The quest for more views has become something of an art—or perhaps more accurately a science—in recent years, with YouTube experts trying to whittle out any and all means of increasing that number. Of course, the first step to being able to tease out these tips and tricks lies in understanding how everything works.
Does YouTube Count Views From VPN? – YouTube will count views from VPNs but these can sometimes be removed if they do not meet location and account checks. There are many factors that can harm video metrics via VPNs.
In this post, we’re going to be looking at the way YouTube treats views that come through a VPN—or virtual private network. As is often the case, there is no simple yes or no answer to whether Youtube counts views from VPNs; it all depends on the circumstances around the view, such as whether you are logged in to a YouTube account, and the “reputation” of the VPN network in question.
But first, let’s get a little grounding in the subject.
What is a VPN?
In essence, a VPN is a private network that operates across a public one. One way to think of a private network is your home network. If you have more than one device connected to your internet router at home, those devices form a private network that cannot be accessed from outside without credentials. Anything that happens in that network is hidden from the world, just as anything you do in the privacy of your home is hidden from the world.
Every device on a VPN will have some software that can encrypt and decrypt data. Any network traffic from those devices is then encrypted and sent over the public Internet to another device on the VPN which will then decrypt it and read it. Sticking with our house analogy, it would be a little like you and a neighbour building a tunnel between your houses so that you could visit each other without anyone seeing you.
Why Use a VPN?
The next question you might be asking is… what’s the point? Let’s stick with our (admittedly flawed) house analogy for a bit longer. Imagine we extended our network of privacy tunnels to encompass hundreds of houses across a large area. Now let’s say you were out doing a spot of retail therapy and you realised you were being followed by an assassin.
We don’t know why the assassin wants to get you… maybe they don’t like you building all the tunnels. Just go with it.
Now, you could run home, but then the assassin would know where you live. Instead, you run into a random house that is part of your network of tunnels. Now, the only thing the assassin knows for sure is that you went into that house, but they have no way of knowing where you went after that.
Of course, in this analogy, there are very visible tunnels all over the place, and it would be much easier for the assassin to figure out your whereabouts than it would for an online party to follow a user on a VPN.
As far as the assassin goes, granted you probably won’t be getting “chased” online, but you may want to avoid having your online activities tracked by the likes of Facebook and Google. Another reason to use VPNs is to access region-specific content. For example, Netflix presents you with the content library for the region you are in regardless of your nationality, place of residence, or where you signed up for your account from. That means that if you are a UK Netflix user on holiday in America, you’re going to get the US Netflix library.
So no Friends for you.
Using a VPN, you can access Netflix through a node that is in the United States, so as far as Netflix is concerned, that is your geographical location. The assassin watched you go into an American house.
Are VPNs Detectable?
There is nothing obvious about a VPN connection from the outside—there are no visible tunnels like in our analogy—but VPN networks can be outed over time, and their addresses flagged as part of a VPN. This doesn’t necessarily mean YouTube will block those addresses (though VPNs that are used in malicious attacks tend to get blocked), but it will change how they handle users coming from those addresses.
Does YouTube Count Views From VPN?
So, if you view YouTube through a VPN, does YouTube count those views? Firstly, if you are logged in to a valid YouTube account, YouTube won’t particularly care that you are using a VPN. Only a small amount of the data they want to track is related to your location, and with a logged-in account, they can be sure of the rest of that information.
As for anonymous views… we simply don’t know.
What we do know, however, is that if you were thinking of using this method to increase the view count on your video, you would definitely be going against YouTube’s terms of service by “artificially inflating” your view count. Of course, whether they could tie the behaviour to you specifically is a different matter. Another thing to consider is that it would take far more time to make a meaningful impact on your view count this way than it would to just grow your channel organically!
Why View YouTube Through a VPN?
Hopefully, you’re not trying to inflate your view count as mentioned above, but you may do it for other reasons. One example is to view region-specific content. It’s a relatively small number of the total YouTube catalogue, but some videos are locked out in certain regions, and this would be a way to view those. Another reason would be simple to view YouTube without your viewing history being tracked.
On balance, YouTube probably does count views coming from VPNs when those views are not suspicious. If the user is behaving like a bot or viewing the same video over and over, that may lead YouTube to decide to discount those views. The most relevant factor, however, is that this would be a terrible and ineffective way to gain views, so it’s probably not worth worrying about whether those views count.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube
I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.
I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.
That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.
Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).
5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.