How to Check if ISP is Blocking Website
Have you ever faced a situation where you wish to open a certain website? You type its address, click search, but your browser does not do anything? Unpleasant, right? One of the reasons you do not have access to the desired website is because it is blocked by your internet provider.
Why do ISPs block some content? They do it for various reasons. Some sites are blocked on the lawful excuse, some because of internet censorship. The scale depends on the type of IPS. Smaller providers would confine themselves to the most common websites not to use much recourse. Giant providers would do their best to make you quit trying to access the desired website. That’s a thing to consider before you choose a provider to satisfy your needs.
We believe that everyone should be free to choose the content they want to access on the internet. IN this article, we will tell you about the possible blockages you may face and provide you some effective methods to overcome them.
So, before you start overcoming possible censorship, you have to fully realize the reason why you can’t access the website is its blockage. How to do it?
Try Opera to access your website
It is the easiest way to check if your website is blocked by the provider. Why? Opera browser has a built-in free VPN. With it, you get a new IP address. It tricks your provider, and it looks like you are using a connection from a different provider. If VPN is off in your Opera, you can turn it on in the Settings section. When VPN is on, type the address of your desired website in the browsing line and see if the page loads. If it does, it means that your ISP blocks this content from you. If the page does not load, it means there is another reason.
Use proxy servers to check your website
If you don’t have Opera installed on your gadget and don’t feel like doing it, there is another method. You can use proxy servers to see if your provider hides content from you. Use hide.me or whoever.net proxies to type the website address and define the reason. If your page loads fine with proxies, it also means that your provider does not want you to visit this website.
Use browser extensions to check your website
Browser extensions are another great option to see the reason why your website is blocked. If you use Mozilla or Google Chrome, you may use their free extensions to connect to VPN. Just like in Opera, you need to turn on this feature in the settings.
How do IPSs block content?
There exist several ways to block websites.
Firewalls help internet providers to define the kind of content their customers are allowed or not allowed to access. Roughly speaking, they set their own rules. If according to this rule, no one can connect to Instagram, a firewall will help to implement that rule.
Since firewalls apply to IP addresses as well, your IP address, assigned by your provider will be automatically blocked.
2. DNS Filters
Domain Naming System (DNS) blocks the content you look for through the website’s IP address. It will be clearer on an example. Let’s imagine your ISP wants to block Instagram. After you type the website address in the bar, the DNS would return you a fake address that will not work or bring you to a blank page with an explanation why you can’t access it instead of returning the original Instagram’s IP address.
3. Deep Packet Inspection
DPI is a method to analyze your network to see your data requests. There is DPI software that allows checking the websites you want to visit and see the names of these pages. This information allows your provider to set firewalls or DNS filters to block the desired content.
Ways to remove website blocking
If you have made certain of the fact that your provider blocks the content you need, you need to know the way to bypass such blocking. You will find several useful tips that will help you solve your problem.
Doing these basic things does not require special knowledge or software from you. They are rather simple, and you can try them out without exterior help.
- We recommend starting with a trial to access the desired website, not with its URL but its IP address. If it is only the URL that was blocked by our provider, or their using filters, you will be able to get access to it. Don’t know where to get the IP address of the website? You need to use the ping command. If you use Windows, type ‘ping[website name]’ in the command prompt, or if you are on macOS – in type it in the terminal
- You can try opening the desired website on your smartphone if you have an unlimited internet package.
- Try changing your DNS address to bypass filters, if any.
How to unlock a website from the restricted list on Google?
You can find any kind of data on the internet – both useful or entertaining ones, as well as those intended not for all. In some cases, blocking certain websites is an unavoidable measure. It actually may create issues if you use work or a public PC.
However, if your intention is to open some relatively harmless websites like YouTube or Facebook, you should first make sure if they are not on the list of restricted websites. Let’s use an example of Google Chrome. Click on the Menu button and choose Settings. In this section, look for the Advanced Settings option. When you find it, go to the Network section and choose Change Proxy Settings. Proceed to Security Tab, and after that to Restricted Sites. Check the list of the websites, select the one you need and click the button to unblock it.
If neither of the abovementioned tips works, you should need to bring in the big guns.
This is a good tool to overcome the blockages your ISP applies. VPN will hide your original IP address and create a secure connection that will seem like you connect from a different country. Your provider will detect that you are using the internet, but they won’t have access to the data you use there.
Additionally, most VPNs have their own DNS servers. This will give you a possibility to bypass firewalls not only, but also the DNS filters, if any.
A proxy servers much like VPN. It would hide your original IP address and forward your requests to the intended websites.
The weak point is that proxies don’t have such reliable encryption as VPNs, nor include the NDS servers, which means that you will be exposed to DPI and DNS filters.
On the other hand, weaker encryption means your browsing speed will be faster. But try to avoid using free proxies because they are used by a huge amount of people and apply bandwidth which slows down the speed noticeably.
Have you ever heard of TOR? No? TOR is the abbreviation of The Onion Router. It’s another online tool that was designed to keep you anonymous when you use the internet. It disguises your IP address and moves it around several servers.
To try it, you need to download the Tor browser and do everything indirectly in this browser. This tool is good for those who don’t want to be noticed by advertisers, other websites, or ISP.
All of these methods are good in their own way. Try them out and choose the one that meets our requirements best.
Can unblocking tools be banned by your ISP?
Unfortunately, ISPs can block your unblocking tools. If they identify you are using one, they sure can take measures to block it. How can they detect it? DPI serves to help them detect BPN traffic. In this case, your IP address will be just blocked. DPI also helps to detect DNS servers. When detected, your connection to it will be just broken.
If you use proxies to maintain your anonymity, you will be disappointed to know that their encryption is rather weak, if any at all, which means your inquiries will be quickly analyzed by your provider.
Solution. If your internet provider blocks everything – VPN, Tor, proxies- the best solution would be connecting to a different server. There is a possibility that sooner or later, they will block all the servers you connect to.
If they block your DNS queries, you may try connecting to a different DNS service. But be prepared that they can figure out your plan and block all your queries too. The best solution, in this case, would be DoH that will encrypt your DNS.
We recommend using VPNs only with the obfuscation feature. It will disguise your VPN traffic from being detected by the provider.
We know that all these blocking things may look puzzling, especially if you are a common user and do not have a deeper knowledge of the technical side of the issue. However, you don’t really need to go deep into these details to keep your privacy online. DNS changes and VPNs are very easy to use. All you need to do is download an app that will secure your safety.