Can VPNs Negate Parental Controls?

Abeerah Hashim  - Security Expert
Last updated: November 12, 2023
Read time: 6 minutes

Find out how your child or teen can use a VPN to get around the limits of parental controls, and what you can do about it.

Key takeaways at a glance:

  • Children’s safety on the internet is a perennial issue for parents. Several types of parent control are available, but can VPNs void them?
  • VPNs affect several changes in internet traffic that can circumvent some features in some parental controls.
  • However, some parental controls are VPN-proof and remain effective even against the best commercial VPN services.
  • Technology can help with the issue in the final analysis, but nothing can substitute vigilance.

There are two good reasons for you to be reading this. You are more likely to be a concerned parent or a somehow precocious minor. In both cases, the kind reader is trying to figure out if he or she can use a VPN to override the parental controls in a smartphone, a tablet, or a personal computer. If you are the concerned parent, don’t worry; we won’t give the secret away. But, on the other hand, if you’re a precocious kid, keep reading anyway; you may just learn something useful.

Types of parental control

Parents worried about what their kids watch on the internet were born at the very minute the internet slipped out of the academic world and became available at home. Unlike cable TV and other technologies that deliver content to users, browsing the web and downloading videos or books is not as easily noticed by parents. So the said parents need some extra help, and it’s available to them in the following ways: