Unblocking Websites

How to Bypass Geo-Restrictions and Location Limits

How to Bypass Geo-Restrictions
Written by Michael Katz

Geo-restriction is a simple and effective method to limit the availability of content to certain geographical areas. It is not a new method at all, with movie makers using geo-restrictions to encode DVDs preventing them being played in other countries for a long time now.

DVD Players in other countries are unable to play DVDs that are meant to be available only in select areas of the world. This enables filmmakers to allow for movies to release on different dates with different rates all over the world. Other services like Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer also use geo-restriction to prevent users from countries other than USA and UK respectively to view the content they provide.

How to Bypass Geo-Restrictions

Geo-restriction basically works by locking on a user’s IP address and tracking his or her location. Everyone encounters an error message like “this content is not available in your country or region” from time to time. Websites like Netflix or even YouTube use this method to ensure that certain content is available only in select areas of the world.

The modus operandi, as stated above, is finding the user’s location by his or her IP address. So, in order to bypass geo-restrictions, all you need to do is hide your IP address and thereby your geographical location from all such tracking techniques. This will enable you to unblock geo-restricted websites and watch the content you want.

Now, although this might seem a bit too complicated to work out, it is rather simple. You do not need to do anything, for there are dedicated software that do this job for you. Below are some of the methods to unblock any website on the internet:

Use a VPN to Bypass Geo-Restrictions

Virtual Private Networks connect you to your destination web address through a different path as compared to what your ISP what take you through. It encrypts all incoming and outgoing traffic and hides your true geographical location. You can hide your IP address as you can connect to a website using a server from your VPN provider.

If you choose a good VPN with good global coverage, like HideMyAss Pro VPN, you can choose servers from countries where the content you want is available. All it takes is installing the software and selecting the server of your choice and you are good to go!

Using SmartDNS

SmartDNS services work in the same way as VPN services do to hide your IP from trackers. SmartDNS, however, does not encrypt all the traffic on your system. Although it is a good way to hide your IP address and offers better speeds as compared to VPNs, it is not the best option to surf safely on the internet as it does not encrypt all traffic.

Use a Proxy Server

Proxy servers are primarily used to unblock any website. They simply connect you to the website using a proxy server. All you need to do is enter the URL of the website you want to go to, and the proxy website will take you to it. Note that sometimes proxy websites could be blocked as well, and although it is a free service, it is full of irritating advertisements. So it is not the best option but could work out just fine.

Conclusion

We have tried answering the question of how to bypass geo-restrictions in this article. Although three methods have been listed, we would recommend using a VPN as it offers our security as well as privacy. You need to subscribe to a VPN, but the payment is worth the service you receive. Good VPNs like HideMyAss give great discounts and cash back guarantees, which vouch for their efficient service.

Feature Image By Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons 

About the author

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a technology and security writer who grew up around technology. From a very early age, he has been in love with computers and follows many of the companies that produce them, hoping to learn more about what makes them tick. When not writing about technology and internet security, he can be found on the pitch with his friends playing a friendly game of football.

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