How to view websites banned at work or college
Sometimes people are inconvenienced by being unable to view websites due to some form of censorship. Here are some popular ways to get around these restrictions, in order of efficiency. On this page are discussed:
how to open banned sites
access banned websites
firewall bypass websites
view restricted websites
open website banned at office
the blocked website opener proxy method
proxy websites to view banned site
open a blocked site
VPN tunnel through firewall
1. Use the IP address instead of the domain nameThere are two forms of any website's address: the website domain name and the numeric IP. You could use either. The site you want, for example www.a3webtech.com, is actually at the IP address 22.214.171.124, so you enter that in your browser address bar instead. Just type the numbers straight in and hit Enter, you don't have to do anything else.
This gets around badly-crafted restrictions that only target the domain name. It doesn't always work (and never if the people doing the banning have an IQ over 42), but it's always worth a try. You'll get through sometimes.
You can find the IP for any domain by using an online tool such as this one:
2. Use a portable encrypted browsing proxy serviceThis is currently our #1 tip. You can use a specially set up encrypted Firefox or Opera version, which hooks up to the Tor or JAP network. In addition these are portable, so you can run them off a USB thumb drive.
The first of these is the XeroBank Browser (ex TorPark), a special version of the Firefox browser that works with the free Tor proxy server network, and runs directly from a USB stick. See:
An alternative is OperaTor, which is a portable version of Opera with Tor built in. It is more lightweight and therefore faster, though it helps if you are familiar with Opera. See:
This method has to be the #1 at present, assuming you can't get out just by using the IP address. It works because the traffic between the PC and the network is encrypted, so any firewall in place can't tell what site you are going to. To block it, it would have to block all encrypted traffic - which would include online banking, ecommerce transactions, and any browsing at all that went to encrypted connections. As this might be 25% of all traffic, it can't be stopped without preventing basic Internet use. Blocking the proxy server IPs would work of course, but they are likely to change.
3. Use a proxy serverThis was always the best solution in the past, but it's now been overtaken by the portable encrypted browser / proxy solutions.
Just Google for "proxy server", find one, and use their service to view the affected website. It works because you do not request the banned IP, but instead the proxy server's, therefore you escape the ban. For example the Tor and JAP proxy networks are popular - these are networks of proxy servers, the use of which allows you to be anonymous, and escapes restrictions. Proxy websites is the main term but another is being used now: bypass service or firewall bypass websites. Proxies come and go, but here are a couple of examples:
bypassthat. comautobypass. com
[remove the breaks]
A network administrator only needs to know these proxies, though, in order to block them.
When using one, just make sure that the first IP (web address or URL) that you request is an innocent one, such as your locally-approved search engine. Then, when you are established, browse to the banned site.
If, while using a proxy server, you are blocked by a sophisticated firewall access ban: then change to an encrypted browsing proxy service. There are are currently two types: the portable versions we detailed just previously; and paid-for commercial proxy servers. These are both impossible to block without inconveniencing everybody - so they are normally permitted.
4. Use a translation serviceYou can use a Google proxy in this way, which is unlikely to be blocked. This is fast, simple and easy - although we expect them to block this type of usage as it would be relatively simple to do. Go to:
...and enter the desired site URL. It doesn't matter what language you choose, even if that language is not on the site, and even if the site is in English anyway. The site will display completely as normal. Even links clicked to other pages will work correctly, and you stay within the proxy. The only negative is the popup help balloons but after one or two you'll ignore them easily.
If you experience any issues just check the radio button at top right, 'Original', this shows the original page (not that there is any difference), and you stay within the proxy even when going to other pages.
5. Use an encrypted VPN serviceThis method is the best if all else fails. The YourFreedom OpenVPN service can tunnel through any firewall, and is reported impossible to block except by blocking the Internet connection totally. There is a free service and a paid-for upgrade.
Steganos Anonym is another encrypted VPN service, an economy version of their commercial service with less features / bandwidth:www.steganos.com/us/products/secure-surfing/internet-anonym-vpn/overview/
6. Use a search engine's cached pagesYou may just need to check a page or two. This method works for that purpose. Go to a large search engine and perform a search that results in the required website showing in the results. Don't click the main result heading (as you will be blocked); instead, click on "Cache", or "Cached pages from this site". These pages are on the search engine's server, at the search engine's IP, and therefore escape the ban.
Or you can use the 'cache:' search operator - go to a search engine and type in:
...for example. This will show you the front page of the site.
7. Use a mobile-website auditing service as a proxy serverThere are one or two websites that provide a service whereby you can check to see how your own website looks on a phone. Instead, don't look at your site, just go to the banned site. Works fine, just a little bit, umm, restricted. This works like a 'tiny' proxy server. Here is the most famous of these, the Opera Mini tester:
www. operamini. com/demo/[remove gaps]You'll need a full Java install on your PC to be able to use this. You can download that by searching "Java download", or by going to java.sun.com, the official suppliers.Alternatively, if you append the required URL to the opera mini tester URL like this, you can get the same result (and obviously, change our domain for your required address):
http://www. operamini. com/demo/?url=www.a3webtech.com[remove gaps]Here's another similar site:http:// mtld.mobi/ emulator.php[remove the gaps]
8. Use The Internet Archive's WayBack Machine, to view cached pagesSearch for the WayBack Machine. This is an online cache of stored pages from a website's history. Get one from this year and you might find what you need. However there is a 6-month time lag before pages appear in the Wayback Machine.
9. Use Remote Access software
You can use your home PC to view sites banned at work, by setting up Remote Access software on your home PC and office PC. Then, at work, you access your home PC. Your screen changes to the view from your home PC. Just browse to any site you want, it's your own PC doing it, not the office one. However you need to use a type of RAS (remote access software) that allows unattended operation at the far end.
Examples of free RAS include UltraVNC, Ultra VNC SC, and LogMeIn.
This requires your home PC to be running, and the ability to install remote access software on the office PC. The ideal situation would be if you could run the office PC install off a USB stick. This may be possible now with UltraVNC SC.
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10. Have a friend email you the site's pagesA friend outside the censor's ban can view the pages from elsewhere and email them to you as a zip file. Your friend can use an offline browsing tool such as GetLeft to download the entire website and send it to you as an encrypted zip file, with an innocent name.
We won't discuss puTTy and SOCKS 5 here as those who would know how to use them already know; there are better solutions for the non-technical above.