Geo-restrictions prevent you from accessing sites, based on your geographical location.
Your location is determined through geolocation techniques that are often based on your IP address which is then checked against the whitelisted and blacklisted locations in the geo-blocking scheme. The end result is the system approving or denying you access to a site’s content.
Geoblocking is mostly common in sites that require premium access e.g tv shows and film sites, often due to licensing and copyright issues. It is also used to block malicious web traffic.
The Legalities Of Geo-Restrictions
Geoblocking is a somewhat gray area and is considered acceptable in the USA, Canada, and Australia since they are necessary when it comes to complying with licensing agreements.
The EU however banned unjustified geo-blocking in 2018, except when it’s necessary for legal compliance.
Tools To Unblock Geo-Restrictions
Since the restrictions are majorly based on your IP address, the most effective way to bypass geo-blocking is by masking your location. Here are 4 tools you can use.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
This method is by far the most popular way to bypass geo-restrictions. A VPN will mask your IP address and replace it with that of the VPN server you connect to. The site you’re trying to access will then detect the VPN’s IP address, giving you access.
For example, if you connect to a VPN server in the UK but are in the US, all sites you access will assume you’re connecting with them from the UK.
Make sure you test-VPN and read for reviews such as this one; https://www.vpntesting.com/reviews/private-internet-access-pia-vpn/
Using The Onion Router (Tor)
Tor is a free tool that helps you conceal your location on the internet. It masks your IP address anytime you transfer data over the internet, by passing your online data through different nodes that are run by volunteers.
This is an effective way of ensuring your digital footprint remains hidden at all times. You should however know that Tors can be blocked by internet service providers when discovered and sometimes even governments.
A proxy acts as gateways between small networks and the web, and can sometimes mask IP addresses. They also save websites that you visit, making it easy for you to access them faster.
Proxies however offer minimal security and often slow down your browsing speeds due to bandwidth limitations. Proxies with http connections also give their owners access to your real IP address.
Using A Smart DNS
While a smart DNS doesn’t really hide your IP address, it masks the DNS address assigned by your ISP, replacing it with a geographical location that is approved. It eliminates all data connected to your actual location and reroutes it through different servers without slowing down your internet connection.
Unblock Websites & Access Restricted Content
Geoblocking can only be enforced if your IP address is visible on the web so the only way to bypass these restrictions is by masking your real location. The above tools will allow you to access restricted content while encrypting your data.