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Why Are My Favorite Websites Blocked?
Websites may be blocked for many reasons. It depends who’s blocking them.
Schools and office spaces may block social media or streaming sites. Geo-blocks are imposed to conform with copyright agreements. In other cases, like in China or Russia, official government censorship plays a role. Some companies that offer public Wi-Fi may also restrict access to save costs.
Let’s dig deeper into these four reasons for blocking websites and learn how to gain access safely.
1. Workplace & School Restrictions
Businesses usually block websites because content goes against company policy or employees use these sites to waste time. Do such restrictions increase workplace efficiency? No, but many companies impose them anyway.
Educational institutions filter internet access to protect students from harmful content. Violence, pornography, and/or illegal activities are included in this category. And schools may block social media and streaming sites to keep students from getting distracted.
2. Geographical Restrictions
Geo-restrictions are common for services like YouTube TV, Hulu, and Disney+. These websites are currently only available in the US. So you can’t access them unless you’re physically there. That’s a big bummer if you’re traveling or happen to live anywhere else.
Other platforms, like Netflix or Crunchyroll, restrict access to their full libraries in different regions. These geo-restrictions are the direct result of licensing agreements. And based on your IP address, the streaming service will determine which library to show you.
3. Government Censorship
Dozens of countries around the world block websites to exert political control.
The list of banned websites can get pretty extensive and varies widely - from legitimate journalism and social media outlets to torrenting sites and pornography. Even VPNs get blocked.
Punitive laws almost always back up a government’s internet filtering practices. So if you’re not extra careful when you bypass censorship, you may face serious repercussions.
4. Public Wi-Fi Restrictions
Public Wi-Fi networks can also prevent access to certain websites. Here, the overarching reason is cost-related. Public Wi-Fis have only so much bandwidth that can go around, so they’ll ban data-intensive websites like streaming and gaming.
Streaming channels are regularly blacklisted, but social media platforms follow them closely. Vlogs, reels, and video content are becoming more widespread. File transfer or torrenting sites are also inaccessible over public Wi-Fi for the same reason.
Access Restricted Content with CyberGhost VPN
Sometimes, blocks are fairly easy to bypass, and you simply can use a site’s IP address to access it. You can type 18.104.22.168 in your browser and get to Google’s search engine or 22.214.171.124 for Facebook’s homepage.
But such workarounds taggle along several problems. First, they don’t always work. And second, you’re doing something you’re not supposed to, without any safety precautions. So the consequences can sometimes be serious.
Here’s why CyberGhost VPN is the best and safest way to access blocked websites:
Access Websites on Any Device
Want to find out how to access websites on mobile devices, smart TVs, or gaming consoles? We’ve got you covered. CyberGhost VPN is compatible with all major platforms, including Android and iOS phones and Windows and macOS systems.
Use your CyberGhost VPN subscription on up to 7 different devices simultaneously. If you need more, install it on your router and forget about it - anyone connected to your network can access any website they want. You’ll change your IP address and your friends’ and family’s IPs too.
Global Server Coverage to Access Any Website
CyberGhost’s virtual private network gives you access to 7600 servers in 91 countries across all continents, except Antarctica. Hide your current location to access restricted content. Or change your IP address and region entirely to bypass censorship.
We encrypt your connection with the industry-standard AES-256 cipher. So nobody will ever know what you’re doing. If anyone’s eavesdropping, all they’ll see is jumble.
Our network of servers supports all the major VPN protocols (IKEv2, WireGuard, or OpenVPN). And we’re constantly expanding it to include more regions and servers.
Bandwidth is imperative if you want to access streaming websites using a VPN. Thousands of servers and unlimited device connections are useless if the network doesn’t provide enough bandwidth.
CyberGhost VPN comes with unlimited bandwidth for all Ghosties. And we’re not just saying it. We constantly upgrade the backbones of our network to improve the speed and quality of each connection.
If you experience unusually slow connections, our 24/7 customer support is ready to help figure things out.
Connection speed matters, even if you’re just trying to bypass restrictions on your local network. A slow down to your regular connection is the only downside to using a VPN. In general, you can notice the drop in speed. And it can hinder streaming.
But CyberGhost VPN’s servers are optimized to provide lightning-fast speeds. In the right conditions, our VPN tunnels can reach as much as 1000 Mbps. Our servers can easily handle UHD streaming, even online gaming.
You can try CyberGhost for 45 days risk-free. If you’re not satisfied with your speed, you can get a full refund.
