As we progress further into technological development, we cannot argue that with the invention of the internet we are able to hold and grasp every piece of information we need within minutes. This has made our lives much easier and simpler, but we think little about what could happen to us while online and surfing the web.
With the introduction of VPN, we are able to visit the most remote websites that we never knew existed in the first place – mostly due to the fact that VPN enables us to gain access to these websites that were initially censored by other parties. This has shined a light on a lot of ways for us to bypass internet censorship and we will dive into some of the methods that could come in handy in these situations.
What is a VPN?
Before we dwell on the methods of bypassing internet censorship we must first go through the basics of the service that allows us to do just that.
VPN or Virtual Private Network is an essential internet tool used to provide safety and security while online but also allows us to venture into websites that were originally blocked or censored. It is probably one of the best ways to secure your internet experience and provide you with total anonymity and safety while doing so.
By being able to encrypt the user internet traffic and data VPN creates a sort of a tunneled network between the user and the virtual server created.
By connecting to a virtual server VPN allows safe browsing without the risk of being hacked or tracked
Having the main purpose of protecting the user from potential harm online, VPN services block any third-party viewers that might intercept the connection in order to track the website and download history via the IP address the user-provided. By blocking the real IP address it ensures a safe and anonymous experience that can be intercepted neither by the government, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) nor from cybercriminals such as hackers, scammers, and such.
Of course, bypassing internet censorship is one of the best features this software can provide. Governments tend to block certain websites for geopolitical reasons as well as religious or moral ones.
What are the types of VPN blocks
Blocked information and websites are common in countries with authoritarian governments
Thankfully, most of these blocks are easy to get by and pose no real threat to the user but you have to wonder what are the types of website blocks and how to bypass them.
- IP blocks – When connecting to VPN you are given the choice of selecting from which country you would like to connect and it will give you an IP address as if you are in that country. This is a great way to bypass internet censorship, but certain websites have been blacklisting IP addresses that keep repeating in order to stop this method of bypassing.
- Port blocking – Most VPN servers use a specific port which they use to reroute the internet traffic through them. This means that it is easy to block these types of internet traffic since specific ports are used and all websites need to do is monitor that specific port, but this can easily be avoided by simply changing the port. This method is not as common as an IP block one so it will not be encountered often.
- Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) – Many VPN providers use a specific security protocol that uses unique cryptography signatures that can be detected. Because this protocol is commonly used between certain VPN providers, governments, or companies can identify these protocols and block them solely to the fact that it is known to be used by VPN providers. This is one of the hardest censorship to bypass unless you are using a VPN that allows protocol changes.
How to bypass internet censorship and VPN blocks
Now that we went through some of the most commonly known VPN blocks I think we are ready to explore the methods with which these blocks can be bypassed.
Before we dive into the techniques to bypass internet censorship you need to make sure that you choose the right VPN with high-quality protocols and features that are suited for your demands. Now, here are 5 main ways to bypass VPN blocks:
- Dedicated IP addresses – This is a great feature you should always look for when purchasing a VPN subscription if you do not want to be detected. Usually, you can purchase these addresses on top of a monthly subscription to the desired VPN provider. This type of method allows you to gain access to a unique IP address because many VPN users share the same IP address from a certain server which makes it easier for websites to spot who is using a VPN.
- Server switching – Most top-notch VPN providers allow users to connect to more than one server in a certain country. Also, some of these providers offer a regular IP refreshing feature, which constantly refreshes your IP address making it harder for websites to track the location of the internet activity. By having multiple servers to choose from, you can simply disconnect from one server and connect to a different one in the same country in order to change your IP address quickly.
- Changing Security Protocols – These protocols can vary between different VPN providers and you should always opt for one that will suit your needs the best.
- Port Switching – Since certain websites monitor ports, the easiest way is to switch ports manually. Of course, there are VPN providers that will do this for you. By changing ports you make sure that you never get caught or blocked from a certain website.
- Obfuscated servers – These servers add another layer of anonymity as they are programmed to automatically search available ports through which they can send the internet traffic and avoid any risks of getting caught via port monitoring method.