The past decade has brought us incredible advancements in technology, film making, and video gaming. The internet became the primary source of entertainment in the 21st century. People replaced TVs with online streaming platforms. Netflix, Hulu, and other online services took the streaming industry by storm. They provide top-notch content at affordable costs.
There’s also a downside to this modern source of entertainment. Some countries don’t have full access to popular streaming services. But there’s no problem without a solution. Here’s how you can avoid content restrictions and access your favorite TV shows from anywhere in the world.
What is Geo-Blocking and Why it Exists?
Have you ever come across a message that says “this service is not available in your area”? Then you’ve most likely been geo-blocked.
Geo-blocking is the act of limiting or restricting access to online content based on the user’s geographical location.
For example, users in Europe might not have access to the same YouTube videos or Netflix shows as users in the United States.
The main question is, what is the purpose of geo-blocking?
The primary reason why content providers limit access to their services is to adhere to copyright regulations. Usually, streaming platforms, such as Hulu, don’t own all the content they provide. Therefore, they don’t have the right to decide which countries can or cannot access the shows. If the copyright owner doesn’t make the content available in a specific country, the streaming platform has to geo-block it for users in that area.
Of course, they can also get a license for that specific country. But it can add up to quite a lot of money. So if the provider doesn’t secure the license, they will have to geo-block the content in that area.
The point is, geo-blocking exists to prevent providers from breaching necessary licensing and copyright regulations.
How Geo-Blocking Works?
The way geo-blocking works is quite simple. Every device connected to the internet has a unique IP address assigned by the internet service provider. The IP address reveals the approximate location of the device. It doesn’t pinpoint in which exact house the device is in, but it does expose the city and the country.
Once the user tries to access a website, the server receives the IP address of their device. If the site has listed their location as restricted, the user cannot access the website. That’s when you receive the “content not available in your area” message.
Bypass Geo-Blocking with VPN
The best way to avoid geo-blocking is to hide your IP address by using a virtual private network. VPN services mask your IP address with the address of the VPN server. Thus, you can change your virtual location with a few simple clicks.
For example, if you live in Germany, and you want to access content available in the United States, all you have to do is connect to a US-based VPN server. That way, the server of the site you are trying to access recognizes your device as a US-based one.
You can do it for any country or region in the world. As long as your VPN provider has servers there, of course. Besides helping you access restricted content online, a VPN also adds a layer of encryption to your connection to ensure better security.
But keep in mind that poor virtual private network services can take a toll on your internet speed. You don’t want the internet speed to drop, especially if you’re planning to stream content or play games. A poor internet connection can decrease the quality of gaming or streaming experience.
To prevent any issues, use high-quality premium VPN services such as NordVPN. It’s a top VPN service with more than 5,000 servers around the world, and it provides the fastest connections too.
As frustrating as it can be, geo-blocking will remain a standard method for maintaining compliance with licensing and copyright regulations. But users can avoid content restrictions and censorship. They only need to change their virtual location with a VPN server. But make sure to choose a VPN service that won’t sacrifice your internet speed for the sake of bypassing geo-blocks and encrypting data.