Today, it’s safe to say that traditional TV is quickly becoming obsolete as streaming services are becoming all the rage. In fact, leading platform Netflix is poised to grow eightfold by 2020 which is simply unbelievable but also indicative of the popularity of online TV.
Streaming Services and Limitations
There is no denying that streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, etc. are quite popular across the world and used by millions. However, many of these impose restrictions on the content they share. The most common one is geo-restriction in which select TV shows, movies, etc. that are otherwise available for the users are blocked in some countries.
Let’s say that you are a Netflix user based in the US. You will be able to access the entire content library depending on your subscription plan across the country without any issues. However, if you are traveling, then a portion or the entire content library might be inaccessible and you will need to learn how to watch American Netflix outside The States if you want to enjoy your favorite content.
The following are some of the most common reasons why some streaming services block access to their content in some countries:
Content providers have to purchase licensing rights for publishing their content in different countries which can be quite expensive. So, streaming services may decide to avoid purchasing the rights in select locations where taxes are too high and the customer bases small.
The costs of subscription plans may vary from one country to another on the basis of their economies and the average cost of living. For instance, the prices can be a lot cheaper in the Third World compared to developed countries like the US and the UK. Since a person from the former can purchase the services at lower prices and use the same in the latter, the service provides disallow the practice by imposing geo-restrictions.
How Can You Remove the Limitations?
There are various ways you can remove geo-restrictions from your streaming services. These are:
A proxy server uses its own IP address rather than yours. So, when connections requests are sent from your end, then the server transfers them on your behalf. This way, the provider isn’t able to identify your system and you can successfully access the blocked content.
Even though using proxy servers is simple, they aren’t recommended for two main reasons. First, they often imposed bandwidth limitations which means that you can’t stream your favorite TV shows and movies in high quality. Second, it’s unlikely that you will find any kind of technical support for them which can ruin your experience if you run into service-related problems.
Your DNS address can be used by the streaming services to identify your geo-location. If they see that their content is blocked in your region, then they may impose a geo-restriction. This problem can be resolved by using a Smart DNS that can replace your actual DNS address with another that directs the service provider to another country where the content isn’t blocked.
Some of the most advanced Smart DNS services come with a massive list of pre-unblocked websites which you can access instantly. However, there is one drawback- as the streaming service providers have become wary of DNS tools, it’s become difficult to find one that still works.
VPN which stands for Virtual Private Network is by far the best solution to unblocking geo-restricted content. There are many reasons behind this including the usage trends which indicate that a large number of people use the service to access blocked social networks and better entertainment content.
Virtual Private Network is exactly what it sounds like- a private network that’s created between your computer and the website that you are accessing. This is an encrypted network that’s protected from all kinds of hacking attempts and other online threats which means that your private information is protected at all times. Also, the network is established by using a server that’s located in a different country. This allows you to access geo-restricted content easily. For instance, if you want to access Netflix outside of the US, then you can use a VPN server located in the US. In the same way, if you want to access BBC radio, then you can use a VPN server located in the UK.
All the top VPN services allow you to pick the servers before establishing connections on the fly. Some may even allow you to remove bandwidth limitations, thereby allowing you to browse the Internet on faster connections.
Let Nothing Stop You
Geo-restrictions on streaming content is a real problem. From your Netflix subscription to your Google searches, location matters! However, you shouldn’t let these restrictions affect your entertainment experience. Use the information above to unlock the services and stream whatever TV shows, movies, and documentaries you want at any location.