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, 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 And this week’s We Ask You is dedicated to sharing what we have all learned in the hopes of condemning this out-of-date practice to the dustbin of history.
Not Available In Your Country…
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 but can’t watch the BBC iPlayer.
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.
one of the things i hate the most on the internet is geo-blocking: just because i’m not in the US, i can’t watch stuff i like
— Fabs (@ffffabio) March 5, 2015
There are plenty of different ways of bypassing geo-blocking tactics. These include free proxy servers, premium VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), and DNS services. 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.
*click* Oh look at that, I'm Canadian again. Anyway, geoblocking = boo. I don't get it and will never get it. Make it stop and harumph.
— Steve Dangle Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) March 30, 2015
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