How to Unblock Websites

Written by Web Hosting Expert

Reviewed by Technical Editor

Updated February 26, 2024
How to Unblock Websites

Content censorship is a big deal in today's world. Despite improvements over time, a staggering 80% of global online content still faces some level of censorship.

Particularly affected are regions like Iran, where intense censorship impacts 60% of its citizens, with a notable focus on politically sensitive websites.

Let's explore effective strategies to bypass these restrictions and freely censored web content.

Why Am I Being Blocked From a Website?

We’ll quickly review the top reasons you can be blocked from accessing a website:

Government Blocks

  • Governments block content deemed a threat to national security.

  • Blocked usually content includes copyright violations, anti-government political views, criticism of the government or military, etc.

  • Over 60% of internet users live in countries with such censorship.

Website Legally blocked by government

Internal Blocks

Workplaces and educational institutions block websites they deem distracting to maintain focus on work or studies, typically based on URLs.

Internally blocked

Internet Service Provider Blocks

Internet Service Providers sometimes block websites to protect user experience or their interests, with blocks varying by region and being generally easier to bypass.

Some ISPs in countries like Mexico and Brazil block certain VoIP services, while in Belize, the ISPs offer their own and block all other VoIP services.

Website Blocked by Internet service provider


Websites, particularly streaming platforms, limit access to content based on the user's geographic location according to relevant regional content distribution laws.


Personal Bans

Users can be banned from websites like Twitch, Omegle, and Twitter for violating terms of service or promoting criminal activities.

Personal ban

Age-Restricted Content

Platforms like YouTube restrict access to certain content for users under 18 or for those not logged in.

Age-restricted content

Spam Content

Social media moderators block or restrict users posting spam content on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube.

Spam content

Is It Legal to Unblock Sites?

The legality of unblocking a website varies by country and method used.

Generally, bypassing a website's block may breach its terms of use, which could cause trouble but isn't always illegal.

However, laws differ by country. So, to be sure, let’s take a look at the specifics.

Virtual Private Network(VPN)

VPNs are legal in many countries. However, some banned the use of VPNs:

  • China
  • Russia
  • Belarus
  • Uganda
  • Iraq
  • Turkey
  • UAE


Torrenting copyrighted media is always illegal, whether or not you use a VPN. Some of the countries that have banned or shut down torrenting sites in the past include:

  • Germany
  • Japan
  • UK
  • Finland
  • France
  • UAE
  • Portugal
  • Italy
  • China
  • Malaysia
  • US
  • Russia
  • Latvia
  • Australia

Bypassing content restrictions on platforms like HBO GO or Netflix to watch certain shows usually isn't illegal, but it can violate their terms of service.

Ultimately, the legality of bypassing content restrictions and unblocking websites depends on your location and the method you use to achieve your goal.



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How to Access Blocked Websites

Browser Extension

You can access blocked sites using browser extensions like UltraSurf, ProxMate, Hola.

Simply add them to your browser without any download or installation. Choose from various free and safe options that protect your online presence and won't slow down your other apps.

Anonymous Browsers

You can also use a free anonymous browser like Tor to hide your online identity and unblock websites. It reroutes traffic through numerous volunteer-run relays.

To use Tor browser, download and connect to its network. Some countries block Tor, but you can bypass this by downloading Tor through its network.

Virtual Private Networks

VPNs — set to be worth over $31 billion — are a popular method for unblocking websites and bypassing content restrictions.

VPNs work by rerouting and encrypting your internet traffic through the provider’s VPN server. This process hides your identity and location enabling you to bypass restrictions.

Major VPN providers include ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, IPVanish, and NordVPN.

VPNs also vary in server numbers and performance:

Free VPNs

Offer limited features to promote full-paid services.

Suitable for basic, personal use, especially for beginners.

Adequate for non-sensitive activities (not recommended for banking, etc.).

Paid VPNs

Provide advanced security, speed, and features.

Ideal for both personal and business needs.

Generally affordable with longer-term plans.

Worthwhile investment for comprehensive online protection.


Consider a web proxy to quickly unblock content on a public or work/school computer where you can't install a VPN or Tor.

  • Process: Connect to a proxy server via a proxy website, enter the desired website's URL, and access it.

  • Conceals your actual location.

  • Requires visiting the proxy website each time for different sites.

  • Typically free but less private and secure than VPNs or Tor.

