Governments aside, it always happens that the administration of a certain website does not allow foreigners to see the particular content. How do you, a foreigner to them, still may get to see it? And what, say, Canada proxy servers have got to do with it? Here you will understand why content gets blocked and how you can still see it from your actual location.
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Why Content Gets Region-Blocked
There are various reasons to not allow foreigners to your website or certain pages (or media content), and one of them is copyright law. Sometimes even YouTube visitors see the “This content is blocked in your country” message instead of the video they hope to see. At least, this doesn’t hide the reasons: it’s mostly copyright issues. The same can happen on Spotify or Apple Music, Netflix or Hulu, and very often it happens with Disney Plus.
Another reason why sites block foreign visitors is traffic optimization. For example, if an online store does not ship abroad, it makes no sense at all to load its servers to show pages to foreign customers. Anyway, they won’t be able to make a purchase, so why tease them and sweat the hardware? Reasons might differ but they look the same: your country’s passport is not that strong.
What to Do to Get Around the Block
There is just one rule. If the site recognizes you as a local, it shows you everything. To detect where you are from, websites use your IP address that is assigned to your carrier, and thus to your physical location (not always precisely, but nevertheless). If it only has a certain pool of allowed IP addresses (those belonging to its own country and, maybe, certain selected ones as well, but not yours), it will show its special page (similar to a 404 one) to everyone from unauthorized regions.
So how do you get in? You need to pretend you are a local. To do so, you need to put on a local IP address so that the site gives you a pass.
How to Disguise Yourself as a Local
That’s where a proxy steps in. When you open a site through a proxy, it will look as if you visited it from the country (and maybe even the city) that the proxy represents. That’s how it works when you are abroad and want to see your favorite show on Netflix. Enter through an American proxy, and Netflix will show you all it has to show in the USA. The same is with, for example, Australian or Norwegian stores that don’t sell abroad. Through a proxy of the corresponding country, you will be recognized as a local and let in.
How do you use proxies? If you have the IP address and the data, the algorithm is the following (for Windows 10):
- Open “Settings/Network & Internet.”
- Click “Proxy” in the left menu.
- Scroll down and switch on “Use a Proxy Server.”
- Enter the address and the port provided by your proxy service in the fields below.
- Enter the sites you want to visit without proxy if necessary. For example, if you are abroad, you might want to enter local sites as a local.
- Go back to “Settings” and then type “Credential Manager” in the search line.
- Open the Credential Manager and go to the “Windows Credentials.”
- Click “Add a Windows credential.”
- Enter the address of your proxy, the login, and the password where necessary. Don’t enter the port in the address.
- Save the changes and enjoy!
And When Your Suitcases Are Unpacked…
When you return, though, don’t forget to switch off your proxy. You may also change it to another country’s one if you want to visit sites from elsewhere but also regionally blocked. Most commercial proxies offer lots of addresses that can get you literally anywhere while physically you’re still in your favorite armchair with a laptop. Just select the right one for the region you want to be from today.