How to Bypass Web Restrictions

This minHour teaches you how to access websites and content that are otherwise blocked in your browser. Since web restrictions can vary heavily depending on the program or method being used, there isn't a guaranteed way to bypass web restrictions; however, you can usually use proxy websites or a portable browser called Tor to circumvent restrictions, and there are even a few minor tricks that you may be able to use on some low-security connections.

General Strategies

Figure out the source of the web restrictions.

Depending on the source of the web restrictions (e.g., a school network versus parental controls), the strength of the web restrictions will vary:

  • Public web restrictions, such as the ones found in coffee shops or on parental-controlled computers, can sometimes be bypassed with most of the general strategies found in this section.
  • Regional web restrictions, such as the ones found on some YouTube content, typically require a proxy or VPN to access.
  • School, government, and other workplace-style web restrictions are usually foolproof enough that you’ll need to employ a proxy or portable browser. You can still try using cellular data to tether your computer, however.

Try visiting an alternative version of a website.

Some web restrictions block specific web addresses (e.g., without blocking variations of the address. You may be able to bypass specific domain blocks by using one of the following variations on the site’s address:

  • IP address – If you can find the website’s IP address, you may be able to enter the IP address in the address bar as a way of circumventing the web restrictions.
  • Mobile site – By placing a m. between the “www.” and the rest of the website’s address (e.g.,, you can open the mobile version of the website. The mobile version often must be blocked separately from the regular version, so some web restrictions miss this exploit.
  • Google Translate – In rare cases, you can go to and enter your website’s address in the left-most box, select a new language for the right-most box, and click the link in the right-most box to open the website in a different language.

Use a cellular data connection

If you have a supported iPhone or Android smartphone, you can use a process called “tethering” to use your phone’s cellular data connection as a Wi-Fi network. This method is relatively guaranteed as long as your computer allows you to select a network.

  • Keep in mind that tethering takes up a significant amount of cellular data, especially if you’re downloading files or streaming video.
  • The linked article references using tethering on a laptop, but the same instructions will work for a desktop computer.

Connect directly to the modem.

If you can attach your computer to the Internet modem via Ethernet, you can bypass most network restrictions. Naturally, you shouldn’t do this if you don’t have permission to access the modem.

  • The modem is usually separate from the router. If your Internet connection uses a router/modem combo, this method most likely won’t work for you.
  • This method is most effective for home Internet connections rather than school, work, or public connections.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

If you’re able to edit your computer’s network connections (e.g., select a Wi-Fi network to connect to), you can most likely set your computer to use a VPN. Keep in mind that you must first select and pay for a VPN service before you can use most VPNs.

  • VPNs can be used on mobile platforms (e.g., smartphones or tablets) as well as on computers.
  • One free VPN option is Hotspot Shield. If you can download and install Hotspot Shield on your selected computer, you can turn it on without having to configure it in your computer’s settings.

Using a Free Proxy

Understand how proxies work.

Proxies are essentially miniature VPNs that apply only to the browser tab in which they’re open. When you enter a request (e.g., a website’s address) in a proxy site’s search bar, the request is routed through several different servers (but not the one on which your normal Internet connection is located) in order to circumvent the current server’s restrictions.

  • The main limitation of proxies is that they can be blocked just like any other website. Additionally, it can be hard to find proxies if the web restrictions block all searches that include the word “proxy” or “proxies”.
  • If you’re unable to use a proxy on your computer, your only remaining alternative is using a portable browser.

Select a proxy service.

Go to any one of the following proxy sites:

  • HideMe –
  • ProxySite –
  • ProxFree –
  • Whoer –
  • Hidester –
  • You may have to try more than one proxy site, as it’s likely that one or more of the above sites are blocked by your web administrator.
  • If none of these proxies work, you may be able to search for a different proxy by typing best online proxy 2018 (or similar) into a search engine.

Click the proxy site’s search bar.

This text box is usually in the middle of the page, though its location will vary depending on your selected proxy service.

  • A proxy site’s search bar functions exactly like a browser’s address bar, though some proxy services don’t have search engines attached to their search bars.

Enter a blocked site’s address.

Type the address of a blocked site (e.g., into the search bar.

  • Make sure that you include the “.com” (or “.org”, etc.) part of the website’s address.

Click the Go button.

This button’s appearance will vary depending on your chosen proxy service (for example, you might click ), but it will usually be below or to the right of the text box.

  • If you’re using the ProxFree proxy, you’ll click the blue PROXFREE button.
  • You can also press your computer’s or key.

Browse your site like usual.

Your site should load like it does when browsing on an unrestricted computer, though it may take longer to load due to the proxy’s server location.

  • Keep in mind that, while proxies hide your traffic from your web administrator, the host of the proxy can see all of the information that you submit. Avoid entering sensitive information while on the proxy’s site.

Using Tor

Make sure that you can use a portable browser on your computer.

In order to use Tor, which is a browser that has a built-in proxy, you’ll need to install it onto a flash drive that you can then plug into the restricted computer. For this to work, there are a couple of other conditions to meet:

  • The restricted computer must have at least one USB port.
  • The restricted computer must allow you to open files from a flash drive.
  • Your portable browser must be installed on the flash drive, not just stored on the flash drive.

Plug a flash drive into an unrestricted computer.

It should plug into one of your computer’s USB ports.

Open the Tor download page.

Go to in your browser.


It’s a purple button in the middle of the page. The Tor setup file will download onto your computer.

  • If you’re prompted to choose a download location, click your flash drive’s name and then skip the next step.

Move the Tor setup file onto your flash drive.

Go to the folder into which the setup file downloaded, then do the following:

  • Click the file to select it.
  • Press (Windows) or (Mac) to copy the file and remove it from its current location.
  • Click your flash drive’s name on the left side of the window.
  • Click a blank space in the flash drive’s window.
  • Press (Windows) or (Mac) to paste the file into your flash drive.

Install Tor on your flash drive.

You’ll do this by selecting your flash drive as the place in which Tor is installed. To do so:

  • Windows – Double-click the Tor EXE file, select a language and click OK, click Browse…, select your flash drive’s name and click OK, click Install, and uncheck both boxes and click Finish when prompted.
  • Mac – Double-click the Tor DMG file, verify the download if necessary, and follow any additional instructions on-screen, making sure to select your flash drive as the location onto which to install Tor.

Eject your flash drive

Once Tor is installed, you can safely remove the flash drive from your computer.

Plug your flash drive into a restricted computer.

This should be the computer on which you want to open a blocked website.

Open Tor.

Go to your flash drive’s folder, double-click the “Tor Browser” folder, and double-click the green-and-purple “Start Tor Browser” icon. You should see the Tor launcher window appear.

Click Connect.

It’s at the bottom of the launcher. After a moment, the Tor window will open.

  • Tor resembles an old version of Firefox.

Go to a blocked site.

Use the text box in the middle of the Tor welcome page to do so. Since Tor opens with a built-in proxy, you should be able to visit any site.

  • The text box in the middle of the page uses a search engine called DuckDuckGo.
  • Keep in mind that site load times will increase due to your browser traffic being routed through different servers.


  • Many schools and work environments employ software which allows monitors to watch what you have on your screen. If this is the case for you, being able to bypass web restrictions won’t matter as you’ll be caught eventually.


  • Network administrators for major companies may take disciplinary action against you if you are caught bypassing network restrictions at your place of work.
  • Bypassing network restrictions at school may be grounds for suspension or even expulsion.

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