If you are a fan of torrenting, streaming, or downloading content from the internet, you might have encountered the problem of blocked sites. Many websites that offer free or pirated content are often blocked by ISPs, authorities, or geo-restrictions. This can be frustrating and annoying for users who want to access their favorite sites without any hassle.
Fortunately, there is a way to unblock it and bypass these restrictions. You can use proxy sites, mirror sites, or VPN services to access blocked sites and enjoy your content. In this article, we will explain what these methods are and how they work. We will also provide you with some examples of popular proxy sites and mirror sites for some of the most blocked sites on the internet.
Why Websites Get Blocked in the First Place?
Let me be clear about why these websites get blocked in the first place. It’s not just a random act of internet cruelty, there are several reasons behind it, and they’re worth understanding.
1. Geographic Restrictions or Geo-blocking
One of the most common culprits is geographic restrictions, often known as geo-blocking. Some websites or content providers limit access to their content based on where you’re located in the world. This could be due to a variety of reasons, like licensing agreements (you’ll find this a lot with streaming services like Netflix or Hulu), legal issues, or even government censorship.
2. Government Censorship
Speaking of government censorship, that’s another biggie on the list of reasons. Some governments, for reasons of their own, decide to control the information their citizens can access by blocking certain websites. This could include anything from social media platforms and news outlets to other sites that the government decides are inappropriate or a threat to national security or public morality.
3. Network Rules
Finally, there’s the good old network rules. This is especially common in places like workplaces, schools, or public Wi-Fi networks where the administrators decide to block access to certain websites. The reasons for this can vary – maybe they want to maintain productivity, ensure network security, or stick to ethical guidelines.
4. Parental Control Apps
Last but not least, parental control apps. If you’re a minor or using a device controlled by a parent or guardian, they might have set up a parental control app. These apps can block access to certain websites to ensure safe and age-appropriate internet use.
So, whether it’s a favorite show you can’t watch because of your location, a crucial article you can’t read because your school’s network has it blocked, a social media platform you can’t access due to government censorship, or a website you can’t visit because of parental controls, these blocks can put a damper on your online experience. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back. In the next sections, I’ll guide you through how to bypass these blocks and surf the web freely. So, let’s get to it!
WHAT ARE PROXY SITES AND MIRROR SITES?
A proxy site is a website that acts as an intermediary between you and the blocked site. It hides your IP address and location from the blocked site and allows you to access it through a different server. A proxy site can also encrypt your data and protect your privacy from prying eyes.
A mirror site is a website that is an exact copy of the blocked site. It has the same content, design, and functionality as the original site, but it uses a different domain name and server. A mirror site can help you access the blocked site when the original site is down or unavailable.
Both proxy sites and mirror sites can help you unblock it and access blocked sites, but they have some drawbacks as well. Proxy sites and mirror sites can be slow, unreliable, or unsafe. They can also be blocked or taken down by authorities or ISPs. Therefore, you should always use them with caution and at your own risk.
WHAT ARE VPN SERVICES?
A VPN service is a software or app that creates a secure and encrypted connection between you and a remote server. It masks your IP address and location from the blocked site and allows you to access it from any country or region. A VPN service can also protect your data and privacy from hackers, trackers, or spies.
A VPN service is the most reliable and secure way to unblock it and access blocked sites. It can also help you access geo-restricted content, such as Netflix, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer. However, a VPN service usually requires a subscription fee or registration. It can also affect your internet speed or bandwidth.
HOW TO USE PROXY SITES, MIRROR SITES, OR VPN SERVICES TO UNBLOCK IT?
To use proxy sites, mirror sites, or VPN services to unblock it and access blocked sites, you need to follow these steps:
- Choose a proxy site, mirror site, or VPN service that suits your needs and preferences. You can find many options online by searching for them on Google or Bing.
- Enter the URL of the blocked site you want to access in the search box or address bar of the proxy site, mirror site, or VPN service.
- Click on the search button or enter the key to access the blocked site through the proxy site, mirror site, or VPN service.
- Enjoy your content!
7 Easy Methods to Unblock a Website
- Unblock with a VPN
- Using a Proxy
- Switching Networks
- Using Tor Browser
- Using Smart DNS
- Through Wayback Machine
- Using Private Browsers
Now that we’ve understood why websites get blocked, let’s explore how to get around these blocks. There are several methods to unblock a website but one of the most effective and popular ways is by using a VPN.
