, including VPNs.

Could you still use TikTok by using a VPN?

How VPNs work

In recent years, VPNs have boomed in popularity, and are now used by millions of internet users every day. Put simply, using a VPN allows you to create a secure and encrypted connection to another network.

By routing your internet traffic through a remote server operated by a VPN provider, your IP (Internet Protocol) address is hidden, and you appear to be browsing from the location of the VPN server.

As well as enhancing your privacy and security from hackers, a VPN makes it possible to access web content that would ordinarily be geo-blocked in your own country.

Using a VPN to access TikTok

If TikTok is banned in the US, a VPN router such as TadaVPN would seem an easy, inexpensive way to still gain access to the app.

A VPN router allows you to extend VPN protection to every device connected to your home or office network. Compared to traditional VPN applications that need to be installed on each device individually, a VPN router is installed directly on your internet router.

This means that any device that connects to the router – whether that’s your smartphone, laptop, smart TV or other smart devices – will automatically benefit from the VPN's security features.

In the case of TikTok, it would allow you to continue to access the app from an approved region and bypass the geo-restrictions imposed by the ban.

However, this comes with the caveat that it would only work for users who already have the app installed on their devices. The app is likely to be removed from app stores immediately once a ban comes into effect.

Control your online security and privacy

With the continued uncertainty about the practicalities and implementation of a TikTok ban in the US, this is a story we’re going to have to continue to follow throughout the year.

However, if the ban does indeed happen in January 2025, it is increasingly likely that VPNs will be one of the most popular solutions to get around it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to act now and find the ideal VPN provider for you before increased demand raises prices.

Want to control your online security and privacy? Explore our VPN plans and find the perfect VPN solution for your home or business. With TadaVPN, secure and private internet access is just a click away – no contract, cancel anytime.


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