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5 Ways to Safely Bypass Internet Censorship

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5 Ways to Safely Bypass Internet Censorship

64% of internet users around the world worry about government censorship, according to Statistia. In Mexico, nearly the entire population – or 87% of the people who live there – are displeased with censorship practices. Fortunately, internet users can bypass access restrictions when attempting to find news and other relevant online information.

Typically, government officials censor online information to promote their political agenda. However, there are tools that internet users can use to access information and protect their privacy.

The following five tactics can help you bypass internet censorship.


5 Ways to Safely Bypass Internet Censorship 


1. Avoid Censorship With a VPN

The safest way to bypass internet censorship is to use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN also encrypts your data and protects your anonymity. It's essential to make sure that you use a reliable, paid VPN service, however, rather than a free one that will sell your information.

2. Use a Proxy Server

Governments and private network administrators can restrict access to specific websites, such as YouTube, Facebook and even Gmail. You can use a proxy server to work around this – although this method is not as safe as using a VPN. A proxy server will disguise a blocked site from your internet service provider (ISP), allowing you to access censored content.

3. Enter the IP Address Instead of the URL

Sometimes, censors will bar a web address, but fail to block the Internet Protocol (IP) address. In this instance, you can enter the IP address to access the website.

To find an IP address on your Windows 10 PC or laptop, for instance, run Windows Command Shell. You can find it by opening the start menu and right clicking on the Windows logo.

A single MS-DOS screen will open. Type “ping” in the URL. Your query should look like this:

ping google.com

The command prompt will then give you the IP address. That should look like this:

172.217.7.238

Now, enter the IP address into your browser to see if you can visit the website.

Note: Websites are transitioning to a new protocol, so you may see a result like this:

2607:f8b0:4004:802::200e

This protocol will not work with a browser. If you see this, do a WHOIS lookup instead using a site like whois.domaintools.com. There, you’ll find the correct format to paste into your browser.

4. Use an Anonymized Browser

Autonomous browsers such as TOR are popular among privacy advocates. You should exercise caution when using them, however.

TOR is easy to install, but it takes a little more expertise to set it up correctly. If you don’t do it right, authorities can track your identity. Combine this with a VPN service, and you can access any website in the world – despite censorship – and are nearly untraceable.

5. Switch to an Uncensored DNS Server

In some countries, the government controls the Domain Name System (DNS). In this instance, officials can manipulate the registry that tells the region's computers how to resolve a domain name or URL.

You can circumvent this by setting your device to use another DNS server. Google Public DNS, Quad9 and Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 can help you find a DNS that will resolve domain names correctly. Each site offers tutorials on how to use their DNS resource.

It was not what I wanted to do I just spent five cents for an

Governments want more control over the internet. Simultaneously, consumers want more freedom. The more that governments censor the internet, the more citizens push back.

What’s especially concerning, however, is that private enterprises are joining governments in censoring online information. In the United States, for instance, the government has repealed net neutrality protections and, private enterprises can now limit traffic to their competitors.

Businesses can also block content from a specific region. For instance, some enterprises have chosen to block access to content from the European Union, rather than comply with new internet privacy regulations. Nevertheless, you can exercise your right to information by using a few advanced tools.


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