We all love to stream our favorite artists and find new music, but unfortunately Pandora is blocked for those living outside the United States. Here’s what you need to unblock Pandora in 2021 and listen for free from anywhere in the world.
Before there was ever Spotify and before there ever was Apple Music, there existed Pandora radio. The music streaming service made its name thanks to its ability to discover and recommend new songs for you based on songs that you have already listened to.
I love how I can listen to just one artist and one song and Pandora will create a station for me filled with other related songs from similar artists.
Better yet, I love how accurately the internet radio predicts songs that I will love and it’s all thanks to their Music Genome Project that tries to capture the essence of music by using over 450 attributes to describe songs.
What I DON’T love is that Pandora is only accessible in the United States.
Having to manually search my favorite songs when I could easily access them on my collection section on Pandora is too much work.
So, in this post I’m going to show you a trick I have been using to stream Pandora radio from anywhere in the world.
Note: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I may be compensated if you choose to use one of the services listed. I only recommend what I personally have used, and I appreciate your support!
The Secret to Streaming Pandora
Whether you’re physically located outside the United States or you’re stuck behind an institutional network like your school or work that blocks access to Pandora, there is a way to stream in 2021.
You see, the way Pandora blocks your access by checking what’s known as your “IP address” to determine your location. Every device you use to access the internet is assigned an IP address, and this address identifies which city you’re in and what ISP (internet service provider) you’re using.
The secret, then is to use location spoofing software such as ExpressVPN to hide your real IP address and make it look like you’re in a different location.
This also works with institutional networks that block your access to Pandora because connecting to a virtual private network (VPN) creates a tunnel through this censorship, providing you open access to whatever you want.
Additional Benefits of a Pandora VPN
In addition to tricking Pandora into thinking you are in the US, a VPN will also encrypt your internet traffic for an additional layer of security and privacy.
Not only will you be able to access Pandora, a VPN will also give you access to other streaming services such as:
- Amazon Prime Video
- Streaming Local TV
For a more detailed explanation of streaming Pandora outside the US using a VPN, follow along with this step by step process.
Unblocking Pandora in 2021
To bypass Pandora’s frustrating georestrictions, just follow these three simple steps.
It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to complete the whole process.
Step 1: Sign Up for Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Every VPN worth its salt can unblock Pandora. However, I’ve personally been using and recommend ExpressVPN for more than a decade because I like how easy it is to set up and use.
They have numerous server options to choose from in the United States, so you’re practically guaranteed to find one that will stream Pandora without an issue.
To sign up for a VPN, head over to the official ExpressVPN website, choose the plan that best suits you, then create your account. The long term deals offer the best discounts.
Download the VPN app for your particular OS and sign in to your account.
Step 2: Connect to a US server
Once you are signed in to your account, go to the server selection section and connect to any server in the US.
Remember, the closer a server is to you, the faster your internet traffic will reach the VPN server and, thus, the faster your connection speeds.
Step 3: Relaunch Pandora & Stream
When you relaunch the app or browser after connecting to a US VPN server, the streaming service will now see your US IP address instead of your original IP address and consequently allow you access to their site.
If, for some reason, you’re still getting blocked, here are a few troubleshooting options:
- Clear your browser cookies;
- Connect to a different VPN server in the US;
- Try connecting using a different connection protocol (in “Preferences” in ExpressVPN);
Now, simply stream and enjoy your favorite music on Pandora!
Free VPNs vs Premium VPNs
Can free VPNs unblock Pandora?
Yes, Pandora is not as stringent in cracking down VPNs as other streaming platforms like Netflix. Even a simple online proxy server can unblock the service.
However, just because something is possible doesn’t mean it’s the best decision. When it comes to free VPNs and proxies, the question you always have to ask yourself is this:
How are they making money?
When it comes to free VPNs, the answer often comes in the form of selling your data, infecting you with malware or worse.
I’ve gone into further detail about my recommended free VPNs, but the bottom line is that if you plan on using a VPN for long-term streaming, it’s worth investing a few dollars a month into a premium product.
Frequently Asked Questions | Unblocking Pandora
Below are the most common questions I receive about unblocking Pandora. Hopefully the answers can benefit you as well.
Pandora radio only streams inside the United States. They used to stream in New Zealand and Australia until they pulled out of those markets in 2017 in order to focus on the American market.
Streaming services like Pandora are bound by license agreements that dictate where they are allowed to stream content. In this case, they are only licensed to stream in the United States and therefore they block access to their website and service to all users outside the United States.
The internet radio uses the location information provided by your IP address to block your access to their site. Therefore, all you need is a spoofing software like ExpressVPN that will assign you a US IP address. This will trick online services into thinking you are connecting from the US.
Yes, various free solutions can unblock Pandora radio anywhere abroad. However, I don’t recommend free solutions due to the risk they pose to your privacy. What I recommend, however, are freemium solutions. These are free versions of premium VPNs that offer limited functionalities to motivate you to upgrade to the premium plan and get the full functionality. Some great freemium options are ProtonVPN and Atlas VPN.
As long as you are using the best VPN for Pandora you should have no trouble with streaming quality and buffering. However, free VPNs can pose a problem due to congestion on one server. The increased competition for bandwidth will lead to slow internet speeds.
Best Alternatives to Pandora
If you are outside the US and you feel that using a VPN to unblock the streaming service is too much, never fear! Then there are several other music streaming services that you can consider.
The best alternatives for streaming music include popular options such as:
These services are easily accessible globally and also do a great job recommending new music and podcasts based on your existing taste.
Final Thoughts | Unblocking Pandora
If you are used to the convenience that comes with using the Pandora streaming service, you will find yourself painfully missing it when you are outside the US and can’t access your stations.
Luckily now, you have a way to easily unblock the streaming service from anywhere in the world.
And, if you are questioning the need to purchase a premium plan when a free VPN can unblock the service, think of the extra benefits that come with using the premium solution.
It is worth the investment.