The internet is a great place as you can get whatever you are looking for, whenever you want in a blink of an eye. However, as the internet adoption increases, we come across a variety of problems, and geo-blocking is one of them.
Have you ever noticed that a YouTube video you might want to watch issues a message ‘this video is not available in your country?’ However, this is not just about YouTube. You can come across similar notifications on Netflix and other video streaming platforms and game servers.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to circumvent any geo-restrictions. Here are a few ways through which you can access geo-blocked websites:
Use browsing proxies
Using browsing proxies can help you unblock certain websites. However, keep in mind that this method is not secure. Thus, if you are using the Internet for sensitive tasks, remember that proxies are not a solution when it comes to security.
A proxy server acts as a moderator between the server site and the user’s device. When using proxy services there is no direct communication between the user and the server; in such a case the user connects to a proxy server, which then sends a request to a remote server of the website that the user is trying to reach. All of that means that instead of seeing your IP, the website that you are trying to reach, sees the proxy server’s IP. When using proxy services you can choose a server located in pretty much any part of the world, and that opens up the global internet for your use.
Use a VPN service
A VPN is a secure communication technology initially developed to establish secure communication within a business. However, over time it has found other uses. One of them is circumventing geo-restrictions. Much like the proxy server VPN services use remote servers to send out a request on your behalf. Additionally, it masks your IP and encrypts the whole data flow.
When using a VPN service, you can also change your virtual location. So if you wish to see that YouTube video that’s not available in on location, you can simply choose the region, it is available in. For example, if you’re on a holiday in China and you want to access content that is only available in South Africa, just connect to a VPN server that’s in South Africa and you’re all set!
Change DNS server
Before we understand how changing a DNS server can help you in accessing blocked websites, let’s have a look at how DNS server works.
A DNS server is a list of domain names such as Netflix.com, Youtub.com and contains almost every website present on the internet. Thus, when you enter a website URL in the browser, it sends a request to the DNS server and fetches the IP address of a requested site. When a specific website is blocked, your ISP removes that particular website from the DNS server.
To bypass those restrictions, you can play with the DNS settings and use third-party DNS services like OpenDNS and Google. Simply change your DNS settings by going to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center and. Save the settings and reboot your computer.
Use Google Translate
You might not expect Google Translate to be a tool that can help you bypass geo-restrictions, but it turns out that it can come in handy.
All you need to do is copy and paste the URL of the page you wish to open into Google Chrome. Click on any language that you wish to enter and then translate it into English. The same principle applies to the Big search engine. While the website that you are trying to access might not look great, you’ll be able to use it without a lot of trouble.
Use browser extension
Thankfully, there are various browser extensions which can serve your purpose. All you need to do is install the extension and activate it, and you might soon be able to access the restricted content. Such an extension resembles the full-fledged VPN software and doesn’t use as many resources. However, it might not be as secure as a VPN service.
It is important to mention here that the majority of these extensions are only compatible with Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
We can all agree that geo-restrictions are frustrating. However, you can easily bypass pretty much all of them with the help of methods listed above. Figure out what works best for you and unblock the sites on the go.
What are your views on this? How do you access geo-blocked content? Do let us know in the comments below.