Popular streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max (now known as Max), Amazon Prime, and Hulu are often geo-restricted. It’s a bummer when you’re eagerly looking forward to binge-watching your favorite movie or TV show and discovering that you can’t even access them since you’re watching from a different country.
So you’re ready to have a relaxing weekend, and you tune into the streaming service to begin watching their content, and you’re shown the message “that this isn’t available in your country/region.” We can understand how frustrating this may be, but the good news is that there’s a way to go around it. Following a few simple steps, you can easily bypass geolocation restrictions and gain access to a wide range of content from your country offered by these streaming services. Are you ready to find out? Let’s get started, then!
Geoblocking is a technology that blocks access to certain content based on a user’s geographical location. The primary purpose of geoblocking is often to comply with licensing agreements and other regional regulations. This is how geoblocking typically works:
- Geoblocking uses IP address geolocation to determine the approximate location of a device. This is achieved by mapping IP addresses to specific locations.
- Companies and services known for geoblocking have a database of IP addresses and their associated geographical locations.
- When a user tries to access the service or content, the system checks the user’s IP address against that database. If the user’s IP address is under an allowed region, they will be granted access. Otherwise, the access is restricted.
- Geo-blocking can also be implemented through DNS (Domain Name System) filtering. DNS requests from specific regions can be denied or redirected.
Streaming services geo-restrict their content for several reasons, with legal, economic, and logistical considerations being the most vital driving factors. Let’s go over the main reasons why geolocation restrictions happen:
Streaming services often enter into licensing agreements containing different terms with different regions. Geo-blocking enforces these agreements by restricting access to content based on the user’s location. This is common in the entertainment industry.
Different countries have specific laws and regulations regarding the distribution and availability of certain types of content. Geo-blocking is used to comply with these regional restrictions and avoid legal issues.
Streaming services implement different pricing strategies for other regions, considering factors such as local purchasing power and market conditions. Geo-blocking helps streaming services maintain all these pricing strategies.
Some streaming platforms implement geo-blocking to comply with the censorship laws of that country or content restrictions in certain countries, ensuring that the content is suitable as per the demands of the local regulations.
You can easily access geo-restricted content and quickly gain uninterrupted access to the streaming platforms in several ways. Here are some of the most effective methods:
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts your internet traffic and masks your IP address, making it impossible for streaming services and other third parties to determine your approximate location and other personal information. By connecting to a VPN, you can connect to a server location of your choice and quickly gain access to the wide range of content the streaming services offer. The VPN will assign you an IP address of a different location to enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows without detecting that you’re watching them from your country. If you’re also looking to take your privacy and security to the next level, VPNs are the perfect privacy tool that offers the most effective Anonymous Browsing Solutions. There are other benefits of using a VPN:
- VPNs enable you to bypass heavy censorship. A VPN allows you to access censored content and protects your personal data and online activities from prying eyes.
- Your digital footprint is kept private, meaning no one traces your browsing history and online activities back to you.
- You can also save money using a VPN. Some locations charge less for the same products and services, which would be charged more in another country. A VPN enables you to take advantage of this price discrimination as you can connect to a server location that charges less as compared to other locations.
The Proxy server acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet. By routing your internet traffic through a proxy server located in a different region, you can conceal your IP address, and just like VPNs, proxy servers make it appear as if you’re accessing the streaming platform from another location.
Smart DNS (Domain Name System) enables users to bypass regional restrictions and access geo-restricted content. It’s an alternative to VPNs and proxy servers. DNS servers selectively reroute only the DNS queries related to the geolocation. When you’re using Smart DNS, they change your device’s DNS servers from local to DNS servers based in a different region.
The Tor browser routes your internet traffic through a network of volunteer-run servers to hide your IP address, making it difficult to trace any of your online activities. It makes it effective when you’re looking to bypass geolocation restrictions and gain access to different streaming services. The Tor network uses a technique called “onion routing,” where the data gets encrypted in layers like the layers of an onion. Each server in the network peels off a layer of encryption, which makes it difficult to trace the source of the data.
It is perfectly legal to do if you’re looking to access streaming services. Using a VPN to access geo-restricted content shouldn’t be an issue unless it is considered illegal to use a VPN in your country. However, some streaming services think it violates their terms of service when you’re trying to gain access to their content by bypassing geo-blocks. They could terminate your account if they find that you’re violating their rules, but they probably won’t since you’re subscribed to their streaming platform and paying for the service.
In reality, streaming services only use this as an excuse to try to block methods to bypass geolocation restrictions. They know what you’re doing isn’t illegal, but they’d still want you to stop doing it anyway since it goes against their best interests. However, this is considered a crime if you’re using geo-blocking to access illegal content. Remember that if you’re doing illegal activities online, even a VPN or other methods of gaining access to geo-blocked content can’t save you.
Not being able to access your favorite movies and TV shows due to geo-blocking and restrictions can be a frustrating experience and add to the user’s annoyance. However, there are ways that you can avoid this and gain access to your favorite streaming platforms, even if their content is restricted in your country. You can use a VPN, proxy server, the Tor Browser, and Smart DNS to bypass geolocation restrictions and binge-watch your desired content without worrying about regional restrictions. This guide outlines all the effective strategies to avoid geo-block so start implementing them now.