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How To Bypass Facebook and Other Internet Censorship In Vietnam

In Get Connected by Lauren Juliff12 Comments


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Many countries around the world choose to block access to certain websites, and Vietnam is no exception.

Unlike China, which blocks websites at an firewall level, Vietnam often does so at the DNS level. Instead of truly preventing access to a site, some ISPs just remove it from their list of known hosts – Facebook is a prime example, but there are many others.

Fortunately, this blocking method can be easily circumvented by simply changing your DNS provider to a publicly available one, such as Google DNS.

In this post we show you how to bypass the redirection, whether you’re using a Mac or a PC, iOS or Android. It may not work in every case – but since it takes about 30 seconds to try, it’s worth starting with.

Changing DNS Server Settings on Mac OSX

Step One: Start by clicking on the Apple icon in the top-left hand corner of the screen then select “System Preferences”. Once that’s open, click on “Network” and you should see the following screen.

Changing DNS server settings screenshot mac

Step Two: Make sure that the padlock in the bottom-left hand corner is unlocked and that you’re connected to a network. Select Wi-Fi from the menu on the left, and then click on the “Advanced…” button. You should then see the following.

Changing DNS server settings screenshot mac

Step Three: Click on the DNS tab and on the “DNS Servers” column, click on the + button directly underneath.

Changing DNS server settings screenshot mac

Step Four: Enter in 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

Changing DNS server settings screenshot mac

Step Five: Once that’s all finished press OK, click apply on the Network window and you’re good to go.

Changing DNS Server Settings on Windows 7

Step One: Right-click on the wireless icon in your notification tray and then click on “Open Network and Sharing Center”. In the “View your active networks” section, click on the name of the network card (it will probably something like “Internal Wireless Card”).Changing DNS server settings on Windows 7 screenshot

Step Two: Click on “Properties” as shown below.

Changing DNS server settings on Windows 7 screenshot

Step Three: Next, select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and then click “Properties”.

Changing DNS server settings on Windows 7 screenshot

Step Four: Change “Obtain DNS server settings automatically” to “Use the following DNS server addresses” and fill in the addresses 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

Changing DNS server settings on Windows 7 screenshot

Step Five: Click OK hundreds of times to apply the settings.

Changing DNS Server Settings on iOS

On iOS, you’ll have to change your DNS setting for each network individually, so you’ll need to remember to do this every time you connect to a new Wi-fi network.

Step One: Bring up the Settings menu and click on Wi-Fi.

Changing DNS server settings on iphone screenshot

Step Two: Tap the blue arrow next to the wireless network you’re currently connected to.

Changing DNS server settings on iphone screenshot

Step Three: Tap on the DNS field and enter in 8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4 using a comma to separate the two addresses.

Changing DNS server settings on iphone screenshot

Changing DNS Server Settings on Android

Like iOS, on Android you’ll have to set your DNS setting on each network individually, meaning you’ll need to remember to do this every time you connect to a new wireless network.

Step One: From the home screen, click on Settings and then Wi-Fi. Hold your finger down on your current Wi-Fi connection and select “Modify network config.”

Changing DNS server settings on Android screenshot

Step Two: Scroll to the bottom of the screen and check the “Show advanced options” box.

Changing DNS server settings on Android screenshot

Step Three: Scroll down to “IP settings” and change “DHCP” to “Static”. Scroll down to the boxes for “DNS 1” and “DNS 2”. Change them to “8.8.8.8” and “8.8.4.4”.

Changing DNS server settings on Android screenshot

Step Four: Click Save

Note: If you have root access and need to change the settings for your cellular network as well, you can try downloading SetDNS from the Play store. This app loads the Google DNS addresses by default, so you just need to click on “Apply” for it to work.

 

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Alternatives

If you don’t want to alter your DNS settings or this method isn’t working for you, then there are a few other ways to bypass the censorship.

The first of these is to use a VPN, which we recommend you use while travelling anyway. A VPN will encrypt your connection and provide you with a different IP address, making it seem as if you’re connecting from somewhere other than your actual location.

You could also have a look at Tor, an encrypted network that allows you to browse the internet anonymously. It works by re-routing your traffic through a distributed network of nodes, meaning no single point can identify the source or the destination.

Because Tor routes your data in a way that’s designed to be untraceable, the routes taken tend to be longer so surfing the Internet with it activated is noticeably slower. Because of this, you’re probably better off using a VPN unless you really need to be completely anonymous.

About the Author

Lauren Juliff

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Lauren is a physicist turned digital nomad who's travelling and working her way around the world on a permanent basis. She's the clumsy member of the team -- if there's a camera to be dropped, a Kindle to be stood on or a laptop to pour a drink over, she'll be the one to do it. You can read more about her travel misadventures over at Never Ending Footsteps.

Comments

  1. Beautiful. Clearly a post pointing straight at me here in Dalat, Vietnam. 😉

    And LOL, yes, yes. While I’ve had little trouble accessing fb here in VN over the past two years, every so often the gubberment gets bored and…

    Usually a proxy does the trick, but…

    “…and fill in the addresses 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.”

    LOL, coincidentally, recently I happened to bring my laptop into a wee kiosk computer shop here in VN for an unrelated dilemma, and when I mentioned the recent crackdown on fb, one of the techs grabbed my laptop and…

    In 2 minutes, he swiftly entered precisely the 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. address you show above. Seriously. These Vietnamese youngsters are crackerjack hackers for sure! 😉

    Amazing. And thanks for spreading the 8.8.8.8. word.

  2. […] vào Facebook khi bị chặn-thành công 100% được Đăng Miền viết dựa trên nguồn Lauren Juliff  ||  unblocksit || […]

  3. Fuck me man! I was almost reinstalling the OS to try to sort that issue haha

    Searched high and low. New software, cookies, terminal and what not.

    Until I realized: what if it’s blocked in Vietnam, but only in some cities?

    Bcuz before I was in Saigon and I was accessing just fine. So it didn’t occur to me first.

    Then, I searched for that and bingo! So simple!

    Thanks a bunch mate!

  4. […] are workarounds involving changing DNS settings to get past these blocks – you can find instructions for it easily enough on the […]

  5. Lauren, Thank you! You just solved my 4 days pain without FB.

  6. Wow! The only online instructions that have ever worked for me. Simple to follow. ..no computer ego speak. Thanks!

  7. […] are workarounds involving changing DNS settings to get past these blocks – you can find instructions for it easily enough on the […]

  8. Yeh, kickass it worked!

    I’m in Dong Nai just outside Saigon and couldn’t access Twitter on their Android app or via desktop.

    Really Twitter? Cannot find Elon Musk… the zillionaire?!

    Did the 8.8.4.4 thing and worked instantly. Take that commies 🙂

    Thanx Lauren!

  9. […] at the DNS level, making them very easy to circumvent. Here’s a website that will help you bypass internet censorship on your Android device. It may not always work because most censorship will employ more effective methods, but it’s […]

  10. may 2016 , and using a macbook , i was not getting into facebook for the last couple of days on the server my hotel is using and your process worked a charm , thank you , being away from home facebook regrettably is my link to friends and family , you are a champion thank you thank you thank you 🙂

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