Chromebook unblocked

How to unblock websites on school Chromebook

Jul 5, 2022

  1. VPN Tips
  2. How to unblock websites on school Chromebook
Chromebooks are an excellent alternative to laptops because they are affordable and easy to use. What is more, they come pre-loaded with helpful software for students.
Nevertheless, the initial configuration applied by the school might limit functionality. Therefore, many students search for how to unblock websites on Chromebook.

Of course, we understand that schools have their own and, often, good reasons to block websites. However, there are many legitimate reasons why you might want to find out how to unblock websites on school Chromebook.

One of the reasons is that you might work on a project and need to research the topic, but some of the websites might not open at all. So then, it’s a good reason to try to unblock it. What is more, you might want to check your email, but this would require to be unblocked as well.

That forces students to try to unblock websites on school Chromebook, and schools block the internet because some students misuse it. This sounds unfair because not all of the students behave the same. Nevertheless, schools block websites that, from their point of view, might be harmful to the school network or students like you.

How schools block websites on school Chromebook

In most cases, they use software, a type of content filter utilizing a list of blocked websites to designate if the student should have access to that page. The list contains URLs – website addresses to filter out restricted ones easily. Therefore, if the URL you are trying to open is on the list, then the filter will block it, and you will not be able to visit that address.

As with everything, blocking websites by your school has pros and cons, and we will show you how to unblock websites on a school Chromebook, but we have to mention that bypassing the filters put in place by the school might have disciplinary implications. Nevertheless, we believe that you might have legitimate reasons to unblock websites on the school Chromebook in some situations. Therefore, assess if you really need to unblock those websites.

Types of School Chromebook Content Blockers

Schools use mainly two types of content blockers, Web or DNS filters.

As we described, Web filters use a predefined list of blocked websites and compare the URL you put into your browser with that list. If they find the URL, you are trying to access on the blocked list. Then you will not be able to open that website.

DNS filter is a different technique used to block access to specific websites. DNS stands for Domain Name System and is used to match domain names to IP addresses, like 192.0.2.24. DNS is necessary to let you access websites.

Everything happens in the background whenever you try to open a website in your browser. DNS filter is more aggressive because it blocks certain internet traffic instead of only one website. Therefore, your school Chromebook will not be able to understand the IP address assigned to the website address you are trying to open.

DNS filtering is used mainly to protect users from malicious websites and harmful or inappropriate content.

How to bypass filters to unblock websites on Your School’s Chromebook

Content blockers used by schools are quite good at blocking websites. However, most schools’ basic level of filtering is easy to bypass. Schools want to block only websites that they think are inappropriate for students. Moreover, most students don’t try to bypass them because they might not have sufficient knowledge to do so, or they don’t have motivation.

If you need to unblock websites, you have a few different methods.

The initial configuration to unblock everything on School Chromebook

If you ask how to unblock everything on a school Chromebook, then try this configuration:

  • Start the Chrome browser and open chrome://flags
  • Next, search for “enable developer mode” and enable it.
  • Now, search for “allow all sites to run JavaScript” and enable it.
  • Finally, search for “enable kiosk mode” and as well enable it.

And now, you should have a basic configuration that unblocks most websites’ functionality.

How to turn OFF Tracking on School Chromebook

One of the essential steps to stop being tracked is to limit the use of cookies and set the Safe Browsing and Do Not Track options.
First, let’s change the cookie settings. To do that, go to

  • Privacy and security > Content settings > Cookies

and turn on

  • Keep local data only until you quit your browser

and

  • Block third-party cookies.

It’s important to remember that the Keep local data only until you quit your browser option will force you to log in to all sites every time you close and open the browser again. Nevertheless, it’s a perfect security setting because if you lose your Chromebook, nobody will have access to your accounts, but it might sometimes be annoying. Therefore, you have to decide if it’s good for you or not.

Next, let’s move to Safe Browsing and Do Not Track options.
On Chrome, go to

  • Privacy and Security settings > Safe Browsing

and flip the toggle to on.

Safe Browsing will help you avoid poorly secured sites and potential infection with malicious code.

