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Mar 18, 22  |  Ibrahim Imran

How to Fix 451 Error: A Beginners Guide

There are some status codes that are more well-known than others. For example, the 404 error is one of the most typical problems that website owners and visitors encounter. 

However, only a few people would be aware of the 451 error message. Website owners who have been harmed by this issue understand that there are few options available when the government decides to ban your website.

In this post, we'll take a closer look at error 451 and go over f how to fix 451 error. 

Let's get started!

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How to Fix 451 Error

What Does Error 451 Mean?

Before we get into how to fix 451 error, let’s understand what it means. For legal reasons, the 451 is unavailable. The status code informs the user that the site they are attempting to visit is operational and reachable, but that it is unavailable due to legal restrictions.

In summary, this status code is a nod to Ray Bradbury's dystopian novel of the same name, published in 1953. The 451 error message suggests that the site is unavailable, not because of technical reasons, but because of legal issues, similar to how books are forbidden in the novel.

In other words, the government has censored the website.

After the UK High Court ordered internet providers in the UK to restrict The Pirate Bay, a notorious website for illicit file sharing, Tim Bray, co-author of the original XML specification, came up with the idea for the status code in 2012. During that period, internet providers and websites displayed the 403 (Resource Forbidden) error code to inform users that the webpage they were trying to access was unavailable.

Tim then went on to create error 451, a new error code that will signal censorship.

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Which Websites are at Risk of Censorship?

Before getting into how to fix 451 error, you need to know what type of websites are at risk of censorship. The 451 status code can be seen on the following devices:

  • websites that are deemed a national security threat
  • Copyright-infringing websites
  • Privacy-invading websites
  • websites that break the law on blasphemy

This code, however, is optional. In other words, governments are not necessarily responsible for explaining why a website is restricted.

Many internet service providers are not even obligated to mention that some websites have been censored by the government  In other words, instead of error 451, they may be obliged to display 404 Not Found status codes or something similar.

>>> Wix 404 Error: How To Fix

Censorship on the Internet: Examples

China's "Great Firewall" is one of the most egregious examples of internet censorship. This so-called firewall prevents Chinese citizens from seeing websites that the government considers to be politically offensive.

Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit group, releases a list every year that lists the governments and institutions that restrict the internet the most. Pakistan's Telecommunications Authority, China's State Internet Information Office, and the US National Security Agency are among the governments and institutions on the list.

Fix 451 Error

How to Fix 451 Error?

There are a few options for resolving the 451 error message on your website. They are as follows:

Use a virtual private network (VPN).

To get around online censorship, one of the easiest ways to repair an error 451 is to utilize a VPN.

The following are some of the best VPN providers:

  • VPN Express
  • Surfshark
  • NordVPN
  • ProtonVPN
  • IPVanish

For a top-rated VPN service, you should expect to pay roughly $10 per month on average.

Instead of HTTP, use HTTPS.

But here's the deal:

When you use the HTTP protocol instead of HTTPS, the 451 error displays.

This leads us to the following suggestion: Instead, use HTTPS.

If your website has an SSL certificate, it will automatically load the HTTPS version rather than the HTTP one.

Change DNS Servers that you use

The second solution on our how to fix 451 error code article is changing your DNS servers. If you're using macOS, here's how to accomplish it:

Select System Preferences from the drop-down menu.

  • The Network icon should be selected.
  • Select your current network and then select Advanced.
  • Click the (+) button next to "IPv4 or IPv6 addresses" on the DNS tab, then Enter.
  • Enter Google's DNS server as 8.8.8.8, which is the principal DNS server for Google DNS, under Preferred DNS server.
  • Add 8.8.4.4 to the Alternate DNS server list.
  • After entering the new DNS information, click OK, then Apply.
  • Restart your web browser.

Follow these instructions to modify your DNS settings on Windows:

  • In the taskbar's bottom-left corner, click the Windows button.
  • Type "Network connections" into the search field.
  • Select View network connections from the menu that opens.
  • Select the internet adapter you're using right now. Right-click the internet adapter and select Properties from the drop-down menu.
  • There will be a new window open. Click the Properties button once you've selected Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).
  • Choose Add the address of an alternate DNS server (Google's, like in the macOS instructions above) to the following DNS server addresses.
  • Restart your web browser if it hasn't done so already.

Make Use of a Proxy Server

The use of a proxy server is the final troubleshooting solution for the 451 problem. A proxy server will reroute your traffic to a different IP address that isn't prohibited by law.

>>> Fix 308 Error Code: Troubleshooting Tips You Need to Know

Final Thoughts

The 451 HTTP status code informs users that the site they're trying to access is operational and accessible, but it's blocked for legal reasons.

The status code can be shown on websites that are deemed a national security danger, as well as those that violate copyright and privacy.

China's "Great Firewall" is one of the most egregious examples of internet censorship.

Utilizing a VPN, changing your DNS servers, using a proxy server, and using HTTP instead of HTTPS are all options to consider when wondering how to fix 451 error code.

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