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How to Access Banned Blogs bannedAs discussed in Banned Again: Why Aren’t You Concerned?, continues to be a target for censorship and blocking from various countries and groups around the world attempting to penalize the whole for the “wrongs” of the few the courts or governments decide to penalize, those cutting off thousands of blogs from access.

I was also recently blocked from accessing Gmail and this blog from a free hotel WIFI in Chicago, which inspired me to write How Do You Know If Your Blog is Banned or Blocked? on the Blog Herald, as your blog can be blocked from anywhere at any time, not just by a country or legal decision. Bans and blocks can happen from companies, educational institutions, public WIFI access points, Internet Providers, and more.

I contacted support about the options and did some digging to find out how bloggers were getting around the blocks and what bloggers can do.

According to support, mapping your domain to a account will not avoid the blocks that ban by IP address. The request goes to the nameservers which trigger the blocks. So adding the Domain Mapping feature will not get around the bans.

However, working with client side proxy software or online web proxy servers, using web proxy browser extensions, and some other techniques allow web savvy users to bypass most of these blocks and filters not only to read the blocked blogs but access and blog on blocked blog services.

Here are some options to try to access a blocked blog as well as other blocked or banned sites.

Client Side Proxy Software

By installing client side proxy software, you can get get around strong firewalls like the ones in China, a technique used by many high tech companies inside and outside of China, often developed by technology experts in Chinese companies.

Client side proxy software allows a user to securely bypass content-filtering systems set up by governments and corporate networks. According to Wikipedia regarding , a popular web proxy program, it is described as:

…a censorship circumvention solution that allows users to access blocked sites in countries where the Internet is censored, [which] turns a regular home computer into a personal, encrypted server capable of retrieving and displaying web pages anywhere.

By bypassing the blocks, the web is an open door. Some popular proxy software include:

Online Web Proxy Bypass Sites

There are a variety of online web proxy bypass sites which allow free access to blocked and banned sites. They have a variety of features and abilities, and may take several tries and testing of options to access some banned and blocked sites. By using online proxy sites, the site blocks your IP address and other information, allowing your visit to the site to go through without interference.

These sites may not always allow you access to blog on a blocked blog, but they do permit reading and often commenting on most banned blogs and sites. To access a banned or blocked blog as the blog owner and contributor, enter the login URL.

Visit the site and enter the blocked site’s URL into the form. You can use their default proxy services or select from various options to access the blocked site.

There are many online web proxy server sites, and a few popular ones include:

Using a Peer-to-Peer Content Distribution Network

You can also get around some blocks using a peer-to-peer content distribution network, such as Coral CDN. A content distribution network (CDN) is what popular file sharing networks are based upon, server-based networks with content-delivery, request-routing, file distribution, and accounting infrastructures. By maximizing bandwidth and time savings by content replication across the servers, access is faster and cheaper through the network than by relying upon one server located thousands of miles away. A web user can also navigate through the content distribution network to hide or confuse their IP address, thus allowing access to banned or blocked sites.

Corel offers easy bypassing of some firewall and site blocks by adding or to the URL of the site. For a site:

would be

To use this with my article on Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization Guide, the link would be:

You can do this manually, or use one of the Coral Clients for Firefox, Greasemonkey, Opera, and Internet Explorer or one of the Corel browser plugins. It will work with Windows, Max, Linus, BSD, and most other operating systems.

If you are offering content specifically for readers often found behind firewalls, why not help them by adding the Coral link code to your outgoing links so they can access blocked and banned content without stress nor struggle.

Browser Extensions

There are a few browser extensions and add-ons that will help you get through various firewalls. Choose one appropriate to your web browser.

More Solutions to Bypass Firewalls and Bans

is a privacy project and program run by volunteers that works by bouncing your online communications around a distributed network of relays, similar to a content distribution network but the project is designed to block tracking and spying on your Internet activity. It protects your privacy such as blocking your physical site location and works with web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote logins and other TCP protocol access applications. By blocking information on your web traffic stats and path, Tor may help some uses bypass firewalls and blocks to access, and does protect your private information from being tracked completely, which is why many recommend the Tor Bundle, which includes Tor, TorCP and Privoxy.

You can also add an Automatic proxy configuration file to your computer and browser that will type into your browser, such as FireFox, to bypass some preventions. For information and details see:

For more information on the variety of techniques and tips for bypassing most firewall restrictions and blocks, see:

China is not the only one blocking, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, and many other social networking, bookmarking, and blog sites. Recent blocks include Brazil and Turkey. You can learn more on Internet censorship on Wikipedia and Internet censorship in the People’s Republic of China.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted June 7, 2008 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Great article Lorelle, and hopefully useful to those affected by such blocks. Though, of course, most will not be able to access the information because of the block.

