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At work in my university, the computers in the office all use Windows XP, latest service pack. They've given each one of us a regular account, with no way of installing programs or making system-relevant changes. They have blocked many websites (YouTube, proxy sites, Facebook, etc.) simply by adding an entry for each one of them in hosts file, such as

127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 facebook.com
127.0.0.1 www.metacafe.com
127.0.0.1 metacafe.com

etc.

If I could simply tell Google Chrome to use a hosts file stored somewhere else then that would be it. I did read question 343158, but I can't set an HTTP server because of limited privileges on the machine.

As I could notice after reading the first answer, I needed to further detail my question, so here it goes: I have already circumvented DNS blocking in the past (the usual way) by first checking the IP address of a certain website at pages like this one and then I added the corresponding entry to the hosts file on my own computer, much like the following

92.123.66.131 www.metacafe.com
72.32.120.222 metacafe.com

and it has always worked for me thus far. For any site. However, this is a different case: I don't have write access to the hosts file, I can't install software, and I can't do pretty much anything that bears significance. I installed the portable version of Google Chrome because the computer only had IE, so I am looking for a way to make Google Chrome read a hosts file from a custom location, so I could build my own file (or perhaps copy the one I have on my laptop) and browse on top of that one.

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2  
You may have read the question, but you didn't read my answer. Nowhere did I specify that the HTTP proxy has to be installed and running on the same machine as the WWW browser. (I myself have single HTTP proxies serving entire LANs.) On the gripping hand, I recommend not trying to evade administrative restrictions for preventing non-work use on machines that you don't own, and not setting up or using promiscuous proxy HTTP servers outwith your LAN and accessible to the public. –  JdeBP Feb 10 '12 at 12:51
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

When they block something, I would advise you to not try to circumvent it.

It might be that it's impossible to visit it by IP given that it could automatically redirect to the domain name.

  1. You could try to remember its IP http://66.220.149.11 or its long IP http://1121752331

  2. You could use an easy to remember URL, like: http://tiny.cc/f4c3b00k

  3. Browse Facebook through some kind of proxy, which should always work.

Again, I advise against this. You really don't want to work around their policies, they might monitor it...

You can probably figure out the same for metacafe, start with a ping metacafe.com.

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Facebook redirects to its dns name once you access by IP, so would still hit the hostname issue. –  Paul Feb 10 '12 at 1:33
    
@TomWijsman I can't use the IP in the address bar because it doesn't work for sites like YouTube. I'll edit the question now to add some more details. –  the.midget Feb 10 '12 at 1:40
    
@the.midget: Well, then you'll either need an online proxy or a portable proxy like Privoxy, I don't know if it is capable of rewriting requests such that the IP is changed though. –  Tom Wijsman Feb 10 '12 at 1:59
    
@TomWijsman Ok, I'll give Privoxy a try... –  the.midget Feb 10 '12 at 2:02
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Try this instead:

Access restricted web sites using Google language tools service as a proxy

http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/h/4807

;-)

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Why not use portable Firefox and the SwitchHosts addon?

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I only can use Chrome here. Can't install anything. +1 though for... don't know why. –  the.midget Feb 16 '12 at 19:51
    
I suppose I'm confused. Portable Firefox means you run it off a flash drive, not installing anything. –  Nedlinin Feb 17 '12 at 0:51
    
It is I that was confused. Sorry. I read it in a hustle and apparently skipped the word "portable". My problem is now solved now, thank you anyway. –  the.midget Feb 17 '12 at 8:11
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You could edit the host file by booting into a Linux CD or USB, which can circumvent the windows access-restriction system.

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Great idea, but the computer's BIOS is password-protected, and does not allow for disc-booting. I couldn't possibly open the computer up, you see. If they got me for that... However, +1 for creativity (I never would've thought about this, in spite of being a hard-core Linux user) –  the.midget Feb 16 '12 at 19:48
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