How to Get Past Wi-Fi Blocked Sites
By Elizabeth Smith
Updated September 13, 2017
It is common for offices and schools to engineer their Wi-Fi networks to prevent access to specific websites for either ethical or other reasons. If your workplace or school does this and you simply must access these blocked websites, there are a few different options for getting past Wi-Fi blocked sites. These include proxies, VPNs, and other tools.
Considering the Ramifications
Before you try to bypass a blocked website on your favorite Wi-Fi network, it is important to understand the potential consequences. Many schools and libraries enact restrictions as part of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). If you are caught using blocked websites, you may open yourself up to legal issues. In corporations, Wi-Fi restrictions are usually in place to ensure productivity and to prevent users from accidentally downloading viruses or malware that could cause network-wide damage. Many companies will fire or otherwise discipline employees who bypass the Wi-Fi block. Some employees may even get sued if a breach results from bypassing the Wi-Fi block on the company's network. Check your company's internet use policy to learn about the ramifications of bypassing existing filters.
Using a Proxy
A proxy encrypts your Web traffic, enabling you to hide your location and your IP address as you are browsing the internet. When you access the internet using a proxy, you are able to browse websites that are blocked by your Wi-Fi network. To do so, simply visit the proxy site and enter the URL of the website you want to visit. Thousands of proxies exist on the internet, including WebProxy.net, NewIPNow.com and UnblockYouTube.co.uk. Keep in mind that many networks have blocked a number of proxy websites, so you may need to try multiple sites before you find one that works.
Logging In to a VPN
A virtual private network is a type of proxy that is commonly used by companies and individuals to increase data security on the internet. When you connect to a VPN, your information is automatically encrypted, making it safe to transmit sensitive information on a public Wi-Fi network. A VPN is a particularly useful way to bypass blocked sites when you are traveling in countries like China and the United Arab Emirates, which have governmental internet restrictions in place. Check with your company's IT department to find out how to log in to your corporate VPN. Or set up your own VPN on your home network for personal internet use. If you're using a mobile device, you can download a VPN app.
Downloading Anonymous Tools
If you are using your own computer to access a Wi-Fi network with blocked sites, you can download tools that are designed for anonymous internet use. Products like Privoxy, Hotspot Shield and Tor encrypt all of your Web traffic, so you don't need to worry about returning to the proxy site each time you want to visit a new website. Some software tools, like Ultrasurf, can be downloaded onto an SD card or a USB drive so you can use them on any computer.
Opera Web Browser
Opera Web Browser has a built-in VPN feature which allows users to get past Wi-Fi blocked sites without downloading any additional tools. The Opera VPN feature can be enabled by downloading and installing Opera, then opening “Settings” within the browser. From there, select the “Privacy and Security” tab followed by clicking “Enable VPN.” Blocked websites should load after enabling the VPN feature.
Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.