Websites can be unavailable in certain areas for any number of reasons. However, as a user, your prerogative is to be able to reach any website you want.
The reasons certain sites get blocked are innumerable, but often the primary reason you cannot access a particular website is because its owners do not allow access to users from certain locations. At the same time, in some countries, many of the popular websites are blocked and restricted, and no one in the country can access them. Another common issue are sites blocked by an institution, such as an organization, school or a company. For example, many companies do not allow their users to access popular social media websites from their work computers. The situation is similar in many schools.
Naturally, most people wonder how to get around blocked websites, which is why we put together this expert list of different methods of unblocking. If you are desperate to find out just how to get passed blocked websites, read on and find out.
1. Use a VPN
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is an excellent way to access blocked websites. This technology allows you to connect your device to another network over a secure connection, by creating a tunnel through which your data travels and gets encrypted and turned into something that no one can sniff or decipher. It also connects you to a server that assigns you a completely different IP address, one that is not prohibited from accessing certain websites. Obviously, this allows you to connect to just about any site you want and to unblock it. There are many excellent VPN services out there, like ExpressVPN and if you are interested in using VPN on your mobile device, there are some great VPNs for Android too. All you have to do is pick a VPN provider, sign up, install the client and start surfing with no restrictions at all.
2. Change proxy in browser
Usually, a network has more than just one proxy, especially if it is a large institution like a school or university, or a big company that does not allow its employees to access certain websites at work. This is something that you can use to your advantage. But how do you access blocked websites via proxy settings? It requires some tweaking of the settings, which is something that users that are not exactly advanced or particularly tech-savvy are not too eager to do, but it’s actually rather easy. First, you need to get one of the working public proxies. Those can easily be found online, just type “free public proxy” and you should get plenty of results. The next thing to do is to manually set your browser’s proxy. In Firefox, follow this path: Preferences>Advanced>Network>Connection>Settings>Manual Proxy Configuration. Paste the public proxy you obtained in the previous step, followed by the port number, and hit OK. In Chrome, go to Options>General and then input the proxy and the port number.
Internet Explorer users should do Tools>Internet Options>Connections>LAN settings. Then check Proxy Server and insert the proxy URL inside address.
The procedure is similar in other browsers too.
3. Use proxy websites
Proxy websites are websites that allow you to browse the web anonymously, which is certainly convenient if you want to go to restricted websites. So, how do you get passed blocked websites using these websites, you might ask? Well, it’s actually incredibly simple. Just go to one of these websites (and there are tons of them online – simply type in “proxy website” in the search bar and you’ll see) and enter the URL of the blocked website you want to visit. This works because, when you visit a website through a proxy site, you are not the one connecting to it. Instead, you are connecting to the proxy server, which, in turn, is connecting to the website you want to unblock, of which you are seeing a cached version. The best thing about these proxy websites is that they are, in most cases, completely free, and there are absolutely no repercussions associated with their use.
4. Use Google Cache
Most search engines, like Google and Yahoo! For instance, keep cache webpages, and those are stored in the search engines themselves. There is a good chance those cached versions will not be added to the blocked websites list, and you will be able to access restricted websites via this route. In order to do so, type in the name of the website you want to visit in the search bar. Underneath the first link to the website, there will also be a link for the cached version. Click on that, instead of on the main link, and you just might gain access to the site you were looking for. Note that this doesn’t always work since even the cached versions can sometimes end up on restricted lists.
5. Short URL redirection
Here’s another useful method of bypassing restrictions and accessing blocked websites. Sometimes the network bans a website simply by banning its URL (the URL is the address of the website, starting in http://www). In this case, you can easily get around the restrictions if you simply convert the URL into a shorter version, using one of the many URL shortener services that you can find online. The shortener will change the URL completely, your network will not recognize it and therefore it will not block access to it. Like we said, there are many services on the web that convert URLs, usually by shortening them, and most of them are completely free and easy to use. This method is, therefore, extremely simple and convenient, but unfortunately doesn’t always work.
