One of the biggest problems about having internet access at work or at school is that you have absolutely no control over what sites you can and cannot access. Often schools and jobs make use of a filter that blocks specific websites, or alternatively, will only let you access a select list of sites.
This can make it very difficult to do what you want to while you are online, and it can even limit your ability to do what you are supposed to be doing online.
Some of the most commonly blocked websites include Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, because people are worried that you will be mess around instead of doing what you are supposed to be doing.
However, there are a lot of other sites that get blocked too. Another example is the way that schools will block any website that they think is inappropriate. However, often the filter confuses educational sites on a topic with non-educational sites and blocks both.
Filters at school and work can be very frustrating, and you might feel that they are unavoidable because it isn’t your network. A very effective way to get around filters at school and work is a VPN. At its heart, a VPN is a tunnel which isolates your internet data from the rest of the web, specifically from people who might be watching it and from filters.
The good thing about taking this approach is that a VPN is much more secure than other approaches to unblocking websites. This means that you not only have the ability to browse websites that you couldn’t otherwise, but you also don’t have to worry about anyone ‘looking over your shoulder’ so to speak.
What happens when you use a VPN is that you connect to what is known as a VPN server. What this server does is route traffic to and from your computer. Most importantly, it controls the way that traffic is routed. This means that all of your traffic goes through the VPN tunnels I mentioned before, which makes it very hard for anyone to access any information about what you are doing.
Furthermore, VPNs also make use of encryption. This makes it even more difficult for anyone else to see your information, because even if they managed to obtain it, they wouldn’t know what to do with it. By using a VPN you fool the filter into thinking that all of what you are doing online is perfectly okay with its rules, and you will find that the filter doesn’t even have any clue what you are actually doing.
But VPNs are not the only solution. You can read more about proxy sites here, or you can read a review of a web based proxy I use called SecuriTales, and how it can use it on your work computer/phone. (Hint: “web based” means you don’t have to install anything)