VPN breaks simple sites

I’ve been trying to get in the habit of using my VPN pretty much all the time. However, when I do this, simple sites break. The best example of this is Reddit. At this point, with all of the SEO that happens out there, it’s pretty much the only place I can search for things online without ten thousand paid links shoved in my face.

When I’m connected to a VPN, it throws an error message at me, claiming I’m violating their site policy. I’m curious what you’re supposed to do in situations like this where websites block you if you’re using a VPN.

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This seems to be a newish thing for reddit. You can always use old.reddit to bypass that issue.

A lot of other sites, simply changing what server your connected to will bypass the issue.

In the end, they want it to be inconveneient for you to use a VPN 24/7 so a bit of annoyance is part of the deal with using one.

I would also look into see if their are privacy respecting frontends for the sites you use. Typically those frontends will be easier to access with a VPN.


If you use Mullvad, use the Norway servers because they’re not blocked by Reddit for some reason.

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i noticed the same issue with mullvad VPN and wondered whether this was the case with every VPN provider or its particularly with mullvad.
Apart from reddit (which personally i don’t use) there are other websites that one may need to acces to and just bans access while using mullvad -

  • account.microsoft.com - used to login to your microsoft account from web and access microsoft 365 suite of apps
  • forum-en.msi.com - website generally linked when searching for solutions related to your MSI products.
    These websites outright bans access while using most mullvad servers.

There are other bunch of websites that restricts your access fully or partially or force you to login to see content that could otherwise be accessible without login.
I have to keep a separate browser just so that i can access these websites, which is very inconvenient.
This has significantly degraded my experience while using a VPN and i am often made to reconsider my decision to use a VPN or not.
I am not sure if this problem is more widespread in mullvad servers and whether i should consider moving my provider to proton or IVPN


I can say, atleast for reddit, it affects multiple VPNs. I have encountered the same issue with AirVPN, and Windscribe as well.

At least my experience has been that with Mullvad, I don’t really have any issues, while with IVPN and especially Proton, I have more of them. The servers you use seem to also play a role in this. I use only Mullvad-owned servers, and they work mostly without any issues. I also tested both of your example sites, which worked fine for me.

Which VPN are you using while trying to navigate to Reddit? I read from one of your recent posts that you use Proton but occasionally Mullvad too.

If the answer is Mullvad, then this relatively recent thread may interest you:

Edit: oops, I originally provided a (new) Reddit link instead of an old.reddit.com link

Mobile-friendly link to the same thread:

According to their server status page, the Norway servers are all owned by Mullvad, which aligns with what @Critical_Crab5543 shared:

I’ve jumped back and forth between several VPN providers testing them out. Proton VPN is my go-to simply because I’m already paying for Proton Unlimited Family for our emails, aliases, and Proton Drive. Mullvad is my favorite, but I don’t like paying on top of something else when I technically already have the service. Both VPNs had issues with Reddit, and they cause issues with Google (even though I rarely use Google), among other sites. I tried out IVPN just to see what happened with that, and it was having issues too.

The privacy journey is getting more annoying by the minute. I’m going to try and ride it out though.

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Try setting your your VPN to somewhere in the EU. I notice that tech companies tend to do less naugthy things in places they are forced to be well-behaved.

From what I’m reading, since it looks like you want to continue to use Proton VPN, I suggest trying to connect to one of their Secure Core servers and checking if problematic sites like Reddit still throw errors at you.

Secure Core servers are wholly owned and provisioned by us (shipped on-site directly from our offices). Finally, Secure Core servers are connected to the Internet using our own dedicated network with IP addresses that are owned and operated by our own Local Internet Registry (LIR).

This should yield results similar to what @Critical_Crab5543 reported above.

So far, it appears to be working. I like that solution better than setting my location to somewhere other than the US. I was able to access the broken sites when I set it to the UK, but everything I saw was UK related. Not super helpful for me.

Thinking the same thing :slight_smile: Am also going to ride it out. I cannot stand all the big tech that treats user like sh*t.

I have same issue with proton vpn, funny enough if i change to a local country it doesn’t have a problem anymore.