Not everyone enjoys the freedom to access any website they want due to various restrictions imposed by network administrators or governments. However, there are several effective 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 particularly useful for bypassing restrictions at school or work. However, it’s worth noting that they may not work in more stringent internet-censored countries like China. Reputable proxy services include HideMyAss and Hide.me.
To unblock a site using Hide.Me, download it for your device using the link provided. After installation, launch it, and when active, go to your preferred web browser. Type in the address bar the URL of the blocked site you want to access. You should now have full access!
- Virtual Private Networks (VPNs):
VPNs offer a superior option compared to proxies. They not only reroute your connection and spoof your IP but also encrypt your data, making it difficult for anyone to monitor your online activities. VPNs are highly 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 protect against potential spying attempts. High-quality VPNs like ExpressVPN are effective, but they may come with a cost. It is generally advised to steer clear of free VPNs due to their limitations and potential security risks.
To unblock a site using a VPN like Psiphon, download it from the official site. After installation, launch it, and when active, go to your preferred web browser. Type in the address bar the URL of the blocked site you want to access. You should now have full access!
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, though 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.
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.
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. This 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. Keep in mind that choosing the right method depends on your specific needs and circumstances.