Look. We’re not all born l33t haxxors (alternately computer geniuses). But sometimes we do want to do things like access a “forbidden” website.
Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking about Medium.
Last January, Medium was blocked for Malaysians following a dispute between the Government and Medium over a Sarawak Report article. The article had content alleging that Prime Minister Najib Razak was trying to leave the country during the height of the corruption scandal surrounding him at that time.
One thing led to another and the Malaysian government barred Medium altogether.
However, for those who may not know, Medium hosts a lot more than politically charged content; Medium is a hub for ideas.
From free-form poetry to critical analysis of financial reporting, Medium is a publishing platform for writers of all sorts to air their views and share their thoughts.
Readers can even interact with an article through an interesting community highlighting feature, and of course the usual comments box.
So when Medium got banned here in Malaysia, many users were understandably upset.
On Vulcan Post, we missed the raw sharing of entrepreneurs and startup founders from all over the globe that is a mainstay on the platform.
But regular Medium readers, don’t despair! Especially curated for readers don’t speak computer, here is a comprehensive list for even the most epic of noobs to be able to access Medium in Malaysia for both computer and mobile users.
Disclaimer: Vulcan Post does not condone the using of these methods to access other types of illicit websites available on the deep sea of the internet.
Computer Users: DNS Server
Basically, your default DNS Servers are located in Malaysia. Google’s Public DNS however, is not based in Malaysia. Since the Server is located in a country that has not banned Medium, you’ll be able to access the website through this method.
I was able to use this method to access Medium in my home, but the more advanced filtering on the office internet led me to the “This webpage is not available” page.
Setting it up is easy. Firstly, open the Network and Sharing Centre by right-clicking on your network connections symbol in the bottom-right corner of the screen, (Either the Wi-Fi logo or the Ethernet cable) then click on Open Network and Sharing Center.
Right-click your chosen Wi-Fi connection, then click on Properties. From here, find Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), Right-click again for its Properties, and change the DNS Server according to the numbers below, which is the Google Public DNS. I personally prefer the Google DNS Server, but you are welcome to try any other DNS Server if you’re so inclined.
Computer Users: Proxy Websites
If the above steps seem too complicated for you, perhaps proxy websites are your best bet. Simply head over to the many proxy sites such as Proxysite, Whoer, Kproxy and FilterBypass, among many others. Once you are directed to their homepage, simply key in the address of the website you would like to visit (such as https://medium.com) into the space provided and voilà! Easy peasy.
If a website does not work, just keep moving down the line until you find one that does. And honestly I’m willing to bet that you’ll run out of interest before you run out of proxy websites to try.
Computer Users: Google Translate
That’s right, Malaysia’s premier website in answering “How do I say that in Malay again?” is also able to access banned websites for you. It works similar to a proxy site, except that your proxy is Google.
First, choose any language that you wish to translate from, as long as the translated language is English. Once that is done, simply type medium.com into the box, click the blue ‘Translate’ button and watch the magic happen.
Unfortunately, this method does not translate well to mobile.
Computer & Phone Users: Tor Browser
If you’re a Medium reader who faces another problem with being distracted by it while you have other responsibilities screaming at you, then Tor might just be the best of both worlds for you.
You have to download a whole different browser to use Tor, so this might help you compartmentalise between your ‘Work’ browser and a ‘Messing Around’ browser.
Just bear in mind that Tor is also used by unhappy dissidents, Anonymous and cyber criminals.
Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy.
This browser surfs anonymously, so you can access any blocked websites using this browser.
You can download the browser from here. Once that is done, install it and access any banned website you want. This particular method is also probably the easiest to work on a Mac.
Certain apps available for mobile uses the Tor network as well. Install them on your phone and use them just like any other browser on your phone like Safari or Chrome. For iOS users, you can try OpenDoor or VPN Browser and for Android, try Orbot or Orfox.
Phone Users: Medium App
It seems that the logic here is that Malaysia has banned the website, not the app. As the app is still linked to the website however some phones are able to access it while others cannot. It’s not a surefire method, but it is the easiest way to bypass the block if your phone can hack it