Geo-Blocking: How to Bypass and Unblock Restricted Content | 2023
- April 13, 2023
- 7 minutes Read
- VPN Service
Are you tired of being blocked from accessing certain websites or content? Geo-blocking is a frustrating reality for many internet users, but there are ways to bypass these restrictions and access the content you want.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of geo-blocking, why it happens, and, most importantly, how you can successfully unblock restricted content. So, whether you’re a traveler trying to keep up with your favorite shows or a gamer who wants to unlock games early, read on to learn how to bypass geo-blocking and reclaim your online freedom by unblocking geo-restricted content.
What is Geo-Blocking?
Geographic blocking is a term used to describe creating content for the internet and restricting access to it to users in some geographic regions. Two main reasons are licensing agreements and internet censorship.
For instance, the streaming service Netflix is not licensed in China. Thus, viewing any Netflix content is impossible if the user’s IP address is in China. In some countries, geo-blocking is necessary to protect minors from explicit content.Governments also use geo-blocking to censor or block websites they don’t want their citizens to visit. Other reasons include revoking access to unwanted content and preventing information from spreading. Geo-blocking can be bypassed by using a virtual private network (VPN), a proxy server, a tor network, or a SmartDNS service.
What are Some Examples of Geo-Blocked Sites?
Here are some examples of geo-blocked sites:
- Twitter (X)
Many countries like China have blocked access to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc., with strong firewalls to protect the privacy of their people. They have their social network and digital ecosystem, like Google. Another example is Airbnb and streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV, Disney/Hotstar, etc.
Airbnb is a valuable tool for travelers, but it’s blocked in countries like Singapore, Japan, New York, Thailand, Barcelona, etc. Also, many US states have restricted access to Airbnb. You might be seeking a method to unblock Spotify since the app might be prohibited in your country or because some artists and tracks aren’t available there.
People also ask why Airbnb is illegal in some places. Airbnb is illegal in some countries due to various reasons, including:
- Zoning laws: Some cities have strict laws prohibiting short-term rentals in residential areas.
- Tax collection: Some cities require hosts to collect taxes for each overnight stay and pay them to the city or other jurisdiction. Airbnb works with cities to collect such taxes, but some cities still outlaw or restrict Airbnb hosting to take away tax revenues typically paid to lodgers.
- Business regulations: Some cities require hosts to obtain a business license or a special permit before renting out their homes.
- Safety concerns: Some cities have safety concerns about Airbnb, including fire safety, building codes, and insurance requirements.
- Lack of accountability: There are concerns about a lack of oversight and accountability over Airbnb-related tax collection and adherence to zoning bylaws.
- Internet Censorship: Some governments use geo-blocking to censor unwanted content and withhold information.
Now, you might be asking yourself, How Do You Get Geo-blocked?
How Do You Get Geo-Blocked?
When your internet is connected to your device, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides an IP address that distinguishes a device on a network. Thus, your ISP knows your location, the devices you use, and your internet presence.
When you visit a website, your IP is provided to the server, letting it know where to send the requested content. Therefore, it is possible to determine the location or region you are operating from; hence, the censoring and limitations apply.This is also applicable to different apps. For example, calling apps are unavailable in the UAE, and major social media are blocked in Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
Is Bypassing Geo-Blocking Legal?
You might think bypassing geo-block might not be legal, but rest assured that it is very much legal, and you will be fine trying to bypass restrictions to access content.
Companies use geo-restrictions to coincide with their copyright and licensing rights. Therefore, bypassing geo-restriction will not result in breaching any legal restrictions, and hence it is not illegal.
How to Bypass Geo-Block?
A secure and reliable VPN is the best solution to bypass strong geo-restrictions and internet censorship. Let’s check out how VPN helps you to bypass geo-blocks.
1. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN): A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure and private network that allows you to access the internet through a remote server. By connecting to a VPN server in a different country, you can mask your IP address and appear to be accessing the internet from that location. This allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and access blocked sites.
How to Bypass Geo-block Without a VPN?
You can also bypass geo-blocking without using a Virtual Private Network.
1. Using a Proxy Server
A proxy server is an intermediary server that acts as a gateway between you and the internet. Usually, by connecting to a proxy server in a different country, you can mask your IP address and appear to be accessing the internet from that location.
This allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and access content that may be blocked in your region. However, remember that proxy servers are less secure than VPNs and may provide a different level of privacy and protection.
2. Changing Your DNS Server: Domain Name System (DNS) is a protocol that translates domain names into IP addresses. By default, your internet service provider (ISP) provides you with a DNS server configured to your location.
By changing your DNS servers, you can fool search engines to make it appear like you are in a different country. It allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and access blocked content. Be advised that DNS servers are less reliable than VPNs or proxy servers and may only work for some websites or services.
3. Using the Tor (Onion) Network: The Tor network is a free and open-source software that allows you to browse the internet anonymously. Routing your internet traffic through a network of secure servers masks your IP address and location, allowing you to bypass geo-restrictions.
However, the Tor network is often slower than other methods due to multi-hop, also called Double VPN. Also, it may provide a different level of privacy and security.
Note: Each method discussed has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to research and choose the one that best suits your needs. Overall, using a VPN is the best solution for bypassing geo-blocks safely and securely.
How to Use a VPN?
Using a VPN is as simple as it can get. Most VPNs are available for mobile phones, laptops, and TV. A small tutorial is listed below to help you through.
- Download a VPN of your choice from PlayStore or AppStore.
- Install the VPN app and sign in with your account details.
- If you don’t have a subscription, consider purchasing a premium one. We prefer Premium subscriptions over free ones as they give better security and speed.
- Open the application and choose a server of your choice.
To wrap up, geo-blocking can be frustrating for internet users restricted from accessing certain websites or content due to their location. You can successfully unblock restricted content and reclaim your online freedom by using a VPN proxy server, changing your DNS server, or using the Tor network.
Each method comes with advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to research and choose the one that best suits your needs. With these tools, you can enjoy the content you want, no matter where you are.