1. Unblock Websites Using a VPN
A VPN is like a secret tunnel that allows you to browse the internet without restrictions. It hides your IP address, which is essentially your online identity, and replaces it with one from a different location. This can make it appear as if you’re browsing from a different country, allowing you to bypass geographic restrictions and access blocked content.
Here’s how to use a VPN to unblock websites:
- Choose a VPN service: There are many VPN services out there, each with its own features and benefits. I use NordVPN, it’s the VPN that can do everything a VPN should do. Pick one and subscribe to a plan.
- Download and install the VPN app: Once you’ve subscribed to a VPN service, download the VPN app from their official website. They usually have versions for different operating systems, so make sure to choose the one that matches your device.
- Connect to a VPN server: Open the VPN app and sign in. Set up the VPN as it suits your device. Then you’ll see a list of server locations you can connect to. Choose a location that isn’t blocked by the website you’re trying to access.
- Start browsing: Okay, you’re ready to start browsing the internet as usual. Reload the website you were trying to access, it should now be unblocked.
Top 3 VPN Services for Unblocking Websites
There are many VPN services out there, but not all are created equal. When choosing a VPN service, you should consider factors like speed, security, ease of use, and of course, their ability to unblock websites. Here’s a quick comparison of the three top VPN services:
NordVPN – The Most Secure VPN
NordVPN is a titan in the VPN industry, and for good reason. It’s earned a reputation for its robust security features, including military-grade encryption, kill switch, and DNS leak protection. But what truly sets NordVPN apart is its strong commitment to user privacy. With a strict no-logs policy and features like Double VPN and Onion Over VPN, it ensures your online activities stay private. Plus, with a vast network of over 5700 servers spread across 60 countries, you can virtually travel the globe and access content from any country, making it a top choice for unblocking websites.
Surfshark – The Cheapest VPN
Don’t let the price tag fool you. Surfshark is one of the most affordable VPNs out there, but it packs a punch when it comes to features. It offers robust security features, including AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy. It also boasts good speeds, making it suitable for streaming and browsing. But the real cherry on top is its ability to unblock websites from various locations. With over 3,200 servers in 100 countries, you can bypass geo-restrictions with ease. So, if you’re on a budget but don’t want to compromise on internet freedom, Surfshark is a great choice.
ExpressVPN – The Speedy VPN
If speed is what you’re after, ExpressVPN is the way to go. Known for its blazing-fast speeds, it’s perfect for streaming, gaming, and other data-intensive tasks. But speed isn’t all it offers. ExpressVPN also boasts robust security features, including AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy. Plus, with a network of over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, it’s a powerhouse for unblocking content. Whether you’re looking to bypass geo-restrictions or just want a smooth browsing experience, ExpressVPN has got you covered.
2. Using a Proxy Site
If a VPN seems like too much, or you’re looking for a simpler solution, using a proxy server might be the way to go. But what exactly is a proxy?
A proxy server is a computer on the internet that acts as an intermediary between your computer and the website you’re trying to access. When you use a proxy, your internet traffic is routed through this intermediary server. This means that to the website you’re trying to access, it looks like the traffic is coming from the proxy server, not your computer. This can help you bypass geographic restrictions and access blocked websites.
Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to use a proxy to unblock websites:
- Choose a Proxy Service: There are many free proxy services available. Remember, free proxies can be tempting, they often come with limitations and security risks.
- Configure Your Browser: Once you’ve chosen a proxy service, you’ll need to configure your browser to use it. This usually involves going into your browser’s settings, finding the network or proxy settings, and entering the proxy server’s IP address and port number. The exact steps can vary depending on the browser and proxy service you’re using.
- Start Browsing: Once your browser is configured, you can start browsing the internet as usual. The website you were trying to access should now be unblocked.
Remember, while using a proxy can help you access blocked websites, it doesn’t offer the same level of security or privacy as a VPN. So, if security is a concern, a VPN might be a better option.
3. Using Tor Browser
Another effective method to unblock websites is by using Tor, which stands for The Onion Router. But what is Tor and how does it work?
Tor is a network of servers that helps protect your privacy by routing your internet traffic through several (usually three) servers before it reaches your destination. Each server only knows the IP address of the previous server and the next one in the line, but not the complete path of the data, making it extremely difficult for anyone to trace your internet activity back to you. This can help you bypass censorship and access blocked websites while maintaining your privacy.
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to use Tor to unblock websites:
- Download and Install Tor Browser: Tor Browser is a modified version of Firefox that’s configured to connect to the Tor network. You can download it for free from the Tor Project website.
