Forget about the internet. People in North Korea requires special permission to own personal computer. Similarly in Cuba, one can only access internet in cyber cafe which cost up to $10 per hour. Average weekly salary is $20.
Internet censorship is everywhere. In middle east countries many websites are blocked. Pakistan has banned YouTube. China use ‘Great firewall’ to filter out ninety percent of the internet. Even in 2 biggest democratic countries, offices/colleges blocked websites they don’ t like.
Sometimes internet censorship is justified. But generally it’s abuse of power. Internet is great place to learn new stuff. People like me even make living on the internet. However it won’t be possible if I didn’t had access to internet.
Web is a free place and it should be kept like that. Therefore here are some tips & tricks to access blocked websites. However some countries/institutions are strict about internet censorship. If that’s your case, then beware of the consequence.
Don’t break any laws. Having said that, lets get started.
Access Blocked Websites (Recommended)
1. Start Simple
Often replacing ‘http’ with ‘https’ do the trick. This work flawlessly when my college WiFi has banned Facebook. If you get an ssl error saying, the website is not trusted. Click on the proceed anyway button and you are good to go.
Another small trick that you should try before pulling the big guns is using url shorten service. Try this one from Google.
However most institution are smart enough to have better security. So don’t expect this to work everywhere. And this brings us to our next method.
2. Use proxy website
Google the keyword ‘proxy websites’. Open the first link and enter the url of blocked website in the box provided. The proxy website will fetch the blocked content to you.
How proxy websites work?
The concept is simple. Proxy hide your replace your IP with their own. So instead of directly requesting the blocked page , you send a request to the proxy website (which acts as server) and then it forward it to blocked website.
The sad part is, your institution can block proxy website as well. Less popular the proxy site is, more chances that it will work. Years ago, I have made one proxy website myself using Google App engine. If you want you can give it a shot from here. Yes the website’s layout is bad, but hey I was a beginner back then.
It may sound crazy but believe me you can use Google translate as proxy. Institutions don’t block Google translate.
So head over to the website. In the translate box enter the url of blocked website and convert it in some local language you know.
However, Google translate don’t work with dynamic website like Facebook and YouTube. So for that, use the next approach.
3. Hola Extension
Even now, I often use Holo to access country specific websites like Pandora and Spotify. But you also used it for accessing blocked websites on colleges and offices. To get this extension, do a simple Google Search. Hola is available for chrome, firefox and Android.
A friend for middle east (UAE) uses chrome extension- Zenmate. He says many people using this proxy extension and it work like a charm.
4. Access Blocked Websites in Android
If you are using Android with restricted WiFi, then use Orbot. It’s Android client for famous Tor browser.
The beauty of this app lies in the fact that it automatically configure everything for you. All you need to do is Turn on Orbot and then carry on with your Browsing. You can use to access any blocked websites, no matter what.
Download Orbot from Play Store.
Proxies are good for browser, but if you want to use desktop app like uTorrent or skype then your will need vpn. Moreover unlike proxies, it’s difficult for ISP to block VPN.
The only downside of VPN is, they are paid. However there is some free version available from tunnel bear or hotspot shield. But in return they either show you ads or get limited bandwidth. And don’t expect torrents to work with free VPN.
In the video above, I have shown how to install free VPN like Hotspot shield. It’s easy. All you have to do is, download the free version. Install it on your computer just like install any other software. Once you are done, the program will automatically start the service. Now you can access blocked website.
I tried everything but nothing worked. Now What ?
OK, so your college is smarter than we thought. In that case I suggest you use UltraSurf to access blocked website.
But the most effective way to hide identity is to use Tor. I use this all the time in my college. The only downside is, when you access torrents or YouTube the connection is very slow. But hey, you can access any blocked websites Right?
Related: How to use Tor Browser Bundle.
So which method looks most promising to you? Share your thoughts and let me know if you have any question via comments.