How To Access Blocked Websites On A Mac

WARNING: We recommend that you use a VPN (virtual private network) to hide your IP address and personal information when browsing blocked, banned, or potentially unsafe sites. This is an additional security measure that can keep you and your personal information safe, while you navigate the internet. MacInfo recommends NordVPN to stay safe.

Whether you want to bypass parental control software, access blocked sites on a locked-down school computer, or get around your Government's censorship regime, this article will show you various ways to access blocked websites on your Mac.

Please note that some of these methods may not work in some countries, such as Mainland China, due to their particularly advanced censorship implementations that block services used to get around the blocks. It is also important to know that while some of these methods provide a high level of anonymity, it is potentially possible for your identity to still be compromised by law enforcement - not that we condone illegal behavior in the slightest, but some folks just don't want to be snooped on!

1. Use A Free Online Proxy

By far the easiest way to get around a blocked website on your Mac is to use a free online proxy. Commonly known as a "web proxy", these services come in the form of a website where you type in a URL to access it via the proxy. For those of you who don't know, a proxy is a server that acts as an intermediary between your Mac and a website, so you can anonymize yourself & get around blocked sites, because you never make a direct connection to the sites you're visiting.

Because they are free many web proxies are loaded with intrusive banner ads and pop-ups, which can ruin your browsing experience. Some have no or moderate advertising levels, but with thousands of free web proxies available on the Internet, they can be difficult to find. So here are three good ones to save you from searching:

  • ProxFree - for those who want a free web proxy with servers in a multitude of different countries, ProxFree offers an ad-free solution. Like Highwayproxy, you simply type in a URL to visit it via the speedy proxy. But if you want to appear to be in a specific country, there's a drop-down list underneath the URL box that allows you to select a certain server in a certain country. This is useful if you want to visit a website available only to Americans or only to Britons, and do not live in the respective nation.
  •  Hide.Me-  The homepage, which looks very similar to Google, is honestly just a lot more visually appealing than all the other proxies available on the internet. You can just type the URL you want to view to experience fast, ad-free browsing. Hide.Me will unblock pretty much any site you'll ever want to visit! If all you want to do is browse FaceBook at school or porn at work, then this service is what you need.
  •  VPNBook - very similar to ProxFree, VPNBook is a free online proxy where you can browse from proxy servers in UK, US, France, and Canada. While there is a single advert on the homepage, you won't experience any ads or other disruptions when you're browsing with VPNBook. With that said, in our experience, this tends to slow down a bit, so if you're an impatient person, this one's probably not for you.

Although free online proxies are a useful tool for unblocking websites and maintaining some degree on anonymity on your Mac, they are vulnerable to hacking and many are run by government agents or scammers who will harvest your personal information. So do not perform tasks such as online banking using these services - if you need to do things like that use a commercial VPN, which is explained further below.

2. Install The Hola Extension

If you want to unblock websites such as Hulu or the BBC iPlayer, Hola is an extension you might want to consider installing. Free, fast, and extremely easy to set up, Hola is a proxy that works by routing your Internet traffic through the computers of other Hola users. In exchange, some of the traffic belonging to other Hola users is routed through your Mac, much like a peer-to-peer network (which is how Hola can be offered for free).

It's possible to route your Mac's traffic through any country that has Hola users, which includes many (if not most) of the world's countries. One major disadvantage to this extension is the fact that it only supports Google Chrome and Firefox - so if you use Safari or Opera, you're going to have to use a different method to unblock websites on your Mac. For those of you who do use Chrome/Firefox, however, Hola can be freely installed here.

3. Use A Commercial Grade VPN

Commercial VPNs utilize the same basic principle as free online proxies to protect your identity and unblock websites on your Mac but offer a massive step-up in security and functionality. A VPN from a reputable company is safe enough to do your online banking over, shop with a credit card, and log in to sensitive websites.

Setting up a VPN will most likely involve installing some software on your Mac, which all of your Internet traffic will be routed through, and you will, therefore, need the computer's administrator password.

