If you're like most of us, you enjoy surfing the web at work. Sure, company time and all, but really, who works constantly for eight hours in a row? If you've been doing this for any amount of time, you'd know that employers restrict their internet networks to only sites you need to do your job. For obvious reasons, they don't want their employees surfing the web on their dime. If your employer isn’t behind it, the content you’re trying to access might be geo-restricted. This means that the content owner has reserved it for use in a specific region, say Asia. Trying to access it from other parts of the globe would mean facing the mocking “connection was lost” message.
Whatever the case may be, we’ll be showing you how to access blocked sites at the workplace and finally browse Reddit after mind-numbing hours at work.
Method 1: Use a proxy provider.
A proxy can hide your IP address from websites you visit and make it look like you’re surfing from a different country entirely.
When you access a website without a proxy, a web request is sent from your computer to the server of the website you’re trying to visit. From this, the server can find out what your IP address is and link your browsing activities to it.
When you use a proxy, the proxy service acts as a middleman. Your web requests are sent to the proxy, which then forwards it to the server. This prevents the server from seeing your actual IP address. Instead, it'll think your proxy's IP address is yours. This is a much better solution since your proxy's IP address can be changed easily, while your real IP address is much harder to change.
This process repeats itself when you get a response from the server, allowing you to browse the web freely without worrying about anyone looking at your browsing activity.
If you’re in the market for a proxy provider, we suggest you look at Smartproxy. It offers all of the benefits of a proxy we've just described and lets you pose as if you're browsing from over 195 countries.
Method 2: Use a Chrome extension.
Sometimes, Chrome might be the reason you're running into issues when you browse the web. The IT department at work might have been configured to prevent you from accessing a list of websites. To rectify this problem, simply enter the web address of the site you want to visit and click on the padlock on the left-hand side of the search bar. Look for site settings and change the blocked status. Voila, Facebook is now accessible.
Method 3: Use a VPN.
VPN’s do all of the same things proxies do, except they encrypt your web traffic at the same time. You get access to a VPN server that is not blocked by your workplace, so you can browse any website you'd like.
However, if you want a high-quality browsing experience, you’ll have to opt for a paid VPN. There’s no shortage of free alternatives out there, but instead of paying in cash, you pay with your privacy and security. Free VPNs are practically synonymous with viruses and data leaks, with some even questioning if they protect your browsing activity or record it for their own purposes.
Trust us; you don't want to risk it, especially when browsing the web on a work computer that holds sensitive information. Pay the premium now and enjoy the benefits that come with a good VPN, like fast web browsing without any restrictions.
Method 4: Use Tor.
This is likely overkill for regular web browsing, but if you’re passionate about keeping your tracks covered, it’s the one to go for. Tor routes all your web traffic through the Tor network, a three-layer proxy that connects randomly to publicly listed entry nodes and bounces your traffic all over the place.
Once you connect to the internet through Tor, all identifiable information in your web traffic is removed. Your web request is then sent through the Tor network, where it bounces between relay nodes. This process encrypts your data until your web traffic hits an exit node and leave the Tor network for the open web. (Think of it as a pinball machine.) The more times it bounces, the more difficult it becomes to trace your browsing activity back to you.
However, using the Tor browser doesn't come without trade-offs. Firstly, you might not be able to use the Tor browser depending on where you live, as certain countries ban the use of it entirely. Secondly, surfing the web will take a lot longer. The more times your traffic bounces between nodes, the more time it takes to get back to you.
Method 5: Use a smart DNS.
The main difference between smart DNS and VPN is that they only reroute information about your location while VPNs reroute all your web traffic through a different network. This often results in a faster browsing experience with smart DNS.
However, this comes at a trade-off of privacy. Since they don't encrypt your web traffic or change your IP address like VPNs do, they're not nearly as safe. This is why we only recommend smart DNS for those looking to unblock sites at work and nothing further.