Access denied website bypass: 3 methods

Nadin Bhatt
Nadin Bhatt | Writer
Last updated: June 11, 2021
Access denied website bypass

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Few things are as frustrating as receiving an “Access Denied” website message. And with the ever-increasing use of geo-blocking and regional filters to govern what web users can access, this kind of message is becoming depressingly common.

But we don’t believe that people should have to limit their online freedom just because it suits companies like Netflix or censorious governments. Fortunately, there are actually quite a few ways to work around and access denied website notification, so no site has to be off-limits – no matter how much the owners might want it.

In this article, we will discuss 2 ways to always get access. They are:

  • VPNs (Virtual Private Networks)
  • SmartDNS services

So, if you don’t like the idea of digital barriers restricting your freedom, read on.

How to fix access denied website notifications

As we’ve seen, when you receive an access denied website message, the reasons could vary. But whatever the cause of the denial, the solutions are usually related. Here are some tips to use which should allow you to beat even the tightest online blockade.

1. Install a reliable Virtual Private Network

Having a good VPN is the number one solution to working around access denied website notifications. No other tools have the ability to mask your online identity and fool websites into thinking you’re located nearby.

How do VPNs manage this trick? They work by assigning users a totally new IP address, one which could be located on the other side of the world. If there is no IP address leakage involved (which can happen with free or low-quality VPNs), sites won’t have a clue about the deception. So you’ll be able to log onto whatever entertainment platforms or airline booking portals you desire.

Moreover, VPNs encrypt every packet of data you send over the web, which makes your identity even harder to detect.

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2. Research the current situation regarding Netflix unblocking

Before you download the most appealing VPN around, a word of caution is necessary. Netflix is well aware of the way VPNs can be used to work around geo-blockers, and has taken steps to neutralize many popular providers.

If VPNs aren’t entirely watertight, users will give away tell-tale signs that they are being used. And sites like Netflix are becoming more sensitive to these signs all the time.

Because of this, the best VPNs include features which hide the fact that you are even using a VPN. This “Double VPN” function is likely to become essential for streaming fans in the near future, so make sure your chosen VPN includes it.

3. Use a Smart DNS tool

If you don’t want to install a full-blown VPN, you might be able to use a Smart DNS app to get similar results. Smart DNS (also known as proxies) tools don’t encrypt any of your data. But they do route your traffic through alternative servers, assigning you a new identity.

This has some advantages. For example, streaming speeds can be faster due to the absence of encryption. So it’s worth giving Smart DNS a try. But don’t be surprised if the access denied website notification returns.

The problem is that proxies aren’t very effective at fooling more sophisticated geo-blockers, and they are becoming less useful all the time. Still, they have their place. Some VPNs also come with the option of switching to faster connections, so they may be the ones to go for.

Why do websites place restrictions on access for ordinary web users?

There are plenty of reasons for those annoying “access denied” messages to appear, and most relate to the business models being adopted by online sellers.

For example, the American airline Southwest routinely denies access to users from outside the United States, and the company rigorously restricts the places where you can buy their tickets. That way, they can minimize their costs and ensure total control over ticketing policies.

Similarly, the TV channel HBO offers its “Go” streaming service (tagline “It’s HBO. Anywhere”). But if you live outside the USA, you’ll be out of luck. Instead of a wealth of great content, the platform delivers a simple “Not in service area” notification.

In this case, the reason is mainly digital rights management. Platforms like HBO can’t legally offer every show or film to every jurisdiction without incurring huge payments. While sites like Netflix ration content from nation to nation, HBO choose a blanket ban. Either way, that’s bad news for entertainment fans.

In other cases, platforms may want to juggle the offerings available in various countries, as tastes tend to differ. And hosting content that nobody wants to watch can be a waste of resources.

British people may have experienced this before when trying to watch the BBC iPlayer overseas. The BBC is pretty strong at restricting access when you leave British shores, causing holidaymakers to miss episodes of their favorite shows.

However, there may be more devious considerations. For instance, retailers can offer the same products for wildly varying prices in different countries, exploiting levels of demand to maximize their profits.

Then there is out and out censorship. In the UK, for instance, over 600,000 sites have been blocked – usually for legal breaches. Many of these are likely to be legitimate sites that have been incorrectly or harshly treated.

What’s actually happening here? How do sites block users?

Underneath the hood, the internet is a surprisingly simple environment, and the techniques used by websites aren’t all that complex. Most of the time, companies like Southwest simply use IP addresses to determine the location of the user. If that address falls outside a certain region, then access is denied.

For those who don’t know already, your IP address is usually a 12-digit code which includes a range of identification data – including the location of your server. So, if you use an ISP in the UK, websites in the USA will easily be able to tell this.

Smash down geo-blockers and liberate the internet

By now, you should have a fairly good idea about how to fix access denied website content. With a high-quality VPN, you should be able to surf streaming platforms or retailers without running into irritating notifications.

And when you do, you may be surprised by some of the benefits. For instance, flights can be much cheaper when ordered in certain countries, as can car rental or hotels. So experiment and shop around. And above all else, enjoy how it feels to be truly free when you use the web.

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10 comments
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  1. Cassandra

    Super helpful and educational, gave me a quick fix to my problem. I could not access a website while using my VPN because the location of my VPN was out of the area the website/business serviced. The fix was choosing a location through my VPN provider that was in the service area and still masking my real IP by using my VPN.


  2. Pat

    I already have Norton VPN, and I still can’t get access. What is going on? I’ve been using the site and now I can’t? Why?


    1. avatar
      Nadin Bhatt Author

      Hi, Pat. I’m sorry you’re having problems accessing the site. There might be more than a few reasons why this is happening. One is that your mentioned site has strengthened its anti-VPN block. Other is that it learned to identify the NordVPN traffic. In any case, I suggest trying to unblock it with another VPN or connecting to different NordVPN servers. Chances are that not all of their IP’s have been blocked. Finally, you can turn on NordVPN’s obfuscated servers. Good luck!


  3. Bill

    I’m using a VPN and am still blocked, now what?


    1. avatar
      Nadin Bhatt Author

      Hello, Bill. I’m sorry to hear that. There’s no VPN that can guarantee access to all blocked websites. So the result depends on the actual VPN and the blocked service that you’re trying to access. You can check out with the customer support to see if the issue might be on their side. Happy bypassing in 2021!


  4. Adil Bhatt

    VPNs are definitely the first thing that comes to mind when you have to bypass access blocked websites. Apart from VPNs, using a Proxy is also a viable solution.


  5. Wallis Attwell

    VPNs are a great tool even aside from helping protect your privacy and security. I’ve always hated running into geo-restricted sites, and avoiding that problem as well as getting online safety is great.


  6. Jesus P

    Thanks for the article, it’s not the first time that I see that message on some websites and it really is sad to see all those blockings. Now I know what to do.


  7. Georgia

    I hate to see that message. The internet is freedom and whenever I see things like this it makes me sad and unwelcomed. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t discourage me, quite the contrary. I always find a way around it. Good guide, Nadin.


  8. Marcus Collins

    I used to use Hola for watching Netflix, but it stopped working. Then I read some awful things about it online. I guess a VPN is the best choice. I’ll look for one. Thank you.

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