Why Do Streaming Services Use Geo-Blocking?

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Every internet user knows the frustration that comes from being unable to stream a match from a website or stream a video from one of the famous content makers.

Digital brands also know the pain of being unable to access relevant user data in the quantity they need it.

And the truth is whether it is happening to an individual or a brand, regardless of how painful it can be, there is a good reason why streaming services use these forms of blocking.

However, because people still need to find and watch these services, we will be seeing how to bypass restrictions with some tools.

Yet before we get to explain what that means, let us see what precisely this restriction is, why it is often used, and how it works.

What is Geo-Blocking?

Another name for geo-blocking is geo-restriction, and it refers to the act of using specific measures to restrict a user’s access to some servers based on their physical location.

The process involves either partially or fully limiting a user’s access to a piece of content based on where he lives.

These services can accurately determine a user’s physical location by reading her internet protocol (IP) address.

By definition, an IP address is a string of unique numbers that can offer servers comprehensive information about a user, including where they are located.

Geo-restriction techniques are therefore implemented to use this information to decide whether a user should be allowed access or not. Users with IPs from forbidden locations are often denied access wholly or allowed only partial access.

What Are The Applications of Geo-Blocking?

Geo-restriction may take the fun out of being on the internet for some users, but it does mean the better business of those services implementing it.

Below are some of the reasons some popular service providers utilize geo-blocking:

1. To Protect Their Assets

Businesses suffer when they lose their greatest treasures, such as intellectual assets or high-quality content, to unsavory individuals.

And because it is often believed that these unsavory individuals are often always concentrated in a particular region, some services can restrict that region to protect themselves and their cherished content.

This form of region-blocking can stop anyone browsing from that region from accessing the restricted servers and content.

2. To Honor Licensing Rights

Third-party companies often acquire licensing rights to allow them to distribute a particular content exclusively.

Sports streaming services often buy rights that allow them to be the exclusive distributors of some games in some regions.

And to ensure compliance and to enable them to make enough money, geo-restrictions are implemented to disallow anyone outside the selected regions from viewing the games.

3. Market Segmentation

While some brands are worldwide, their products and prices vary according to region. These brands sell in one region products and services that are often unavailable in the following region.

This often allows for higher profitability and the chance to create demand in a new market.

Geo-blocking separates the markets and ensures that only the products allowed are sold in different regions.

How Geo-Blocking Limitations Work

The system by which geo-blocking works can get complicated when we dive into the technicalities, but it can be simplified like this:

  • Every device that is on the internet needs an IP address to enable it to interact with websites and servers
  • IP addresses contain tiny bits of information that can be screened to determine a user’s actual location
  • Once the server can accurately tell when the user is browsing from, it can block or allow the user depending on whether or not she is browsing from a forbidden location.
  • Geo-blocking can even get more specific and be applied to states, cities, campuses, and even buildings.

How to Bypass Geo-Restrictions

Because of the frustration often associated with geo-blocking, several ways have been developed to help affected users bypass the measures. And some of the most common methods for overcoming these limitations include:

1. VPNs

Virtual private networks or VPN are tools used for rerouting communications.  They are third-party devices that users can use to send out their requests and receive results instead of using their details.

A VPN uses a different IP and location and passes communications through a secured tunnel. So that not only are VPN users able to pick different IPs and locations to send and receive traffic, but they can also do so in a much more secure way.

2. Proxy Servers

Proxy servers are third-party computers that can serve as middlemen, taking requests from users to target servers and similarly returning results.

They do this using a pool of IPs, proxies, and locations that users can use to send out their connection.

Once sent, the proxy encrypts the data going back and forth. This way, it doesn’t only help to transfer communication but does so with extra security and privacy.

By picking a different IP and country, users can easily bypass geo-blocking. For instance, if a user is being blocked from streaming or viewing the content in Germany, they could bypass that restriction by selecting a Germany Proxy server. If you are interested in Germany Proxy servers or any other location-based proxy solutions, check out this Oxylabs piece

Also read: Warrington college of business

Conclusion

Last about Streaming Services. Sometimes, everything the internet user wants is on the other side of geo-blocking – a system often used by streaming services to block users based on where they reside.

Luckily there are many ways to bypass these blockings, including the use of proxy servers and VPNs. 

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