- Start Tor Browser: Once you’ve installed Tor Browser, you can start it just like any other browser. The first time you start it, you’ll be asked to configure your connection. Most users can simply click “Connect”.
- Start Browsing: Once you’re connected to the Tor network, you can start browsing the internet as usual. The website you were trying to access should now be unblocked.
4. Switch the Networks
Sometimes, the simplest solution can be the most effective. If you’re dealing with network restrictions, such as those imposed by a school or workplace, one of the easiest ways to unblock websites can be to switch networks.
Switching networks essentially means changing the internet connection you’re using. For example, if a website is blocked on your school or workplace network, you might be able to access it by switching to a different network, like your home network or a mobile data network.
Here’s how switching networks can help unblock websites and some tips on when and how to do it effectively:
- Understanding Network Restrictions: Network restrictions are usually based on the IP address of the network. When you switch networks, you’re also switching IP addresses, which can help you bypass these restrictions and access blocked websites.
- When to Switch Networks: The best time to switch networks is when you’re dealing with network-level restrictions. For example, if a website is blocked on your school or workplace network, but not on other networks, switching networks can be an effective solution.
- How to Switch Networks: Switching networks can be as simple as disconnecting from the Wi-Fi network you’re currently on and connecting to a different one. If you’re using a device with mobile data, you can also switch to your mobile data network. Just remember that using mobile data can consume your data allowance, so be mindful of how much data you’re using.
Remember, while switching networks can be an easy way to unblock websites, it’s not always possible or practical. For example, if you’re dealing with government censorship or geographic restrictions, switching networks might not be enough. In these cases, you might need to use other methods, like a VPN or Proxy site.
5. Using Smart DNS
Another method to unblock websites is by using a Smart DNS. But what is a Smart DNS and how does it work?
A Smart DNS is a technology that enables you to spoof your location to bypass geographic restrictions. Unlike a VPN, which routes all your internet traffic through a server in a different location, a Smart DNS only routes the traffic needed to determine your location. This means it can be faster than a VPN, making it a good option for streaming geo-restricted content.
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to use a Smart DNS to unblock websites:
- Choose a Smart DNS Service: There are many Smart DNS services available, each with its own set of features and benefits. Some popular ones include ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer, NordVPN’s SmartPlay, and Unlocator. When choosing a service, consider factors like the number of locations it offers, its speed, and its ability to unblock the websites you’re interested in.
- Configure Your Device: Once you’ve chosen a Smart DNS service, you’ll need to configure your device to use it. This usually involves changing the DNS settings on your device to the ones provided by the Smart DNS service. The exact steps can vary depending on the device and Smart DNS service you’re using.
- Start Browsing: Once your device is configured, you can start browsing the internet as usual. Go to the website again and reload the page, it should now be unblocked.
Note, that while a Smart DNS can help you access blocked websites, it doesn’t offer the same level of security or privacy as a VPN. It doesn’t encrypt your internet traffic, so your online activities can still be seen by your ISP or anyone else who might be snooping. So, if privacy is a concern, you might want to use a VPN instead.
6. Through Wayback Machine
The Wayback Machine is another interesting tool you can use to access blocked content. But what is the Wayback Machine, and how can it help unblock websites?
The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web, maintained by the Internet Archive, a non-profit organization. It allows you to see how a website looked in the past by taking “snapshots” of web pages at different points in time. This can be useful for accessing content on websites that are currently blocked, as the archived versions of the pages are usually not blocked.
Here’s how to use the Wayback Machine to unblock websites:
- Go to the Wayback Machine: Open your web browser and go to the Wayback Machine website, which is located at archive.org/web/.
- Enter the Website URL: In the search box, enter the URL of the website you’re trying to access and click “Browse History.”
- Choose a Snapshot: You’ll see a calendar view showing the snapshots of the website on different dates. Click on a year, then a date, and finally a time to view a snapshot from that moment.
- Start Browsing: You can now browse the website as it appeared then. While not all elements of the website may work in the snapshot, you should be able to access the main content.
7. Using Private Browsers
Private browsers, also known as secure browsers or anonymous browsers, can be another effective tool for bypassing restrictions and unblocking websites. But how do they work?
Private browsers are designed to enhance your privacy and security when browsing the internet. They do this by blocking tracking cookies, encrypting your data, hiding your IP address, and sometimes even routing your traffic through a network of servers, similar to a VPN. This can help you bypass geographic restrictions, network rules, and other types of censorship.
