The internet is an enormous place. However, depending on your location, you can struggle to access apps taken for granted, including Facebook. The most common use of geo-blocking can be seen in the streaming industry. The media licenses for shows and films limit audiences to specific regions. For example, if you’re in the UK, you won’t be able to download HBO Max. When you’re traveling, geo-blocking can lead to significant disruptions. For example, if you rely on Facebook to communicate with your friends and keep in touch with work, you can find yourself locked out. Fortunately, there are things you can do to go get around geo-blocks and carry on with your life as usual. Below, we will outline four methods that you can use to access blocked websites.
What is Geo-Blocking?
Geo-blocking refers to location-specific blocking of services. Although the majority of European bodies outlaw the use of geo-blocking for unjust reasons, you can still be impacted while traveling. As mentioned earlier, the most obvious instance is in the streaming industry. However, some country governments censor information to achieve their political agenda. If you travel to China, North Korea, or Iran, you won’t be able to access social media sites including Facebook without using one of the below strategies.
Process of Geo-Blocking
When you connect to the internet, you are assigned an IP address. This is used by ISPs to see the device used, the access location, and the activity of a user. If you access a geo-blocked website, your IP address will inform site administrators where you are in no time at all. Using this information, they can impose geo-blocks. Luckily, whether you’re trying to contact your friends through Facebook, catch up on your favorite programs, or access Airbnb in Iran, there are ways to beat geo-blocking and get on with your life.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
The most widely used and acceptable way of bypassing geo-blocking is by using a VPN, which will let you access such sites. A VPN provider lets you connect to a secure network over the internet. They will have servers set up across the world that let you trick your ISP into thinking you are somewhere else. For example, if you’re in China and want to access Facebook, you will purchase a VPN and activate it on your device. Then, you will be able to access Facebook as usual. You can find out more information on how to set up a VPN, as well as the best Facebook VPN to use over at top10.com.
Using a VPN when you’re traveling is a great practice anyway, especially if you’re using a public network. The VPN will keep your identity hidden and away from potential criminals. However, you need to understand that because of the way a VPN works, you will face slower connectivity than usual.
A proxy server is another way to get around geo-blocks. However, they aren’t as secure as VPNs. A proxy server acts as a middle man between your device and the website you’re trying to access. In the same way that you use an IP address when you connect to the internet, so does the proxy server. Therefore, if you connect to a website using a proxy server, you will essentially have a different IP address.
If you look in the right place, you will find plenty of free proxy servers online. However, they won’t be the best option when it comes to security and encryption. The primary difference between a proxy and a VPN in terms of security is that a VPN will secure all traffic heading in and out of your device. Whereas, a proxy service will only protect the targeted site connection.
The Tor browser offers another way of bypassing geo-blocks. It works in the same way as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. The browser uses a network of volunteer exit nodes that bounce your connection across the world, making it hard to trace. Although the Tor browser allows you to access geo-blocked sites, it’s not the most secure. Due to its nature and association with the dark web, ISPs deem regular Tor usage as suspicious. They won’t be able to see what you’re doing, but they will know you’re using Tor. Your connection alone to Tor won’t be safeguarded, which can leave your information vulnerable to theft. Therefore, if you are going to use Tor, make sure you do it alongside a VPN and practice vigilance at all times.
Throughout most of the world, we make accessing the internet for granted. However, when we travel, we can come across blocks that we’re not used to, including blocked access to Facebook and restricted media access. Fortunately, by using a VPN, you can easily mask your connection and gain access to the services you know and love.