In today’s age of the internet, a large proportion of the videos that people watch are on YouTube. Many choose to watch music videos on YouTube and have them play in the background instead of listening to music via another method. People watch YouTube videos to learn how to complete tasks like changing a tire, to learn interesting facts about a range of topics, and for entertainment. Despite YouTube being so popular, it is common to stumble across the message that a certain video is not available in your country.
- Why Videos Are Not Available in Your Country
- Why You Want to Watch a Blocked YouTube Video
- Understand How YouTube Recognizes Your Location
- Use a Proxy to Watch Blocked YouTube Videos
- Use a VPN
- Adjust the YouTube Link
- Download the Video Instead
- Use a Browser Extension
- Staying Safe While Watching Unavailable YouTube Videos
- Additional Benefits of Various Methods
- A Review of the Options
- Leave a reply
Why Videos Are Not Available in Your Country
There are many reasons that YouTube videos may be blocked in your country. In most cases, it comes down to copyright.
Copyright and Licensing
In many cases, videos are not viewable in your region simply because there is no copyright for it yet and the company wants to make money.
Take the example of a TV show that posts clips of their episodes online. Consider what would happen if they release their show in the United States a month before Asia. Making the clips available following the air date in the U.S. would not drop views there since the release already took place. But if the viewers in Asia could watch those videos, there would be no reason for them to watch them via the official method of the TV show. Why wait a month when you can watch it now? This will hurt the ratings for that release and cost the TV show profits in that market. You can change this example to include any regions or countries and any type of show or video.
The issue of copyrights and licensing also comes into play in other ways, including in videos that review other content. Some countries simply have stricter licensing regulations than others and will, therefore, ban videos for copyright infringement that most countries would allow.
There is also the fact that sometimes the creator of the content simply did not intend for the information to help your region in any way. If it is something very specific to a country that would be almost never useful for foreigners, such as specifics on filing taxes, then it does not necessarily make sense to make the video openly available. Of course, in this case, the opposite is also true and there would be no harm in making the video widely available. However, companies tend to default towards restricted access.
In other cases, there are specific censorship issues related to your country or region. Some countries place restrictions on the type of content that you can legally view, so YouTube will set up automatic location filters to block the content from being accessible in those countries.
Why You Want to Watch a Blocked YouTube Video
You do not need to explain yourself as to why you want to watch a YouTube video that is unavailable in your country. However, you should know you are not alone in this desire. Some people dislike that they cannot access their favorite TV shows, movies, or games in their country. Others hate having to wait months until content becomes available in their country when it has been available in another country for a while.
Some people want access to YouTube videos to gain insights into other cultures or to practice their language skills. Others want to learn a new skill from an expert or to learn about a niche topic that mainly has experts in a particular region of the world. Or maybe you just want some entertainment in the form of a music video, web series, TV clip, or movie preview that is not available in your country. No matter the reason why you want to watch an unavailable YouTube video, there are several solutions you can try. All of the following are options regardless of your reasons.
Understand How YouTube Recognizes Your Location
Before getting into the solutions to watching YouTube videos that are not available in your country, take a few seconds to understand how YouTube (and other websites) determine your location. Most websites will find your location based on your IP address since the setup of an IP includes information on your general location as well as some more specific details. Since YouTube uses your IP address to determine where you are, most methods of watching blocked YouTube videos involve hiding or changing your IP address so the video platform thinks you are in another country.
Use a Proxy to Watch Blocked YouTube Videos
One of the effective methods of watching blocked YouTube videos is to use a proxy server. Proxies hide your IP address so that YouTube does not realize that you have a restriction in your region.
There are hundreds of proxies and proxy servers available; some of them are free and others require payment. You can easily find lists online compiling the most trustworthy proxy servers or those that function the best. Some were even set up specifically to let you watch blocked YouTube videos. Therefore, you can count on the streaming quality of those servers.
Use a VPN
Another incredibly popular option is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to hide your actual IP address. This provides the same end result as a proxy server, making YouTube think you are in a country where the video is indeed available. One of the great things about VPNs is that many of them will actually let you choose the region you want your IP address to appear from.
