4 Ways to Access Sites and Services that are Blocked by Content Filters


Nothing is more frustrating than being confronted by a message in your browser telling you that there’s no way you’ll be able to access your favorite sites and content from the network. Such filters and restrictions are often put in place on shared/public networks to keep people from accessing content that may be inappropriate or harmful to devices on the network, or in cases where the site or service is not available for viewing in a specific geographical area. Regardless of why you’re unable to access your favorite sites/services, you should be able to use one of the following methods to get around the restrictions quickly and easily:

1. Connect to a Virtual Private Network

A virtual private network (VPN) helps you disguise and spoof your location and other information about your device, thereby letting you bypass geographical and administrative restrictions. When you connect to a VPN and then access a site, the site you’re visiting will only see information about the VPN server, so any geographically based blocking can be circumvented with this method. Furthermore, the VPN receives the blocked data, encrypts it, and makes it viewable on your device without raising any red flags on the network, so VPNs can also be used to get past administrative restrictions.

2. Use a Smart DNS Service

Using a smart DNS is a lot like using a VPN, except these services are more streamlined and can therefore be easier to use and more effective. Keep in mind that it is important to choose the best DNS provider you can find, as using a less-than-reputable DNS management service can result in slow or dropped connections on a frequent basis. With a smart DNS service you can access your favorite media services like Hulu, Netflix, HBO GO, etc., from any country in the world and on any network. Some smart DNS services also include free access to private VPNs, thereby providing multiple ways to access blocked content. A good smart DNS will make it easy to access thousands of channel and online media services from around the world, regardless of your location.

3. Use Web Proxies

Connecting to a web proxy is another way to disguise your device’s location and info. However, it should be noted that some networks make it very difficult to successfully connect to a web proxy, and even if you do get connected, the connection speeds are often unbearable, and the pages sometimes load in foreign languages due to the location of the proxy server. It is possible to use a proxy switching software or service to ensure that you’re only using the fastest and most reliable private proxies for anonymous web surfing. It should also be noted that you’ll be sifting through a lot of expired or non-working proxies with this method, unless you opt for a service or software that automatically finds, checks, and switches proxies for you. Even so, this method is usually not preferred over the smart DNS or VPN method, at least when the goal is to access blocked sites or media content.

4. Sign up for Paid Services with a Virtual Visa Gift Card

Sometimes the only way to pay for the premium version of content services like Netflix or HBO GO is to use a card that has a billing address within a certain area like the US, UK, or Canada. In these cases, even if you use a VPN, DNS, or proxy to access the sign up page, you still won’t be able to enroll for premium service because of the card’s billing address.

One way to get around this restriction is to by a preloaded visa gift card or from a company like Entropay, and use a US address as the billing address when you purchase the card. Be sure to put your own address as the shipping address though. You can even find virtual credit cards (VCCs) that will give you the card number, expiration date, security code and all the other info directly in an online interface, rather than making you wait on a physical card to arrive in the mail.

Once you have the card info for your VCC or prepaid visa gift card, you can use that to sign up for the aid version of services that are online intended for viewing inside a specific region. However, be sure to still use a smart DNS, VPN, or proxy to connect to the service once you’ve signed up successfully, as geographical restrictions will still apply.

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