How to Tell if My ISP Is Blocking a Website From Me

by Stephanie Ellen

Just because you're connected to the Internet, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have access to everything available. Some Internet Service Providers block access to certain websites. For example, an ISP might choose to prevent its subscribers from downloading potentially illegal sites such as those that offer file sharing programs. If you think your ISP has blocked a website from you, you can find out by using a different method to access the site.

Step 1

Type the website's IP address into the browser instead of "www.website.name." You can find a website's IP address by opening the Command Prompt and typing "tracert www.websitename.com" where "websitename" is the name of the site you suspect is blocked. The first IP that shows at the top of the list is the IP address of the website.

Step 2

Use a proxy server to access the website. If the website shows up when you access it with a proxy, you can be fairly certain your ISP has blocked the site. Find a free proxy by performing an Internet search. How you access the site using a proxy depends upon your browser; look for Proxy Settings in your browser's "Tools" or "Options" menu. You should be able to find Proxy Settings in the network menu. Usually, entering the IP address and Port address of the proxy is all you'll need to bypass your ISP and load the website using a proxy.

Step 3

Access the website from different service providers. Call local coffee shops or other places that advertise free Wi-Fi and ask who they use as an ISP. That way, you'll know if they have a different provider from you before you head out.

Tip

  • A Google tool, "Nero," is in development as of 2011, which will enable you to check whether your ISP is blocking traffic to a particular address.

About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.