- ISPs have long been known for controversial affairs such as throttling and even handing over your personal data for commercial purposes.
- If you suspect your ISP has blocked your access to specific websites, don't just settle for it - have a go at the solutions below.
- Check out more handy fixes on our VPN Troubleshooting Hub.
- Explore our Unblocking Guides to get all the barriers out of your way and enjoy a truly liberated web experience.
Internet Service Providers are hardly ethical and a lot of controversies showed that they block certain sites, throttle bandwidth speeds, and even strip your personal data to distribute it for commercial purposes.
We all know what they can do, but how to avoid that while holding the line proposed by the license agreement? Today, we decided to show you how to unblock the forbidden sites that your ISP condemned as unfitting.
There are various ways to avoid various limitations. We made sure to post them all below so make sure to check them out.
How to unblock websites blocked by my ISP?
- Use VPN
- Use IP address instead of URL
- Try free and anonymous proxy browsers
- Use specific browsers
- Change DNS
1. Use VPN
The best solution is a premium VPN service. As we said, they come at a price. But, if you hold high your privacy, want unthrottled bandwidth speeds without Geo or ISP restrictions, this is the tool you should check-up.
There’s an abundance of VPN solutions on the market, and it’s hard to choose the one which crosses all the boxes. On the other hand, it needs to meet your requirements.
By cleverly bypassing ISP throttling, government infringements, and basically any type of restriction, you will be pleased to discover that censorship is a thing of the past.
PIA allows you to enjoy a truly liberated web experience whenever and wherever you are. Its massive worldwide network covers 46 countries and you can choose from an impressive 3292 + servers array.
You are guaranteed complete anonymity while browsing or streaming content online thanks to the IP cloaking feature which prevents your identity from ever being exposed and your location from ever being compromised.
Plus, PIA adheres to a strict no-logs policy which means that nobody – and we do mean nobody (not the government, not your ISP, not even them) – can track or monitor your traffic data, browsing history or online activities.
Let’s quickly look at its key features:
- Private IP address allocation for anonymous browsing
- Unblock streaming and geo-restricted content worldwide and bypass censorship
- Ultra-fast highest speeds and unlimited bandwidth to eliminate buffering or slow loading times
- Secure protection on public Wi-Fi
- Compatible with all major operating systems
- No-logs policy for complete privacy
- Easy to use UI (1 click or tap connection)
- Secure VPN Protocols (Wireguard, PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSec)
- Protects up to 10 devices simultaneously
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Private Internet Access
Team up with barriers-shattering PIA and forget all about ISP throttling and online censorship.
2. Use IP address instead of URL
Most ISPs will block a certain domain associated with a certain URL. For example, there are many proxy variations of Pirate Bay and certain ISPs block every single one of them.
However, this strict approach tackles only URLs, not IP addresses. As you might already know, you can access a domain without a URL. At least, if you have a proper IP address of the domain/website at hand.
Now, there are multiple ways to find out the exact IP address, the majority of them online. However, instead of that, you can rely on your system resources and utilize Command Prompt to find the exact IP address of the following URL.
Here’s how to do it:
- In the Windows Search bar, type cmd and run Command Prompt as administrator.
- In the command line type tracert + the URL (without http://www.) and press Enter.
- You should see the IP address which resembles the URL.
- Copy-paste it in the browser’s Address bar and press Enter.
3. Try free and anonymous proxy search engines
Another option is to use a third-party site to hide your IP address. This, at first sight, looks like an unsafe way to handle IP masquerading.
Also, it does slow down your connection substantially. But it really isn’t that bad. It’s, kind of, in the same category as most of the online-based solutions. It masks your IP address and allows you to, at least in theory, circumvent the ISP-imposed blockage.
Here are some sites you can use to avoid these limitations. Just search through it, and you should be able to access it.
4. Use specific browsers and extensions
Now, there are browsers with built-in features which can be a solution on their own. For example, Opera offers a built-in VPN which isn’t exactly fast but can let you through the ISP’s firewall.
If you want to take it to another level, Tor Onion Browser is the embodiment of encryption and privacy in the browser market.
It’s also free of charge and the result of open-source programming so you won’t need to fear of DNS leaks and similar infringements.
An alternative, if you’re fond of other browsers like Chrome or Mozilla, lies in proxy-like VPN extensions. They seem and look like a common VPN solution but that’s not the case as they cover only one browser.
VPNs, in their true sense, cover every connection-dependent application including all browsers.
But, nonetheless, they can come in handy. If you need just to get from a point A to a point B, they’ll probably suffice. We enlisted some of the best VPN extensions for Chrome and Mozilla, so make sure to check them out.
5. Change DNS
The most simple step to circumvent the limitations imposed by ISP lies in the DNS settings. Namely, these settings are, by default, automatically administered by the ISP.
This allows ISP to gather the traffic details and, consequently, prohibit the access to various sites, especially the ones associated with pirating.
Now, instead of using a singled out DNS, you can use a public DNS, like Google, and avoid the imposed limitations that way. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and many ISPs have a way to stop workaround like this.
Either way, it’s worth a shot and here’s how to do it with a few simple steps:
- Right-click on the Connection icon placed on Taskbar and open Network & Internet settings.
- Click on the Change adapter options.
- Right-click on your default connection adapter and open Properties.
- Highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.
- Mark Use the following DNS server addresses.
- Under the Preferred DNS server, insert 188.8.131.52.
- Under the Alternate DNS server, insert 184.108.40.206.
- Confirm changes and close Adapter settings.
With that, we can conclude this article.
We certainly hope this was a helpful read and don’t forget to post your questions or suggestions in the comments section below.
FAQ: Learn more about ISP blocking websites
- Can isps block websites?
Indeed ISPs are known to inflict clampdowns on users through throttling. The most common techniques used by network admins on the ISPs side are port and IP address blocking.
- How to hide browser history from ISP?
A well-balanced, fully-scaled VPN tool should suffice to hide your online activities including your browser history from your ISP. Check out this quick guide for more handy solutions.
- Site blocked at home but not elswhere?
This scenario is possible on government infringement grounds or other kinds of censorship. Get all the details and workarounds from this step-by-step guide.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.