“This content is not available in your country” is one heartbreaking disclaimer that many internet users have been hit with at one time or the other. And sometimes, the best content is the most inaccessible one.
In the instance where content is not accessible, usually because of geo-restrictions, what should a business do? Turn around to find alternative content? Or break the geographical barriers with sophisticated tools?
Today, we will consider the best solutions to use in unlocking geo-restricted content anywhere and anytime.
What is a geo-restricted content?
Geo-restricted content is content that is out of reach for some internet users. Sometimes, certain websites, servers, and service providers use unique internet technology to restrict IP (internet protocol) addresses from certain geographical areas.
This technology is widely called geo-blocking technology, and the content they are placed on become inaccessible to internet users from the restricted areas. Major service providers such as Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and Amazon are known for using this technology as a common practice.
There are several reasons why this type of internet blocking exists and why users from certain regions are often denied access to some servers.
Why do geo-restrictions exist?
Some of the reasons why geo-restrictions exist include the following:
- For copyright regulations
Usually, copyrights and licensing regulations are put in place to help protect brands, their services, and their profits, but, in many cases, such regulations are not successfully enforced in all regions and at the same time. ScoutDNS is a cybersecurity solution if you need any service related to cybersecurity.
In cases like these, many businesses employ various geo-restriction technologies to enforce the regulations in some locations. Users from the affected regions will not access the protected content and hence not infringe on the copyrights. This does not, however, stop the restricted users from browsing the rest of the internet.
- Government regulations
Sometimes, it is the government and not businesses that try to implement restrictions. Some governments use the technology to block illegal content, malicious traffic, and irrelevant services from either leaving or entering their countries’ cyberspace.
A situation like this would make it difficult for anyone outside these countries to access content from websites and servers within that country.
Why is accessing geo-restricted content important?
Accessing geo-restricted content can often be the last piece of the puzzle that could help grow an e-commerce business. Individuals and businesses alike may want to extract content from restricted servers for the following reasons:
- For brand and price monitoring
Businesses often need to see what people are saying about them all over the world. This is important to facilitate growth and expansion, and the only way to obtain such data is to dig into every corner of the internet, including restricted websites.
Also, brands can use the data from restricted servers to monitor the prices of products and services they offer in other parts of the world and see what prices their competitions are selling.
- For dynamic pricing
Dynamic pricing is a market strategy in which businesses use consumer data in real-time to effectively adjust their prices. This could mean selling at different prices at different times or selling at different prices to customers from different regions.
And usually, accessing restricted servers is one of the many ways brands can obtain the amount of data they need to support this strategy.
- Web scraping
Web scraping entails processes used to scrape and extract an enormous amount of data from multiple sources at once. This data is generally important for making informed businesses decisions and can be found in the coffers of some restricted websites.
Most popular ways to unlock geo-restricted content
There are many ways to bypass geo-restrictions and unblock geo-restricted content, with the most popular ones being the following:
- Using VPN
One of the most common solutions for bypassing geo-restrictions is by using a VPN, or a virtual private network is a tool that can help to redirect your internet connection while hiding your IP address.
It is also very easy to choose what location you would like to appear as if you are browsing from. By hiding your IP address and changing your location, VPNs can effectively help in accessing restricted servers and unlocking their content.
- Using smart DNS
While a smart DNS (domain name system) does not completely mask your IP address, it can very well disguise your server-assigned DNS address. This way will be unable to tell what location you are trying to access their content from. Moreover, a DNS is a fast tool but is less secure because it lacks encryption.
- Using Tor
By definition, The Onion Router (Tor) is a free, open-source tool that you can use to hide your IP address every time you want to visit a restricted server.
While Tor is not the most reliable or secure option, it is equally effective for unlocking some restricted content, especially for individuals.
- Using proxy
A proxy is a software that can act as an efficient intermediary and mediates connections between you and a target website. They do this by standing in between and masking your IP address to allow for anonymous connection. They also provide multiple proxy addresses, so you do not have to use yours. This way, the target website will not know your exact location. For instance, you can use a Taiwan proxy to access restricted content in Taiwan because the proxy can easily make you appear to be accessing the content from within Taiwan.
Accessing restricted content can be especially beneficial for e-commerce brands who want to have enough data to make the best business decisions. And while content restrictions are becoming a more common practice, there are solutions such as using proxies, VPNs, smart DNS, and Tor browser. Using proxies usually is considered as the best solution for businesses to access geo-restricted content. Using a Taiwan proxy or any other type of proxy safely unlocks restricted content.