What Do You Think About Geo-Blocking & How Do You Circumvent It? [We Ask You]

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Geo-blocking is the method used by various websites to prevent people outside of a particular territory gaining access to their services. Most of the sites employing the method are those providing content that is subject to regional licensing. Online television and movie streaming in particular.

There are ways to beat geo-blocking, some more permanent that others. James has recently written about premium VPN services, one of which is available for free via MakeUseOf Rewards, and Tunlr, which sees you changing the DNS IPs on devices in order to gain access to previously blocked services.

This Week’s Question…

What Do You Think About Geo-Blocking & How Do You Circumvent It?

This week’s ‘We Ask You‘ is all about geo-blocking. You’ll probably have experienced geo-blocking at least once in your travels around the InterWebs. Anyone outside of the U.S. who has tried to watch a show on Hulu, or outside of the UK who has tried to watch a show on BBC iPlayer, are just two examples.

We want to hear your views on geo-blocking. Do you think it’s a good or a bad thing? Should the global nature of the Internet lead to an end of regional licensing? Do you still respect media companies’ efforts to control consumption of their content in this way? Do geo-blocking restrictions simply lead to people obtaining content by less legal methods?

We also want to hear your experiences of circumventing geo-blocking measures, if you have ever done such a thing. What methods have you used? Have you found one to work above all others? Have you been frustrated by the game of cat and mouse played between media companies and those trying to find the chink in their armor? Is a premium VPN worth paying for, and if so how much are you willing to pay for one?

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Drawing Conclusions…

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what ‘You Told Us’. One reader will be chosen for the coveted ‘Comment Of The Week’, having their name put up in lights for all to marvel over. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

‘We Ask You‘ is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to start a conversation. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: ToastyKen

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Comments (39)
  • Wally Ewen

    About Geoblocking,
    I first thought the major news networks, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, etc., were being blocked by Homeland Security.
    NOT SO. – U.S. citizens, living abroad, like myself, that want to hear the news
    from their country, in their language, on-line, are being geoblocked by the networks themselves for 2 reasons. 1. they depend on their advertisers to stay solvent, and they ask foreign servers to pay for their programing.
    NPR and PRI do not depend on advertising, and do not geoblock. That has certainly made a “contributer” out of me.

  • Paul Guy

    I think its great that more and more people are making use of the various VPN services on offer to get around the ridiculous practices that Media sites use.

    I TOTALLY understand Content producers wanting to protect their work from piracy as this gets money into the hands of organized criminals, but I don’t believe genuine people should be restricted from viewing or buying, based on where in the world they live!

    People are fighting back against the big Media companies who think that keeping their advertisers & shareholders happy and making enormous profits, should be how ANYONE else in similar circumstances should do business and audiences should just put up with, and agree with it!

    Not everyone agrees and eventually they’ll have give in to over-whelming public pressure to give up their pathetic and archaic business practices eventually! People are tired of having fingers poked into their chests and being virtually told what they CAN and CAN’T watch or buy!

    For now though, may the fightback continue!

  • venkatp16

    Internet itself is a open place for complete world to use,watch,browse….. i think Geo-blocking is a non-sense thing. Now most of the countries have started this kind of method to restrict access to file sharing sites, torrents etc… for which many people are using third party VPNs, proxy services etc…

  • illegal3alien

    From a legal perspective I can see why it’s done, but all it really does is encourage users to (illegally) circumvent it.

    • Dave Parrack

      That’s true. Those who know how to bypass it will do, those who don’t will pirate the content instead. The media companies don’t win either way.

  • Ravi Meena

    In my opinion
    Geo-blocking = less or selected audience = less chances of the products being successful = less profits
    and when the product is successful, there will be more chances of the product getting pirated in the places it is blocked.

    for example internet is full of pirated TV shows which are free to watch on the websites of the producers of those TV shows. by being open to everyone they can earn more money with ads.

    • Dave Parrack

      I wholeheartedly agree. Piracy could be virtually wiped out if the system for getting content was made easier and global.

    • Laga Mahesa

      Yup. I’d stop pirating if I could actually buy anything. I already did with software a long time ago.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.