Not everyone has the freedom to access any website they want due to various restrictions imposed by network administrators or governments. However, there are several methods to bypass blocked sites. In this article, we will explore some of the best ways to achieve this.
Proxies are lightweight tools that operate within a browser window. They reroute your internet connection and provide a fake IP address (spoofing), tricking the blocking mechanism and granting access to blocked sites.
Proxies are useful for bypassing restrictions at school or work, but they may not work in more stringent internet-censored countries like China. Some reputable proxy services include HideMyAss and Hide.me.
To unblock a site using Hide.Me, download it for your device using the link in the above paragraph. After downloading it/installing it, launch it. Whencopyscape.com it’s active, go to your favourite web browser and type in the address bar the URL of the blocked site you want to access. You should access it fully now!
Facebook is blocked in Uganda, so if I decided to open its site, I wouldn’t have access to it unless I used a Proxy in this method.
2. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs):
VPNs offer a superior option compared to proxies. Like proxies, they reroute your connection and spoof your IP, but they go a step further by encrypting your data, making it difficult for anyone to monitor your online activities. VPNs are effective for unblocking websites, whether to access content restricted by Chinese censorship or to watch region-specific streaming services.
Additionally, VPNs enhance your online privacy and protection against potential spying attempts. High-quality VPNs like ExpressVPN are effective but may come with a cost. Free VPNs are generally not recommended due to limitations and potential security risks.
To unblock a site using a VPN e.g. Psiphon, download it to your device by going to its site here. After downloading it/installing it, launch it. After it’s active, go to your favourite web browser and type in the address bar the URL of the blocked site you want to access. You should access it fully now!
Shadowsocks is a protocol initially designed to bypass China’s Great Firewall but can also serve as a type of proxy. It encrypts the connection, but not to the same level as VPNs, making it more suitable for unblocking and hiding traffic rather than securing it against attacks.
Setting up Shadowsocks with the open-source program Outline is relatively straightforward, and it can be an effective method to bypass blocks. The only cost involved is the server, which can be as low as $5 per month through DigitalOcean.
4. The Onion Router (Tor):
Tor, also known as The Onion Router, is a viable option for those who prefer a free method to bypass site blocks. Tor works by bouncing your internet connection through different nodes with their IP addresses, making tracking difficult and providing effective IP spoofing comparable to VPNs.
While Tor is excellent for accessing blocked sites, it is relatively slow, making it less suitable for tasks such as downloading large files or streaming Netflix. Additionally, using Tor requires some technical knowledge to operate effectively.
To use Tor to unblock a site, launch the Tor browser and type in the address bar the site you want to access and it will display upon loading.
5. Decentralized VPNs (dVPNs):
Decentralized VPNs combine the security protocols of traditional VPNs with the decentralized node structure of Tor. This combination aims to provide both security and effective circumvention of site blocks.
Although promising, dVPNs are still in a developmental stage, and accessing them can be complicated as it involves signing up for services, buying cryptocurrencies, and dealing with technical terms. However, once fully functional, decentralized VPNs could become a popular choice for bypassing site blocks in the future.
Accessing blocked sites can be achieved through various methods, each with its unique benefits and limitations. Proxies and VPNs are reliable options, with VPNs offering superior security features. Shadowsocks can also be useful for unblocking sites, while Tor provides a free yet slower alternative.
Decentralized VPNs show promise but currently face accessibility challenges. Depending on individual preferences and needs, you can choose the most suitable method for bypassing site blocks.