How to Unblock Twitter
If you’re in China, you’re living behind a firewall. The government of that nation, and others, including Iran and many Middle Eastern nations, many Central European nations and more, restrict access to social media as a matter of policy. There are ways that citizens can get around this blocking technology but one must be very careful about how they do it.
VPN vs. Proxies
VPN services and proxies can both provide ways to get around these blocks, but there are many risks associated with the latter. A proxy server can get you through to Twitter and most other social media sites, but your traffic is completely visible. Should that traffic catch the attention of the authorities—and it will, if you’re on the networks enough—whatever penalties apply in your nation could become very real threats.
A VPN network uses encryption. This encodes information so that it cannot be read in transit, defeating the ability of the firewall operators to see the traffic and where it’s going.
VPN services come at a price, but they offer much better security. There is more to this than just getting a VPN, however.
Most VPN providers offer three protocols: PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN. For getting through firewalls, OpenVPN is the best choice.
PPTP offers little security and can be broken. L2TP/IPsec offers excellent security and is very much a viable protocol. Its weakness is that it works over only certain ports and, if you’re in a nation where there is a national firewall in place, those ports are most certainly blocked, so L2TP/IPsec—sometimes simply called L2TP—will not get through.
OpenVPN is not restricted to a single port, so it’s much harder to block. It’s also very secure, offering 256-bit encryption, so privacy is well protected with this protocol.
DPI stands for deep packet inspection. This can be used to filter encrypted traffic. The traffic can’t be read but, after being identified as encrypted, it can be throttled. VPN providers have been working to help people avoid this. VyprVPN, for instance, now has a protocol called Chameleon, built on OpenVPN, that conceals the fact that traffic is encrypted from deep packet inspection efforts. -Read full review of VyprVPN here.
A VPN is the safest way to get through a firewall, national or otherwise. For the best security, combine this with a NAT firewall. You may have to figure out an anonymous way to pay for the service, in which case cyber currencies such as Bitcoin and other anonymous payment methods are ideal. You can Tweet and use other other social networks, but be sure you do it right and that you cover your tracks. Any of our top providers offer excellent solutions to help people get to the Internet free of government or other types of oppression.