Knowledge of how to bypass blocked websites in schools is a valuable commodity among students. While the freedom to do whatever you love is tempting, is it completely safe to do so?
Let’s break down how to bypass school firewalls, as well as some reasons why you might not want to.
How to Bypass the School Firewall
There are a few tricks to get around the school firewall. It depends on how the firewall works; some might monitor what you type in the address bar, while others will actively monitor traffic. Give this a try and see which one works best.
Use a Proxy Server to Get Around URL Restrictions
A proxy server is a service that handles your requests for you. These servers are useful when you are trying to circumvent the firewall as the proxy handles all the browsing for you.
If your agency blocks a gaming website, you’ll likely type the URL in the address bar. Proxy servers circumvent this because you’re not visiting the game’s website; You go to the proxy page and tell it to go to the page instead. It then shows you all on the game website, while your school firewall only sees the proxy URL.
Use a VPN to Encrypt Your Traffic
VPNs, on the other hand, allow you to bypass firewalls by encrypting your traffic. Proxies get around the limitation by whitelisting you banned websites, but VPNs protect you by not allowing the firewall to see your browsing in the first place.
It achieves this by taking all the information your computer is about to send, and encrypting that information so prying eyes can’t see what you’re sending. The computer then sends this encrypted data to the VPN server, which parses your data, reads where you want to go, and goes there. This brings the traffic back encrypted, which goes around the firewall.
Type IP Address of Website
When you type a website name in your browser, it will be converted to an IP address. This happens because the computer doesn’t know what the name is; it should convert it to IP address using Domain Name Server (DNS).
This knowledge is especially useful if the firewall is looking for domain names, not IP addresses. By typing a number in the address bar, you can visit web pages without telling the firewall that you’re headed there.
Unfortunately, it’s not clear what each website’s IP address is. You can use the WhatIsMyIPAddress search tool to find it.
Use Google Translate as an Impromptu Proxy Server
Funnily enough, Google Translate is useful as a way to circumvent firewalls! You must use Google Translate’s “translate page” feature to use it. When Google Translate translates a page, it loads the server page, translates it, and sends you the results.
Sound familiar? It should do the same job as a proxy server. This little trick makes Google Translate an unobtrusive choice if all proxy websites are blocked.
Use Smartphone Hotspot on Cellular Data
If you don’t know how to bypass school Wi-Fi, you can try turning your smartphone into a hotspot. That way, you can connect to the internet without having to go through the school system. This will eat away at phone data, but removes the hassle of bypassing the school firewall.
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Impact to Pass School Firewall
Even if you hate school firewalls, they are there for good reason. Not only does it enforce the idea that school is a place to learn, it can also protect you and the school from illegal or harmful content.
Your Personal Information Can Be Stolen
If you use a proxy server, your traffic will go through third-party servers to reach the destination. The thing is, how sure are you that the host server isn’t seeing all the traffic you’re sending?
This is one of the biggest reasons why it is safer to wait until you get home. When you use free services, they are often free because the developer is making money from you somehow. This could be due to advertisements, or they could take your personal information for sale.
You Can Get Virus
Worse, free services may not be too strict on what ads they show you. This can cause your computer to catch a malicious virus, which can then spread to other computers in the school.
An outbreak of a virus in a school is unprecedented; ItemLive reports on how Lynn Schools shut down their internet due to a virus for a whole week. Before you get the idea, schools don’t close for a week; it’s school as usual, just no internet to pass the time!
You Can Be Suspended or Expelled
It is very likely that your institution has a usage policy for their computers. It details what you can and cannot do with them, as well as what to expect if you are caught doing so.
These terms may imply that, by circumventing security, the school can ban it from the computer network. If you are blocked, you cannot use the internet to browse anymore. Worse, you can’t use it to study which is a huge loss for your future work!
You Could Face Legal Action
While using the above methods is not illegal, you can access unlawful content by using them. If you are caught accessing illegal content, the school may decide to pass the information on to the authorities. If this happens, you will face legal consequences for what you have done.
Handling Not Turning Off Firewall
Of course, there are ways you can perform certain actions without having to bypass the firewall. This is a safer (and sometimes school-supported!) way to use the internet without the problems above.
Chat with Google Docs
Hopefully your school will allow you to use Google Docs for work. Google Docs also has a chat feature that lets you collaborate with other people on the same document.
Of course, while you can use the chat feature to talk about productive things like homework and studies, you can always use it as an impromptu messaging service. Who knows maybe you can do homework on documents while chatting!
Play Educational Games
While they may not be as fun as Fortnite, educational games are a solid choice. If a teacher catches you playing something that helps you learn, why would they stop you?
If you can’t find a game that teaches what you want to learn, you can always play a typing game. This helps increase your words per minute, which is useful in this digital age. The game 10 Fast Fingers, for example, has you racing against other people to type a passage.
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