VPNs are a better long-term solution than web proxies because, in addition to all of your Internet traffic automatically routed through the VPN, you can set many of them to turn on when your Mac starts up, meaning it will always be on. Here's a quick rundown on the VPN solution that we think offers the most value, and that is one of the most trusted commercial VPNs on the market today:


  • Advantages: NordVPN keeps zero logs of your activity and allows for TOR over the VPN, which is a big deal if maximum privacy is important to you. They also accept payment via Bitcoin which can increase anonymity further.
  • Disadvantages: NordVPN offers servers in 59 countries, which falls a little short of one of its competitors, HideMyAss. This may be important to you if there is a certain obscure country that you want to route your VPN through.
  • Price: If you want a monthly package, NordVPN will cost you $11.95, however, if you're looking to save, you can get an annual bundle that will cost you as low as $3.49 a month. Easily the cheapest and best value out of the three VPNs listed here.

Read a comprehensive review of NordVPN on MacInfo or click here to download it now.

4. Browse With TOR

If none of the above options worked, or they simply aren't viable for you, there is one more way to unblock websites on your Mac and remain anonymous: browse via the TOR network using its free open-source software.

The TOR network, synonymous with the Deep Web and its hidden services, was pioneered by the U.S army to provide an extremely high level of anonymity for its users. The network works by sending your traffic through a number of computers (called "nodes") that are also using TOR so that the end website doesn't know who you are and your ISP doesn't know what you're visiting. In return, your Mac will also be used as a node for others to route their TOR traffic through, which is pretty similar to how peer-to-peer file sharing works.

Since your ISP doesn't know which websites you're visiting, TOR is an effective way to unblock websites on your Mac. Some websites will block TOR traffic, however, or require you to verify that you're a human when browsing with TOR - this is because high volumes of traffic from one node in the network leads some sites to suspect abuse. Don't worry though, as this is only a problem with a small number of websites.

Click here to download TOR for macOS.

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Mike Roberts

Hi, my name is Mike and I made this site to document all the helpful tips and tricks that I've discovered using various Apple Macs and other Apple products over the years, as well as to provide more general guides in relation to using the internet. I've been obsessed with Apple products ever since I could afford my first iPod, and am somewhat of a fanboy (you might have guessed). For me, the simply work without any fuss, issues or errors. I can rely on their products. The build quality is excellent and I even have several, several-year-old Macbooks in my wardrobe that are still humming along fine (just a bit slower). You can contact me personally using the form on this page.


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  1. I've found Nord to be pretty good for me also, at least they are cheap and offer the best support when I've had an issue.

  2. Great article. The DNS option is better than using a VPN regarding content streaming because you can achieve direct connection with the media station ex. Netflix and avoid the “middle-man”.

  3. I always used to use a free online proxy, usually HideMyAss or Hidester. These days, I’m using a paid VPN not only for additional privacy but to also unblock content on Netflix and Hulu. After testing many different services, I finally settled with ExpressVPN and I have no complaints so far.

  4. How easy is it for websites to detect if a VPN is being used? I recently moved to another country but I want to continue playing on an online casino from back home, the only problem is that they don’t allow VPN connections. If they found out they would probably close my account. If I can use a VPN without being detected that would be great.

  5. I find that a lot of the VPN’s cannot bypass the restriction on BBC iPlayer. I have tried so many of the Chrome extension VPN’s and very often the iPlayer detects them and doesn’t let me watch. Very frustrating. Netflix seems much easier to watch restricted content on though, I hardly ever have an issue with it.

  6. Since the GDPR came into practice, I find myself blocked by some websites that don’t want to comply, it’s really annoying. I’ve since been using NordVPN to access these websites and it works really well. Having by browsing encrypted is nice, too. Previously I was using a free web proxy but they were unreliable and slow.

  7. I’m from California and ever since the state introduced the new privacy laws, I have noticed some websites just outright block my access to them as they don’t want to follow these overreaching laws. I don’t blame them but it is quite frustrating when it happens. These days I’m using NordVPN to get around all sorts of geoblocks and it works really well.