It’s bad enough that governments have us divided through politics, but they had to go ahead and divide the internet, too. Luckily, the internet falls in the realm of technology — not human ignorance — that can be overcome with a bit of technological sleuthing.
On the other hand, it’s not always governments who put restrictions, sometimes it’s simply the inability (or unwillingness) of the service-in-question, to overcome geographic boundaries (i.e. geographic restrictions).
So, what should we do when we want to access a site or an internet based product on our Android devices?
How do we get to a digital destination that is blocked or otherwise restricted in our geographical location?
We apply a bit of that technological sleuthing we mentioned before.
Access Blocked Websites on Android Phone and Tablet
With the not-so-recent proliferation of handheld devices, users find it handier (pun intended) to access the internet over their handheld gizmos. That’s exactly why, when we come across a service or website that’s blocked in our region, we see red!
Don’t despair! I’m here to tell you about all the different ways you can bypass geo-blocking or location-based restrictions and access blocked websites on your Android device. Chances are you’ve probably heard of some of these methods to access blocked sites for Android. You may have even tried some with varying degrees of success.
The first couple of methods are apps you can download, so they are pretty quick to get up and running. The last two methods are slightly more involved, but still at a beginner difficulty level.
Method 1: Orbot – Proxy with Tor
A little known, yet very effective, free proxy app for unblocking blocked websites on Android smartphones and tablets is Orbot. Orbot will encrypt your internet data so you can access blocked websites, messaging and emails without the threat of being monitored or blocked.
Download Orbot from the Google Play Store and install it. For rooted devices, you can follow these instructions.
Open the app and power up Tor.
Next, install the Orweb app, the browser supported by Tor. Now you can freely browse all the blocked websites.
Method 2: VPN – Hola Free VPN
Formerly Hola Unblocker, this VPN app not only unblocks blocked websites for Android devices, it also compresses data being sent over the internet. This compression greatly improves your browsing speed. The best part is, for Hola to work you don’t need to create any kind of account with them. It’s extremely easy to install and use.
Go to the Google Play Store, download, and install the Hola Android app.
Open the Hola app and you’re done.
Hola comes in with a built in browser through which you can surf the blocked websites. It also lets you open apps that are geographically restricted. Say, you’re in China and want to watch videos on Netflix, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer, you would install the respective apps and open them through Hola. The same goes for any other app like Spotify, YouTube and Pandora.
If you want to download an app that’s not available on the Google Play Store, you can search for the application’s apk file through a Google search. Once, the apk file has downloaded, install it and run it with Hola.
Method 3: TUNLR
Tunlr is a mix of a VPN and a DNS service. Tunlr supports quite a few platforms: Windows, Mac, AppleTV, PS4, and Android to name a few. Although, a free service, TUNLR requests its users to deactivate the DNS when not in use. The constant barrage of data being squeezed through the VPN tunnel will overload the service and kill it.
It’s important to understand that TUNLR only masks your IP address to fool geo-blocked websites; it does not provide any security. So, if you’ve got nothing to hide and only entertainment on your mind, TUNLR is perfect for you. To take advantage of this free and incredibly easy way of accessing blocked websites and media on your Android devices, follow these simple steps:
Enter the Settings menu,
and then open the Wi-Fi settings.
Press and hold the network you are connected to, to access the pop-up menu.
Click on Modify Network.
Check on Advanced Options,
and change the IP settings to Static.
Important: Before following this step, please note your current DNS1 and DNS2 addresses in a secure place. This way you can revert to these changes whenever you might need to.
Change the DNS1 and DNS2 addresses to the ones provided by TUNLR. TUNLR’s Primary and Secondary DNS addresses can change, so make sure to input the current addresses from the website.
Save the changes and you’re ready to browse all the blocked websites you couldn’t access before.
Method 4: MediaHint
MediaHint is a geared towards unblocking video and social media channels. It’s a paid DNS service with the added support of browser extensions, giving its subscribers the power to go around country censorships and geo-restrictions.
MediaHint supports a plethora of smart devices from Android to Kindle Fire. For around $4 a month or approximately $40 a year, you can use MediaHint to watch all your favorite, yet frustratingly geo-restricted, media on any of your devices. They offer a cool 7-day free trial, to take their service on a joy ride.
Here are the steps to use MediaHint on Android devices:
Important: Before you incorporate any of these changes, please make sure to save or write down the original DNS1 and DNS2 addresses of your network.
Note: The following steps are to activate MediaHint’s DNS service; however, simply changing the DNS addresses won’t let you use the service. For the DNS servers to take effect, you will need verify your IP address through the MediaHint account that you have to buy.
Follow Steps 1 to 4 of method 3.
Once, you’ve changed the IP settings to Static, put in the required DNS addresses in their respective fields.
MediaHint’s DNS –
Save the changes and restart your phone for them to take effect.
As a precaution and to keep services running at optimal speed, these services, except for TOR, only work when connected through a Wi-Fi connection. They will not work on a 3G, LTE, or any other cellular data.
Whether we like it or not, all of us have faced that frustrating message, “This content is currently not available in your location.” With so many services now geo-restricted and websites blocked by governments, finding new ways to access content that should been available has become a new industry in of itself. There are countless means to access blocked websites, with varying degrees of success. The methods above are a few of the most popular options.
Share your experience with us in the comments section below about how you did accessing blocked websites through your Android successful or not.