Free stuff – the best resources

Introduction

We all love free stuff. I myself don’t like to pay for Software. This is the reason why I’m interested in Open Source.

But what to do if a good Open Source alternative isn’t available? For example if you need to edit a Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote or Access file?

We have 3 options I will summarize them in my order of preference:

  1. Search YouTube for the title and add ‘free’ or ‘for free‘. Many times I found a good video with an explanation on how to get the (soft)warez for free.
  2. Search thepiratebay.org and download what I need. Unfortunately if you live in the Netherlands, this is  not available because the Brein foundation together with Microsoft bought a judge who was willing to force the two biggest ISP’s Ziggo and Xs4All to block access to this site. (Yes! I also thought we were a civilized country). Since I’m the proud owner of a real Cloud Server I decided to do something about this. Together with my companion we installed the Open Source OpenVPN. It was a big job to get everything to work correctly but after a couple of days (and nights) it’s finally working. Check out the link and watch the video! TPB is back again and faster than ever! I already downloaded gigabytes!
The block

I noticed the block works at the DNS level, which implies that the Ziggo DNS intercepts lookup requests.

Other alternatives
  • Proxies -Some sites offer proxy servers to work around blocks of thepiratebay.org like TPBPL. Try them all and you’ll find out none of them work. The Ziggo block works at the level of the Ziggo DNS and proxys use the Ziggo DNS for lookups.
  • Tor browser – In fact this should work. The Tor (Onion Router) works similar to VPN. It hides your IP address and securely encrypts all data. Give it a try. It works! Unfortully against a big trade-off (performance). I tried to download some titles but soon gave up when opening a single link took over 10 minutes, which isn’t acceptable.
  • Port redirection – Effectively this is the same as a SOCKS proxy. I tried it and it doesn’t work since it uses the Ziggo DNS servers, which redirect all requists to a Ziggo page.
  • Why the VPN works – OpenVPN uses it’s own DNS Servers and also encrypts the requests to its own DNS servers from end-to-end so even Ziggo cannot see what happens. The result is clean and fast access to TPB as you were used before the block,

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