Have you ever tried to watch a video on YouTube (or others) and been denied access because "this content is not available in your country?" Why does that happen and what can you do about it?
Today, content creators and owners can easily target or restrict content based on your physical location. There are many reasons why content owners might choose to restrict content geographically.
There are three main reasons why geo restrictions might be in place: laws, marketing, and cyber security threats.
You might know that most of the content that is created in the United States is owned by only a few big content owners including Comcast/NBC Universal, Viacom/CBS Corp., News Corp., and Time Warner. These companies are responsible for the legal distribution of copyrighted content that includes your favorite music, movies, and tv shows.
Unfortunately, not only is copyright law in the United States very complicated, it becomes even more complicated when applied internationally. The media conglomerates listed above need to make sure that the content they own is legally allowed to be played in various countries. If they don't have the legal right to play content in the country you're in, then your access to it will be restricted.
Businesses want to be able to target their products to consumers that are likely to buy it. In other words, providing exactly the same product to everyone in the world is not a good idea because not only do tastes and trends differ so do yearly incomes.
Today, it is easy to target a particular demographic not only by country but often even by postal code. In fact, you've probably been served geographically targeted Google results without realizing it.
Notice that at least some Google searches are location specific as it automatically determines your location and shows you content that is targettied to you.
Although, targetting search results or advertisements is not a restriction per se, it does mean that you might not get to see the full picture. Who's to say that a search engine wont show you a certain search result if you're searching from somewhere with a high/low median income?
Many websites face random brute force cyber attack attempts at all hours. Some system administrators believe that by blocking a particular country from accessing their website they can reduce attack attempts.
This might be a good idea if a website's visitors are normally geographically homogenous (i.e. they live in the same general area.) The problem with blocking whole countries is that it is fairly easy for cyber attackers to bounce their attacks through unblocked countries. A better approach is to block specific attackers based on their behavior instead of on a per-country basis, but that's a topic for another article.
How do I defeat Geographical Restrictions?
Although, many methods exist to defeat geo restrictions. The easiest and fastest, zero configuration method to do so is to use web proxies. Unfortunately, web proxies are also sometimes restricted geographically.
Visit slowfruit.net's web proxy privacy list to help you choose a web proxy provider that is available in your country and defeat geographical restrictions, today!