Accessing Blocked Websites

Category: Software

If you are a student, employee, or part of the military, you've probably experienced the frustration of not being able to access certain websites or even your webmail. Fortunately there are some things you can do to access these blocked sites. Here's how...

accessing blocked websites

Accessing Blocked Websites At School Or Work

Peacefire.org is an authoritative resource for getting around all types of blocking software. This website started up in 1996 and was originally designed to help teens fight censorship issues. It is somewhat of an activism site but it still has great, up-to-date tools and information that you can use to access websites or email that is blocked by your workplace, school, government, etc.

Peacefire lays out several different techniques that you can try to bypass your institution's website blocking or filtering. The methods include using a third party circumventing (proxy) site, establishing your own proxy site, as well as disabling the computer's blocking software. You can also sign up for a free newsletter that gives you a list of new proxy sites, because as I'm sure you can imagine, these unblocking sites are quickly discovered and blocked.

If you want to get started using proxy websites, you can get a list of fresh proxies here. These are all free but you'll have to deal with some extra advertising.

Security Note: When using proxy or circumventing sites, be extra careful with your personal information such as credit cards and other account numbers.

Web Based Proxy and Remote Access Software

Another option you have in order to bypass blocking or filtering software is by installing web based proxy sharing software. This type of software lets you log into your own PC from any other computer that has an Internet connection. This is different from the circumventing proxies mentioned above because it allows you to surf via your home PC where the others allow you to surf using their website. The software is downloaded onto your home computer where you will set up a password. To access your PC you go to the host website, log in and do whatever you like from there. In addition to having full Internet access, you will also be able to view any other files you have stored on your home PC. It's almost like sitting right in front of your home computer.

You can get this kind of software from LogMeIn.com which has a free basic version, or GoToMyPC which offers a free 30-day trial. These have less of a chance of being blocked because businesses like to use them so that employees can access their work stuff from home which in turn equals more productivity for the business. Some employers even pay for subscriptions. See also Remote Access to Your Computer for more details.

Proxy Avoidance Software

Free software such as Crossloop or Lozdoge are similar to the above remote access tools, except the server is hosted directly by your PC so there is no third party website involved like those mentioned above. After installing the software you will be able to connect to your home computer from any other computer via a web-browser and have complete access to the internet.

Internet Access via Mobile Phones

You may also be able to use your cell phone to get where you want to go. Some mobile providers give you the option to use your cell phone as a high-speed modem. Usually it's laptop users who do this while on the road to get an Internet connection, but there's no reason you can't unplug your network cable and do this with a desktop.

Typically, all you have to do is install some software, plug your phone into the USB port of the computer, and initiate a dialup connection. Your mobile provider will tell you what to enter for the username and password, and you'll probably need a data plan if you don't have it already.

Some Words of Caution

These techniques for accessing blocked websites may seem like an excellent idea but before you decide to give it a try, you should consider potential risks involved. Using proxy sites may jeopardize your security. Remember that a proxy is just a relay, so anything that you send out or receive can be intercepted. Be careful not to send important information, such as credit cards or sensitive messages when using a circumventing site, just to be on the safe side.

It might also be a good idea to gauge your school or workplace's tolerance on this matter and make sure they don't have any explicit policies against it. If they went to the trouble of blocking certain sites, it stands to reason that they might not be happy if you find a way to circumvent. Is surfing the net at work or school worth the risk of getting in trouble -- even fired or expelled?

There is also the issue of productivity. If you do spend hours each day surreptitiously surfing the web when you should be working, you're probably not giving your employer what you should. Getting fired because you aren't getting your job done, or flunking out of school because you're too involved with your friends on My Space probably isn't worth it. Okay, enough sermonizing... just be sure you understand the risks when you attempt to access blocked websites at school or work.

Do you have other tips for accessing blocked websites? Post a comment below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Accessing Blocked Websites"

Posted by:

Tom Smith
30 Jun 2008

when I tried to access www.thepiratebay.org all I got was 'done'. But I found out that if I go to Google and type in the URL pointers to the web site come up among other options. Then all I have to do is click on the one pointing to this web site and I'm connected.


Posted by:

Jeff
16 Jul 2008

Hi Bob, As a Director of Technology at a K-12 school in Michigan, who has to live by the rules of the Federal Government (CIPA) regarding the blocking websites in school, I'm very disappointed in you publishing this type of information as "Help". While I generally love your advice and articles, I think you missed the bus on this one.

