The Internet has changed the way we access information and entertainment. And with faster Internet speeds now, people are going online in a big way for entertainment, shopping, and information.
However, there are times when you try to access a website only to find that it is blocked in your country or region. When this happens, the content you are accessing is probably geo-blocked.
If you are interested in understanding more about geo-blocking and how to solve it, then you are on the right page. Continue reading below for more valuable information.
What is geo-blocked content?
Geo-blocked content is content that is not available to certain regions or geographical locations.
Why some companies provide different content in different locations
There are many reasons for geo-blocking content. Sometimes the content is copyright protected and is blocked from certain geographical regions. In other cases, governments do not allow content from certain websites in their countries. There are also times when a product or service may be cheaper in a particular region but more expensive elsewhere, and companies want you to purchase the product or service in your region rather than from the region where it is cheaper.
Top 5 ways to overcome geo-blocked content
What are the best ways to overcome geo-blocked content? We present five ways to try and overcome geo-blocks.
- Use a Proxy Server
A proxy server acts as a link between your computer and the rest of the Internet. The proxy server receives your request for information. It checks to see if this information is already there in its cache. If it is, the proxy passes the information back to you.
If the information you requested is not in the proxy cache, it passes your request on to the Internet. But it sends the request out using its IP address and not yours.
So, if I use a Brazil proxy server to access a Brazilian website, the proxy tricks the website into believing that the information request has come from a local computer. This is one way of getting past geo-blocking restrictions.
While most websites have applied anti-bot measures, it is important to choose a proxy pool that offers a large number of IP addresses. For example, Oxylabs Brazil proxy pool provides 4,162,711 IPs making you forget about CAPTCHAs and IP blocks.
- Use a VPN
Another option to overcome geo-blocks is to use a virtual private network (VPN) service. A VPN service not only hides your IP address and uses its own IP address, but it also encrypts your data, so no one will know what data you are accessing.
VPN services come in many flavors. There are free VPN services, which we advise against. These ‘free’ services collect information about you and sell it to other websites. Please be aware.
We advise you to use a paid VPN service if you are serious about data mining and web scraping or even overcoming geo-blocked sites.
The biggest downside to using a VPN service is that you will get slower data speeds because of the encryption-decryption process.
- Use a Smart DNS
Another way to overcome geo-blocking is to use a smart domain name system (DNS) service.
The DNS is like the Internet’s phonebook, while a web browser accesses the Internet using an internet protocol (IP) address. DNS just converts domain names to the appropriate IP address.
A smart DNS service tricks a website into thinking that an information request has come for the same country or region that it is in.
- Access the Website Using its IP address
Yet another way to access geo-blocked content is to try and use the IP address of the website. This method may not work every time. But it is worth a try.
Use an online service like WhatIsMyIPAddress.com to enter the domain name and find the geo-blocked website’s IP address. Then try using the IP address to access the website.
- Use TOR
Another method that may not work because some governments have already banned or blocked it is to use The Onion Router (TOR).
TOR is an online network that gives you anonymity and enables you to browse. It also hides your IP address and encrypts your data.
More people are using the Internet to access entertainment and information. Now Internet speeds are faster and better. But there are some websites that block access based on the person’s geographical location requesting the information. This is geo-blocking.
Even though the content may have geo-blocking restrictions, you can still access the information. You could use a VPN or, even better, a proxy server.
Are these methods legal? This is a gray area. Some people argue that everyone has the right to access it since the information is on the web. But the jury is still out on the legality of circumventing geo-blocks. One must keep in mind that before engaging in any activity that relates to data acquisition, it is better to get professional legal advice first.