In a modern workplace, the internet can be a necessity, privilege, useful tool, but also a great distraction. With a generation of a young workforce partially raised in a digital world, most struggle with some level of internet addiction.
To maintain efficiency at work, employers impose some level of internet censorship. Social media and streaming websites, as well as connections to popular video game servers, are restricted to limit the number of addictive distractions that might slow down important tasks.
In this article, we will share ways to end employer’s tyranny and bring back freedom to the workplace! If you believe that the imposed censorship is unjust, you are in luck. We will talk about limitations hidden in browsers and their extensions, as well as IP address blacklisting that can be bypassed with a VPN or a proxy provider. Smartproxy is a great source of proxy servers with plenty of information about internet security and anonymity, so we recommend checking them out. For now, let’s discuss the easiest ways to unblock websites at work.
Get yourself a VPN
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are the most popular privacy and anonymity tools on the internet today. The software sends your connection through a client that encrypts your data packets and transfers them through an intermediary server to your destination. When you use a legitimate VPN provider, your fake IP address will not raise any flags to your Internet Service Providers (ISP), so you should continue browsing the censored websites without interruptions.
The best VPN providers today adapt their software to a multitude of devices and operating systems. A simple IP address change is usually enough to bypass workplace censorship, and data encryption is a great bonus.
Utilize proxy servers
First, let’s emphasize the difference between VPNs and proxy servers. As most tech enthusiasts already know, beginners don’t know the differences between two services, but both of them have different applications. A VPN, although advertised as an ultimate privacy tool, is not a jack of all trades. What it gives in security, VPNs lack versatility. If you want a cheaper and more adaptive tool, find yourself a proxy provider.
Proxy servers have the advantage because you can use multiple IP addresses for different browsers and applications. Once you get a big pool of proxy IPs from a proxy provider, you can use a different network identity every time you use a service. Using unique addresses for different activities will make you less noticeable in the workplace.
Because you can use IPs from different locations all around the world, you can also access geo-blocked websites and streaming services while bypassing workplace limitations at the same time.
Configure your browsers
Fortunately, there are work environments that do not put in as much effort to censor the internet. Usually, some websites are blocked because the employer has configured the settings in your browser. Without much of a hassle, you can access your settings to change permissions for blocked websites.
However, if you have other employees working on and maintaining the same computer, we do not recommend tinkering with its settings. Even if your changes do not affect its performance, you might encounter colleagues that could report rule violations. In that case, use a VPN, proxy server, or other alternatives presented below.
Connect to a website via an IP address
If you have reasons to believe that tinkering with browser settings is not a good idea, you can try connecting to web pages through an IP address. Browser options and extensions that block websites usually blacklist the URL, but the page will still open if you type in its IP.
There are various ways to find the address of a chosen website. While you can search for it on Google or another search engine, you can always use a command prompt and a tracert function (or traceroute on the Linux terminal).
If this method works, it will be your easiest way of bypassing censorship and enjoying blocked websites. Just use an IP address and nobody will find out!
While some restrictions may look unfair, we do not encourage you to break workplace rules. Having these limitations can improve your efficiency and self-control, which will translate to your personal projects and tasks. The Internet is a very attractive digital world, full of rabbit holes that seem to have no end, and censorship is a great way to battle addiction.
What we are concerned about is internet freedom. While an employer might not appreciate your use of restricted pages and consider it a time theft, there are plenty of reasons to keep your right to access blocked websites. Social media platforms are the most popular tools that help us stay in touch with our friends and loved ones. They can be your motivation to continue working and messengers of important life events. While restrictions are a decent way to maintain efficiency, you deserve respect and the ability to determine self-control for yourself.