The Internet is a gateway to new possibilities, knowledge, entertainment, and a lot more. However, it has its share of problems too. For instance, there are times when you want to watch a certain YouTube video but when you open the link you are greeted with a message “This video is not available in your country”, which can be quite frustrating.
YouTube is not the only platform that does something like this. You may have also come across a “BBC content not available in your location” message which is also painful. However, in this case, it’s because BBC is funded in the UK through a license fee, and so they are allowed to publish the content in the UK only.
There are numerous other websites that might be blocked in your country, and if you really want to access them, you actually can.
The following are some of the best ways to solve the problem of “content not available in your country”:
- Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Since the majority of blocked websites and video content impose the ban on the basis of your location, which is determined by your IP address, a VPN can easily solve this problem.
A VPN is a private Internet network that you can access remotely. For instance, if you are based in the US and want to access BBC content, then you can use a VPN service based in the UK. In this, the VPN service provider will let you open the website on a server based in the UK, and since the content is accessible in the country, you won’t face the restriction.
There are many VPN services that you can use, some of which are free and some paid. Examples include PrivateVPN, Hotspot Shield, etc.
Apart from watching restricted videos, there are many good reasons to use torrents with VPN, or when using public Wi-Fi. This is because VPN conceals your identity online and encrypts your data too.
- Proxy Websites
This is a quick fix for the “content not available” types of restrictions. That said, it may not always work. This is because a proxy website masks your IP address which is why when you access a blocked website through it, you may get access to the same. However, if the proxy website itself is banned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), then there is no way to get it work. That said, even if it works, it’s not recommended as a long-term solution for the following reasons:
- A proxy website isn’t reliable. This is because it doesn’t encrypt your data or use some other type of security mechanism
- It’s also usually replete with all kinds of advertisements which can be a turn-off when you are watching your favorite videos
- A proxy website works only for certain websites. So, if you want to access an online content that’s restricted and uses a video player, or some other software, then it may not work
A proxy website is a good option when you want a short-term solution and aren’t concerned about your privacy and security online. However, if you want a reliable long-term solution, then a VPN service is your best bet.
- Browser Extensions
There are many browser extensions which offer VPN service or proxy service such as Hola, Express VPN, that you can use. By installing and enabling these, you may get an easy access to the restricted content.
A VPN browser extension works akin to a full-fledged VPN software. It’s not as secure as the latter but is light-weight and simpler. So, there is a trade-off.
One thing to remember here is that the majority of these extensions are only available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. So, be sure to have at least one of these installed on your system.
It’s a bummer that a lot of websites and videos are restricted to only select locations. However, you may find the methods discussed above helpful and useful. Good luck!