FortiGuard is an application majorly used by schools, colleges, and businesses to filter websites that are deemed harmful or irrelevant to studies/work. However, they sometimes end up blocking access to websites that can be useful – what can be done in such cases?
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- Subscribe to NordVPN
- Download and Install your VPN
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- Enjoy unfiltered, unrestricted access
What Is Fortiguard?
Before we get into bypassing Fortiguard filters, let’s first take a quick look at what it really is.
Fortiguard is a firewall application that is used by schools and businesses to block websites. It provides a blacklist that can be customized by the administrator. Any websites on the blacklist will be blocked by the firewall, preventing you access.
The websites that are often found on the blacklist are those that are deemed unrequired in the aspect of work or studies. Here are some commonly blocked websites.
- Pornographic Websites
- Malware/Phishing Websites
- Torrent Trackers
- Streaming Websites
- Social Media Websites
- Pirated Content
How Does Fortiguard Filtering Work?
Fortiguard filtering works just like a DNS filter. Every time you send a DNS request to a website or application, it gets intercepted by Fortiguard – at which point Fortiguard can reject the request preventing you to access the website or application.
- You send a DNS request
- It gets intercepted by Fortiguard
- Fortiguard checks if the website is on their blacklist
- If the website is on its blacklist, Fortiguard denies the DNS request.
- If the website is not on their blacklist, Fortiguard lets you access the website.
Fortiguard also offers IP address blocking – you can’t get around the firewall by using the direct IP address of the website. Not to mention, most admins that use Fortiguard have blacklisted tools or proxy websites that could help you bypass Fortiguard.
Why Is Fortiguard Used?
Fortiguard is generally used by workplaces, schools, and colleges to ensure that nothing irrelevant to the work at hand can be accessed. Naturally, the wi-fi is owned by the administrators, and it is provided to students or employees to make things easier.
If the administrators do not want you to access some websites, then they have the right to filter such websites. Schools and colleges ban social media as well, as they do not want you to be distracted. Workplaces may also ban the same, so you can focus on the work at hand.
In many cases, streaming websites are also blocked to save bandwidth. Websites are also banned as security measures, ensuring that the network stays safe from all sorts of phishing or malware. Generally, there is good reasoning behind banning websites.
Risks Of Bypassing Fortiguard
Before you get to bypassing Fortiguard, there are some things to be aware of. Most workplaces or colleges will provide you with their internet connection if you sign an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) or any other TOS policy. The policy may vary in terms and conditions, but it generally comes down to this:
- If you had to sign a TOS in order to get the internet access, you might be breaking it by bypassing the Fortiguard.
- You can face disciplinary action if you get caught bypassing Fortiguard.
If the AUP or any other policy is violated – that you had previously signed, you can expect some action taken against you when you are caught bypassing Fortiguard. Bearing this risk in mind, let’s head forward with ways to bypass the Fortiguard Filtering.
How To Bypass Fortiguard Filtering?
Here are multiple ways to bypass Fortiguard.
1. Switch To Mobile Data
The way Fortiguard works is that it intercepts all DNS requests going through the network and checks them against the blacklist. Naturally, Fortiguard won’t be able to intercept any DNS request if you are on a different network – such as your mobile data or someone’s hotspot.
Using mobile data is by far the most obvious and easiest way to bypass Fortiguard Filtering, as it is your own connection that you pay for, and it does not have Fortiguard installed as a firewall. However, always being on mobile data isn’t very economical, so let’s explore other options.
2. Use A VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can bypass Fortiguard by using its own tunneling system. Put in simpler terms, a VPN will be intercepting your connection and sending all DNS requests through an encrypted tunnel to your ISP. Fortiguard is unable to crack through the encryption, hence it won’t be able to get hold of your DNS requests.
If we’re talking about the best method to bypass Fortiguard, VPN comes out on top. This is one of the reasons why some admins may add vpn websites to their Fortiguard blacklist as well. If you can access premium vpn websites such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, all you have to do is follow the steps below.
- Subscribe to a premium VPN like NordVPN
- Download the VPN client
- Log into the client
- Connect to any server
- Happy Browsing
That’s all. Fortguard will no longer be able to intercept your DNS queries, hence it will be useless. If Fortiguard has blocked all VPN websites, there are still many workarounds that you can try. It isn’t really a technical thing, all you have to do is figure out a way to install the VPN onto the device. You can try these workarounds.
- Use your mobile data as a hotspot to download the client
- Use a USB drive to transfer the VPN client to the device
- Use VPN browser extensions instead of the client (they’re generally unbanned)
If you’re confused about picking the right VPN, you can scroll down for our Top VPN recommendations for bypassing Fortiguard.
3. Use Mirror Websites
Mirror websites are a great way to bypass the Fortiguard filters. The only issue with using mirror websites is that they may be a bit hard to find, hence you may have to look for them on forums, Reddit, and Google. Put simply, here’s what a mirror site is.
Mirror websites are websites that are copied, but hosted on different IP addresses and domain names.
Because Fortiguard only blocks DNS requests that are blacklisted, chances are these mirror sites are not blacklisted. For example, you won’t be able to access “instagram.com” on your school network as it will be blacklisted, but you will be able to access “imginn.org” on your school network – which is an instagram mirror website, as it won’t be blacklisted.
4. Proxy Websites
Proxy websites can also help you bypass Fortiguard. These websites are basically like a browser within your browser. They process your DNS requests, and Fortiguard can’t detect that. While most proxy websites may be banned, there are just too many of them.
