Access Blocked Websites : There is nothing as frustrating and annoying as trying to browse a website, only to find yourself locked out. Bans and restrictions on websites whether they have been put in place by governments, your ISP or the employer are not fun.
Moreover, while these filters can serve some purpose at the workplace or in schools, they can be misused or wrongly set up such that they flag content they should not have. If you are the victim of a wrongly set up filter or block there are ways to get around the filter and have access to any content that you want. From DNS hacks to proxy websites, and VPNs the following are some of the ways to unblock restricted content.
Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network that acts as a tunnel that encrypts your data making it impossible for anyone to read the contents. The VPN thus makes it possible to get a secure connection from your device to the Internet through another a private network.
By using a VPN you can thus access any restricted websites from your device as it changes your IP address to one that is not blocked. You will typically be required to download an app onto your device. The device will automatically change your IP allowing you to access any blocked sites at your workplace, country or school.
For example, many schools and workplaces block websites such as YouTube. You can find a guide on how to unblock YouTube linked here.
Go Anonymous by Using Proxy Websites
An anonymous proxy server masks your identity by routing all your requests via different public addresses and servers. Since it gives you public addresses from a different country, the website will believe the request is from a supported country and will grant access.
For instance, if a website only allows Canadians access, you can get a Canadian proxy and the filters will let you through. The proxy addresses also work well when networks block specific websites but not the proxy site.
By going through the proxy site, you can get access to any content on the blocked site. Using anonymous proxy sites is very easy. All you need to do is use the internet normally, but instead of configuring the address in the web browser, you type in your queries and website addresses on the proxy website.
However, using web-proxies is considered unsafe.
Use a Portable Browser
If your workplace or school is known to restrict access to certain websites, you could use portable browsers to get past this. Several browsers such as Mozilla Firefox come with built-in proxies that make it possible to get past web restrictions.
The browsers with these capabilities typically come as portable versions. What you need to do is install the portable version of the browser such as Firefox portable onto a flash drive. You can then run the browser from the flash drive and access the restricted website. Some workplaces may restrict installation of extensions on the web browser of your computer making use of portable browsers difficult.
In such an instance, combine the portable browser with an unblock proxy service and you should be good to go.
Use IP Rather Than URL
Each website typically has an IP address in addition to the URL identifier. Most of the time authorities will just block the URL rather than the IP. If it is only the URL which is blocked you can easily access any sites you want by just typing in the IP address into the browser rather than the URL.
It is quite easy to get the IP address of a website as all you have to do is run a Command Prompt and then type in the website address of your website such as “www.example.com” and press enter. You can use similar command prompts for PC, Android, Linux, and Mac. The downside to this method is that it will not work if the administrators of the network have blocked both IP and URL of the site you want to access.
Use a Different DNS Server
A DNS (Domain Name System) is a database of all IP addresses and domain names in the world. What it does when someone initiates a URL request is to translate the request into an IP address. To bypass restriction, you can change the DNS server to use public DNS servers such as OpenDNS, Google DNS or CloudFlare DNS.
If you are on a network that has enabled filtering for certain websites, the pages from those websites will not resolve when you type them into your browser. However since most filters will grant access to public DNS, you can easily gain access by changing your computer’s DNS address to the public servers. The public DNS is also advantageous in that it will enhance your security and speed up your browsing experience.
Use IP Anonymizer such as TOR
If you love your privacy, you have probably heard of or used the Tor browser, which is quite popular among privacy advocates. You can also use the Tor browser to bypass any restrictions on website access at your workplace or school, while also remaining anonymous.
This is doubly advantageous as you will be getting rid of any surveillance on your activities. The TOR anonymizer is second only to the VPN or proxies when it comes to effectiveness at unblocking restricted websites. Moreover, you can also use it to access .onion and dark web sites typically not accessible on the regular web. You can also combine TOR and VPN for greater access and security while browsing.
Use Google Translate
Just because a website is blocked in your country does not mean that all resources that we could use to gain access are also blocked. Most countries and institutions will not ban Google Translate given that most administrators do not consider it a powerful enough tool to unlock site at the workplace or at school.
One of the most low tech ways to get into a restricted website is to use Google Translate. All you have to do is type the URL of the website into the first prompt box and select another language in the box. Once the link is translated you can click on it and access the website as normal. You can also use the Bing translation service for the same purpose.
The above are some of the most common ways of unblocking access to a restricted website. However, the one that will work best for you will depend on your preferences and the conditions and limitations placed on your network and computer. Nonetheless at least one of these methods should work for anyone.