Your location has a direct impact on your browsing experience. Find out how your location impacts what you see online, and how you can change this.
Have you ever noticed that while traveling your search results are different? Or maybe you’ve wanted to have a watch party with friends in another country only to find their Netflix or Disney+ doesn’t show the same programs?
This might be confusing when it first happens. You might wonder if maybe there’s something wrong with one of the subscriptions. The reality is that your location has a direct impact on your internet experience in many different ways.
In this article, we’ll dive into what effect your location has on your browsing and what geo-location is. We’ll also be sharing a few different ways to change or hide your IP, like using an India proxy or VPN, to access restricted content. Continue reading to discover how your IP is restricting you, and what you can do to unblock content across the internet.
What is Geo-Blocking?
Geo-blocking is the technology that restricts a user's access to certain content based on their location. By geo-blocking content, governments and certain services restrict access to users based outside of a certain location. Most of these restrictions apply to international borders.
Geo-restrictions work by using tracking and geo-location technology to identify your IP address. IP addresses work very much like a home address for identifying you online. IPs are also allocated in a very systematic way, so even if your IP changes, say you switch ISP providers, your ISP will still link your location to the IP.
As such, your IP address can pinpoint your exact location. This is how geo-restrictions know when you aren’t within the country to access certain content.
How Do Geo-Restrictions Affect Your Browsing Experience?
Geo-blocking can be applied to any website, however, we mostly see it within certain governments or on platforms where content is copyrighted.
Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and many others have to pay licensing fees for the shows and movies they add to the platform. However, these licensing fees can vary in price to such a degree that the platform can only afford the license for these in certain countries. However, this decision is usually not only based on the licensing fee, but also on the number of subscribers in that country, their viewing preferences, and movies/shows currently trending there.
Something else that affects which licenses these platforms can purchase is whether the country in question has any objections or bans against that content. For example, the popular movie franchise 50 Shades of Gray was banned on Netflix in India, therefore streaming platforms couldn’t provide the movie to subscribers in the country as the license was banned.
Governments are also able to place certain restrictions on content in their country. Some governments will place restrictions so that individuals from other countries aren’t able to access government services.
Other governments will also place bans on the content they feel is inappropriate such as pornography, content with gratuitous violence, or violence against women and children.
Ways to Change Your IP Address
There are ways that you can hide or change your address. Hiding your IP is something that more people are doing and two of the most popular tools for this are a VPN or a proxy. A VPN creates a secure encrypted connection between the user and the internet. Since the IP is hidden behind the VPN the user can access restricted content. However, VPNs can sometimes be blocked depending on the provider you use, so choose carefully.
Proxies are another great solution as they act as the intermediary between you and all your activity on the internet. A proxy can also change your IP address, and you’re able to choose IPs from all over the world. However, depending on the type of proxy you choose, they also have the possibility of being banned.
If you’re looking for an option without the risk of bans, then a residential proxy is the best choice. These proxies are linked to real devices with existing IP addresses. Therefore using one of these will make your activities look like they're happening from a real user within the country you selected. For example, if you use an India proxy, you’ll be able to access content in India.
Why Would You Want to Change Your IP Address?
There are a few different reasons why you might want to change your IP. The first one is to gain access to geo-restricted content as we mentioned above. This is usually one of the biggest reasons why people want to change their IPs.
Another reason is increased anonymity and security. Your IP can be used to track your activities across the internet. Your ISP and even some of the websites you visited in the past can see your search history, how long you spend on different sites, and more. By changing your IP you can confuse trackers and keep your internet activity more private.
Geo-restrictions exist to protect copyrighted content and even keep inappropriate content at bay. However, there are ways that you can bypass these restrictions by changing your IP address. Use a high-quality VPN or residential proxy to add security anonymity to your browsing and unblock content.