There are several reasons why you may need to unblock a certain website or service. Perhaps your workplace employs very strict web blocking software. Perhaps a streaming service is only accessible in a limited number of countries. It is possible that the government of your nation does not want you to read content that casts an unfavorable light on it. However, in the majority of circumstances, bypassing internet filtering is pretty simple: just connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPNs redirect your traffic to a server located in another country. This creates a new, temporary IP address that points to the nation in which your selected server is located, allowing you to bypass the majority of location-based restrictions. Additionally, VPN servers are not subject to the same internet limitations as your employer (or, indeed, nation), which means you’ll be able to access any website or service you choose.
Additionally, VPNs encrypt your traffic. This protects it from snoopers like the government, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), or the network administrators at your place of business. As expected, this is very beneficial in nations with severe web restrictions.
How to unblock websites using a VPN from any location
While VPNs may seem scary, they are fairly simple to use. It simply takes a few minutes to set up a VPN, and then you’ll have access to applications and websites from all over the globe.
- Start by selecting the appropriate VPN. We prefer NordVPN.
- Get and install the VPN software, ensuring that the version you download is compatible with your device.
- Connect to a VPN server in the necessary country if you’re attempting to access a region-locked service. For example, you’d use a British server to unlock BBC iPlayer or a US server to access Sling TV. If the service you’ve selected is accessible globally, any server will suffice.
- Finally, try to access the banned application or website. You should be able to use it normally now, but if you have any problems, try deleting your cache and cookies first.
If the issue continues, we suggest contacting your VPN customer care staff for assistance. Some servers may be capable of unblocking your desired service.
How is internet blocking implemented?
Generally, companies may limit access to a specific website or service in one of two ways. We’ll discuss each of these points in further depth below:
- Blocking at the network level
Employers often utilize network-level filtering to prevent employees from viewing improper information while on the job. A blacklist is the simplest kind of network-level ban; every time a user tries to access a website, the address is compared to a list of prohibited addresses. Access will be denied if the site is on the list.
China and the UAE, on the other hand, use a comparable technique, but on a greater scale. This kind of country-wide censorship, on the other hand, is substantially more sophisticated and often incorporates some sort of keyword-based filtering in addition to proxy detecting tools.
- Blocking depends on the user
User-based blocking occurs when businesses examine a user’s IP address, GPS location, or phone number to determine if they are permitted to access a certain service. This is most often seen in the case of internet streaming services. For example, YouTube TV is exclusively accessible in the United States, and users from other countries are not permitted to join up.
While a VPN can readily evade the majority of user-based filtering, more complex methods are almost difficult to defeat. For instance, you may need a type of identification that is only available to residents or a payment method that is associated with a certain country’s location.
Will a VPN enable me to access websites that are prohibited in China?
China has some of the world’s most sophisticated internet restriction technologies, generally referred to as the Great Firewall. Additionally, government and local ISPs have targeted VPN providers explicitly, rendering the bulk of services inoperable.
There are a few VPNs that continue to operate in China, but their websites are unavailable from the mainland, so you must install them before they arrive. Additionally, we suggest storing manual installation instructions in case you have connectivity issues while in China.
There is no publicly accessible list of all websites that are prohibited in China. Having said that, you may use our Great Firewall tool to determine whether or not a certain website or service is accessible.
Can I access geo-restricted services with a free VPN?
We generally advise against the use of free VPNs. To begin with, these services are often the first to be banned by big providers, implying that their use is not guaranteed. Additionally, they often have more users than their networks can handle. As a result, even if your VPN unblocks a certain service, your surfing speeds will likely be too poor to use it. This is a significant issue if you are streaming, since poor speeds result in choppy play and frequent buffering.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that free VPNs offer a significant security risk. Indeed, one research discovered that almost 40% of the 280+ applications evaluated included malware. As if that weren’t terrible enough, 18 percent did not utilize encryption at all, implying that they offered no privacy at all. This implies that, unless you’re fortunate, you run the risk of infecting your device (and maybe the whole network of your workplace) with malware.
To unblock services and surf anonymously, the best option is to use a trustworthy, privacy-conscious VPN with a no-logs policy.
Why is my VPN unable to unblock a certain website or application?
Regrettably, given the breadth and complexity of filtering methods, certain services will always be blocked by your VPN. However, each website and app is unique; for example, the website of a local television station will likely have fewer limitations than the website of a globally famous household brand like Netflix.
Do not be concerned if you are still unable to unblock a certain service. Perhaps only particular servers are capable of bypassing your selected service’s VPN detection, or perhaps you just need to modify the connection protocol. In any case, your VPN’s support personnel will often be able to assist. The majority of major VPN providers now provide 24/7 help through live chat, so you may begin resolving the issue immediately.
What services am I able to access with a VPN?
There are relatively few restrictions on what you may access while using a VPN, even if you are in a nation with tight internet censorship. Below, we’ve listed some of the sorts of content that a VPN may unblock when traveling or at work:
- Social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- Services for streaming (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ESPN),
- Services for messaging (WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram)
- Websites for gambling and gaming (William Hill, Bet365, BetNow)
- Websites that provide unbiased news (CNN, The Guardian, Washington Post)
- Online dating services (Tinder, Grindr, Bumble)
- Websites that prioritize privacy (PrivacyExplore, OpenVPN, NordVPN)