    As an expat in China, this is something we all learn to deal with and it can be a real pain in the padding. Hands down the best solutions (when it comes to is the proxy.pac switch that you mentioned above:

    You can also add an Automatic proxy configuration file to your computer and browser that will type into your browser, such as FireFox, to bypass some preventions. For information and details see:

    It essentially just switches the blocked IP with a mirrored IP – so there’s no frustrating lag like there is when accessing via a Web-based proxy or a service like Tor.

    Outside the scope of WordPress and Blogger blogs, a better solution is a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a service that creates a private “tunnel” between your computer and the sites you visit – allowing you to visit whatever you want. I recently bit the bullet and paid the $40 annual fee ( and haven’t looked back. Proof is in the pudding – it’s how I’m reading/posting this from within the Great Firewall of China.

  2. Posted June 8, 2008 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    The irony of course is this post will not be seen by people in countries and communities where is blocked 😀

    Regarding using CDN I think you will find that some calls are made to the originating site from the client which while it may allow you to access some of the content it was never designed to act as a full on proxy so the pages may look messed up that and the authorities would I assume block such sites pretty quickly indeed I suspect Corel is one of the first DNS calls they would block. It should be remembered CDN was designed as relieve stress on a servers rather then for the client.

  3. Pierre K.
    Posted June 8, 2008 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    As you can see (if you can read french) in this article : Le gouvernement accuse de preparer le filtrage due net. The french governement is working on something not so far from the chinese filtering system. I hope french people will not have to use your tips all days…

  4. Posted June 8, 2008 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    The ban in Turkey was a DNS based block. All one had to do to get around it was to switch to an alternate DNS service like OpenDNS.

  5. Posted June 8, 2008 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    thanks Lorelle for this great post,

    -1- you have also a guide by Global Voices Advocacy: Anonymous Blogging with WordPress & Tor. A step-by-step guidance on blogging while protecting your privacy, for personal safety, also available in Chinese and in French.
    -2- Blogspot Blocked? Get WordPress!, a short video tutorial on how to migrate your from a blocked blogspot blog to wordpress.

  6. Posted June 8, 2008 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Really helpful!

    I’ve written a how-to about accessing banned sites using SSH tunnel two months before. It’s in Chinese, but with the help of Google Translate and detailed illustrations, you should have no trouble understanding how it works.

    Hope this helps, too.

  7. Posted June 8, 2008 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Very Helpful & indeed the requirement of time.
    Every now & then this is a big challenge which every blogger has to face. Thanks Lorelle for the great article & resources.

  8. Posted June 8, 2008 at 6:45 am | Permalink


    Yes, VPN is another excellent choice. Actually you can probably use this free solution instead of the paid service you mentioned.

    Its connection speed is good enough for webpage accessing, at least for me. 🙂

  9. Posted June 8, 2008 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Ahh this is lame explaining that proxys can bypass bans because its a different ip address.Its simple sh^t you ban the number 5 so you use the number 6.

  10. Posted June 8, 2008 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s awesome that you are providing a resource that many people around the world need badly. If they could access it…

    I bookmarked just for future reference and you never know maybe even in American some day we may need this information.

  11. Posted June 9, 2008 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    You can also use Orkutshortcut to bypass your ISP’s website blockage 🙂
    I use it all the time to check my scraps on orkut at my college PC :p Orkut, myspace etc are blocked at my college and this little proxy helps me there to unblock Orkut 🙂

  12. Posted June 9, 2008 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    Nice resource, Lorelle. The irony of how it could get to those that need it isn’t lost on me, either. But people in speech-oppressed countries who really want to know these things, already do. Still it’s great to publish stuff like this because you never know who needs it but didn’t know this sort of thing even existed.

  13. Posted June 9, 2008 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Lorelle —

    Despite the overly caustic attitude, I actually agree with “troyspace” that this article should be given wide distribution. Please consider “open sourcing” it.

    As another commenter points out — you have an article on your blog telling people how to reach blogs. Huh??? It’s a lot more useful if other people copy it to their blogs.

    Love ya babe. Don’t go changin’ 😉

  14. Posted June 9, 2008 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    @ MJ “revoltingpawn”:

    Actually, the people who “need” this often know better than I do about how to bypass firewalls and filters as this is part of their cultural technology. The information is available to them, if they choose to use it. This is for those who don’t live with such a firewalled culture and get caught unaware. I ran into this problem while in Chicago recently. The hotel I was in had free WIFI but blocks on Gmail and a lot of websites and blog services so I couldn’t get email nor get onto my blog on And that is in America. So I started to dig more into this after that experience so I would have a record of what to do next time I’m in a library or on a firewalled Internet access – not just a foreign country.

