What is Geo Blocking? How to Bypass Geo Blocking? A Brief Overview

Anyone can fall victim to geoblocking. A national government or a corporation can execute it. This is the dreaded moment when you receive the message, ‘this content is unavailable in your country.’ 

For instance, do you know that 63% of websites in the European Union (EU) use geo blocking to prevent shoppers from buying from another European Union country?

Usually, the systems responsible will monitor your IP address. They check where you log in from. And depending on your area’s authorization, they’ll either permit or deny your access to the particular sites.

Perhaps you may wonder why geoblocking cases tend to happen and who uses them. Well, much of it boils down to copyright, licensing, and internet censorship issues. 

Geo blocking is popular with media properties. This regards the broadcasting and distribution rights for TV shows and movies, which vary from country to country.

It also happens among online enterprises like gambling services. They may use the geoblocks to refute their site’s availability to countries where they cannot operate legally. The streaming sites can exclude part of their content for specific countries.

Disputedly, some online retailers employ geo blocks to charge people differently for their services. In this case, they charge residents of one country a lesser price, and those of other countries get charged a higher cost for the same service or product.

What is Geo Blocking?

Geo blocking describes how websites or platforms restrict or hamper your access to certain content and services. Such blocking happen based on your locality. You experience it when specific content isn’t permissible in your geographical location. 

So, what do you do in such a case? How can you bypass geo blocking? Before we learn more about how you can bypass geo blocking, let’s see some examples that will help you understand geo blocking best.

Examples of Geo Blocking

Some corporations can make their YouTube uploads inaccessible in certain regions. This implies that the particular agency has established that you won’t see their videos because you’re in a specific geographical area. 

The most common examples of geo blocking include streaming sites like Amazon Prime and Netflix. A site like Netflix often streams original programming and also third-party content. 

Thus, their capacity to stream movies and television shows in specific countries will vary. This will depend on a country’s particular licensing terms and conditions.

So, a Canadian TV show may have the license for exclusive broadcasting on an American TV channel. But, this means that Netflix cannot stream that show to entire America. Even if they have permission to do so in other countries, they’ll still violate the American licensing agreement by trying to stream into the whole country.

National governments may use geo blocking to block illegal content in their nation. Such may include porn or gambling sites. Another reason governments use geo blocking is to restrict the online information their residents can access.

China, for example, is well-known for its common ‘Great Firewall,’ which tends to block many websites, especially those in Western countries. More so, the U.S utilize geo blocking amongst some Internet Service Providers (ISP) and also on some websites. They do this mainly to help them:

  • Comply with federal or state laws
  • Distribute broadband
  • Regulate traffic

Such instances tend to happen based on how the U.S net neutrality laws are implemented.

So, how do you bypass geo blocking? For instance, you might be looking for ways to unblock Spotify. This is if some songs or artists are unreachable in your region. Also, you may encounter cases where the Spotify app is banned in your area.

Again, creators of PornHub may geo block their videos. But, most people may want to unblock it because they reside in countries that have prohibited it, such as Pakistan and Egypt. 

And, what if, on a restful day, you want to relax and watch your favorite game on Live Sports and find that your access is restricted? Indeed, some companies may secure absolute broadcast rights to big events. This means you’ll be experiencing restricted content or pesky paywalls.

Such moments can be too frustrating. Thankfully, there are simple ways to bypass geo blocking for good. Let’s find out below.

How to Bypass Geo Blocking

  1. Proxy

Using proxies is a great way to bypass geo blocking. The best japan proxy services state that you need a powerful proxy server to secure you from the vulnerability of possible snoops on the blocked sites you want to visit.

The proxy server will act significantly to help you bypass geo blocks. Hence, you manage to access restricted websites or watch hidden videos. 

The server acts as your gateway to the internet. Usually, the proxy adds one or more connection nodes between your device and the website. And, since the server is elsewhere, it contains a different IP address that enables the bypassing of geo blocks.

In short, a proxy server operates as an intermediary between you and any blocked website you try to reach. Each device connecting to the internet usually carries its IP address, which is with a proxy server. 

Thus, when you get to the internet through a proxy, it offers you a different IP address that you get into. Once here, you’re redirected to the website you want.

When using it, all the internet traffic gets through the proxy server before it reaches you. This adds a security layer and privacy to your browsing.  

  1. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

One common way to bypass geo blocking is through a VPN. Using it will often help route all your internet traffic through a remote location. This is an effective technology that is reliable and well-proven.

It’s a secure connection to either private or public networks. So, the VPN connects you via a remote server instead of connecting directly to the blocked network as you usually do to any other site. In this case, all your internet traffic gets funneled and encoded.

Connecting to the internet through a VPN gets you around geo blocking by hiding your IP address. It also keeps your data safe by encrypting your internet traffic. It often allows you to choose a server location that makes it easy to access certain geo restricted content.

There are some internet service providers (ISPs) and countries that prevent the use of VPNs using VPN blockers. But you can avoid this by switching between your server locations. That’s why the best VPNs will make use of multiple servers. This lets you access websites from anywhere. Thus, avoiding the less powerful and free VPN tools is essential.

  1. Smart DNS

Smart DNS is also a specifically-designed service meant to bypass geo blocking. The modern-day smart TVs, including Microsoft, offer a Smart DNS app or service that enables you to access the geo restricted content from whatever location you may be in.

Even though it may sound easy, setting up a Smart DNS server like a Netflix bypass can be pretty complicated. You may have to manually configure your settings and the DNS yourself. 

Though it’s designed to bypass geo blocking, Smart DNS may lack many features necessary to hide your IP address. Thus, such instances tend to leave you vulnerable to privacy intrusions.

  1. Tor

Tor is also identified as Onion Router. It is also appropriate for bypassing geo blocking. It often encrypts and sends data via many different servers. This ensures that the data is privately secured and almost impossible to trace. 

As every layer of Tor’s server is encrypted, your geographic location and subsequent online activities will be extensively secure. But, all these security layers imply a slowed-down internet connection. Hence, watching anything like Netflix using the Onion Router can be hectic. This is if the connection slows down.

Wrapping Up

It can be frustrating for anyone trying to access a particular website or seeking some services, only to realize they’re restricted from the same. Whenever you experience such, know that the content or service is likely barred in your geographical location.

But, since most geoblocking is based on your computer’s IP address, you can overcome it. You can easily bypass the geoblocks using the methods we’ve discussed above. 

Strategies like using proxy servers will help alter or hide your IP address. This happens in favor of an IP address indicated to belong to a different country. 

So, you get redirected to the website you want using an IP address for a country that authorizes access to that website or those services. Indeed, that’s the power behind modern technology!