No matter what Internet service providers or individual sites do to block access to online content, even the most inexperienced of computer users should be able circumvent these restrictions using a proxy server. Proxies root your Internet connection through a third-party server, making it appear as though you're using your computer from a different location. If your ISP has blocked access to your favourite torrent service, or you want to stream video content locked to another region, a proxy server can make it happen.
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Buy client-based proxy server software such as Hide My Ass!, Hide My IP or HotspotShield. These programs automatically configure your computer to connect to the Internet through a proxy server once they're activated. If you're looking to access content from a specific region, make sure the application you go has a server in the relevant area. Most proxy server software publishers offers a free trail period, allowing you to make sure applications work for you before you buy. These paid-for solutions typically offer faster speeds than free alternatives.
Navigate to web-based proxies such as SnapBrowse.com, Anon-Proxy.co.uk or Ninja Proxy and type the address of the website you want to visit into search box. Your connection will be routed through a remote server, but your surfing experience may be blighted by ads from the proxy service you used. Many web-based proxy services leave something to be desired when it comes to speed. They typically aren't great if you want to stream video or audio content.
Check out proxy server lists such as those provided by Xroxy.com, HelloPickle.com and IDCloak. You can use the information you find here to configure your proxy settings manually. The method for doing so will depend on the browser you're using, so check your browser manufacturer's user guide for instructions.
Tips and warnings
- If you're planning to go overseas and want to have access to UK-based sites that are not available in other regions such as the BBC iPlayer, 4oD or the ITV Player, find a proxy service that offers reliable and fast UK server.
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