No matter where you are located, there will be times when the internet is restricted or blocked.
Don’t panic if you find yourself in an internet block. Continue reading to learn how to bypass blocked sites and other internet restrictions.
Why are Blocked Sites Still Available?
There are many possible causes for these blocks.
First Many services use geo-blocking to limit access to certain countries’ content. This issue is most often associated with Netflix’s catalogue. It can also be applied to videos on social media, such as sports clips, news articles and entire services that aren’t available in their home country (such Hulu).
Second. Governments often block access from sites that are not in line with their interests. Perhaps the most well-known example is China’s Twitter block. However, we have also seen Turkey and Sri Lanka block access to social media to quell protests in 2016.
Thirdly Employers often block websites from their internal networks. It is forbidden to waste time on Facebook.
Lastly. Some countries have strange laws that restrict access to certain kinds of material. Two of the most prominent cases are the UK’s porn ban that required users to verify their age and Germany’s war against YouTube.
How to bypass blocked sites
What can you do if you find yourself in a restricted area? These are the top ways to get around blocked sites.
1. Use a VPN
Accessing blocked websites is possible by using a premium virtual private network (VPN) that charges a fee.
While VPNs offer many benefits, the best for blocked sites is the ability to give you an IP address in another country. It appears that you are located in another country by using a foreign IP address. You won’t be able to trigger site’s geoblocks or circumvent restrictions.
Theoretically, some services block access to VPN IP addresses. This has led to a huge game of cat-and-mouse, where the VPN providers generally win.
VPNs are extremely easy to use. Simply download the app to your smartphone or computer and enter your login credentials. Next, choose the network you wish to connect to.
Do you need a VPN? These links will allow you to get discounted plans with CyberGhost or ExpressVPN. Both are reliable, efficient, and respectful of your privacy.
2. Smart DNS is a good choice
Smart DNS providers have grown in response to the recent crackdown on VPNs by Netflix and BBC iPlayer. They allow you to bypass restricted websites.
When compared to VPNs, smart DNS services offer some advantages and disadvantages.
Internet speed is one of the greatest benefits of using smart DNS to bypass a website block. Smart DNS providers do not need to route traffic through VPNs. Instead, they only need information about your location. This results in faster browsing.
DNS services don’t offer the same privacy protections as VPNs. They don’t encrypt traffic or change your IP. A smart DNS provider may not be right for you if authorities in your area are likely to pursue you based on what sites you visited.
3. Get a free proxy
A free proxy is a great option if you need to access blocked websites quickly and on a single basis.
Proxy will mask your IP address and help you hide your location. However, it will not encrypt your traffic. Proxies do not have encryption so they are less secure than VPNs. They are a great option to bypass blocks on school networks, but not for browsing that requires anonymity.
Proxies can be slower than VPNs, but they are often more reliable. They can also have problems with page formatting and images. These problems make them unreliable long-term solutions.
If you want to know more, check out our guide to the best proxy for geo-blocked content.
4. Use an IP address of a site
You probably think of domain names when you think about web addresses (e.g. www.makeuseof.com that you enter into your browser’s URL bar.
The domain name acts as a veneer for your IP address. It is the IP address that points to a server and directs your traffic. DNS servers convert domain names to their associated IP addresses.
If you have the IP address of a site, you can still access it from your browser.
This trick can be used to bypass internet restrictions because many networks block domain URLs but not their underlying IP addresses.
This principle also applies to short URLs. It is unlikely that any school or small employer has blocked all short URLs that point at a site. If you attempt to bypass school-blocked sites, you’ll find some success.
To find the IP address for a site, open Command Prompt as admin and then type tracert followed with the domain name.
5. Use Tor
Your traffic is routed through thousands of nodes around the globe when you use Tor to browse the internet.
This makes it nearly impossible for regular websites to identify the origin of the request, and it is unlikely that any blocking filters will catch it.
You should be aware that Tor and the dark web are not anonymous. Authorities can and do monitor anyone who is interested in the network.
How to bypass school restrictions
If you need to bypass blocked websites at school, some of these options might not be possible. You won’t often be able install Tor or VPN apps on school computers or networks.
There are still things you can do to help you gain access.
These include the use of the site’s IP address, Google Translate, and a smartphone hotspot to provide an internet connection. You should be aware that bypassing school restrictions can have serious consequences, including the possibility of being expelled from the institution.
If you are interested in learning more, we have an in-depth article on how to bypass restricted websites at school.
Find out how to get past blocked sites
A VPN is our preferred method of accessing blocked websites and bypassing internet restrictions regularly.
You can learn more about VPNs and other ways to bypass internet blocks by reading How to Override Wi-Fi Restrictions.