How to unlock a website and circumvent internet censorship?

10/13/2017
How to unlock a website and circumvent internet censorship?

With web blocking we can meet in different situations and circumstances while browsing the internet. We usually have no influence on the fact that a particular site is blocked because it is the subject of the network we are using, the internet provider or the laws of the country that enforce the censorship of the Internet.

Web lock

Websites can be blocked in a variety of ways, depending on who enters the censorship and at what stage of our connection to the Internet is taking place. Page blocks can be divided into two categories - those that we introduce ourselves and have control over - most often to restrict access to our content for our children - are parental blocks and we will not deal with them in this article. The second group is the blockade and censorship imposed from above , which we do not have the slightest influence. Without the proper tools, we will not miss the restrictions that they impose.

The symptom of the fact that a particular page is blocked is usually a problem with its loading by the browser. Error message, information that the browser can not open the page, redirect to another page, or block information. The blocked web page will not open in any browser we will try to access it (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge).

Where and by whom are most often blocked websites?

With web blocks we can meet in different places where we will use the internet.

Internet censorship is dominated by different groups of influence, which have different, often contradictory goals. Politicians (restrictions on freedom of speech), activists (eg, fighting pornography), all kinds of lobbyists or servants. In addition to the widespread blockade of some sites across the country, we may also encounter locally:

  • at work
  • in state offices and institutions
  • at school
  • in cafes, restaurants
  • in the hotel, guest house
  • at universities
  • in the dorm
  • when using public WiFi

What pages are most commonly blocked?

Most often the victims of blockades and censorship are websites dealing with the following topics:

  • politics and opposition to power
  • religion
  • eroticism and sexuality
  • gambling
  • entertainment
  • p2p and torrents
  • vulgar and controversial content
  • infringing content
  • social networking and streaming services (eg Facebook, YouTube)
  • Gmail and other Google services

It all depends on who is responsible for the blocking. Employers or universities may want to restrict access to social networking and entertainment sites - they may be blocked by Facebook or YouTube when using a shared network connection. Numerous analyzes and studies show that Facebook is the most frequently blocked website - both by the authorities of the states with restrictive censorship of the Internet as well as by individuals who want to have control over what can be done with their local network. Frequently we can encounter the blockade of erotic pages - dormitory, hotel, cafe - access to sexuality is very often restricted or completely blocked.

How are websites blocked?

There are some basic methods that apply to censorship of the Internet. Below we will discuss and briefly discuss each of them.

  • Blocking at DNS level
  • Blocking at IP level
  • URL-level blocking
  • keyword-level blocking

Blocking at the DNS level

This is to block the name of a particular domain on the ISP's DNS server. As a result, the page is not displayed by the user's browser. The lock is complete (blocks the domain) and prevents access to the contents of the entire page. This is a relatively cheap and simple censorship method of the web site, but at the same time simple to bypass. Internet providers usually run their own DNS servers, which their clients use by default. Blocking a page is by removing a specific domain from the DNS server - so you can not connect to the associated IP address of the server on which the page is located. Workaround - just change the DNS server address.

Blocking at IP level

Another method of censorship is based on blocking the IP address associated with a particular page. Like the previous method, it is a cheap and easy way to prevent access to specific network resources. However, it has a serious disadvantage - using IP blocking blocks all resources that are assigned to the IP address. For example, if there are 20 different web pages and one page is blocked and the IP address is blocked, then the other pages will not be accessible.

IP blocking can be done directly by your Internet Service Provider or by a Censorship Authority to which your operator must redirect your traffic. Bypassing this type of locking is a bit more difficult than it is in the case of DNS blocking, but it still does not bother major users.

URL-level locking

Blocking specific addresses is a much more accurate method than the previous two. Allows you to precisely block access to specific network resources, without the risk of obstructing access to the rest of the content. However, this is a costly and complicated solution than the previous one. It is based on deep packet inspection (Deep Packet Inspection), which analyzes the content viewed by users. Bypassing is a bit more difficult than with previous methods, but still does not cause problems for the average user.

Keyword-level lockout

This is a type of censorship that prevents access to websites if they have specific keywords defined in the blacklist . The appearance of a specific word or phrase will be caught by the appropriate filter and access lock. As with the earlier method, it is based on deep packet penetration.

While this is a way to censor specific content, it has a number of drawbacks - it involves a large overblocking of the content - just that "forbidden word" like "poker", "opposition" or "sex" will be on the page. , will be part of another word or will be in the comment added by the user, and the page will be blocked. As a result, innocent pages may be blocked. The cost of maintaining and implementing this kind of blockade is high compared to the censorship effectiveness it provides and requires large hardware resources. It is not difficult to circumvent.

How to unlock a website and bypass censorship?

Page blocks can be omitted in the various ways we describe in this guide. Not every way will be effective in every situation, much depends on the method of censorship, who blocks and at what stage of our connection.

