How to bypass blocked sites: 5 methods to try

You are at work or school but want to check social media, see adult activities (e.g. gambling), or watch something YouTube.

Unsurprisingly, everything interesting is blocked. But the choice is not yours. All you need to do is learn to bypass blocked websites at work, school, or at home.

Note: Sometimes websites are blocked for security reasons that means they pose a threat to your device. Before trying to break through the blocks, do your research on the content you want to access.

1. Bypass blocked sites with a VPN

It is best to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). You’ve probably heard a little about them by now, but they’re not as complicated as they initially sound like.

VPNs add an additional layer of security and privacy through encryption. This is useful when you are entering sensitive information and worried about hackers. In this case, however, VPNs can be used to bypass blocks. These networks connect you to a website through a “tunnel” that encrypts the data that travels through them.

Some security suites offer VPNs as part of a package. Some are free. And others cost. It’s worth browsing around, of course, but we have plenty of VPN recommendations about MakeUseOf.

Any software that monitors your browsing activity will only see that you are using a VPN. Individual URLs cannot be tracked without considerable effort. There is a chance that cyber criminals will make an effort to see your information, but it is doubtful that your employer or school will ever do so.

VPNs are great if you need to access region-locked media on your device as well.

2. Bypassing firewalls with proxies

Most treat VPNs and proxy servers as interchangeable. However, proxies lack the encryption software that protects much of your data. But that doesn’t mean they’re useless!

Proxies hide your Internet Protocol (IP) address – which anyone can trace back to your computer – and make your searches anonymous by displaying another server’s IP address instead.

There are literally thousands of proxy sites out there to help you bypass firewalls. Search online and you will be bombarded with results for both free and paid services. The former is acceptable for casual use. However, if you want to use it regularly (and want something more secure and anonymous), consider whether it’s worth paying for.

Don’t let that put you off. It’s not difficult to set up a proxy server to bypass restrictions no matter which browser you are using.

3. Use cached pages to bypass blocks

Search engines cache content when indexing websites. Think of it as a copy of a web page.

Simply enter the page you want into a search engine and click the down arrow next to a site name, then click Cached. Alternatively, enter Temporary storage: Then enter the URL that you want to access in the search field.

There are limitations: formatting will generally be lost and videos may not play. Still, this is a good way to get around blockages.

For example, instead of a normal URL, cached content is listed as “https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache” followed by the name of the website.

This doesn’t work on all blocked sites and many administrators have also restricted cached material from questionable sources. However, it can work to bypass blockages in schools, for example when carrying out research. Some institutions use automated blocks that may ingest content from regular addresses, but not necessarily from related URLs.

4. Remote access to blocked content

Remote access has negative connotations. Often times you immediately think of hackers who take control of your device for malicious purposes. Or you may remember the last time you had to call a computer helpline to get someone else to solve an annoying pc problem. But it’s not all bad.

Remote access means taking control of your home computer without actually sitting in front of it.

To do this, you need to download some handy software: it doesn’t matter whether you use popular remote connectivity programs like LogMeIn or one of the lesser-known programs.

The most important thing is that you can now surf the Internet with peace of mind – using your own computer remotely! There may be delays, but it works and means you can continue to use any software on your computer, not just your browser.

5. Use RSS feeds to bypass blocks

Web sites send RSS feeds straight to your email address.

These are usually syndicated editions of pieces that are regularly compiled and distributed to email addresses and RSS readers. You save users the time they spend visiting individual websites: you get the best content straight to you.

If a website that you visit frequently is blocked, you can either subscribe to an RSS feed or create one. You’re bypassing blocking because you’re looking at RSS apps, not the sites themselves.

It used to be that you couldn’t view videos through RSS feeds. Fortunately, most of the services have changed this problem. That is not always the case; Some also have problems with images, but should allow you to bypass blocked websites.

If you can’t find a way to simply subscribe to a feed, check out some of the free services you can use to create a feed:

If you sign up for newsletters or follow blogs via WordPress, Blogger and similar platforms, you will receive curated content directly. However, you do give up some privacy by submitting your email address to websites when you subscribe to newsletters. It can be worth the relatively small risk.

How do you get around restrictions?

You are likely to get in a lot of trouble if you get caught walking a block. That could mean a warning and increased surveillance at work. If you have tried to bypass a school firewall, you face imprisonment or, in extreme cases, expulsion from class.

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