Sometimes certain websites can get blocked by authorities or just employers in the office. As you know restrictions and bans over websites are always annoying, and governments are now censoring content more than ever. Moreover, if you also feel stifled by the blocked websites in your office or school, here are some ways to access blocked websites. While these filters in schools and offices serve some purpose, they are often misused by the authorities. So if you come across an internet block, don’t panic. Keep reading to find out more how to bypass blocked sites and internet restrictions.
Why Blocked Sites Exist
The possible reasons for the blocks are numerous. Let’s check the reasons.
Lots of services use geo-blocking tools to restrict access to their content in certain countries. The issue is perhaps most commonly associated with Netflix’s catalog. However, it can also apply to videos on social media (such as sports clips), news articles, and even entire services which are not available outside of their country of origin (like Hulu).
Governments often block access to sites to suit their agenda. The Twitter block in China is perhaps the most famous example, but in recent years we’ve also seen Turkey block access to social media in an attempt to quell protests in 2016 and Sri Lanka stop access to Facebook in the aftermath of the April 2019 terrorist attacks, supposedly to prevent the spread of fake news.
Employers often block sites on their internal networks. Heaven forbid that you waste a few minutes of their time checking Facebook…
Some countries have odd laws that can restrict access to certain types of material. The UK’s controversial porn ban, which requires users to verify their age, and Germany’s crusade against YouTube are two of the most notable cases.
Tips to Bypass Blocked Sites and Internet Restrictions
1. Use VPN to Bypass Blocked Sites
VPN or Virtual Private Network technology allows users to access web content via a secure Internet connection. This looks like a tunnel from the user device to a website. The thing is that this tunnel actually starts at some point other than your home network. That is if you are in a country where a certain website is blocked and can not be opened than using a VPN service allows you to connect to this address using IP address which is physically located in another country where this content is available with no restrictions.
VPNs are incredibly easy to use. Download the app onto your phone or computer, enter your login credentials, and choose the network that you want to connect to.
2. Use Proxy Websites
Very often, in a professional environment, employers draw certain boundaries, restricting your access to some particular websites like video streaming, social networking, or even personal emails. At times, you need a way to access the blocked websites and in those situations, proxy websites act as a rescue method. However, do note that an unblock proxy isn’t as secure as a VPN. So, if you’re really secretive about your work, method 1 is the one to choose.
On the web, there are hundreds of proxy websites that make your web experience “unrestricted”. A proxy website camouflages the blocked site from the ISPs and allows you to access blocked websites.
3. Use a Smart DNS
The recent clampdown on VPNs by services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer has resulted in a growth of smart DNS providers.
Smart DNS services have some pros and cons when considered in contrast to VPNs.
One of the most significant advantages is internet speed. Unlike VPNs, which route all your web traffic through a different network, smart DNS providers only need to reroute information about your location. This process results in a faster browsing experience.
On the downside, DNS services do not offer any of the same privacy benefits as VPNs. They do not encrypt your traffic, nor do they change your IP. If authorities in your location are likely to prosecute based on the sites you visit, a smart DNS provider is not right for you. One of the best smart DNS providers is Getflix.
4. Make Use of Google Translate
If one website is blocked in some country this does not mean that other resources which can be used to access it are also blocked. Surprisingly, many of blocked websites can be accessed via Google Translate. For doing this you just need to paste an URL of a website into its prompt (do not forget to pick not original language of a website in a first box).
After the link is translated, you can click on it and get desired web page. As it can be seen, there are a number of ways to access any blocked content. However, using a VPN is the most reliable one as other may not work in some circumstances.
5. Use Google Cache
Well, this is one of the lesser known methods and is very similar to Google Translate method. The best thing about this method is that is easier than Google Translate and works like a charm. To access a blocked website, simply search the website in Google Search. Once you get the search results, click on the green arrow beside the link and select “Cached”. This will load the cached web page of the said URL.
Just like with Google Translate, this method also has its limitations like:
- It will load the webpage that is cached by Google Search Engine. So, what you are seeing may not be the latest information.
- The webpage may not load CSS styles. So, you will be just seeing regular text and images without any formatting or styles.
However, Google Translate or the cache method doesn’t work with dynamic websites like Facebook or YouTube.
6. Use Tor to Bypass Blocked Sites
When you use the Tor network to browse the web, your traffic is taken on a long journey through thousands of nodes all around the world.
This process makes it almost impossible for a regular website to know where the request originated. So it is unlikely to get caught in any blocking filters.
Be aware that Tor and the dark web is not completely anonymous. Government authorities can, and do, monitor persons of interest on the network.
7. Use a Site’s IP Adress
When you think of web addresses, you probably think of the domain name that you type into your browser’s address bar.
In practice, the domain name is like a veneer for the IP address. It’s the IP address that points at a server and directs your traffic. DNS servers are responsible for converting domain names into their associated IP addresses.
However, if you know a site’s IP address, you can enter it directly into your browser, and you will still end up viewing the site.
Because many networks only block domain name URLs and not their underlying IP addresses. This trick is often a great way to circumvent internet restrictions.
The same principle applies to short URLs. It’s unlikely that a small employer or school has blocked all the short URLs that point to a site. You will often enjoy some success if you try to use them.
You can find the IP address of a site by opening Command Prompt as an admin, they typing tracert followed by the domain name, for example, tracert bbc.com.
8. Bypass Blocked Sites via Extensions
If the websites that are blocked by your institute or office are dynamic in nature such as Facebook or YouTube, then you should give a try to these extensions. Hola and ProxMate are some extensions that you can use to access blocked websites on Chrome and other browsers. UltraSurf is one such effective extension that lets you browse freely using its encrypted proxy network. It’s powerful enough to evade lots of power to defeat firewalls like Lightspeed.
9. Use RSS Feed of Site
RSS readers are useful for getting the fresh content and reading them with ease. You can grab the RSS feed of the blocked website and add it to your reader. Just in case that website doesn’t have a feed, there are some useful online services to create the feed. In recent times, with the rise of fake news on social media platforms and algorithmic updates, RSS readers are making a comeback. You can use one like Feedly and get all the content delivered from your trusted sources.
10. Use HTML to PDF Converter
SodaPDF provides a free online service that can help you directly download a web page on your computer without even accessing it. You just need to enter the desired URL. That’s it. There are other HTML to PDF converter web blocker bypass services that you can try. There are some services that need your URL and they simply mail the unblocked webpage.
These are some of the most effective and easy to use methods to circumvent the censorship that has been put on your favorite websites. But the most effective way to hide your identity is to use Tor. The only downside is, when you access torrents or YouTube, the connection is very slow. But hey, you can access any blocked websites, right? Tell us in the comment section below that which method best meets your needs.