The Internet is a vast expanse and there’s a ton of information out there, most of it is legal, while some of it is illegal. Unfortunately, due to a number of reasons, sites that have content that may be in the clear might also get blocked by either the authorities, your ISP or sometimes even your office network administrator. Gaining access can be considered to be a very technical and complicated process, but it really isn’t. We’re going to look at some of these ways to unblock sites. Most of these techniques are really simply, while a couple of others might need more than a minute or two to get running.
Unblocking by changing your DNS server
A DNS server is like an index, with a list of domain names - such as YouTube.com, Tech2.com and pretty much every other site on the Internet. When you type in a website address in your browser, your computer sends a request to the DNS server and it tells you the IP address for that site. One of the easiest ways for ISPs to stop access to a particular site is by removing the entries for the sites that need to be blocked. ISPs can choose to redirect the request to a different site or a notice page as well.
A simple DNS server change could open up your connection
However, there is a way around this. There are free, fully open third-party DNS services run by organizations and other ISPs. The most popular ones are run by Google and OpenDNS. All you need to do is change your DNS server settings to theirs. In a typical Windows 7 system, head over to the Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings. Right click on your network adapter, click on Internet Protocol Version 4, click on Properties. Click on the Use the following DNS server addresses and enter the DNS server of your choice. Google’s DNS addresses are 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206, while OpenDNS’ are 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168. Click on OK to save the settings and reboot your PC.
Using browsing proxies
Browsing proxies are services that allow you to use their Internet connection, thus bypassing most of the restrictions setup by the ISPs or the network administrators. There are plenty of these on the Internet that can be accessed through your browser. All you need to do is access them and enter the URL of the site that you want to access in the address bar provided by the site. All the requests will then be channeled through that browsing proxy server.
One of the many browsing proxies available online
The only downside to this of course is that if the browsing proxy itself gets blocked by your ISP, you’ll have to find another one. Some of these browsing proxies, depending on how popular they are, can be slow to access. A quick Google search for ‘anonymous browsing proxy’ will give you a long list of services available on the web.