How to Unblock Imgur in Turkey?

Updated on: 16 July 2020
Updated on:16 July 2020

Here are the precise steps you need to take if you want complete access to Imgur in Turkey:

  • Visit ExpressVPN and sign up.
  • Install the app or download the ExpressVPN Chrome or Firefox extension.
  • Start up the ExpressVPN app or open the browser extension.
  • Select a country from the map or list.
  • Enjoy full access to the Imgur site.

Unblock Imgur in Turkey

Why is Imgur blocked in Turkey?

Since 2010, there’s been a steady erosion of the freedom of the press and access to the internet in the Republic of Turkey. Internet censorship has also significantly increased since the attempted coup of 2016.

The Turkish government has ordered the blocking of over 100,000 websites, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Wikipedia, WhatsApp, Periscope, and Imgur.

Will Turkey Keep Installing Internet Blocks?

If you’re hoping that Turkish residents will be able to enjoy free access to information anytime soon, think again. The government in Turkey is adamant against providing that access. This trend is part of a fierce censorship program imposed on Turkish citizens. It seems likely that they’ll extend this censorship to even more social media and content-sharing websites in the future.

How Is Imgur Blocked in Turkey?

The Turkish government requires Internet Service Providers (ISP) to block Imgur. This instruction is part of their licensing conditions, and there are legal consequences for not complying.

Turkish ISPs can employ a range of technical controls to block specific websites, even those of a particular country. They can employ any of the following:

  • Domain Name Server (DNS) filtering or blocking to prevent access to a website based on its IP address.
  • IP address blocking to prevent access to websites for specific IP addresses, or country-wide IP addresses.
  • Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to examine data passing across a network and block particular access requests to a specific website.

How Can I Unblock Imgur?

Access to Imgur even if you’re in Turkey is possible. There are a couple of options you can use. Here are some of the most common:

  • First is a proxy server. If you choose this option, don’t go with a free proxy server to avoid third parties from recording your net browsing habits or targeting you with an onslaught of ads. But essentially, with a proxy server, you won’t be seen as accessing Imgur with your local network. Unfortunately, you’ll have to put up with a substantially slower internet connection.
  • Second is a VPN. Like a proxy server, a VPN can hide your accessing of Imgur on a local network, too. The VPN will conceal your network traffic. And it will give you several advantages over a proxy server, such as being much faster and more secure, and the ability circumvent blocks on a national level simply by connecting to the world wide web by way of a third-party country.

One important thing you should know is that SmartDNS and other techniques that don’t encrypt network traffic won’t work if you need to gain access to a website that’s blocked. You’ll be spotted, and the access attempt will be recorded.

So What’s the Safest VPN to Use?

The Turkish Security Services use DPI software to identify and block traffic from VPN ports. If you’re a Turkish resident, or if you’re just visiting Turkey, then it’s crucial that you use a VPN service that can disguise its traffic as regular HTTPS traffic.

Our recommendation? ExpressVPN. That’s one of the best options to access government-blocked websites. Not only does ExpressVPN boast exceptional privacy features, but it also has advanced, state-of-the-art encryption.
To learn about VPN basics, see our introductory guide about VPNs.

Using VPNs to Unblock Imgur

The first step you’ll have to take is to download and install your chosen VPN app onto your device.

You’ll want a VPN equipped with secure and fast servers, like those that will enable you to avoid buffering issues while streaming media or downloading large files. Again, we strongly recommend ExpressVPN for this purpose.

Unlike free VPNs, ExpressVPN is a premium service. So you’ll get top speeds, not to mention the peace of mind of knowing that nobody will monitor your internet activity to sell that info to other parties — like the Turkish government or one of their agents!

Next, once your VPN is installed, get it running and pick somewhere other than Turkey. That will connect you to another server outside of the country, and you should be able to visit all the sites you want then!

Why Should I Never Use a Free VPN?

We’ve briefly touched on this above, but let’s get into it a little more here. While free VPNs may initially seem like an alluring option, they’re very slow when compared with premium VPNs. This drawback makes them impractical, especially if you want to stream video and gaming content. Also, free VPNs don’t use the most secure encryption algorithms and communications protocols. The Turkish Security Service is actively looking to block VPNs and encrypted messaging services. To stay one step ahead, you want to have the most secure VPN available.

Also, nothing in life is truly free; these “free” VPN providers make money by monitoring which sites you visit and then selling this information to advertisers and other corporations. When you’re using a VPN to bypass government censorship controls, then you need to use a VPN provider that you can trust won’t share your details with the Turkish government.

What If Access to the VPN Is Blocked?

Of course, the Turkish Security Services won’t give up without a fight. They can still block VPNs to prevent you from using all the advice above.

Fortunately, you’ve got ways to surmount this obstacle. An effective measure is to use what’s called “VPN obfuscation” via a Stealth VPN. This tool will make it seem like you’re not even using a VPN in the first place!
And there’s another tool you can add to your arsenal: a network of proxy layers, all encrypted, to which all your VPN traffic can be routed. This is called a Tor network, and it provides maximum levels of privacy.

However, setting up the network is no walk in the park. Furthermore, there aren’t very many VPN service provides that will give you VPN-over-Tor support. Additionally, it will be difficult to view your favourite media streams because the Tor network will render your internet connectivity incredibly slow. And finally, the Turkish Security Services is very active in identifying and shutting down Tor networks within the country as part of its anti-terrorism activities.

Will the Government Know If I Use a VPN?

If you use a premium VPN, then any automated network monitoring systems shouldn’t be able to identify you. VPNs such as ExpressVPN use sophisticated encryption techniques. Furthermore, encryption keys — and this is absolutely critical — will be stored on your device locally. So essentially, the only way that the Turkish government would be able to find out which sites you visited would be by physically getting their hands on your device.

This secure encryption is another reason your VPN has the capacity to bypass the ISP controls. The data transmitted to and from you via the net will be concealed, and so no filters will be triggered. To uncover web addresses and data transmitted over their network, ISPs use the DPI technique. And if this info is sufficiently encrypted, the DPI software won’t be able to monitor it.

Troubleshooting Problems With Your VPN Connection

If your computer is locked down so you can’t install the ExpressVPN app, then you’ll need to add the ExpressVPN Chrome or Firefox browser extension onto the appropriate web browser.

  • The ExpressVPN extension for the Chrome browser can be found in the Google Chrome store
  • The ExpressVPN extension for the Firefox browser can be found on Mozilla’s website

If, after installing ExpressVPN or the browser extension, your ISP still blocks access to the Imgur website, then you can try connecting to different servers until you find one that works. You should expect Turkish ISPs to block some VPN IP addresses. So you’ll probably have to try selecting servers in different countries until you find one that works.

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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