Accessing Blocked Sites

One of the readers here had asked about “unblocking DuckDuckGo.” In July of 2020, DuckDuckGo was banned in India via government orders, which tends to happen in countries with governments who don’t like their citizens to have too much freedom of speech or individual liberty – but this isn’t a political blog.

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If you’re able to use Tor in your country, that is one way you can access DuckDuckGo or other blocked sites. Simply install the Tor Browser and either access DuckDuckGo’s clearnet site through there, or its onion link: http://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion. If you still can’t access it, try using a Tor pluggable transport or bridge: Tor manual – circumvention.

Alternately, you can try something like Can’t Access, which provides a proxy server to different sites, including DuckDuckGo.

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The same site offers other options for accessing blocked sites, like changing default DNS servers, or, of course, using a VPN service. Normally, your network settings are configured to use the DNS servers of your ISP, but it isn’t required that you do so. Changing them depends on your OS, but there are quite a few tutorials on how to achieve this; The Ultimate Guide to Changing Your DNS Server explains several ways to do so. Even if you search for “change dns servers,” you can see a list of some public ones:

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Using a VPN provider also has its risks, but if your objective is merely accessing these blocked sites, then there are some reasonably good options, such as Mullvad, Riseup, and Private Internet Access. Most of these require a paid subscription, but some are reasonably affordable.

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As usual, suggestions are welcome. Do you have any other ideas for accessing blocked content? Proxy servers, VPNs, etc.? Please share in the comments.

P.S. Some sites also have mirrors on anonymity networks like Tor, I2P, Freenet, and ZeroNet if they’re unavailable via the clearnet (DuckDuckGo being one example).

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