How to Unblock 4chan and 8chan in Australia – Full Guide

Updated on: 5 August 2020
Updated on:5 August 2020

Unblock 4Chan and 8Chan in Australia in five minutes:

If you want to get started right away, simply follow these instructions to unblock 4Chan or Chan in about five minutes:

Important: If you do not have admin access on the computer you are using and can’t install apps, you should use the ExpressVPN Chrome or FireFox extension. Even if you don’t have admin access you can still add extensions to Chrome or FireFox.

What are 4chan and 8chan?

4chan and 8chan are anonymous internet forums that support the posting of images with related text and discussions. While 4chan has preset boards for a range of topics, 8chan allowed users to create boards on any subject. Also, while 4chan users have their messages moderated, 8chan users have free rein to post anything they want.

Forum users thrive on the anonymity they’re allowed. They can say anything and everything they want without repercussions! Freedoms like this naturally bring out the worst in some people. At some point, 8chan became infamous for promoting child pornography, violence against women, and white supremacy, among other offensive and hateful material.

After several controversies, 8chan went offline in August 2019. The site was then rebranded as 8kun and relaunched in November 2019.

Why Were 4chan and 8chan Blocked in Australia?

On March 15, 2019, a white supremacist carried out two consecutive mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Part of the terrorist attack was live-streamed, and videos were then posted online on sites that included 4chan and 8chan.

In response to the posting of the videos, Australian internet service providers (ISPs) voluntary blocked access to the sites temporarily to limit access to the videos. This action was then followed up with a directive from the Australian government to ensure that the videos would not be available for viewing.

Will the Australian Government Censor the Internet?

No, they have no plans to do that. Currently, Australian ISPs block sites only for the following reasons:

  • If they contain potentially illegal content
  • If the government, regulatory authorities, or courts instruct them to
  • If the Internet Watch Foundation advises them to

Common reasons to block certain websites include the protection of copyright, and the prevention of the sale of counterfeit goods, illegal drugs, and weapons.

How Were 4chan and 8chan Blocked in Australia?

ISPs employed two main technical controls to block access. One method was with DNS (Domain Name Server) filtering or blocking, which blocks access to the websites based on their IP address.

Another method was with IP address blocking. Here, website access is blocked using their very own IP addresses.

How Can I Bypass Blocks on Forums Like 4chan and 8chan?

One option is with the use of a proxy server. It will enable you to hide the fact that you’re browsing a banned forum website by way of the local network. However, know that your internet speed will drop considerably.

If you go with a proxy server, we don’t recommend that you use a free one. Not unless you want to be assailed with incessant advertisements or have your written posts or net browsing habits monitored.

Another option to bypass blocks is by using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN service has the advantage of being faster, more secure, and easier to use than a proxy server. And like a proxy server, it masks your network traffic. And as a bonus, you’ll be able to bypass national blocks simply by connecting to the net via another country.

Some techniques you should be mindful to avoid, though, are those that don’t encrypt network traffic. Stick to tools like a SmartDNS.

What’s the Top VPN For Visiting Blocked Forum Websites?

We definitely recommend ExpressVPN, with its advanced encryption capabilities and fantastic privacy features.

If you’re relatively new to the world of VPNs and want to learn more, feel free to peruse our comprehensive guide to VPNs for beginners.

How Can I Use a VPN to Access a Blocked Forum?

First, get a VPN application running on your device. Next, connect to a server from a country outside of Australia. Then you’ll have access to any site you want to visit, hooray!

Again, we recommend that you sign up for a plan from ExpressVPN. You’ll be able to avail of extremely fast servers that can download images with virtually zero buffering issues. You’ll also get excellent privacy.

Can I Just Use a Free VPN?

Sure, you could, but we don’t recommend it. Free VPNs, generally speaking, don’t utilize very secure encryption algorithms and communication protocols. Moreover, they’re significantly slower that their premium counterparts. So if you want to stream video and play online games, good luck!

And do you really think you’re getting a free service? Think again. “Free” VPN providers still make money. All they have to do is monitor the websites you visit. Then they can readily sell this information to various corporations and myriad advertisers.

So, the best VPN is one that will not only enable you to bypass censorship controls by the government but also promise to keep your precious details to themselves without trying to profit from them.

Why Can’t I Access a VPN and What Can I Do About It?

Australian ISPs probably blocked the VPN (yes, ISPs can block VPNs, too!). Fortunately, you can bypass these ISP-created blocks. A good way to do that is by using a Stealth VPN to disguise your VPN traffic. If you’re curious to know the nitty-gritty details about how this works, check out our article about VPN obfuscation.

Another potential solution is one you may already be familiar with: a Tor network. By using a Tor network, you’ll essentially send your VPN traffic through encrypted proxy layers — lots of them! And it has the added bonus of providing you with the utmost privacy.

Unfortunately, Tor networks are quite awkward to set up. Also, it’ll be challenging for you to find much help from VPN providers, as very few offer any kind of VPN-over-Tor support. And finally, if you use a Tor network, you won’t be able to watch any streaming media content on the forum, because your internet speed will be so slow!

Resolving VPN Connection Problems

If you can’t install the ExpressVPN app on your computer, an alternative option is to install either the ExpressVPN Chrome extension (in the Google Chrome store), or the ExpressVPN Firefox extension (in the Mozilla website) on your web browser.

If Australian ISPs still block access to the forums after installing ExpressVPN or the browser extension, don’t be too surprised. The truth is that some Australian ISPs block VPN IP addresses, too. As a simple workaround, you can try connecting to a different server. At least one is bound to work.

Will I Be Caught If My Device’s VPN Is On?

No, not if you’ve signed up for a premium VPN that stores encryption keys locally on your device and uses advanced encryption. With reputable VPN service providers like ExpressVPN, automated network systems definitely won’t notice you. So the only way the Australian government will learn about the sites you’ve browsed is if they physically take your phone and look for the information on it directly themselves.

DPI software is used by ISPs to examine all data and web address information passing through its network. But because encryption hides the content of data received and sent over the web, no triggers will be triggered, and the VPN will bypass ISP controls because monitoring software can’t look into that data.

Written by: Stephen Mash

Connect with him:

Software and Systems Assurance Specialist Based in West Sussex, England, Stephen has worked as an information security and safety assurance consultant since 1997, specialising in risk management for high integrity systems. Prior to that, he developed safety-critical software-based systems for the aerospace industry. He transitioned from consultancy into the role of technical copywriter and editor in 2019, writing and reviewing materials on behalf of a broad spectrum of clients.

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