No ISP Interference
In countries that enforce censorship laws, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) play a major role in blocking websites. Internet companies are asked to ban thousands of IP addresses, not just domain names.
But ISPs can also interfere in other ways. They can throttle (limit) your bandwidth during peak usage hours or when you’re accessing certain types of content. Streaming is a bandwidth-intensive activity, so some providers restrict it.
Access any website you want with CyberGhost VPN without being throttled. Your connection is encrypted, so nobody can track your internet activity even if they tried to.
Alternative Ways to Access Websites & Restricted Content
Are there other ways to access websites and restricted content? Yes. But they have major flaws. And, in many cases, they’re not worth the risk you’re taking when using them.
Let’s take a look at the options out there. But, we highly recommend against using any of these.
Free proxies are a popular way to gain access to blocked sites. But proxies don’t protect you against government surveillance, hackers, or snoopers. Unlike VPN tunnels, proxies don’t encrypt your internet connection. Your personal data is only protected within the browser tab or proxy app. Your real information is exposed when using anything else.
VPNs are the exact opposite. They encrypt and reroute all your internet traffic through their own service. CyberGhost VPN protects your entire device. And, if the connection fails, our automatic killswitch cuts off all internet communication. So you don’t risk exposing your personal data.
Tor (The Onion Router) is an open-source service designed to help people stay anonymous and avoid online censorship. It has two components: the Tor browser and the Tor network, which includes more than 6,000 volunteer relays.
Tor is a step up from free proxies, but it’s far from being a reliable solution. Everything you do in the browser is encrypted and re-routed through several nodes. Still Tor has two main problems.
First, Tor has numerous security weaknesses. It’s susceptible to both surveillance agencies and malicious parties. Second, it’s got a really slow network. Tor is a free service, so all you can expect to do is browse the web very slowly. Plus, Tor bounces your data so many times to encrypt it, which just slows you down further.
Like free proxies, Tor doesn’t encrypt your connection beyond your browser. So you can use Tor to access websites, but it’s a major risk.
Smart DNS Services
Smart DNS services route part of your internet traffic, namely DNS (Domain Name Systems) queries, through private servers. It won’t hide your personal information or encrypt your traffic. But a smart DNS will help you access most geo-blocked websites.
Smart DNS services are effective because geo-blocks are usually enforced through the DNS system. They’re faster than proxies and can be used on any internet-capable device. Most VPNs have their own Smart DNS feature.
Use CyberGhost VPN’s Smart DNS service to access streaming like Netflix’s full library on gaming consoles.
The fastest, most secure way to access blocked websites is to use a good VPN. Workarounds like proxy services, Tor, or Smart DNS services are effective, to a certain extent. But they all have major flaws. None of them fully protect you.
Free VPNs are also popular for accessing any website. But we strongly advise against them. You’re not guaranteed good service quality or personal data protection. Many free VPNs also hijack your bandwidth and use it for their purposes.
Of course. You can use free proxies, VPN services, and other workarounds. You’ll just have to come to terms with the fact that you’ll get caught, odds are...you will.
You can also forget about privacy and security. Your personal information is often sold to various third parties. So one way or the other, you’re paying a price.
Paid VPNs, like CyberGhost VPN, usually come with a money-back guarantee. So you can try them out and ask for a refund if you’re not satisfied.
Yes. With CyberGhost VPN, you can access any website you want, whenever, and on any device. Plus, you’ll protect your personal information and your traffic is fully encrypted.
With CyberGhost VPN, you’ll also be able to save money when you shop online. Anything from hotel rooms to car rentals, flights, streaming services, and more can be cheaper if you know how to use your VPN.
Websites can be blocked for a number of reasons.
Schools and businesses have policies banning websites. Licensing agreements often mean streaming services are unavailable in certain areas. If a website is blocked over a public Wi-Fi network, it’s probably due to bandwidth management.
In other cases, websites get blocked by governments under censorship programs. If you’re looking to safely bypass censorship, CyberGhost VPN has a fleet of highly secure NoSpy servers.
Yes. But it’s not the safest method. Tor has numerous vulnerabilities. In the past, cybercriminals and surveillance agencies took advantage of its weaknesses.
You can use Tor over VPN for an extra layer of protection. So first enable your VPN and then use the Tor network. There’s also VPN over Tor, where you first connect to the Tor network, and then try to route your traffic through the VPN network.
But unless you don’t trust your VPN (which means you should probably switch to a better one), this isn’t necessary. Not to mention that it’s difficult to set up. VPN over Tor isn’t possible with many VPN services.
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