How To Combat ISP Blocks
What’s stopping you?
There are two levels of censorship at play, each of which contribute to problems with content. The good news is, they can both be removed by following the steps below.
The first kind are "parental control" settings which are automatically enabled by your ISP. While all four major players in the British telecom market do this, this type of block is easily removed. Here are specialized guides for each ISP.
BT | Virgin | Sky | Talk Talk
The second kind of blocks are installed at a macro level by the British government. If you followed our guide and removed the first level of blocks, but are still having trouble accessing the content you wish to view, it is time to install a VPN.
What we recommend
GenieTv’s personal recommendation is IPVanish, a favourite in the community. IPVanish will encrypt your internet connection, ensuring that what you watch online remains private while simultaneously circumventing any ISP blocks. Here are just some of its other features:
How to Unblock content on British Telecommunications (BT)
Smart Setup is BT’s online set-up wizard. It is the interface through which you manage all your BT Broadband features and services on the devices you connect to your BT Hub.
1. Open any web browser on a device which is connected to your Hub, and type 192.168.1.254 in the address bar. Your Hub manager will open.
2. Click Smart Setup
3. Enter the admin password. The default password will be found on your Hub settings card on the back of your Hub. If you have changed it and now forgotten it, use the password override feature to create a new password without losing your personal Hub settings and configuration.
4. Click the “On/off” button to turn Smart Setup on or off
5. Remember once you make any changes you’ll need to save them. Click Save
For additional help, or if you’re running on BT Home Hub 4 or 5, follow this link.
This will have disabled all censorship imposed by your ISP. If you are still having trouble accessing content, follow these steps to bypass the UK government block.
How to Unblock content on Virgin Media
Virgin’s automatically enabled censor is called Web Safe, and can be easily turned off.
1. Register or sign in to virginmedia.com/myvirginmedia with your primary My Virgin Media username and password.
2. Click on My Apps
3. Click on Web Safe
4. Click Settings.
You will be presented with the option of keeping or turning off both Virus Safe and Child Safe. Turn off both, as Virus Safe disables many plug-ins and websites that are crucial to streaming content on content. Although turning off ‘Virus Safe’ may sound unappealing, you’ll be no worse off than our neighbours across the Atlantic in the U.S. and Canada in terms of network security.
For additional help, reference this video.
This should enable most of the features of content which you are accustomed to using. However, if after completing these steps you are still having trouble accessing content, click here for a comprehensive guide on how to circumvent the U.K.’s countrywide censor.
How to Unblock content on Sky Broadband
Sky has installed a censorship tool called the Sky Broadband Shield, which flags many of the sites content add-ons rely upon as malicious. Therefore, it is important that you completely disable the Shield, and not just set the age rating to 18 across all devices.
To do this, follow these steps:
2. Once you’ve signed in, scroll down the page and select Switch off.
Allow 15 minutes for changes to take effect.
If disabling the Sky Broadband Shield is ineffective, and you still cannot access content through content, click here for a comprehensive guide on how to circumvent the U.K.’s nationwide censorship tool.
How to Unblock content on Talk Talk
As a Talk Talk customer, you have free access to their HomeSafe and SuperSafe software. Both can interfere with the functioning of content, so if you have not yet installed either, don’t. If you have, and are looking to remove them, follow these steps:
1. Go to https://myaccountholding.talktalk.co.uk/ and log in using your Talk Talk username and password. If their website is down, call the service number and request for HomeSafe and SuperSafe to be turned off for your network service.
2. Once you’ve entered your My Account, select Extras & Offers from the menu at the top of the page. You’ll see this screen below.
3. Simply click off for all three features, and allow a few minutes for changes to take effect.
If you have followed these steps, and your content add-ons are still malfunctioning, follow this comprehensive guide to circumvent the U.K.’s nationwide Internet censor.
How to Set Up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to Bypass U.K.’s Internet Censor
You’ve followed Step 1, but content is still unable to stream your favourite shows and movies. This is because you are trying to access content hosted on websites which the government has deemed malicious, and blocked at the national level.
Short of leaving the United Kingdom, the only way to circumvent these UK ISP blocks on content is to set up a Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short.
What is a VPN?
A VPN extends a private network across a public network or internet. It enables users with access to the VPN to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.
Once you’re connected to a VPN, your device is hosted on that private network, and connects to the Internet through a proxy server, a sort of gateway between the VPN and the web.
Why do I need a VPN?
There are many benefits of having a VPN, including security and privacy.
In our case, a VPN will allow us to trick the Internet into thinking that we are accessing its content from a place outside of the U.K. By doing this, we will be able to circumvent all government imposed censors which are in place when accessing the Internet from a server hosted in the U.K.
Essentially, once you set up and connect to a VPN with a proxy server located outside of the U.K., you will be able to stream content on content as if you were accessing the application from the United States, or any other country with lax internet legislation.
How do I set up a VPN?
Although there are countless guides on the web on how to do this, buyers beware!
If you choose to connect to a public VPN, you provide the owner and regulator of that network, a complete stranger, with your bandwidth usage. That person will be able to view all data that leaves and enters your bandwidth, and even control how much access you have to the proxy server, and therefore to the Internet. Skilled hackers may be able to de-encrypt your personal information that passes through public VPN’s, leading to severe consequences in your personal and professional life.
That being said, there are many companies offering secure, trustworthy VPN service. The one we would like to recommend is IPVanish.
They provide secure access to proxy servers which they host and maintain, and also encrypt all data that enters and leaves your bandwidth. As long as you don’t attract the interest of the SIS, no one will be able to access or control your bandwidth. Their rates start as low as £5 per month.
Once you’ve set up a secure VPN, content and all of its add-ons will function as intended!