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Bypassing web filters and restrictions

Don’t you just hate it when an over zealous web filter blocks you from almost everything useful on the web? Today I’m writing about methods of circumventing systems such as Websense or other web filtering software.

Websense is rather strict and is covered below. Other blocks may be possible to bypass using either web proxies or socks proxies.

Web Proxies

Web proxies can be useful for a basic fix to filters and can bypass basic blocking systems or systems that rely on a blacklist of sites that have no or poor content checking. A great site (which just so happens to be mine) for finding web proxies is hexalist.com. If you’re a proxy owner, hexalist.com is also very useful for promoting your proxy.

Socks & HTTP Proxies

With the plug for hexalist.com over, I move on to socks/http proxies. These might work if the firewall restrictions in place are poor, but sadly the large majority of socks proxies are either offline or very slow.

Tor

Tor is able to provide you with anonymity, but usually unlikely to punch a hole through a firewall unless the admins are pretty darn poor. You can read more about Tor at torproject.org.

VPN Servers

Another option for circumventing filters is tunneling traffic throught a VPN. Explaining VPN is beyond the scope of this article and not something I am very familiar with, but you can start reading about it here if you wish.

Bypassing Websense — The system used in educational institutions throughout the UK

Websense just so happens to be the most annoying system to bypass. HTTPS sites must be whitelisted, and the content checking is very good. But websense can by bypassed just like any other blocking system. The current favoured method for bypassing websense is using ultrasurf.

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