The Internet is free and for all but some countries indulge in censorship to block access to certain websites which they feel will harm their nation’s interests. Many countries adopt a moral police role and block access to NSFW websites. Some block even social media websites. Several schools, colleges, and offices provide free Wi-Fi connection to students but block their students/workers from accessing social networking sites. Some websites are blocked by our ISP (Internet Service Provider) or due to some country restrictions. But no worries, there are many workaround methods that you can use to access blocked websites.
In this article, we provide you alternate ways to access blocked websites from any place.
1. Using IP instead of URL
The blocked websites sometimes are stored as a list of URLs (eg. www.yahoo.com, www.donwload.com, etc.) and using the IP instead of the URL may work in some of the cases. In a local computer, by doing a ping domain.com command in Command Prompt (Mac users use Terminal) will get you the IP address for any website. You can also do it online via www.whatsmyip.org.
2. Use VPN
VPN or Virtual Proxy Network may be a remote server that provides you personal access to a public network. It enables you to access blocked websites from your home network. VPN makes it show as if you are browsing from the country wherever the server is found, thereby hiding your real identity. It also allows you to download apps or open blocked websites in your country. While there are many VPN service providers you can use, some offer services for free, others require a subscription.
3. Google Cache
Search engines like Google and Yahoo cache webpages and these cached pages are stored in search engines themselves, which likely will be added to the blocked list. Just search the website in Google and then click on triangular icon at the end of green URL from search result and click on ‘cached’. Unfortunately, you can only view front page or only the particular webpage that you searched with this trick.
4. Internet Archive – Wayback Machine
Internet archive is the biggest website on earth storing past versions of any website. Since it is not a proxy site, the chances of it being banned are null. This internet service sometimes keeps a copy of almost all websites in the internet way from the date they are started. You can use it to access the past versions of a website. You can also use it to browse the blocked content online.
5. Recast The URL
This trick works on the sites that are hosted in VPN and Dedicated servers Environment and which have an unverified SSL installed for that domain name. To get access to such websites, you have to use 2 simple steps. They are:
- Go to the address bar of the browser (Any browser)
- Instead of typing www.websiteURL.com or http://www.WebsiteURL.com, try typing https://www.WebsiteURL.com
Since the domain is unverified with SSL installation; it will show up a security notice with the options as Proceed anyway or Back to Safety. Here, by choosing the option Proceed Anyway, you will get access to the site.
6. Bypass with Translations services
Online translation services like AltaVista BabelFish, Google Translate is an efficient way that allows you to access blocked websites in a network. This tool supports all languages. It lets you translate a website from one language to another and display the translated results on their own page. By using this method, we can also get access to the blocked content or sites.
7. Use Proxy in Browsers
A proxy server is an intermediary server which acts on your behalf to get the information you requests. It hides your identity and is used to access blocked websites. There are several free net proxies that give services to browse the online anonymously. Basically, go the website and enter the URL you want to browse. Check out the following methods on how/where to insert proxies in your web browsers.
8. Proxy Surfing – Firefox
Choose Network tab under Advanced tab, and then click inside Connection Settings. Select Manual proxy configuration, put proxy under HTTP proxy.
Proxy Surfing – Internet Explorer
Go to Tools -> Internet Options. Select Connections tab. Click on LAN Settings, check Proxy Server. Insert your proxy URL inside Address.
9. Subscribe to RSS Feed
If the blocked website has an RSS feed, you can still view the blocked pages using an RSS reader. All you have to do is add the RSS feed to the reader. However, this might not work for all sites, but if the site you intended to visit provides RSS feeds, you can subscribe and read it with an RSS reader, or have it regularly send the contents to your email.
10. Redirection with Short URL service
Sometimes the URL you intend to browse might be banned, but converting them to another a shorter URL with short URL services might just help you to bypass the settings.
Here are two Short URL services – MooURL and SnipURL
11. Anonymous Surfing
Many websites, especially news website recognize the issues of censorship levied in some countries and have an anonymous surfing tab for users from these countries. These websites allow you to take advantage of their proxy or domain to surf other sites as anonymous. Remember this facility is available in only a few websites.