If you have ever been ready to read an interesting article, or watch something on a streaming service but find yourself staring at a pop-up that reads; “the service/content isn’t available in your area” instead, then you have been subjected to Geo-Blocking.
What is it?
Geo-Blocking is a wide-spread, and people all over the world will likely experience it at some point in their web browsing time. Most people do not understand much about Geo-Blocking and may even wonder if it is legal, or if it is a good thing or not.
Basically, Geo-Blocking happens when your access to some websites is blocked due to their geographic location (hence the name, Geo-Blocking). Your computer’s IP address is used to determine your location.
Sometimes, you will be lucky enough to be redirected to your own country’s version of the website or content. However, there are some times when you actually want to be directed to the US version of Amazon or Netflix, or even Pandora Radio, but can’t due to Geo-Blocking.
Sometimes it is a legal issue, and you won’t be able to (or should not be able to) bypass it. Other times, it is because of licensing agreements or companies that have strict legal rights or copyright.
While all of this sounds legit enough, there are some aspects of Geo-Blocking that are not so honorable. Some more nefarious reasons are sometimes behind Geo-Blocking, such as discrimination with pricing (retailers displaying different pricing to different countries). You will often see this with airlines and other service providers and retailers.
So, sometimes there is a reason to bypass Geo-Blocking. Even if it’s just to see the price offered in a different country.
Let’s take a look at some ways to bypass it:
Since your IP address is used to determine your location, the most obvious way to bypass Geo-Blocking is to hide your IP address.
- Use a Proxy
What is a proxy? Well, it is an intermediary between the world wide web (the internet), and the smaller network that you may be using.
- Use a VPN
A VPN is a virtual private network, like the Kodi VPNs. This is by far one of the most used and effective methods to block an IP address in order to bypass Geo-Blocking. It works by ‘replacing’ your computer’s IP address with the IP address of the connected VPN server. When you connect to online content or any webpage, all they will be able to see is the VPN address.
- Use a Smart DNS
Well, technically a DNS doesn’t actually mask your IP address. But what it does do is hide your DNS address (which is assigned by your ISP address). This address is also able to convey data that reveals your location. The smart DNS is ‘smart’ because what it replaces your DNS with geolocation that will be accepted by the website you are trying to visit.
Which is the Best?
This will depend on where you are and your own preference, but the VPN is the most popular method.