How to watch Pornhub even if it's blocked in your state

We may earn commission from the links on this page. Pornhub is no longer available in Texas.

According to a recent federal appeals court ruling, pornographic websites operating in Texas must now verify that their users are adults and have a government-issued ID or other appropriate method to prove their identity — which doesn't necessarily mean is something you want to do every time you visit an adult website. Pornhub has shut down in protest, and tons of Texans are now scrambling to find the best VPN (virtual private network) to install on their devices so they can still access it.

Texas isn't the only place where it's difficult to watch Pornhub. Age verification laws have led to the withdrawal of adult entertainment sites from seven other states, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Utah and Virginia. If you try to load the site in one of these states, you will see something like the following message in part: "The [Age Verification] Act fails to protect minors because it drives users from a handful of compliant sites to dozens Thousands of websites have far fewer security measures and are not up to par.”

Pornhub said the recent ruling in Texas would "infringe on adults' rights to access protected speech" and that age verification in general "is not an effective solution to protect online users." The company would like to see age verification handled at the device level.

As for the federal appeals court, it noted that age verification was required to purchase old-school print porn: Not applying the same rules to online content "means that the invention of the Internet somehow narrowed the scope of the state's ability to protect children," Circuit Judge Jerry · Smith wrote in the ruling.

How to watch Pornhub if it's blocked in your state

No matter where you stand on age verification laws, remember that the best VPNs can connect your computer to servers in different parts of the world, making it appear that you are somewhere else than where you actually are.

However, when it comes to the benefits of installing a VPN, this is just the beginning. These software tools hide your browsing activity from governments, law enforcement agencies, and anyone else who provides you with the Internet. Generally speaking, a VPN makes it harder for companies to track you and provides you with more online security and privacy (though not anonymity).

With that in mind, Lifehacker has covered the best free VPNs , the best paid VPNs , and the best free VPNs for Android in the past, but I want to highlight a few recommendations here - if you need more advice on browsing the internet requirements (whether related to adult websites), please click on the link above.

Best Free VPN: Proton VPN

We've written glowingly before about how good the free Proton VPN is, and it's a great option if you don't want to spend any money. Its appeal starts with Proton itself: It's dedicated to privacy, started by Swiss scientists, and insulated from big tech companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. This is a name you can trust.

Free VPNs also have surprisingly few restrictions. The two main limitations are that you can only connect from one device, and you can't choose which country's server to connect to. That’s it – it’s not painfully slow like many free VPNs. If you really need more flexible VPN connections and features, you can also upgrade for a fee.

Combined with Proton VPN's ease of use, support for a wide range of devices, and reliability of servers from around the world, it's hard to beat as far as free VPNs go. If you don't have a Proton account yet, please register here.

Best paid VPN: NordVPN

You have a lot of excellent options to choose from when it comes to paid VPNs, and no one app tops the others by a wide margin, but we'll focus here on NordVPN, which we recently compared to ExpressVPN. It's fast, flexible, and the software it delivers across multiple platforms is more polished and intuitive than many of its competitors.

You get a lot of features with NordVPN, from split tunneling to DNS customization to support for the ultra-private Onion network. While you can easily use the software with just a few clicks (or taps), there are plenty of advanced features available if you want to go a little deeper - you can even have a dedicated IP address (although this comes at an extra cost) .

NordVPN starts at $11.95 per month, but you can get some pretty hefty discounts if you pay for a year (or two) upfront. That's enough to let you connect up to six simultaneously, and you can sign up here to sign up and download the app.