How do ISPs Block Sites & Gow to Access them Anyway?

As an internet service provider (ISP), certain websites are blocked to comply with laws and regulations or according to their own policies. ISPs Block Sites are common in certain countries. There are some common reasons why ISPs block access to certain websites:

  1. Legal Compliance: ISPs are required by law to block access to websites that host illegal content such as child pornography, pirated media, or terrorist propaganda. Failure to do so can result in legal consequences.
  2. Copyright Infringement: At the request of media companies, ISPs often block torrent, streaming, and file-sharing websites that facilitate the unauthorized downloading and streaming of copyrighted content like movies, TV shows, music, books, and software.
  3. Adult Content: ISPs frequently block websites that host pornographic images, videos, and other explicit adult content, especially if the ISP markets itself as a “family-friendly” provider. However, many ISPs do allow customers to opt-in to accessing adult content.
  4. Security and Malware: Websites that host malware, facilitate phishing attempts, or otherwise compromise the security of the ISP’s network and customers are commonly blocked. This helps reduce the risk of viruses, ransomware, identity theft, and other cybercrimes.
  5. Competition: In some cases, ISPs block access to websites that directly compete with their own services. For example, an ISP may block a competing streaming media or file-sharing website to drive customers to their own similar services. However, this anti-competitive behavior is unethical and often illegal.

In summary, ISPs block websites for a variety of reasons including legal requirements, copyright issues, adult content, security risks, and anti-competitive practices. However, many blocked websites can still be accessed using VPNs, proxies, and other circumvention tools.

Common Methods ISPs Use to Block Websites

IP Blocking

One of the most common methods ISPs use to block websites is IP blocking. An IP address is a unique string of numbers assigned to each device connected to the internet. ISPs can block access to specific IP addresses, preventing you from accessing the websites or online services associated with those IP addresses.

DNS Tampering

ISPs often block websites by tampering with the Domain Name System (DNS). The DNS translates website names into IP addresses. By blocking the DNS query for a specific website name, the ISP prevents your device from accessing the IP address for that site. When you try to access a blocked site, you may receive an error message that the DNS lookup failed.

Deep Packet Inspection

More advanced ISPs use a technique called deep packet inspection to analyze the internet traffic flowing through their networks. This allows them to identify and filter out traffic associated with specific websites and online services. Deep packet inspection is very difficult to circumvent since it blocks access at the network level.

Port Blocking

ISPs frequently block access to websites by blocking the ports those sites use to communicate. For example, they may block port 80, which is used for HTTP web traffic, or port 443, used for HTTPS encrypted web traffic. Without access to these ports, you can’t load web pages or access web services.

To summarize, the methods ISPs employ to block websites include:

  • IP blocking: Preventing access to a website’s IP address
  • DNS tampering: Blocking DNS queries for a website’s domain name
  • Deep packet inspection: Analyzing and filtering network traffic to block website access
  • Port blocking: Blocking the ports websites use to communicate (e.g. ports 80 and 443)

These blocking techniques are quite effective, but there are ways you can potentially circumvent them to access blocked websites, which will be discussed in the following section.

What Is a VPN and How Does It Help Access Blocked Sites?

What Is a VPN?

ISPs block sites

A virtual private network or VPN creates an encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet. It allows you to create a secure connection between your device and a VPN server operated by the VPN service. All your online traffic is routed through this secure connection, hiding your activity and location.

How Does a VPN Help Access Blocked Sites?

When you connect to a VPN, it assigns you an IP address from the location of the VPN server. This masks your own IP address and tricks websites into thinking you’re accessing them from the VPN’s location. If a website is blocking access based on location, a VPN can help you bypass these restrictions by making it appear as if you’re connecting from an allowed area.

Choosing a VPN Service

There are many VPN services available, both free and paid. Free VPNs typically have limited server locations, slower speeds, and may log some of your activity. Paid VPNs offer faster speeds, more security, and access to streaming services. Things to consider when choosing a VPN include:

  • Server locations: More locations mean more options to bypass location restrictions. Look for VPNs with servers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.
  • Speed: A fast VPN won’t slow down your internet connection. Look for VPNs that allow unlimited bandwidth and P2P traffic.
  • Logging policy: A no-logging VPN doesn’t store any of your online activity or connection logs. This offers the most privacy. Some VPNs may log basic information like your email address or payment info.
  • Software: Most VPNs offer software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Make sure the VPN you choose is compatible with all the devices you want to use.
  • Customer support: Look for 24/7 live chat support in case you need help setting up or troubleshooting your VPN.
  • Price: Paid VPNs typically start around $5 to $10 per month. You can often get discounts for longer subscription plans.

