Firewalls stand as a barrier between a private internet and a public internet network. The primary focus is to keep a check and filter on incoming and outgoing traffic based on the security policies of a firm. Generally, schools employ the Windows Firewall to prevent any sort of suspicious internet activity. However, can you bypass the school Firewall, with or without a VPN on school computers to access blocked websites, and if yes, how to do the same? Let’s discuss this in today’s article.
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How to Bypass School Firewall
Even though the internet holds no bounds, often the school administration restricts several websites to avoid any sort of distraction. As a result, sometimes students or teachers struggle with accessing even the necessary websites.
There are multiple ways through which a firewall can be bypassed. However, doing so can be risky. It may violate school policies or even be illegal in some cases. It is always recommended to use the internet responsibly.
To bypass firewall on a school PC, use a VPN or a proxy server. You can also use your smartphone as a Wi-Fi router.
1. Slide down the notification bar on the smartphone and turn on Mobile Hotspot.
2. Enable Wi-Fi on the PC and connect it to the phone’s hotspot to access the internet using cellular data.
Method 1: Use Proxy Server
Proxy servers act as an intermediary between the device and the internet. When you send a request, i.e., the URL to access a website or online service, it first goes to the proxy server instead of directly to the destination server. The former then processes the request, retrieves the content from the latter, and sends it back to the device.
1. Open Settings and move to the Network & internet tab.
2. Click on Proxy.
3. Click on Set up next to Use setup script.
4. In the pop-up, toggle on Use setup script and enter the appropriate Script address.
5. Click on Save.
Also Read: Top 9 Free Proxy Software For Windows 10
Method 2: Use Anonymous Web Browsers
You can use anonymous web browsers such as Tor, DuckDuckGo, etc. Known for privacy and anonymity, Tor selects random paths through its network for your data packets. It routes the internet traffic through a series of nodes before it reaches its destination. Each node can only decrypt enough information to know where to send the data next. This multi-layered encryption makes it difficult for firewalls to monitor or block the traffic.
Method 3: Use Alternate DNS Server
When you enter a website’s URL in the browser, DNS servers convert this human-readable domain name into an IP address, which is the actual location of the website on the internet.
When you configure the device to use alternate DNS servers, it sends DNS queries to these servers instead of the ISP’s servers. If the firewall’s restrictions are based on DNS filtering, it can bypass the restrictions by using servers that are not subject to it. Refer to our guide on How to change DNS server on Windows 11.
Method 4: Use IP Address Instead of URL
Some firewalls only detect and block domain names. You can instead use the IP address of the website instead of its name to bypass the firewall on school computers and access the blocked websites. You can try out some hostname/domain name lookup tools such as WhatIsMyIPAddress, MXToolbox, or NsLookup.io.
Note: This might not work for all websites as some do not allow direct access through IP addresses.
1. Launch NsLookup.io on any browser.
2. Paste the URL of any website you wish to access in the URL or domain name and click on Find IP addresses.
3. Next, copy this IP address and paste it into the address bar of the browser.
You might need to bypass the Chrome warning to access the website.
Method 5: URL Shortener
If you are not able to access a specific website because it is blocked by the school firewall, instead of the whole domain name, you can use its shortened version. You can use a URL shortener such as Short URL.
1. Launch the Short URL website on the browser.
2. Paste the URL in Enter the link here field and click on Shorten URL.
3. Next, click on Copy URL and paste it into the address bar.
Method 6: Use Remote Desktop Connection
Developed by Microsoft, Remote Desktop Connection allows a user to access and control a PC or server from a remote location over a network connection. It uses standard network protocols such as the Remote Desktop Protocol, which typically operates over specific ports.
When you connect the school PC to the home or any other PC, the firewall recognizes it as a connection to the website. If the target PC, i.e., the school PC has port forwarding configured on the firewall, you can bypass it.
1. Press the Windows key and search Remote Desktop Connection in the search bar.
2. Enter the valid name of a remote computer in Computer: and click on Connect.
Method 7: Use Google Translate
Google Translate acts as a pretty good proxy server and can work as a workaround to bypass the school firewall. Basically what this does is that it translates the domain into its server. It attempts to access the blocked website on your behalf and hence the content will be displayed in the translated language. This can sometimes bypass certain types of content filters.
1. Go to the official Google Translate page.
2. Paste the URL of the website/webpage and choose any language except English in the parallel field.
3. Now click the translate icon in the parallel field.
You will be redirected to the website or webpage and the content will be displayed in the translated language. You can change it from the top to your preferred language.
Can a VPN Bypass School Firewall?
Yes, VPNs can effectively bypass school firewalls, given that the firewall has not employed methods to detect and block VPN traffic.
How to Bypass School Firewall With a VPN
VPNs establish an encrypted tunnel between the device and a remote server, which masks the data and hides the traffic transmitted over the network using the Protocol Obfuscation technique. Moreover, it hides your real IP address and replaces it with the IP of the VPN server thereby helping you avoid the firewall. Other mechanisms include:
- Port Redirection: Some firewalls block specific ports. With port redirection, VPNs can reroute your traffic through open ports, allowing you to access blocked websites.
- Split Tunneling: Some VPNs offer this feature that allows you to choose which traffic goes through the VPN and which does not. It can access local resources while bypassing the firewall for specific internet traffic.
- Server Location: You can connect to a VPN server in a different geographic region to access content that might be restricted in your location.
Follow the steps mentioned below:
1. Download and install Proton VPN on your Windows laptop.
2. Choose a server from Free Locations or click on Quick Connect.
You can now access the internet freely. Here are some of our recommendations on the 22 Best Free VPN for Windows 10.
Consequences of Circumventing a School Firewall
Bypassing a school firewall can lead to various consequences that you need to consider before attempting to do so, such as:
- Violation of School Policies: Bypassing the school’s firewall goes against their policies or acceptable use of agreements. Doing so may result in disciplinary action or punishment, such as detention, suspension, or even expulsion.
- Legal Repercussions: In certain regions, such as the UK and Singapore, it is illegal to bypass firewalls and internet restrictions. If found, can result in severe legal consequences, including fines or criminal charges.
- Academic Consequences: You might lose access to school resources such as access to the internet, computers, and other educational material.
- Security Risks: Using unsecured proxy services or VPNs to bypass the firewall can pose security risks to the school’s network.
Recommended: Do You Need a Firewall for an Android Device?
We hope our guide helped you bypass the school firewall. Do remember that it is important to follow the school’s internet usage policies and guidelines to avoid repercussions. If you have any queries or suggestions for us, do let us know in the comments box below. Stay connected to TechCult for more such tips and tricks.