6 Simple Hacks To Access Blocked Websites.
Internet censorship is very common on the World Wide Web. Governments do this to restrict citizens from viewing content they deem inappropriate. Even offices and colleges block sites they don’t like. Of course, sometimes it is necessary to block certain sites. But often, most offices and collages block useful and legitimate websites for no good reason. Sometimes internet censorship is justified, but usually it’s an abuse of power.
The internet is a great place to learn new things. People like me even do it for a living. Needless to say, this is one of the best things in my life. But that would never have been possible if I didn’t have Internet access. The Internet is free space and needs to be kept that way.
In this regard, here are some tips and tricks for accessing blocked content. However, some countries / institutions are strict about Internet censorship. So if this is your case, beware of the consequences.
Related: How to Access Torrents Blocked by Your ISP
6 simple ways to access blocked websites
1. Get started simple
If the website does not open, try replacing “http” with “https” in the URL.
This worked flawlessly on my college Wi-Fi, which banned Facebook and several other social networks. If you get an SSL error, the website is not trusted. Click the “Continue Anyway” button.
Another little trick you should try before getting started is using a URL shortening service. Try this site for URL shortening.
However, most institutions are smart enough to do this. So don’t expect it to work everywhere.
On the subject: How to see blocked content on websites
2. Use a proxy site
If the above method doesn’t work for you, use proxy sites. Enter the keyword “proxy sites” into Google. Open the first link, enter the URL of the blocked website, and click Go. The proxy site will receive the blocked content for you.
How do proxy sites work?
The idea is simple. the proxy replaces your IP with its own. So, instead of directly requesting the page, you first send a request to the proxy site and then it redirects your request to the blocked website.
However, your institution can easily block the proxy site as well. Thus, the less popular a proxy site is, the more likely it will work.
Or use Google Translate
It may sound crazy, but trust me, you can use Google Translate as a proxy site. The best thing about using Google as a proxy is that most organizations don’t block Google Translate.
So, head over to the Google Translate site. In the translation field, enter the URL of the blocked website and convert it to some local language you know. Unfortunately they removed the same language translation feature.
Or use Google Cache
Well, this is one of the little known methods, very similar to the Google Translate method. The best thing about this method is that it is simpler than Google Translate and works like a charm. To access a blocked website, simply search for it in a Google search. When you get your search results, click the green arrow next to the link and select Cached. This will load the cached webpage with the specified URL.
As with Google Translate, this method has its limitations, for example:
- It loads a web page cached by Google search engine. So, what you see may not be the latest information.
- The web page may not load CSS styles. This way you will see plain text and images without any formatting or styles.
However, Google Translate or the caching method does not work with dynamic websites like Facebook or YouTube. To do this, take the following approach.
3. Extension of the browser
You can use browser extensions like TunnelBear or Zenmate to access geo-restricted websites like Pandora and Spotify. To get this extension, do a simple Google search and install it from the store. Sometimes you may need to create an account in order to use them. TunnelBear only gives you 500MB of free data every month. Now this is enough to view the text. But let’s say if you use Tunnel Bear to watch American Netflix content or any other video content, then all your free data will disappear in one session, right?
Well, there is a little trick to fix this problem. Most services only check your IP when you first log in or when you start playing a video. So, once you log in, you can simply turn off the VPN service. I’ve personally tested this method for Spotify and Netflix from India and it worked great.
Netflix has launched in nearly 130 countries, but its content isn’t the same everywhere, even though it charges the same fees. To access all Netflix content in one app, use Smart DNS Proxy. It’s a paid VPN that lifts geo restrictions on Netflix and several other video sites like Hulu, BBC UK, Pandora, and more.
Related: How to Use Spotify Outside US and UK (With Video)
4. Access to blocked websites in Android
If you’re using Android on a limited Wi-Fi network, use Orbot. It is an Android client for the famous Tor browser. All you have to do is turn on Orbot and it will set everything up for you. Tor is based on the onion routing protocol, meaning it has 3 layers of protection and is also open source. This way, you can use it to access any blocked websites without worrying about someone keeping your logs.
However, since it routes your traffic through 3 different computers located around the world, the speed you get will not be as good. This is enough for viewing text and emails, but for video or file sharing, you have to wait a lot. Moreover, while no one can see what you are browsing and looking at when using the Tor network, if the system administrator or ISP is good enough, they can still see that someone is using the Tor client to disguise their network activity.
5. VPN applications
Proxies are good for browsers. But if you want other apps like uTorrent or Skype to run on a restricted network, then you need a VPN. Moreover, unlike a proxy, it is difficult for an ISP to block a VPN connection. The reason is that, unlike proxies, VPNs are not public and the connections are encrypted. Thus, it is almost impossible to control and it is very difficult for providers to block VPN connection.
VPN’s only drawback is the paid services. But you can find free ones too, like Tunnel Bear or Hotspot Shield. In turn, they will either show you ads or you will get limited bandwidth. However, don’t expect torrents to work with a free VPN.
In the video above, I showed you how to set up and use a free VPN like Hotspot Shield. If you haven’t watched the video, all you have to do is download the free version of Hotspot Shield, install it on your computer and that’s it. The program will automatically start the service.
Related: Best Free VPN Apps We Recommend on TechWiser
6. Change your DNS to SmartDNS
This is the final decision. By default, we use the default DNS (short for Domain Name Server) provided by our ISP. If you don’t know, DNS is the one that is responsible for resolving the IP address from the web address you entered in the address bar. Here is a detailed article on what DNS is and which DNS server you are using. However, since everything happens in the background, we don’t notice this.
Since DNS services are provided by your ISP by default, they can easily monitor and block requests and make the website you are trying to access unavailable. In such situations, you can use services such as Smart DNS Proxy. When using Smart DNS Proxy, you are provided with a different set of DNS addresses. When you use these addresses, you can unblock everything, such as websites and streaming services like Netflix, and even torrents. It’s good that Smart DNS proxy has a very detailed guide to change DNS address on various systems like Windows, MacOS, Android and even routers.
The advantage of using the DNS method is that since you can change the DNS settings at the router level, all your devices like smartphones, computers, and even Chromecast will work without any additional configuration. Plus, the DNS method is faster than your regular VPN. But here’s the bummer: Smart DNS Proxy is a paid service that costs $ 5 a month. So if you want to go that route you can try Smart DNS Proxy or UnlockUS. Both are good and offer a free trial with no credit card requirement.
Related: How to Change DNS on Each Platform
Access to restricted sites
But the most effective way to hide your identity is to use Tor. I use this all the time in my college. The only downside is that when you access torrents or YouTube, the connection is very slow. But you can access any blocked websites, right?
Related: How To Use Tor Browser Bundle
So which method seems to you the most promising? Share your thoughts and let me know if you have any questions in the comments.