Pesky EE Content Lock bugging you? This is the guide for you!
Below I'll be showing you everything you need to remove it and access the content you want.
A few years ago it was brought to our attention via Twitter that the EE content lock was blocking our website.
Discovered two things today:
1. I still have @VodafoneUK “Content Control” activated
2. It inexplicably blocks @vpncompare
— Duncan Blair (@nimro) January 8, 2016
In a tweet from @nimro we discovered that when he tried to access our website for the first time he was blocked from doing so on his mobile EE internet connection.
After enquiring what reason was given it was clear that it doesn't specify but it's likely that our site is bundled under the same heading as a “proxy” site even though this is obviously an incorrect classification.
So in an ironic twist I've decided to write a small guide on how you can bypass EE content lock without opting in or opting out of anything.
As @nimro informs us he didn't request any content lock on his service so this is something that has been forced upon him requiring him to opt-out if he wants to access content that EE deem unsuitable, ie; adult content, gambling and sites such as VPNCompare it seems.
Why can't I access some websites on EE?
First, let's find out why some websites, apps and services are blocked.
If you live in the UK and you are subscribed to T-Mobile or EE (Everything Everywhere, Ltd.), you may have noticed that your internet reach is strongly limited.
This can prevent you from accessing all kinds of content, including adult content, alcohol, tobacco, gambling and more.
This is most likely the consequence of EE content lock – a strong and strict filter that may have been activated on your internet settings by default.
A lot of people don't even know it exists, but it is there, and it can prevent you from accessing social networking sites, proxies and a whole host of other legitimate websites.
What is the content lock?
As mentioned, content lock is a parental advisory tool that you can activate in the content lock settings of your internet account. This affects your wi-fi devices, any cabled devices, and pretty much everything connected to your home router.
You can also enable it in the EE store, which is useful to prevent children from seeing adult content, or other forms of inappropriate content.
As such, it is rather useful for preventing any sort of harm done to your children, even if they use the internet on your (or their own) device unsupervised.
Of course, while EE parental controls are a useful part of a home broadband deal offered by EE, it does come with some disadvantages, such as preventing you from accessing certain content that you may need.
In order to do its job properly, the filter may block things that might only hint at the things you would wish to block. As such, it could easily prevent you from accessing legitimate content, such as social networks.
In other words, it might limit you just as much as your children, which can be rather annoying, since it means that you would have to turn it on and off all the time.
What is ‘moderate' content lock EE?
There are three different levels to EE content lock that you can have as part of your connect.
The Off level of strictness, naturally, turns Content Lock off completely. There are no restrictions, the filter is completely disabled, and you have full access to the internet.
Moderate is the default setting for new and existing customers, and we already mentioned some of the site types that it will block on your connection.
However, keep in mind that this level will not block 18-rated content that is in compliance with the British Board of Film Classification guidelines, which mostly refer to pornography sites.
Lastly, there is the Strict setting, that will filter any content deemed inappropriate for children under 12.
That means anything higher than PG, or anything that may relate to unsecure, adult content. Google will not display any such results, so that your child can be completely safe and protected from harmful online content.
It's not perfect though, so just switching it on or leaving it enabled is no guarantee all inappropriate content will be blocked.
What does the EE content lock block?
EE Content Lock can have different levels of strictness, depending on the lock settings on your device.
As mentioned, on most devices where it is activated by default, you will no longer have access to sites that include content like:
- Criminal Skills
- Sex advice
As you can see, this is a rather strong parental control filter, which can even include social networking or other sites, although most people only enable it for children under 12.
If you use the Strict settings, everything above PG, as well as things like chat website, dating, and alike, will be restricted by the EE parental control.
How to bypass EE content lock
Content Lock, Content Control/Block or whatever other name it's given can be annoying – especially if you don't have kids or have a mix of age ranges accessing your internet.
If you didn't choose to enable it then chances are it has been thrust upon you by the powers that be.
Thankfully there is a way to bypass the EE content lock without contacting their customer support and requesting it be turned off, essentially labelling you a perv in the process as most material is porn related.
To bypass the EE content lock you'll need to use a service called a VPN or to give it the full name a Virtual Private Network.
A VPN is a small tool that allows you to tunnel a connection to another location and access the internet via that other location. The bonus is that everything inside this tunnel is encrypted meaning no one knows what you're accessing.
All EE will see is an encrypted connection to a third party server and because they don't know what you're trying to access, be it VPNCompare, porn or whatever else they deem unsuitable then they're unable to throw up their big EE content lock page.
VPN services come as software for desktop or laptop computers and in app form for mobile devices like phones and tablets.
Where can I get a VPN service
If you're after bypassing the EE Content Lock then nearly all VPN providers will be suitable.
Most offer software and apps making connection easy and simply connect and forget.
You can connect to any country available on the VPN service but for speed purposes it's best to connect to a VPN server in the UK. While nearly every VPN provider offers UK connections just double check before signing up by checking their “Servers”.
If like most people you don't have time to be researching VPN companies and just want to sign up then I've put a list of three tested and proven providers. We have not only reviewed these three but also made sure they are ideal for bypassing the EE content lock.
A VPN service should cost around US$10 per month which is roughly £6.50 but can be as cheap as US$6.50 (around £4.50) if you take a yearly package.
Just click one of their names to visit their site and sign up.
How to use the VPN to bypass EE content lock
Download either their software or app for your device.
Next you can connect to any location. For best speeds it is best to connect to a server in the UK. Once connected you can simply leave the software or app running in the background and forget about it.
Anything you do on the internet will now be encrypted so that EE cannot see what you're accessing. This not only means you bypass their content lock but also avoid EE traffic management policies.
Don't forget, all you need to do is sign up to one of the above three providers, install their software or app, connect and you're able to bypass the EE content lock with ease.
How do I turn off content lock on EE?
Of course, you can remove content lock quickly if you're able to access your subscriber account settings.
There are three different levels of strictness, which include:
Most devices that have content lock enabled by default will find that the Moderate level enabled.
Now, if you wish to remove content lock or change its strictness status from your device, simply follow these steps:
- Log in to My EE on your device.
- Go to Manage device.
- Access the content lock settings and choose the Content lock level you want.
You can do on your mobile connection by text simply by sending STRICT or MODERATE (depending on the level you want) to 150.
If you have a 4GEE Wi Fi device, you can also use this feature after typing 192.168.1.1 into the browser, and accessing the settings with password/username admin.
There are other methods, such as doing it via a phone call, or online, by providing your credit card details to EE whenever you try to access a blocked website.
Of course, you don't have to bother with typing in your credit card data if you are the one paying for the bills – instead, just log in to My EE on your EE store, and you can disable it.
Avoiding the content lock settings doesn't need to be difficult.
You can either:
- Sign up for a VPN service like ExpressVPN.
- Disable the settings if you have access to your account area.
Once you've done either you'll then be able to browse the web without restrictions.
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