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4 Tips & Tricks to Bypass Your Schools Web Filtering System

Updated November 2018

Does your school use a web filter that prevents you from accessing your favorite sites? In this article I’ll walk you through steo-by-step how I managed to bypass my school’s web filter.

At my school, even common sites like Gmail were being blocked by the Barracuda web filter. School web filters are way too restrictive. I needed a way to bypass the web filter to access basic sites for legitimate reasons. The school was unnecessarily blocking scholastic sites with educational information that I wanted to visit. These tips and tricks will help you bypass common filters including WebSense, ContentKeeper, Lightspeed Systems, and others.

My school uses WebSense to filter websites. It works great and that’s the problem. Almost every proxy, blogspot blog, game site, social media site, and email is blocked by WebSense. There is also an option for school administrators to add a specific url to the list of blocked sites.

The software keeps track of student’s browsing history. More then once, I’ve found a proxy or site that wasn’t blocked by WebSense and the next day when I checked the site it was blocked. I don’t know why but I think this was because somehow WebSense records your browsing history and creates a list of questionable sites for the administrator to approve or ban.

So with any of these tips just beware that if a site works today it could get blocked tomorrow!


1. Use a proxy

Hidester Screenshot

A proxy website adds an additional layer of anonymity and can by a quick solution to bypass your web filter. On a proxy website you can enter the url you want to visit and it gives you access to the site via their server. Many proxies get blocked quickly by web filters but there are so many out there that it isn’t hard to test a lot of proxies to find one that isn’t blocked.

Here’s a list of some popular web proxies:


2. Use HTTPS


I mentioned that Gmail was blocked at my school but that isn’t entirely true. If I accessed Gmail from it was blocked but if I used it worked! Both url’s work but for some reason many web filters don’t block the HTTPS version. This is by far the easiest method but results may vary depending on which filter your school is using. Also, some sites will automatically redirect you from http to https which obviously won’t work.

A similar trick would be to try the www and non-www versions of url’s to see if one is available.


3. Run Google Chrome on a USB stick

There’a a great article on ghacks about how to install Google Chrome to a USB drive. Head over there for more detailed instructions. The basics are:

  1. Install PortableApps on your USB drive
  2. Install their portable version of Google Chrome
  3. Plug the USB drive into any computer
  4. Run Google Chrome directly from the USB drive

This option takes the most preparation but really comes in handy. You can save all your bookmarks, files, and install additional apps all on a USB drive and run it from virtually any computer. If the web filter is browser based it won’t effect your portable version of Google Chrome on the USB drive.


4. Google Cache

You may not know what Google Cache is but you’ve probably seen it. On most results in Google there is a little green arrow under the page title next to the url. If you click on that arrow you’ll see an option for Cached.

Google Cache

If you click on Cached the resulting page will have something like this appended to the url: “”. Google is essentially acting as a proxy for you to see an older version of this page. If you need to interact with the site or log in this method won’t work but for purely informational content it works great and is rarely blocked.

If none of these tips work at your school, well, that sucks for you but it worked for me so I hope this helps. I just wish someone would have told me this when I was a freshman.

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