In the world of Twitter and Instant messaging, where length of characters is a major restriction, shortening of web address URLs has become very popular. URL shortening is the technique that allows users to access a particular webpage using its equivalent shortened address instead of the actual web address. Not only does URL shortening make a URL much shorter, it also makes it easier to remember. Popular URL shortening websites include www.bit.ly, www.tiny.cc, www.goo.gl, www.mcaf.ee and www.tinyurl.com.
URL shortening means that instead of typing the original long URL in the browser address bar, users now have to only type its shortened version. The browser will send an HTTP request to the shortened URL server, which will then send back an HTTP redirect message to the user, redirecting the user to the actual website. Since the initial outgoing HTTP request from the user is going to the URL shortening website and not the actual website that the user is trying to access, it means that such a technique can also be used to bypass the local firewall.
Let us assume that www.facebook.com is blocked by your network, then it is possible for the user to continue to access it by shortening the URL with the help of any of the numerous URL shortening websites. Once the shortened URL is created, then instead of typing www.facebook.com in the browser, if the user simply types the shortened URL, then he should technically be able to access the Facebook website. The local firewall thinks that the user is trying to access the URL shortening website, but in reality, the user is using this technique to connect to a blocked website.
STEP 1: To create a shortened URL, simply start your browser and connect to any URL shortening website. My favorite URL shortening website is goo.gl. Once you are connected to it, simply type the URL you wish to shorten in the space provided and click on the Shorten button. Within a few seconds, the website will display the shortened URL, which can easily be copied to your clipboard.
STEP 2: Copy and paste the shortened URL into any browser window and you will be taken to Facebook.com.