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You may or may not have heard the term “geo-blocking” before, but there’s a high probability you have experienced it at least once. For the uninitiated, it’s the practice of locking digital content to a specific region What Do You Think About Geo-Blocking & How Do You Circumvent It? [You Told Us] What Do You Think About Geo-Blocking & How Do You Circumvent It? [You Told Us] The Internet may connect the whole world in one glorious whole (assuming individual governments allow their people to be netizens) but that hasn't stopped media companies from trying to limit who can access their content... Read More , blocking anyone located elsewhere from accessing that content. And it sucks.

Thankfully, many of us have learned how to deal with these egregious geo-blocking tactics, employing our own counter measures against the websites and media companies employing them. And this week’s We Ask You is dedicated to sharing what we have all learned in the hopes of condemning this out-of-date practice to the dustbin of history.

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We want to know, How Do You Bypass Geo-Blocking Tactics?

Geo-blocking tactics are being employed by an increasing number of websites desperate to keep the world divided up into manageable chunks. This is something many media companies and content owners insist upon, and there is very little YouTube, Netflix, and the like can do about it.

Their reasoning is simple: it’s more profitable to do deals with individual territories than for the whole globe all at once. Which is why, for example, people in the United States can enjoy an envious range of content on Netflix How to Get Full Access to American Netflix Selections on Your UK Account - With Any Device! How to Get Full Access to American Netflix Selections on Your UK Account - With Any Device! A common complaint about UK Netflix (and it's competitor LoveFilm, though I still maintain the selection and interface of Netflix is far superior) is that the updates are so infrequent that the choice of movies... Read More but can’t watch the BBC iPlayer How To Watch TV On The Web With BBC iPlayer [Mainly UK Only] How To Watch TV On The Web With BBC iPlayer [Mainly UK Only] The Internet is becoming an increasingly important source for content of all media. There are legal and not-so-legal ways of listening to music, watching television and movies, playing games, and obtaining software. All via a... Read More .

The big problem here is that the Internet is global, and generally doesn’t respect the old idea of borders. People discover a new movie is being released in the States and they naturally want the chance to watch it as soon as possible. But they can’t because of geo-blocking.

There are plenty of different ways of bypassing geo-blocking tactics. These include free proxy servers Access Blocked Websites using Proxy Servers Access Blocked Websites using Proxy Servers Read More , premium VPNs The Best VPN Services The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More (Virtual Private Networks), and DNS services VPNs Are Old: Better Ways to Access Region-Blocked Video VPNs Are Old: Better Ways to Access Region-Blocked Video Internet users outside of the United States are blocked from accessing the wealth of streaming video and music content available to Americans. Even Americans are deprived of international services like BBC iPlayer. Faced with this,... Read More . Or, for the more adventurous, illicit file-sharing and streaming. Oftentimes, anything goes when someone wants to watch or listen to a piece of content that isn’t openly available to them.

We simply want to know what methods you use for bypassing geo-blocking tactics? Tell us which proxy server or VPN you use, or how and why you pirate stuff that isn’t actually accessible to you by more traditional, and legal, methods. Also, tell us what websites are guilty of employing geo-blocking tactics in your country, and your attitude to the whole thing.

We Need You!

All comments will be read and most will be replied to, before the responses are turned into a full article discussing the various ways of bypassing geo-blocking tactics. Those readers providing the best comments will be thanked by name, receiving our extreme and everlasting gratitude for their efforts.

We Ask You is a column dedicated to crowdsourcing the wisdom of MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Joe Lodge via Flickr

  1. culverton
    September 9, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Netflix is blocking a lot of vpns and proxies
    finally i found one that works with Netflix US and i have Hulu too, so its great
    its called Proxmate

  2. Culverton
    September 9, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Netflix is blocking every vpn and proxy now, I tried few of them
    finally I found one that works with Netflix US and I hace Hulu too:)
    its called proxmate, if this is helpful to u guys

  3. Lavone Minyard
    June 20, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Interesting analysis ! I was enlightened by the information , Does anyone know if my business might be able to grab a template a form document to edit ?

  4. NotInJapan
    March 26, 2016 at 5:44 am

    I study a foreign language; that in itself is generally pretty self-explanatory.

