Since we all know that DoT has implemented orders to curb piracy via torrents, P2P sharing software and large file hosting portals, most Internet service providers have started practising a mega block on major torrent search engines and file hosting sites, such as Torrentz, The Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents, Torrent Hound, Rapidshare, Mediafire, Hotfile and many others. Obtaining torrents and other files from these websites has now become a difficult task, but there are many other routes that you can take to gain access to these websites and download the files that you need. Let’s check out a few methods whereby, you can fulfill your desire for downloading any type of file. Beware, these methods involve passing through unknown and unauthorized means; it could mean bumping into viruses, malware and spyware or even compromising on your security and risk getting your PC hacked. Do this at your own risk.
Method 1: Use of proxy services.
A proxy server, as the name suggests, is a website service that allows you to browse through websites from their Internet connection. It means tunneling through the Internet connection into another PC somewhere in the world, and accessing websites or downloading files using their Internet connection. The browsing or downloading speed totally depends on their Internet connection speeds and the number of people accessing the service during the given time. Proxy servers are hosted by common or unknown people who have a (possibly) high-speed open Internet connection in their home or office.
No shortage of free web browsing proxies
They simply install a web server on their PC and allow other Internet users around the world to surf through their proxy websites and gain access to websites that may be either blocked by their ISP or office administrators. Some of these websites are listed below. Note: Although there are different proxy websites available online, usually these are tracked and hunted by various administrators and blocked, accordingly. While most of these websites get blocked because they are well-known, others that do not publicize much manage to stay under cover until they are discovered. However, it is very simple for them to get themselves unblocked by using a different website name.
Here is a tiny list of a few proxy servers that can be used to get around blocked website:
These proxy websites are usually created with a weird name, so that they cannot be easily tracked (for example, the website www.weddingface.info) will not even be thought of as a proxy website as the name suggests something else. These websites make their money by hosting advertisements and possibly viruses or malware.
Method 2: Using a proxy add-on in your browser is not a new technique. Those using Firefox might already know about the idea and probably might be using them on and off. The method is pretty easy and can be set up in around two – three minutes. Simply search for proxy add-on's from Firefox, download and install the one you want and restart Firefox.
Proxy control addons for your browser
Once it's done, just Google for available recently updated proxy server IP addresses and port numbers and feed it into the add-on. Next, you will be browsing through restricted websites via the proxy server located elsewhere in the world. There are a few proxy modules available for Opera, Chrome and Internet Explorer too, but Firefox is a working example.
Method 3: Using Google’s caching server to open up the blocked website. This method does not actually take you to the website itself, but make use of the cached files stored on the Google servers. These cache files are recently browsed data elements that others around the world might have accessed from their unblocked connections.
Using Google's cache to access the web
To use it, simply log on to the Google website, enter the words ‘Cache:’ and type in the website you need to browse. If you are lucky enough, you should get through the latest updated website with ease. Take for example, the blocked Chinese shopping website www.focalprice.com, which can be accessed using the Google cache. Even the Google translation service website helps in a lot of similar ways.
Method 4: Using an alternate DNS server is also an option A DNS server is like an index, with a list of domain names - such as YouTube.com, Google.com, Mediafire.com, Rapidshare.com, Thepiratebay.se and pretty much every other website on the Internet. When you type in a website address into your browser, your computer sends a request to the DNS server, and it tells you the IP address for that site. One of the easiest ways for ISPs to stop access to a particular site is by removing the IP address entries for the sites that need to be blocked. ISPs can choose to redirect the request to a different site or a notice page as well. There are free, fully open third-party DNS services run by organizations and other ISPs. The most popular ones are run by Google and OpenDNS. All you need to do is change your DNS server settings to theirs. The simple procedure to do so is to change the Primary and/or Secondary DNS server address that is set for your network card to a third-party DNS address. You can try some of these alternate DNS server addresses in your network settings.
Changing the DNS on your PC
Method 5: Using a third-party utility, such as TOR can help you access blocked websites without any effort, whatsoever. Using it is pretty simple, but it is definitely slower than your Internet speed as it uses the Internet connection with another computer somewhere in the world. It securely creates a type of an Internet tunnel, which passes through a few more websites, countries and Internet service providers before picking up the desired website and brings it back again. It keeps hopping through various routes and channels to help create a secure, untraceable path.
TOR is an effective way of access the web
To use TOR, simply download the utility from www.torproject.org and run the executable file. The downloaded file does not need installation, but it extracts a few required portable executable files to a folder on your desktop. Once done, simply open the folder and execute the file ‘Start Tor Browser.exe', and it will bring up the Vidalia control panel, connect anonymously to the respective servers and later automatically starts a secure Firefox (portable) browser, using which you can access your blocked websites. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace Internet activity, including visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages and other communication forms, back to the user and is intended to protect users' personal freedom, privacy, and ability to conduct confidential business by keeping their internet activities from being monitored.
