Looking khổng lồ get around geo-blocking & spoof your location? We explain how lớn bypass online censorship và access region-locked services lượt thích Netflix and đài truyền hình bbc iPlayer from anywhere using a VPN. 

These days, most major streaming services, as well as sports, gaming, and gambling sites, are region-locked. This means they can only be accessed by users in specific countries. Additionally, some countries (such as China) restrict access lớn a wide range of services, some of which are incredibly popular elsewhere. Luckily, there’s an easy way to lớn get around geo-blocking: connect khổng lồ a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

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VPNs work by routing your traffic through a server in another country. This hides your real IP address — which is often used to determine your location — and replaces it with a temporary, country-specific IP address. As a result, most geo-restricted platforms can’t tell the difference between a VPN user and someone who’s actually in the required location.

As an added benefit, VPNs encrypt your traffic so that your employer, government, and Internet Service Provider (ISP) can’t see what you get up to online. This is particularly helpful if you’re in a country with strict internet censorship.

How khổng lồ avoid geo-blocking with a VPN

With the right VPN, it’s easy khổng lồ access region-locked services abroad. Just follow the steps below.

Here’s how khổng lồ get around geo-blocking using a VPN:

Download và install the VPN app, taking care khổng lồ get the right version for your device.Connect khổng lồ one of your VPN’s servers in the appropriate country. For example, you’ll need khổng lồ use a British hệ thống to unblock đài truyền hình bbc iPlayer or a US one for Hulu.Log in to your chosen service & play a video. In most cases, it should start immediately, but if not, clear your browser’s cache & cookies, then refresh the page.

If you continue lớn experience issues, it’s worth contacting your VPN’s support team directly to lớn see if there’s a particular vps you should use.

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When might I encounter geo-blocking?

There are two main situations in which you might experience geo-blocking. One is when you try to lớn use a service lượt thích Netflix, bbc iPlayer, or ESPN abroad. Some streaming platforms have different nội dung libraries for different regions, while others are completely inaccessible from outside of their required countries. Sling TV, for instance, prevents you from even viewing its trang web abroad, saying “We’re sorry. Sling TV is only available in the US.”

This is because streaming services usually only have the rights lớn show their content in specific countries. Other types of sites geo-restrict their content, too. For example, betting websites typically only serve people located in specific countries.

Another situation in which you may encounter geo-blocking is when trying khổng lồ access content that’s restricted, banned, or against the law in your current location. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re up khổng lồ no good; some countries just have different values, leading them lớn block things lượt thích gambling, dating, và social media sites.

Depending on where you are in the world, you might find that you can’t even use services that could be considered essential, lượt thích WhatsApp, Skype, or FaceTime. All three of these & more are blocked in countries like đài loan trung quốc and the UAE, which can make it difficult to communicate with friends & family back home.

How can websites and services tell which country I’m in?

Most of the time, services rely entirely on the user’s real IP address to lớn tell where they are in the world. However, more advanced platforms often employ additional verification measures. They could cross-reference your IP address with GPS location data if you’re using a smartphone device, for instance, or kiểm tra your IP address against a danh mục of known VPN servers.

Sometimes, it isn’t even the website you’re trying to lớn access that blocks the connection, it’s the government. For instance, China’s Great Firewall has an expansive danh mục of blocked websites và monitors domestic traffic for specific keywords và recognizable VPN traffic patterns to lớn see if you’re trying to access a blocked website.

Can I bypass China’s Great Firewall with a VPN?

It’s especially difficult, although not impossible, khổng lồ bypass regional restrictions in China. You can’t just install a VPN and start browsing, though, as the government has tried exceptionally hard to block all access to lớn privacy-focused services, including VPN websites. As a result, there are only a few VPNs that reliably work in China.

If you’re planning a trip to china (or any country which restricts access khổng lồ VPNs), you’ll have to download and install the VPN ahead of time. We’d also recommend making a lưu ý of any mirror sites your VPN might operate, as well as instructions on how lớn manually configure the service. This information should be kept in a password-protected file & saved locally on your device, since countries with strict online censorship tend to lớn block access lớn cloud storage platforms.

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Not sure if a particular trang web is blocked in China? You can check before arriving by entering a URL into our Great Firewall tool. Remember: the Great Firewall is updated all the time, so even if a site is accessible right now, it might not be when you get to lớn China.

Can I beat geo-blocking with a không tính tiền VPN or proxy?

