Bypassing blocks on other devices
While it’s easiest to bypass blocks on a PC, you also have options on other devices as well.
On mobiles, you actually have access to all the same tools as on PC. You can modify your network DNS settings just like on a desktop. You can download your VPN provider’s app. You can use proxies in your browser, as well. On Android, you even can install and app called Orfox to access the Tor network.
Other devices like smart TVs and consoles can be trickier. Your best option may be to not to try to modify the device at all — the best tool you have in this case is your router. With a few simple modifications, you can make it so that every device on your network will use Google DNS automatically. That way a single modification covers every device.
CHANGING YOUR ROUTER’S DNS
Configuring DNS services on your router has a major advantage — it instantly covers all your devices. Any device that connects to your router with auto-configuration (aka DHCP) switched on will have the benefit of using your router’s DNS configuration.
Now, normally your router will use the DNS server address provided to it by your ISP when you connect to the internet. But this doesn’t have to be the case. You can change your router’s DNS so that the DNS server address it uses and hands out to your devices is one you specify.
Unfortunately, the exact way of doing this varies from router to router. Generally, you’re looking for the DHCP settings or DNS settings. On most ASUS routers, click on ‘LAN > DHCP Server’ and look for the DNS server field. On D-Link, click on ‘Setup > Manual Internet Connection Setup’ and change only the DNS server fields under ‘Dynamic IP’. On DrayTek, you’ll find it under ‘LAN > General Setup’. On Linksys routers, they’re usually found under ‘Connectivity > Local Network’, under DHCP server. On Netgear, click on Basic Settings, then ‘Use these DNS servers’. On TP-Link, click on DHCP in the left hand panel, then on DHCP Settings.
In the DNS fields, enter the numbers 184.108.40.206 (primary) and 220.127.116.11 (secondary) if you’re going to be using Google’s DNS servers. Then save the settings.
Now when a device connects to the network, it will be assigned those DNS server addresses, bypassing your ISP’s DNS and its site blocks.
USING A VPN ON YOUR ROUTER
It’s also possible to set up a router so that all traffic from your network is routed over a VPN. That means even your smart devices like television sets can use the VPN service to bypass geoblocks.
This is not for the faint of heart, however, and you need a special kind of router to do it. Your router must support VPN services. Most ASUS routers do, as do most DrayTeks.
But the majority of other consumer routers do not. On many such routers, however, you can install a third-party firmware like dd-wrt ( dd-wrt.com). If you want to install DD-WRT, visit the site and see if your router model is supported, and then follow the installation instructions for that router model very carefully.
Unfortunately, there’s no universal guide we can provide for setting up a VPN on a router. Every VPN service provider has a different configuration. Your best bet is to visit the website of your VPN service provider and look for the guide for setting it up on your router. Most of the major providers have guides for DD-WRT.
Even then, you do have limitations. It’s not easy to switch between VPN locations, for example — you have to manually log into your router and change the VPN server address. On the other hand, it does allow devices that normally couldn’t use the VPN to use it.
SHARING YOUR PC’s VPN
There’s also another way to extend a VPN service to devices that might not have VPN clients, such as smart TVs and consoles. If you have a VPN set up on your PC, it’s possible to share it with those devices.
You will need a Windows PC that supports Wi-Fi. If that’s the case, you can actually create a hotspot on your PC that the device can connect to. Then you share the VPN connection with them.
Follow these steps:
First, we turn your PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot. On your Windows PC, open Notepad. Type the following two lines into Notepad, replacing <SSID> with the name you want your virtual hotspot to have (eg. VPN) and <Password> with the password you want to use: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=<SSID> key=<Password> keyUsage=persistent netsh wlan start hostednetwork Save the file as ‘virtualhotspot.bat’. Make sure it has the .bat extension, rather than .txt. Now, in File Explorer, right click on virtualhotspot.bat, and select ‘Run as administrator’. You may get a prompt asking if you want to allow it (say yes). Once you’ve done that, you should be good — you’ve created a virtual hotspot on your PC. Now to share your VPN connection. When you installed the VPN app from your provider, it should have created a new networking adapter driver on your PC. We’re going to share that. Right click on the Start button and select Network Connections. Then select ‘Change Adapter Options’. You should see your regular wireless and wired connections. You should also see the new hotspot you’ve created in steps 1–4. And finally, there should be a TAP driver, created by the VPN application. Find that, right click on it and select Properties. In the Properties window, click on the Sharing tab. Check the box to Allow other users to connect through this computer’s internet connection. Under ‘Home networking connection’, select the network device that corresponds to the virtual Wi-Fi device you’ve just created. Most likely, it will be Wireless Network Connection 2 or Local Area Connection 2. Click OK. You’ve now shared your VPN connection with all devices that connect to the Wi-Fi hotspot you created in steps 1–4. All that’s left to do now is connect to it. On your smart device, go to the Wi-Fi settings. Find the network name that you gave your Wi-Fi hotspot in Step 2 and connect to it. Now, any data sent to and from the device should go through the VPN, bypassing geoblocks just like your PC does. If your device has a browser, you can check that it’s working just by going to www.iplocation.net and seeing where it says you are.
That should be it: you’ve now shared your PC’s VPN connection, and its ability to work around censorship and geoblocks, with any device that connects to the virtual hotspot. Note that when your PC reboots, this virtual hotspot will disappear, but you can start it up again by right clicking on the virtualhotspot.bat file and selecting ‘Run as administrator’.
And that should be everything — every device in your home should now be able to dodge geoblocks, avoid site censorship and generally access all that the internet has to offer. Enjoy!
DD-WRT is a third-party router firmware that support VPNs.
DHCP and DNS settings on an ASUS router.
A Linksys router’s DHCP settings.
Find your VPN driver.
You need to create a text file with two lines.
Enable Sharing for your VPN adapter.
Save it as a .bat file.