Question for IT Gurus re: Website Blocking

LittleCalm

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My company has finally got around to blocking websites. NES is now blocked under "weapons" policy. Putting aside the idiocy of blocking a discussion forum, any work around other than complaining (which will fall on deaf ears) or using my phone? Curious as to how this stuff works.
 

Rob Boudrie

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You might be able to use TOR (I use that at a medical facility to get to NES), though the TOR site is probably blocked so you will need to pre-install that software.

VPNs like "nord" might work as well.
 

LittleCalm

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Thx. I'm not permitted to download opera. I wish there was a site that would permit direct browsing. I assume Tor and Nord require software downloads?
 
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You can probably find a proxy website that your IT department didn't block. However, it seems like using your phone is the most feasible option if they're not letting you install software and have a filtered connection.
 
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Where I work their blocking only works on Internet Explorer. I simply use any other browser for personal browsing while waiting for a batch job to finish of course ;) . Most of their products require Internet Explorer 11, and we were all forced to upgrade to Windows 10.

Seems your company has real blocking in effect and is actually serious about it.
 

allen-1

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If your company's serious about this; and you take extra steps to go around their efforts; they're not going to be pleased with you if you're found out.

If it were me, I'd probably do a risk/reward eval and use my personal iphone to read NES. That's me, you may feel differently.
 

Golddiggie

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Funny item about blocking... The network, at work, doesn't block NES and a wide range of other sites. But, one of the other guys at work had a site (actually needed for work) that was blocked. I wanted to go to a site that sells laptop batteries, and that was blocked too. I don't bother to try and get site blocking lifted anymore. The person that is in charge of that stuff (along with a lot of other things) won't budge on any of the draconian policies that have no valid reason (like a one way domain trust we requested). We suspect it's more because he can't comprehend how something we request would actually be useful. Partially (also) due to his ignorance and not willing to learn (or listen to SME's) about newer tech and company requirements.

Hopefully, I'll be getting out of that company soon... [smile]
 

Prepper

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Phone is the way to go. My new company literally let's us install nothing and go to no web sites at all except internal ones. They even blocked stackoverflow and SourceForge. I have to use my phone to look up docs online and get tips on problems.

Sent from my LG-H810 using Tapatalk
 

GomerPile

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Verizon just added some fairly inexpensive unlimited data plans. I was getting 3-4GB per month and just upgraded to unlimited and it only cost a few bucks more. Use your phone to create a mobile hotspot.
 
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i've been debating upgrading my iphone 5s and plan...i'm still on a grandfathered unlimited plan so i haven't wanted to let it go...i'm not sure if they are throttling my data currently but i assume they do with the new "unlimited" plans
 

LittleCalm

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I ran the math based on my family's average usage and for now it was slightly better to go with the unlimited plan. Math doesn't lie so if you are consistently dealing with over charges at the highest data plan you should look into the unlimited plan. Naturally, Verizon isn't stupid so I expect the unlimited plan will see rate increases if more users switch to it.
 

allen-1

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Thanks. Appreciate the responses. It's not a big deal; just the principle of it.
It's your call, as I said previously, it's a risk/reward evaluation that you have to make. I use NORD as a vpm to get around firewalls. If I recall correctly, Rob Boudrie recommended it and it's worked well for me. nordvpn.com
 

LittleCalm

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The principle of what, ?

Your employer wanting you to work instead of them paying you to play on the internet ?
Oh please. Everyone from time to time checks various websites, including during lunch or when in boring meetings. Let's not be dramatic. But understood that employer can impose whatever rules it wants. Doesn't mean I have to like it "in principle".
 
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If you can get a snapshot of the "Denied!" page (printscreen, or even better, "view source") sometimes it is possible to determine whiich commercial filtering software is being used. Just from being told what "category" a site is listed under, I've been successful in getting some of the major censorware vendors to recategorize sites globally, e.g. moving NES from "Violence" to "Blogs and Forums".

If your company's serious about this; and you take extra steps to go around their efforts; they're not going to be pleased with you if you're found out. If it were me, I'd probably do a risk/reward eval and use my personal iphone to read NES. That's me, you may feel differently.
That's an important distinction -- IME, it is rare that somebody is fired just because they tried a few times to directly access a website and hit the "blocked by policy" page, but I have seen many instances where somebody proceeded to google for how to get around a proxy, tried to install a VPN or TOR, and was walked out the door the same day.

Just do what everybody else does, get a personal data plan and browse NES on your phone [smile]

I don't bother to try and get site blocking lifted anymore. The person that is in charge of that stuff (along with a lot of other things) won't budge on any of the draconian policies that have no valid reason (like a one way domain trust we requested). We suspect it's more because he can't comprehend how something we request would actually be useful. Partially (also) due to his ignorance and not willing to learn (or listen to SME's) about newer tech and company requirements.
Most of the time, the person that is in charge of that stuff doesn't write the policy, was railroaded into deploying logging and blocking due to directives from management or HR. Often these Jobsworths have no understanding of the technology, and during setup they hit accept on the default list of categories to block.
 
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That's an important distinction -- IME, it is rare that somebody is fired just because they tried a few times to directly access a website and hit the "blocked by policy" page, but I have seen many instances where somebody proceeded to google for how to get around a proxy, tried to install a VPN or TOR, and was walked out the door the same day.
Whoever Google's that at work deserves to get fired just for being stupid.

OP, if your company is blocking it at the DNS layer, you are screwed.

I would use my phone.
 

EddieZoom

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<sarcasm>

Ok, first set up an ssh server at home. I prefer running this as a VM on a vSphere whitebox server, but whatever hardware you got will probably do. Then configure the socks proxy and....oh, never mind...how about ya stop goofing off and get back to work ;-)

</sarcasm>
 

basskleff

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See if you're company has a guest wifi network that you can connect your personal device (laptop, tablet, phone) to. They might reserve one for vendors, sales people, and other business guests.
Or like others have said, use your phone with dataplan as a wifi hotspot and tether your device to it. Forget about anything to do with modulating, troubleshooting, installing, backwards-engineering, circumventing circumstances on your production work computer. Just browse on your own device on a separate wifi network.
 

JayMcB

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If you can get a snapshot of the "Denied!" page (printscreen, or even better, "view source") sometimes it is possible to determine whiich commercial filtering software is being used. Just from being told what "category" a site is listed under, I've been successful in getting some of the major censorware vendors to recategorize sites globally, e.g. moving NES from "Violence" to "Blogs and Forums".
.
I'm personally responsible for keeping NES off the Cyberoam and Sophos lists, and regularly petition Dell/Sonicshit for it, with mixed results/success
 

Wickedcoolname

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Whatever happened to just working at work? I'm self employed, but my wife has a 9-5 job. Her boss recently had to discipline a few people due to non-work related Web bullshiit. Turns out, half the staff was spending more time screwing around on Suckerberg's stupid web sight than actually working. He finally just cut off everything but the corporate intranet.
Thankfully my guys have a vested interest in performing and none of them have time to play. But I did have one young laborer who just didn't get it. I used to make him leave his phone in my truck while he was on the clock, but then he just brought in another one. I'm not sure where he works now.
 
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