Hello everyone! How about that Internet blackout yesterday to protest SOPA and PIPA huh? If you were affected by it, let me know in the comments. I was not affected by it because I was in Tucson, AZ for the last few weeks for family business and have been away from a computer. That also explains why there haven't been any new posts here in a while. I've just been pre-occupied with other things.
Anyhoo, I'm back and I thought I would write up something quick on how to bypass DNS-Based web filtering on your Android phone. To give you some background on this post, you may know that I am a big fan of OpenDNS. I think it provides a great, free webfiltering solution for small business. It's easy to setup, and will block known malicious sites to help keep your network free of malware. It can also be used to filter out sites like Facebook and Twitter to keep your employees on track, and block out the distractions. The only problem with OpenDNS is that it's purely DNS based filtering. That means, if you change your network settings to use a different public DNS host, like Google for example (126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52) you will no longer be filtered.
Well, at my company we use OpenDNS, and not only do we filter out malicious sites, we also filter out porn, gambling and social networking. The later is filtered per the request of our VP of Sales who doesn't want his team surfing Facebook all day instead of making calls. Makes perfect sense. Well since I like to connect my Android phone to the wifi at work, that also blocks my Facebook app.
I found a really cool free Android app called Wifi Static that allows me to set a static IP on my cell phone when connected to certain access points, like my work's for example. With a static IP, I can manually set my DNS servers, and as I said above, all you need to bypass DNS based filtering is another DNS server. Bam! Now I can use my Facebook app while connected to wifi. Simple!
Here are some screenshots of the app:
There are some things to consider before setting a static IP on a DHCP network. You need to find out what the DHCP scope range is so you don't cause an IP conflict. If you have that info, you can scan the network for an IP address outside of that range using a tool like Angry IP. If you don't manage the network, you may have to hit-up the network administratior for it, and they might not be too enthused about you bypassing their security. Just food for thought.
Know of other free tools for Android to bypass web filtering? Maybe something that lets you tunnel through Websense? Let us know in the comments!