How to Unblock Online Games at School Today
Bummed out you can’t spend your lunch break or boring classes playing your favorite games on Miniclip or Kongregate? Or that you can’t check the app store for the latest releases, or run the online games on your device?
It’s frustrating, we know, but – luckily – there are ways you can unblock online games at school. Here’s all you need to know:
Why Does Your School Bother Blocking Online Games?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize why they do that.
First of all, it helps them score points with your parents – or at least with most of them. Let’s face it – what would parents like to hear more? That their kids are paying attention in class, or that they’re playing video games on their phones, tablets, laptops, and the school computers?
Secondly, there’s the bandwidth issue. Schools usually have hundreds of students (if not more), and they don’t usually allocate a huge chunk of their budget to WiFi bandwidth.
So, if they let all students use the WiFi network to game online, everyone will have to deal with slow, unresponsive connections. And that can get in the way of classes where teachers need to use the web for their lectures.
Furthermore, blocking online games absolves your school of any liability, and saves them the trouble of dealing with media scandals.
What do we mean by that?
Well, let’s say you get caught playing a violent or lewd video game. If you do it using school WiFi, your school can be at fault because they didn’t take proper measures to stop you from doing that.
And lastly, on rare occasions, they might block specific online games because they’re illegal.
How Do They Manage to Do That?
Your school can do lots of things to block online gaming websites. They can have their ISP use DNS filtering, they can edit hosts files on school computers, or they can use proxies to intercept your connection requests.
They might even go as far as using file transfer bans to stop you from copying or installing games on school computers.
But most of the time, they just use a firewall since it’s convenient. After all, it can restrict your access to gaming websites by just applying inbound and outbound traffic rules to your IP address – the one the school’s WiFi network assigns to you.
And keep in mind that they can use those methods to block the online components of video games too – not just gaming websites. So, even if you can run the game offline, you won’t be able to play it in multiplayer, chat with friends, or make in-app purchases. Plus, they can do the same to gaming clients like Steam.
Here’s How to Unblock Games on School WiFi
A lot of people will tell you that the only way you can do that is if you manage to crack the school’s network security, and give yourself administrative privileges. That way, you can install online games on school computers, and access any gaming websites you want.
However, doing that is pretty hard if you aren’t tech savvy. Also, if you get caught (which can happen), you can get in serious trouble – like facing detention, suspension, or even expulsion.
So what can you do then?
Luckily, there are some easier, much less risky things you can try to unblock online games at school:
1. Start Out With Some Basic Unblocking Tips
Before we get to the more “advanced” pointers, let’s see if your network admins were sloppy or not. Because if they weren’t thorough enough, you might be able to get around their blocks with these simple hacks:
- Try accessing the gaming website with its IP address. Maybe the admins only used the firewall to block the domain name, and overlooked the IP address. To find the address, open the Command Prompt, and type “ping [website name]”. Here’s an example – “ping kongregate.com” retrieves 126.96.36.199 for us.
- There might be a chance the network admins only blocked the desktop version of the website, not the mobile one. In that case, just add an “m.” before the website name. For instance, “kongegrate.com” would be “m.kongregate.com” that way.
- If the admins only blocked the HTTP version of the website, you can try accessing the HTTPS version to bypass the block – or vice-versa. At the same time, if the firewall blocks both versions, try connecting to the domain name with no “http/https” in front of it, like so: “kongregate.com” instead of “www.kongregate.com”, “https://www.kongragate.com”, or “http://kongregate.com”.
- If your school uses DNS filtering to block gaming websites, just change the DNS settings. Head to Control Panel > Network and Internet > View network status and tasks > Local Area Connection > Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), and enable this option: “Use the following DNS server addresses”. Next, use one of the following addresses:
- OpenDNS – 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206
- Google Public DNS – 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168
2. Try Using Unblocked Game Websites
Apparently, there are some websites with tons of “unblocked” games. According to people on the web, schools can’t block them. Unfortunately, the websites don’t really disclose how they manage to evade those blocks. Some people said it has something to do with the fact that the domain hosts unblocked games, or that they’re hosted on Google sites, but we can’t really tell.
Regardless, if you want to give this a try, here are some websites you can check out:
This tip has its drawbacks, though. There’s no guarantee your school won’t manage to block the domains, and there’s no telling when the websites will go down. In fact, some of the sites we saw people recommending were not working anymore.
