A website can be blocked from access for a bunch of different reasons. But it doesn’t mean you can’t try a workaround. This post discusses the things you can try to access a blocked website.
So, this is how browsing the internet works – you ask your browser to show you a website by entering its domain name or URL. Your browser identifies the IP address associated with the domain name and requests the website’s server for the components required to show you the web page. The browser needs to make a connection with a specific IP address to present the website to you. Now, if the browser fails to make this connection or refuses to make this connection, chances are that the website is blocked.
Who blocks a web page?
Multiple entities could be responsible for blocking a website. For instance, your Internet Service Provider may block a website banned by local authorities.
The system administrators at workplaces or educational institutes may block access to certain sites by modifying the host names of said websites.
In another instance, Google Chrome may deem some sites unsafe or infected and block access to them. You may have seen warning signs where your browser tells you that the site you are visiting may be harmful.
The important thing is that you can circumnavigate the blockades and view the sites you want to view, well, at least in most cases.
Word of caution
If Chrome blocks a site for being harmful – being infected with malware, hosting phishing schemes, or mounting social engineering attacks – it’s a good idea to not visit such a site. You may fall prey to a clickjacking attack, a ransomware infection, or lose important credentials. The idea is to use discretion and forethought while using the methods you’ll find in the following section.
Bypass Chrome warning page
We’ve already talked about this – your browser checks the security certificates of every site and tries to prevent you from entering sites that might be harmful. When you try to enter a site like that, Chrome may show you a message stating that your connection is not private or the site is unsafe. If you are dead sure about the security of the site, you can click on the Advanced option and select proceed to [site name]. While this is a very easy workaround, we recommend you use it with caution.
Disable Windows Firewall Temporarily
Once again, it is an option you should not use unless you are very confident about the security of all the sites you visit.
Microsoft Windows PCs have an inbuilt firewall, Windows Defender Firewall that scans network connections and prevents you from entering websites that may infect your PC. While it is very good at its job, the firewall may sometimes show false positives and block you out of sites that are not insecure.
Go to the start menu => Search for Windows Defender Firewall => Toggle Windows Defender Firewall off for both public and private networks.
Remember, doing this will let you view blocked sites but make your PC vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Remove blocked sites from the list of restricted sites
Windows comes with a great option to restrict certain harmful sites from the operating system itself. If the site you are trying to visit is added to the list of restricted sites, you will not be able to visit it.
Go to the Control Panel => Internet Options => Security => Restricted Sites
Here, you will see a list of restricted sites. Select the URL of the website you want to unblock and click on the Remove button.
Use a VPN
If you are trying to access a geo-restricted site then using a virtual private network or VPN is your best option. If you route your traffic through a VPN server from a different region, your ISP fails to recognize where the data packets are coming from. It’s also a pretty secure way of browsing.
Now you know the workarounds if a site is blocked and it is up to you to use these tricks with caution. Some of these methods can compromise your security, entering a site blocked by Chrome for security reasons, for instance. Hence, be careful and browse safely.