Use Way back Machine
Suppose you are unable to access following page on BBC’s official website:
You can make use of Way back machine for accessing the content of above page! All you need to do is to head over to this page >> enter the above URL and click on browse history button: The immediate next page will show you how many times the service has taken the snapshot of entered URL’s webpage and on which calendar date?: Hover on a circled date on the calendar and you will see total number of snapshots the service has taken on that particular date:
Click on any snapshot’s time link or on the date itself, and you will be able to access http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25989262 on a sub-domain of archive.org:
If the service don’t have a snapshot of a particular webpage, then you will see following message in your browser:
You can always click on Save this URL in the Way back Machine and the service will try to capture the snapshot in real time:
If it’s successful, then you will get the access URL for the webpage:
However, the above method has following limitations:
- You may face problems with dynamic webpages, while static ones can be cached easily.
- You can’t access webpages which requires you to login first.
- Snapshots may appear broken or may contain lots of missing web elements.
- Functionalities like logging in, uploading, downloading etc. won’t work at all.
- If a webmaster has blocked archive.org_bot from crawling his site, then no matter what, you won’t be able to see/generate snapshots.
- The information present in the snapshots might be outdated. Updated snapshots will only be added when archive.org_bot visits a particular webpage again.
Create your own Proxy Website
There are thousands of free as well as paid proxy servers available on the internet, but if you are concerned about your privacy (browsing activity and tracks) then you can create your own proxy site using WordPress. By creating your own proxy site, everything will be under your control and your tracks will remain hidden from third party proxy sites and services.
How to create a proxy site?
If you have a self-hosted installation of WordPress, then you are required to install RePress plugin for it. The plugin allows you to setup your own proxy server in less than 5 minutes! Follow these steps in order to do so:
1. Go to WordPress’s Permalink Settings and select any URL structure except Default:
Once you have selected your preferred structure, click on Save Changes Button at the bottom of the page.
2. Now go to Settings >> RePress and select your RePress’s permalink by manually entering or randomizing it:
Once selected, click on the Update button.
Note: The default permalink of the plugin is /repress without any leading slash, which is completely optional.
3. Under Uncensored Domains, enter all the domains that you want to access using your site:
Note: You are only required to type the host name, without HTTP. You can include www. 4. Leave Push POST variables, Allow Cookies and Obfuscate URLs under Advanced Options to their default values. Once everything is set, click on the Save Button and your proxy server is now ready to use. Example: Suppose your blog URL is http://abc.com/, then you can access any censored website using http://abc.com/repress/facebook.com:
1. The plugin is based on PHProxyImproved, which allows any webmaster to setup their own proxy server. Search engine bots may not crawl or index the proxy URLs generated by the plugin, but you should add Disallow: /repress/ or Disallow: /<RePress Permalink>/ in your site’s robots.txt file.
2. In order to protect your blog from cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, you are required to log out of your dashboard before accessing any proxy URL. For security and privacy reasons, the plugin will also delete all cookies for your domain.
3. The plugin is currently an alpha release and it’s suggested not to use it for accessing sites which hosts your important data like Dropbox etc. Also, only access those sites which you fully trust.
Use Google’s Data Compression Proxy
Data compression proxy allows your computer or mobile device to directly connect with an optimization server running in one of the data centre of Google. This server first downloads all your requested webpages onto its hard drive and then optimizes them using Page speed libraries. Once a webpage has been fully optimised, it is now sent to your computer or mobile device. As you can see in above image, your computer or mobile device is downloading the web page from Google’s proxy server, instead of the original web server of a domain. This means that you can access any blocked website using data compression proxy. Check out this video to see the compression proxy in action on Chrome. Important Notes:
- The compression proxy will never work for encrypted HTTPS requests. By default it is programmed to bypass such type of requests. This means that you can’t open any blocked site over HTTPS using compression proxy.
- If you are currently using incognito mode in your web browser, then the proxy server will be bypassed.
- All DNS lookups are performed by the proxy server only.
- The proxy server compresses images into WebP format and because of this you may download lots of unreadable images onto your computer’s hard drive. If you are browsing a blocked website specifically for downloading images, then try not to use this method for unblocking it!
- Data compression proxy won’t work if your ISP or network administrator has blocked Google’s compression proxy server/IP addresses.