    It's pretty much impossible to get ahold of anything I want to watch even through ILLEGAL means, and I've only been pushed to try that once because AmazonJP refused to ship me the box set of the series. Don't want my money? Fine. Have it your way.

    I've always been more than willing to pay for media when I have the option to. I don't download stuff I didn't pay for unless I either cannot find a method through which I can pay the creators for their works, or if I'm being linked to a site where I can download the content for free by the creator (which happens on rare occasion, but often enough to make my day ^-^).

    It really doesn't help that I just want to be able to buy things without a forwarding service or some other third-party nonsense. Just let me give my money to the people who made this thing I want to buy! I don't want to fund businesses the profit off of other... businesses' marketing schemes... Wait a minute...

    AmazonJP, as of writing this, will only ship books, CDs, and now video games to overseas locations. While that is a plus in itself, there's still a lot of stuff I either want or need in relation to my studies. It's a real nuisance. Also, being that I've grown up mostly in the digital age (the exceptions being that time when everyone else knew what the internet was and what it did and I just kept playing games on a PC from the early 90s), I'm used to streaming content for free or a small premium. My household has both Amazon Prime and Netflix, and neither one has much in the way of Japanese media--outside of anime, which I've severely outgrown at this point. Even when one of them DOES have SOMETHING in Japanese, I can't turn off the subtitles. I CAN'T TURN THEM OFF. There was a movie I was trying to watch yesterday, and the subtitles LITERALLY said they were turned off, but yeah, nope. I still had English everywhere. I can't focus on two languages at once; it messes me up so bad. I can't get this movie overseas without subs. At all. Amazon only offers a dubbed version--for what reason, I don't know--and Netflix shat out that little jewel for me last night.

    Yeah, region-blocking needs to stop, and capitalism can just go die, please. A lot of these businesses are suffering consumer complaint, but I guess profit still wins over quality. Oh well. Maybe someday they'll figure out I want to actually spend my hard-earned cash on their products. Bunch of morons.

  5. Frank Caffrey
    January 18, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Well things ain't that tricky as they look
    No netflix not blocking any vpn and they cant
    as per these valid points:
    1) Netflix has previously also threatened to curb VPN practice but hasn't done so.
    2) If Netflix goes ahead with this, it will see an unprecedented rise in un subscription from customers, worldwide, as people only use Netflix because they can use their same account to access different libraries, especially when they travel abroad.
    3) If Netflix goes ahead with this, people will simply turn to downloading torrents while protecting their real IP address by using a solid VPN service like http://www.purevpn.com (Which works best for torrenting - p2p)

    So yes use any vpn works best for unblocking be it any site
    Purevpn preferably

  6. Clint Dunn
    November 4, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Geoblocking is INFURIATING. I spent hrs on the net trying different to BUY music from various online HiRes Audio sites and 99% of them say the content isn't available in Canada. Seriously...I am one of the few people actually trying to pay good money to buy music and I can't find a site that will sell me HiRes audio because I live in Canada.

    Guess what, Torrent sites are cheap and easy....so much for trying to be honest and actually pay the artists for their music.

  7. Oblivious 90s Dude
    April 2, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    You can get around the geo-blocking wall? Cool beans and awesome sauce!

    • Hooffer
      April 5, 2015 at 1:47 am

      https://www.unblock-us.com/ Works great for me. Set it up on our Wireless router and every device in the house can get to the content they want.

  8. likefunbuntot
    April 2, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I have one machine on a 24x7 VPN that I can relocate to end points all over North America or Europe at will. I can always set up an SSH tunnel into that box and route arbitrary traffic through it if I want.

  9. charmingguy
    April 2, 2015 at 11:10 am

    I use https://zenmate.com/ to my great satisfaction.

  10. Ezra
    April 2, 2015 at 4:09 am

    I use two ways to access Geo-blocked sites:

    1/ Chrome extension called "Hola Better Internet"; and

    2/ http://www.warpproxy.com/ - Go to this website and enter the URL you want to access in the field.

    I hope these will work for you.

    • Lisa Lozano
      September 4, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Ezra, I cant access warpproxy.com or hola .i use firefox.

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