The internet reaches all corners of the globe but all the content on it is not accessible to everyone equally. Businesses, websites and other platforms resort to geographic restrictions, geo-restrictions for short, to limit the content that they offer for various reasons. This can cause inconveniences on a variety of levels to people from different professions and fields. A VPN can provide one of the most effective solutions to geo-restrictions but how? This is something we’ll look at today.
What are geographic restrictions?
Geographic restrictions refer to internet limitations that are placed on websites and other content with respect to regions. For instance, a website can be restricted so that it is only accessible in one country like the United States, China or any other nation for that matter. There are many countries and platforms that resort to geographic restrictions. In China, most major social media platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp and Youtube etc. are banned. Similarly, there are many more cases like this.
The reasons for geo-restrictions
There are several reasons why organizations, businesses and brands resort to geographic restrictions. These reasons include lack of licensing for the respective content, requests by government and administrative authorities in that country to block websites or even movies and TV shows, e.g. this practice is quite common in the Middle East. For streaming content, lack of demand is given as another reason for limiting access to various entertainment channels.
Platforms that are affected
Geographic restrictions apply to a variety of platforms. The most common is streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. The titles that are available on the US library for instance, may not be there on the UK platforms of Netflix. Other streaming services like HBO Go and Sky+ are only available in the UK and Disney+ is accessible in a few selected countries. Business websites in general, certain applications and other digital platforms all come under the radar.
How a VPN helps access geo-restricted content securely?
A VPN for Windows can help unblock geographic restrictions using sophisticated features that provide both internet freedom and safeguards against threats to online privacy. The usage of VPNs has been growing extensively especially over the last few years because of the increasing restrictions and threats from cybercriminals around the world. So, how does a VPN help unblock restricted content securely? Here are the elements that help it to that:
Geo-restrictions are implemented using IP address tracking. These addresses by default are public and websites are able to tell where a request is coming from thanks to them. In order to beat region specific limitations on websites and content, it is imperative to hide or mask IP addresses. This is exactly what a VPN does. It reroutes the normal internet traffic so that it first goes to a secure server which may be located in different places across the world enabling content to be accessed freely.
The main way in which geo-restrictions are bypassed is through the use of secure servers spread across the globe but the security of data in ensured through encryption protocols. This feature also makes data traffic anonymous so that websites that are receiving requests are unable to process which region it is coming from. At the same time, any malicious elements like hackers or cybercriminals, even businesses that want to monitor user activities are unable to do so thanks to encryption provided by VPNs.
DNS or Domain Name Systems assign servers, computers and other devices with a respective domain names. This service is usually provided by the local internet service provider but this is not the most reliable ones. VPN services provide secure DNS servers which enable internet users to bypass geographic restrictions by allowing them to have various domain names to their IP addresses so that other platforms are kept indifferent about their real identities.
VPN services provide a comprehensive package that creates a whole framework that creates a pathway for unrestricted internet access.
VPN features that complete the package
A VPN does more than just provide a tool to bypass geographic restrictions. Also, it’s not just about accessing the internet freely but also in a secure manner. Cybercrime has become extremely rampant these days as individuals and organizations, both large and small alike continue to fall prey to these harmful activities losing billions of dollars every year. This is why it is imperative that a VPN provide cybersecurity that is just as good as the geo-restrictions bypassing that it offers.
Here are some features that a good VPN should have in order to complement its ability to provide unlimited internet freedom:
Support for a wide range of devices
People these days are addicted to the convenience that modern devices offer. It is estimated that an average user carries at least two internet enabled gadgets with them at all times. They may have to access the internet on either and it is necessary that VPN protection be available on all possible devices. The hallmark of a great VPN is that it provides dedicated applications for all major platforms including iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, Blackberry and numerous others.
A VPN is only as good as the packages that it provides. Most VPNs that are becoming available these days are free but that puts a question on their reliability. The top VPNs all offer paid packages but the prices are affordable for the amount of features and services that they offer. It is important that the fares being offered by the service are not over the top because that can be a deal breaker for users no matter how committed they are to avoiding geographic restrictions.
The most frequent complaint with VPNs is that they hinder the speed of a normal internet connection and this is a general problem especially when streaming content online. There is nothing worse that buffering in the middle of your favorite Disney+ show that you can’t watch without a Disney Plus VPN in the country where you are located. This is why speed is an essential feature in the equation of picking a good VPN for ensuring unlimited internet freedom.