Next, look for the Do Not Track option and turn it on.

With Do Not Track, websites cannot monitor your online behavior. This could be an excellent option to have because the intention behind it is to provide you with a better browsing experience. Unfortunately, at the same time, it means that websites will collect your data, and over time they will build your profile. So, again, decide if you want it on or off.

You might also consider turning off:

  • Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar or the app launcher search box.
  • Use prediction service to load pages more quickly.
  • Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors.

Now it’s time for Google Maps and other services to get your location.

Before we continue, let’s clarify that there are multiple options to get your location, and GPS is not the only one that can do it. Therefore, if you don’t have a VPN installed yet, you can check how precisely a simple website script finds your device’s location while browsing. Just check What is my IP link and see how accurate it is. Just to clarify, that page uses only basic functionality to get some of your data. Now imagine what can find out about you, someone who does it on purpose.

Therefore, VPN is necessary to protect your privacy by hiding your whole traffic from anybody. Check our best VPN ranking before deciding what features you need.

Let’s go back to setting your Chromebook. To completely disable location access, go to

  • Privacy and security > Content settings > Location

and turn it off.
You can also check which websites got your location and which have been denied.

What about information such as your name, phone number, address, etc. It’s easy to have it all saved, but it’s not a good option from a security point of view.
To make it easy for you and fill out forms automatically, Chrome stores that information, and if you have sync turned on, all of your data will end up in the Google database. To disable this feature go to

  • People > Addresses and more > Save and fill addresses

and

  • People > Payment methods > Save and fill payment methods

and turn them off. In case you already saved some information, you can delete it there. Just click on the three dots and press Remove.

These are the basic privacy settings on Chromebook and Google Chrome browser.

For more privacy, security, and VPN solutions, check our blog category VPN tips.

Now it’s time to unblock websites and hide your communication with a VPN.

Unblock websites on School Chromebook using VPN

The easiest way to bypass content filters is to encrypt the data so that nobody can recognize what you are doing. To accomplish this task, you must use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that hides your IP address and online activity using a military-grade encrypted tunnel. This tunnel is set up between your School Chromebook and the VPN server. Therefore, the school’s content filter cannot see what website you are trying to open. So, you request a website, but the cryptographic code hides your request while sending this to the VPN server. Next, your request is decrypted by the VPN server and forwarded to the destination server with a website. Of course, to use this technique, you will need to have a VPN account.

Recommended reading: Is a VPN worth it?

It’s important to mention that not all VPNs are equal, and some bypass content filters better than others. Moreover, some VPNs can be already blocked by the school.

This article presents how to unblock websites on school Chromebook using PureVPN because it has an excellent VPN trial option to check if it works. Remember, verifying the full version of any VPN you would like to use is good before you get a regular plan. Nevertheless, you can try any VPN you can find on our ranking of the best VPN.

School Chromebooks are very convenient for school’s IT admins because they can manage them conveniently through the web-based console. IT can make changes remotely with just a few clicks, for example, set digital policies, secure network connections, enable/disable hardware, push apps and extensions, customize wallpapers, bookmarks, and more. Therefore, you should test VPN to make sure your IT didn’t block this solution. Otherwise, check our blog for additional VPN tips.

Before setting up the VPN service, go through the basic configuration of the Chromebook and Chrome browser.

First, site permissions.

To change settings for all sites:

  • open Chrome.
  • Go to Settings – in the right top corner, click on More and then Settings.
  • Next, go to Privacy and security and Site Settings to change any options you want.

Another option is to change permissions and data storage on already visited sites. It’s helpful if you have already tried to open some websites that didn’t work. Whenever you change settings for a specific website, it will use them instead of the default settings for all websites.

If you want to revert the changes, just clear data for a site.

Specific site settings:

  • open Chrome.
  • Go to the specific website for which you want to change the settings.

When the websites loads (or not), you will have icons on the left of the web address:

  • Lock
  • Info – View site information
  • Dangerous

Now click on Site settings to change a permission setting. 

NOTE:

  • You don’t have to save settings. They save automatically.
  • Each icon next to the web address clicked will open previously saved site settings. Therefore, you don’t have to go to the Chrome menu “Site settings” to change.
  • To reset previous changes to the preferences, use Reset button, if available.

