Content filtering on the internet has become more and more common. As a matter of fact, some governments such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China and Iran have put into place Internet censorship laws that have extended its reach to almost each and every locally-available site. This is also quite popular in many institutions especially schools and offices. Each institution has its reason for blocking websites. In most cases, they do not want their students or employees to waste time on useless sites. The most commonly blocked sites include social sites, Yahoo!, YouTube, MySpace, Orkut, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter and the like. If you are in such a situation and are wondering how to unblock websites at school or your workplace, then here are some simple ways that will help you do this:
Avoid Content Filters with Search Engine Cache
In most cases, search engines keep a list of all web pages searched and indexed. To avoid content filters, type in the website and search it; then use the cached link right at the side of the result. The text-only version should load a lot quicker.
Unblock Websites at School with Google Mobile
Use the Websites IP Address
Alternatively, you can try to key in the IP address in the browser address bar rather than the domain name of the site you plan on visiting. This in itself does not unblock websites or bypass content filtering software, but it can get around web filters. If this does not work, then it is because the content filtering software has managed to track the IP address all the way to its website domain.
3rd Party Software and Services to Unblock Websites
There are software and services that can be used to unblock websites at school and work. There are three types of software and services used for this purpose.
- Proxy Services and Software – Many websites block users browsing from a particular range of IP addresses and many school content filters block incoming HTTP traffic from specific IP addresses. In these cases, the use of a proxy service can be used to unblock websites at school because it changes the IP address browsing the site and the IP address of incoming HTTP web traffic. UltraSurf is a free tool used to hide IP addresses, and it works by finding and connecting your browser to proxy servers all over the world.
- Opera Mini Simulator (Web Proxy)– This simulator is a rarely blocked web proxy that allows users to access the mobile version of any site with ease. Regular website versions are accessible although their quality will suffer. However, the fact that it still can be used to unblock websites at school remains.
- VPN Service – The recommended way to unblock sites at school and get around web filters is by finding a good VPN provider. A VPN connection could also come in handy when you are worried someone is intercepting your internet transmissions like at work or on vacation. Such software enables proper anonymous surfing since it not only conceals your location but also encrypts your internet traffic.
Use a translation service to unblock censored keywords
Some online translation services such as Yahoo! Babelfish and Google Translate can help one unblock websites at school. To achieve this just put English in the To field and any other foreign language in the From field. In cases where the content filtering software has been used to block keywords, directly translate the URL of the website.