Internet censorship is a form of restriction in which a government, institution or internet service provider blocks internet users from accessing some sites on the open web. Censorship can block an entire website, some web pages, or content based on the keywords that it contains.
There however are tools that you can use to beat censorship. Some of these tools will protect you from surveillance, others will not. Let’s look at the process of censorship and then navigate through the best internet censorship circumvention tools.
How does internet censorship happen?
Internet censorship is aided by surveillance.
Here is a simple explanation of how you are denied access. Censorship administrators rely on surveillance to see where you are going with your internet search. If your search falls under the ‘unacceptable’ category, then your activity is blocked.
6 ways to bypass internet censorship
Use a virtual private network (VPN)
This is one of the best ways to beat censorship. By connecting to a VPN, all your internet traffic is redirected to the VPN’s server of choice. Let’s say, for instance, you are connected to a server in Ireland, all your traffic will emerge as if you are browsing the internet from Ireland and not your real geographical location.
All incoming traffic will also be sent through the server in Ireland and then channeled to you. This virtual relocation is easy with a great VPN for Pakistan IP. It masks your real IP address and allows you to access content blocked within your geographical region.
Setting up a custom DNS server
To implement filtering, some internet service providers change their DNS servers to redirect requests to access blocked web pages, to another website.
You can circumvent this restriction by setting up a custom DNS server on your computer. The customized DNS server will bypass the default DNS address set up by the institution in charge of the network. This may not work as effectively as a VPN, but it is worth trying.
You can try out the different varieties of DNS services from OpenDNS and Google.
Use Google translate
Using Google translate is a non-technical way of getting around content restrictions. While on the Google translate homepage, paste the URL of the blocked site on the box that appears on the left side. Next, click on the hyperlink on the box that’s on the right side.
The secret here is in changing the source language into a different language even if it is not in that language. It will not work if the source and output languages are in the same. Put something like French to English.
Kindly note that this hack allows you to access restricted content but does not protect your privacy.
Use the Tor browser
You can also browse anonymously using the tor browser. Short for the onion router, Tor routes a user’s web browsing activity over an encrypted network before channelling it to the intended endpoint. This routing beats censorship and allows you to access even blocked content over any internet connection.
Your internet service provider may block you from accessing the Tor browser download though you can still circumvent this using a VPN. It is advisable to use the tor browser side by side with a VPN; this offers an additional layer of security and helps you beat bandwidth throttling.
Use the site’s IP address
Many censorship programs block domain names, keywords and URLs. The good news is that you can still access these web pages if you know their underlying IP addresses. By simply entering this address directly into a browser, you will be able to view the content on the blocked site.
Again, note that using a site’s IP address only helps you circumvent restrictions and not surveillance.
Use a proxy server
Like DNS servers, proxy servers are not a match to VPNs although they can help you get around content filtering at the workplace. There are a variety of web-based proxies for anonymous browsing. Most of these do not require any changes to your device’s settings.
You can customize your browser settings, to only use a proxy server on the blocked websites. Please note that some browsers do not allow the use of proxies.
The best tool to circumvent internet censorship depends on your security and privacy plans. Our most preferred method is using a virtual private network. This is the only tool that enables you to beat censorship and surveillance. You can, therefore, rest assured that your online identity is anonymous and secure.
While the other tools may allow you to beat the restrictions, the organization or government authority in charge of censorship may still notice that you are using the circumvention tool.