Best VPN For Geo-blocking To Bypass Country Restrictions
Geo blocking of content is an annoyingly common problem for many people around the globe. Geo-blocking is when online content is restricted to a specific country or location. Websites are able to do this by reading the IP address of everyone accessing their content, so they see each location. If that location happens to fall outside of a content’s jurisdiction, then that it is blocked.
Here we’ll take a look at what it is and how to work around it by faking your IP location using a VPN.
Best VPN To Bypass GeoBlocking: ExpressVPN
What Makes a Good VPN For Geo-Blocking Workarounds?
The more servers a VPN provider has, the better. This is because users can connect to content more quickly and easily, and that more and more geo-restricted content will be available. It pays to look at where exactly those servers are sometimes too – especially if you always access geo-restricted content from a specific country. For instance, if you want to watch BBC iPlayer outside of the UK frequently, make sure your VPN provider has a server in the UK.
A VPN provider is only as good as the speed of its connection. If it has slow connection speeds, your video content will be constantly buffering or pixelated. While you don’t need a fast connection speed to access specific geo-restricted content, it is pointless trying to access it without one.
No bandwidth caps
Some VPN providers start throttling their customers’ connections after a certain amount of usage. The best ones don’t so that customers can continually watch and stream the content they want to, when they want to. Again, this does not affect the ability to access geo-restricted content, but it does affect the quality of what is accessed if a VPN provider enforces bandwidth caps.
Internet security is imperative whenever we surf the web. Using a VPN provider that practices strong encryption with the best software is a necessity because it keeps users safe from hackers and prying eyes.
It also stops streaming services which employ geo-restrictions on their content from being able to locate users who are accessing content from outside the designated jurisdiction.
No logs policy
It has been known, in the past, for some VPN providers to hand over information on their customers’ online activity to the highest bidder, or sometimes to the authorities, when asked.
Good VPN providers do not keep logs of their customers’ internet activity in the first instance so they have nothing they could hand over, even if they wanted. This is a necessary feature for all users of a VPN, regardless of whether they want to access geo-restricted content or not.
IP Leak Protection
Finally, the last level of security that those wanting a VPN should look for is a provider that has IP leak protection. This is when your IP address can somehow be seen for an unknown reason.
This leaves you open to your identity being exposed and also the very geo-restricted content you have accessed, being blocked again. IP leak protection stops this by setting up a pseudo firewall that stops any information on your whereabouts being transmitted from your computer.
Those wishing to access geo-blocked content will be happy to pay a certain amount for access to any websites they want to stream from, but there is a limit on how high people are willing to go.
We’ve only listed VPNs that are worth paying their price for as they consistently work as a way to get around geo-blocking.
Best VPNs To Unblock Geo-Blocked Content
Our top pick for a geo-blocking VPN workaround is ExpressVPN with its quick and efficient service. It is also an ideal geo blocker because:
- It has a huge amount of servers – ExpressVPN has one of the largest collections of servers on the VPN provider market. It means that all its customers can access geo-blocked content easily.
- It has quick connection speeds – ExpressVPN customers can enjoy a seamless service when using their VPNs as a geo-blocking bypass thanks to the quick connection speeds the company has.
- It has a wide array of server locations – To avoid geoblocking, a VPN provider must have servers in many different locations around the globe. ExpressVPN has them in spades.
- It uses a kill switch – Another form of IP leak protection, this kill switch feature keeps those using ExpressVPN’s geo-blocking VPN safe from having their identity revealed to hackers or the authorities.
- Strong privacy protocols – These are imperative to further ensure your identity is never leaked, or your online activity is never shared with anyone.
- Price – While not the cheapest listed here, the service in return for the slightly elevated price is well worth it. Plus it’s still not expensive with a twelve month subscription plan.
- 30 day money back guarantee – if for some reason, you don’t like ExpressVPN, let them know within 30 days and you can have your money back!
- $11.95 per month for one month
- $9.00 per month for six months
- $6.99 per month for twelve months plus three months free
Read our in-depth ExpressVPN review for more information.
NordVPN can hold its own against most VPN providers out there owing to its plethora of key features. They are:
- High speed connection – This allows NordVPN subscribers to watch geo-blocked content with ease.
- Stringent privacy policies – If you subscribe to NordVPN, you can be safe in the knowledge that your online profile will not be leaked to anyone else, particularly hackers.
- No Logs – NordVPN is one of those clever VPN providers who does not use logs to record their customers’ activity. This way, subscribers know that nothing they do is documented.
- Multiple device connectivity – VPN geoblocking can be streamed to many devices with NordVPN.
- Large amount of servers in various locations – this is key in the quest to bypass geo-blocking. Without a large amount of servers in a similarly large number of locations, users will still be limited to what they can access.
