Monday, December 22, 2008

Bypassing Internet Filters

Many times you will catch yourself in a situation where website access is restricted, and for some reason, you need to access a restricted website. In my experience, I have been able to get around all types of filtering. However, sometimes setups and restrictions can be extremely tricky to beat. I am going to briefly describe my methods of circumventing filters.

  • Web Based Proxy - There are many web based proxies on the web today, such as While these web based proxies are easy to use, many times they will be slow, display or omit content. Alot of proxies have trouble displaying video or flash. Also, when going through a proxy, you run the risk of someone stealing your information. All and all, web based proxies are good for quick little work arounds you need, such as downloading a file or getting your hands on some quick information.
  • IP Proxy - An IP proxy is a proxy that you access by directing all of your requests through without having a web page reformat and display the data. Most browsers have options that allow you to connect to the internet through a proxy. If your current browser supports that, it is just a matter of copying and pasting a proxy and its port from a list (like this one). Please note that it is a good idea to search for the list on a computer that is not monitored, or that website may be blocked by your system/network administrator.
    Setting your browser to connect through an IP Proxy:
    Internet Explorer - Open 'Internet Options'->'Connections'->'LAN Settings'. Enable the 'use a proxy server'. For address, you need to put in the IP address of your proxy (everything before the ':') and the port number (everything after ':'). Click OK.
    Opera - Click on Tools->Preferences. A new window will pop up. Click advanced, Network, and then Proxy Servers. Check off HTTP, HTTPS and FTP and fill in all fields with the same proxy and port number. Press OK.
    Mozilla Firefox - Open Tools->Options (or Edit->Preferences), click on the Advanced Tab, then General->Settings. From this menu, select Manual Proxy Configuration. Paste in your proxy info and click okay.
    IP Proxies are normally a better option for connecting to websites. All content being displayed should be the same as if you were visiting it on a direct connection (just a bit slower). Once again, there is still a security risk and you should be weary of what you do while connected to a proxy.
  • Using An Alternate/Portable Browser - If you can, try installing an alternate browser. Some connections are restricted on a per browser basis. If installing another browser is not a possibility, try downloading a portable browser. (my favorite place for portable applications)
  • Using An IP Address - Some rather 'Stupid' network administrators will block websites by domain name and skip blocking the IP address. Open up your command prompt and type in 'Ping' (replacing with the website you want to visit). The command prompt should give you an IP Addrress. Try entering it into your url, it might just work.
  • Using Another Operating System - Alot of the blocking I see is client side or dependent on the OS you are using. Download Slax or Ubuntu and pop it into the computer. If your boot order loads from your disc or flash drive before the hard drive, you are in the clear. You should have no restrictions on what you can do on your computer. As for internet, depending on the method used to block or restrict access, you may have an easier time getting around the filters.
Please remember that this article is just here for informational purposes and your network administrator probably has a good reason for you not to visit certain websites.


Post a Comment