The instances of websites getting blocked are rising each year due to numerous factors. In many countries, due to increased censorship, governments are actively censoring the internet access and forcing the users to steer away even from popular websites and social networks. Similar instances happen in schools and offices as well where network admin forces us to look for methods to unblock websites.
In this article, you can check out multiple easy ways to bypass the censorship to access blocked websites. These easy-to-use and effective methods include the use of VPN, extensions, DNS hack, proxy websites, and others.
Important: If your office (or school) has banned some websites on its network, unblocking them might violate your work policies. So, we don’t advise you to try to bypass filters in these cases.
How To Unblock Websites?
1. Use VPN for unblocking online
As its name suggests, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) software acts as a hiding layer that doesn’t reveal your real IP address. While using a VPN, the traffic from your device passes through a VPN server that is not blocked by the government or ISP, hence, allowing you to browse websites.
As per our experience and expert reviews, using a reliable VPN service is the best way to unblock websites with ease. All popular VPNs have their apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, etc., which makes it easy to unblock sites at work or school.
If you’re interested in diving deeper, you can check out our detailed article on what is VPN and how it works. Here are some great VPN packages for you to try:
If top-notch security isn’t your primary goal, you can also try free VPN services to open blocked sites.
2. Website Unblocker: Use Proxy Websites
Very often, in a professional environment, employers draw certain boundaries to restrict your access to some particular websites and services such as 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 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.
For instance, in case Facebook is blocked by your institution, you can go to a proxy site and enter the blocked URL to access the service —
3. Access blocked sites in Chrome
It’s also possible that Chrome has blocked a particular website on your computer or someone else has configured it to do so. In that case, there are some simple steps that you can follow to change specific settings to allow permissions to access that particular website.
To unblock websites in such cases, enter the web address of the website in Chrome and towards the left of address bar, see the icon. Click on it and look for Site settings to change the blocked status.
4. Use IP Rather Than URL
Most of you might know that each website’s URL has an IP address, and the authorities blocking the site might have just stored the URL instead of the IP. In that case, you can use the IP address of a website to open banned webpages in your Chrome browser.
- On Windows, type tracert websitename.com in command prompt to get the IP address.
- On Mac, open Network Utility > click on Traceroute option at the top and enter the website address to find its IP address.
- For iPhone and Android, find apps with the name Traceroute on App Store and Play Store.
- On Linux, type dig websitename.com in Terminal to get the IP address.
5. Use Google Translate
Institutes or even countries sometimes don’t ban Google Translate. Probably because it’s an educational tool, and nobody considers it something powerful enough to unblock sites at school or offices. So, with this tool, you can bypass the restriction by converting the blocked website into some other language that you may know.
Try Google Translate and see for yourself; just paste the URL and then click on the URL that appears in the translated section.
6. Bypass censorship via Extensions
If the websites that are blocked 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 defeat firewalls.
7. Replace your DNS Server (Custom DNS)
We’ve already discussed this method under a separate topic named DNS Hack. You can simply use this method and bypass the blockade. This method generally involves using Google DNS or OpenDNS for accessing the internet. Here are the detailed steps on the same.
Cloudflare’s 184.108.40.206 DNS service claims to be the fastest, privacy-focused DNS service. Cloudflare also made available their 220.127.116.11 DNS service via Android and iOS apps. I often use this one-click method to access blocked sites in my region.
8. Go to Internet Archive — Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine is an interesting service that stores a copy of almost all websites on the internet. It saves multiple versions of a website, and you can use it to access the past versions of a website. The users can also use it to browse the blocked content online.
So, even if some service or websites becomes defunct, the Wayback Machine has got your back. Moreover, the Internet Archive also contains lots of free movies, documentaries, nostalgic games, ebooks, etc.
9. Use RSS Feed of website
RSS readers are useful for getting fresh content and reading it with ease. You can grab the RSS feed from the blocked website and add it to your reader. Here, the catch is that some RSS readers can load an entire web page on top of their UI, which could be used to access a blocked website.
10. Use TOR (The Onion Router)
If you’re a privacy advocate, you might be already knowing about the massively popular Tor browser. This could act as a web blocker bypass tool if you set it up properly. In many cases, you can unblock websites at school or office and remain anonymous as well. There’s a dual advantage as you’d also be able to get rid of any kind of surveillance.
After VPN and proxies, using Tor is the most powerful method to unblock sites. It’s also used as a gateway to dark web sites, or .onion sites, which are blocked on your usual web. You can read our detailed article on Tor to know more about how it works.
Tip: Use Tor over VPN
Apart from just web blocker bypass, if you are into exploring ways to enhance your computer security, you can also go for the deadly combination of TOR and VPN. Many VPNs like NordVPN and ExpressVPN provide technology like Onion Over VPN, which offers an extra layer of protection.
Other uncommon methods to unblock websites online
1. Switch internet network
Most of the ISPs provide a dynamic IP to the users, which keeps changing from time to time. So, it’s possible that a website owner has blocked your particular IP from some time. In that case, you can access that blocked site by restarting your Wi-Fi router to force the ISP to assign you another IP address.
Another simple way to bypass restrictions is to use your personal smartphone network if your network admin has blocked some particular services. While this method isn’t 100% foolproof, it’s a nice and legal alternative to breaking the rules at your office.
2. 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. Just visit this link and 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. Overall, it’s an easy way to unblock website without proxy or VPN.
3. Use Firefox from a USB drive
If your school or office is known to take steps to restrict site access, I won’t be surprised you’re not allowed to install extensions on the web browser to open the websites for your personal use. In that case, you can install a web browser like Firefox portable on a USB drive. Couple it with some good unblock proxy service, and you’ve got it covered.
4. URL recasting method
There are instances when a particular website is hosted in VPN, and it doesn’t have a verified SSL certificate installed. For such websites, you can simply go to the address bar of your web browser and try typing https://www.url.com, instead of accessing www.url.com or https://www.url.com. This change might display a security notice. Press on the Proceed Anyway option and visit the website. This isn’t a foolproof method, but it could be handy at times.
5. Change Network Proxy In Browsers
Your college or institute might have more than one proxy for its network. So, it could happen that some websites are restricted on one proxy, but accessible on another. You can give a try to proxy surfing to access blocked websites in your college.
Disabling the network proxy settings in your web browser isn’t a tough task. You just need to find the connections/network option in the settings of your web browser. There, you can select the no proxy option or use another one that’s providing unrestricted browsing at your institution. For example, here’s a settings window showing how you can change the settings in the Firefox web browser:
These are some of the most effective and easy-to-use methods to circumvent the censorship that has been put on your favorite websites. Let us know which one do you prefer to access blocked websites in your region.