“This content is not available in your country.”
If you are reading this article, it is probably because you have encountered a dreadful censorship message similar to the one above. The prospect of limited access to a website is generally enough to stir the indignation of most Internet users. Whether it is due to licensing matters, security measures, or the tyrannical power exercised by an authoritarian government; Internet censorship is real and here to stay.
Luckily for you, there are many ways you can fool these technologies and avoid encountering these restriction messages during your next travel. In the following article, we will go through 4 of the more straightforward methods and uncover some of their limitations.
How to Safely Access Blocked Content
- Use a specialized browser.
- Use proxy sites.
- Use alternative DNS servers.
- Use a virtual private network.
There are many specialized browsers available online that help users access blocked websites. For example, Tor is an open-source browser that relays received traffic to volunteer servers all across the globe.
The main purpose of this technology is to wipe digital footprints altogether. The promise of complete anonymity attracts many malicious players. Specialized browsers are often attributed to activities surrounding the dark web.
Proxy websites are another option for safely accessing blocked websites. These websites are similar to search engines. They allow you to search for the website you are trying to access and act as a middleman. This middleman will redirect your connection through one of their servers and thus allow you to mask your IP’s location. Basically, the proxy will access the blocked content for you instead of you directly trying to access it.
The one limitation of this method is that your connection is not encrypted end-to-end. While the connection is secure on the receiving end, the sending end is still vulnerable to interception. Simply put, the website you are visiting won’t be able to access your information. However, if someone is to monitor your activities, they can intercept the sending end.
Alternative DNS Servers
The third method requires a bit of tech-savvy expertise, and it involves changing your DNS server. When accessing an URL, the DNS server acts as a translator from domain to numeric IP addresses. In most cases, your Internet service will have a default server. Hence, many of us can go without ever needing to know what this acronym stands for.
Knowing how to modify it, however, comes in very handy. Particularly, in cases where your destination has government-controlled DNS servers, this method can be used to safely access preferred content.
Many use publicly-available DNS servers to generate IP addresses that are outside of their locations. For example, Google Public DNS allows you to reconfigure your default server. The process is a bit involved, but it is one of the best ways to still access your favorite websites and social media when traveling to strict censorship and heavily monitored countries.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Setting up a virtual private network (VPN) is truly the easiest and most reliable way to safely find content from anywhere in the world. This multi-purpose technology is most often used for the purpose of securing and encrypting your internet traffic. However, what many don’t realize is that it can also direct your traffic through to specific locations.
When traveling, you can use PrivadoVPN to set up the VPN server in your home country (or any country where our servers are located). Doing so, every time you connect to PrivadoVPN, your internet activities trace back to your chosen VPN server location.
On top of masking your activities behind a different location, a VPN also allows masking of your activities behind a different machine. This means that this solution provides true end-to-end anonymity from the government, your preferred platform, and even your Internet Service Provider.
Traveling is already unpredictable enough as it is. As seen in this article, your online activities while traveling do not have to be. There are multiple methods available for you to safely access your favorite content from anywhere in the world. Download PrivadoVPN today to learn more.
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