How to unblock websites in 2024: 9 easy ways


When was the last time you were denied access to a website? Whether that happened at work, school, or home, confronting a blocked website can be very frustrating.

Sometimes, websites can be blocked or restricted due to various reasons, such as legal regulations or the website's own policies. For instance, websites like PornHub decided to block access to certain pages in compliance with laws and regulations governing adult content.

The good news is it’s possible to bypass website restrictions and blocks if you know the right steps to take.

In this guide, we introduce 9 different approaches for unblocking websites, regardless of where you are located. Whether you're trying to access a website blocked by your school, your employer, or perhaps even your government, we trust that the solutions provided below will give you ideas on how to unblock websites quickly and easily.

How to unblock a website with a VPN

How to unblock websites anywhere
  1. Pick a reputable VPN. We recommend NordVPN, now 69% OFF
  2. Register to get your account
  3. Install the VPN and log in
  4. When you connect to a chosen server, your IP address will be changed, and you will be able to access blocked websites

Why use a VPN to unblock websites?

Accessing certain websites may be restricted for various reasons. For instance, adult sites like PornHub might be blocked in specific US states or countries due to regulations, while streaming platforms could be inaccessible due to licensing agreements. When trying to access blocked sites, you may encounter different error messages.

This site can't be reached error message

There are several methods you can try to unlock access to a particular website, nothing works as efficiently as a reliable VPN (Virtual Private Network).

A VPN routes traffic through an encrypted tunnel to help you bypass any restrictions associated with your IP address. This ensures that your browsing experience is private and secure.

Of course, how private and secure you are, depends on the VPN you end up installing and using. While VPNs generally work the same when it comes to encrypting traffic, the top VPNs have advanced security features and additional functionalities that make them stand out among competitors.

9 ways to unblock websites

Let’s take a look at a few different solutions you can try if you cannot access certain websites due to blocks.

1. Use a VPN to unblock any site you want

Using a 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. It allows you to access geo-blocked websites, like US Netflix, or adult sites like PornHub, which is blocked in several US states. 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 (Internet Service Provider) 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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The best thing about VPNs is the fact that they make your online activity completely anonymous. That means even your ISP 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, macOS, iOS, and Android. This opens a lot of possibilities to unblock sites whenever you want, no matter what kind of device you’re using.

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 server 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 can also unlock some geo-restricted pages, but you won't have any luck with big streaming services like Netflix, as proxies often get blacklisted.

Screenshot of proxysite URL menu

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

3. Install a VPN or proxy browser extension

If you need to unblock a dynamic site like YouTube, X (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 browser. 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. Just keep in mind they usually do not carry all the beneficial features that a desktop app has.

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 website with the help of its IP address.

A URL is the website address string you see in your address bar (e.g., 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? There are a few methods to find an IP address, but here’s how to do it on Windows:

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

4. Then, all you have to do is press Enter on the keyboard and you’ll have the IP address of the site you want to unblock. Paste it into your search bar and enjoy access to 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 macOS users can run a traceroute via the Terminal.

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, Tor 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.

6. View blocked content with Google Translate

Even though this might sound like a joke, you can actually access blocked websites with the 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 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.

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.

So, 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 find your current IP address, type what is my IP address into your browser’s search bar.

8. Use HTML to PDF converter to download restricted content

If you don’t really need to access a restricted website, and 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.

9. Use Google cache to access restricted content

If the website you're trying to access is blocked, you could also try accessing its cached version on Google – a version that's stored in temporary informational storage.

The easiest way to access a cached website is to type cached: right before its address in the URL box. For example, cached:www.reddit.com. Of course, if this neat little trick works at unblocking a version of the site you’re interested in, do not expect it to replicate the real thing.

A cached website might be missing important elements, including menus, text, and web images. That said, if you need to access content on a website, this trick is worth giving a try. If all fails, you can always install a reliable VPN to bypass any restrictions.

Best VPNs to unblock websites – detailed list

After testing 42 VPNs, we’ve concluded our list of top VPNs in 2024. We’ve tested speeds, performance, additional features, the ability to bypass geo-restricted content, and pricing to select the best of the best. We’re happy to report that the top 3 VPNs for unblocking access-restricted content match our top 3 VPNs of 2024.

1. NordVPN – best VPN to unblock websites in 2024

🌎Based in:Panama
🖥️Servers/countries:
6300+ servers in 111 countries
🍿Unblocks Netflix:Yes
🔥Coupons:
NordVPN coupon 69% 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 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 support VPN apps. For more NordVPN features, see our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark – secure VPN for unblocking sites

Surfshark banner
🌎Based in:The Netherlands
🖥️Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
🍿Unblocks Netflix:Yes
🔥Coupons:
Surfshark coupon 85% OFF

Surfshark is another great pick if you want to unblock any website. Our in-depth Surfshark analysis shows it can prove to be an invaluable tool that increases the scope of what content is available to you.

With 3200+ servers in 100 countries (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 Surfshark’s SmartDNS to use with any device.

3. Norton Secure VPN – freemium VPN to unblock websites

norton vpn banner new
🌎Based in:United States
🖥️Servers/countries:1000+ servers in 29 countries
🍿Unblocks Netflix:Yes
🔥Coupons:
Atlas VPN coupon 86% OFF

Norton Secure VPN is a straightforward, but powerful VPN to bypass geo-blocks. It has all the essential features, like a kill switch, and split tunneling, and works on both desktop and mobile devices.

Our Norton Secure VPN review showed that it can unblock most major streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Max, allowing you to enjoy content in full HD.

Moreover, its subscription prices are affordable, with different tiers available to meet various needs, making it a great choice for those on a budget. Additionally, it offers an extended 60-day money-back guarantee, making it one of the top freemium VPN options. This means you can try out the service risk-free and unblock any website you want for two months.

