TechLife Australia - - WELCOME - [ SUPERGUIDE ] [ NATHAN TAY­LOR ] opendns.com)

SO YOU LIKE your in­ter­net un­fil­tered, with ac­cess to the full ar­ray of ser­vices and sites with­out any cen­sors or geoblocks get­ting in the way. You’d like to be able to watch UK stream­ing TV ser­vices on­line, ac­cess Ama­zon Prime or Net­flix US and visit sites that would oth­er­wise be re­stricted. This is the guide for you.

We’re go­ing to be look­ing at var­i­ous ways you can get around dif­fer­ent types of re­stric­tions on all your de­vices. In par­tic­u­lar, we’ll walk through the four most com­mon ways you can ac­cess an un­re­stricted in­ter­net.


Be­fore we get into plat­form specifics, we should talk at a high level about th­ese dif­fer­ent so­lu­tions, and what they’re good (and not so good) for.


The do­main name ser­vice (DNS) is like the White Pages of the in­ter­net. It takes hu­man­read­able URLs like techlife.net and trans­lates them into IP ad­dresses.

As noted in the side­bar ‘How the new site re­stric­tions are be­ing im­ple­mented’ (right), ISPs have be­gun us­ing the trick on mod­i­fy­ing their DNS servers so that cer­tain sites can’t be looked up — kind of like rip­ping their en­tries out of the White Pages. The sites are still there, and still ac­ces­si­ble, but your computer won’t be able to look up their IP ad­dress.

Well, it won’t be able to un­less you make a sin­gle, sim­ple mod­i­fi­ca­tion to your in­ter­net set­tings. If your ISP’s directory has been mod­i­fied, then just use some­body else’s. For most peo­ple, that some­body else is Google, which runs its own (very fast) DNS servers. The ad­dress of that server is ( for the sec­ondary) and you just need to mod­ify your DNS server ad­dress to that to get un­re­stricted ac­cess. In lieu of Google, some peo­ple pre­fer to use OpenDNS ( at


VPN ser­vices are a catch-all so­lu­tion for hid­ing your ac­tiv­ity from snoop­ing ISPs and for hid­ing your coun­try of ori­gin from me­dia ser­vices.

When you con­nect to a VPN, an en­crypted tun­nel is cre­ated be­tween you and a server run by the VPN provider. All your data is sent along that tun­nel, and the VPN provider then re­lays it to its des­ti­na­tion. This has two ef­fects — your ISP can only see that you’re com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the VPN provider and no one else; and all your traf­fic ap­pears to come from the VPN server, so that sites you visit will think you’re vis­it­ing from the same

coun­try that the VPN server is in. If the VPN server is in the US, your traf­fic ap­pears to come from the US, by­pass­ing geoblocks.

For most peo­ple, VPNs serve as the all-in-one so­lu­tion for get­ting around site re­stric­tions.


Tor, for­merly known as ‘The Onion Router’, is an anonymis­ing net­work that sits on top of the reg­u­lar in­ter­net. Like a VPN, it al­lows you to route through other par­ties, ob­scur­ing both your source IP ad­dress from sites you visit and your des­ti­na­tion IP ad­dress from your ISP.

Un­like a VPN, how­ever, you’re not rout­ing through a fixed server. You’re rout­ing through other Tor users. Your traf­fic will bounce be­tween at least three other Tor users on its way to its des­ti­na­tion (the traf­fic is en­crypted, so they can’t read it) com­pletely ob­scur­ing its ori­gin.

Tor rep­re­sents pretty much the ul­ti­mate in in­ter­net free­dom. It works around every re­stric­tion and can un­lock any site, and there’s no­body that can mon­i­tor your ac­tiv­ity on­line. There are even Tor-spe­cific sites called Tor hid­den ser­vices, ac­ces­si­ble only to Tor users.

Al­though it’s great at work­ing around con­tent blocks, it’s not great for me­dia. All that data bounc­ing around re­sults in low­est-com­mon-de­nom­i­na­tor speeds, so you’re not go­ing to be able to stream Net­flix with it, for ex­am­ple.


A proxy server is a de­vice that works much like a VPN above, al­low­ing you to route through an in­ter­me­di­ary (the proxy), which ob­scures your des­ti­na­tion from your ISP/net­work provider (they can only see you con­nect­ing with the proxy server), as well as your coun­try of ori­gin from the des­ti­na­tion web­site. They’re most com­monly used as a sim­ple and easy way to get around work and school web­site re­stric­tions, but can also be used to fool ISP blocks.

In gen­eral, there are two types of prox­ies that you might use. The most com­mon type is the web-based proxy. Th­ese are sim­ply web pages that you visit, give them a URL and they will re­lay the page to you (usu­ally in a browser frame). Peo­ple of­ten use Google Trans­late as a web-based proxy, but if you want a ded­i­cated proxy page you can try www.fil­ter­by­pass.me, newip­now.com and proxy.org, the last of which has a list of web proxy ser­vices.

Al­ter­na­tively, there are the true HTTP/ SOCKS prox­ies. This is where you go into your in­ter­net set­tings and mod­ify the proxy set­tings so that all your browser traf­fic flows through the proxy. You can find a list of some of the avail­able free and open servers at

though th­ese tend to be very, very slow. There are also com­mer­cial anony­mous proxy ser­vices avail­able, some­times in con­junc­tion with VPN ser­vices and some­time stand­alone (such as TorGuard’s Anony­mous Proxy). Only the com­mer­cial ones re­ally stand a chance at be­ing fast enough for me­dia stream­ing.

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