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to bypass location restrictions and access blocked websites. Do some research to find a reputable VPN service that suits your needs and budget. With the right VPN, you’ll enjoy unrestricted access to the open internet.

How to Use a VPN to Access Blocked Websites

To access websites blocked by your ISP, you’ll need to use a virtual private network or VPN. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and a VPN server, hiding your online activity from anyone monitoring the network.

Choose a VPN Provider

Select a reputable VPN provider that does not log user activity and has servers in locations that match your needs. Some highly-rated options are ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Private Internet Access. Compare factors like speed, security, and price to choose the best provider for you.

Download the VPN Software

Once you’ve subscribed to a VPN service, download their VPN app onto your Windows PC, Mac, Android or iOS device. The software is typically easy to install and configure. You may need to enter login credentials like a username and password to access the VPN.

Connect to a VPN Server

Open the VPN app and connect to a server in a location that allows access to the website you want to view. For example, if a website is blocked in the US, connect to a server in Canada or the UK. The VPN will encrypt your internet connection and route it through the server, masking your real IP address and location.

Access the Blocked Website

With the VPN active, you can now access websites that were previously blocked. Your ISP and anyone monitoring the network will not be able to see that you are accessing the blocked content or determine your real location. Be aware that some streaming services like Netflix may block VPN connections to prevent access from other countries. You may need to try different servers to find one that works.

Disconnect the VPN

When you are finished viewing blocked content, disconnect from the VPN to restore your normal internet connection. Close the VPN app or click the disconnect button. Your real IP address and location will again be visible to your ISP and network monitors.

Using a VPN is an effective way to bypass ISP website blocking and access content that would otherwise be unavailable in your location. With some experimenting, you’ll be viewing blocked websites in no time.

What Are DNS Proxies and How Do They Access Blocked Sites?

What Are DNS Proxies?

DNS proxies, also known as DNS redirectors or unblockers, are services that provide an alternative DNS lookup for accessing blocked websites. They work by mapping the domain name you enter to a different IP address than the one your ISP has blocked. When you type in a web address, your internet service provider (ISP) normally looks up the IP address for that domain name using their own DNS servers. If the site is blocked, their DNS will not resolve the domain name to an IP address, so you receive an error message.

How DNS Proxies Access Blocked Sites

DNS proxies maintain their own directory of domain names and IP addresses. When you use a DNS proxy service, your computer is configured to use the proxy’s DNS servers instead of your ISP’s. So when you enter a web address, the proxy DNS looks up the IP address and returns it to your computer, allowing you to access the site. The proxy DNS has mapped the domain name to a different IP address that is not blocked by your ISP.

Some popular DNS proxy services are:

  • UnblockUs – Free and paid plans to unblock streaming media, social networks and more. Apps available for many devices.
  • Unlocator – Smart DNS proxy to unblock streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others. 7-day free trial.
  • IronSocket – VPN and Smart DNS proxy service. Can unblock 400+ streaming and social media sites. Accepts Bitcoin for payment.
  • Smart DNS Proxy – Unblocks over 400 streaming, social, and gaming websites. Free 3-day trial, then paid monthly plans. Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

Using a DNS proxy is a simple way to gain access to websites and online services that have been blocked or censored by your internet provider. By redirecting your DNS lookups to their own servers, these services can unblock a wide range of websites and keep you connected. With many free and paid options available, you have flexibility in choosing a DNS proxy provider that meets your specific needs.

How to Use Tor Browser to Access Blocked Websites

To access websites blocked by your ISP, you can use the Tor Browser. Tor Browser is free, open-source software that helps anonymize your internet traffic and access blocked content.

Download the Tor Browser

First, you’ll need to download the Tor Browser from the official Tor Project website. The Tor Browser is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Once downloaded, open the Tor Browser file and follow the installation instructions.

Connect to the Tor Network

When you first open the Tor Browser, it will automatically connect you to the Tor network. The Tor network disguises your online traffic and hides your location and internet usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis.

Access Blocked Websites

Now you can access websites that are normally blocked by your ISP. Simply enter the URL of the blocked site into the Tor Browser address bar. The Tor network will route your traffic through multiple relays to mask your identity before accessing the site.

Some tips for using the Tor Browser:

  • Do not install any browser extensions or plugins, as these can compromise your anonymity.
  • Do not torrent or stream media, as this can slow down the Tor network.
  • Consider using a VPN with Tor for added security. A VPN will encrypt all your internet traffic before it enters the Tor network.
  • Be very careful about entering any personal information or logins on sites accessed through Tor. Your anonymity could be compromised.

