Whether you are a techie guy or not, downloading a software program can sometimes be scary. Without your knowledge, it might contain viruses that can harm your device. But there are times that you feel you are obliged to, just like when you need to access blocked sites. But no, you can still open restricted sites without using any software. There are actually many effective techniques that you can try, including VPN(Virtual Private Network). However, you need to clearly understand them first as well as their pros and cons.
Using Proxy to Open Blocked sites
The first and most common way is by using a proxy site, which acts as the third party between your computer and restricted site. There are a lot of free and paid web proxies to choose from as you browse the Internet. With a proxy server, your IP address is hidden and no one can see you as you try to open blocked sites. Generally speaking, proxy servers are fast. However, some offices and schools block these proxy sites. But more importantly, traffic is not encrypted so the safety level is not really that high. What is the difference between proxy and VPN? Read here.
Access blocked sites by ip address
Another way to access blocked sites without any software is by using its IP address, instead of its web URL. On your computer, click on Start then CMD and press Enter. On the command prompt, type ‘ping sitename.com and press Enter. There, you will then see the site’s IP address which you can copy and paste on your browser. In some cases, the site is hosted in a VPS or Dedicated Server Environment (DSE), and is using an unverified SSL. You can still proceed but your security will be at high risk.
Use shortening URL tool to open blocked sites
Using a URL shortening tool such as tinyurl.com and bitly.com can also unblock restricted sites. Instead of using the site URL directly, convert it first to another URL, usually a shorter one, and then place it on your browser. But of course, this method is not always effective because your real IP address is still exposed. This is not advisable to use if you are in a country with strict Internet censorship policy.
Using translation service
You can also use a language translation tool such as Google Translate, which also acts like a proxy.
Using VPN to access blocked sites
There are other methods to have access on restricted sites without using software, such as by using mobile browsers as proxies, or by converting your IP into a decimal IP. However, the safest way is by using a VPN. Although some of them may require you to download software, there are others that allow you to use their service without downloading or installing anything. You can actually set up your VPN yourself on your computer at home. This procedure is not very complicated.
But why use VPN instead any of the ones mentioned above?
The quick answer is security.
Although VPNs work almost exactly like proxy sites, your data via VPN is highly encrypted. This means that you are absolutely safe, even if you are in Wi-Fi hotspot are in strict countries in the Middle East. Different VPNs also have different security protocols to choose from. And yes, there are also free VPNs. But for obvious reasons, paid VPNs are
- more reliable
- provide excellent customer service.