As discussed in WordPress.com Banned Again: Why Aren’t You Concerned?, WordPress.com 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 WordPress.com 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 WordPress.com support about the options and did some digging to find out how WordPress.com bloggers were getting around the blocks and what WordPress.com bloggers can do.
According to WordPress.com support, mapping your domain to a WordPress.com account will not avoid the blocks that ban by IP address. The request goes to the WordPress.com 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 WordPress.com 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 Psiphon, 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 WordPress.com 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:
- Good Waiter
- FilterNot - Bypass Internet Filters
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
.nyud.net:8090 to the URL of the site. For a WordPress.com site:
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.
There are a few browser extensions and add-ons that will help you get through various firewalls. Choose one appropriate to your web browser.
- PhProxy - InBasic Firefox Add-ons
- Proxytex FireFox Exention
- IE7Pro with web proxy protection
- Proxy Offline Browser
- TorButton for Firefox
- FoxyProxy for Firefox
- Gladder (Great Ladder) FireFox Extension
- BlockStop Proxy Firefox Add-on
- Tor-Proxy.NET Toolbar
- SwitchProxy Tool for Firefox
- Access from China, Firefox edition
- Access from China, Safari (under Mac) edition
More Solutions to Bypass Firewalls and Bans
Tor 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:
- Access Blogger and WordPress Blogs in China
- How To Spot A Blogspot and WordPress.com Blog (A Quick Fix)
- Hiding Your IP Address Using HTTP, CONNECT, CGI/PHP/WEB, SOCKS proxies
- Another way to visited the banned blogspot and WordPress.com
- Proxy Hacks - I.(Updated) Blocked at workplace? Setting up a home proxy for WordPress.com and other sites. Browse all blocked sites and run all messengers.
For more information on the variety of techniques and tips for bypassing most firewall restrictions and blocks, see:
- How to Bypass Most Firewall Restrictions and Access the Internet
- HOWTO bypass Internet Censorship, a tutorial on getting around Internet blocks and filters
- How to Surf the Web Anonymously With Proxies
- How To Bypass Internet Censorship And Filters: A Guide To Filters and Anonymous Browsing
- 9 Firefox Extensions to Protect Your Privacy
China is not the only one blocking WordPress.com, 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.