Access to streaming content is often restricted based on geo-location around the world. This can be a problem if you’re traveling, trying to access content from outside your country’s borders, or if your country imposes Internet censorship. Access to content is most commonly blocked using one method: geo-blocking.
Geo-blocking is when content is restricted, or blocked, based on your location. As outlined in a Tech Radar Article, “Geo-blocking is simply the act of restricting access to websites and downloading applications based on the user’s location.” Geo-blocking can impact your ability to stream content such as sporting events or access news sites and social media sites, such as Twitter. While geo-blocking is widespread, it is accelerating the balkanization of the Internet.
How do they do it?
Geo-blocking is put in place by a service provider, website owner or government. When you visit a site online, your computer makes a request to the server. Your IP address – which contains information about your location – is sent along with the request. The site is then able to identify your geographic location, and can block your access based upon that location.
Why do they do it?
There are variety of reasons geo-blocks are put into place. Some restrictive governments (for example, China), impart sweeping, restrictive Internet censorship within their country’s borders. This censorship can include blocking access to social media sites like YouTube, and consequently the video on those sites. It can also include restricting access to international news sites. Some geo-blocks occur on content local to a particular country or region – for example a country-specific sporting event where the coverage is tailored towards local viewers. In the world of online television and movie content, geo-blocks are usually enacted due to licensing and rights agreements made by providers, but some argue geo-blocking keeps prices artificially high.
How to Improve Access
Golden Frog believes in an Internet devoid of censorship and location-based restrictions. At Golden Frog we believe that no one owns the Internet and it should be free and open to everyone, regardless of their location. Using a VPN from a trusted provider like VyprVPN enables you to bypass restrictions so you can stream the content you want from any location in the world.
The practice of streaming content with a VPN is increasingly being discussed by many world and business leaders.
In a Straits Times article that read “Virtual private network (VPN) technology cannot be outlawed even if it is used for accessing unauthorised content from overseas,” Britain’s Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe agreed, responding, “You can’t outlaw a key technology.” Similarly, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull MP stated on his website, “The Copyright Act does not make it illegal to use a VPN to access overseas content.”
In the US, Nate Cardozo, a Staff Attorney at the EFF, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article saying, “We haven’t seen any prosecutions for watching Netflix.” And many others, including Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, have expressed disagreement with the geo-restrictions placed on streaming content: “The basic solution is for Netflix to get global and have its content be the same all around the world so there’s no incentive to [use a VPN],” he recently said.
VyprVPN allows you to generate an IP address that originates from any of our global VPN server locations, with over 50+ server locations worldwide to choose from. With VyprVPN, you can truly achieve freedom online for a reliable, global streaming experience.
Learn more about the benefits of using a VPN for streaming – including increasing streaming speeds and privacy.