Geo-restricted content is a well-known concept for streaming services and other online content platforms users. Geographical restrictions refer to blocking users from accessing content based on their location. In simpler terms, you don’t have the ability to view sites that are blocked in your region due to geo-restrictions.
For example, Disney Plus, Hulu, and other services are only available in specific geographical areas. However, a VPN can permit you to access them. In addition, this is not the only way to bypass geo-restricted content. We can discuss this later. Firstly, let’s investigate the reasons for these geo-restrictions.
Geo-restricted Content: Reasons for its Existence
Following are some reasons why certain content is geo-restricted.
- Content Against Government Policies
It is your responsibility to determine whether your government authorizes the content you wish to access or not. For example, the Chinese government has banned Facebook for many reasons, so you cannot access it from within China. Due to these legal restrictions, access to the content becomes difficult, and thus, multiple sites are blocked in a given region.
- Copyrights Contract
It is common for Netflix to bring you content from different content creators, which is one of the other reasons it is geo-restricted. Netflix usually has different libraries depending on the region of the world. This is due to the fact that the content creators allow Netflix to distribute their work only to specific regions. As a result, users are not able to view the content in other regions.
- Content Licensing
Among the challenges facing content distributors is the issue of licensing rights. Before making the content available in a particular region, creators must acquire licensing rights. This is another factor contributing to geo-restricted content.
5 Methods to Bypass Geo-Restrictions
There is no doubt that technology has overcome almost every hurdle that can be thrown in the way of users, and the same is true for geo-restricted content. From our research, we have found that these 5 methods are effective in bypassing geo-restrictions.
1. By Using VPN (Virtual Private Network)
According to the above discussion, VPNs are the best method for circumventing geo-restrictions. This is because VPN services mask your IP address and connect you to a server located in the location of your choice. For example, if you want to access DStv In Australia, you can connect to a South African server through a VPN. However, one important point to keep in mind is that it is always advisable to purchase a premium VPN rather than use a free VPN, as premium VPNs offer more servers and prevent your IP address and DNS from being leaked.
2. By Using Proxy Servers
Proxy servers serve as the intermediary between your computer and the site you are accessing. A proxy server has a specific IP address, and they use that to redirect users to geo-restricted content. On the other hand, they can sometimes be detected by major streaming platforms due to their limited IP addresses or server addresses.
3. By Utilizing The Tor Browser
Essentially, a tor browser is the same as any other browser you may use, except that it is particularly useful for accessing geographically restricted websites in your area. While it has the ability to unblock onion sites, it is not generally safe. The data you provide to this browser may be exposed to third parties.
4. By Using Smart DNS
Basically, the Domain Name System (DNS) creates readable domain names, such as Facebook. Suppose you had to enter a series of numbers every time you wanted to access Facebook rather than your short, eight-letter name. Thanks to DNS, this is no longer necessary.
By using a Smart DNS provider, your DNS server will be switched from your local server to the server-based in another country, which will allow you to access the desired website. However, many websites may block the DNS. You may want to use Smart DNS or change your DNS when this happens.
5. By Using Dynamic IP
By using this method, you will be able to access websites that specifically block your IP address. However, it will only function if your ISP provides you with a dynamic IP address, which may change from time to time.
This isn’t rocket science: if you are having difficulty accessing a particular website, try rebooting your router and see if the page can be loaded.
Sadly, if you have a static IP address, restarting your router will not solve your problem. However, you can find out what type of IP address you have (dynamic or static) by writing down the address and comparing it with the new address you receive after the router is restarted.
The five methods outlined above could be useful for accessing geo-restricted content from anywhere; however, the most effective method would be to use a VPN. Although it may cost a small amount of money, it is a fast, safe, and effective method of gaining access to geographically restricted content.