- Due to various reasons, including but not limited to politics and social factors, certain websites might become unavailable to specific regions or taken down altogether.
- Using a VPN is one of the most popular choices when it comes to unblocking geo-restricted websites and accessing them from anywhere in the world.
- Check out our best VPNs that can help you unblock websites easily.
- Visit our Unblocking Hub to discover more guides on using VPNs to unblock specific services.
In this article
Initially, VPNs were designed to be used for online privacy and connection security purposes. So that every time you went online while using a VPN, nobody, including your ISP, hackers, or government agencies, could know your virtual whereabouts.
A VPN is basically a private connection between you and the world wide web. It encompasses a wide variety of security protocols and lets you access a private connection remotely.
Thus, all your traffic sticks to the private network, even though you’ve reached it through a public connection.
Imagine your Internet connection as a glass tube, where information roams freely between you and the destination servers. Using a VPN is like running a smaller, opaque tube within the large one, and routing your traffic strictly through there.
We say smaller because traffic might be a bit slowed down due to encryption and the distance between you and the private server you connect to.
But let’s get back to our sheep. You’re here to learn about blocked websites and what you can do about them.
Why are some sites blocked?
Due to various reasons, including but not limited to politics and social factors, certain websites might become unavailable to specific regions or taken down altogether.
The latter scenario usually means game over. If a website got taken down, there’s nothing much you can do to access it any longer, besides checking for a cached version of it online, maybe.
However, if the site is blocked to specific regions, this limitation can be easily circumvented. We refer to this situation as geoblocking since that’s exactly what it is. Restricting website access based on geographical criteria.
Some examples include the US version of Netflix, CBC, Hulu, and HBO GO. However, most of these entertainment platforms aren’t blocked because of political-social factors, but because of economic purposes.
How to access blocked websites?
1. Use a VPN service
- Download Private Internet Access
- Install it on your computer
- Launch it and log into your PIA account
- Connect to an appropriate server (*)
(*) – if you want to access a service that’s restricted outside of a specific country (for instance USA), you should connect to a server located in that country (USA).
Private Internet Access
Want to access blocked websites? PIA can help.
2. Use a Smart DNS service
Using a Smart DNS service might prove to be more effective than using a VPN most of the time. Smart DNS services lack encryption, so it shouldn’t slow down your connection even one bit.
However, you should understand that using a Smart DNS service also exposes your connection to whoever might feel like listening on it.
Long story short, your public IP address is still the same, so your identity should stay the same. The only thing that a Smart DNS service modifies is, as its name clearly indicates, your DNS address.
It then routes all of your traffic through its private servers, tricking websites into believing that you’re accessing them from somewhere else.
Naturally, you have to make the right choice when choosing a server (e.g. select a USA server if you want to access a US-only website).
3. Use a proxy server
The good thing about proxy servers is that you can find a lot of free ones online. The downside is that you’re likely not the only one to use them, so you’ll have to share the same server with several other users.
This might lead to bandwidth throttling, which means that your connection will be terribly slow.
There’s also minimal protection, so you won’t benefit from the same level of security that a trustworthy VPN service would offer you.
Can VPN access blocked sites?
To put it shortly, yes, you’ll be glad to know that even cheap VPNs should unblock websites easily. If a website is geoblocked, the only way you could possibly access it is by re-locating to the region where that website is unblocked. Right?
Yes, and no. You could try the suggestion above, but if you’re not willing to travel hundreds or thousands of miles just to access a website, you can try fooling the location detection system.
One quick way to do that is by using a trustworthy VPN service. What a VPN does is it hides your IP and parameters that could single you out from a crowd: DNS, geo-location, geographical coordinates, ISP, and many others.
After connecting to a private VPN server, all your requests’ origin point will be seen as that very server.
Since you’re basically accessing the website using another virtual identity, the blocking system will take the location of the server into consideration instead of your real one.
However, in order for this to work, you must select an appropriate server location. For instance, if you’re trying to watch US Netflix, you’ll need to connect to a US server. Makes sense, doesn’t’ it?
So, if you’re still wondering whether a VPN can access blocked sites or not, we’ll say it again. Yes, you can access blocked websites using a VPN.
What VPN is the best to access blocked websites?
Private Internet Access is an excellent VPN service from Kape Technologies that can help you unblock geo-restricted websites as easy as pie. You merely have to connect to a corresponding server (see explanation above) and that’s it.
But aside from lifting the boundaries of your Internet connection, a trustworthy VPN such as PIA is also able to keep your online identity completely anonymous.
Additionally, it encrypts your traffic, so even if someone manages to single you out in a sea of anonymous users and sniff your traffic, it will be all for nothing.
VPNs can easily access blocked sites
To wrap it up, you can safely use VPNs to access block websites, but you should be aware that there are other ways to unblock geo-restricted content such as Smart DNS or proxy servers.
A VPN, however, will do much more than just circumvent geoblocking, including safekeeping your online privacy, boosting the security of your connection, curbing packet loss, and even improving ping while you’re playing games or streaming media.
FAQ: Learn more about accessing blocked websites with VPN
- How to access blocked websites in Chrome?
Regardless of the web browser, you can use a VPN to unblock geo-restricted websites. Thus, after connecting to an appropriate VPN server, you’ll be able to access blocked websites not only in Chrome but also in other browsers.
- How to open blocked sites without proxy or VPN?
Try finding a trustworthy Smart DNS service. This type of tool will assign you a new DNS address, which will trick the website into believing that you’re accessing it from a different location.
- Can my ISP block access to a website?
Certainly so, your ISP can restrict you from accessing a website. But it’s no different than applying geo-restrictions. Not by much, anyway. Thus, using a VPN, Smart DNS, or proxy can easily circumvent ISP website restrictions.