A lot of times people who commute to different destinations in the world, find to their surprise that the content that they have paid for or the content that was easy to access in their home country is blocked in the destination they are visiting. The seamless process of just opening your device and watching your favorite shows at any time during the day gets messy when a ridiculous “The requested video cannot be displayed in your region” message is displayed. People who have an account with video services like Hulu, Netflix, iTunes or people who want to check out the free videos on YouTube and other video sharing websites, both face the same problem when traveling to another country where the content has been blocked.
So, what is Geo-Blocking or Geo-Gating?
It is essentially a mechanism followed by Internet based content service providers to block some / all the content for a particular region/country in the world. Basically it means that even though the service provider has the content available on the internet, people from a particular region can’t access it, even if they pay for it. The content service providers deny you your right to access content just because you are in a particular region or country. Imagine how it feels to pay for something and not get it, its’ the same with online services. Things like Netflix will have major differences between regions and new movies in the US may take a long time before being released in other countries. Geo-blocking is also about internet censorship, where limited internet access is dictated by government.
There are only two possible reasons for why content is blocked in particular region – The laws & Licensing of Commercial content
In some regions the law of the country govern what can and what can’t be accessed on the internet from that country. For example, the Chinese government has banned a lot of websites which they find are against their policy, Pakistan has banned YouTube.
The second reason, Licensing Commercial content, is actually the most significant reason for content getting blocked in some regions. It makes more sense for producers to sell the their content rights to conventional broadcasters like TV Channels than to Digital content providers, for being exhibited in a particular region. As an example, the rights for hugely popular TV series ‘Mad Men’ fetches much more when sold to a broadcaster in a country like Australia than to Digital media service providers like NetFlix which makes money by offering subscription and has a relatively small customer base in Australia compared to the reach of TV Channels.
One may wonder if it’s ethical on the part of these service providers to block the service for a customer who has paid for it. Well, if one looks from the point of view of a customer it’s highly unethical and can be deemed as cheating. When a customer pays for an internet based service, he or she wants the service to be provided at any place from where internet can be accessed. How does it matter where you are located and from where you are trying to access the content if you have paid for it, the service provider has a duty to provide you with the content you have paid for but they don’t due to obvious reasons, they don’t plan to either. It would be hard to implement and control and users would start trying to cheat the system all over the world, well they kind of already do.
How to unblock access to restricted services and sites from anywhere in the world?
Well, since the geotracking is done by IP and DNS information, you can simply mask your online location by using a VPN service, change DNS or using a Proxy. All of these will work well on different applications, but we highly suggest using VPN above all. It not only gives you unrestricted access to all the websites and online services no matter your location, but it will give you total anonymity and safety while browsing online. Various top VPN providers offer superb protection against ID theft, strong firewalls to keep your data hidden, while giving you some really cool features to play with. If you have never tried a VPN service before, we suggest you head out and read our top 5 reviews to make the best choice and start browsing anonymously and, most importantly, freely.