Malaysia is one of those countries that implements Internet censorship by forcing all Malaysian Internet Service Providers to block access to certain websites containing pornographic, politics, file sharing and malicious content. In mid 2013, a local newspaper (News Straits Time) published that a total of 6,640 websites are blocked since 2008 and surely the number will continue to grow. Accessing any of the blocked website using Internet Explorer will report that “This page can’t be displayed“.
There are a couple of ways for an ISP to block access to websites and Malaysian ISP simply blocks DNS resolution query by null routing to localhost IP address 127.0.0.1. If you ping or run a dig or nslookup on the blocked website, you will see that the domain name resolves to 127.0.0.1 which obviously the website would not load because the IP 127.0.0.1 is pointing back to your own computer.
It doesn’t matter which country you are from or which ISP you are using, we’re confident that at least one of the 5 methods that we’ve shared below should help you access blocked websites.
Normally the technician who setup your broadband will configure your router or computer to use the DNS from your ISP such as 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 for Streamyx and UniFi users. This will effectively block all intended websites and bypassing it is as easy as changing to a different public DNS offered by Google, OpenDNS, Comodo, Norton and etc. Changing DNS will not affect anything because it merely translates hostnames to IP addresses.
Instead of showing you how to manually change your network adapter’s DNS server address which can be a bit difficult for basic computer users because it involves quite a few steps, we suggest you to use a free tool called DNS Jumper. All you need to do is download the program, run it, choose your DNS server (preferably Google Public DNS because they are the fastest) and click the Apply DNS button. You might want to click on the Flush DNS button and also restart your web browser to clear off any DNS caching.
Another advantage in using DNS Jumper is it automatically backs up the original DNS server address so you can easily roll back the DNS changes by selecting “Restore” from the DNS server list.
If DNS Jumper seems a bit confusing to use, there is another portable tool called QuickSetDNS by NirSoft where you can easily configure your network adapter to use Google Public DNS by pressing the F2 key.
If you are on a computer that restricts you from changing the DNS settings, you can try other methods listed below.
2. Web Proxy
Web Proxy is the most convenient method to access blocked websites without installing any software or changing settings on your computer. Basically web proxies acts as a middle man by fetching the page that you want and then displaying it to you. As long as the web proxies websites are not blocked by your ISP or firewall, then this method should work.
All you need to do is launch your web browser such as Internet Explorer, log on to a Web Proxy website and enter the blocked URL that you would like to access. You may want to uncheck the “Remove Objects” and “Remove Scripts” from the Options because some websites don’t work well when the scripts and objects are removed.
Although a Web Proxy is convenient to use as there is no need to configure or install any software, server administrators or an ISP can easily block web proxies by blacklisting the domain name. Please refer to public open proxy method below for alternative.
3. Public Open Proxy
You can often find public open proxies listed as an IP address followed by a colon and a port number instead of a URL. These public open proxies are normally slow in speed and do not last for a long time, so you’ll have to constantly look for a working proxy unless you are willing to pay for private proxies.
To use a public open proxy to access blocked websites, first you will need to find a working proxy. There is quite an amount of sites that provide proxy lists and we recommend Proxyhttp.net because you can easily test if the latest checked proxy is working or not.
Once you’ve got a working proxy, you will need to configure your web browser to use the proxy server. Configuring Internet Explorer to use a proxy server will also take effect on Google Chrome and Firefox because by default both of these web browsers use Internet Explorer’s proxy settings.
1. Run Internet Explorer
2. Press Alt+X
3. Select Internet Options
4. Go to the Connections tab and click on the LAN settings button.
5. Tick the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” checkbox, enter the IP address and port number and click OK.
Note: You can revert back the changes by going through the steps above and untick the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” checkbox.
VPN is similar to proxy by acting as a middleman except it is connected through an encrypted tunnel which offers a safer, faster and more reliable connection. Most of the VPNs that can be found on the Internet are commercial services where you need to pay a monthly subscription or you can find a few that offer free usage with some limitations such as reduced speed and bandwidth usage.
Unlike proxies where you need to configure a specific application to go through a proxy server, VPN automatically routes all traffic through the VPN server without any configuration to the software. A drawback in using VPN is probably the need to install an OpenVPN client unless if you opt for the less secure PPTP connection if the VPN company offers it.
You can refer to our list of free VPNs or simply try out Hotspot Shield, a free ad-supported VPN software.
After installation, run Hotspot Shield and it will automatically connect to their VPN server. You can now access any websites that has been previously blocked by your Internet Service Provider.
5. Browser Specific
- ZenMate for Google Chrome
If you are a Google Chrome user, ZenMate is a nice extension that encrypts and secures your connection allowing you to access blocked websites. All you need to do is install the extension and it will automatically secure your connection and change your IP address, allowing you to access blocked websites.
- Tor Browser based on Mozilla Firefox
Tor Browser is a portable bundle that includes all the necessary files and configuration options that let you run Tor from anywhere including a USB flash drive. It is as simple as downloading the Tor Browser Bundle, extract and run the “Start Tor Browser.exe” executable file which will then automatically connects you to Tor Network.