Companies, universities, schools and pretty much everyone is blocking or banning contents on the web that they deem inappropriate, questionable or distracting.
The banning spree goes sometimes too far however with the consequence that legitimate websites and services are caught in the net as well and become inaccessible.
There is a quick solution for accessing blocked sites and I would like to introduce it here. All that you need is some webspace on the Internet and php support there.
You can take a look at free hosting solutions for instance and sign up at one of the sites mentioned there or you could pay about $6 and get your own domain name and some webspace for about $4 per month.
The advantage of your own domain name is that you will have an email account associated with it which you can normally use to check and send emails from using a webmailer. This is helpful if websites such as gmail, hotmail and yahoo mail are blocked in your network as well.
Accessing blocked websites:
All you need to do is to find a web proxy that is working. You could search the Internet for working ones or upload and use your own web proxy. The latter method has several advantages. It is unlikely that a proxy gets banned that is not generating lots of traffic. The difference between one user who is visiting blocked websites and dozens is noticeable.
Another advantage is that the proxy will not get banned if the administrator decides to block a list of proxies that were found on the Internet. Yours will not be on that list because no one but you knows about it.
I suggest to use the script mentioned at the end of this article. The PHP proxy script just needs to be moved to the webserver, no installation is necessary on your part. Create a new directory on your webspace and make sure you name it inconspicuously, holidays or something like that.
It could be a good move to password protect that directory using a simply .htaccess file. You need to make sure that your hoster has that enabled. If he has use the Htaccess Password Generator to generate a password and protect the directory with the proxy.
Send and Receive Emails:
Sending Emails is not a problem if you have your own webspace with php enabled. You can simply upload one of the many contact forms like the one mentioned at the end of this article. You do need to change one file to add your email address to it. In the case of the contact form that I mentioned below it is the file output.php. Just edit the existing email address to yours twice and you are ready to go.
Upload the script to your webspace and send emails to your account. This is great for quick note taking, sending urls for instance or to do lists.
Checking your mails is a little bit more complicated and I suggest to use the webmailer of a webhosting company for this. Another possibility would be to find a webmail provider that is not banned in your network yet. Search for small ones in Google using terms like 'free email accounts' and similar search strings.
To be able to read all of your mail you could simply forward the mail from other accounts to this one. This would make it possible to read all of your mails while in the network that has most of the webmailers, including your default one, blocked.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.