Short Bytes: Restrictions and bans over websites are always annoying, and governments are now censoring content more than ever. Check out the 13 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.
Given the current stature of the constitutional “Rights” and “Freedoms” conferred upon the public in most of the democracies, censorship and bans on trivial matters don’t come as a surprise. And in the era of the Internet, harassing the general public is even easier. Be it the controversial net neutrality, or restriction to access to specific websites.
If you also feel stifled by the blocked websites in your country, 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.
How to access blocked websites: 13 useful methods!
1. Use VPN for unblocking
VPN or Virtual Proxy Network allows you to connect your device to a secure connection to another network over the internet. VPN enables you to access blocked websites from your home network and puts your IP address in a land far away. You can also download the apps, open the sites blocked in your country, or use it as a way to unblock sites in school.
VPN acts as a tunnel that converts your data into garbage value that’s difficult for anyone to sniff and recognize. There are tons of free/cheap VPN services that one can use and enjoy an uninterrupted internet experience. Apart from defeating the censorship, a VPN also makes your connection encrypted and ensures that nobody can snoop your data,
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.
Check out our detailed article on what is VPN and how it works. Here are some great VPN packages for you to try —
2. Become Anonymous: Use Proxy Websites
Very often, in a professional environment, the 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, #1 method is the one to choose.
On the web, there are hundreds of proxy websites that make your web experience ‘unrestricted’. A proxy website becomes a moderator between the user and server site. It camouflages the blocked site from the ISPs and allows you to access blocked websites. To get a proxy website for any blocked site, just perform the Google search.
Eg: Facebook Proxy Server. In case, Facebook is blocked in your institution, or you can go to —
3. Use IP Rather Than URL
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, our quest of how to unblock websites might end here. To get the IP address for any website, you do a ping domain(dot)com command in Command Prompt. Using IP is a simple way to access blocked websites in your region. However, if the website had hidden its IP too, then it won’t open with this method.
All you need to do is run CMD on your computer. Now type “ping www.websitename.com” and press Enter. This will promptly return the IP address. Now enter this IP address in your web browser’s address bar and hit Enter to visit “access denied” websites. Similar tools and commands can also be used on other platforms like Mac, Linux, Android, etc.
4. Change Network Proxy In Browsers
Your college or institute might be having more than one proxy for its network. So, it happens that some websites are restricted on one proxy, but accessible in another. So, you can give a try to proxy surfing to access blocked websites in your college.
Disabling the network proxy settings in our web browsers 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:
5. Use Google Translate
Institutes or even countries sometimes don’t ban Google Translate. Probably because it’s an education 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. It is yet another simple way to access blocked websites. In our video embedded below, we’ve shown how one can use Google Translate (and other methods) to access blocked sites.
You can also use Microsoft’s Bing translation service to unblock a banned website. To unblock websites at school and office, there are other translation services available as well.
6. Bypass censorship 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.
7. URL recasting method
There are instances when a particular website is hosted in VPN and it doesn’t have a verified SSL 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 http://www.url.com. This change might display a security notice. Press on the Proceed Anyway option and visit the website.
8. Replace your DNS Server
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. Recently, CloudFlare also launched their 22.214.171.124 DNS service which claimed to be the fastest, privacy-focused DNS service. Here are the detailed steps on the same.
Changing DNS also ensures better privacy while browsing. Because with default settings every WiFi network you’ve connected to and ISPs have lists of sites you’ve visited.
9. Go to Internet Archive — Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine is an interesting service that stores a copy of most of all website 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. Moreover, this amazing website also contains lots of free movies, documentaries, nostalgic games, ebooks, etc. So, even if some service or websites becomes defunct, Wayback Machine has got your back.
10. 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 the 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.
11. Use IP Anonymizer like TOR
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.
12. 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.
13. Use Firefox from 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.
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.