These days, many streaming services are geographically locked, making them accessible only to users in certain countries. Why do geo-restricted content exist, and how can we manage these? Did you know that with proxies, you can access geo-restricted content and use the public gathered information to your advantage? Read this article to learn more.
What is geo-blocking?
Geo-restriction, commonly referred to as geo-blocks, is a method through which content providers restrict access to their content or services based on geographical location. Thus, it makes their websites and content only available to people from a specific country.
Here are some reasons why content providers use geo-restrictions:
- Price discrimination
Most service providers use geo-restrictions to enforce price discrimination. They display different prices based on the country the online user comes from. Price discrimination is common practice with airline and retail companies.
Geo-restrictions are common, especially with content providers like Netflix. Most of these providers do not have full rights to the content they broadcast. Therefore, the original copyright holder determines whether they can broadcast the content worldwide or not. If not, then geo-restrictions help them block out content from other geographical reasons.
In some countries, geo-restrictions serve as blackouts. For example, it ensures a certain sports event is not streamed where national networks own the distribution rights, the event is ongoing or is being locally broadcasted.
- Licensing rights
Content providers and copyright holders need to purchase licensing rights in the country they are looking to extend their content. Sometimes, the licensing expense tends to be high, and buying licensing rights worldwide is ridiculously impossible.
- Legal concerns
Sometimes, geo-restriction methods are enforced by the government due to legal concerns. For example, the UK government uses geo-blocking to make their TV broadcasts available only to citizens in the UK with minimal exceptions.
What is a proxy?
If you are wondering how to bypass geo-restrictions, then you should consider using a proxy. A proxy is a service that acts as an intermediary between the internet and your IP address. Most people rely on using proxies to bypass geo-blocking because they easily mask your network address. Also, they boast a “caching ability” that lets you access the cached sites faster.
How does a proxy work?
We earlier said a proxy works as an intermediary. It stands between your computer or device and the internet. Without a proxy, the traffic will flow directly from your device to the internet. Therefore, your IP address will be relayed directly to the internet, keeping you out of any geo-restricted sites in your location.
With a proxy, you can bypass the restriction. A proxy acts as a forwarding mail service. When typing the service you are looking to enjoy online, the information reaches the proxy, which changes your IP address. The proxy then forwards your search to the internet with an altered network address.
Therefore, the address that reaches the site will not be the same IP address as your real location. For example, suppose you are looking to access Taiwan content but cannot gain access due to geo-blocking. In that case, you can use a Taiwan proxy from your current location.
Why should you use a proxy?
Using a proxy helps add a layer of security to your PC. You can choose to set up your computer as a firewall, or web filter, which will help protect your computer from malware threats.
This additional layer of security is particularly helpful when used alongside email security products or secure web get-ways. A proxy gives you the chance to filter traffic based on its safety level or based on the traffic your computer can handle.
Why do businesses need to access geo-restricted content?
In the current competitive business environment, you need to stay ahead of competitors. The internet has made the world a global village, and your competitors are sometimes in other countries.
To beat the competition, you need to understand how your competitors operate. Therefore, you need to monitor them, but how do you do that if their content is restricted? Through a proxy. You can pass geo-blocks and monitor their activities using a proxy.
You can then use the information to come up with a better marketing plan. Also, you get to understand their weaknesses and get better insights on how to manage your customers. Also, with a proxy, you get to carry out other business-sensitive tasks anonymously.
The internet should be a global network that interlinks the entire world. Unfortunately, so many websites are blocked to users from a specific location. Therefore, it is mythical to think that we have erased physical boundaries in a digital world. With geo-blocking becoming a prevailing issue, a proxy can help bypass this set geographical barrier. We gave an example of a Taiwan proxy, but you should know that there are more proxies to access other countries’ content as well. Take your business by beating the competition using a proxy.