4 reasons why websites are getting blocked

If you find yourself unable to access a web page, there can be multiple reasons behind it. All in all, whether you’ve accidentally left a parental control filter on or the site got blocked by the government, there’s usually a reason why you cannot access the website normally. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons.

  1. Website blocked by school or work administrator due to being NSFS/NSFW
  2. Website blocked by ISP providers due to network management and other reasons
  3. Website blocked by government due to existing regulations
  4. Sites like Netflix and PornHub may block access themselves due to licensing or legal reasons

If a website is inaccessible at work, school, or university, it's likely deemed risky or inappropriate and thus banned, especially in educational settings responsible for minors' safety. In the US, the Children’s Internet Protection Act mandates blocking inappropriate content. Business owners may also block distracting sites, like social media, for business reasons.

If you can't use streaming services or gaming platforms, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may limit access to high-bandwidth websites, especially during busy times, to manage network traffic and maintain a stable internet connection for all users.

If politically, and culturally sensitive websites are inaccessible, this might be due to censorship. Believe it or not, online censorship remains a significant issue even in 2024, with various governments imposing restrictions on content that conflicts with political or religious views. This isn't just limited to countries like China. For example, in some US states, online platforms like PornHub have implemented self-blocking measures to comply with new laws or regulations regarding adult content.

How to unblock websites

It’s no secret that institutions like schools, universities, or offices can restrict access to certain websites that are deemed inappropriate, might put a strain on productivity, or pose security risks. If you want to bypass restrictions, we share a few tips on how to unblock websites at school, work, or your own home.

How to unblock websites anywhere

If you're traveling and need to access your home content or want to bypass geo-restrictions and censorship in other countries (like in the case of PornHub situation), we've got a simple guide to help you unblock websites from anywhere.

  1. Choose a reliable VPN service. We recommend NordVPN, now 69% OFF
  2. Install and set up your VPN
  3. Choose a server in a state where adult sites like PornHub aren’t blocked, for example, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, or others
  4. That’s it, now you can access websites like PornHub from anywhere!

How to unblock websites at school

If you want to access restricted content on your school’s computers, it is unlikely that you will be able to install a VPN. However, there are other methods you can try to unblock restricted websites. For example, you might be able to install a VPN extension on a browser.

You could also try to unblock websites using one of the methods detailed above. Try bypassing restrictions using Google Translate or by accessing the cached version of the website.

If all fails, perhaps you can use your own mobile device to access restricted content. If you have permission to use mobile devices, download a trustworthy VPN app compatible with your device’s OS. We recommend NordVPN, which is available for Android and iOS users.

How to unblock websites at work

Can you download applications on your work computer? If your employer has strict policies against accessing certain websites, it is likely that the use of VPNs and the Tor Browser is not permitted either.

You could always download your preferred VPN on a mobile device and access restricted content from there. All three of our top VPNs – NordVPN, Surfshark, and Norton Secure VPN – have apps available for Android and iOS users.

If you want to access restricted content directly from your computer, try any of the other methods to unblock restricted websites above.

How to unblock websites at home

At home, you may deal with the restrictions put in place by adults (if you are a minor dealing with parental controls) or your ISP. In either case, the best bet you have is to use a VPN.

Installing a reliable VPN, allows you to bypass restricted content because you will connect to the internet through a completely different IP address. Of course, geographical restrictions require you to connect to a server from a different country first.

When choosing a VPN, make sure you pick one with plenty of servers and server locations. NordVPN has 6300+ servers in 111 countries, which is why it is our top choice.

Although some countries have enforced laws that make the use of VPNs illegal, using the tool is entirely legal in most countries 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 in trouble, but that’s about it. The same goes for unblocking geo-restricted content on streaming sites like Netflix or YouTube TV, or particular adult sites like PornHub. 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 (listed as Enemies of the Internet by Reporters Without Borders) have much stricter laws regarding VPN usage. It is wise to research the regulations of your particular country before trying to access restricted websites.

Unblocking websites: bottom line

Whether you live in a country where most international websites are blocked or you simply want to watch a Netflix movie unavailable in your region, having many options to unblock sites feels liberating.

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.

When unblocking restricted websites, the best option is to install a reliable VPN. We recommend NordVPN because it has over 6300 servers in 111 countries, offers unbeatable speed, has advanced security features, and comes at a budget-friendly price. Right now, you can also get NordVPN with an incredible discount!


More VPN guides from CyberNews:


FAQ

Comments

melonie
prefix 6 months ago
Does anyone know how to unblock Gacha Club?
LordCluck10
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
Hi!

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 2 years 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
Shar
prefix 2 years ago
I’m tryna watch pornhub and is not letting me
kevin
prefix 2 years ago
unblok all please i want to play roblox
Vince
prefix 2 years ago
Yeah mine doesn't work :( So sad - why can't people just let us have fun on our computers
Zacki Boi
prefix 2 years 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
noo
prefix 2 years ago
my school probably saw this because all these methods are blocked
Mimi
prefix 2 years 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.
bruh
prefix 2 years 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.
meo
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
ProJekt_Cam'Ron
prefix 2 years ago
use canary.discord.com
anonymous
prefix 2 years ago
do you have any advice for when the website itself isn't blocked but the network blocks it?
CyberNews Team
prefix 2 years ago
Hello! In this case, you will bypass this block with a VPN.
aaaaaaa
prefix 2 years ago
proxy websites are blocked on my school computer :[[[[[
rebeca
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.
Basil
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.
motionpass
prefix 2 years ago
use canary.discord.com, works for me
most schools dont register canary discord
Bobby
prefix 2 years ago
Mine does, any other suggestions?
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