How to Unblock Facebook: 3 Ways to Get Around Restrictions
If you’re addicted to Facebook, logging onto the social network is probably one of your favorite ways to waste time. Much to the chagrin of bosses across the country, it’s a well-known fact that workers do waste time on the job, and social networking is one of the biggest online distractions. While the potential for procrastination is just one of the reasons you might want to reconsider your Facebook usage, that’s probably not the problem that’s at the top of the minds of most Facebook addicts. Instead, you may be wondering: how can you unblock Facebook and log in to the social network at work or at school?
When you’re connected to the internet at work or at school, you may find that the network blocks your attempts to log onto Facebook for a minute or two. While we don’t exactly condone going behind your boss’s back, a few minutes of idle browsing through friends’ photos and viral videos probably won’t hurt if you’re normally an industrious worker. So if you must, here are a few ways that you can unblock Facebook and spend a few moments procrastinating in spite of network restrictions.
1. Navigate to Facebook’s IP address directly
Even if your office or school’s network blocks Facebook, you can often load the social network’s website by navigating directly to its IP address. You’ll need to find Facebook’s IP address when you’re on your home network, or somewhere else that you know you can access Facebook. Open the Command Prompt on your Windows PC or the Terminal on your Mac, and then type ping.facebook.com and press Enter. Your computer will then connect to Facebook, and once the command has run, you’ll see a series of numbers next to facebook.com in the results.
The IP address is four groups of up to three numbers each. Write that number down, including the periods, and the next time you’re at the office or school, you can enter the IP address into your browser’s address bar. Some systems block only the name and not the IP address, and if that’s the case for your work or school network, you’ll be able to access Facebook.
2. Use a proxy to unblock Facebook
One way to circumvent the restrictions on your work or school server is to use a proxy server, which acts as an intermediary between your computer and the server of the website that you’re trying to access. HTTP proxy servers are inexpensive or free to use, and while you may need to do a little bit of research and go through a short setup process, they’re a reliable way to bypass the restrictions of your office or school network.
Another way to unblock Facebook is to use a web proxy service, which will connect you to a public HTTP server and enable you to surf anonymously without the need to download extra software or reconfigure your browser’s settings. Web proxy services are free, but the downside is that you’ll probably have to tolerate seeing some advertisements, and many of the more popular web proxies are widely known, and many employers monitor and even block them if they get too popular around the office.
3. Use a VPN to access Facebook (and protect your privacy)
Another way to unblock Facebook — one you should consider if you’re also concerned about your privacy online — is to use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN is a virtual version of a secure, private network, and your ISP or anyone else who’s watching can only see that you’ve connected to the VPN and nothing else, since all of your activity is hidden behind encryption. When you’re looking for a VPN, you should look for one that doesn’t keep logs of your activity to further protect your privacy.
While setting up a VPN does involve downloading and installing a VPN client, most providers offer easy step-by-step instructions for you to follow. Once you set up a VPN, all of your internet activity will be safely routed through the VPN, so your privacy will be much more robustly protected than it would if you just used a proxy. A VPN will enable you to access Facebook at work, or almost anywhere else, while simultaneously helping you protect your privacy online, which sounds like a win-win for most users.