When I had a day job, I used to be frustrated with my office blocking out certain traffic during office hours, such as Friendster, MySpace, and even meebo (so no IM for me!). I’ve tried all sorts of hacks and walkarounds, but since we were both behind a firewall and using a proxy server, it was virtually impossible to access external sites directly without connecting through the network’s proxy. Fortunately, we have Google. There are two ways to use Google to bypass corporate firewalls and finally get to access “forbidden” sites.
First is Google Cache. Google basically lets you view snapshots of other websites. As long as these sites have been recently crawled by Google, you can be sure that there’s a fairly recent snapshot, which is more or less usable in terms of the content (just don’t expect meebo to work).
The syntax of the URL to enter on your address bar would be:
where you replace [URL] with the site you intend to view. For instance, if googletutor were blocked by your office firewall, you could instead key in
to get the most recent snapshot of this site.
You cannot click on links, though, and expect them to work, unless they’re on open sites. If the site linked to is also forbidden, would have to copy that link’s URL and use the Google cache URL above.
The second method is through Google Translate. You can ask Google to translate the page you are viewing from English to English, which would essentially mean nothing’s done apart from Google serving you up that page as a proxy would. The format is as follows:
where you replace [URL] with the actual URL you want to access. In this case, accessing googletutor would be via
Either way, you get Google-served versions of the websites you wish to access. Keep in mind that these sites will not be as fully interactive as had you accessed them directly, but if you’re really desperate to view a “forbidden” website, then these should suffice.