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How to unblock websites and access restricted content from anywhere

No matter the country you live in, facing geo-blocked websites or applications is inevitable. What’s worse is that these restrictions also make you miss out on some rich Netflix catalogs as well as video game libraries.

Fortunately, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the easiest and most effective way to bypass geo-blocks. Once you connect to one of the VPN servers, your real IP address is hidden, and it appears as if you’re coming from another country, where the website or its content is available.

That's not the only way to get through to the website blocked by your school, workplace, or the government itself. Occasionally, open proxies or simply tinkering with your DNS settings can do the trick, too.

In this article, we’ll take a look at 8 methods to let you browse the web freely, bypassing censorship and geo-restrictions.

How to unblock website with a VPN

How to unblock websites anywhere

1. Use a VPN to unblock any site you want

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is possibly the best method to unblock websites, especially if you need to access restricted content on a regular basis.

In short, a VPN is a tool that encrypts your internet traffic and lets you fake your IP address so that nobody can see your real location, allowing you to access geo-blocked websites, e.g. US Netflix. At the moment, it is also the most popular tool to combat online censorship - instead of accessing a website directly, you are doing so through a VPN server, which means your ISP doesn't know what you're doing and can't block you.

Unblock websites with NordVPN
NordVPN is one of the most reliable VPNs to unblock most websites. It offers a vast selection of servers, fast speeds, and many additional features for an affordable price. You can try it yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
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4.9 /5

The best thing about VPNs is the fact that they make your online activity completely anonymous. In this way, even your Internet Service Provider won’t be able to track you when you unblock websites that are restricted in your country (or office).

In addition, most top VPN providers offer apps for different platforms. For example, NordVPN has native apps for Windows, Linux, Android, Mac, iOS, and more. This opens a lot of possibilities to unblock sites whenever you want, no matter what kind of device you’re using.

Security level: High

2. Unblock sites with an open proxy

If you’re in a hurry or need to unblock a page on a public computer, using a proxy website is the best way to go.

Just like VPNs, proxies hide your real IP address from the website, as well as the website's IP address from your government, workplace, or university. Using a proxy is free and requires no installation. Proxies are also able to unlock some geo-restricted pages, but you won't have any luck with big streaming services like Netflix, as proxies often get blacklisted.

Free web proxy interface

And speaking of downsides, proxies are also less secure and anonymous than VPNs, as they don’t have additional features, and they even might monitor your online activity.

Security level: Medium

3. Install a VPN or proxy browser extension

If you need to unblock a dynamic site like Youtube, Twitter, or Amazon, a website-based proxy might not be enough. Instead, you can try installing a proxy in the form of a browser extension (we recommend Smartproxy) for your Chrome, Edge, or Firefox. This kind of website unblocker tool will help you browse with ease, letting you choose different servers depending on your needs.

NordVPN browser extension

You might also want to try a VPN browser extension as an alternative to installing the program onto your computer. Most big-brand VPNs offer add-ons that you can use with your preferred browser.

Security level: High

4. Use an IP address instead of a URL

There’s always a chance that your institution blocks specific URLs instead of IPs. If that’s the case, you can unblock a site with the help of its IP address.

In case you’re not familiar with the terms, an URL is the website address string you see in your address bar (like https://facebook.com or https://reddit.com), while an IP address is a specific sequence of numbers that is unique to the server hosting the website. You can paste it into the address bar and access the site you need.

However, how do you find the IP address of a website?

Well, there are a few methods. For example, this is what you can do if you’re using Windows:

  1. Type in “cmd” into your start menu
  2. Open a program called Command Prompt
  3. Write the word “ping” and the name of the website you want to unblock (for example, reddit.com)
Ping reddit in command prompt

Then, all you have to do is press Enter and you’ll have the IP address of the site you want to unblock. Paste it into your search bar and enjoy your restricted content!

Unblock sites with Command Prompt

Keep in mind that other operating systems have different tools for locating IP addresses. Linux users can find theirs by typing dig websitename.com into the command line while Mac users can use the Traceroute option.

Security level: Low

5. Use the Tor Browser to unblock banned sites

The Tor Browser is a free open-source internet anonymity tool created as a response to online censorship.

By sending your data through a network of volunteer servers, it hides your IP from the destination server and hides the destination server IP from your ISP. As a result, the Tor browser is a great tool to unblock sites.

Tor browser

If you want to give it a shot, download Tor and use it as your regular browser. Keep in mind that your connection speed might plummet while Tor is in use, and that some websites might still be blocked.

Security level: High

6. View blocked content with Google Translate

Even though this might sound like a joke, you can actually unblock (or rather "access content on") sites by using good old Google Translate.

Simply paste the website you want to unblock into the field where you would type the text that needs to be translated. Then, click on the link that comes in the translation section and you’ll access the page!

Unblock websites with Google Translate

However, be aware that the quality of the content displayed can be disappointing. You might even see only text instead of the usual layout. In addition, you might not be able to click the links presented on the website.

