Free Ways To Unblock Websites

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If you travel to foreign lands, you may discover that your favorite websites are blocked due to censorship or copyright restrictions. Here are some methods of unblocking these websites:

Use An IP Address Instead of A Domain Name

This is quite an easy way to access a blocked site, but it usually only works in countries that censor websites. You just have to type the IP address of the website instead of the domain name. You can find the IP address of a particular website using a tool like Whois, or using your command prompt and typing “ping” without quotes.

Try An Alternate Domain Name

Many large websites can be accessed with alternative domains. For example, instead of typing “Google.Com” you can try “Google.UK.Com“, and see if that domain is unblocked.

Use A Cached Page

Search engines like Google and Yahoo cache webpages and these cached pages are stored in search engines themselves, and you may get the information you need.

Use A Web Proxy

A web proxy is a service that will load web pages for you from server at a different location, and pass on the results to your browser. You can find a free web proxy on the website of HMA, for example, and they also list other public proxies. To access a blocked website, you enter the URL of the site into the form on HMA’s site (under the “Web Proxy” button). It’s somewhat slow, but it works for simple web browsing. Beyond that, you’ll need a VPN.

Use A Free VPN or VPN Trial

A VPN or “virtual private network” is a service that encrypts and redirects all your internet connections. It’s the most reliable way to unblock websites. I don’t recommend using most free VPNs because they are usually run by untrustworthy companies. For example, Hotspot Shield is a very popular free VPN app, but after installing the app you’ll be inundated with pop-up ads and banners ads in your browser. The company also records your online activities, and resell that information to advertisers.

Consider BolehVPN, which offers a three day trial for $2.00.

Use A VPN Service

If you want something beyond a trial VPN service, check my guide to the Best VPN Services Of 2012.

2 thoughts on “Free Ways To Unblock Websites”

  1. Proxy’s are not safe and not reliable. I use “Hotspot Shield” online free vpn for anonymous access to blocked websites. It is very reliable and secure VPN software.

    1. Mark,

      While it is very popular, we do not recommend Hotspot Shield (made by the AnchorFree company). The software constantly generates banner ads and pop-up windows, and it forcibly changes your search engine to Bing. Also, many sites will still be blocked using Hotspot Shield.

      Moreover, company makes money by tracking your online activities and reselling this information to third parties. They state on their privacy policy page (

      “AnchorFree allows other companies, called third-party ad servers or ad networks, to serve advertisements within the Hotspot Shield. These third-party ad servers or ad networks use technology to send, directly to your browser, the advertisements and links that appear on the Hotspot Shield. They automatically receive the virtual IP Address assigned by AnchorFree when this happens. They may also use other technologies (such as cookies, javascript, or web beacons) to measure the effectiveness of their advertisements and to personalize their advertising content. AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield Privacy Notice does not apply to, and we cannot control the activities of, such other advertisers or other web sites visited by Users. . . . .”

      I’d suggest using the HMA, if you want a try out a reputable VPN service — they have a 30 day moneyback guarantee.

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