Laws exist to protect copyrighted media productions that are created in a specific country. Many TV programs and movies are made in the United States for viewing only within the U.S. borders. In order for people outside of those borders to have access to the content, they (or broadcasters or websites showing the content) must pay for the right. Anyone who has regularly attempted to view foreign videos through a link provided by a friend living in another country or through social media will undoubtedly come across the “content not available in your region” notice at some point. Obtaining the rights is an often expensive proposition and it is why many sites do not have the option available to their members and choose to only show certain content. Many of these types of outdated laws were created long before the Internet arrived and it is not just an issue with the United States. It is a common problem around the world and is especially difficult for people living in countries where the government has strict control over what their citizens are allowed to view. There are ways, however, to unblock regional content and watch whatever streaming content is desired.
Using a VPN
In order to bypass blocked sites, the viewer can use a virtual private network (VPN) to make their IP address private and hide their actual location. This is not something the customer does on their own, but through a service that offers this type of protection. They are able to log into the VPN site and use their address as their own when choosing to stream content. The VPN service will be located within the United States, so their customers will appear to also be in the country as well. This type of service is not used just for viewing videos but is a service that anyone can use to make their connection more private. Businesses often require their staff members to use a company VPN when accessing private corporate data while on the road and working from an unsecured hotspot. However, one of the most common reasons people outside the U.S. is using a VPN service to gain full access to the content offered by Netflix. This is one of the most well-know and popular streaming services the Internet offers, but its available content outside of the U.S.A. is very limited.
Companies Blocking VPN Services
Netflix is aware of the methods their customers around the world are using to unblock blocked sites. In the past, the worry about Netflix blocking VPN services was a genuine concern. There are reasons for the attempts by the company to stop the access of their customers to blocked material. In part, it has been to protect copyright and licensing agreements they are required to honor to avoid losing their rights. In other instances, it was a matter of them adhering to local regulations in countries that control the images their residents are allowed to view in order to continue being allowed to do any business in that country. Their actions have resulted in some viewers being blocked when they attempted to access country-restricted websites. Netflix is able to recognize individual customers and know when they are using a VPN for this purpose. One of the ways they are able to do so is through DNS leaks. They identify and then block these individual IP addresses but have so far been unsuccessful in creating a large-scale block of all VPN users or to end the services from operating. This is because many customers use VPN services inside the U.S. to stream Netflix content onto their devices securely while they are on the road.
Streaming Via AirPlay?
For those wanting to send video from an iOS portable device such as iPhone or iPad to their Apple TV, it is important to ensure all devices (including the Apple TV) are connected to a good VPN service. Apple TV would not be able to connect to the video stream if it is not also on the VPN.
Continuing to Operate
Luckily for customers outside of the U.S., it is nearly impossible for Netflix to identify and stop everyone seeking bypass region block in order to see the entire library of entertainment the company has to offer. There are numerous VPN services that make it possible for viewers to get the full experience of the streaming service from any country in the world. Many of these companies offer additional help to customers who are blocked at a later date and offer a money back guarantee if they are not able to assist. The VPN services are even countering the advancements of Netflix to identify when viewers are using the VPN outside of the country by developing new ways to block the IP addresses of their clients. One of these is VyprVPN by Golden Frog. Using their Chameleon technology, they are able to resist deep packet inspection which would compromise the security and identity of its users. Netflix has been publicly adamant about stopping this type of action, but they are unlikely to want to take extreme measures that would anger even more customers and risk their subscription numbers.
Viewers outside of the U.S. who turn to Netflix for their entertainment purposes will have a lot fewer options than the average North American customer. For those who are determined to access website from different country no matter where they live, it is important to learn how to get past blocked websites. Many supposed solutions and fixes are provided on the Internet such as proxies, but most of these patches will not work at all or offer content that is only available occasionally or may require multiple efforts to log in or remain connected. In order to really have full access to all of the content and still have a smooth streaming experience, using a reputable VPN service is the only reliable solution. This risk of being detected is rare, and alternative VPNs are available if it does happen. Like a cat and mouse game, as long as there’s an imbalance in the content being streamed online from country to country, people will continue to find ways to unblock blocked sites or services. Even blocked VPNs will find workarounds to this blocking eventually.