Internet censorship continues to be a sensitive topic around the globe. You have probably already been blocked from some of the most popular or uncensored websites while at work, school, or the public library. Some of the most common sites that get blocked are YouTube, Facebook, Myspace, forums, entertainment sites and sports sites like ESPN. I’m against web censorship, this is America baby! I am here to teach you how to unblock websites and gain back the freedom you have lost.
It’s important to understand the different ways that companies and organizations block websites before learning how to unblock a website. Companies and organizations will generally block websites using one of the following methods.
- Browser Settings
Software may be installed on your computer that works in conjunction with your browser such as Internet Explorer, Fire Fox, Chrome, and Safari. This software will prevent viewing banned websites and IP addresses. If your using a computer that is on a large network at place like your work or school your access may be restricted by a firewall. Last, you may be banned or blocked from a particular website simply by the settings in your browser that you’re using.
A lot of censorship software and techniques will block useful sites as they get thrown in with the “banned” category. In order to unblock a website you have to circumvent the software, browser setting, or firewall that is preventing you from viewing a particular webpage. Use the following method to unblock websites.
1. Change Settings on Non-Firewalled Computer
This method is only for individual computers directly connected to the internet. If your computer has a firewall and is overseen by an administrator move on to the next items in the list as this method won’t work for you.
In the menu on your browser you will find a preferences or options link. Search for a privacy or content tab and you should find a list of URL’s that are blocked on your computer. Simply delete the websites you want to have access to and you’re good to go.
If this doesn’t work try downloading and installing a browser that isn’t on your computer. For example, if the computer has Internet Explorer but not Fire Fox, download Fire Fox and try visiting the blocked websites. They should now work assuming your not behind a firewall and don’t have a censorship software running on your computer.
If you have software blocking you from a website you need to disable the software. You can erase the software, try to prevent it from running upon start up, or try closing down the software by going to your task manager using CTRL+ALT+DEL on a windows operator system or Force Quit on a MAC.
2. Access Blocked Website with a Proxy Server
Proxy servers, also called anonymizers, make the user of a computer anonymous. You can find a list of proxy websites with a simple google search. Proxies act as an intermediary between the user and the server where the request was sent. Example of a good free proxy site is: ShowMeThisPage.com
3. Unblock Websites with Translation Services
Although google isn’t consider a proxy we can use it similar to a way that a proxy works. Use the link below which will access a website with google translate. Simply pick a foreign language for the “From” option and use English for the “To” option. http://www.google.com/translate?langpair=en|en&u=www.forbiddensite.com
4. Google Cache
Google caches a history of a website’s pages. Go search the page you are looking for in google and click on the cached version. Usually you will be able to access the page right direct from google’s servers and not the blocked URL.
5. Use https Instead of http
A lot of censorship software will only block the http version of a website. Not all sites will use secure socket layer (ssl) but it’s worth trying as it only take a few seconds.
6. Use IP Address Instead of URL
Websites are accessible not by a URL such as www.forbiddensite.com but by also by their IP address. For example if you put 188.8.131.52 into your URL bar you will reach About.com. To find a websites IP address simply do a google search for “lookup a websites IP address” and you will find several websites that allow you to simply put in the website url and it will return the IP address.
7. Add .nyud.net to the URL
You can try adding .nyud.net to any url and see if this gets around the censorship software. The Coral Contend Distribution Network is free peer to peer content distribution network that uses proxies and name servers to mirror websites. You can reach this site by going to http://www.schoolofhowto.com.nyud.net
8. Use Browser Add Ons
All browser have applications or extensions that can be added to help increase the functionality of a browser. For example if you perform a google search for “fire fox proxy add on”, you will find an application that will allow you to surf the web anonymously at the click of the button. Most of these applications are easy to install and pretty self explanatory.
I’m in full support for freedom on the web, but these methods to unblock websites should only be used when appropriate. It may not be worth losing your job or sitting in the principals office for visiting a website.