How to Unblock Websites – A Beginner-Friendly Guide 2023
- Censorship: Countries like Russia, China, Iraq, and North Korea have imposed strict restrictions on internet users and have blocked many websites.
- Licensing: Licensed-based content/websites won’t be available for use.
- Copyright: Websites featuring copyrighted content will be blocked for unauthorized users to prevent copyrights.
- Price discrimination: Streaming websites and other paid services have kept different models for different subscribers and countries. So, such services block the websites of other users.
However, bypassing these restrictions is easy and can be done in multiple ways. In this article, we will do in-depth about different methods of accessing blocked websites, so check it out.
Use a VPN to Unblock Websites
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it is a multi-use tool that enables users to remain anonymous online and access restricted content. This is probably the most effective way of accessing blocked websites.
VPNs work by masking the user’s original IP address and assigning a new location. Because websites are often blocked because of geo-restrictions, changing the device’s real IP address usually does the trick. There is a wide variety of VPN server options on the market, such as ExpressVPN, that are jam-packed with additional security features. Some options you can expect include:
- Accessing blocked content
- Secure military-grade encryption
- No-log policy
VPN service is useful even if you don’t want to use it as a webpage unblocker. You can use it to protect your identity, avoid malware and phishing attempts, and protect your internet connection.
When it comes to the types of blocked websites, VPN stands second to none as almost all sorts of blocked content/webpage can be accessed with a VPN. For instance, you can access blocked sites related to streaming services like Netflix, gaming content, torrenting, social media (like Facebook or TikTok), web stores, and scholarly web pages. In short, whatever content you want will be presented to you with the help of a VPN.
The best part of this solution is the ease of usage. You don’t have to be a tech whiz to bring it into action. Mostly, it’s a plug-and-play solution keeping pre-requisites as low as possible.
Most of the best VPN providers also offer excellent customer support to fix issues or resolve customer-end worries. So, it’s easy to get around with this solution. Seeing all this, we have no qualms in accepting that using a VPN is one of the best ways to unblock websites. You can use it regularly without any worries.
NOTE: When choosing a suitable VPN solution, ensure the company enforces a strict no-log policy.
We’ve prepared a list of the best VPN providers that protect your data and can’t be shared with anyone, including authorities. Some even offer a free trial. So, if you’re doubtful, start with a free trial. Also, we prefer a VPN with a vast server location network.
Visit the Website’s IP Address Directly
Sometimes, websites that have been blocked by the user’s Internet Service Provider can be accessed by using this method. Companies often block only the URL of the website. In such cases, you can enter a website by using its IP address. With this option, you can access any website you want, even if it’s restricted in your area.
What’s the difference between URLs and IPs?
URL is a direct link to the website in question. It is composed of protocol identifiers (http, https) and a domain name. IP, on the other hand, is a numerical label assigned to each device, server, or website. So, if we use Facebook as an example, you would be able to access it in 2 ways:
- Typing in the URL address – https://www.facebook.com
- Typing Facebook’s IP in the address bar – 176.13. 69.63
You can apply this principle to virtually any website on the internet. All you need to do is to use additional tools to identify the IP address in question.
NOTE: This method only works when the Internet Service Provider hasn’t blocked the IP address.
Use Tor Browser to Bypass Restrictions
Lastly, you can use the Tor Browser to gain free access to blocked or restricted content. It’s known as the Onion Router or browser in some parts of the world.
Not only the above, but it will also help with covering your tracks and remaining anonymous. However, slow speeds can be an issue for a few.
Here’s how to get started with it:
- Type in Download Tor Browser in Google Search
- Open Tor Browser’s website
- Choose a suitable OS and download Tor Browser
- Install the Tor Browser
- Connect to the Tor network
- Use the browser to access blocked websites
Remember that different countries have different takes on using a Tor browser. So, it’s wise to check your country law’s attitude towards this browser before you think of replacing it with other browsers like Chrome or Firefox.
Unblock Websites by Using a Web Proxy
Although proxies are similar to VPNs, there are a couple of crucial differences that set them apart.
Proxy is also a type of server that acts as a gateway between the user and the internet. Just like when you use a VPN, proxies hide the actual IP address and assign you a brand new IP address so you’d be able to access blocked websites.
But, the way VPN protects you with multiple security protocols and encryption is hard to beat.
You can either do a manual proxy setup or perform a quick Google search to find a dedicated proxy website. The only downsides of proxies compared to VPNs are the lack of security and speed.
NOTE: Do thorough research before downloading or installing proxies on your devices. Many sketchy websites disguise their malicious software as a proxy to trick users into downloading it.
Free proxies are not worth your attention as they are suitable for nothing. Instead, free proxies are a massive pain as they can compromise your online privacy.
Change the Network Proxy in Your Browser
Sometimes, workplaces or schools might use multiple proxies on one network. That means some content might be blocked on one proxy but unblocked on another. If this happens at your school, you can easily unblock websites at school.
Here’s how to do it:
- Disable current network proxy settings in your web browser
- Select the no proxy option or use another proxy
Use Search Engine Cache
This method is excellent for accessing content that doesn’t require an account login. Google Cache, Firefox cache, or any other browser cache can be used to access such websites.
As not many steps and processes are required, it’s the easiest way to watch your favorite content without exploiting the administration’s rights, even if it’s blocked.
Most search engines save a cached website version to ensure a smoother and faster connection. All you need to do is to:
- Type the name of the website in your search engine
- Click the little arrow next to the desired result
- Press cached
Use Extensions to Bypass Censorship
If you’d like to access blocked dynamic websites, you can also utilize specific browser extensions, such as Hola, Ultrasurf, and ProxMate. If you’re trying any open-source project for this, do it at your risk, as such resources are not generally trustworthy.
