Bypass Vietnam's Block on FaceBook - or China's Block on YouTube

Submitted by tomo on January 4, 2011 - 7:54pm

For some time now, ISPs in Vietnam have been blocking a small number of websites, particularly Facebook. Fortunately, the number of blocked sites was really small (in China hundreds of sites are blocked) and the method of blocking traffic to Facebook was very weak. The Vietnamese ISPs simply stopped returning DNS queries for the Facebook domain. So everyone soon figured out they could simply change their computer's DNS settings to use a non-blocking DNS server, such as Google's (8.8.8.8).

I'm hearing rumors now, while I'm traveling in Europe, that Vietnamese ISPs have really cracked down on access to Facebook and that the DNS trick no longer works.

So here are some more foolproof ways to get around the Facebook block in Vietnam which will also work for any website that is blocked in any country. For example, the Great Firewall of China blocks access to an ever-changing list of sites by more than just DNS. But these methods should work there too.

An added advantage is that you may also be able to access US sites that block all non-US computers like Hulu and certain YouTube videos.

1. Pay for VPN access outside of Vietnam. This is essentially what I do by renting a server in the US, but I only tunnel my web traffic over an ssh connection. If anyone wants a shell on my server for tunneling purposes (and not downloading porn) contact me.

Setting up SSH is a bit quirky so most people are better off with a true VPN solution.

One that comes recommended is StrongVPN. By going with them you'll get full support and they show you how to set it all up.

2. Install free but ad-supported Hotspot Shield

From their site:

Secure your web session, data, online shopping, and personal information online with HTTPS encryption.
Protect yourself from identity theft online.
Hide your IP address for your privacy online.
Access all content privately without censorship; bypass firewalls.
Protect yourself from snoopers at Wi-Fi hotspots, hotels, airports, corporate offices.

You may want to install ad blockers if you go this route. They will also track information about you to sell to advertisers.

3. Proxy servers.

Pick a proxy server from http://www.xroxy.com/ and set your browser to use it without needing to buy or install anything. You don't need to use a proxy server in Vietnam, in fact it's probably better not to.

In a pinch you can browse through a "CGI proxy" like http://12345proxy.com/ without having to set up anything.

Using a proxy server could slow down access to some websites, especially ones in Vietnam. You can install some browser add-ons so that you only go through a proxy for the sites that are blocked, like Facebook.

For Google Chrome:
Proxy Switchy: https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/caehdcpeofiiigpdhbabniblemipncjj

For FireFox:
FoxyProxy: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2464/

4. Just for watching videos on sites like Hulu, Amazon Video on Demand, Pandora, or YouTube, you can try http://www.usvideo.ca/ although it costs $5.25/month.

Yul Tang

For the most part Proxy and VPN are great ways to bypass these blocks. But we have seen that in China it's not always enough. I suggest googling for "shadow socks" as this is a new advanced type of proxy that can help to overcome situations, where the VPN ports are blocked for example. Anyway, thanks for this informative post. Also I would like to suggest, that if you are looking for a CPS professional, you can get a much better understanding of the industry that is behind these blocks. Good luck and let's hope that the Chinese mentality doesn't spread too harshly to Vietnam.

Much regards,
Yul "Chaoyang" Tang.

uk vpn (not verified)

The best way to ensure security is to change your IP often by having a secure VPN connection. VPN can change the entire way you handle business, making your entire network more effective.

view site (not verified)

Normally I don't learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, very nice article.

Tom (not verified)

Hello there. I used "Contact Me" form to send you a message about using a shell for ssh tunneling for a little while. Please check it when you have time. :D Thank you

marci (not verified)

How do i use that FoxyProxy addo-on?

tomo

FroxyProxy is for FireFox so make sure you're running FireFox then go to that link to install the add-on. Then follow their instructions on adding a proxy. You can find the list of proxies at xroxy.com.

tomo

Method #5:

Change your DNS according to http://www.saigonist.com/content/easy-access-facebook-vietnam-part-deux and you'll bypass this hopefully temporary block on Facebook during Vietnam's national congress event.

Newly Minted Bum (not verified)

WOuld those also work for Macs? I've tried downloading a couple of programs but my OS just didn't allow them to run :(

tomo

Yes, there are VPN solutions for Macs and the proxy setup is browser-specific so not tied to any OS.. you should be fine

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