how to bypass Wi-Fi restrictions

Network administrators usually have reasons for enacting different Wi-Fi restrictions on their networks – doesn’t mean we have to like them. Whether it’s at school, university, or your workplace, these kinds of restrictions can be annoying (just like the school, university, or workplace themselves). Luckily, you can use different techniques to easily bypass school Wi-Fi restrictions.

5 ways to bypass Wi-Fi restrictions

So, how do you access a blocked site at school (or work, or… you know the drill)? Using one of these Wi-Fi restrictions bypass techniques, that’s how! 

Method #1: Virtual Private Network (VPN)

As a student, a VPN should be one of your best friends as it’s perfect for bypassing internet restrictions and free restricted websites. That’s because the school controls the Wi-Fi router you’re connecting to, and they can put up a network firewall that blocks attempts to reach a certain address.

But a VPN ensures that you privately and securely connect to the internet by routing your data via a VPN server. Thus, your school Wi-Fi thinks you’re accessing the VPN server, not a banned website, and doesn’t block the connection. The application also encrypts your internet connection as it tunnels it through a secure server – as if you were a ghost when browsing the internet. So even if the school Wi-Fi firewall was to inspect your data for suspicious stuff, it wouldn’t find anything. 

As another benefit a VPN masks your actual IP address by practically replacing it with the server’s. This helps you access geo-blocked content!

How to use a VPN

Step 1. Subscribe to a VPN.
Step 2. Download and install the app.
Step 3. Connect to a VPN server (the closest one geographically offers the best speeds).
Step 4. Play ball (in a game (that was previously blocked on your Wi-Fi)).

Advantages of VPNs

  • Are easy to use.
  • Provide access to geo-blocked content.
  • Ensure military-grade encryption – great for privacy.
  • Secure your web connection and Wi-Fi.

Disadvantages of VPNs

  • Good VPNs cost money.
  • They might slow down your internet connection.

Pro Tip: Avoid free VPNs. They are slow, and usually collect your data.

Method #2: Proxies

Another tool you can use to bypass restrictions is proxies. A proxy works almost the same as a VPN server; only proxies (except for HTTPS ones) don’t provide end-to-end encryption. Instead, a proxy works as an intermediary between your PC and the internet.

The proxy will receive your internet traffic and instructions and forward them to the intended destination whenever you browse. It’s similar to a VPN, but usually restricted to a single browser or tab (a VPN secures all of the traffic).

Should you choose the proxy path, make sure you stick with premium proxies – they have better chances of bypassing firewalls and restrictions. Plus, they are faster and offer better encryption. Free proxies, on the other hand, are slow due to congestion and won’t circumvent advanced restrictions.

While proxies don’t require you to install them on your device, they don’t encrypt your connection unless they’re premium, and only work for a single app, like the browser. 

Advantages of proxies

  • They are fast with reduced load time.
  • Can bypass geo-location restrictions/blocked content.

Disadvantages of proxies

  • Prone to malware and ads.
  • Not very private (unless you use HTTPS proxies).
  • Free proxies aren’t safe.

Method #3: SSH Tunnel

An SSH tunnel works the same way as a VPN server – your traffic is directed through a tunnel. This method is not commonly used since it requires some advanced tech knowledge to configure. In other words, it’s more of a serious geek thing than an everyday users’ tool. 

To use this technique, you have to create an SSH server and then configure it remotely. The tunnel ensures that your traffic follows a secure connection giving you the much-needed encryption to bypass restrictions and site blockages.

Advantages of SSH tunnels

  • SSH tunnels are secure.
  • They provide encryption.

Disadvantages of SSH tunnels 

  • They are slow.
  • Require some level of tech-savviness.

Method #4: Tor

Tor network has also proven helpful when bypassing different restrictions and blocked content. This tool makes use of The Onion Router (Tor) network. The Tor browser sends your traffic through three different nodes (randomly chosen from hundreds and thousands of nodes scattered worldwide). The process is random, and your traffic will be encrypted as it goes through every server.

The encryption and numerous relays make it difficult for a regular site to identify your location. It is also almost impossible to be caught by some blocking filters, which means that school Wi-Fi will be powerless to stop you. However, the connection is really, really slow, making it entirely unsuitable for games or video. 

Advantages of Tor

  • It’s free.
  • Can bypass restrictions.
  • It’s more secure than other browsers.

Disadvantages of Tor

  • Slows your connection.
  • Not available for iOS devices.
  • You need to install the Tor Browser.

Method #5: Google Translate

I know Google Translate doesn’t come to mind anytime you think of ways to bypass blocked sites. Yet, it can help a lot. All you need to do is enter the site address you intend to visit into Google Translate and ask Google to translate it. Go to the translated section and click the link – the restricted page will load up.

Google Translate works like a proxy server. It is an excellent way to bypass restrictions – the network admin will only see that you’re using Google Translate. Look at you, a premiere student/ardent employee, translating stuff! It’s important to note that this method won’t work if Google Translate has been blocked.

Reasons for Wi-Fi restrictions

There are different reasons why different service providers or network administrators restrict their Wi-Fi or sites from being accessed. Here are some of them:

Government policy

Some governments might block different sites for political reasons, unrest, or security concerns. The government can also ban sensitive content such as pornography.

Geo-blocking

Service providers might limit or prohibit some of their content from being accessed in different countries and regions.

Work regulations

To maximize productivity and improve security, different companies have restricted their internet barring their employees from accessing certain content such as social media and streaming sites.

School rules

School admins also restrict their internet to, supposedly, improve school productivity and preserve the school bandwidth.

Reasons for bypassing school Wi-Fi restrictions 

It’s unlikely that you got this far without knowing WHY you want to bypass school restrictions. But just in case, we listed the benefits of doing so:

Access to online games

With  internet restrictions, it can be impossible to enjoy your favorite online game if you live within the campus.

Website(s) access

Your school administration will try as much as possible to block different sites, terming them as ‘course unrelated.’ Websites likely to face the ax include most social media and streaming sites.

A VPN is the best way to get past school Wi-Fi restrictions

When you know how to bypass Wi-Fi restrictions, it’s fairly easy. There are different techniques to get past blocked sites, but a VPN usually comes on top of that list. Besides getting past your school’s firewall, a VPN will always keep your connection encrypted and hidden from snoops. Security AND accessibility? Truly, we are living in the future.

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