- Step by step tutorials – VPN technology is not hard, but it is not second nature either. NordVPN’s step by step tutorials answer how to get around geo-blocking for its more technophobe customers in a clear and direct way.
- Price – its two year subscription plan is hard to beat at just $3.29 a month.
- $11.95 per month for one month
- $5.75 per month for twelve months
- $3.29 per month for two years
Read our in-depth NordVPN review for additional insights.
If you’re experiencing problems with geo-blocked content, Cyberghost can get you access to all of it.
- Over 1,000 servers – Cyberghost has a huge 1,111 servers available to their users, and they are located in a wide range of countries all around the world.
- Zero logs kept – Cyberghost promises to never log any of you internet data into their system, so you won’t have to worry about it being given away or sold.
- Military-strength encryption – Their military-grade AES 256-BIT encryption has a 2048-BIT RSA Key, ensuring the safety of your internet activity.
- 60-day full money back guarantee – In case you are unhappy with their service, Cyberghost offers a 60-day full money back guarantee.
- $10.99 per month for one month
- $7.99 per month for 6 months
- $4.99 per month for a year
- $2.90 per month for two years
An in-depth review can be read here
Surfshark makes it onto our list of suitable VPN providers to work around geoblocking for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Simultaneous device connectivity – One of the ways that Surfshark sets itself apart from the rest is allowing subscribers to connect as many different devices as they require simultaneously. This makes it perfect for use by families with lots of different computers, laptops and mobiles under one roof.
- No logs policy – Maintaining a no logs policy, like Surfshark has, means that customer anonymity will be maintained even if the company itself suffers from a data breach or law enforcement groups ask for customer data.
- Large amount of servers – To gain access to a VPN connection that is guaranteed every time you log into a VPN provider’s software, the VPN provider needs to have a large amount of servers. Surfshark has over 800.
- Large amount of server locations – To be able to work around as many geo restrictions and blocks as possible, a VPN provider needs its servers to be in a variety of locations all over the globe. Surfshark has servers in over 50 countries.
- Quick connectivity – Given the amount of servers that it does have, Surfshark is able to provide its users with a quick connectivity speed each and every time they log on and establish a VPN.
- Starting from as low as $1.99 a month
An in-depth review can be read here.
Why Does Geo Blocked Content Exist?
Geo-blocking exists for several reasons:
Legal agreements and contracts
Most streaming services will block where some of their shows can be viewed because of licensing agreements between themselves and other broadcasting or production companies.
Government blocks and censorship
Governments around the world have different views, and therefore laws, on what is content is legal and what is not. If content is deemed illegal, it will be geo-blocked in that country. For example, the censorship laws that citizens of Saudi Arabia are subject to are stricter than most other countries. There, they cannot access things like pornography, gambling, amongst many other content types, that are freely available elsewhere in the world.
Companies like Netflix have different pricing structures in different countries. To remain true to those subscriptions and their customers, they have to curtail where some shows within their catalogue can be seen.
Do Proxies Work As A Geo-Blocking Workaround?
While, technically, proxies are another way of accessing geo-restricted content, in practice they are not a long term solution.
They work in a similar way to VPNs by providing users with a means of hiding their IP address and consequently, their location. All data is sent through the proxy so you should be able to access all of the internet’s content, regardless of where it is restricted to.
However, many video streaming libraries and websites have become savvy to the use of proxies and can recognize them when users try to access content via a well known proxy server. This means that users will have their content blocked anyway.
How Are Proxies and VPNs Different?
Knowing how proxies work (by hiding your IP address) does beg the question, how are proxies and VPNs different?
There are a number of features that make VPNs the only solution to accessing geo-restricted content:
- VPNs encrypt your data, and your entire internet connection, which upholds user anonymity.
- Faster connection speeds are available through VPNs which is important if you are watching and streaming videos or TV.
- VPNs are still relatively unknown and hard to track by websites and online video libraries.
- Proxies do not work with plugins or scripts that are often used to broadcast content. For instance Flash Player and Java.
Will TOR Help Unblock Geo Restricted Content?
When looking for solutions for how to access geo-restricted content, the suggestion of TORs will often appear. It stands for The Onion Router and it works by bouncing your internet activity around or giving your internet activity the appearance of lots of layers – like an onion.
Essentially, TOR makes you look like you are in several different locations which confuses the service you are accessing, allowing you to view geo-restricted content.
The reason we still recommend VPNs above TORs is that a great deal of the time, TORs simply do not work:
- They are very slow
- They have no network integrity
In addition to this, they have also been a target for several, successful hacker attacks as well as being under the close watch of the FBI.
In short, they’re not a good option.
VPNs are the way to go when trying to bypass geo-blocking so you can access any content you want on the net. They are fast, easy to use, and reliable so that you can stream videos in a buffer-free zone.
At the top of our list, remains ExpressVPN for its quick, effective and efficient service.