Accessing Blocked Contents on the Internet
They never let you see what you want to, do they?
Blocked contents on the internet are often times the most interesting stuffs we badly want to see aren’t they?
It is quite annoying when you want to click on an interesting content online, let’s say a video or some piece of information and upon first click, the web tells you, ‘restricted’. Like, isn’t it any longer a free world where information and contents should be available to just about everyone who wants it?
Of course not, there are always those ready and willing to gate-keep these things for what they will call, ‘the greater good’. And the worrying thing is they believe the stories themselves.
Other times, they may actually be right; like let’s say when they want to protect an intellectual property and stuffs like that from the public or from just about anybody with nefarious intents. But often times, it is just the government trying to cover its tracks by playing politics.
However, the beauty of the internet age is that, whatever counter measures you devise, there is another counter measure to counter whatever measures you come up with. If any of that makes sense.
So, the whole article is basically how to access blocked contents on the web, so here is how;
The use of Proxies
So what do proxies do exactly? They are practically tools operated in a browser window that is used to reroute internet connections to give fake IP addresses. This tactics is known as ‘spoofing’.
It’s like a teenager going to an adult party dressed as an adult to fool the bouncer into letting him in. In this instance, proxies dress your IP address to pretend it’s someone else so it can gain entry. Let’s say a North Korean wants to access some contents banned by their country, having proxies that mimic the IP address of somewhere else or someone else could see them gain entry to such contents.
Although, the problem with proxies is that they are quite limited, and speaking of North Korea, the user could likely get caught using it, but they are good for unblocking YouTube contents.
The VPN method
Using Virtual Private Networks are a much better option compared to proxies. Like we explained with proxies, they operate very similarly; reroute connections to give fake IPs and location, but they are better at it than the proxies.
This is because they encrypt the user’s connection making it quite harder for anyone to see what the user is doing and having him arrested for viewing such. North Korea again comes to mind.
These tools are quite great at unblocking website contents under restriction, so even if you want to access some Chinese censored stuff or watch streaming contents available to specific regions.
Now, of what importance will the Virtual Private Networks be if they don’t offer protection against those looking to catch you? This is what the VPN does.
Although, the downside is that they cost big money and the even the free ones are quite limited.
The Shadowsocks Protocol
Some would say it was designed for the purpose of breaking through the Firewall of China, which for some reason sounds about racist when you think of it.
In all seriousness, the Shadowsocks protocol is like the love child of proxies and VPNs that was not fully formed. It encrypts connection but limited compared to the standard of the VPN. It is meant to unblock and hide traffic rather than provide security.
Setting it up is quite easy though with the aid of an open source program known as ‘Outline’.
The Onion Router
This one is practically intended for the ‘free folk’, a term for those who may not be privileged to have the money for the VPNs but wish to get past blocks. What TOR started out with was granting users entry into the dark web and the illicit goods it had on the offer.
But let’s not forget the fact that it does quite well spoofing the web and very much on par with the VPNs.
The Onion Router makes it quite difficult to track its user as it bounces off their connection between different nodes run by volunteers. And because they are not commercially owned, it makes the IP look even more real.
Although its downside lies in the fact that it is slow and wouldn’t do quite well downloading large files.
Now, we have seen the deformed child of the VPN with the Shadowsocks protocol, but when it’s done right, you have the birth of the decentralized VPN. They are the fusion of the ideas that birthed the VPNs and The Onion Router.
They offer the protocols and security of VPNs with the decentralized nodes of the onion router, which makes them the perfect tactics in breaking through blocks without risking safety.
The downside though, is that it is quite a Kryptonite that is complex to access as would be users will need to sign on to a service, buy crypto and have to deal with technical terms they may be oblivious to.