At the end of reading the post, you will know how to access restricted websites in the work environment. The truth is that today practically all companies tend to block access to certain Internet pages such as our personal email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Why Do Companies Block Certain Web Pages?
The main reason why these pages are restricted is quite simple. These pages are considered time thieves that reduce the productivity of employees and managers considerably.
In fact, you only have to browse the internet a bit and you will find chilling data, such as the following:
- 26% of people waste between one and two hours a day browsing the Internet.
- 10% of people say that they consult their smartphone between one and two hours a day.
- In general, 11% of people spend one and two hours a day on social networks, while 75% of people say they spend more than two hours.
Logically, entrepreneurs, faced with this and other data that can be found, tend to take action on the matter since all the time that we lose will obviously affect their income statement.
Therefore normally employers are used to contacting their IT department to take action. The typical measures that are used to implement are the following.
Note: In certain cases, companies tend to block access to certain services, such as Dropbox, since unfortunately in some countries we have limited bandwidth.
Protections That are Used to Implement in Companies
Usually, the case in most companies, all the equipment has a fixed IP and are interconnected with each other through switches.
When a user on the network we just described wants to access the internet, they will usually send the request to a proxy server. Once the proxy server has received the request, it then analyzes whether the request made by the user with a specific IP meets the filters that the system administrator has defined in the proxy configuration file.
If the user’s request meets the established filters then the proxy will transfer our request to the company’s router. In the case of not complying with the established filters, our internet connection will be blocked and we will not be able to connect to the page we want to connect to.
The filters that the system administrator will introduce in the proxy server file are diverse. A sample of the type of filters that can be applied are the following:
- All computers are prohibited from accessing YouTube except computers with an IP or with a certain IP range.
- Only a certain range of users or IPs have access to the internet.
- Restrict access to URLs that contain certain words such as porn, sex, etc.
Note: I only put 3 examples of rules that can be created in the Proxy server. The truth is that other types of rules can be generated.
Why the Measures Taken Do Not Serve Anything
I think that the measures taken are practically useless. Anyone who wants to waste time at work will simply do it in other ways. If a person wants to be aware of social networks and their personal mail, they can do it quietly from their mobile phone or tablet in the case of big shots.
Ideally, there would be no restrictions and that each user could manage their time and reserve 2 or 3 moments a day of a certain duration to be able to consult social networks and their personal email, etc. Obviously with control so that users do not abuse since they are going to work at work.
Methods to be Able to Access Restricted Websites or Pages
In the event that any user under their own responsibility wants to consult social networks or have access to websites restricted by the company’s IT, they can try the following methods.
Note: There are many methods or things to try to access restricted websites or pages, such as connecting directly to the router without going through the proxy, exchanging the IP with a colleague who does not have the same restrictions as yours, etc. But in principle, I will only limit myself to detailing 4 services/methods that in principle I consider that they work and are very easy to apply. Sometimes easy is best.
Access Restricted Websites Through Hidester
To use Hidester we just have to click on the following link:
Once the link is clicked, the browser will open and you will see a website similar to the following:
If we want to see a YouTube video, we just have to type the YouTube URL and press the Surf Anonymously button. Once the button is pressed, we will connect to YouTube and we will be able to see the videos we want:
From my point of view some of Hidester’s highlights are the following:
- Today the service is completely ad-free.
- The speed it offers is acceptable. In my case, I can watch streaming videos without any problem.
- All traffic generated between the proxy web server and our computer is encrypted. Therefore it is a safe service.
- It allows you to select between proxy web servers located in both Europe and the United States. Therefore this web proxy can also be useful to access geo-restricted services.
- The service is available in multiple languages.
- They offer additional services such as informing about our IP address.
Access Restricted Websites Through VPNBook Web Proxy
To access this service, they just have to enter the following URL:
Once we are on the VPNbook website we will see a page similar to the following:
As you can see in the screenshot, we just have to go to the Enter URL cell and enter the name of the page we want to connect to. Once entered we click on Go.
The points that I would highlight about VPNbook web proxy are the following:
- You can practically connect to all web pages. If any of the web pages do not work, you can try the HideMyAss service and the problem will probably be solved.
- The connection to the pages is fast.
- The traffic that is generated is encrypted. Therefore the service provides greater security compared to other services.
- Allows access to pages with SSL encryption. Other similar services such as http://anonymouse.org/ require payment to access pages with SSL encryption.
Note: When connecting to certain services, it may give you a warning that someone has tried to access your account from a new location. Don’t worry as it is normal because we are accessing through a web proxy. If this happens to you, you just have to follow the instructions given by the warning of the service where you want to access it.
Access Restricted Websites Through Hidemyass
The hidemyass service is very similar to that of VPNBook. To access the service you only have to access the following URL:
Once we have accessed the website we will see the following screen:
The operation is exactly the same as the VPNBook. If we want, we only have to enter the URL that we want to visit in the corresponding cell and press the Agree and Connect Button. But in addition, Hidemyass offers a number of interesting additional settings that are worth commenting on:
If we look at the screenshot we see that the configuration options have been changed.
To begin with, we can see that we have activated the Encrypt URL cell. The result of activating this box will be that all the traffic that we will generate will be encrypted.
We also see that we have changed the URL obfuscation method to Encrypted. In this way, we will ensure that a priori no one can know the web pages that we have visited through the web proxy server.
In my opinion, the points that make hidemyass a remarkable service are the following:
- It has URL obfuscation which makes it difficult for someone to find out which web pages we have connected to.
- The service allows us to connect to pages that have SSL encryption for free.
- It is a very good alternative option in the event that the rest of the methods that are discussed in the post do not work.
Access Restricted Websites Using Google Translator
As the fourth and last method, we can choose the google translator. You can access it through the following URL:
Once the google translator is loaded, you enter any web page as shown in the following screenshot:
Once the web is entered, press the translate button. As a result of the translation, you will get exactly the same website. As you can see in the screenshot, the next step is to click on the result that the translation has given us. We will see that after clicking on the result of the translation we will access the web page that is restricted.
I particularly consider that this method is remarkable because in principle Google is a reliable provider that will not try to steal sensitive data such as passwords or other data. In addition, if the computer of our company is dedicated to consulting the web pages to which we have connected in principle, they should only see that we have connected to the google translator.
Other Different Alternative Services to Access Restricted Websites
A priori with the services described so far you have to have more than enough. However, those who still require more services can consult the following:
The totality of services that are mentioned in this section will basically serve in the event that the IT department has restricted access to the 3 services that we have initially mentioned.
Note: All the methods described in this post are based on bypassing internet connection restrictions by connecting through a web proxy.
Each person is responsible for their own actions. As you well know, in all companies there are rules and if they are not complied with, penalties can be applied that can go as far as dismissal. In addition, the fact of connecting to a proxy server that is not trusted can bring us serious problems. If we connect to an unreliable server, they can try to steal our passwords, inject malicious code into our computer, etc.
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