These extensions work on multiple browser solutions, enabling users to access blocked content through their encrypted proxy networks. All you need to do is to download and install any of these apps, and that’s it.
Use Google Translate to Unblock Websites
Most workplaces, schools, or organizations never block access to Google Translate. But did you know that you can also use this website to access blocked content?
Google Translate has a handy option for translating a website to another language once you copy the URL in the text box. You can translate the blocked content to another language you speak and access it freely.
Use the Wayback Machine
The Wayback Machine is a service that saves copies of nearly all websites on the internet.
Consequently, you can use their archive to access an older version of the restricted website. You need to → go to the company’s website → type in the URL → press Enter→ Select the latest date.
Try the URL Recasting Method
Sometimes, certain websites are hosted in VPNs but don’t have a verified SSL installed. This method doesn’t always work, but it’s worth trying.
- Go to the browser’s address bar
- Type in https://www.youraddress.com/ instead of www.youraddress.com.
- If this prompts a security notice, Click on proceed anyway.
Replace Your Current DNS Server
This method includes using Google DNS to access blocked website content. It’s a bit more time-consuming than others, but it may work. All you need to do is to find and connect to a new DNS server instead of your current one. You can easily find more detailed instructions online.
Try Using a Dynamic IP Address
You can sometimes get a blocked website/webpage notification, not because the website is restricted but because your current IP address seems spammed or suspicious to the website server. So, the website is not blocked for everyone but you, as your IP addresses are suspicious. In such a situation, using dynamic IP addresses is the simplest way out.
Dynamic IP addresses are the address that changes each time you’re connected to the internet. With such an IP address, bypassing the website’s imposed restrictions on you is easy. The great part of the deal is that it’s free. You don’t have to make further investments, as most ISP providers already provide dynamic IP addresses.
All you need to do is unplug your router and restart it once again. If you need an advanced solution, using a VPN is always the best bet.
Windows users can change the IP addresses using the Command Prompt. Here is how you can make it happen.
- Go to Command Prompt with Win + R keys
- Type cmd and click on OK.
- In the new window, type ipconfig /release (including spaces) and press Enter.
- Type ipconfig /renew (including spaces) and press Enter
- Close the Command Prompt.
That’s it. The job is done. No hassles are involved. Seamlessly, it increases your online privacy.
HTML to PDF Converter Works Great
Those willing to access the restricted content of a particular webpage can make it happen with the help of a PDF converter. Using the tool, one can easily convert the HTML code of the page into a human-readable PDF format.
The tool will convert the image present on the page as well. This way, you can find the page content and use it as you want.
How to Unblock a Website on Chrome?
This is a rather quick process that only requires a few minutes of your time. All you need is Chrome Browser and ExpressVPN add-on that you can get for free from the Chrome Web Store. Once you have the plug-in, activate it, and enjoy seamless access to content. Here’s how to do it:
- Type in Google Chrome Store on Google
- Open the Chrome Store
- Search ExpressVPN: VPN proxy to unblock everything
- Press Add to Chrome
- Run the extension
It’s as simple as that. Wondering why we picked ExpressVPN? Well, here is a quick overview of the reasons behind our choice.
- It works perfectly fine even when there are strong school and work restrictions
- It encrypts online traffic with military-grade encryption, making the internet safer.
- There are VPN apps for almost all leading device types.
- You can hide your IP address while accessing restricted websites.
- Almost all streaming services and their restricted content can be unblocked with its help.
- It has fewer customer support cons as its customer support is responsive, quick, and offers multiple ways to connect with the help team.
- Its usage is entirely legal in most parts of the world.
Is it Illegal to Access Blocked Websites?
The legality of this action depends on various factors like the type of content you’re trying to access from the website unblocking and the country’s law. For instance, Western counties won’t put you behind bars for accessing blocked websites via VPNs and proxies. Using these two or any other means to unblock the sites that we quoted above, one can peacefully:
- Use a Facebook account at work
- Unblock websites at school and watch YouTube, access Instagram, and even play games
- Visit various content providers
- Maintain online privacy amidst work restrictions
You can enjoy lifting restrictions from websites of your choice without any fear as long as you’re not putting your hands on torrent downloads or downloading copyright content. Violating copyrights is a punishable act across the world.
But countries like China, North Korea, and Iraq can take restrictive actions even if you’re trying to access Facebook or other social media platforms for personal and non-harmful use as well. So, you have to double-check how serious your country is about accessing restricted websites and what’s the motive behind accessing restricted websites.
However, we strongly recommend a VPN to hide your move even if you want to access restricted websites with good intent. This way, you’ll be on the safer side.
You probably don’t have time to learn all the details about VPN services, but you want to know which one is the best for you. Here are six trustworthy VPNs I can recommend to you, depending on the scope of use of each of them.
- Best VPN overall: NordVPN
- Best value for money: CyberGhost
- Cheapest annual subscription: PIA
- Best for streaming: Surfshark
- Best premium VPN: ExpressVPN
- Largest country selection: VeePN
For more information, see our picks for the best VPNs here.
Using tools to unblock sites is legal nearly everywhere. Even censored countries, such as China, permit their citizens to use VPNs and other similar software. However, even though using these software solutions is legal, that doesn’t mean you can use them for illicit reasons. Here are some things you should note:
- In some countries, downloading, sharing, or streaming pirated content may be illegal.
- Some VPN services that don’t follow a strict no-log policy may share user information with government agencies.