Top 10 anti-censorship methods

More and more often, accessing the Internet becomes limited by the presence of censoring tools and methods (and I am not speaking of those countries where this has been institutionalized like China, Iran or Tunisia). It may be to avoid your spending too much time idling instead of working or it may be to ensure that you do not access to “questionable material”. But the Internet is highly flexible in nature and there may be good solutions to avoid this censorship.

10 – Go to the IP addresss

Instead of connecting through the domain name (example.com), you could connect directly to the IP address (192.168.0.15). It the network stops you at the DNS level, this will allow you to reach the site.

9 – Go to the Google cache

As you certainly know, the Google search engine offers “cached” links after most of its results. Since those are copies of the original web site located on Google servers, it is convenient.

8 – Go to Google mobile search

Google mobile search is made for mobile phone users, but it can be used by countless others.

7 – Go to an anonymizer

Companies are offering to be the intermediate bewteen you and the web site you want to visit. Their primary offer is to hide you from the web site owner, but quite often, the side effect is also to run around the censorship set at your provider or company. See my own list of anonimyzers.

6 – Translate the web site

Several tools allow to translate the contents of a web site. Use them to access sites that are hidden from you.

5 – Go to a proxy server

A proxy server is merely an intermediate between you and the web site you want to visit. They may not be hiding your identity like the anonimyzers, but the censors will probably not see your destination. Many are public. Quite a number of them are known and recognized (banned) anyway. A large list of public proxy servers.

4 – Web by email

Nearly low-tech compared to the rest and often quite slow, you can request the web pages you want to see. Using the right service, you could receive copies by email. It may be too slow to surf the web, but if you know where is the information you need, it’s working in many cases.

3 – Change providers

Leave your company or your country for some other place where it is easier to access the Internet. Even if it may not be really reasonable for a country, leaving may be an option if your ISP is blocking some accesses. Another ISP may be more flexible.

2 – Use TOR

TOR is a distributed network of proxy servers. You connect to it, your request will go to TOR and be transfered to one or more of the TOR machines. You can even participate easily to the TOR network (bringing your own PC into the network, not merely using it – it improves the quality of your searches).

Main problems:

  • Some web sites (e.g. SlashDot) block all TOR-enabled IP addresses because they have been used to abuse them.
  • Installing a TOR node is more complex, but very efficient.

1 – Create your own proxy server

If all else fails, why not install your own proxy. In most cases, you can install one wherever you like and it will be known by you only. this way, you have a personnal anti-censorship tool that you can move any time you want. Several proxy servers written in PHP can be used for this:

2 comments

  1. Just wanted to thank you for a really good post. I found it quite useful and will check your site often.

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