Website Aliases – Unblock Websites
Normally, you would have to type in the domain name of a website in your browser to access that website. Domain names are something that is very easy to remember and is easily read by any human being. When you type in the domain name that you want to visit, the browser sends a message to the local Domain Name Server, also called the DNS for converting a domain name into the respective IP address. This process is known as the DNS lookup query.
As soon as the browser gets to know the domain name that you typed in, it would then send an HTTP request to the IP address. This request is for taking permission from that IP address to view the website. And that is how the website is displayed on your system.
The DNS server to which your browser sends the DNS lookup query is usually controlled by your company, college, ISP or government. And this means that it is possible for them to monitor all the DNS lookup requests that they receive efficiently. They can then block those requests that they do not want to allow access to.
For instance, they might have a filtering mechanism placed that searches for any DNS lookups for the domains that they have blocked. And as soon as they get it, they can easily block the user and send the message back to the user saying ACCESS DENIED. Such a process would prevent the user from being able to access the website that the company, government or college has blocked.
How to deal & unblock websites?
Well, if you have reached into a situation like this where; your college or company is blocking a lot of websites by monitoring and blocking the DNS lookup queries, you need not worry. There is an easy way where you can actually continue to access your favorite website that has been blocked. And that is where Website Aliases comes in.
Aliases meaning – a false or assumed identity.
Instead of typing in the domain name of the blocked website that you would like to access, all you have to do is simply type in the respective IP address. That is right! If you do not type in the domain name in the browser, there wouldn’t be any DNS lookup query that would send a request to the DNS server of your company, ISP, college or government.
Alternatively, your browser would directly send the HTTP request to the website that you wish to access. And since the DNS lookup step gets skipped in this case, any filtering or blocking that had been implemented at the level of the DNS lookup by your network would no longer be there. With this, you would be able to access any website easily.
How to do it?
Easy! Just follow the steps:
Let us take for instance that you want to access www.google.com, but you are not able to do it. Since, when you directly type in the domain name in the browser, you get the message – Access Denied. In such a case, it is recommended that you should instead try typing in the IP address of the domain www.google.com.
Start MS-DOS or the command line prompt. To start the command line prompt just click on the windows ORB logo that is on the left bottom corner of your screen. After that, type in “cmd” in the search box and click enter. In the window that opens, type in the following ping command to convert the domain www.google.com to its IP address (as shown in the picture below):
The IP address that you get would be 220.127.116.11 which is the IP address of the Google domain.
The next step involves opening the browser and instead of typing the domain – www.google.com; you can simply type the respective IP address that you found out about. Over here it is – 18.104.22.168. And if everything goes the right way, you would be able to easily bypass the filtering system that might be in your network. With this, you would be able to access the website.
This technique has been tested on three of the most popular browsers on the Internet – FireFox, Chrome, and Opera; and all of them worked.
What if the PING command has been blocked too?
On many occasions, your local network administrator might have blocked the PING command. And due to this, you might not be able to use it to convert a domain to its respective IP address. In such a case, you can use any of the online ping tool interfaces that are available. For instance, there is this very cool website called the www.ping.eu. This allows you to perform the PING straight from the browser even if your local network has blocked it.
If you notice the above screenshot carefully, you will see that the IP address that www.google.com uses in the ping.eu website is different from the IP address that it uses with the PING command on your system.
In ping.eu, Google has the IP address – 22.214.171.124, while when it was checked on the system, it had the IP address 126.96.36.199. But you do not need to worry since there is nothing wrong going on. The difference in the IP address is because Google has servers in multiple parts of the world. And as per your location, you are directed to that server.
Why Different IP addresses?
Since the ping.eu has a server somewhere in Europe, when you ping Google, the IP address that returns to you is different from the one that you get from your system. The best part about this is that if you type either of the IP addresses in your browser, it would work for sure.
So, if your network administrator gets a little smart and does not only block www.google.com but also blocks the IP address 188.8.131.52, you would still be able to access the website by its European IP address which is – 184.108.40.206!
Hence, if typing a domain name does not give you access to it, then simply try typing its respective IP address and you might actually be allowed to access the block website. A domain name and its respective IP address both take a user to the same website.
IP Addresses & The Details!
