The myth that we’ve erased geographical boundaries between us by entering the digital world is slowly but surely getting debunked. The internet, in fact, is not a place where we can freely share and consume content. Our geographical location is becoming a determining factor more and more, despite the global nature of the internet.
This argument is shown best when we touch on an important subject of streaming Netflix videos. Even though the EU has introduced digital media portability regulations in April 2018, there are still many regions across the globe where geo-restriction is strictly allowed. North America, Australia, Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa are awaiting clear laws to be created around geo-restrictions.
Until the paid online content providers manage this issue, we’ll all have to find different ways on how to circumvent geo-blocking. That’s why, in this article, we’re going to talk about how to bypass Netflix geo-blocking in these regions.
Use a Proxy Server
One of the most popular ways to bypass Netflix geo-blocking is to use a proxy server. It acts as a link and a mediator between the device you’re using (a pc, smartphone, or any other mobile device) and another server. The client requests the service from this server and uses one of its IP addresses to outflank Netflix geo-restrictions.
So far so good, but there are some major drawbacks of using this method. First off, some of the proxy servers get too crowded at times, making it impossible for you to enjoy your favorite streaming content. What’s even worse, in some cases you won’t be able to even access the content behind the Netflix login wall. It’s still worth the try, though.
Mask Your IP Address With a VPN
Another method you should definitely consider to bypass Netflix geo-blocking is masking your IP address with a virtual private network (VPN). Some would argue that this is probably the easiest way to circumvent any geo-restrictions while staying completely anonymous online.
The way a virtual private network accomplishes this is by creating an encrypted connection and ’tunneling’ to hide your personal information. This makes your online activities almost completely untraceable. VPNs can work both on the browser and the system level. There are also multiple VPN providers on the market, which also means many different offerings at a different price.
That’s why you need to make sure to choose the option that’s most suitable for your particular situation. When it comes to streaming Netflix content, it’s probably best to pick a reliable option in terms of speed. No one likes to experience buffering issues when trying to enjoy their favorite show or a movie.
Smart DNS Service
When using a smart DNS service, you’re actually changing the real DNS address that’s been assigned to you by your ISP.
Unlike with proxy servers and VPNs, where your IP address is changed, the selected DNS entries which reveal your geographical location are being overridden. This means that the whole connection is re-routed through a dedicated proxy server to the place where the site is based. The end result is the same as using a VPN: you appear to be located in a country where the restricted Netflix content is available for you to access.
In case your succeeding question is about some other differences between using smart DNS service and a VPN, probably the next major dissimilarity would be the fact that smart DNS service lacks encryption.
Using the Tor Browsing
The method of Tor browsing consists of hiding your IP address, which allows you to not only browse the internet anonymously but to bypass Netflix geo-blocking as well.
The Tor Browsing method uses the concept of Onion Routing. This means that the data is first encrypted and then transmitted through multiple servers. These servers are called relays and provide multi-layered encryption of your personal data and information. Your identity remains completely hidden throughout the whole process since each encrypted layer is being decrypted at the following relay. The information that remains is then transmitted to any random layer and this process lasts until all the information gets to its ultimate stopping place.
As far as disadvantages and limitations of Tor and Onion Routing go, the biggest drawback would probably be the fact that there are only around 6000-7000 of relays on the Tor network. When you factor in that there are approximately 2 million Tor users, you get the idea why this method might not be the best for Netflix video streaming.
The internet is becoming more and more constrained, even though the majority of us still tend to believe that it’s contributing to continually erasing the borders between us. If that was entirely true, we wouldn’t have to come up with different ways to circumvent various restrictions and bans, which are now more prominent and present than ever.
Geo-blocking is one such restriction that needs to be much better regulated by law. Until that happens, we’re going to have to continue finding solutions to these issues.