How to open blocked websites?
Governments across the globe are targeting websites and blocking them from being accessed by internet users. The takedown is a result of copyrights infringements, adult sites, piracy and harmful websites. Some countries have also blocked access to popular websites. For example, YouTube is banned in Pakistan which is a major drawback for the people of the country. Luckily, technology has made everything possible and you can open blocked websites from anywhere in the world.
VPN also known as Virtual Private Network is a virtual point-to-point connection via dedicated connections. It also supports virtual tunneling protocols and traffic encryption. Users connect to a public network through their system or network-enabled device such as smartphones or tablets which allows them to send and receive data from the public network. VPNs are also used to encrypt traffic and hide your IP address providing extra security and functionality.
There are dozens of free VPNs available across the internet including Hotspot Shield, ZenMate, SpotFlux and more. The problem with free VPNs is that they are extremely slow and not reliable. Millions of people use free VPNs which effects browsing speed and can ruin the overall internet experience. Free VPNs are only good when you open blocked websites once a in a blue moon but for everyday use it is highly recommended that you use paid and dedicated VPNs.
How a VPN works?
It is extremely simple to use a VPN. The first thing you need is to buy a plan of any major VPN network such as ExpressVPN, OpenVPN or Private Internet Access. These VPNs also have a mobile app so you can utilize them on smartphone and tablets as well. Once you have selected your desired VPN connection you have to purchase a subscription while registering. Subscriptions are quite cheap so you do not have to worry about spending a lot of money on them. On average a VPN costs $8.32 a month which is reasonable. You can bring the price lower by selecting limited packages or low bandwidth servers.
Once you have registered and have your credentials, it is time to install the desktop client or mobile app of the selected VPN. Now just use your credentials to log-in to the app and select a server from the dozens of options available. You can connect to any network anywhere the world. For example if you want to access the UK PlayStation store then you can select the UK server in the VPN to connect. This will give you access to all UK only websites.
Once you have set everything up, the VPN will connect to the desired server and you are done. You can browse internet freely just like before but this time you will be able to open blocked websites as well. Paid VPNs provide excellent speeds so you will not notice any difference compared to your standard connection.
The process is same on any smartphone or tablet as well. And you can use the same VPN on different devices simultaneously which is an added advantage. If you want to use a VPN all the time on all your devices then you can set it up on your router instead of configuring each device.
Old routers did not come with an option to connect to a VPN but some developers have developed custom firmwares for popular routers which feature VPN configurations in the settings. These free firmwares include – DD-WRT, OpenWRT and Tomato. DD-WRT is the most popular third party firmware because it supports a range of routers from different manufacturers. It supports routers from Linksys, Cisco, D-Link, TP-Link, NetGear and more.
Once you have flashed your router with the third party firmware. All you need to do is access the router settings through your browser by typing 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1, this IP addresses might vary depending on your router make and model.
When you enter the settings, access the VPN tunneling settings and choose your VPN provider. Type in your credentials and preferred server location and connect. Once the settings are successful the router will now direct traffic through the VPN then to the devices. You will not need any other desktop or mobile client to open blocked websites because your router is doing everything for you.
The only problem with using DD-WRT and OpenWRT firmwares is that they do not support all VPNs out of the box. And many VPN providers do not give detailed guides on how to configure their VPN with the said router. It is not difficult but you need to have some advance knowledge on networking before you can continue with the configuration.
Some Virtual Private Networks bypass government monitoring systems and give you direct access to the website. As a result you will witness better browsing speeds and faster video streaming. Using a VPN is not illegal and it is your right to protect your data from being accessed by unauthorized personnel. You can encrypt your traffic and block access to hackers by using VPNs.
As things are going, using a VPN will become a necessity for every internet user. Reason being, protecting yourself from hackers and getting convicted of illegal downloads. UK is already tracking down users who download content illegally through torrents. VPN is the best way to hide your identity and protect your connection from spy agencies. Secondly, online streaming is becoming more popular than renting DVDs or buying a movie on Blu-ray. Services such as NetFlix, Hulu, and HBO TV all are region locked so if you want to use these services you will need a VPN to connect to a server in the particular country these services work on.
There are dozens of VPN options available and ExpressVPN is one of them. It offers reasonable pricing plans and you can choose any server from a list of more than 300 servers across 100 countries. It also offers subscriptions based on monthly, 6-months and yearly plans.
ExpressVPN Voted Best VPN Service On The World