Free VPNs tend to struggle when it comes to lớn unblocking services. They often have smaller networks than their paid rivals so it’s easier for platforms lớn blacklist all of their IP addresses, and with fewer resources, it’s more difficult lớn find a workaround whenever new VPN-detection features are introduced. Miễn phí proxies have similar performance issues và to make matters worse, they only protect your browser traffic, meaning anything you vì in an app will still be visible.

These services usually have huge numbers of users, so you’ll almost certainly experience slow speeds. Even if a không tính phí VPN or proxy unblocks your chosen service, you’ll likely have to lớn contend with long buffering times and laggy playback.

Free VPN services have a poor record when it comes to privacy. A survey of more than 280 không tính tiền VPN apps discovered that almost 40% contained malware and over 80% leaked personal information over IPv6.

Worst of all, nearly one in five used no encryption whatsoever, meaning their users were no safer than when browsing the web normally. We’ve even seen major players in this space use shady business tactics, such as when Hola was caught selling its users’ bandwidth to lớn facilitate a botnet.

Why isn’t my VPN unblocking a particular service?

Some platforms have stricter geo-blocking than others. For instance, a local TV live stream likely won’t have advanced geo-restriction & VPN-detection features built-in. However, Netflix, an international network that’s worth billions of dollars, absolutely does. This is why some users encounter errors like “You seem lớn be using an unblocker or proxy” when accessing geo-blocked services with a VPN.

Even if you see an error, it’s possible that your VPN is actually capable of unblocking your chosen service. Sometimes you’ll find that not every hệ thống works, so trying a different server is often all it takes. If you’re having problems, you can ask your VPN’s tư vấn team for help directly. The best providers offer 24/7 live chat, so you can often be up & running in a matter of minutes.

What services can I access abroad with a VPN?

With the right VPN, you can access a huge variety of geo-blocked sites & services from anywhere in the world. Below, we’ve listed some of the types of content you can unblock:

Social truyền thông media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)Gambling và gaming sites (Bet365, SkyBet, Steam)Dating services (Tinder, Match, PlentyOfFish)News websites (NYTimes, Washington Post, The Guardian)Privacy websites (NordVPN, hostingvietnam.vn, OpenVPN)

Can I bypass VPN blocks lớn watch US shows?

If you’re an American who’s traveling abroad, you could well find yourself unable khổng lồ keep streaming your favorite US TV shows. Luckily, despite most streaming platforms cracking down on VPNs, there are still a few providers that excel at beating regional restrictions. Chú ý that while many VPNs prioritize the ability to lớn access US streaming services, they usually also work with platforms from the UK, Canada, Australia, và other countries, at least khổng lồ some extent.

What VPN allows me to watch Hotstar India?

There are actually quite a few VPNs that work with Hotstar India (also known as Disney+ Hotstar). These include NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN, but in our experience, most major providers with Indian servers have worked. If you’re having trouble using this service, we’d encourage you to contact your VPN’s support team and ask if there’s a specific hệ thống that can unblock Disney+ Hotstar.

Is it legal lớn bypass geo-blocking?

Most countries don’t specifically have laws against using a VPN lớn access geo-restricted content. After all, VPNs are legitimate privacy tools used by millions of people every day; criminalizing everyone who inadvertently tried to watch TV while connected would be madness.

It’s worth noting that using a VPN is against most streaming platforms’ terms of service. Still, even if a service detects that you’re connected (which isn’t guaranteed), there are no real consequences. You’ll usually just be asked khổng lồ disconnect, rather than banned.

Disclaimer: While we’ve researched this topic extensively, we are not legal experts & cannot trương mục for every country’s laws. As such, nothing we’ve said above should be considered legal advice.

Methodology: Choosing the right VPN to lớn get around geo-blocking

Unfortunately, you can’t just use the first VPN you stumble across if you’re looking to lớn securely access geo-blocked services. First off, there’s no guarantee that your provider will be fast or secure enough. Further, geo-blocked platforms have gotten very good at identifying VPN traffic, so most services just won’t work. Here are some of the main qualities a suitable VPN should have:

A seamless user experience: The best VPNs make it as easy lớn get connected as possible. Ideally, they’d offer multi-platform support, 24/7 live chat, and well-designed apps. Some even include task-specific servers while others have scrapped connection limits altogether.

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This isn’t everything we look for in our vị trí cao nhất VPNs; to lớn find out more, read our full VPN testing methodology post.