Here’s a comparison of some top private browsers for unblocking websites:
1. Tor Browser
As mentioned earlier, Tor Browser is a modified version of Firefox that connects to the Tor network. It routes your traffic through several servers, making it difficult to trace your online activities. This can help you bypass censorship and access blocked websites. However, because your data is being routed through several servers, it can be slower than regular browsing.
2. Epic Privacy Browser
Epic Privacy Browser is a privacy-focused browser that blocks tracking cookies, ads, and other web elements that can compromise your privacy. It also includes a built-in proxy that can hide your IP address, helping you bypass geographic restrictions and access blocked websites.
3. Brave Browser
Brave Browser is a privacy-focused browser that blocks ads and trackers by default. While it doesn’t hide your IP address or encrypt your traffic like a VPN, it can still help you bypass some network restrictions and access blocked websites. Plus, it’s built on Chromium, so it’s compatible with most Chrome extensions.
4. Firefox Focus
Firefox Focus is a privacy-focused browser for mobile devices. It blocks a wide range of online trackers, wipes your browsing history after each session, and doesn’t save cookies, helping you maintain your privacy. While it doesn’t offer the same level of censorship circumvention as Tor or a VPN, it can still help you bypass some restrictions and access blocked websites.
Other Ways to Unblock Websites
While using VPNs, proxies, and the Tor network are all great ways to unblock websites, they’re not the only option — and they may even be unnecessary in certain situations.
Before shelling out for a premium VPN or replacing your favorite web browser with Tor, consider some of these simpler alternatives.
Switch from HTTP to HTTPS
One of the easiest ways to unblock certain websites is to simply switch to its HTTPS version. To do this, simply replace the “http://” in the URL with “https://”.
These days, it’s not a surefire solution as HTTPS has become the standard for most websites. However, it can be an effective way to bypass blocks on work or school networks.
In these cases, administrators usually specify a complete URL (e.g., http://www.blocked-website.com/) when adding a site to their network’s blocklist. Administrators may forget to include the HTTPS variation, offering you a convenient workaround.
Use the Website’s IP Address
Similar to switching to HTTPS, you can also try using the website’s IP address instead of its URL.
To find a website’s URL, use any of the methods outlined here. Simply enter the IP address into your browser, and you should be able to access the website unless your network administrator has done the due diligence to block the IP.
For example, one of several IP addresses for the Google homepage is 184.108.40.206. Try entering this address in your browser instead of google.com — you’ll wind up at the same place.
URL shorteners like TinyURL provide another way to bypass certain blocks.
These services take an existing URL and return a shortened version that automatically redirects you to the original website. In doing so, you’re only connecting to the shortened URL and not the original, which may be blocked by your administrator. As a result, URL shorteners can sometimes do the trick for URL-based blocks and blocklists, depending on how they’re enforced.
Change Your DNS Server
Switching to a different Domain Name System (DNS) server is an effective way to unblock websites if you’ve been IP-banned.
Without getting too technical, your DNS server is responsible for linking URLs to their IP address(es) (e.g., google.com to 220.127.116.11). Since private networks and ISPs manage blocks from their DNS servers, switching to a public one is usually a good workaround.
You can switch to a different DNS server by entering its IP address in your computer’s network settings. One of the most popular (and easy to remember) choices is Google’s public DNS server, which has an IP of 18.104.22.168.
Submitting a URL to online translators such as Google Translate provides an alternative link that can evade many blocking filters. Simply enter the URL into the translation field, select your language, and let the translator work its magic.
Caches and Website Archives
Google Cache and archive.org’s Wayback Machine store copies of every website they crawl, which are available to the public. Since you don’t need the original URL to access a cached website, it’s an effective method for viewing blocked websites — albeit older versions.
To access a cached version of a website, you can either Google search the URL and access the cache from the results or search the Wayback Machine.
The Opera browser includes a free built-in VPN, making it a quick and easy way to unblock websites without purchasing an expensive subscription. However, be careful: According to some reviews, it’s not the best option for securing your privacy or accessing streaming services such as Netflix.
In this article, we have explained how to unblock it and access blocked sites using proxy sites, mirror sites, or VPN services. We have also provided you with some examples of proxy sites and mirror sites for some of the most popular blocked sites on the internet. We hope this article has been helpful and informative for you. Remember to always use these methods with caution and at your own risk.