If you regularly use the internet, then you’re probably familiar with network bans. Network bans are imposed by ISPs and even governments to prevent internet users from accessing forbidden content.
What this forbidden content is depends entirely upon the user, the country they are in, or the ISP they are using. Sometimes it can be something as innocuous as a streaming service, while other times it can be foreign press and media sites.
Fortunately, despite restrictions being introduced, you aren’t bound by other people’s rules. This article will tell you how you can bypass network bans and access new content:
The most effective method of bypassing network bans is to utilize VPNs.
VPNs (virtual private networks) mask your location and identity, preventing networks and ISPs from determining your true location.
VPNs are used for lots of different things. We spoke to Bram Jansen from vpnalert.com, who wrote an extensive article detailing how to unblock Valorant, a popular online game, using VPNs.
He explained that VPNs allow you to change your location and region settings, essentially making you appear as if you are using the internet from somewhere else in the world. It is by changing your location that you are able to access content restricted by your government or ISP.
VPNs have many benefits, including:
- Disguising your location, as already mentioned, is one of the main advantages of using a VPN because it prevents people from being able to determine where you are in the world. One of the main reasons that people use VPNs to disguise their location is to bypass geolocation blocks, such as on services like Netflix, or in Valorant, the game we mentioned previously. Disguising your location also helps to hide your internet usage and prevents people from being able to track you down.
- Hidden user behavior is also something that’s offered by VPN services. You might be surprised to know that if you aren’t using a VPN and you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, there’s a very strong chance that you are being tracked. ISPs (internet service providers) regularly track what users on their networks are doing. This isn’t illegal, but it is very uncomfortable to know. VPNs hide your identity and location, preventing ISPs from being able to watch and track you.
- Accessing regional content is the most common reason that VPNs are used, as has already been explained. Because VPNs give you the ability to change your location to anywhere in the world, you are therefore able to access content that is locked to specific regions. With a VPN, you will be able to access content that’s only available to Americans, for example.
- Heightened online security is something that you get when you use a VPN. The internet’s overrun with frauds and hackers, but when you use a VPN, you do not have to worry about your data being stolen or harvested. Your data is completely secure – nobody can track you or steal your information, nor can your device be hijacked.
Internet proxies are just VPNs, except they aren’t downloaded and instead function exclusively online, on browsers. To use a proxy, you simply visit their website and, using their search engine, search for the content that you are looking for.
The problem with many proxies is that they show up as age-restricted sites, which means if you are trying to avoid a restriction imposed by your ISP, or by your mobile provider, you won’t be able to access them.
With that said, some proxies are accessible, but it can be difficult to find them. The best way to find a proxy that works is to use a VPN to conduct the search so that your ISP or the person monitoring your internet connection doesn’t spot you looking for a method of masking your internet activity.
Proxies are the best option if you are using a computer that you can’t download new things onto, like a work or college computer with download and installation restrictions.
ISP restrictions are a very common reason that people aren’t able to access certain websites.
The reason that ISPs restrict their user’s activity is usually that there are age concerns, or they do not think that certain content is appropriate. Ultimately, and as long as you are the right age and aren’t breaking the law, it isn’t up to your ISP to determine which content is appropriate for you and which isn’t.
Bypassing ISP restrictions is very easy to do, with either a VPN or a proxy.
Another method is to go onto your ISP’s website and log into your account and check if there are any age or content restrictions in place. If you are receiving website blocks, then there will be.
As long as you live in a country with free internet access, then you will be able to reverse these and unblock content. If you are being blocked still, it could be to do with the device that you are using or your mobile data provider, if you are using a phone.
Sometimes mobile data providers block content, but as with ISPs, this too can be undone.
If you are using the internet and keep receiving blocks, despite using a VPN or proxy, it could also be down to the fact that you have safe settings enabled.
These are age-related browser restrictions, designed to prevent young people from accessing content that is not appropriate for them. It’s very easy to undo safe settings, but the method depends largely upon the browser that you are using.
If you are underaged and are using a parent’s device, then you won’t be able to undo safe settings, nor should you try to.
If you are not underaged, you should be able to undo age restrictions by logging into your browser account and finding the safe setting sections. It’s usually as simple as unticking a box.
If you are an internet user but don’t want to have the content you are able to view restricted, then this article’s guidance should be of some use to you.
Make sure that the content you are trying to view is legal, however. The reason that it is blocked could be because it is illegal content, which could lead to you being arrested or punished.