Geo-blocking has taken a prominent place in the media due to its impact on privacy rights and freedom of information. Put simply, geo-blocking is a restriction on some areas of the internet based on user’s geographic location.
Court cases have been presented across the globe regarding the practice of geo-blocking for various purposes. In some instances, geo-blocking is enforced to abide by regulations like gambling laws. In others, it is practiced by countries that prefer their citizens not to have access to certain types of media.
Regardless of the reasoning, geo-blocking is an oft-debated practice that many users seek to maneuver around. Those that travel often seek ways to avoid a geo-block as they need to access sites that are typically available to them at home.
There are multiple reasons for geo-blocking and just as many for someone seeking to avoid these restrictions. If you are an Android user and wish to bypass geo-blocking practices, it is possible to do so.
Why Does Geo-Blocking Occur?
There are three main reasons geo-blocking practices restrict specific content. The first is for the protection of content by copyright laws. Certain media-streaming services are available in the US only, while others restrict specific content in some countries. To access this content in other parts of the world, the user must get around the geo-block.
Price control is a reason many companies use geo-blocking, too. For instance, if an item is more expensive in one country when purchased in a store, then its producer wouldn’t want the customer to go online and get it at a lower price. Thus, companies use geo-blocking to prohibit consumers from ordering products from regions where the items may be less expensive.
Finally, regulatory concerns dictate many geo-blocking practices. Online gambling is frequently subjected to geo-blocks because it is illegal in many areas.
Bypassing the Geo-Blocks
It is possible to get around many types of geo-blocks with certain techniques. Android users can avoid geo-blocks by following the tips below.
Install a VPN on Your Android
It is a smart idea for users to install a VPN on their Android devices for security purposes. The VPN can also help avoid geo-blocks. The VPN sends data to a proxy server, which masks the actual user’s location. Thus, the geo-blocking is rendered ineffective as the location appears to be in a different geographic area.
Choose a High-Quality VPN
While using a VPN on your Android is as simple as downloading it and activating the service, not all VPNs are made the same. It is crucial that you take several factors into account when deciding on which VPN is best.
A VPN should have several key characteristics if you intend on using it to evade geo-blocks. Obviously, it should be secure. A VPN that has weak security features could leave your Android vulnerable to malicious attack.
A good VPN should have many servers to access in various parts of the world. This will provide you with access from a valid geographic area. The best VPN providers have a multitude of servers available to provide reliable and fast connections.
Free is Not Always Best
A free VPN service may not be the best. In addition to often slow speeds unsuitable for streaming content, privacy and security can be an issue, too. For many of these services to stay free, they will often sell pieces of information to third parties. While this information may be anonymized, it is still disconcerting to know your browsing data is being transferred to another company.
Dealing with Netflix
Netflix has a geo-blocking practice that limits content for users in one region but not another. This is primarily for copyright reasons but can be frustrating to those who wish to view content available to others. Netflix has identified many of the major VPN services and blocked their servers as well. If this is the case, you may want to seek out another method like Smart DNS.
Another way to avoid a geo-block is to use a Smart DNS service. Most geo-blocking uses the IP address as the identifier for the location. A Smart DNS service will send your data through a DNS server that masks your location by presenting a different IP address.
The VPN is the safest and most efficient way to avoid a geo-block impacting your Android. If you encounter a geo-block and wish to get around it, consider downloading a high-quality VPN as a solution.