How to Get Access to Blocked Websites
Many schools and workplaces have measures to prevent users from accessing various websites, downloads, and videos from their Wi-Fi networks. As a result, many valuable educational and productive resources are blocked from people. This guide lists a few ways to get past such blocks when you need to access some sites. However, be aware that many of the aforementioned measures are used to conserve valuable bandwidth and to protect schools, companies, and individuals from harmful or inappropriate content or software. Therefore, this guide is for educational purposes only. Just as knowing how to pick locks does not make one a thief... well, you get the idea.
Before You Continue:
This guide is for educational purposes ONLY, so use at your own risk. Do not use these methods without permission from your network administrator or whoever is in charge of your internet, as this is often illegal and will result in serious consequences. Web blocks are often in place to prevent people from accessing inappropriate or time-wasting websites, as well as to ensure that users do not download harmful viruses or other malicious software.
Method #1: Google Cache
This is a foolproof process that works on almost any site. In this method, one does not access the actual website, but a "screenshot" of the site previously taken by Google. Unfortunately, however, such screenshots do not include working videos or games. Therefore, this method is great for reading blocked educational articles on sites such as Wikipedia and Hubpages. Some people have also used it on recreational websites such as Reddit and Cracked.com, but this highly frowned upon.
1. Open your web browser and go to Google.com.
2. After finding the link of the site that you want to access, copy and paste it into the Google search bar in the following format: cache:www.yourwebsite.com
3. Press enter. At this point, a screenshot of the website will appear in your browser. The URL is usually something along the lines of http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/etc
Method #2: HTTPS (Don't Overlook It)
When you load a normal webpage on your browser, the web address is usually expressed as something like http://yourwebsite.com. The http:// at the beginning stands for "Hypertext Transfer Protocol". While I do not currently know how that works or how it affects anything (explanations are appreciated but unnecessary), I do know that by adding an "s" to the end of "http"(so that http://yourwebsite.com becomes https://yourwebsite.com), you can evade most web filters. While this can be blocked, it often is not. In fact, I have found this to be far more reliable than many proxies, as well as far less detectable.
1. Go to your desired website normally (so that your browser informs you that you have been blocked).
2. At this point, replace "http" with "https" and try loading your site again.
3. If all goes well, the website that you are attempting to access should load normally. Otherwise, this method may have been blocked.
*Note: Sometimes, instead of being blocked, this method will cause the website to fail to load. In this case, try experimenting with other browsers (see below). For example, in some places, this works on Internet Explorer but not Google Chrome or Firefox.
Method #2.5: Running Other Browsers
Sometimes, when using school computers, you will only have access to one browser, usually Internet Explorer (ugh!). However, it is usually a relatively simple process to install a superior browser on a thumb drive and run it from there.
1. Plug a USB drive into your computer.
2. After downloading an installer for your preferred browser, run it and install it on your USB drive from your options.
3. Afterwards, you should be able to run your favorite browser on almost any computer.
*Note: This does not work with some programs. Furthermore, some school computers give you the option to "install without administrator privileges" after closing the installer window.
Method #3: Proxies
Another option is to use proxies, where webpages are accessed by another computer and relayed to yours. However, these tend to cause lag and most of the popular ones are blocked. Furthermore, this method tends to be risky, unreliable, and prone to malware. That being said, popular proxies include TOR, HideMyAss, and Hola! unblocker.
Method #4: Use a Translation Service (or TinyURL)
If the above methods did not work, you can try to circumnavigate web filters by using a translation service such as Google Translate. By translating your URL to English from another language, it is sometimes possible to access restricted websites. Otherwise, you could use a URL shortening service such as TinyURL.
(With Google Translate)
1. Head on over to Google translate (or alternative translation service) at "https://translate.google.com".
2. Choose to translate from French (or other non-English language) to English.
3. Copy and paste the link of your desired website into the window and click "translate".
4. This should result in a link. Clicking on it should result in the webpage being loaded.
1. Navigate to "http://tinyurl.com".
2. Use their services to shorten the URL of your desired website and use the resulting link.
Method #5: Using the IP address or Decimal
Sometimes, one can access a blocked site by directly using the IP address of the site, as opposed to the URL. This can be found through an online service such as the one listed below. When the IP address is blocked, you can try the IP decimal, which can be found using another online service.
(For IP addresses)
1. Navigate to the the first service below and enter the URL of your desired website.
2. Enter the resulting IP address into your browser. If the method works, the website should appear.
(For IP decimals)
1. Take the IP address found in the previous process and enter it into the second web service below.
2. Enter the resulting decimal into your web browser and try to load it.
If All Else Fails...
If none of the above methods work for your situation, here are some more ideas:
- Directly download videos from Youtube.com using various programs and websites (Warning: such programs may violate Youtube's Terms of Service)
- Save Webpages in html format to view later.
- Wait until you get home. After all, Facebook will still be there when you get back.