By Philip Bates
Picture the scene. You’re at work or school, and in your downtime, you want to peruse a website. Maybe you want to check your social media feeds or need to watch YouTube for research purposes… but it’s blocked.
Fortunately, you still have options.
1. Try the Short Link Versions
This is a hugely popular method because it works in most cases. However, that also means administrators are getting wise to it. Still, it should definitely be your first port of call.
Insert it into the address bar, and you should be redirected to where you want to go, bypassing any blocks that might be in place — fingers crossed.
2. Try HTTPS
Aside from being a great security measure, it also comes in handy when trying to access blocked sites. This is because quite a few schools block the more common port 80, which is the endpoint for HTTP traffic — leaving the secure connection, port 443, open for exploitation.
It’s not always going to work, but it’s certainly worth a try! Some sites, including Facebook, YouTube, and email providers, automatically redirect to the HTTPS option, so in turn remove the extra effort on your part, or have reminded administrators to block the port.
3. Translation Services
It also translates whole websites… whether you actually need them translating or not. And that’s why it’s helpful here too.
Whatever the site, simply type the URL into the text box and click on the link in the translation output. You’ll be redirected to it, but chances are that the blocks used otherwise will miss the page as it’ll appear under a different address, namely something like
translate.google.com, followed by various seemingly-random digits.
Still, if it’s an article you need to read for research reasons, it’s ideal.
4. Convert to PDF
You’ll generally need to sign up for this one; however, it’s worth it, not just for reading censored pages but also creating content that’s easy to share and a pleasure to read.
I use it to keep physical copies of online articles I’m particularly proud of, filed away in a portfolio. You could use it to bypass blocks because Five Filters does the work of scouring a webpage for you.
It goes without saying that it’s useless for YouTube and Twitter, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Of course, you’ll need to know the exact addresses for articles, as you can’t peruse a site.
5. Tether to Your Phone
You want to view a blocked site. You’re clearly a rebel who doesn’t play by anyone’s rules but your own. In which case, you won’t have any grievances with using your phone when you possibly shouldn’t.
Go to Settings. From there, the method will vary slightly depending on your operating system. On iOS, just turn on Personal Hotspot and note the password. It’ll give you the option of connecting through Wi-Fi, USB (if you were really prepared!), or Bluetooth. From there, just follow the instructions in that section. On Android, in Wireless & Networks, tap More > Tethering & portable hotspot > Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot > Set up Wi-Fi Hotspot and make note of the password.
This should really only be in emergencies, however, as you risk substantial bills if you go over your data usage limits. And be aware that your organization’s IT department might have blocked connection to new Wi-Fi networks.
Bypass the Blocks?
How else do you get around censors? Do you just rely on VPNs or do you prefer easier alternatives?
Image Credits: hxdbzxy/Shutterstock Soucre: www.makeuseof.com