With modern technology comes different restrictions to maneuver. This is the rule for everything. Many companies feel the need to put restrictions on their services not to let in people who do not pay for the services out. But what if you pay for them, and the firms are just being mean as far as you are concerned. Well, then you have come to the right place. Services such as Netflix or Vudu cannot be viewed if you are not in a certain area. If you try, they give you a message explaining how your geographical location is the main cause of it all. This happens to millions around the world, but how can bypass geo-restrictions. Here are a few tips going forward:
Firstly you have to understand the beast you are about to tackle. What is geo restriction? This is a system perceived to be discriminative by some (I agree) which limit access to a particular service solely based on the geographical location. Geo-restriction or geo-blocking has been there since. In the days of DVD players, film distributors put geo blockers on the DVDs so that they could control how and when movies were distributed in different markets. That was understandable since everyone finally got what they wanted.
Many of the popular video streaming sites nowadays do the same thing. Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer to name but a fee. Even the markets Amazon and iTunes have geo restrictions. Many companies say licensing problems and legal issues are the main factors outlining geo restrictions but in some cases, it is downright an unwillingness to invest in places they deem low-end markets.
Ways to Bypass Geo-Restrictions
Is bypassing geo blockers legal? We don’t know it’s a contested issue. So while they keep on debating about how to deal with geo-blocking by passers, let’s continue exploiting that legal gray area because there is nothing they can do. Thankfully the world always keeps up and there are a handful of ways you can use to bypass geo-restrictions.
Virtual Private Networks
One of the best and most used methods there is. It is widely used to maneuver through most geo restrictions. VPNs are great at covering up your IP address making it look like you are surfing the web from any part of the world you want.
VPNs have an added advantage in that they can ensure security. They way through encryption of internet traffic and passes the information through a VPN you choose. The VPN service will, therefore, continue to change the IP address periodically so as not to make your location common to people. It is also good since most Internet Service Providers now practice DNS Hijacking.
Everything comes with its cons, though, and VPNs do have. The high encryption affects the browsing speed. This is one of the few negatives to an otherwise great service.
It is considered one of the other easy ways to sift through geo restrictions. Since most of the services that block their content can tell from the IP address, a simple mask on the IP address makes it impossible for them to find out where you are coming from.
SmartDNS are considered to be good because they remove the man in the middle in VPNs that reduce Internet surfing speed. It is fast, which is a huge pro, but it does not encrypt your information as a VPN would.
As usual, there are many SmartDNS proxy services for free on the Internet but as always quality costs. A simple search for the best SmartDNS proxies can bring out many lists and from there you can choose which one you want.
Hola Browser Plugin
After Netflix and Hulu’s crackdown on VPN users, a new method to bypass geo-restrictions had to be found. Thankfully, they found one. The Hola browser plugin. It can bypass any geo restriction and even works for location errors in places like Beijing.
It works Chrome and Firefox browsers for free and is also available on Windows, Mac, and Android devices as an app. Installing the plugin is easy as you just have to go to the website Hola.org, and that’s it.
Proxy servers work in a different way. Rather than mask your location, it works as the middle man for you. It gets the geo-restricted content for you. This means that users device now accesses the proxy server instead of the restricted site.
Many of the proxy servers which use common ports such as 80, 1080 and 8080 do not get people far, but the uncommon ports such 8000 and 6588 are the ones to use for services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. A simple search for proxy servers on the Internet brings with it a host of servers to choose from.
Which method you should choose
All the methods above have their added advantages on top of enabling you to bypass geo-restrictions and location errors. The method to choose should be solely based on personal preferences because the methods are equally as good.
VPNs are best because you won’t have to worry about being snooped on since they provide encryption, but it does impact the browser speed and if you are not patient might not be the best choice for you.
SmartDNS doesn’t affect the browser speed and is equally as good as a geo restriction bypass, but the issue of not putting encryption is a big one. Proxy servers and browser plugins are also good and easy to install and use, but there is also no encryption.