Unblocking Websites

Breaking the Barriers: How to Unblock Websites from Anywhere

Many of us enjoy the relative freedom of surfing the internet. We can log on and go where ever we want to go whenever we choose. But this doesn’t always apply. There are a few instances where the internet is restricted or blocked from access. Whether it’s being blocked by your school, company you work for or your government, Geo-blocking is an average day in the life of the World Wide Web. Here I will show you how to unblock websites from simple methods to more sophisticated (and efficient) methods.

Why do they do that?

Before Iembark on this journey, I need to explain a few basic things. Many companies and countries implement Geo-blocking. Geo-blocking involves removing access to the website from viewers in a specified area based on the IP address. Every IP address is unique; it’s like your fingerprint on the web and the first three numbers of an IP address indicates your country or region. Web site servers are programmed to recognize these three numbers of an IP address and based on the programming, block that user from accessing the content on the site. But why is this necessary?

Some companies like Netflix will cite “International Property Laws” as their reasoning for implementing the restrictions. Many countries state that some content from other countries goes against their religious and cultural beliefs.  Schools and businesses use the “productivity” angle to block internet access from students and employees. The bottom line is Geo-restricting is all about control. So, that being said, let’s take a look at how to unblock a website and take back some of that control.

Just the facts Ma’am

IP Addresses

One of the simplest ways to unblock is to change the site name to the IP address. Instead of typing in “www.mysite.com”, you would instead enter the IP address assigned to that name. To find the IP address of the blocked site, open up your command prompt. In the command line type in: “ping ‘www.(name of the site).com” and hit enter You should get something that looks like this:

The highlighted section is the IP address of the website. Type that into the address bar instead of the website name, unblocking that website.

VPN

One sure fire way to unblock blocked websites is to use a VPN such as HideMyAss VPN or ExpressVPN. A VPN will unblock websites in on every level.  VPN keeps your online identity private and masks your location to look like one from the blocked country. A VPN will also protect you while online; your information will remain safe and undetectable. A VPN will cost you though, but the price is well worth it when it comes to unblocking websites. Many VPN sites offer a free proxy as well. While using a proxy will work in unblocking websites, a proxy is not nearly as safe as a VPN. You could also establish an account with SmartDNS and use their proxy site to unblock sites, but this too will cost you, though not as much as a VPN.

[Related article: Do Not Pass Go: How to unblock Geo-restricted Sites]

Google Translate

Another nifty little tool to try is Google Translate. Simply type in the website into the translate box, select the language the site is in and then the language you want the site to be in (say from English to Urdu) and Google Translate automatically directs you to the site AND translates it into the language you chose.

Add-Ons/ Extensions

If you are using the web browsers Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, then adding add-ons to the browsers is yet another method used with some success. Both Firefox and Chrome offer a few add-ons from various developers, but the bottom line on this: read the fine print. Not all add-ons do what they say. If you want to unblock sites like YouTube, then add-ons may not be the best methods for you to use. There may also be other “tricks” you will have to implement to customize the add-ons as well, and this can get a bit detailed and tedious.

Final Thoughts

When you want to unblock blocked websites, you have several options to choose from to accomplish this. Some of these methods are tried and tested such as VPN service, and some are hit or miss like Google Translate or changing the website name to an IP address. The internet should be accessible to everyone everywhere and until it is, how to unblock websites will continue to be hot topics of discussion.

 

 

Featured Photograph by Nemo,  distributed under a CC0 Public Domain / FAQ

 

 
 
Leave a Comment