For marketing, strategical and, mainly, geographical reasons, most entertaining, and streaming services, including globally favorite TV channels that people can watch online, are restricted to people residing in the same country than that of the service or multimedia center.
This is why services and channels like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB TV, Star Sports, CBC, are available for people residing in those nations. Just people from India, Maldives, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka can watch Star Sports, for example, unless you find a way to unblock content blocked by location.
Netflix is a little different in the sense that it is accessible from anywhere in the world, but each country has access to its catalog, and Netflix determines it by geographical region. American Netflix is available in the United States, UK Netflix is available in the United Kingdom, and so on.
But there are several ways to enjoy the best streaming content, read the latest news, download torrents, watch the most recent sporting events, enjoy movies, TV shows and series without your actual location interfering.
What is geo-blocking?
Geo-blocking means that a specific page, service or online channel is restricted to people living within the borders of the country hosting said service or website. American Netflix is available only to American citizens, CBC is only obtainable and viewable for Canadian residents. There are many more examples, but you get the point by now.
Geo-blocking can be annoying for real gamers, movie and series enthusiasts and sports fans. For example, if you are Irish and you are working and living in Spain, you will not have access to the top Irish online channels because you are not in Ireland. Your PC and connection are assigned an IP address by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and when the channel or service identifies it as a foreign request, a message will appear saying that the content cannot be broadcasted because of geographical limitations.
Fortunately for you, there is more than one way to access blocked pages, services, and stuff on the Internet, and here, we will show you which are they.
Five ways to access blocked stuff on the Internet
There are more than five ways to avoid geo-blocking and enjoying content from any corner of the world in the comfort of your home, no matter where you currently are. But here are the most effective ones:
A smart DNS proxy server is a tool that can help your device translate numeric IP address into numbers that are easier to understand by machines. The DNS proxy server will reroute the part of your connection that tells websites your location and that way; you will be able to avoid geo-blocking and access all kinds of content from abroad.
Keep in mind that a Smart DNS proxy server will not work in the presence of security protocols like Transparent Proxies or DNS Hijacking, but this is a very reliable alternative. You just have to get the services of a smart DNS proxy provider, change the DNS settings on your device or your router and connect to a Smart DNS proxy server.
A web proxy is a proxy for web (HTTP) transactions. Since it will allow you to use its Internet connection, they will help you bypass restriction set up by the ISP or the administrators of your network. To achieve this, you need to enter the URL of the site or service you want to browse in the address bar that the page provides, causing it to channel the request on your behalf.
Google cached pages and Google Translate
By clicking on the >> icon next to a Google Search result, you will have access to the cached version of the page. You can also use Google Translate as a way to unblock content on the web: you just have to type the URL name in another language that is not English, and you have to make sure the translated language is English.
TOR is a web service that “tunnels” your traffic to make it safer, much like VPNs. With it, you will be able to avoid geo-blocking on many sites in the world. TOR is easy to use and install, and after you configure it, it will connect to a network that offers anonymity in your online ventures.
A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is arguably the most effective way to unblock and access content from any part of the globe. This system “tunnels” all of your traffic and information through remote servers that will maintain your information and browsing history mysterious.
A VPN will hide your actual IP address, and as a result, no third parties will be able to track you: hackers, government, companies, and even your internet service provider will most likely fail in their attempts at gaining access to your traffic. And since a VPN will hide your IP and lend you a temporary one at your convenience, you will “pass” as a citizen of the country you select, thus enabling you to watch blocked stuff.
In conclusion, you need to know what geo-blocking is and, if you like, you can also learn some of the most effective ways to bypass it. If you live away from your country, it will not matter if you were born and raised there: if you are not physically there, you will not have access to some pages unless you unblock them.
Virtual Private Networks are arguably the most effective measures to unblock access to any site in the world, whether you are in Canada, Spain, India, Brazil, Germany, or the UK. But you need to have in mind that web proxies, changing your DNS server, Tor and Google cached pages (or Google Translate) also represent viable alternatives.
Don’t frustrate if you try to enter a site and it’s not available because of locations issues. With these steps and advice, you will not miss any action.