As a result, Google Translate is useful only when you need to unblock a site for its information, e.g. an article or a forum thread.

Security level: Low

7. Take advantage of a dynamic IP

This method will help you access sites that specifically block your IP address. However, it will work only if your ISP has given you a dynamic IP address, which changes occasionally.

It’s not rocket science: if you can’t access a particular website, simply restart your router and see whether the page you want to visit is able to load.

Unfortunately, if you have a static IP address, restarting your router won’t work for you. To determine the kind of IP you have (dynamic or static), write it down and compare it with the one you get after the router restart.

Tip: To see your current IP address, type in “what is my IP address” into your browser’s search bar.

Security level: Low

8. Use HTML to PDF converter to download restricted content

If you don’t really need to access a restricted website, i.e. you only need to read its contents, then this HTML to PDF converter may do the trick.

Unblock websites with a PDF converter

This free tool will take any URL and convert it to a PDF document, displaying the text and pictures as they appear on the site. You can then download the file or simply preview it online.

Security level: Low

Best VPNs to access blocked sites

If you've hit a brick wall when trying to access some web page, a VPN is a superb solution to overcome these restrictions. The problem is, it can sometimes be a bit hard to choose the right VPN for you. If you want to unblock particular streaming services, you should instead go directly to pages like best VPN for streaming or best VPN for torrenting. These will guide you in the right direction.

For everyone else, we’ve gathered a couple of VPNs that are the most successful and reliable at unblocking websites.

1. NordVPN

🌎Based in:Panama
5,800+ servers in 60 countries
🍿Unblocks Netflix:Yes
NordVPN coupon 68% OFF

NordVPN is a widely known VPN for unblocking websites. If a page is online with NordVPN, you will be able to access it, even if your government blocks it. This also applies to streaming services that are not yet officially available in your region. Ever wanted to watch that blocked YouTube video or subscribe to Hulu or HBO Max? You will be able to pull this off with NordVPN.

In addition to this, NordVPN has a SmartDNS feature. You can set it up even on devices that don't even support VPN apps. For more NordVPN features, see our NordVPN review.

Choose NordVPN for:

  • large server fleet
  • strong security features
  • fast connection speeds
  • independently audited no-logs policy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

2. Surfhark

Surfshark banner
🌎Based in:The Netherlands
🖥️Servers/countries:3,200+ servers in 100 countries
🍿Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Surfshark coupon 82% OFF

Surfshark is another great pick if you want to browse the web freely. Although it's one of the newest VPN providers on the list, it can prove to be an invaluable tool that increases the scope of what content is available to you.

With plenty of servers (including obfuscated ones), it won't be hard to find one that works for you. Even if you want to access traditionally hard-to-unblock websites like Netflix, Surfshark manages to deal with both.

The app constraints don't restrict it – you can set up their SmartDNS to use it with any device. For more information, read our Surfshark VPN review.

Choose Surfshark for:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS
  • AES-256-GCM encryption
  • Chrome and Firefox browser extensions
  • NoBorders feature to use in heavily restricted countries
  • 7-day free trial

3. Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN banner
🌎Based in:United States
🖥️Servers/countries:1,000+ servers in 42 countries
🍿Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Atlas VPN coupon 85% OFF

Atlas VPN is a simple but powerful VPN to bypass geo-blocks with. The server fleet isn’t as impressive as seen in other VPNs, but the ease of use and the price are what make this VPN popular on the market.

For those living in highly-censored countries with VPN blocks, Atlas VPN has obfuscated servers to use that mask your VPN connection. But the whole point here is that it also unblocks nearly all major streaming sites, like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max, and allows you to enjoy them in full HD!

The service allows unlimited simultaneous connections per account, meaning not only you can ditch those content blocks but also your family members on any type of device. Learn more from our detailed Atlas VPN review.

Choose Atlas VPN for:

  • Intuitive applications
  • Advanced encryption
  • WireGuard tunnel for great connection speeds
  • Unblocks various Netflix libraries
  • Free version available

How to unblock websites at school or work?

It’s no secret that institutions like schools, universities, or offices can restrict access to certain websites that are deemed inappropriate or might put a strain on productivity.

However, these restrictions sometimes go overboard. Whether you want to check your emails or take a scroll or two through your social media platform, you may need to have a way to unblock the sites that let you communicate with the outside world.

So, here’s what might work best for you. If it’s your personal work computer, you might be able to install a VPN and use it as much as you please. However, you won’t have such luxury if you’re using a public computer at school or if you don’t have an assigned workstation at your job.

In this case, a proxy website might become your best friend, as it requires no installation. Other good methods to unblock sites at school or work are using IP instead of URL or simply converting the page’s contents into a PDF file.

You may also like to read:

Why are websites getting banned?

If you find yourself unable to access a web page, there can be multiple reasons behind it. Luckily, whether you’ve accidentally left the Parental Control filter on or the site got banned by the government, there’s usually a way to fix this problem by yourself.

