Bypassing Internet Filtering and Censorship
Heidi Finigan | Last Updated:
VPN Streaming Expert
The problem of internet censorship and filtering is not a new one, but it is growing fast. More and more people find themselves the victim of either internet filtering or censorship by their government.
Countries like China, Iran, Vietnam, etc. are infamous for their regimes of controlling the internet within their country, while countries like USA and UK are known to monitor the internet activity of their citizens profusely. But there are many ways to get past this issue, and we will give you 5 such ways.
5 ways to get past Internet Filtering and Censorship
Proxies are the simplest way to get around internet censorship and filtering to access blocked websites in your region. System-wide proxies offer protection to the user as well as allow them to access blocked content, but they are limited to a few programs. If your purpose is only to access blocked websites, then you should go for a web-proxy. Web proxies are abundantly available, do not require any configuration in the browser, and are free to use. However, they bombard users with advertisements, and are not always reliable, for the proxy itself could be blocked.
Tor, or The Onion Router, is a browser which helps you use the internet anonymously. All your requests will be directed through an intricate web of independent nodes which mask your IP address and thereby your identity from the destination address. The final node can connect you to the website you wish to access, for it will be in an area where the website is accessible. While Tor is quite popular, it is rather slow, and shouldn’t generally be used to access sensitive and unencrypted data.
This is arguably the simplest and most effective way to get past internet censorship and filtering. VPNs encrypt your internet connection and mask your IP address. The encryption means that nobody can see what you are doing on the internet, preventing you from government censorship. The IP address that is visible at the destination address is that of the server you are connected to and not your system’s IP address. This means that your location and identity remains confidential as well. To use a VPN to access blocked websites, simply connect to a server which is located somewhere where the website is accessible. VPNs charge you a fee for their service, but it is worth it.
- SSH Tunnel
SSH Tunnels work in a similar manner as VPNs do, so it makes more sense to pay for a VPN than an SSH Tunnel. However, in case you already have an SSH server which you can access remotely, this method could suit you. Connect to your server remotely and setup tunnelling over it so that all your traffic is redirected on the secure connection. This protects you from snooping on Wi-Fi’s as well as gets you past internet filtering and censorship.
- DNS Tweak
This method is the least likely to work of all the methods discussed here, but you can give it a shot. Oftentimes, internet service providers simply redirect DNS requests for a blocked website to another website. If the filtering is restricted to DNS level and the requests to other DNS servers are not blocked then this method might just work. Setup a device as a custom DNS server so that it can bypass and override the DNS server used by your ISP. This should help you get past the internet filtering.
In this article, we discussed some methods to get past internet censorship and filtering. The methods discussed above work fine and can be tried to get the desired results. If you want to have a secure connection in addition to accessing blocked websites, then you should go for a VPN.