All VPNs can be very useful tools in getting past geo-blocks and location blocking of all kinds, and for many different kinds of content. You can use VPNs to access the BBC from the USA, or to access blocked YouTube videos from …anywhere!
There are still occasions when you’ll be logged into your VPN, ready to get past a troublesome block, only to find yourself still unable to access the website or content. What can you do to get around these location based block? I have seven different ideas for you to try to get around and fix these geo-blocks so that you can go back to enjoying the content you want to see.
Location blocking problems solved: The basics
In case you’re not a VPN expert, people use VPNs to get around geoblocks thanks to how a VPN can change your IP address. Website will, 99% of the time, only look at your IP address to determine where you are, and if you can view their content.
A VPN can give you an IP address in dozens of different countries, especially if you choose Hide My Ass VPN who are in over 210 countries, so that you’re not blocked. Again, 99% of the time a VPN is all you need to get past geo-blocks.
For those 1% of times when you’re not able to access geo-blocked content, there are a few things which you can do to get around the blocks. You have to keep in mind that your IP address alone isn’t the only thing which websites can use to find out where you are.
Follow these seven steps, and test at the end of each one before going to the next:
- Reconnect: Disconnect and reconnect to the VPN provider. Be sure to close all windows during the switch, or use a VPN with a kill switch. This will give you a new IP address as the one you were using before could have been the problem.
- Different server: Some VPNs have multiple server clusters in different countries. Disconnect from the server cluster you’re in right now, and connect to a different one within the country if possible.
- Google: Log out of all your Google related accounts, including YouTube! Google will cache IP address, because they’re the biggest spies online, and this can reveal your actual location.
- Location services: If you have any location sharing services on your browser, or your mobile device, turn them off. This is things like GPS, or even Facebook’s location service.
- Cache: Clear out all of your caches, cookies, and any temporary files that you’re storing in your browser.
- Time zones: Change the timezone on your device to the one in the country you’re trying to connect to. This is very rarely used as part of common location blocking problems, but it’s worth a try if you’re this far down the list and still blocked!
- WiFi: You have a chance to take on Google one more time if you have access to the WiFi network you’re connected to. Rename your SSID, your WiFi network name, to have the ending _nomap. This will get your network out of Google’s geolocation services for routers. Log back on and checkout your access to the geo-blocked content now.
As you can read, there are a number of factors beyond your IP address which can impact your ability to get around location blocking problems. 99% of the time, a VPN and a server in the country you wish to connect to is all you need. Happy browsing!
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