Also, you won’t exactly get access to the best, most recent video games. If HTML5 and Flash games are your thing, though, this shouldn’t be an issue.
3. Use Your Mobile Data
If none of the tips we offered above work, you can do the next best thing – disconnect from your school’s WiFi, and turn on your mobile data. Since you won’t be using the school’s network that way, you won’t have to deal with their restrictions, so you’ll be able to unblock online games at school.
Depending on how you want to game, you can do one of the following things with your mobile data:
- If mobile games are your thing, just turn on the data, and start enjoying them to your heart’s content.
- If you like a little bit more control, you can use USB Tethering. Basically, you connect your phone to the school computer, and turn on the Hotspot option. When you do that, the computer will start using your phone’s mobile data, allowing you to play online games with the mouse and keyboard.
Just make sure you have unlimited data or plenty of it. You definitely don’t want your parents yelling at you for going over the limit “just to play some silly games.”
4. Use a Different Web Browser
Some schools only block online games on specific browsers – the ones that run on all school computers. If that’s the case, you can easily bypass their blocks by just using a different browser.
You could download it, but it might not be the best idea. For one, the firewall might block download links to other browsers. And secondly, the admins might see that you’re downloading a different browser on the school computer.
Instead, you should use a portable browser like Firefox Portable. You just put it on a USB stick, and you can run the browser off of it.
5. Edit Your Computer’s Hosts Files
If the browser idea doesn’t sound convenient for you, let’s try something else – tweaking the Hosts files on your school computer.
Of course, this will only work if the school uses this method to block websites, and doesn’t rely on a firewall.
Still, it might be worth giving it a shot. All you need to do is head to Local Disc (C:)/ Windows/ System32/ drivers/ etc. There, you’ll see a file named “hosts”.
Just open it, and look for the name of the gaming websites you want to access. When you find the row, either delete it, or replace the incorrect IP address with the right one (use the ping command to find it).
6. Try Using a VPN
If none of those options work or sound appealing to you, or if you don’t want to deal with trial-and-error to see what kind of blocking method your school uses, you can just use a VPN to save yourself a lot of hassle.
If you’re not familiar with VPNs, just think of them as online services that hide your IP address and encrypt your Internet traffic.
We know that might not tell you much about what to expect, so here’s quick overview of how a VPN can help you unblock online games at school:
- By hiding your IP address, a VPN helps you bypass all firewall restrictions. To keep things simple, you get a new address when you connect to a VPN server, and the firewall rules don’t apply to it.
- When a VPN encrypts your traffic, it makes it indecipherable. So, your school’s network admins will have no idea you’re gaming online. At most, they’ll just think you’re using an HTTPS website like Google.
- Most VPN providers run their own DNS servers, and you get access to their addresses. That is very useful if you don’t want to deal with OpenDNS or Google Public DNS.
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Can You Use Tor or Proxies to Unblock Online Games at School?
Well, you can, but you won’t really have a good experience.
Let’s start with Tor. The problem with it is that schools can actually detect the traffic if they use the right service. So they might catch you in the act, and you might get in serious trouble since Tor doesn’t exactly have the best image.
Also, there’s an entire list online with Tor’s server addresses online. So, your school can easily block them.
Even if that doesn’t happen, and you don’t get caught, you’ll still have to deal with annoyingly slow speeds.
As for proxies, they can help you bypass firewalls, but they’re not as reliable as VPNs, and they’re not ideal for online gaming.
Pretty simple. They don’t offer strong encryption, and free proxy servers tend to get overcrowded fast, meaning you’ll get poor speeds and annoying lag.
What’s more, your school probably already used their firewall to block the most popular free online proxy websites.
Your school doesn’t exactly block online games because they don’t want you to have fun. They do it to save bandwidth, avoid being liable for what you play, comply with the law, and please the more demanding parents.
That’s hardly fair for you, though. Luckily, you can unblock online games at school with ease. Just do the following:
- Connect to websites with their IP addresses, not domain names.
- Change the default DNS settings.
- Access the website’s mobile version, or its HTTPS/HTTP version.
- Use your mobile data.
- Use a different browser.
- Try out unblocked game websites.
- Edit the hosts files.
- Use a VPN.