A lot of Internet users find it troublesome to get certain content they are looking for. Most often it happens because of their location.
Fortunately, circumvention tools have been there for a while. They can be either free or commercial. The most popular of them are proxies and VPN.
But why isn't every website or content easily accessible anyway?
Sometimes it's just because of technical problems, such as web server internal issues, low bandwidth or connection stability. However, in most cases an inaccessible recourse means that the user is being restricted for some reason.
Why is it happening? The possible reasons are
- ISP prevents their users from visiting certain websites;
- A website doesn't let in forgein users
- The access is forbidden in the user's local network due to group policy.
The reasons for restricting access vary significantly.
For example, it can even be that an ISP blocks a website because of a court ruling, which was the result of copyright infringement.
Another case is websites keeping away users from foreign countries. And this is especially true for online gaming, video streaming services or social media.
This also might be the result of LAN policy, which is not rare in public institutions or big companies. Even Youtube or some innocent educational websites can be cut off.
How exactly do they restrict you and what can you do about it?
Mostly likely it's the IP address that reveals your location. Additionally it can due to filtering by OS passive fingerprint, UserAgent header, DNS or some other advanced parameters. The IP address is the simplest thing to track though.
Learn more about IP addresses and how they are related to Internet anonymity in this article.
Changing your IP address is enough to bypass most of the restrictions. If this is not, then you need to find another way around. We'll discuss other circumvention techniques later on this article. What's the easiest way to change your IP? The most accessible tools nowadays are proxy servers and VPN.
How does a proxy server work?
A proxy server is like a middle man between your computer and the target website. Actually, it's a piece of software installed on some remote server, that has been designed to forward incoming requests. This means that the target websites won't see the actual client's IP address, but the IP of a proxy server instead.
A proxy can be located in any country. This also means that you need to pick the proxy server location carefully. For example, the full content of Netflix is only available for USA residents. Apparently, you need to have a US IP address to get a piece of that. Another case is online gaming. If you can't connect to a certain game with an IP address of your country, then try to get an IP of a less heavily regulated one.
Pay special attention to the proxy anonymity level. You might be required to have more anonymous proxies for popular and advanced websites, when you need to disguise your foreign origin. In this case we recommend you to opt for residential or mobile proxies. And if you use an HTTP proxy, make sure it doesn't send information about the proxy in its special headers.
Bypassing with VPN
Another popular example is VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network. This technology has been a synonym for censorship circumvention for a long time. And there is a reason for that. It combines the simplicity of use and a high level of data security. Let's find out the difference between VPN and a proxy.
VPN is organized with server-side and client-side software. All outgoing traffic goes through a VPN server, so the Internet can see only the server address. Because one VPN server can be used by many users, only the VPN provider knows who makes what requests and not the websites.
Another great aspect about VPN is full data encryption. All data that goes between a VPN server and a client is safely secured.. Encryption prevents any kind of spying on user data and other kinds of deep package inspection. So not only VPN helps to bypass certain limits, it also disguises data streams from your ISP or anyone else between you and a VPN server.
Other circumvention techniques
Some web resources can still ban you even if you're behind a VPN server. If this is the case for you, then we advise you to tweak some settings of your OS and web browser.
To guarantee access to the websites you want, you need to make sure that certain parameters of your computer meet the requirements of those websites. Here is what we recommend:
- Check whether your region settings such as time zone and language corresponds to your VPN server;
- Tweak the content of UserAgent HTTP header, which transmits information about your operating system and web browser;
- Clear cookies and browser cache;
- Use anonymous browser mode or Tor browser and private search engine such as DuckDuckGo;
All these measures will help you to successfully bypass most of the advanced web restrictions and blocks. However, that's not all you can do about it. Stay tuned for more.