  • Censorship. Believe it or not, online censorship is still a huge problem in 2021 - and China is not the only culprit. There are many governments that limit the access to content that might clash with their political or religious views, and a good VPN is one of the few ways to bypass this.
  • Geo-blocking. The majority of streaming sites offer a different content selection for people in different countries because of copyright agreements. Luckily, you can watch movies unavailable in your own country thanks to proxies and VPNs.
  • Work policy. Some schools, universities, or offices block access to certain websites that contain unethical, illegal, or inappropriate content. However, even completely safe sites often get blocked in an attempt to increase productivity or to preserve bandwidth.

In Western countries, the usage of tools like VPNs or proxies is completely legal as long as you don’t involve yourself in illegal activities like torrenting copyrighted content.

So, if you simply want to unblock Facebook at work, you won’t break any laws. Sure, you go against your work policy and might still get into trouble, but that’s about it. The same goes for unblocking geo-restricted content on streaming sites like Netflix or Youtube. It is not illegal - it simply goes against the site’s terms of use.

However, keep in mind that every country is different. Countries like China, Saudi Arabia, or North Korea (which are listed as “Enemies of the Internet” by Reporters Without Borders) have much stricter laws in terms of VPN usage. It is smart to research the regulations of your particular country before trying to access restricted websites.

Bottom line

Whether you live in a country where the majority of international websites are blocked or you simply want to watch a Netflix movie unavailable in your region, having lots of options to unblock sites feels liberating. Plus, software tools like NordVPN make the process really simple even for novice users.

It’s good to know that no matter how hard someone might try to enforce online censorship, there will always be people who develop new ways to defend your right to information.

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prefix 5 days ago
Does anyone know how to unblock Gacha Club?
prefix 1 year ago
i mean is pretty good but how do i get it unblocked when the VPN website is block on my conputer
Cybernews Team
prefix 1 year ago

The best way to go around this issue would be to find a free VPN that might not be so famous as to be blocked. You can then use this VPN to unblock other websites, including the pages of some better VPNs like NordVPN.

You can also continue using your free VPN, but remember that such VPNs have certain limitations, and might unblock only a small portion of websites. Besides, they often have daily or monthly data caps, display ads, and may collect your information.
silvia cordero
prefix 1 year ago
Gracias por las opciones, que permiten tener acceso a algunos sitios, que se encuentran restringidos.
Orlando Olivarez
prefix 1 year ago
it actually worked
Sofia :)
prefix 1 year ago
ya'll i just wanna read and my school blocked this one website that I adore reading from with all these good books. It sucks because I was in the middle of reading one too. Anyway, it says the ip address and i can't use a proxy because there's a keyword censor on words my school doesn't like (like proxy's)
idk if you have any suggestions please give them to me, ty :D
prefix 1 year ago
I’m tryna watch pornhub and is not letting me
prefix 1 year ago
unblok all please i want to play roblox
prefix 1 year ago
Yeah mine doesn't work :( So sad - why can't people just let us have fun on our computers
Zacki Boi
prefix 1 year ago
Yeah, its pretty sad. My school chromebook doesn't let it work either. :( The educators are to smart/advanced for us. It's not good. WE NEED TO BREAK THE 4TH WALL!!! GO GO GO
prefix 1 year ago
my school probably saw this because all these methods are blocked
prefix 1 year ago
It did NOT work for me either... But everything I try that i found on this SITE, on my chromebook, it just says blocked.
prefix 1 year ago
I agree, even if I DO manage to get a hold on one of those websites, it'll just say "Content Keep Filtering", or some baloney like that.
prefix 2 years ago
if anyone has a suggestion for unblocking discord [my school blocks any vpn websites, classified as "security.proxy"] please let me know thx
prefix 1 year ago
use canary.discord.com
prefix 1 year ago
do you have any advice for when the website itself isn't blocked but the network blocks it?
CyberNews Team
prefix 1 year ago
Hello! In this case, you will bypass this block with a VPN.
prefix 2 years ago
proxy websites are blocked on my school computer :[[[[[
prefix 2 years ago
I tried it and it did not work on my school computer and i am a little mad because i want to watch netflix but it wont work and i think you are lieing
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 2 years ago
Hello, Rebeca! Could you please tell me which method(s) you used? In terms of unblocking Netflix, your best bet is using a VPN.
prefix 2 years ago
Thank you man im wanting to go on this website called discord so me and my freinds can work together online even though were in the same classroom and when we get free time I would love to chat to them and send nice pictures but my school blocked it I did go on it once with 2 of my friends but when we got off the next day it was blocked so my school is spying which is an invasion of privacy.
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 2 years ago
Hello, Basil! I’m sorry to hear your school has blocked Discord. You can simply try using a proxy – this usually works.
prefix 2 years ago
use canary.discord.com, works for me
most schools dont register canary discord
prefix 2 years ago
Mine does, any other suggestions?
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