Net Nanny is a firewall application that is meant to filter Internet traffic. Its aim is mostly to prevent end-users from accessing prohibited websites. This will most likely include material that is deemed offensive, such as adult or pornographic material, online games, social networking sites, chatrooms and hateful material.
While Net Nanny is mostly meant for use in a household environment where children and teenagers use the computer, it can also be used by companies to prevent employees from accessing unwanted websites, which can be unproductive during work hours.
Bypassing Net Nanny is possible through several methods, though, depending on the edition installed.
From the application
- Open your computer as you normally would. Boot up to Windows.
- Open Net Nanny by clicking on the Start Menu and navigating through the folders to find the application icon. If you’re using Windows Vista or 7, simply type in “Net Nanny” on the search box.
- Open Net Nanny. Type “~frontdoor” into the password box and click OK. This is applicable if you have version 5.0 or older on your computer. Check all boxes under “Allow.” Change all of the dropboxes to “allow,” and then click OK.
- Then, open your web browser and try accessing a blocked website. If it works, then congratulations! You have bypassed Net Nanny.
From Windows Task Manager
- While Windows is running , open the task manager by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del or Ctrl-Shift-Del.
- Under the Processes tab, look for the process named Ocraware, Wnldr32 and Net Nanny. End these processes.
- Open a web browser and try accessing a banned website.
By suppressing the startup item
- Press Win-R to open the “Run” window. Type in MSCONFIG.EXE and press OK or Enter. Under the “Startup” tab, uncheck the boxes corresponding to NNSync and nntray.exe.
- Restart your computer.
- Try opening a banned website.
By using a proxy server or a proxy website
- Open your favorite web browser.
- Go to stupidcenshorship.com.
- Enter the web address of the banned site you want to open. Alternatively, you can click on the easy links provided for accessing popular sites like Facebook, YouTube and MySpace.
- The website should now appear. Sometimes, you might lose on certain functionality, since the proxy website essentially re-displays the site for you.
- Note that if stupidcensorship.com has been blocked, then you won’t be able to access through this site.
If Net Nanny is installed in your computer, your IT department might have a good reason for doing so. For one, they might be enforcing company policy against accessing disruptive websites. Secondly, it’s not very productive. Third, you might be accessing websites with spyware or other malicious software.
Most capable IT departments will use a stronger form of protection against unwanted websites, such as firewalls, IP-based banning, and the like. These are more difficult to circumvent than Net Nanny.
If you’re really desperate to access the Internet outside of any blocks in your corporate intranet, consider connecting directly through the Internet through a 3G USB modem or your mobile phone.
Be sure to consider your company’s policies before tinkering with Net Nanny. It might be an offense against company rules.