Bypass blocked webpages and paywalls with Google as your proxy server

A few Google tricks will have you accessing content and downloading files otherwise blocked

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Many workplaces, campuses, and other networks restrict sites you can access. Or the site might be behind a paywall. In any of these cases, Google can be your friend, serving as a proxy server (or intermediary) to deliver the webpages--and in one case, files--to you unrestricted.

The Digital Inspiration blog outlines three ways to use Google as a proxy server. In the first, you use a Google Translate URL hack to set the destination language as the language of the webpage but the source language as something else. This preserves the web page look, as long as that particular domain isn't blocked at your place. For example, you would use something like this to set the translate URL as "en" or English and the source as "ja" or Japanese:

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ja&tl=en&u=http://example.com/

You can also use the Google Mobilizer service as a proxy. The mobilizer service has been discontinued on the main Google site but is accessible from other countries. This doesn't retain the CSS settings but could be useful if you want just a text-only page. (See the source article for more details.)

The most useful Google-turned-proxy hack, however, is using Google Modules. It is the only Goolg proxy, according to Digital Inspiration, that also lets you download files, such as PDFs and MP4 videos. It looks like this:

http://www.gmodules.com/ig/proxy?url=http://example.com/

For your convenience, hit up the source article for bookmarklets that can bypass any paywalls and blocked sites with a simple click thanks to Google.

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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