How to Access Blocked Sites

By Josh Fredman

Websites can be blocked for any number of reasons by any number of entities. Corporate and academic networks impose blocks on their computers, and governments can impose censorship blocks. Just as there are legitimate and illegitimate reasons to block a website in the first place, there are legitimate and illegitimate reasons to try and circumvent that block. Whatever your reasons, you've got a number of options at your disposal.

Step 1

Type the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the blocked website rather than its domain name. An IP address is a string of four numbers ranging from 0 to 255, connected by dots (e.g., "34.122.230.4"). Every website has at least one IP address. To find a website's IP address, hold down your keyboard's Windows key and press the R key to bring up Windows' Run prompt. In the Run prompt, type "cmd" to open a command line session. There, type "ping URL" and replace "URL" with the domain name of the website whose IP address you want. For example, "ping eHow.com" will show you the IP address of the server that shows you eHow.com. Using the IP address instead of the domain name only works against weak blocks, but it is convenient when it works.

Step 2

Look at a cached version of the blocked website stored on the servers of search engines like Google and Bing. Note: This method only lets you look at a site. It doesn't let you interact with it, such as by logging in and posting messages to a forum. It also may not show you the most current version of the site, because caches are not updated in real time.

Step 3

Use a website translation service such as Google Translate or Babelfish to translate the blocked site. Simply set the input and output languages as English. To do this, will you need to know the URL or domain name of the site you want to visit.

Step 4

Use a dedicated proxy server to visit the blocked website. Proxy services, such as proxify.com and ipchanged.com, supply a third party web server as a middleman to load the blocked website, and they then display its contents to you. There are many proxy server services available on the Internet---some trustworthy and some not. Using a proxy is a powerful solution for accessing blocked websites, and, if it works, you can browse the Internet with very few restrictions.

Step 5

Hide your IP address by using an IP anonymizer such as TOR, www.torproject.org, or Ultra Surf, www.ultrareach.com. This will thwart some website blocks. This is a more technical option, and is not suitable for everyone.

Tips & Warnings

  • Note that a proxy will not work if the proxy website you use is also blocked. In that case, try other proxies.