DNS change

Censorship based on domain blockers on DNS servers is the easiest to circumvent. Most often in our operating system we have set the default DNS server addresses given by the ISP. Orange, Netia, and other ISPs maintain and maintain their own DNS servers, where domain names are translated into IP addresses of the servers (and there are specific pages on them). If any page is blocked, it is simply removed from the domain list. Censorship and blocking of websites at the DNS level takes place in your country in connection with the introduction of the gambling law.

The simplest way to bypass the blocking and censorship of web pages over the DNS level is simply to change the DNS server addresses to the other one. If we open the Internet connection configuration on our device, DNS settings are most likely to find DNS servers run by your ISP. We can change it to something that is independent of it and where there is no censorship.

The most commonly used are the DNSs provided by Google :

  • 8.8.8.8
  • 8.8.4.4

and the OpenDNS organization:

  • 208.67.222.222
  • 208.67.220.220

proxy

Proxy is one of the easiest ways to circumvent the blocking of websites. This is a proxy server that is between us and the site of interest. We connect with him through the network resource we are interested in. This way we can bypass all the interlocks imposed by our connection. There are many types of proxy - open, encrypted connection and provide different degrees of privacy. The proxy can be configured simply in the browser, giving the server and port address, and if it is not a public proxy - in addition to the user and password. VPN is a specific, secure type of proxy.

On the Web, we find many free proxies looking for phrases like "proxy", "free proxy", "free proxy", "proxy server" in Google. However, keep in mind that maintaining a proxy costs. Some free proxy providers will display ads and the connection will be very slow, making it difficult to browse the web. Free proxy are also often made available by hackers and scammers to capture your personal information and data that you send over the Internet. Credit card numbers, passwords and confidential personal information are valuable to criminals. Very often, free proxies are active for very short periods of time - the servers on which they are running are bought with stolen credit cards and when they are discovered they are quickly closed.

VPN

VPN is a service that creates an encrypted tunnel between our computer and a dedicated proxy server. This allows you to browse the network with secure, encrypted connections. You can read more about this in our article, which explains what VPN is . With VPN, you can effectively circumvent Internet censorship and block all connections and restrictions, regardless of whether your government or network provider is behind them. By installing the appropriate application on your computer, tablet or phone we will be able to connect to the network bypassing the lock . The great advantage of VPN is that we can cover all of our network connections by configuring it on the router.

With VPN, you can connect to a network through another country. It is enough to choose a server located in another country than we are currently, and we will not only cover censorship but also regional blockades . The content of the pages that we will visit and view and the content of the messages will be encrypted, thus not visible to outsiders, hackers and cybercriminals.

VPN can be configured on its own dedicated server or VPS, but it requires technical knowledge in the field of computer science. The second option, much more popular with most Internet users, is to buy a ready-made service from a VPN provider. The advantage of this solution is the fast start-up time (a few minutes to install and configure) and a wide selection of servers and their locations (the best VPN providers have servers in more than 50 different countries).

How does it look in practice?

  1. We buy the service from the selected VPN provider.
  2. Installs the application on our computer, phone, or tablet
  3. We sign up and activate the application
  4. We choose the location by which we want to connect. If the lock is valid across the country, then we choose a server location in another country - preferably as close as possible to the geographically (there will be fewer losses on the connection speed). If the site is blocked by a specific vendor (eg hotel), then we select the server in the country we are in.
  5. We connect to the server . From now on we can freely browse the web without worrying about censorship while protecting our privacy.

To circumvent censorship and blockade we recommend the following VPN vendors.

NordVPN logo NordVPN

from $ 3.29 per month
Promotion -72%!

  • bypass censorship and block the pages
  • Servers in more than 55 other countries
  • use on 6 devices at the same time
  • total lack of logs
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • VPN server in your country

ExpressVPN logo ExpressVPN

from $ 8.33 a month

  • bypass censorship and block the pages
  • Servers in more than 95 other countries
  • use on 3 devices simultaneously
  • very good speed
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • VPN server in your country

Private Internet Access logo Private Internet Access

from $ 3.33 per month

  • bypass censorship and block the pages
  • Servers in more than 25 other countries
  • use on 5 devices at the same time
  • total lack of logs
  • 7 day money back guarantee
  • No VPN server in your country

You can also use our VPN search engine to find a VPN that meets certain criteria.

Track

Another way to circumvent Internet censorship is Tor. To use it, download the Tor browser . Tor allows you to circumvent the most restrictive censorship methods, including those used by the most oppressive countries like North Korea and China. Tor works on the basis of onion .

Unfortunately, Tor has one very serious drawback - it is very slow . Using it, we must be aware that we will experience a significant loss of network connection speed.

Summary

Locked pages can be unlocked in several ways. One of the best ways to use VPN is because it is a service that comprehensively helps to bypass all forms of censorship, and at the same time we do not lose connection speed and we can cover all our device. Another possibility is a proxy , which also allows you to unlock blocked pages, however, this is a solution that can be used only in the browser and applications that allow to connect with a proxy. We will not use it in our entire network connection as in the case of a VPN. Tor , which is the last way to circumvent censorship of the site, provides significant anonymity and allows you to bypass site blocks, but at the expense of a very large loss of speed - sometimes browsing sites can become practically impossible.

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