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Have you noticed the increasing number of websites that are becoming inaccessible? Once upon a time you could click on pretty much any YouTube video but nowadays. I was trying to watch a movie clip the other day and I got this message.
I see it more and more, sometimes with more information but very rarely. The reason is normally due to licensing issues or restrictions, the technology used to block you is called Geotargeting. The restrictions are based on your IP address – many web sites now look up your location from this. Sometimes it’s for good things perhaps to customise your experience of their site. However far more often it’s just used to restrict access to your computer.
For example try and watch something on Hulu when not in the USA and you’ll get blocked, watch the BBC Iplayer outside the UK and the same thing happens. More and more sites are doing this – literally thousands of different websites will only allow you to watch certain things on their sites depending on your location.
Sometimes the lookup gets things wrong, this is because the database which lists all the IP addresses and their locations doesn’t always get updated. I’ve often managed to watch UK shows from a French hotel because my IP address is incorrectly listed as British. However this is all a bit haphazard and you certainly can’t rely on this happening.
To ensure you can watch what you like you need to start using VPNs or proxies to obscure your location. These middle man servers present their own IP address to the web servers when you connect. Therefore if you select a proxy or VPN in the appropriate country you should be fine to access the sites.
The service I use has lots of servers in different countries in order to make this more accessible. For example the above site is watchable from Switzerland despite being blocked in the UK. Connect via a Swiss server and you can watch the above video with out a problem.
Here’s another example of a VPN/proxy server being used to bypass the blocks on the BBC site – on YouTube. There’s a great video half way down the page which shows exactly what you need do. Fortunately the procedure is quite simple and straight forward.