Friday, July 25, 2008

How to Access Blocked or Restricted Websites

Blocking access to undesirable Web sites through the use of Internet protocol filters has been a common government tactic since commercial Internet access first became available here in 1995. China and Saudi Arabia are believed to extend greater censorship over the net than any other country in the world under the pretext of information control.

Most of the blacklisted sites in Saudi Arabia are either sexually explicit or about religion, women, health, drugs and pop culture. They even block access to websites about bathing suits. So if you want to buy something to swim in, they seem to treat that as if it were pornographic in Saudi Arabia.

In China, webites containing sexually explicit content were among those blocked, but they also included sites on sensitive topics such as Tibet, Taiwan, and dissident activity. China also blocks access to Google News, Typepad and Blogger hosted blogs.

But what if an innocent website is accidentally blocked by your ISP or your government. There are always legitimate reasons to visit these blocked websites. We have listed a few methods to help you access blocked websites in school, college, office or at home.

Approach 1: There are websites Anonymizer who fetch the blocked site/ page from their servers and display it to you. As far as the service provider is concerned you are viewing a page from Anonymizer and not the blocked site.

Approach 2: To access the blocked Web site. type the IP number instead of the URL in the address bar. But if the ISP software maps the IP address to the web server (reverse DNS lookup), the website will remain blocked.

Approach 3: Use a URL redirection service like or These domain forward services sometimes work as the address in the the url box remain the redirect url and do not change to the banned site.

Approach 4: Use Google Mobile Search. Google display the normal HTML pages as if you are viewing them on a mobile phone. During the translation, Google removes the javascript content and CSS scripts and breaks a longer page into several smaller pages. [link] View this website in Google Mobile

Approach 5: Enter the URL in Google or Yahoo search and then visit the cached copy of the page. To retrieve the page more quickly from Google's cache, click "Cached Text Only" while the browser is loading the page from cache.

Approach 6: A recent Oreilly story on accessing blocked websites suggested an approach to access restricted web sites using Google language tools service as a proxy server. Basically, you have Google translate your page from English to English (or whatever language you like). Assuming that Google isn’t blacklisted in your country or school, you should be able to access any site with this method. Visit this site via Google Proxy

Approach 7: Anonymous Surfing Surf the internet via a proxy server. A proxy server (or proxies) is a normal computer that hides the identity of computers on its network from the Internet. Which means that only the address of the proxy server is visible to the world and not of those computers that are using it to browse the Internet. Just visit the proxy server website with your Web browser and enter a URL (website address) in the form provided.

This page has a long list of proxies. You can either choose one yourself or let the service choose a random proxy for you. Also bookmark the DMOZ directory of free web-based proxy services and DMOZ directory of free proxy servers

Update: China appears to have moved beyond simply blocking access to a Web site with IP filters and may now be employing packet filters to scan individual packets for undesirable information, said Duncan Clark, managing director at telecommunication analyst BDA China Co. Ltd.

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