The Internet was always meant to be free. Whether it is about streaming, VoIP communication, social networking or any other thing for that matter, you don’t want anything to get in your way while exploring the Internet.
Truth be told, the current state of the Internet isn’t as relaxing as it was expected to be. In fact, restrictions and censorships are now the most dominant elements on the Internet. The government even compels major ISPs to filter websites that they deem abhorrent or illegal. It is because of website filtering, you see some web domains not available in your region.
Image Credit: Makeuseof.com
Online censorship and restrictions make sense as far as inappropriate websites are concerned. But sometimes, secure websites also get tangled in the web such as sites on health disorders, sex education, health advice, domestic abuse, and drug abuse awareness for instance. There are many websites that are essential for vulnerable people because platforms on topics like health advice provide the best place where people can find the guidance they seek.
Regardless, there is a massive list of blocked websites in the UK that includes not only unwanted sites but also the innocent platforms that end up becoming “collateral damage.”
The Potential Consequences of Over-blocking
Online censorship in the UK is, you can say, quite untamed in that there’s no supervision of any sort that would prevent the filtration from extending beyond its limits.
Basically, the UK government enforces strict restrictions on anything that would incite crime or terrorism, child abuse, suicide, drug, and pornography, to name a few. Moreover, the restriction on certain websites such as dating come as a default by the ISP.
Anyway, annoyance isn’t the only thing that comes out of over-blocking. In fact, when ISPs go overboard with content filtering, it results in non-desirable outcomes.
For instance, over-blocking tends filtering content which is otherwise not harmful at all. In early 2018, ISPs in the UK blocked one of the safest and purely-innocent children’s website, Disney.co.uk. Well, the most surprising aspect is that the ISPs blocked the website on Internet Safety Day. Similarly, for no apparent reason at all, they also end up blocking KidsandCode.org as well as vikingsword.com, two popular websites on coding and medieval sword history, respectively.
Apart from that, a recent survey revealed that if the government fails to put a leash on over-blocking, it might end up forcing internet users to switch ISPs to more favorable ones. The survey was conducted by a comparison platform, MoneySuperMarket, in an attempt to understand the UK residents’ viewpoint on censorship and restrictions. The survey also found that out of the 2,011 surveyed residents, 45% admitted accessing blocked websites.
List of Blocked Websites in the UK that are Safe for Every Eyeball
The Blocked project lists over 70 million websites, submitted by users, around which 739,000+ domains are detected as blocked. The project offers users a place where they can report domains that are wrongfully blocked. Here are some of the domains quoted from Blocked.com that were blocked by some UK telecoms or ISP, at the time of writing this piece:
Ginger and Pickles Nutrition
Network: BT-Light and TalkTalk Kidsafe
As the name suggests, it is a diet and nutrition website aimed at an audience looking for tips and guidance on diet and lifestyle. It is a blog run by a nutritional therapist who holds a diploma from the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London.
Ahrberg Jackson Design
Network: BT-Light and TalkTalk Kidsafe
It is a UK-based, architectural design studio that specializes in beautifying spaces in offices, houses, and more. Clearly, the interior design service provider doesn’t seem to have anything inappropriate on the website that would require censorship.
Network: BT-Light, TalkTalk Kidsafe, and Sky filter default
It is a website run by Alexia Charalambous, who is a UK-based public speaking coach. Alexia provides training sessions to help people develop good vocal skills.
Supazaar is a legitimate website. It is basically a unique marketplace for event organizers and commercial entities. It offers a platform for both parties where suppliers can rent items for events and displays to other businesses.
Geo-restricted Websites in the UK That You Can’t Access with a UK IP
Blocked or censored websites are usually those domains that are barred by the government or ISP itself. For instance, dating and explicit websites are domains considered by the government illegal or inappropriate for the audience.
Geo-restricted websites, on the other hand, are censorships enforced by the web services. In most cases, geo-restriction is imposed by content publishers or producers due to licensing or copyright issues. You would mostly find this practice carried out by online TV channels or streaming services including big names like HBO Now, Hulu US, SlingTV, Amazon Prime, and more.
Similarly, some web services like Netflix offer select content to different regions. For instance, the American Netflix catalog boasts an inventory of 5,000+ TV shows, movies, documentaries, while other countries have access to some part of the original catalogue, for instance Australia has access to 35% – 38% content.
These services employ different geo-tracking practices to pinpoint the exact location of the user such as IP checking. So, if you are accessing the Internet using a UK IP, you won’t be able to connect to Hulu US or Netflix US.
Similarly, shows available in the UK cannot be accessed outside the country even if you have a premium subscription.
Here are some of the web services that you can’t access with a UK IP address:
- Netflix US
- Hulu US
- Sling TV
- Pirate Bay
- And more
How to Access Blocked Websites in the UK & from Anywhere in the World
Be it online censorship or geo-restrictions; you can get past all such annoyances easily with PureVPN. A virtual private network is your best bet for accessing web services as well as applications that are restricted in your country.
VPNs come with a whole lot of anonymous IP address that you can use to spoof your location and trick the web server into thinking that you are from a whitelisted location. Not only does the tool keep your access anonymous but also shields your activity as well as sensitive data against unwanted eyeballs such as hackers, snoopers, etc.
Since your connection remains anonymous throughout the session, you won’t even need to worry about getting tracked by the ISP.
The best part is that you can unlock restricted websites in just a matter of seconds after you subscribe to PureVPN:
- Get PureVPN
- Download the app for the device you want
- Launch the tool and select the mode you want
- Connect to the server location such as US server
- Enjoy seamless access to all the non-UK content in the UK
Online censorship is at its peak in not only the UK but also other parts of the world. What’s worse is that in the UK it comes with anti-privacy laws such as data retention and mass surveillance. So, you need a VPN not only for accessing blocked content but also for anonymity on the web.