6. Changing HTTP into HTTPS
Another method that involves some modification of the URL and also one of the easiest ways how to get on blocked websites. Like the previous method, this one may not work for all blocks and restrictions, but you should nevertheless give it a shot. It’s extremely simple: instead of starting the URL with the standard http://, type https:// instead. So, basically, instead of http:/domain.com, type https://domain.com, simple as that. In some cases, this can confuse the website blocking software and you just may be given access to the website you wanted to see.
7. IP instead of URL
This solution is not guaranteed to always work, but it is definitely worth a shot. Here’s how it works and here’s how you can use it to access blocked websites.
Sometimes, the blocked websites are stored as a list of URLs or addresses. When you type the URL in your browser, access to the site will be impossible because the URL will be recognized and blocked. However, you could try typing in the IP address instead. To do this, you need to find out the website’s IP, of course. This can be done by accessing CMD (Command Prompt for Windows, Terminal for Mac) and typing ping followed by the name of the website you want to access, for example: ping domain.com. This command will return the IP address that you will copy and paste into the browser’s address bar and hit enter.
Again, this is not a solution that is guaranteed to work in all situations. For those instances where not only the website’s URL but also the IP are blocked, you can try converting the IP address into decimal form. For example, Google’s IP address is http:// 184.108.40.206/. Find a service that converts IPs to decimal form (you should be able to find one online in with no effort at all) and paste the IP address you want to convert. Google IP will then look like this: HTTP://1249766560. Copy and paste this into your browser’s address bar and it might just work for unblocking the website you want to reach.
8. Use translation services
This one may sound weird, but did you know you can actually use online translation services to unblock sites? Google Translate and Bing translation are among the most popular ones, but you can use any translator you like. What you need to do is enter the URL of the website you want to access and set the translation into another language you know and understand. The site should be accessible in the chosen language.
9. Subscribe to RSS feed
Yet another convenient method for getting around blocked sites, however, it only works for sites that have RSS feed. What you need to do is subscribe to RSS feed and get the contents either via a RSS reader or sent directly to your email. Again, as easy and convenient as this method is, it will definitely not work on all sites, only on those with RSS.
10. Website to inbox service
Similarly to the RSS feed method, this one works by sending you the contents of the desired website to a medium that is not your browser but, in this case, your inbox. In order to use this method, you will need to subscribe to one of the free “web to mail” services, which you can easily find online. To access a website and its contents, you need to send an email to such a service and put the URL of the blocked website in the subject box. You will shortly receive an email with the contents of the website you wanted to access but could not, due to restrictions and blocks. Of course, this method, like the RSS one, will not work for all websites or it will only work to a certain extent. For example, you won’t be able to access social media websites and share your content on them.
11. Internet archive
Remember the cached website method we mentioned earlier in this article on how to get around blocked websites? This is a different method but it has some similarities. There are websites out there that actually keep copies of almost all the websites that exist or have ever existed on the web. Amazing, right?
In addition to being fun to explore, these Internet archives are also useful for unblocking websites. You simply access one of those archive sites and enter the URL of the website you are blocked from accessing. The archive will then show you the copy, which will not look 100% like the actual website, but you will definitely have access to most of the content. Internet archive can also be used to access websites that are temporarily suspended or down for everyone, not just you. Again, this is not really useful for accessing websites like social media or services and pages where you are supposed to interact and share your own content.
As you can see, there are many ways to get around blocked sites, and we suggest you give them all a shot. Some of them are quite simple, such as URL shorteners or IP instead of URL, but the problem is, they don’t always work and they don’t work for all websites. In our experience in the field, the only solution that is pretty much 100% effective in unblocking restricted websites is VPN, the technology that not only changes your IP so the restrictions no longer apply, but it also keeps you safe and anonymous as you go around the web, giving you absolute freedom and absolute privacy. VPN service providers offer client software not just for computers, but also for your mobile devices, so you can access blocked websites on the go, wherever you are.
If you don’t want to use VPN just now, you can always try any of the other methods we suggested. Don’t give up: f one method doesn’t work, a different one probably will. Internet is something that should be censorship-free and open for everyone, which is why we were particularly passionate about creating these guidelines for getting around blocked sites for you.