Don’t you hate it when you know that something is there but can’t seem to get a hold of it just because of your geographic location? Yeah, I know what you feel. Geo-blocking is limiting users’ access to online content based on their whereabouts. The reasons behind this are competitive, licensing, copyright, or price discrimination issues. Many websites and services resort to different ways of blocking content intended for specific regions, granting access to those with a particular IP address. However, I didn’t stop there. Whatever is unreachable is more tempting to get than anything else. That’s why I figured out a way to access such restricted online content, and I’m here to share it with you. Behold, this is how you can remove geo-blocks no matter where you are.
Geo-blocking is a way for services and websites to lock their content outside a specific region. But how do they do that? You see, the website or streaming service examines your IP address to determine your current location. If you don’t hold a valid one in the country where the service is available, you’ll be blocked almost instantly.
That’s not all. Licensing regulations come into play too. Any content provider that wants to offer access to their content should purchase the “rights” to do so in each country. Well, if you think of it, it’s quite some money. That’s excluding additional taxes that the provider may have to pay. That’s one reason for geo-blocking to exist in order to make sure that the licensing regulations are not breached.
A good example of this would be a streaming service. Let’s talk about HBO now, for instance. The channel only allows viewers residing in the United States to stream its content. If you live abroad, you will be denied access, on the spot. You’ll know whether you’re able to watch its videos or not when a geo-error message blocks your way.
I’ve listed a couple of channels below with their dedicated error that pops up once you approach them overseas. Here they are:
- ESPN (USA): “This content cannot be accessed outside of the US.”
- 7Plus (Australia): “Sorry, video is only available within Australia due to licensing restrictions.”
- ITV (UK): “We’ve detected that you’re outside the UK. The ITV Hub is only available in the UK.”
- TSN (Canada): “Content not available for viewing in your region.”
What I provided above is just a small sample of geo-restrictions. Almost all the online channels around the world use this method to protect its content. However, there’s a way to circumvent the geo-blocks at hand – enter Virtual Private Network.
How to Remove Geo-Blocks Using a VPN
VPNs are the most popular and secure method used to bypass geo-blocking. VPN providers can ‘trick’ websites into thinking that your IP is located in another region and thus giving you full access to restricted content. Ask me how. Well, a VPN reroutes your traffic through a selected server in a specific country. Once you connect, it will hide your original IP address and assigns you one in the country where the server is located. As a result, you’ll have full access to that region’s exclusive online content despite being physically absent.
Additionally, a VPN provides a high level of protection by making use of robust encryption protocols. This will not only allow you to get around geo-blocks, but it will also secure your internet connection while doing so. Furthermore, with a hidden IP address, you get to surf the internet anonymously. That will help you avoid monitoring acts performed by your ISP and government. With that said, here is what you need to do:
- To begin the process, you need a credible VPN provider. Try ExpressVPN out; they have a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Sign up for their service and download their application straight from their website. If you’re having a hard time doing so, get the client from your native App Store.
- Now, activate the VPN application and log in with your credentials.
- Connect to a server based on your needs.
- Make sure your connection is established by visiting this IP verifier.
- Bypass geo-blocks and access the content you want from all over the world.
Best VPN to Avoid Geo-blocks
To successfully bypass geo-blocks, subscribe to ExpressVPN. This provider offers great services and delivers consistent performances. It has one of the largest collections of servers on the VPN market. It means that all its customers can access geo-blocked content easily. We’re talking more than 2500 servers across 94 countries. Therefore, whatever service or website you wish to unblock, this VPN can do it with ease.
When it comes to privacy, ExpressVPN adopts a strict no-log policy. That ensures users that the company is storing none of their browsing activities. Moreover, there’s their DNS leak protection feature. Also, ExpressVPN has a kill switch; another form of leak protection, which terminates your connection the moment the VPN network takes a sudden drop. That helps in keeping what you’re doing on a VPN network private.
ExpressVPN is not the cheapest on the market. It’s slightly more expensive than others, but you’ll be getting what you pay for in the end. Plus, you get to benefit from their 30-day money-back guarantee if, for some reason, it didn’t live up to your expectations. If that was the case, make sure to pick one of these VPNs as an alternative:
List of Geo-Restricted Channels
Here are some of the channels that you can only access in certain regions:
- BBC iPlayer
- HBO GO
- Amazon Prime Video
- American Netflix
- Sky GO
- ABC GO
- BT Sport
- Sling TV
- DirecTV Now
Geo-blocking restricts our free access to information on the internet, which is why we have to look for alternative ways to help us bypass those blocks. It’s a good thing we have VPNs around. Otherwise, the internet would have been one restrictive place to visit. Now, tell me, how did your internet experience change after using a VPN? Give me a shout out in the comments below.