You’re all set up and ready to stream a series you’ve been looking forward to watching for ages…but you find that you can’t access the content: you’ve been geoblocked.
We take a look below at what geoblocking is and the methods you can deploy to bypass it so that you can get watching geo-blocked content fast.
What is Geoblocking?
Geoblocking is where users from one region are restricted from accessing the content available in a different territory. Different countries have different levels of restrictions; the UK and the USA, for example, are fairly relaxed, whereas other countries, such as China, have relatively severe geoblocking restrictions in place which can make it difficult for those living there to access general content originating from other territories.
Sometimes governments impose geoblocking, usually for political purposes, but companies can do so, too: many streaming services, due to their contractual obligations, geoblock the residents of one country from being able to stream the content that they provide in another, for example.
Geoblocking is also known as geo-filtering or region-locking. Sometimes a user may not even be aware that they’ve been geoblocked as, instead of getting an error message, they are simply re-routed to a different site.
But before we get started with how to bypass this type of blocking, it’s important to first make sure that you’re set up with an internet service provider (ISP) that is most suitable for regular streaming and doesn’t come with the risk of slow download speeds or service interruptions. Have a look at this article to read more about some of the best internet service providers; here you’ll find all the information you need on download speeds, coverage, and the benefits offered by each supplier, as well as the prices you’ll pay for each package.
How To Watch Geo Blocked Content
There are a few different ways to get around geoblocking:
Use a VPN
Using a VPN (virtual private network) is the best, most reliable, and safest way to stream geo-blocked tv-series and movies. A VPN works by masking your actual IP address (which relates to the geographical location of your device and is therefore fundamental to blocking your access to content) so that the IP appears to be located in a different country to the one in which you live.
Installing a VPN is usually easy and relatively inexpensive, and offers the user a range of other benefits, too, including strengthening your internet security and allowing you to connect to public networks safely, without the risk of snoopers being able to access your data. Once your VPN is set up, it’ll cover all the apps on your device that access the internet, for extra convenience.
Try a Proxy Server
Using a proxy server is another option that could allow you to stream geo-blocked tv. Similar to a VPN, this method involves hiding your device’s real location by routing data through a server that’s located in another country. However, where it would be virtually impossible for anyone to find out your real location when using a VPN, those using a proxy server are easily detectable and, therefore, liable to finding themselves suddenly blocked from a site.
Another setback of using a proxy server is that these servers can become extremely busy and suffer frequent downtime, or slow download speeds, as a result.
Change Your DNS
Another way to potentially bypass geo blocking restrictions is to change your DNS (Domain Name System) address; you can do this using a smart DNS tool or a DNS changer. These tools change your DNS address settings so that it appears to originate from a different country.
While this method is both free and easy to utilize, it usually won’t get around any but the most basic of geoblocks. Added to this, it’s important to be aware that changing your DNS doesn’t encrypt your data, nor does it hide your IP address.
The Reaction of Streaming Services
Streaming services are increasingly reacting to the use of VPNs and other methods to get past the geoblocking restrictions they’ve put in place. Since 2016 Netflix has barred users from accessing content using a VPN connection – following pressure from studios and distributors – effectively shoring up their geoblocking barricade; the only way that viewers can now watch Netflix programs is by turning off their VPN entirely.
However, the situation has changed, and there is now a range of VPNs on the market that have been designed to get around this kind of intervention, meaning that users can increasingly access the tv shows and films available in other countries that they want to.
If you want to watch geo-blocked content, then your best option is to use a VPN. Not only is this the most effective tool to deploy, but a VPN offers lots of other benefits, too, such as enhanced security and high-level protection from hackers. When you’re choosing a VPN, be sure to pick the one that best suits your needs; when it comes to bypassing geo blocking, your best bet is to choose a network that has excellent server coverage and the highest level of safety features possible.
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