Spending eight hours in school or at work can be boring. Sometimes, we all feel the need to do something different and kill some time. With smart phones, laptops, mini laptops, Internet at work and school, this is pretty easy. However, bosses and teachers have different ideas of what we should be doing on company/school time, and firewalls are put in place to block these sites. The same rules apply to areas of the world that block social networking or political sites in the name of "protecting the country's best interests" – ie China, Vietnam, Iran, Egypt, and more.
Did you know that there is software to unblock sites?
If you're talking specifically about SOFTWARE to unblock sites, there are software based proxies out there. However, I would suggest two other options before you go looking into that.
More common that software based proxies are actually web based proxy. A web based proxy can be used to unblock sites at work, school, or at home. These require no installation and therefore can't really be called "software". Web based proxies have been used from a very long time and the main purpose they serve is to protect the privacy of the user or bypass firewalls. People who don’t want others or a third party to find out their IP address or their location or browsing history through packet sniffing or tracking cookies often make use of proxies to protect their IP information. Web based proxies also work to bypass firewalls put in place by your ISP.
Web based proxies are sites which have been created to function as unique web browsers. Instead of using the school or work server, any person can simply use a proxy server and access cached information of blocked sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and Gmail. Proxies can also provide you with fresh data by replacing your IP with its own and making site requests on your behalf. Open proxies are open to the public, and are widely available. Though it sounds like a great idea, open proxies can be home to spam, malware, and other unscrupulous individual if you get connected to the wrong kind of server.
Proxy services are a more effective way to unblock sites but they do require a monthly fee. One of the best proxy services to unblock sites that I know of is SecuriTales. Fast connection speed, support, servers in The US and The UK, and a free trial are just some of the perks of SecuriTales service. SecuriTales of course does not require installation so connection is instant. This also means you'll be able to use it on work/school/public computers that you can't install private software to unblock sites on.
Have you got your heart set on software to unblock sites
Before you start searching for software based proxies as I mentioned above, there's yet another option. Virtual private networks can't really be considered software, they work much to the same effect, and actually provide better anonymous surfing results than many softwares on the market. Tunneling and encryption are the main players here, which mean that the anonymous IP assigned to you by the proxy server will be secure, reliable, and protect you from IP tracking tactics.
VPN also allow for server choice and switching, which means you can surf as an American, a Canadian, a German, a Brit, or many more. Connecting to a VPN also means that other programs and applications running on your phone/computer will use the anonymous IP address, and you'll be able to unblock more sites than with a proxy. Most of the time, the end-site will be unaware that you're hiding your real IP address.
Hide My Ass provides the most comprehensive VPN package on the Internet, which is why they're one of the most popular VPN services out there. 18,000+ IP addresses, 160+ VPN servers, and 32 countries. PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN. 30 Day money back guarantee, unlimited bandwidth, a free web based proxy and other free anonymous surfing tools. This is just part of what they offer, so you have to take a look at their site.
PureVPN offers a few things that Hide My Ass doesn't. For one, it's blocked in fewer locations. While Hide My Ass is blocked in China, Oman, UAE, and a few other places, PureVPN is not. PureVPN also offers custom VPN settings for users in China, SSTP VPN for Vista and Win 7 users, and static IP addresses for users who want to surf anonymously but don't want to frequently change IP. The 30 GB bandwidth limitation will only affect P2P users, and there are unlimited bandwidth options as well.