Having trouble opening specific sites while in Bali?

You have checked your connection, your internet credit is OK, the weather is fine and no other disturbances. So, why?

The sites you are trying to access may be one of the long-list of blacklisted sites in Indonesia. 

The practice of blocking and filtering sites is very common. The Information, Technology and Electronics (ITE) Law was created in 2008 by the Indonesian Government. Later on in 2011, they enforced the blocking and filtering facilities; Trust Positif. Adult content, risky sites and anything to do with torrents, drugs or illegal activities will be blocked – even if that’s not what you were really looking for. 

Hope isn’t lost. Here are some tips for accessing blocked websites in Bali, and Indonesia on the whole.

Unblocking Websites in Bali

There are both easy and tricky ways to get around the blocks. 

Using DNS Crypt

The Domain Name System (DNS) is like a contact book on a cell phone, translating people’s names into phone numbers.

DNS translates domain names into IP addresses so the process of exchanging data between computers, cellphones, and so on, can communicate with web servers, application servers, databases, game servers, etc. 

DNSCrypt is a DNS protocol that uses encryption, so it cannot be modified by firewalls, servers, or ISP devices for blocking purposes.

Download the DNSCrypt software here:

More info is available on the official website.

If you happen to have a router with the DD-wrt or Tomato firmware, you can even install it on there, so all your devices will automatically have unblocked internet access (read more here)

Using a VPN

Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to essentially fake your connection.

You will be able to choose a different country – e.g. UK, USA, Canada – and have the internet believe you are there, side stepping any of the Indonesian website blocks.

VPNs are super simple to install, and also add an extra level of security to your internet surfing. It’s much harder for hackers to access your information when you aren’t showing your true connection.

Here are our recommended VPN services:

  1. ExpressVPN – if you are looking for a premium VPN, ExpressVPN is great. Available across devices with a fast connection, it’s a digital nomad fave! 
  2. Surfshark – in terms of speed, security and price, Surfshark is one of the most popular VPNs in Indonesia. One of the servers has a speed of up to 80 Mbps. And it costs only around $3 /month.
  3. NordVPN – NordVPN is super popular. With so many country options and highly reliable connection, you will have full internet freedom! 
  4. TorGuard – If you are a fan of Torrents, this one is a must. With TorGuard you can choose the encryption level you want. TorGuard doesn’t have servers located directly in Indonesia, so users have to choose one overseas – Singapore or Malaysia. 

Using Google Chrome Tricks

If you use google chrome, there are several ways to get around the Indonesian site blocks; 

  1. Change HTTP to HTTPS – try adding the letter ‘s’ to the website address you want to open. It will only work for websites without an verified SSL Certificate.
  2. Change ‘Restricted List’ in Setting – in the top right corner you will see three horizontal dots, click and go into settings. Choose Show Advance Setting, Change Proxy Settings, Security and Restricted Site. Check which websites you want to access, and unblock by selecting Remove.
  3. VPN Extension – there are some VPN extensions you can install on Google Chrome. Some are free of charge, but of course the features are limited. Just choose the one that looks the most trusted based on the ratings.

What Sites are Blocked in Indonesia?

Mainly the blocked websites are adult and gambling content. But, here are some more details;

Adult content

Almost one million sites with adult content are blocked in Indonesia. It is feared that if there are no restrictions, the content will be consumed by underage children.

Manga websites

A cartoon for adults, manga stories are about adult life, including love and intimate relationships. Some mangas contain sexy drawings, which can be categorized into the first point. 

Gambling, betting and lottery sites

Gambling is found all around Indonesia, though it is forbidden and illegal. There are websites catering to the addiction, as it’s easier to do and access. More than 4000 gambling sites are included in the blacklist. 

Download sites

Indonesia is in a war against piracy, and blocks sites that provide streaming services and torrent downloads. This also ties in with the 1st point as adult content can be downloaded. 

Video streaming sites

Vimeo sparked controversy when it was blocked in 2014. The site was considered unethical and illegal. It also contained pornography content. 

Hate speech, hoaxes and radicalism content

In today’s world there is a lot of information that is distributed as fact that cannot be justified, or is indicated as a hoax to cause hate. Sometimes, the content is too radical, or wrongly political. 

LGBT+ related content

The majority of Indonesia’s population is Muslim, most of whom are against LGBT. It’s not a surprise that LGBT related content and apps are blocked and banned.

Final Thoughts

It’s pretty easy to get around the blocked websites in Indonesia.

We aren’t encouraging any illegal or risky actions with these tips. We are just trying to watch Netflix..