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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.
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.
Step Three: Click on the DNS tab and on the “DNS Servers” column, click on the + button directly underneath.
Step Four: Enter in 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168.
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”).
Step Two: Click on “Properties” as shown below.
Step Three: Next, select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and then click “Properties”.
Step Four: Change “Obtain DNS server settings automatically” to “Use the following DNS server addresses” and fill in the addresses 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199.
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.
Step Two: Tap the blue arrow next to the wireless network you’re currently connected to.
Step Three: Tap on the DNS field and enter in 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206 using a comma to separate the two addresses.
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.”
Step Two: Scroll to the bottom of the screen and check the “Show advanced options” box.
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 “220.127.116.11” and “18.104.22.168”.
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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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.