Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu are on the rise, but so are geo-blocking restrictions. But, as a consumer, you can fight back. If you wonder how, you need to keep scrolling to find out.
What is Geo-blocking?
Geo-blocking or geo-restriction is the act of limiting or completely blocking access to Internet content according to the user’s physical location. This is a common tactic media streaming companies use to safeguard licensing deals.
How does Geo-blocking Work in Real Life?
Before delving further, learning how geo-blocking works in real life are essential.
Suppose you are a US citizen holidaying in Thailand and open the Netflix app to get your dose of entertainment. Unfortunately, some of your favorite TV shows are unavailable, and you cannot watch certain movies and TV series while in Thailand. This is how geo-blocking works in real life because even if you are a paying subscriber, Netflix and other streaming services will not let you watch content if you are not in your home country.
Also, some countries implement geo-blocking restrictions to prevent people from accessing certain websites like Facebook and YouTube. You will need VPN to bypass geo-blocking restrictions and access the media content and websites you want.
Why does Geo-blocking Exist in Streaming Services?
Streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and others license the content they offer users for streaming online. These licensing agreements dictate what the streaming services can show you based on your location.
Your location is shared when you log into Netflix or any other streaming service. The content library is customized according to your location, and some content is either blocked or restricted in keeping with the agreements drawn up.
The primary reason for geo-blocking restrictions in streaming services is money. Media producers can charge what they want for licensing according to the size of the available audience.
The big streaming companies know where different types of content are popular worldwide and are ready to pay for territories that will significantly benefit them from access.
In other words, these licensing agreements balance the demand and supply of content in each country.
How to Bypass Geo-blocking Restrictions?
Do you need to travel frequently to international countries? Or do you live in a country with Internet censorship? No matter the case, bypassing and unlocking these restrictions is possible.
The solution is VPN or virtual private network. Primarily, VPNs were developed to offer enhanced cybersecurity as they encrypt data between users and devices. They also mask IP addresses, and this helps in bypassing geo-blocking restrictions.
For example, if you want to watch your favorite Netflix shows during your travels, you can install a VPN app on your device, or you can download a browser extension like VPN addon Chrome. With this extension enabled, you can consume all your favorite content across multiple streaming services while keeping your browsing activities hidden.
Similarly, you can find VPN extensions for Safari, Firefox, and other web browsers.
Once VPN is enabled, you can choose your preferred country server and watch the content of that specific region. It’s that simple!
Top VPNs to Use for Bypassing Geo-restrictions and Streaming All Content
Although free VPNs are easily available, do not opt for them. They might try to scam you and sell your data to third parties. It is always best to use premium VPNs, and some of the top ones are mentioned below:
- VyprVPN – Good connection speeds, offers strong security, and works with US Netflix. The VPN has its data centers.
- Surfshark – It is a solid all-round performer and the best budget option. It allows users to access streaming platforms easily and has a kill switch feature that ensures users’ data is always safe, even if VPN suddenly stops working.
- NordVPN – Works with all major streaming services and has servers worldwide. You can enjoy excellent streaming.
- CyberGhost – Offers good streaming speeds and good value for money. The setup process is easy, and you can quickly use this service.
There are other VPNs for streaming in the marketplace that you can check out before deciding. However, before you go VPN hunting, you must know your budget and specific needs.
Things to Consider When Choosing a VPN for Streaming
- Speed – Streaming movies, TV shows, or games require a stable, fast connection for a buffer-free experience. Therefore, you must ensure the premium VPN service is reliable and fast.
- Server locations – If the VPN supports more locations, it is better for you. This will make sure that you have a more comprehensive range of content quickly accessible to you, regardless of your location. Moreover, VPN services with many server locations ensure no system slowdown during peak times, such as weekends or evenings. You can enjoy live streaming with no buffering and watch content from various countries across the globe.
- Streaming potential – The VPN you select must be able to access several streaming services so that you are spoilt for choice. You must choose a VPN service that seamlessly works with different streaming platforms and services, such as BBC, HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, etc.
- User-friendliness – Ease of use is another essential factor to consider when choosing VPN. It would be terrible if you paid for a VPN service that’s too complicated for you to set up and use. Therefore, look for a user-friendly VPN service with an intuitive user interface. It is a plus if they offer chat, email, or call support.
- Privacy and security – Most premium VPNs offer 256-bit AES encryption, protection against DNS leaks, and a kill switch. Some also follow a no-logging policy that further helps keep your online activities private.
The Bottom Line
VPN plays a crucial role in helping users bypass geo-blocking restrictions and enjoy a buffer-free streaming experience. No matter your location, VPN will help you watch your favorite shows or play games as if in your home country.
So, neither you have to wait to watch a trending show or movie released in another country nor you have to download it from unreliable sources. All you need is a reliable VPN service.