In some of our previous articles, we have covered different ways of accessing blocked websites and services using proxy, VPN and Smart DNS. Sometimes, Proxy & VPN providers also provide web browser extensions to let you access blocked content from within the browser without the need of any additional configuration. Also, unlike web proxy, where you are confined within a single browser tab, extensions usually work across the browser. In this article, we’ll cover some of the best browser extensions (Add-ons) that let you unblock geo-restricted websites and services (especially media streaming channels) for free.
Browsec is a free VPN and anomizer service available as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. It encrypts network traffic and helps you unblock geo-restricted websites and services. Browsec allows you to stream popular channels such as Netflix, Pandora, Spotify, etc., from anywhere in the world. It is also one of the best extensions for watching YouTube from different locations. Users can choose among four different locations to browse the web from – Netherlands, the US, the UK and Singapore. The service provides decent browsing speeds to allow seamless audio and video streaming on most websites.
Download Browsec for Chrome and Firefox.
Zenmate is a free VPN service for maintaining security and privacy, while browsing the web anonymously. It is good for accessing geo-restricted websites and some of the popular media streaming services like Vevo, Netflix, Pandora, etc. You need to sign up with your email address in order to activate the service. Once activated, Zenmate encrypts the network traffic and lets you browse the web securely from home, on-the-go or over public WiFi. With Zenmate’s advanced data compression techniques and built-in accelerators, you can access and stream content on the Internet at better speeds compared to other free proxy or VPN service. It lets you browse the from 5 different locations around the world, including Hong Kong, Germany, the US, the UK and Switzerland. Zenmate is available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera web browsers, and also has dedicated apps for iOS and Android.
Download Zenmate for Chrome, Firefox and Opera.
Hola is a free VPN service that lets you unlock popular websites and media streaming channels from around the world. Its features include unblocking geo-restricted channels, direct torrent streaming (for Windows only, Mac OS and Linux support coming soon) and anonymous browsing. It’s fast and ideal for accessing geo-restricted streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, HBO GO, Spotify, Pandora, etc. It lets you choose among many different locations. But, location switching does not work properly for all websites. One of the best features of Hola is that you can directly choose a particular channel to unlock without having to worry about selecting the right location; Hola does it automatically for you. Most of the popular streaming services can be unlocked by Hola, with many more services are being added regularly. Hola browser extension is available for Chrome and Firefox. For streaming torrents, an additional client application is required to be installed, which is currently available only for Windows.
Download Hola for Chrome and Firefox.
friGate is a browser extension is ideal for accessing blocked websites from within school, college or corporate networks where Internet access is usually limited. On the backend, friGate uses an extensive network of proxy servers that allow you to unblock and access various websites without losing speed. The extension doesn’t allow you to choose specific location for browsing the web; rather it automatically selects a random location. There is also a button to manually randomize the browsing location. friGate initially checks whether the site you want to access is blocked or not. If it isn’t blocked, It will directly connect you to the site without routing through the proxy, hence eliminating any unnecessary routing. The extension comes with a predefined list of websites that are commonly blocked by ISPs and Organizations. You can also create your own custom list and add the specific blocked websites you want to access. Once added to the friGate whitelist, you will be able to access these sites from within your school, college or office network.
Download friGate for Chrome and Firefox.
A number of Chinese websites cannot be accessed outside China. If you want to access any of these sites from outside mainland China, Unblock Youku is a useful Chrome extension that allows you to do so.
Download Unblock Youku for Chrome & Firefox.
These are some of the popular proxy and VPN based browser extensions that help you unlock geo-restricted websites and streaming services. But being free, they might not have dedicated customer support. Also, many of the free proxy and VPN services are often blacklisted by popular streaming services. Just because these extensions are working fine today doesn’t guarantee that they will remain active over the long term. For a more reliable solution, you should opt for a paid proxy, VPN or Smart DNS service.