Internet freedom in Malaysia is something that may strike a chord among its netizens. In fact, according to Freedom House (an independent watchdog NGO dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world) their latest annual ‘Freedom on the Net’ report showed that Malaysia’s Freedom on the Net score is the worse it has ever been since the past couple of years.
This is largely due to the Internet censorship and blocking of numerous websites as regulated by the Malaysian Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC).
However, no matter which country you are from, or you might just be looking to watch your cat videos from your office or university network, we hope that our guide would help you in your attempts to do so.
Do note that while BolehVPN does not in any way condone piracy or other forms of illegal use of the knowledge we share in our guides, we do believe in the freedom of information, expression and your right to your online privacy.
1) BY A VPN
Of course we could not write this guide without mentioning our favourite method for reclaiming your freedom to use the Internet; by using a VPN. A VPN like BolehVPN acts as a Virtual Private Network which tunnels your online traffic, allowing you to browse privately without censorship.
VPNs gives you access to blocked websites by hiding your true identity online when you connect to other countries’ servers, making your IP address seem like you are browsing from which country your server is located.
2) BYPASS WITH GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Who knew this popular online translator also works as a nifty tool to access blocked websites? One of the coolest tricks to bypass these site blocks is by using Google Translate to convert a page into a different language.
- First, enter the website you wish to browse in Google Translate and select any language option which is not the website’s original language.
- Secondly, pick the language that the website is actually in above the second text box.
- Hit ‘Translate’. The website you are trying to surf on should load like magic.
3) PROXY WEBSITES
This was probably the first trick you knew as a university kid to access all those blocked social networking sites. Proxy websites acts as an intermediary between the blocked site and you.
Essentially what it does is mask from your ISP that you are accessing the blocked site when you are connected to the proxy’s server instead of the website’s server.
Here are a few free proxy sites:
These work at the time the article was published. But if you would like other proxy websites options, you can try this fresh list.
A note of caution: While this may be one of the easiest go-to ways to access restricted websites, it may be one of the most dangerous as these free proxies are often brimming with pop-ups, ads and even hackers looking to sabotage malware on your computer.
4) BYPASS YOUR ISP’S DNS
In Malaysia, our computers generally use the DNS from our ISPs such as 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 for Streamyx and UniFi. When ISPs use their own DNS, this effectively blocks access to the websites which they wish to restrict.
To circumvent this, you simply need to change the DNS configuration of your network.
How to change your DNS configuration:
- Firstly, go to your computer’s ‘Control Panel’ > ‘Network and Internet’ > ‘Network and Sharing Center’. Then click on ‘Change adapter settings’.
- Click on your ‘Wi-Fi’ In the Wi-Fi status box, click ‘Properties’.
- Scroll down until you see ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)’. Click on it.
- Change the DNS Server settings to the numbers shown (Preferred DNS 22.214.171.124 and Alternate DNS 126.96.36.199).
5) WAYBACK MACHINE
Wayback Machine is a free internet archive service which periodically stores a copy of past versions of almost all websites, sometimes even from the date it started. You can use it to surf restricted website through the machine’s cached pages, although you would only get the latest copy of the website from the version of it was last saved (could be months or days so news sites may not be up-to-date).
6) TOR BROWSER
The Onion Router (TOR) is similar to the vegetable it got its name from, in which it has many ‘layers’ in its properties.
In the TOR browser sense, it works as an anonymisation service which routes and bounces your data through random people around the world which create the distributed network of relays.
The TOR browser allows you to browse anonymously as it routes your traffic through various servers, thus your ISP would not be able to see which site you land on.
Read: TOR vs VPN Comparisons
BONUS TIP FOR SMARTPHONES
If you have Google Chrome on your mobile, this is an easy way to bypass any website restrictions.
- Open your Google Chrome app and click on the three dots on the top right-hand corner.
- Click on ‘Settings’ and scroll down to select ‘Data Saver’.
- Switch on the ‘Data Saver’. You should now be able to browse on any blocked websites.
Happy safe surfing!