  • Limited server options compared to VPNs.

  • Examples include HMA, KProxy, Zyte, GeoSurf.

URL Shortener

URL shorteners like, TinyURL or Bitly can unblock websites on basic school or work networks.

They shorten the website's URL, allowing access through the abbreviated link.

This method is quick and easy, with free tools that don't require downloads. Keep in mind, however, it offers no security and may not always work.

Different DNS

Changing your ISP's DNS settings, like switching to Google Public DNS, might let you access a blocked website.

To change your DNS to Google Public DNS,

  • Right-click the network icon on the taskbar

  • Select Open Network and Sharing

  • Double-click your network

  • Then modify the DNS settings for IPv4 in the dialog box that appears."

Wayback Machine

If you want to access a website that is no longer available in your region or has been deleted, you can use the Wayback Machine.

This internet archive stores various versions of websites, allowing access to videos, audio, images, and more that are otherwise unavailable.

One-Time Ways to Unblock Websites

These methods are for one-time unblocking of sites; they work for one site at a time and must be repeated each time you want to unblock a different website:

HTTP to HTTPS Switch.

  • Try switching from HTTP to HTTPS (or vice versa) to bypass simple network blocks.
  • Example: If is blocked, try
  • Free and easy, no download/installation required.
  • Not always effective; HTTP is less secure.

Using Cached Pages

  • Access blocked websites through their cached versions on search engines like Google.
  • Enter "cache:" before the website address in Google.
  • Select 'Cached' using the down arrow to view the cached version.
  • This method might circumvent content blocks.
One-Time Ways to Unblock Websites

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Using IP Addresses Instead of URL

Suppose a website is blocked, you can access it using its IP address, as only the URL might be hidden.

Find the IP with a free PING tool like WebSitePulse or Command Prompt. Keep in mind, however, that this method won't work if the IP address is also blocked.

Personal Security and Privacy in Bypassing Censorship

To safely bypass internet censorship, be aware of legal and cybersecurity risks.

Use secure, reputable tools like VPNs, web proxies, or Tor, preferably paid services over free ones for better security.

Always keep your VPN and browser software up to date to avoid vulnerabilities.

You should also be careful of phishing sites and harmful links to protect your personal info when accessing content.

It's crucial to keep your accounts secure, particularly when handling sensitive information.

Change your passwords often, making sure they're robust and distinct.

And be sure to stay updated on your country's laws about using tools to bypass censorship, as these can differ widely.

Censorship in the Age of AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing many aspects of our lives, including how censorship is implemented and encountered.

Here's a look at key aspects of this evolving landscape:

  • Automated Content Moderation: AI algorithms are increasingly used for real-time content moderation, automatically filtering and blocking content based on predefined criteria.

  • Sophistication in Surveillance: AI enhances the ability of governments and organizations to surveil online activities, leading to more efficient and often invasive censorship practices.

  • Bias and Error in AI Systems: AI-driven censorship tools can inherit biases from their training data, leading to unfair or erroneous blocking of content.

  • Resistance through AI: Activists and tech developers use AI to create counter-tools that detect censorship patterns or automatically adjust content to evade filters.

  • Deepfakes and Misinformation: AI-generated deepfakes and misinformation present new challenges for content moderation without infringing on free speech.

  • Transparency and Accountability Issues: There's a growing need for transparency in how AI tools are used for censorship to ensure accountability and fair use.



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All-in-all, there are ways to unblock websites you want to access.

Options like VPNs are secure and legal in most countries, while others are less secure but free and quick.

Choose the best method for your needs, weighing paid, safer options against free but riskier ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will HTTPS affect my site performance?

Yes. SSL impacts the site performance since it takes extra round trips to establish a secure connection. But, the increased level of security is worth the wait of a few milliseconds.

How HTTPS is important?

HTTPS is important because It protects customer and communication information. Businesses that use HTTPS can also be verified, since HTTPS works to legitimize any site.

Will an SSL certificate be included in both shared and WordPress hosting?

Yes, you’ll have access to a free SSL certificate on all hosting packages at Verpex.

Why should I get an SSL certificate?

You need an SSL certificate to convey trust to users, prevent attackers, verify ownership of your website, and keep your user data secure.

What is the error code for a blocked user?

The 403 Forbidden error. It means the server understands your request but won't allow it.

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