A school’s most important job, along with educating the students, is to protect them while they are there. Therefore, many schools filter their internet content and block certain websites to shield the students from harmful content. At the same time, schools need to teach the students how to use the internet responsibly. At home or school, with proper guidance children can be taught to be responsible digital citizens. Similarly, certain businesses too block websites in order to reduce distractions, conserve bandwidth, or censor content. At times, you may need to access the blocked sites for genuine reasons. What would you do to access a blocked website?
This article will tell you about the methods to unblock useful websites. It is recommended, however, that whether at school or home or office; you should seek permission from the appropriate authority to unblock the website, to avoid unpleasant repercussions.
Unblock Websites At School, Home or Office
You can use following methods to get around content censoring. Not all the methods will work in every setup. So, you would need to try all of these and see which one works for you.
Use Google Web Light
To unblock a website go to Google Web Light, and type the URL of the restricted website and continue browsing.
Google Web Light is designed for mobile devices with slow internet connection, but you can also access it from your computer.
Cached Link Method
Most search engines maintain a cache of web pages indexed by them. You can search for the website you want to unblock on these search engines, and click on the cached link that is given next to the result. To load the web pages faster, you can visit the text-only version. Since you access the website from the search engine’s servers, it overcomes the IP address and URL based filtering.
Use Translation Services
You can use translation services like Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, or Yahoo Babel Fish. These translators are similar to free proxy services wherein it fetches a website and displays it to you without your visiting the site directly. The trick is to ask these services to translate English pages into English. For example, to visit a restricted website using Microsoft Translator:
- Go to Microsoft Translator (also known as Bing Translator).
- Enter the restricted website URL in the box on the left side and let the translator Auto-Detect the language.
- Choose English to translate to, on the right and click the Translate button.
The translated web page will open as a new tab in your browser. Continue to browse normally.
Virtual Private Network
VPN or Virtual Private Network software acts as a tunnel under the public network that offers better anonymity than proxy websites. It encrypts the data transferred by the blocked website and offers complete anonymity when you access the restricted websites. Most VPN software are available for a price but HotSpotShield happens to be a popular free alternative.
Use Proxy Servers
Proxy servers are useful tools that act as intermediaries between your computer and the websites you visit. When you are restricted to visit a site directly, you can ask a proxy server to visit it for you. The proxy displays the blocked website, and you can start browsing normally. Since you are communicating directly with the proxy and not with the restricted site, the communication is not blocked. We have published a list of proxy servers to unblock a website.
Just be warned that most free proxies are full of pop-ups and advertisements.
TOR or The Onion Router is free software that conceals your identity and online activity from surveillance and traffic analysis by separating identification and routing. Although browsing through TOR is slow, it is one of the effective methods of bypassing the website restrictions and protecting your privacy.
Please be wary of the Dark Web if you are using TOR.
Change DNS servers
Sometimes when a website is blocked, it is because the DNS servers prevent from sharing the locations of the blocked website’s server. In such cases, the best way to unblock a website is to change the DNS servers to OpenDNS or Google DNS. Changing the DNS to unblock any website may also increases your internet speed.
Use IP Address Instead of URL in the Browser
Another popular method to unblock a website at school is to enter the IP address instead of the URL address in the browser address bar. This method can quickly unblock Facebook at school or another website. However, if the blocking software maps the IP address to the website domain name, the website will continue to be blocked. You can ping the website domain name in the command prompt to find the IP address of the website.
- Press Window key + R to bring up the Run dialog box
- Type cmd in the box and click OK. A black colored command prompt will open up.
- Type the following command and press enter:
- ping websitename (for example; ping yahoo.com)
- You will get the IP address of the website.
With the above mentioned methods, you can unblock websites as required. As mentioned in the beginning of the article, do take permissions to unblock. After all the websites were blocked for your own online safety and security at school, office and home.
Should you have any question on this topic, please feel free to ask in the comments section. We at TechWelkin and our reader community will try to assist you. Thank you for using TechWelkin!