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.
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How to bypass Wi-Fi restrictions: 6 ways
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!
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!
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Advantages of VPNs
Disadvantages of VPNs
Pro Tip: Avoid free VPNs. They are slow and usually collect your data.
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 anything 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
Disadvantages of proxies
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 user’s 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
Disadvantages of SSH tunnels
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
Disadvantages of Tor
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.
Advantages of Google Translate
Disadvantages of Google Translate
I have been informed that schools (and potentially other Wi-Fi operators) may use their own DNS (Domain Name Service) servers to enforce blocks. Your device pings DNS when you enter a web address to translate it into a numerical IP (Internet Protocol) address. It’s like a phonebook for the internet.
By default, your device pings the nearest DNS, which is most usually maintained by the ISP. But schools (and others) set their Wi-Fi to use their DNS. This allows them to block selected websites by having the DNS server not translate the addresses to IPs. For example, if you wanted to go to www.miniclip.com (RIP), the school DNS would go, “eh, I don’t know this one.”
But you can configure your device to use a specific alternate DNS server instead. The easiest way to do this would be to set it on your browser. The smartest way would actually involve using a smart DNS service which is a lot better at overcoming blocks as it routes blocked websites via a proxy.
Advantages of DNS
Disadvantages of DNS
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:
Some governments might block different sites for political reasons, unrest, or security concerns. The government can also ban sensitive content such as pornography.
Service providers might limit or prohibit some of their content from being accessed in different countries and regions.
To maximize productivity and improve security, different companies have restricted their internet use. This should prevent their employees from accessing blocked internet sites like social media platforms and streaming sites.
School admins also restrict their internet to supposedly improve productivity and preserve the school’s Wi-Fi 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 on campus.
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.
In conclusion: 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.
How to bypass Wi-Fi restrictions at school?
The most effective ways to bypass internet restrictions at school are:
- Using a VPN;
- Using a proxy;
- Using a smart DNS service.
How to bypass Wi-Fi restrictions on a PC?
Use a VPN service – that is your best choice to bypass Wi-Fi restrictions on a PC.
How to bypass Wi-Fi restrictions without a VPN?
While a virtual private network is the premiere tool for bypassing Wi-Fi restrictions, you can use a proxy or smart DNS instead.