Method 6: Using online services to download files when P2P and torrents are blocked at your end. It is pretty simple. Websites, such as ZbigZ.com or Put.io offer services to download your torrents and store them in your online storage quota at very high-speeds. For example, a 4GB torrent download, which would take me anywhere between 24 hours to 48 hours on a standard 1 Mbps Internet connection, and a bittorrent client can be downloaded in less than two hours. Simply paste the link of the torrent (you don’t even need to download the .Torrent file) or the magnet link or if you have the .torrent file. Just upload it to the servers, and it will download the files for you. In our tests, a single 4.7GB ISO file took only 15 seconds to download. The file is stored on their servers and offers you a HTTP link to download it later at your convenience. While ZbigZ.com offers a free service (with limitations) and a paid option too, Put.io offers a 3GB online space for just Rs. 250 (USD $5) per month. This not only saves your bandwidth speeds, but also allows you to download your P2P using an HTTP download service.
Method 7: Using VPN (Virtual Private Network) services. Popularly known over many years, this one is a more concrete and secure way of accessing the Internet. The system works by setting up a connection that is channeled through your ISP, through to a VPN service or a computer that has open Internet access. Using this technique, you should be able to access the web freely with no restrictions on sites, keywords, services, etc. Unfortunately, VPNs are a bit more complicated to set up. Usually, free VPN services, such as Hotspot Shield are known to be around, might be a bit difficult to find free ones. If you don’t, you might need to ask a friend to open a connection (install a server) on his machine provided he has an unblocked gateway. Then you can access your websites using his/her machine. Services, such as ProXPN and XyberGhost are some you can try out. Hotspot Shield installs a routing driver automatically on your PC during installation, creates the necessary routing methods and gives you access to the open Internet service from various open VPN services around the world. Once enabled and running, you will be able to access any website out there, but will be disturbed by continuous ads littered around your screen.
There are numerous other methods of getting around blocked and censored websites. While some are more straightforward and easy, others are a bit difficult and more secure. Paid services are also in the offering, but most often people are on the look out for free ones. Necessity is the mother of all invention, they say and as long as there is necessity, somebody out there will definitely invent ways to get there.
How to: Unrestricted web access on your Android.
Most of the times you end up with a restricted Internet connection, be it at home, office, college or hotspots. Internet service providers and network administrators are working hard on trying their best to keep you from accessing censored and restricted websites. However, if you are using an Android handset, you can get around it with ease. All you need are two apps, and you are ready to go. The app is a VPN service, which helps you browse through restricted websites using someone else’s unblocked Internet route. Let's begin. Head on to Google Play (Market) on your phone and download the two apps—‘DroidVPN’ and ‘TUN.Ko Installer’. Both are free and should take you less than a minute to get them installed. Once installed, start the Tun.Ko Installer app and select your phone (which is automatically detected and listed) and hit the install button.
TUN.ko, another app that helps you gain unblocked access
You should get the message stating ‘Tun module successfully installed’ on your screen. Some handsets might not be featured on the installer app, and you may get messages that it is incompatible. Simply Google your handset model number, and you might find someone who has compiled the file and hosted it online. Download the file and place/copy it to the root folder on your SD card. Now that you have all requirements in place, all you need to do is start the DroidVPN app, and you will be prompted to enter your username and password. You can register yourself for free by clicking the menu button and clicking on the create account link. The app will open the Internet browser and take you to the respective website for registration. Fill in the required details and your password will be available on the e-mail address that you provide. Use these credentials on the app, click on the ‘Start’ button, and DroidVPN will connect to its servers. You’re done—hit the home button to send the app running in the background. Now you are free to use your browser, torrent client or whichever app you want to use and gain unrestricted access.
VPN apps for Android
There are a few websites that are not allowed to be viewed either outside their operating country or certain countries. For example, www.pandora.com only works in the U.S and some other countries and their services are not accessible in India. To access these websites, VPN utilities, such as Hotspot Shield or Tor are best alternatives that allow you to access these websites. Registration on these websites can also be done using U.S zip codes, which can be obtained from Google. We launched Hotspot Shield, accessed the website, registered ourselves with a U.S-based zip code and create a free account. Now we can stream or download videos and music without any issues. www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer is also another example website that is not allowed in India, and you need to be in UK to access it. www.hulu.com, www.netflix.com, www.vevo.com, www.abc.go.com and many more are examples that have their services (from their end) blocked to Indian viewers. Using VPN clients are the best means. You can also use DroidVPN on your Android handhelds to gain access without any difficulty.
Image credit: Getty Images
Published Date: Jun 11, 2012 11:04 am | Updated Date: Jun 11, 2012 11:04 am