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How to bypass country restrictions on video sites

By

March 20, 2014

It is possible to bypass region-specific website restrictions

It is possible to bypass region-specific website restrictions

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We're spoilt with high-quality film and television nowadays, and there are an increasing number of websites on which you can watch the content you're after. Sometimes, however, websites and content are restricted based on the country in which you live. This article explains how you can bypass these restrictions.

The very fact that video content on websites is often restricted by region demonstrates a discrepancy between the principles of the open, distributed Web and the ingrained licensing models of the TV and movie industries. As ever, though, demand coupled with the capabilities of the technology means that where there's a will there's a way. If you're inclined to try any of the below methods, be sure to familiarize yourself with the relevant legislation in your country.

Proxy browser extensions

The quickest and easiest approach to accessing region-restricted videos is to install a browser extension, although proxies can be unreliable, insecure and slow. There are a number of browser extensions available that allow the user to access websites via a proxy server based in another country or region.

Hola is a popular Chrome and Firefox proxy extension

Hola is a popular choice and has extensions for Chrome and Firefox (as well as apps for Windows, Mac and Android). Users simply need to install the the relevant extension and Hola should be begin unblocking sites automatically without the need to restart your browser. Users can click on the extension button in their browser to manually adjust the settings.

Proxmate is another browser extension, similar to Hola

Another well-regarded option is Proxmate, which also has extensions for both Chrome and Firefox. The installation process for Chrome is a little more complicated, with users having to download the file from the Proxmate website and install it via Chrome's extension gallery, but it still works well. Proxmate also serves ads, but these can be turned off in the settings.

DNS tunneling services

DNS tunneling services provide a faster, more reliable and more secure means of accessing region-restricted content, but they they tend to come with a price tag. In short, the services work by simply telling the destination website that the user is accessing it from within the site's regional restrictions, saving the effort of using proxy servers.

Unblock-Us is a DNS tunneling service with over 70 international channels available

Of some of the more popular options, Unblock-Us offers over 70 channels and Unlocator over 80. UnoTelly appears to offer in the region of 100. All three start at about US$5 per month, with free trials and longer term plans also offered.

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds.   All articles by Stu Robarts
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7 Comments

The big elephant in the room of course if: Why are some countries blocked. Why is it not OK to pay netflix for their services as a New Zealander. The article should covered this.

I kinda know the answer I think. There are conditions placed on distribution by the content providers that prevent Netfix from distributing to certain countries.

I would have thought Netflix could fix that by only offering content that is allowed to be distributed to a certain country.

But luckily there is torrents. They always work. I just wish the fools would stop messing with consumers and just take my money.

Paul van Dinther
20th March, 2014 @ 02:59 pm PDT

Hi, to answer your question paul.

Every country has their own record companies and tv channels. When a TV show is made in America by lets say Fox, fox then distribute that show. So BBC might pay them for a licence, this licence will be the UK licence and FOX will no longer own the rights in the UK, they belong to the BBC.

If netflix then show the content in UK the Uk content owner BBC can sue them.

If Fox let netflix show it then bbc wouldn't pay them, no one would pay them, netflix would become their only source of revenue, and for now, they just dont pay enough to get global rights.

Netflix has fixed it, they will not offer you content that is not available in your area. However if you login from an American ip, they allow you the american content, and sometimes Americans will link British people to a show or a video on youtube that they cant watch and vice versa. These apps let you watch

fenshwey
20th March, 2014 @ 04:22 pm PDT

I've been using ZenMate for Chrome. It's free.

Obviously if you're routing any traffic to some 'free' service, make sure it's just for something basic like Netflix and I would disable it before logging in to online banking.

ComedyBill
20th March, 2014 @ 06:08 pm PDT

Well I prefer using AdvOR for all my needs. Atleast I could even use it on IDM, VLC, or any application.

Shashank Jaiswal
23rd March, 2014 @ 03:25 am PDT

There are countless way to unblock websites, but only one safe way to unblock websites without giving out your personal information. A VPN is your ticket to complete online freedom and data security. Hide your identity as you unblock websites from across the world with a VPN. Now Access any website from anywhere.

AmmarNaeem
10th April, 2014 @ 02:42 am PDT

Thanks for the very informative article and I extremely grateful that you perform this piece of writing very simply, I mean to say that it's quite simple to read and understand.

VPN

Nicholas98
21st May, 2014 @ 08:03 am PDT

Great article Stu. The DNS option is better than using a VPN regarding content streaming because you can achieve direct connection with the media station ex. Netflix and avoid the “middle-man”. Personally, I am using UnoTelly which is similar to Unblock-us. Perhaps you should check UnoTelly as well if you haven’t done so.

Cheryl Castilleja
3rd August, 2014 @ 01:15 pm PDT
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