  15. Posted June 9, 2008 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    @ Stephen R:

    While I appreciate the thought, that blogger is in trouble for violating the Terms of Service for in addition to violating copyright. This information is available all over the web, so mine is just one of thousands giving similar advice, though I appreciate your confidence.

  16. Posted June 9, 2008 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Lorelle ! Nice job. I will try this should I get banned (which I hope don’t) 🙂

  17. Posted June 10, 2008 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    So what does the first amendment say? Freedom of Speech? Are we sure, when our opinion is banned.

  18. Posted June 10, 2008 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Ho…ho….ho…. Nice tips. Lorrele…. Thank you.
    May be I will try some day. Coz Indonesia is a free country 😀

  19. Posted June 10, 2008 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    @ Pedro Martinez:

    As you know, the United States First Amendment only applies to the United States. Each country has their own rules. And so do businesses who want to prevent their employees from accessing some websites and blogs, even in the United States. Freedom of Speech is a responsibility, too, and there are a lot of rules and laws that impinge upon that said freedom of speech, in the United States as well as around the world. Either way, this is not a topic for discussing that. It is a post on how to get around such blocks imposed by whatever means.

  20. Posted June 15, 2008 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Related to this post: SSL is now blocked in Iran

  21. Saurabh
    Posted July 16, 2008 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    hey guys can u help me .m leavin in hostels n mah hostel is fully wifid . i can’t access internet.few daz bak ultrasurf was workin but now its not workin .so plz help me out to sort this prolem.iw’ll be thankfull if u help me.i have downloded gpass,psiphon but m not able to use them, i mean ,i don’t know how to use it.

  22. Posted July 16, 2008 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    @ Saurabh:

    If you were able to comment on this blog, you must be able to get some access. Search the web for more alternatives for accessing the Internet or restricted sites. There are a lot of options and this article includes many.

  23. Bud
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    For about the last six months or so, I’ve been blogging on Greta Van Susteren’s (Fox News Network) blog called I got banned from posting but can still read all of the blogs on Fox News. Now I can not post anything on any blog on Fox News. What would be the best go around to where I could post on the Fox News Network?

    It seems that Fox News Network is becoming like China and Turkey with their WordPress blocks. I think we will be seeing more and more of WordPress blocking in the United States. I think that it is a shame that the News Media believes in blocking…the so called 1st Amendment supports.

    • Posted January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      If a site has blocked you from posting in their comments, they must have a good reason. If they don’t, then contact them directly and ask them. It might not be on purpose but you might have gotten caught in their spam catcher without a reason, making you assume they’ve directly blocked you. I don’t know. Either way, contact them and ask first before making more assumptions.

  24. Penn Williams
    Posted March 28, 2009 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    I’ve had very poor luck with PPTP based VPN’s. Besides their inherent slowness because they are TCP based on several occasions I have had the tunnel go down and was surfing in the open with no warning from the Windows PPTP client. I find the OpenVPN to be superior and the UDP protocol is much faster and efficient. The OpenVPN provider I recommend is Surfbouncer Personal VPN.

  25. agadir
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    how can I block a country to access our company site ??? sick of people making fake booking enquirers form our country

    • Posted September 21, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      There are many resources online for information on how to block access to your site by country, though it’s a terrible thing to do. Just because idiots are abusing your site from one particular country doesn’t mean every inquiry from that country is trouble.

      The real answer is a long one and you probably won’t like it, but this is the way of the world right now. To begin with, I recommend using Akismet and Bad Behavior WordPress Plugins.

  26. Posted October 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on raincoaster media and commented:
    Since Russia has started blocking and interfering with people’s right to freely share their words, it looks like it’s time to reblog this. Lorelle is THE authority. While the article is several years old, so it a lot of Putin’s tech, so good luck!

  27. Posted December 19, 2013 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Trasnochada and commented:
    Un post de Lorelle, sobre censura, bloqueos y distintas formas de burlarlos.

22 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. […] has a comprehensive post detailing the available tools to circumvent Internet blocks. She details applications, browser plugins and online resources to do so. Well worth the read and […]

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  15. […] trouble reaching the outside world, but I think planning ahead is a good thing. I started with this article on accessing WordPress in China. I was never really sure what she was talking about; my computer […]

  16. […] free and open to anyone around the world with an opinion. He and his team fight constantly to not help those living in places that ban access to in violation of the true spirit of freedom of speech, as do bloggers around the world threatened by […]

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