Every system that is connected to the Internet has a unique IP address associated with it. And this is what becomes its identity via which it is contacted. Normally, an IP address is a 32-bit number that is written in the dotted-decimal notation. For instance, the dotted decimal IP address of google.co.in is: 220.127.116.11
The smart system administrator would block not only the domain but also its respective IP address at the firewall level. Hence, making it a lot tougher for a user to unblock websites to access them on the Internet.
It is important to note that it is possible to write a dotted-decimal IP address in various formats. If your local administrator has blocked the decimal dotted IP address of a particular website, you can try typing the IP address in decimal format too. This format is an IP address with just the numbers 1 and 0 and without any dots. There is a great website https://ncalculators.com/digital-computation/ip-address-hex-decimal-binary.htm that allows you to convert a dotted decimal IP address into a no dots decimal IP address, Binary IP address and even in the hexa-decimal form.
What does this mean?
Well, this just means that if your system administrator has blocked www.google.com, you can try typing in its respective decimal dotted IP address: 18.104.22.168. And if this is blocked as well, you can type in the decimal with no dots IP address by converting it. Add http:// before the decimal address. These methods are merely different methods to unblock website, bypass the firewall and blocking mechanisms.
You can also convert a decimal dotted IP address into the respective Octal format to bypass the local firewalls and blocks. This conversion is possible using the windows calculator, any online conversion tools or the website http://www.silisoftware.com/tools/ipconverter.php. As per a quick search and conversion reveals that the IP address 22.214.171.124 converts to 0330.0072.0335.0044 in its octal format.
Kindly note that in the octal format, you have to precede each octal number with 0 (if the conversion tool doesn’t give it that way). This is so that the browser knows that the address is in the octal form.
Most of the browsers accept the IP addresses written in the octal format. Moreover, the firewall that is also blocking gets circumvented. In other words, www.google.com, http://126.96.36.199, http://3627736356, and http://0330.0072.0335.0044 all take you to the same website.
But that doesn’t end here!
It is also possible to convert a decimal format IP address into its respective hexadecimal format. This is also to bypass the filtering mechanism of your local network and unblock websites. The easiest way to convert a decimal IP address into its respective hexadecimal format is to use the Windows calculator or search for conversion websites like http://www.silisoftware.com/tools/ipconverter.php online.
But for now, let us learn how to use the Windows calculator to find it. Assuming you want to convert the IP address 188.8.131.52 (Google) into its respective hexadecimal format, follow the steps below.
Open the Windows calculator and click on VIEW and the PROGRAMMER. Make sure the decimal option is selected on the left column. Type in the first decimal number into the calculator. In this case, type in 216.
Now click on the HEX option in the left column. This will automatically convert the number you entered in decimal format, that is, 216, into the hexadecimal format, that is, D8.
Repeat this exercise for all the decimals in the IP address and you would get the respective hexadecimal address. In this case, it would be: D8.3A.DD.24. When ever you write an IP address in the hexadecimal format, then you have to precede each number with 0x to denote that it is in hex format. Hence, the hexadecimal address becomes: 0xD8.0x3A.0xDD.0x24.
Start your browser and type the hexadecimal address (http://0xD8.0x3A.0xDD.0x24) of the Google website to fool the local firewall and access it! Just as mentioned above, any of all the mentioned IP address and the different formats would point to the same website.
More ABOUT this method!
It is possible to convert an IP address into the respective binary format, but unfortunately, most of the browsers do not support the binary format addresses.
Another method of fooling the blocking mechanism is writing down the IP address in an hybrid format. This means combining multiple formats into one. Let us take the example of Google again. The various formats that we learned about above are:
Dotted Decimal Format – http://184.108.40.206
No Dot Decimal Format – http://3627736356
Octal Format – http://0330.0072.0335.0044
Hexadecimal Format – http://0xD8.0x3A.0xDD.0x24
You can access Google by combining the above mentioned formats. For example – http://216.0072.0xDD.56. This allows you to access the website by combining all the four formats and then using it to fool the filtering of the local networks.
Other ideas to unblock websites
Sometimes it is also a good idea to try out different versions of the domain name itself. This would help you try and fool the firewall into giving you access to the website. Let us take for instance – www.facebook.com might be blocked in your city or company. But you can try out the following alternatives that all point to the same website:
What do you think about these ideas? Try them out and let us know if they worked for you just like it worked for us by commenting in the section below. And if you want to know more ways to unblock websites online, check out the previous posts by clicking here!