It is not all that difficult to gain access or entry to a blocked site. Websites may be blocked for many reasons. Knowing how to unblock websites is useful should you have important things to do, and you cannot access a site you need. A site can be blocked due to your own personal firewall that you have installed on your computer. The settings of the firewall can be such that it will block a particular site. It is easy to mistakenly blocked sites using your own firewall. You need to determine whether you cannot access a site because your firewall is blocking it, or whether something else is at work. Viruses can also be responsible for blocking you from viewing websites. If you are sure that you haven't blocked yourself from a website, you can use a VPN to unblock websites. By installing some VPN software, you can enjoy the utmost freedom while surfing the net. They can be used at many different places, like schools, colleges, your work place, or even from foreign countries. Many of these places impose restrictions on you and prevent you from accessing your favorite websites whenever you want. Along with unblocking websites, a VPN will also protect your identity. Even your ISP won't know what websites you are looking at, and your IP address effectively become the IP address of the VPN server, while your own IP address is hidden. As your connection to a VPN server is encrypted, you are effectively anonymous when browsing the web. If anyone should intercept that data, it would just look like noise. For this reason, it's important not to disable encryption on your VPN client software. Although there are no 100% guarantees with computer security, with a VPN you can be pretty sure that your data is safe and that your browsing habits won't be tracked. VPNs are used by companies all over the world for these reasons. VPN stands for virtual private network. The reason it is called this is because a VPN is much like a local area network. The between difference a LAN and a VPN is that a LAN uses wires to connect computers together, which obviously people outside a company building cannot tamper with. A VPN, however, uses "tunneling" over the internet to create the virtual network between computers. This is why it must use encryption, because otherwise it would be an insecure network due to data traveling across a public space. There are several ways of unblocking websites, many of which use similar strategies. Free Proxies - Using a proxy server will hide your real IP from the website you're accessing. Rather than access websites directly, you do so through the proxy, thereby hiding your IP address. So if you're IP address was banned from a forum, you could use a proxy to get around the ban. However, proxies cannot be used with e-mail or instant messaging. The problem with free proxies is that they are available today are gone tomorrow. And of course free proxies themselves can be banned by a school or office. Paid Proxies - If you have the money, you can invest in a paid proxy, which is the same as a free proxy, except that because you pay it will be more reliable. To setup a proxy is easy. All you need to do is adjust the proxy settings in your browser, which is much easier than it sounds. If you use Firefox, there is an free add-on that will make it even easier. VPNs - Virtual Private Networks have more security and encryption features than proxies. This is because a VPN connection is identical with a network connection. This means you can also use it for e-mail and instant messaging, not just web surfing. This is probably the most comprehensive way to get around a restricted internet connection. Alternative URLs - Depending on how your school or office blocks websites, you may be able to overcome their firewall by using an alternative URL. If you the normal URL (i.e. the domain name) you use to access a website is blocked, and you can find an alternative URL, it is possible that the alternative won't be blacklisted. This means that you can then access the website. Cached Pages - Google keeps a cached copy of most webpages. Search for the site you want to visit and then click on the cached page. Because you are visiting Google's cached page and not not the website itself, you will be able to access the site. The good news is that there is an even simpler way to visit sites that are supposedly blocked, and thereby get your freedom on the web back. The solution is using a web proxy. A web proxy is like a free or paid proxy, but you access it through a website. And the best part is that web proxies do not require any type of installation or setup on your computer! You simply have to go to the website! This means you can browse the web freely without your network administrator ever finding out! The only problem you may have with web proxies is that sometimes even they get blocked by your network administrator. What are you going to do now? Well, there is another very simple solution: a web proxy list! A web proxy list is full of links to web proxies that have been submitted by proxy webmasters all over the world. This is a great resource to use when you are in a situation where your administrator has blocked the proxy websites that you have been using, because you will always have hundreds of other web proxies to choose from! You can even get the newest web proxies delivered to your inbox by joining a relevant Google Group. You will have the latest and freshest proxies e-mailed to you. You could even follow a proxy robot on Twitter to see proxies as they are added to the proxy list. This means you are informed as soon as a new web proxy comes online. So, if you aren't yet convinced that web proxies are the best way to access websites blocked by your network administrator, then I don't know what else I can say. They are certainly the quickest and easiest way to browse the web securely, freely, and safely no matter where you are. A good network administrator will be working hard to block your access to web proxies. Thus it may be necessary to frequently seek out new proxies that have not yet been blocked. If you need to find new proxies regularly, you can save yourself the trouble by subscribing to a proxy mailing list that will email new proxies to you on a daily or weekly basis. You can easily find web proxy listing sites by doing a search on Google.