Trying to access a website and only encountering the “This content is not available in your country” pop-up message can be downright frustrating. Whether you’re doing some business research or want to stream a movie, it can pull the brakes on your plans.
Due to various geo-restrictions, you can’t access every website from every location. Luckily, there are ways to unblock restricted websites, with proxies being the best option.
Before we get into proxies and other ways to bypass geo-restrictions, let’s see what geo-blocking is and why certain countries and companies use it.
Geo-blocking is the process of limiting or restricting online content based on geographical locations.
The primary reason for restricting access to websites has to do with licensing and copyright laws. The most obvious examples are video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. They use geo-blocking to comply with various television and movie studios’ strict copyright laws.
If you live in the US and want to access Netflix Russia, for instance, you’d have to use a Russian proxy or another tool to unblock restricted Russian content.
Government censorship is another reason why you can’t access websites in certain countries. Some of the most censored countries are China, North Korea, and Iran. They limit access to content that clashes with their religious or political views. For instance, some restrict access to various global news sites and social media.
Many businesses limit access to their website simply because they don’t offer services to consumers worldwide. For example, a shopping site that doesn’t ship to certain countries may use geo-blocking to restrict their access. That can be problematic for businesses looking to learn more about global competitors through web scraping operations.
Despite all those obstacles, you can bypass geo-restrictions easily and enjoy any online content, no matter where you are. Here’s how.
The most popular ways to get past geo-blocks include:
- Using a VPN
- Using a proxy
- Installing the Tor browser
- Using a DNS (Domain Name System)
VPNs are pretty popular tools for surfing the internet anonymously and securely. They can encrypt your internet connection and hide your online activity from your ISP and target websites. In doing so, they can help you bypass geo-restrictions.
That’s because they give you a new IP address, thus making it seem as if you were in a different geographical location.
Proxies work the same way, acting as intermediaries between your browser and the target website’s hosting server. They route your traffic through one of its servers, thus masking your actual IP address. All you need to do is copy and paste any restricted website’s URL and select a server in that website’s country. Your proxy will unblock the content within seconds.
Tor is a free and open-source browser, and it works like any other browser but provides 100% anonymity. It encrypts your traffic and can get past geo-blocks, but it can reduce your connection speed significantly.
However, Tor has a bad reputation because it makes room for various illegal activities. If you use it, your ISP would know. They might become suspicious of what you do online, potentially causing government authorities to monitor you.
If you use a DNS, you won’t hide your IP address but rather change your ISP-assigned DNS address. That address contains information about your location, so replacing it can virtually put you anywhere else in the world. The only downside is that a DNS won’t encrypt your traffic.
Proxies are the best tools for unblocking restricted websites because they use advanced encryption, offer high data security, and protect your online privacy.
They’re particularly beneficial to businesses that rely on web scraping for market research. Unlike VPNs, they don’t decrease your internet speed, so you can seamlessly extract vast amounts of data.
Web scraping requires sending multiple HTTP requests, so using any other tool may result in an IP ban. However, with rotating proxies, you can send millions of requests without risking any bans, as they will send each request from a different IP address.
Finding a reliable proxy comes down to determining your needs. Residential proxies are excellent for getting past specific geo-restrictions. For instance, if you want to access restricted Japanese content, all you need is a residential Japanese proxy.
Once you know what you’re looking for, check online user reviews to learn more about the top-rated proxies. We highly recommend you opt for paid proxies because free tools don’t come with encryption and data security. Some even come with malicious software, so steer clear of them.
Proxies are the winning tools for unblocking restricted websites, and using them doesn’t require any technical skills. No matter where you are, a reliable proxy will give you access to any online content and safeguard your privacy and data. Read more about proxy server.