Do you need to know How to Bypass a School Firewall?: It’s generally not a smart idea, but if you’re desperate, here are a few options.
Students who know how to circumvent banned websites at school have a valuable commodity. While the freedom to do anything you want is appealing, is it entirely risk-free?
Let’s take a look at how to get around a school firewall and why you might not want to.
How to Get Around a School Firewall
There are various methods for evading school limitations. It depends on how the firewall is configured; some may watch what you type in the address bar, while others actively monitor the traffic. Give these a try and see which one works best for you.
1. Get Around School Restrictions by Using a Proxy Site
Proxy sites are services that process your requests on your behalf. These servers are useful when attempting to bypass a firewall because the proxy handles all of the browsing for you.
If your institution restricts access to a game’s website, it will most likely seek for you to type the URL into the address bar. A web proxy server avoids this since you are not visiting the game’s website; instead, you are going to the proxy’s page and instructing it to go to the page instead. The game’s website is then displayed, while your school firewall only sees the proxy’s URL.
For example, if you wanted to play Minecraft in your browser for free, your school might have already restricted the minecraft.net domain. As a result, when you go to play it, the firewall detects that you’re visiting the Minecraft website and prevents you from doing so.
If you visit the website through a proxy server, the firewall will not recognize that the traffic is coming from the Minecraft website. Instead, it will only see the details of your proxy server, which happens to be providing you data from the Minecraft website!
The best aspect is that you do not need to utilize or install any extra software in order to use one. If your school’s computers don’t like it when you install apps on them, you can easily get past this limitation by utilizing a proxy in a browser.
Be cautious if you intend to utilize a free web proxy. There are numerous reasons why you should avoid free proxy servers; keep these in mind if you want to use a free proxy site.
Companies like ExpressVPN, on the other hand, provide an unique SOCKS5 proxy service that you may use to get through a firewall. “SOCKS5” may sound sophisticated, but it is only the name of the most recent proxy server technology. It should function similarly to any other proxy service.
2. Encrypt your traffic with a VPN
VPNs, on the other hand, encrypt your traffic and allow you to avoid school firewalls. Proxies work around restrictions by redirecting you to a whitelisted website, but a VPN protects you by not allowing the firewall to see your browsing in the first place.
It accomplishes this by encrypting all of the information your computer is preparing to send out, preventing prying eyes from seeing what you’re transmitting. The computer then sends this encrypted data to a VPN server, which decrypts it, reads where you want to go, and takes you there. It sends its traffic back encrypted, avoiding the firewall.
VPNs are useful for more than only avoiding school firewalls. Check out these reasons why you should use a VPN, all of which have an impact on your life outside of school.
If you’re not sure which VPN to use, why not save money and get ExpressVPN for 49% off? It’s one of our favorite VPN services for beginners because it doesn’t compromise on privacy.
3. Enter the website’s IP address
When you enter a website’s name into your browser, it gets transformed into an IP address. This happens because computers have no concept what names are, thus they must be converted to IP addresses using a Domain Name Server (DNS).
This knowledge is useful if the firewall is looking for domain names rather than IP addresses. You can view the webpage without telling the firewall by entering the number into the address bar.
Unfortunately, the IP address of each website is not visible. You can look it up using WhatIsMyIPAddress’s lookup tool.
4. Use Google Translate as a makeshift proxy server
Surprisingly, Google Translate can be used to get through a firewall! To use it, you must use Google Translate’s “translate page” option. When you translate a page with Google Translate, it loads the page on the server, translates it, and provides the result to you.
Does this sound familiar? It should—it performs the same function as a proxy server. If all of the proxy websites are prohibited, this little method makes Google Translate an unobtrusive choice.
5. Make use of a Smartphone Hotspot for Mobile Data
If you can’t find out how to get beyond the school firewall, you could try making your smartphone a hotspot. You can connect to the internet without going through the school’s system this way. It will consume the phone’s data, but it will save you the trouble of circumnavigating the school firewall.
If you’d want to learn more, check out how to connect mobile internet to a PC or laptop.
The Consequences of Breaking Through a School Firewall
As much as you despise the school firewall, it serves a purpose. It not only reinforces the concept of a school as a place of learning, but it can also safeguard you and the school from unlawful or malicious content.
1. Your personal information could be stolen
When you utilize a proxy server, your traffic is routed through a third-party server before arriving at its destination. The question is, how certain are you that the server hosts aren’t monitoring all of your traffic?
This is one of the main reasons why you should wait till you reach home. When you use free services, it’s often because the developers make money off of you in some way. This could be due to advertisements, or they could be harvesting your personal information to sell on.
2. You Might Get a Virus
Worse, free services may not be as picky about the adverts they show you. This could result in your computer being infected with a dangerous virus, which could then spread to other machines in the school.
Virus breakouts in schools are not unheard of; ItemLive reported on how a virus took down Lynn Schools’ internet for a week. Before you get any ideas, the school did not close for the week; it was business as usual, but with no internet to distract you!
3. You may be suspended or expelled
It’s very likely that your institution has a computer usage policy. These explain what you can and cannot do with them, as well as what you can expect if you are caught doing so.
These agreements may specify that if you violate the security, the school may bar you from using the computer network. If you are banned, you will no longer be able to use the internet for recreational purposes. Worse, you can’t use them for studying, which is a significant disadvantage for your future work!
4. You Might Face Legal Repercussions
While the methods described above are not illegal, they can be used to access illegal content. If you are detected viewing unlawful content, your school may opt to report you to the police. If this occurs, you will face legal consequences for your actions.
Workarounds that do not circumvent the firewall
Of course, there are ways to carry out specified acts without violating school rules. These are safer (and often school-sponsored!) methods of accessing the internet that avoid the aforementioned difficulties.
Chatting With Google Docs
Hopefully, your school allows you to utilize Google Docs for work purposes. Google Docs also includes a chat tool, which allows you to collaborate with others on the same document.
Of course, you can use the chat option to discuss constructive topics like schoolwork and academics, but you can also use it as an impromptu messaging service. Who knows, you might be able to accomplish your schoolwork within the document while you speak!
Play Educational Games
While instructional games may not be as entertaining as Fortnite, they are a good alternative. Why would a teacher stop you from doing something that is helping you learn if they caught you doing it?
You can always play typing games if you can’t locate any games that teach you what you want to learn. This improves your words-per-minute rate, which is useful in this digital age. For example, the 10 Fast Fingers game pits you against other players in a race to type a section.
Learn a Valuable Skill
Why not spend your time learning a new skill if you’re bored and none of the game websites are working? You can learn to code in your leisure time by visiting websites that provide free online computer programming classes, for example. These websites are not only useful, but your teacher will not be annoyed if you learn in your spare time!
Using Technology Effectively in the Classroom
Firewalls aren’t put in place to bother you; they’re there to promote learning and keep you safe from harmful and unlawful stuff. Skirting around them isn’t impossible; nonetheless, given the potential consequences and alternatives, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it.