How to unblock websites on School Chromebook using proxy

A proxy server that acts as a middleman between your computer and the internet is one of the most common. Your IP address will be changed to the server’s IP address. Therefore, while using a proxy server, your traffic will be treated as if it was going from that server. In many cases, the traffic is cached by proxy to speed up the next access time if you try to access the same content.

The trick with proxy is finding the one your school does not block. Then, if you find the proxy that works for you, you must configure it in your browser so that the WWW traffic gets forwarded to a proxy server.

The problem with proxy is that your traffic is not encrypted, so it is visible to your school. Therefore, the network admins can see what you do online and could track the content you access or proxy servers you use and put those on the ban list to prevent anybody else from using them in the future.

While configuring a browser to use a proxy, put its IP address. If you want to try a proxy instead of a good VPN, go and check the free proxy list. The list is updated constantly.

How to unblock websites on school Chromebook using the Direct IP Address technique

This is one of the simplest techniques to bypass content filters because it uses the raw IP address of the WWW server. To try this technique, use the “ping” command inside the Command Prompt on a Windows computer or the Terminal on a Mac. Type “ping <URL_of_the_website>” like “ping www.google.com” and press enter. You should see the website’s IP address as a ping command result.

Most used content filters will not block websites by their IP address, but you need to verify if it works for you. Unfortunately, this method is not foolproof and requires searching the IP addresses of the websites you would like to visit.

Simple but less known technique utilizing Google Translate

You can use Google Translate to unblock a website by entering the URL into the translation field by switching to the “Websites” – button at the top of the page. Google will recognize the URL and offer a dynamic address to open translated version of that website. For example, if you try to open https://usesecurevpn.com/best-vpn/, Google Translate will forward you to the address like this:
https://usesecurevpn-com.translate.goog/best-vpn/?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=pl&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp
As you can see, the dynamic address will not be recognized as the original page because the actual URL now works as a subdomain of translate.goog.

As techniques evolve, the content filter learns how to filter Google Translate, so as suggested, test it on your school Chromebook. Of course, this solution will not work if your school blocks the Translate Google URL.

Use the Mobile Version of a Website to unblock websites on school Chromebook

As you might have already noticed, some websites’ mobile versions use different URLs than the desktop versions. For example, if you want to access the mobile version of YouTube, visit m.youtube.com. The content filters might not block this, allowing you to access it.

Unfortunately, as soon as your school’s IT technician notice that you are bypassing content filters with mobile versions, they will update the blocking list. What is more, not all websites use a subdomain for mobile versions. Therefore, this technique is very limited, but you can try adding “m.” to the beginning of the URL. Then, you should be redirected to the mobile version of that website.

There is also one major problem with the mobile version of websites. Not all of them use a subdomain. Many websites use responsive techniques that work dynamically, so you cannot choose which one you would like to open, and the content filter will block that domain.

Use Your Phone as Mobile Hotspot

One of the ways to bypass the school’s network is to use your mobile phone as a hotspot. This requires a data plan on your mobile. Therefore this technique will cost you. However, your Chromebook will connect to the internet using your phone’s data connection, so websites shouldn’t be blocked anymore.

To use your mobile data plan, enable the “Hotspot” feature on your phone, and choose that connection on your Chromebook. It will look the same as any other Wi-Fi network. Remember that this will look strange to your IT tech personnel because you will not be visible in the school’s network.

Use a router with a VPN to unblock websites on school Chromebook

One of the best solutions to have a secure connection that is not limited by content filters or any other software, and at the same time, to look normal to the IT department is to use a VPN router instead of trying to install a VPN on school Chromebook. You can use a small and efficient router with a power bank, so it’s completely portable. You connect the Chromebook to the router and use its MAC address as a WAN (Wide Area Network) interface so the school’s network will recognize your router as your Chromebook. The only difference will be a VPN connection conveying your data inside an encrypted tunnel. You could also decide which data goes to the tunnel and which not, so you might still not look suspicious to the IT guy.

