We have come to believe that the Internet is a place where we can freely share, view or download content, no matter where we live. As a society, we want to believe that we have erased physical boundaries in the digital world and that this has created a level playing field for all.
But is it really true? Not really
We are always discriminated against based on our location. When you live in a particular country, especially a country like the United States, China, or the United Kingdom, you can watch a ton of content. However, when you live in France, you have to give up your viewing preferences and choose from a small library available.
Many Internet users believe that the web is a place where we can freely share, view or download content, no matter where we live. It is of course a formidable tool which has made it possible to erase physical borders in a globalized digital world.
The reality is unfortunately very different in 2020. There are many forms of discrimination depending on our geographical area of origin. When you live in a country like France, the US, or the UK, you normally have access to a ton of content on the web. However, when you move or travel to another country, you must relinquish your viewing privileges and choose from the library available in your new country of residence.
- Why do we have to face these kinds of blockages?
- How do these sites know where we are located?
- What can we do to overcome these restrictions?
Here you will find the answers to these questions:
This is because companies use a technique called “Geoblocking” to prevent people in one country from accessing content in another. Geo-blocking is a practice used by businesses to show you content based on your geographic location.
How does geo-blocking work?
Every computer on the Internet has a unique numeric identifier in the format xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx. This is called an Internet Protocol address, or IP address for short. Whenever you make a request for a site, that number is sent along with the request, so the server knows where to return the content.
These IP addresses are assigned to Internet service providers, who in turn pass them on to their customers. So this reflects the geographic location of a computer to some extent. Here’s how any site can identify your location.
How to bypass a Geoblock?
Users around the world use several methods to conceal their IP address. They cannot therefore be refused a particular content. Proxies are a popular way to bypass geoblocking because they act as an intermediary and forward your request to theirs. This way, the receiving servers only see the IP address of the proxy server and not your IP address.
While it works well, there are some drawbacks to proxy servers, especially when it comes to security.A better alternative is to use virtual private networks or VPN service. It is a private network that encrypts your requests and tunnels them through a private network. Your IP address is therefore not visible to anyone.