As with proxies, there is no shortage of VPNs available, including both free and paid ones. Some experts feel that virtual private networks do a better job at blocking your IP and providing additional privacy than proxies, so this is something to consider. You should have no problem finding a VPN that works on all your devices. Many of the paid plans for VPNs also include access via several devices.
Just like you should do before choosing a proxy, read reviews before selecting a VPN to use to watch YouTube videos. You will want to confirm that the speed of your connection will still be reasonable so you can successfully stream your chosen YouTube video. You should also confirm that the VPN you select will not lead to any security risks, as the occasional hacker will claim to create a VPN that will steal your data, whether or not that works.
Adjust the YouTube Link
If you do not plan on watching a long list of videos on end on YouTube, you can try adjusting the URL for the given video. Look at the URL and you will notice a section that reads “watch?v=”. Change this entire section of the URL to “v/” and you might get instant results. In many cases, making that simple switch within the URL will be enough to unblock the video and let you enjoy it.
Since you have to physically cut out a part of the URL and type in new characters, this method is time-consuming when you want to watch more than a handful of videos. That is one of the reasons that proxies and VPNs are so popular.
You should also keep in mind that this method of watching blocked YouTube videos will only work in certain situations. Specifically, it has to be the uploader that restricted the video’s availability, not your country itself. That is commonly the case for blocked videos with copyrighted material. So, it is always worth trying this method before downloading a program or the video.
Download the Video Instead
In some cases, you will also find it possible to get around the regional block on a YouTube video by downloading it and then watching it from your computer. This is an extra step and will take up memory on your device. However, it can do wonders when it comes to unblocking videos. As a bonus, you can watch the video anytime, even if you do not have internet.
There are a few methods that let you download YouTube videos, including multiple websites that dedicate themselves to providing this service. Unfortunately, most of those websites have a lot of ads, sometimes even pop-ups. Because of this, you need to ensure the website you choose is secure. Even if you restrict your download options to those with 4k videos that are free, can download a full playlist, and do not contain malware or collect your personal data, you will still have dozens of options to download the videos.
Use a Browser Extension
Yet another option is to download a browser extension that lets you watch YouTube videos regardless of the region you live in. Most extensions provide YouTube access by functioning as either a proxy or a VPN. This means they also provide a layer of privacy for all your web-browsing.
There are several of these extensions available. Like programs to download videos, some are great while others will spread malware or collect your information. As such, you should always do your research before choosing the extension you wish to use. Look for reviews that indicate the extension not only works but also will not steal your information or spread malware.
As you think about the above methods of watching YouTube videos, you will notice a common theme of security. Most of the methods involve downloading something or using a third-party website to either download the video or hide/change your IP address. Most of the programs and websites that perform these functions are reputable and have no bad intentions. However, that is not true of all of them. Avoid visiting websites and downloading software that could put your device at risk from malware. Watching a YouTube video is not worth that risk, especially when there are other ways to watch the video safely.
Additional Benefits of Various Methods
Another thing you will notice is these methods provide even more benefits than just video access. VPNs and proxies both hide your IP address, which dramatically limits the information about you that websites can collect. While this will eliminate things like location-customization on websites or in online searches, it adds a significant amount of privacy and anonymity to your online browsing.
If you choose to go the route of downloading a YouTube video, there are some obvious benefits. While you will not get additional privacy from downloading the video, you can access the content whenever you want. You could then load the video onto your smartphone and watch it on the go, even if you are somewhere without internet or data, such as a subway or an airplane. Or you could just watch the video on the go in the future without worrying about using up your data.
A Review of the Options
To recap, there are several reasons that a YouTube video may not be available in your country. Yet you do not need to let blocked videos stop you from enjoying the content. You can start by trying to adjust the URL slightly. If that does not work, use a proxy or VPN. You could also try downloading the YouTube video instead or using a browser extension that performs one of the above functions automatically. There is no reason that you should not be able to watch YouTube content available in other countries, whether for education or entertainment.