This solution can be used not only at school but everywhere to protect your data and unblock any content you would like to have access to. A VPN router is very small and convenient to carry on, so you can use it everywhere, at the coffee shop, airport, hotel, restaurant, or campus network.

In addition, you can use the router with a VPN and dedicated IP to connect remotely to any device behind that router. You can leave Chromebook or any other computer connected through that router and be able to connect to it remotely from any place in the world. Just think about various possibilities.

Conclusion

Some of the mentioned techniques might not work, so you need to verify which one works for you. Also, remember that the school’s Chromebooks are their property, and if you break them, your parents will have to pay for them.

The VPN router is the best solution because it does not interfere with Chromebook, so you can’t break it. Still, at the same time, you can choose what traffic should be hidden inside the encrypted tunnel and which should be forwarded directly to the internet. Therefore, it’s the safest solution without risking damage to the school’s property and, at the same time, answers the question of “how to unblock websites on school Chromebook“.

In addition, the solution with a VPN router should be resistant to future changes made by the IT technician and content filter updates because the whole traffic will go independently from the school’s network through the VPN tunnel.

Of course, there are other methods, but this one we recommend because it is the safest one and won’t get you into trouble should something go wrong.

Remember that school might have a good reason for a content filter because the internet is an endless stream of distractions. Therefore, blocking websites might help you focus on your studies.

Always use your best judgment when trying to access blocked websites.

Please go and check our list to choose the best VPN for you.

Coupon code for an additional 10% for our users: usesecurevpn10Use this LINK with the code to get the discount.

How to unblock websites on school Chromebook using PureVPN

Estimated time

10 Minutes

Estimated cost

$0.99 - $89 (depends on the VPN plan)

Follow the steps

Step 1

Prerequisites – Before you begin, please make sure that you have:

  • Working internet connection.
  • Premium PureVPN account (get the PureVPN account with coupon code: usesecurevpn10).
  • A working installation of Google Chrome OS (We used Version 79.0.3945.123 (Official 32-bit Build)).

Step 2

To install the PureVPN go to the Launch and select the Google Play store by clicking the icon that you can see on the picture.

Step 3

Now type in the search field PureVPN and select the Application.

Step 4

Next press the button to install it.

Step 5

Wait for the installation to finish. After proper installation, click on the Open option.

Step 6

Now you should see the properly installed PureVPN native app.

Use the connect icon at the center to start the connection process.

You will be redirected to the login screen.

Step 7

At this moment, you should already have an account to use a fully functional VPN.
Click on “Have an account login”.

Step 8

Next, Enter your PureVPN email and password that you set up during the purchase.
Finally, click the Submit button.

Step 9

It’s essential to read the PureVPN Privacy Policy. Then, you will exactly know that they don’t track you and they protect your privacy.

If you accept it, click Agree and Continue, then click OK and let PureVPN set up your connection.

Step 10

After accepting the policy, you can choose desired country/location from the App interface and click on the Connect button to start the VPN connection.

Step 11

If everything goes well, you should be connected to PureVPN.

Now all the websites should be available from your school Chromebook connected to the WiFi.

As you can see, the VPN setup on your Chromebook is pretty straightforward, and you can install different VPNs. After all, it’s just a matter of features that you can compare by checking our VPN reviews.

You can also go directly to the PureVPN review page to check the features or test it for 7 days getting a PureVPN $0.99 deal.

Remember, a VPN is an intermediary service that forwards your data while protecting your identity and location.

Coupon code for an additional 10% for our users: usesecurevpn10Use this LINK with the code to get the discount.

Don’t forget to check if you need a Dedicated IP or Port forwarding. They are available as add-ons.

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About the author

Magic

Hi! I’m Magic,

Software, hardware, and test engineer with experience of 25+ years in military systems.

During years of work on multiple projects, I noticed that most people struggle with technical questions, and sometimes finding correct answers is impossible on the congested internet.
Therefore, I started providing my experience online by researching products and services to help everybody who seeks my help.

Would you be interested in learning more about my VPN services and security findings? If yes, please continue reading, and I thank you if you find it helpful and wish to support me by following one of the links.
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