Imagine you have worked really hard the entire day and decided to take a break. Breaks are accompanied by good music of course. So, you open your Spotify or YouTube app to get the most out of your downtime only to realize that you cannot access any content on it. No, we are not in North Korea obviously. So why are these websites blocked?
These days, most of the social networking and multimedia streaming sites are blocked at school and work. This is done to avoid distractions and increase productivity. Another reason an institution would want to block certain websites is to reduce the download stress, thereby giving everyone connected good internet speeds. However, there might be certain situations where you need to access certain blocked sites. We have listed some of the easiest ways to open blocked websites.
- 1 How to Unblock Blocked Websites?
- 1.1 Use TOR Project
- 1.2 Using Proxy Sites
- 1.3 Bypass Censorship via Extensions
- 1.4 Use VPN for unblocking
- 1.5 Use Firefox from a USB drive
- 1.6 Go to Internet Archive — Wayback Machine
- 1.7 URL Recasting method
- 1.8 Change Network Proxy In Browsers
- 1.9 Using Command Prompt
How to Unblock Blocked Websites?
Use TOR Project
You might have heard about The Onion Router or TOR. TOR project is hugely popular for its mission to help stop website tracking and surveillance. If installed and used properly, TOR is a really good option when trying to access blocked pages on the internet. There is always the added advantage of not being under the surveillance of course!
TOR is a very powerful browser and one must exercise caution in the kind of websites they choose to access with this proxy. If you are looking for a similar browser for smartphones then you can check our article on proxy browser for Android.
Using Proxy Sites
Now, let us unblock websites using proxy sites. Follow the below step to open blocked sites using proxy servers.
- First of all visit New IP Now.
- Now enter the website URL that you want to unblock.
- Just click on Browse Anonymously and there you go, Site unblocked!
Disadvantages of using proxy sites
- Many proxy sites are blocked in schools. check the list of unblocked proxy sites.
- Some proxy sites are slow, thus takes time to load websites.
- This is the most important reason, As proxy sites mask your IP address (Changes your location) so your social networking account may get temporarily blocked because of accessing your account from another location.
Bypass Censorship via Extensions
Sometimes, the websites chosen to be blocked are dynamic in nature. A dynamic website has an ever-changing homepage. It displays new content every time it is visited. Examples of these websites include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. There are some very powerful extensions to take care of this concern. Extensions like Hola, ProxMate, and UltraSurf are some of the tools that offer a very reliable proxy network.
Using Hola Extension
- Just install Hola extension in your browser, once its installed turn on the extension by clicking its icon.
- Again click the extension and select any random country.
- Now you are ready to rock. Now you can visit your favorite website without any restrictions.
Use VPN for unblocking
Using a VPN is of the most common ways to access blocked sites. VPN stands for Virtual Proxy Network. A VPN is a software that allows you to create a secure connection to the website over the Internet. This enables your device to access the webpages and sites that were blocked for your IP address. If your school or work computer allows you to install third-party software then this might be a long term solution for this problem.
There are many VPNs to choose from as well, we have made a list of the best cheap VPNs that you can buy.
Use Firefox from a USB drive
It is difficult if your institution blocks installing any extensions on your browser; or worse, if your institution does not let you have any browser other than the default they have set. But we have a way out for this, Firefox USB portable version will save you. It comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit variations. This browser does not require any installation.
It is small enough to sit on a USB, and all you have to do is simply click on the browser from the USB to open it. Use this browser with some reliable VPN browser extensions and you are good to go.
Go to Internet Archive — Wayback Machine
This invention is one of the best ideas brought to action since the invention of the internet. Wayback Machine is a website that saves a snapshot of almost all the websites and makes a copy of the same available on its page. These are functional copies, which means that all the links and buttons on the page are interactable as the page originally was.
It is essentially a way to access information from the different sites at a future time that may or may not exist on the original site itself. You can visit the Wayback Archive here.
URL Recasting method
If you have observed the address bar on any webpage you must have noted that it begins with ‘HTTP’. HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. It is responsible for defining how the messages are formatted and transmitted across the World Wide Web and the response and reactions that are to be taken by servers hosting these websites.
All URL Recasting requires you to do is replace ‘http’ with ‘https’. The extra letter ‘S’ stands for secure. HTTPS is used for secure communication over computer networks. Once you recast, you will be prompted with a security notice. In such a case, click on the ‘Proceed anyway’ button. Just to clarify, this is not fool-proof and might not work for all websites.
Change Network Proxy In Browsers
Proxy surfing is an idea that could be used in case websites are being blocked by your institution. Some websites might be blocked on one proxy but are functional on others. Therefore, changing the proxies and thereby proxy surfing is a viable option.
Disabling the default network proxy setting on your browser is very easy. All you have to do is locate the connections/network options listed in your settings. These are most likely located under the ‘Advanced options’. From there you can change the default HTTP, SSL values. Choose the values that let you have access to the websites you wish to access.
- Launch Google Chrome and go to Settings. In settings, scroll at the bottom and click on “Show advanced settings”.
- Now in Advanced Settings find the section named Network, and further click on “Change proxy settings”.
- This will open the internet properties window.
- Now click on the LAN Settings and further check “Automatically detect settings”.
- Now click Ok and restart your browser.
Using Command Prompt
In this method, we are going to use Microsoft’s inbuilt tool that is command prompt. You might be thinking about how can we unblock websites using the command prompt. The answer is quite simple we are going to ping the blocked site to get its original IP address and then we can easily open blocked sites using it’s IP address. Follow the below steps to unblock a site using the command prompt.
- Click the start menu, search for cmd and open it.
- This will launch the Command Prompt, Now type the following command –
ping <site to be unblocked>
For example, I want to unblock Facebook so I will type
- Now you’ll get a message as shown below-
Reply from XX.XX.XX.XX
- Copy the IP address (XX.XX.XX.XX)
- Open your web browser and paste the copied IP address in your browser and hit enter.
- Now you are able to access blocked websites. Simple isn’t it?
In case if your school/office uses some kind of DNS server to block the websites then the above method might not work. So if the method doesn’t work then you can use other ways to access websites.
Hope this article helped you in accessing blocked sites in your school, college or office.