If you do enough work in dealing with plagiarists, it is bound to happen. A plagiarist, scraper or other ne’er-do-well, not wanting to deal with your accusations, will simply block your IP from visiting their site in hopes that you’ll think the site is down and go away.
It’s an amateurish move that is usually executed by someone who knows precious little about how the Internet works. There are a million ways around an IP block, even one that filters out a large block of IPs, so it is not an effective tactic over the long haul. However, it is annoying, especially since most methods involve installing software or altering your connection.
One common method for getting around this is to use an anonymous proxy such as Anonymouse. This works because the site doesn’t see your visit, but the Proxy’s, thus changing your IP address. However, most larger, open proxies can be easily blocked and smaller ones pose a security risk since they literally sit between you and the Internet as you surf.
The easiest, safest and fastest, way I’ve found to get around an IP block to see if a site is really down is to use Google Translate as a proxy. To do so, just follow these steps:
- Visit Google Translate (translate.google.com)
- Type in or paste the URL you want to visit in the second form.
- Make sure that the translation is set to translate the site into English (or whatever language you want to read it in).
- Pull up the page as usual.
Google translate will read the page, copy the content and display a temporary cache of it from their own server. Since the site was already in English, it does not perform any actual translation. You will see the page as it is, or rather, as Google sees it.
Best of all, almost no one blocks Google, making it almost impossible to actually block this proxy. If one did block it, they would likely also be removing themselves from the Google search index, committing a form of SEO suicide.
If being the subject of an IP block is a regular event, you may want to consider using Torfcxadewtseuafzzxbxeryzrwyyxqrdusqftax (AKA: The Onion Router) to alter your visible IP. There is even a FireFox extension to enable and disable Tor functionality at the push of a button.
All in all, if a plagiarist attempts to perform an IP block on you, it is important to remember that you are not dealing with a mastermind or even a respectable opponent, but a rank amateur.
IP blocks can be trivially circumvented, one just has to know where to look in order to defeat them.