The Tor Browser provides an effective way to circumvent internet censorship and access websites blocked by your ISP. However, keep in mind that some websites may still block access from the Tor network. If a site continues blocking you after trying a few times, it’s best to avoid accessing it through Tor.

Other Tools to Access Blocked Websites

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

A VPN allows you to create an encrypted connection over a less secure network, like the internet. Once connected, your online traffic is routed through the VPN server, hiding your activity and location. Many VPN services offer apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS and allow you to choose a server in a location that isn’t blocking the site you want to access.

Tor Browser

The Tor Browser is free, open-source software that allows you to access blocked websites and helps keep your online activity private. It routes your traffic through multiple Tor servers to hide your identity and location. The Tor Browser can be downloaded on Windows, Mac and Linux devices. It may be slower than a regular browser but is very effective at circumventing internet censorship and allowing access to restricted content.

Proxy Servers

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet. When you connect to a proxy server, it forwards your web requests to the destination site and returns the response back to you. Many free and paid proxy services offer apps and browser extensions that will route your traffic through their proxy servers, bypassing any blocks put in place by your ISP. Proxy servers typically offer more speed than a VPN but less privacy. They are still very useful for accessing geographically restricted streaming media and other blocked content.

Anonymizing Networks

Anonymizing networks like I2P and Freenet allow you to access blocked websites and publish content anonymously. They use a decentralized network infrastructure to route encrypted traffic and hide users’ identities. Anonymizing networks tend to provide more privacy than a proxy or VPN but can be more difficult to set up and configure. They allow access to special anonymous sites and services on the “dark web” in addition to circumventing censorship.

In summary, there are several effective tools you can use to bypass restrictions put in place by internet service providers and access the content you want. By using a combination of the options discussed, you can enjoy an open internet experience without limits.

FAQs About ISPs Blocking Websites and How to Access Them

Why do ISPs block websites?

Internet service providers (ISPs) block certain websites for various reasons, including:

  • Legal obligations: ISPs are required by law to block access to websites hosting illegal content like child pornography, pirated media, or those enabling criminal plans or activities.
  • Copyright issues: Websites hosting pirated or illegally distributed media like movies, TV shows, music, books, software, etc. are often blocked.
  • Moral concerns: Websites promoting hate speech, violence, gambling, pornography or other content deemed inappropriate may be blocked.
  • Commercial interests: ISPs sometimes block access to websites that compete with their own services or partners. For example, an ISP may block a streaming site to promote their own TV service.

Related Article : 3 of the Best Browser Applications to Enhance Your Browsing Experience

How do ISPs block websites?

ISPs block websites through a variety of technical means:

  • DNS filtering: The ISP prevents the domain name system (DNS) from resolving the IP address of a blocked website. When you enter the web address, it won’t load.
  • IP address blocking: The ISP blocks access to the unique IP address assigned to a website. All traffic to and from that IP address is prohibited.
  • Deep packet inspection: The ISP analyzes data packets for certain keywords or other signs that indicate you’re trying to access a blocked website. The packets are then dropped before they reach the website.
  • Redirecting: The ISP redirects any requests for a blocked website to an alternative page explaining that the site is unavailable.
  • Throttling: The ISP intentionally slows down or limits bandwidth to a website to make it difficult or frustrating to access.

How to access blocked websites

There are a few ways to potentially access websites blocked by your ISP:

  1. Use a VPN or proxy service to mask your internet traffic and bypass the ISP’s filters. The ISP will only see encrypted data flowing to the VPN/proxy server.
  2. Try accessing the website via its IP address instead of domain name. The IP address may not be blocked. You can find a website’s IP address using a service like IPLocator.
  3. Use the Tor browser which anonymizes your internet activity and hides it from your ISP. Tor is designed specifically for accessing blocked websites and hidden services.
  4. Try a mirror or archive site which hosts copies of the content from the blocked website. The ISP may have only blocked the main domain.
  5. Use DNS over HTTPS (DoH) which encrypts your DNS requests so the ISP cannot see which websites you’re trying to access. Your ISP won’t know to block the request.
  6. Complain to your ISP and lawmakers about unjustified censorship. Public pressure can sometimes force ISPs to stop blocking certain websites.


As you have learned, ISPs have a variety of technical means to block access to websites and online content. However, for every measure there seems to be a countermeasure to circumvent these restrictions. Using VPNs, proxies, and Tor will allow you to access blocked sites, but you must weigh the risks and legal implications. While censorship threatens open access to information, bypassing these blocks could violate your ISP’s terms of service or even local laws. There are many perspectives in the debate around internet censorship and no easy answers. You now have the knowledge to access restricted content, but also the responsibility to do so judiciously. The internet remains a powerful tool for both controlling and liberating information. How it’s used is ultimately up to you.

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