Using Google Chromebooks is a common process for many institutions and schools. It’s a practical way to give members, employees, or students a device that they can use to work and be productive, but it has its downsides. The main one is that some institutions can have the Chromebook to block websites that you might want to access. This can be hindered if you are trying to work or carry out research, especially if you are at a school, college, or place of research and development.
We even saw in 2020 that the restrictions made to online sources and directories of content caused a rapid increase in VPN usage – a response by online users who wanted to bypass censorship, blocks, and paywalls to get content that they rightfully had paid for pre-pandemic. This on top of a demand for increased online privacy has given avenues to more online freedom.
Your Google Chromebook may have its browser, Google Chrome, automatically ban and block sites that you need to access. This can be frustrating as we have seen schools, businesses, and even countries censor and whitelist sources of information and entertainment. Whether your school, work, or even your geographical region is blocking a website, it can be very frustrating. Thankfully, there are many methods, tips, tactics, and tools that can help you unblock your favorite websites.
So here are our top tips to unblock websites on your Chromebook.
Use a Proxy
The most surefire way to get access to websites on your school Chromebook would be using a proxy. It might not be as popular as using some of the VPN options and might not have the same sense of security or fast speeds, but a web proxy can be hugely efficient when you are using a device that will not allow VPN installation. An example of those devices could be a school Chromebook which has been preset to not allow VPNs. Proxies work perfectly in the pursuit to unblock your favorite websites, as they will aid you in masking your IP address and rerouting your internet traffic through public servers.
Proxies are much easier to use on school Chromebooks than VPNs and that’s for a simple reason – proxy servers are paired with different browsers and apps, making them incredibly easy to use. They are also unencrypted, meaning they do not flag as a VPN and differentiate themselves. The only downside is that the encryption – a big feature of a VPN – allows you to stop tracking from businesses, governments, hackers, and even your internet service provider. Proxies do not, so you should avoid using them for anything with personal information or financial accounts.
A smart option to use for a proxy can be found in GeoSurf. It is a safe, cheap, and fast option for a proxy, and most importantly it can hide your IP address as you try to unblock your favorite websites on your school Google Chromebook.
Cut Down The URL
A quick and easy fix to unblocking websites could be done by making the URL shorter for the website you want to visit. By using programs like Bitly and TinyURL, you can make the website destination URL shorter – this is particularly useful if your school or workplace blocks something like YouTube. A Bitly or TinyURL version can allow you to get unblocked access to the video.
Using this kind of tool is super easy, you just find the website you want to unblock, copy and paste the URL and use the ‘Shorten Link’ button or corresponding process on the tool. The resulting URL that you get should be copied and pasted into your web browser address bar.
Unblock Websites From The Restricted List
Something that is often overlooked when trying to unblock websites for schools or workplaces is going into Google Chrome settings. You may find in the settings for Google Chrome that your website has been added to the restricted sites list. If you happen to find it there, you can easily remove it and then your website is completely unblocked.
You do this by clicking the three-dot settings icon and going to ‘Settings’ and ‘Advanced’. Under ‘Open proxy settings’ you can go to ‘Restricted sites’ and see the full list, as well as have the option to remove the ones you want.
Use a VPN
If the website will not budge on Google Chrome and remains blocked, it shows that your workplace, school, or institution has made an exerted effort to get this website blocked on your device and the network you might be using it on. A way to bypass this block would come through using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN works by hiding your IP address and encrypting your internet traffic, so whichever ISP you are using will have no access to your online history. VPNs are often costly, and you could find some free ones, but they might not be as reliable, secure, or fast as paid ones. Some free VPNs don’t put much effort into protecting your data, so it is worth doing your due diligence before using them.
These are only the most common and easy ways to bypass basic security or restrictions. In most countries and institutions, these are all legal ways to gain access to certain websites. But my recommendation is that you double-check the laws of your country before you try using them.
Best Linux Distros for Developers and Programmers as of 2022
Linux might not be the preferred operating system of most regular users, but it’s definitely the go-to choice for the majority of developers and programmers. While other operating systems can also get the job done pretty well, Linux is a more specialized OS that was…
How to Install Pip on Ubuntu Linux
If you are a fan of using Python programming language, you can make your life easier by using Python Pip. It is a package management utility that allows you to install and manage Python software packages easily. Ubuntu doesn’t come with pre-installed Pip, but here…