You can't imagine how hard it is for us to try to follow the rules set out by the Federal Government when people like you make it all the more easy to circumvent...

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jeff, Thanks for your comments -- I can understand your frustration. I completely agree that kids have no business accessing Myspace and other questionable sites during school hours. But there are legitimate uses for proxy sites. I didn't mention it in the article, but there are some governments that block access to Google and other websites that contain opposing views. I'm sure you can also imagine situations where someone at work or school might need to circumvent a block.

I did give a caveat in the article that people should consider whether surfing the net at work or school is worth the risk of getting fired or expelled.

I think it's also important to admit that our best efforts to block ANY content on the Internet are like putting a 2-foot fence around a vegetable garden. If I was in your situation, the policy would be this: Get caught circumventing the school Security Policy or Acceptable Use rules -- you lose your computer privileges, and you get to explain why in front of your parents and the Vice Principal.


Posted by:

Altaf
17 Jul 2008

I'd like to make a comment on Jeff's concerns posted 16 Jul 08. Dear Jeff, while I admire your commitment to confront someone who in your opinion might be damaging ethics in children, I really don't understand how a Director of Technology can give such comments in this modern era. Sir you really need to revisit your CPE (Continued Professional Education) to justify to yourself whether you deserve this important role (Director of Technology). This one comment alone identifies a lot about the gap you need to map re. your knowledge about "Technology". Bob you've explained the rationale beautifully! Keep it up!


Posted by:

koko
05 Jul 2009

i access blocked sites using www.c2go.info


Posted by:

jami
14 Dec 2009

sorry to say that yours peacefire.org is itself not opening then how can i learn to access blocked sites. Its not working for me.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Works for me...


Posted by:

quicksilver
04 Oct 2010

Ive been using http://www.timedoctor.com .
It uses a better procedure than blocking social media sites because it only monitors websites during production hours. People/Employees still have the option to use it for a breather or during breaks really . Sometimes they use it for work too .

For me its really unnecessary to block websites.


Posted by:

Ann
08 Dec 2010

I travel a lot. And I have to go to China on work very often. Many websites are blocked there so I use vpn account to get an access to any blocked web site or web service.


Posted by:

deb
31 Dec 2010

Ann excellent advice, this is also a good safety feature as well. I have been doing alot of personal research on this subject, shopping around, if you will for a good commercial site, which is THE ONLY way to go. Using "free" vpns and proxies open you up to malware, viri, spyware, all the nasty stuff that is out there, it can even be the provider them selves doing this. My problem is, which is the BEST vpn to choose? Us women do have a terrible time when we shop, unlike men we just can't choose anything right off the bat. Any suggestions would be great. Bob, what say you on commercial vpns?


Posted by:

Michael M
17 Jan 2011

Use this free proxy website to unlock Facebook, Orkut, YouTube, MySpace, Hi5, Bebo etc or any blocked website from work and school. No need to install any software. Its fast and easy to use. Enjoy. http://www.MaverickEyes.com

EDITOR'S NOTE: Until your IT department blocks it, just like all the other proxy sites...


Posted by:

me
25 Jan 2012

You're a douschbag for teaching kids this. Idiot!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Did you read the section labeled "Some Words of Caution"? I'd write you a more personal detailed reply, but you gave a fake email address...


Posted by:

mitch coveney
20 Sep 2012

Hi their im posting this because im in year 10 and our school is nunthorpe and they have banned all of the inaproped websies from students only. pleaze email me back and get in touch.i need to know how to unblock the school websites


Thanks mcoveney9556@nunthorpe.co.uk-


Posted by:

Andrea
29 Jan 2013

Pretty good tips! I used to go through proxies tunnels and such but it’s not consistent plus you spend tons of time just trying to get to work, which won’t always happen…

A buddy of mine in IT had me download a VPN on my laptop so I can access sites I actually need to conduct research at work since they get automatically filtered, which includes Facebook for some reason! I got highspeedvpn, take a look http://www.highspeedvpn.com/


Posted by:

sabaattitute
30 May 2013

I travel a lot. And I have to go to China on work very often. Many websites are blocked there so I use vpn account to get an access to any blocked web site or web service.


Posted by:

Proxysitelist
30 Dec 2016

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Posted by:

Proxysite
07 Mar 2017

Thanks for the tips how to use proxy sites and get Proxy Site List for use.


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