Taking on the world of geoblocks Tom Schmitz February 26, 2020 Technology Online streaming is rapidly taking over from the world of DVDs. With so many online streaming giants there is now a world of content available with ust a few clicks. Compatible on TVs, mobile devices, computers and tablets there isn’t much limitation on where in the world you can watch your favourite shows. However, although you have the means to watch the greatest online streaming shows, there may still be an error pop up message telling you otherwise. Introducing geoblocks Have you ever logged on to a site online to watch an advertised show, only to be confronted with a pop up message reading something like ‘not available in your region’? This is the result of a geoblock. Geoblocks are pieces of coding put in place to prevent certain users from accessing content online. This concept is used by many streaming giants and broadcasters to ensure that certain content is watched by the most desired audience. In most cases a geoblock is based on the same borders as the geographical map. What are the main reasons behind geoblocks? Geoblocks are not in place to just be a pain. In most cases the geoblocks are in place due to copyright laws. These laws cover many different clauses which look at each individual section of a show including the actors themselves, titles, character names and merchandise. As well as copyright laws there is also the matter of third party advertising. Advertisers naturally want to make sure it is the local population who see their adverts so this instance makes sense in regards to ensuring just the local residents see the content. Getting around geoblocks Once there is a geoblock in place there isn’t a huge amount you can do to get around them. However, with a VPN you can affectively work your way around the world and escpae the clutches of pretty much all geoblocks. So how can this be done? A vpn, or virtual private network, works primarily by connecting a user to the Internet through a remote computer. Just be doing this you can gain access to any content in the world. Geoblocks work by picking up on more coding known as IP addresses. These groups of coding reveal your destination. This is how the streaming sites etc know where in the world you are trying to view the content from. By connecting to a remote computer with a vpn you can change your IP address very easily. By changing IP address you are fooling others on to thinking that you are actually in a different location to where you are presently. As an example, if you wanted to watch online content from France but you are within the US borders, you will be fronted with an error message. However, if you connect to the Internet through a vpn server based in France you will be given a French IP address. So you virtually change locations and get instant access to all French content.