All you have to do is google proxy websites and surf till you find the one that works. You can try Hide.me or KProxy for starters. The only downside is that speeds might be slow, but it’s a free and easy solution that works quite well, especially against applications like Fortiguard.
5. SSH (Advanced)
Fortguard can also be bypassed by using a local SOCKS proxy with a Secure Shell that points to a remote and unfiltered destination. Unfortunately, this is quite an advanced method to bypass Fortiguard and requires technical know-how. Here’s a quick guide if you’re interested.
- Download the copssh client
- Hit the Start Button and open cmd
- Type “ssh -C -D 8080 shellIP” where “shellIP” is the domain name or IP address of your remote shell
- Open your web browser and search for “Connection”, “Network”, or “Proxies” settings – the word can change depending on your browser
- Enter “localhost:8080” as your Web or HTTP/HTTPS proxy and save the settings
Top VPNs For Bypassing Fortiguard
Here are the top VPNs that we recommend to bypass Fortiguard
1. NordVPN – Best Against Fortiguard
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NordVPN is the top VPN that is very effective against Fortiguard. It provides the strongest encryption, which is the AES-256-bit military grade encryption used by the NSA to protect top secret documents. Fortiguard cannot break this encryption to access your DNS requests.
It also follows a No-log policy and runs every server on RAM (Volatile), they are frequently audited by third-party companies like PwC. It is also free from all kinds of IP/DNS leaks (Tested). Not to mention, it’s obfuscated servers are quite stealthy against Fortiguard.
- Bypasses Fortiguard with ease
- Obfuscated Servers
- 1970 US Servers
- Dedicated Servers (P2P, Onion, Double VPN)
- Seamlessly unblocks streaming services
- 24/7 Live Chat
- Blazing Speeds with Unlimited Bandwidth
- Slow Speeds on Distant Servers
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SurfShark is another great VPN that can help bypass all restrictions of Fortiguard. It is very secure, yet fast enough to stream Netflix or torrent. It has all of the latest VPN protocols like WireGuard and OpenVPN, supports P2P torrenting, and is also audited by third parties.
It keeps you safe from all sorts of leaks with its Kill Switch, SmartDNS, and CleanWeb features that block ads, malware, and phishing attacks. All these servers are 100% RAM Only . It also promises that it doesn’t store any logs being from the Netherlands (privacy-friendly) which is proved by the recent audit by Cure53.
- Bypasses Fortiguard
- Unblock Streaming Services
- Unlimited Device Connections
- Additional Features (Camouflage Mode, No Border Mode, CleanWeb, and Whitelist)
- Distant servers take some time to connection
- Speeds vary widely
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ExpressVPN is yet another great VPN that bypasses the Fortiguard filtering. It uses the AES-256-bit encryption standard, and offers its own Lightway protocol for its tunneling. It has a strict no-logging policy that has been tested and proven during a turkish asssasination investigation.
It is also free from all kinds of IP and WebRTC leaks, based on the British Virgin Islands (privacy-friendly), and offers the fast WireGuard protocol as well. This VPN does support the latest VPN protocol for premium speeds and ships with a handful of tools like Speeds, and IP checker.
- Bypasses Fortiguard
- Premium Speeds with consistent connection
- Defend DDoS & DoS attacks
- Privacy Friendly VPN with zero log policy
- Unblocks any streaming service & website
- Top-Class Customer Support
- Torrenting support on every server
- Maximum 5 device connections
Additional VPN Tips for Fortiguard
Fortiguard can easily be bypassed with the help of a VPN, hence here are some to tips to ensure your safety and privacy on the device.
1. DNS Leak Protection
Most premium VPNs offer a DNS leak protection that is turned on by default. It wouldn’t hurt to double check, just in case it isn’t. If your DNS gets leaked, Fortiguard will be able to detect it and block your access to that website. Keep your DNS queries protected by turning on the setting.
2. Kill Switch
Kill Switch is a great feature that shuts off your device’s access to the internet if your VPN connection abruptly drops. What this means is that the moment your VPN shuts off unexpectedly, your device will stop communicating to the internet.
This is an essential feature, because if your VPN drops, Fortiguard will detect your DNS requests and block your access to the website. While you can simply turn on the VPN and enjoy access again, a kill switch is there to protect your privacy and security. Always leave it on.
Fortiguard is similar to a DNS filter. Dealing with that may seem like a hard task, but a VPN makes it as easy as clicking a button (literally). There are other ways to bypass Fortiguard as well, such as using a proxy, mirror websites, or your personal mobile data.
Fortiguard Blocked VPN Traffic, What Can I Do?
If Fortiguard has blocked your VPN traffic, you should switch to a premium VPN that is equipped to deal with the situation. NordVPN has obfuscated servers that are capable of circumventing even China’s Great Firewall – Fortiguard won’t stand a chance.
Can’t I Just Use A Free VPN?
You can, but you shoulnd’t. Free VPNs are known to collect and sell your data – how else do you think they make profits? Not to mention, they aren’t equipped to even deal with normal firewalls, Fortiguard would be a long shot. A premium VPN would definitely serve you better.
Can Fortiguard Detect VPN?
Yes. Fortiguard can detect VPN traffic. This is generally because there are protocol headers on every data packet that is sent by the VPN. However, your VPN traffic will rarely get blocked. If it does, you can simply use NordVPN or a VPN that offers obfuscated servers or stealth technology.