How to possibly access internet in case of introduction of censorship

Hi Ukraine

A bit of IT support from far-away Denmark. Below I am introducing tools that may aid in accessing the internet in case of a partial block or censorship. They were made for China, but if Yanukovich is trying something similar, there is no reason they should not also work well in Ukraine.

I urge you to install them today, as they may be hard to get once the blocking is on.

1. Freegate

My first choice is Freegate, since it’s free with no ads.

  1. Download Freegate on the link below.
  2. Install it and allow full access through the Windows Firewall.
  3. It will open an Internet Explorer window. This window will be through a proxy connection, which means that it will be virtually outside Ukraine.
  4. Happy browsing.

Download Freegate

HotspotShield

Hotspotshield is not completely free as it has ads and an “Elite Version”, but it seems more advanced and it supports Firefox.

  1. Go to the website and click free download.
  2. Install the program and say yes/allow to all security warning.
  3. Allow it to close your browser. When it restarts you are going through the proxy network.

Download HotspotShield

They both slow down your connection considerably, as your internet has to go through an outside server, the proxy. This has the sideeffect of making it harder to track your internet usage, but it also makes Skype and Youtube less enjoyable. It will be fast enough to read news, email and instant messaging and Facebook.

However, if there are no problems, you might as well turn it off. In Freegate it’s just called off – in HotspotShield they call it pause, but you can choose to pause it indefinetely.

EDIT: A lot of commenters have been recommending The Onion Router:

“Tor is open source, and can be made to work on almost any system you can imagine.  It works very well on macs: https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html.en#mac and even on Android phones: https://guardianproject.info/apps/orweb

Good luck and I wish for democracy with you in Ukraine!

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24 thoughts on “How to possibly access internet in case of introduction of censorship

  1. In fact, using Tor can be less painful, as installation is a no brainer, just download TorBrowser (https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en, based on firefox) and run it to browse internet.

    For more technical people out there – there are VPN services starting from 3-5$ per month, google it, or you can even setup your own VPN server in amsterdam datacenter of digital ocean (5$ server is just enough) – https://www.digitalocean.com/community/articles/how-to-setup-a-multi-protocol-vpn-server-using-softether.

    • There are plenty of off the shelf VPN products that are simple to use. Check out TunnelBear (https://www.tunnelbear.com). Works on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and tunnels to your connect to another country (US, UK for example). The problem with Tor is that it can be horrendously slow, proper VPN services are good enough to stream television.

    • I would second the recommendation for Tor – it can be very, very hard to block (blocking VPNs is technically rather easy). VPNs and vpn-like tools (like freegate and hotspot) also get to watch all of your internet traffic, where Tor passes the traffic through multiple computers, so that no one computer knows both who you are and where you are going, making it impossible to turn that information over to a government.

      • It largely depends on how far Yanukovich is willing to go. I would make sure you have more than one tool available and fallback in order of performance. Tor is effective if you are willing to put up with the speed and it isn’t perfect security, just ask Dread Pirate Roberts AKA Ross William Ulbricht.

      • Cameron, Dread Pirate Roberts’ downfall was actually the few times he failed to use Tor to post on StackExchange and other websites, as well as some of his own computer security – not his use of Tor. In fact, Tor’s security was so high that he was running the world’s top illegal-services clearinghouse site from inside the homeland of the DEA /and/ the NSA without getting caught for years.

        Nothing is absolutely secure, outside of shutting down – and then burning – burning all of your technology, but among many closed source and commercial VPN type services, Tor’s independent network of volunteer-run nodes, plus its architecture that is intentionally built such that you do not need to trust anyone along the line, is key.

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  3. The problem is, this is only for working around internet censorship. Yanukovych is allegedly planning on killing internet access altogether, which this won’t help at all with.

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  5. VPN Gate – http://www.vpngate.net. As far as secret police is concerned you r filesharing, chatting, they can only guess …. to some guy in S Korea, Japan, South Africa.. also very morbid but least suspicious – Mother Russia, Belarus, Vietnam etc…

    • I would be very careful with any tool that required registration or was tied to your Google Chrome / webstore account. The fewer details linking your real-life person to your traffic, the better.

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