People find themselves not being able to access different blocked websites (like Facebook, Instagram, etc.). This is because of the restrictions their local network administrator has configured. Usually, corporate or public institutions reinforce this type of network restrictions in order to eliminate any distractions for their employees.
There is, however, a possibility to learn how to unblock sites without using VPN (Virtual Private Network). Let us begin.
Open your Windows Explorer (Windows + E) and navigate to “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc”. There, look for a file called “hosts”.
Open/edit the “hosts” file. You can edit the file by right-clicking on the “hosts” file and choosing a text editor like Notepad or Notepad++, for example.
In order to unblock a certain website through the Windows “hosts” file, you will need to find the IP address (or addresses) for that domain.
For example, if you want to unblock Facebook.com on your current network, continue following these steps:
Sometimes, due to the network configuration, it’s not enough to just use the IP resulted in a WHOIS query. For this reason, it’s recommended that you also ping the blocked address (domain) and take a note of the resulted IP (which might be different from the one resulted using the WHOIS IP lookup tool).
Once CMD has opened, type the following command:
Here’s how the final version of the “hosts” file and how it should look like:
Once finished, save the “hosts” file (administrator rights might be required so if a window pops-up asking for admin rights, make sure you allow it).
Press Windows + R again, type cmd and hit OK. Now that the CMD window has opened, we need to type in the following command so we can the clear the browser’s cache:
Restarting your computer’s browser was the final step for successfully unblocking a website address while using a different network than your personal one (from home, perhaps).