Upon connecting to your favorite sports streaming service of choice, you may encounter the unfortunate message telling you that the content you’re trying to access is unavailable in your region. After getting hyped up to tune in, having to succumb to such a fate leaves quite a bit to be desired. But is this really the end of the story, or is there something you can do to work around the obstacle? Keep on reading to find out.
What is geo-blocking?
First, let’s give a name to the nuisance. Geo-blocking, otherwise known as geo-restrictions (or regional restrictions), is a practice certain services or websites use. The aim is to prevent IP addresses from certain regions to gain access to the content provided.
Yes, this means that webmasters are able to tell your current location based on the unique IP address your device identifies itself with. When you’re trying to connect through your home’s local network, you’ll have a different IP address than the one you’d get assigned when trying to do the same thing from a foreign country.
In other words, even though you’re a legal citizen of your country (and thus have the rights to access certain streaming services), the system is set up in such a way that the service or website ‘assumes’ where you’re from by looking at your IP address. In certain cases such as traveling abroad, this could result in the injustice that comes in the form of you being unable to access the services you’ve legitimately paid for in your home country. Which is a shame.
But hold on for just a second more – this is not a case of doom and gloom.
Geo-blocking can be bypassed
What if we told you it’s possible to attain complete control over what device IP is visible to the live streaming services you’re trying to connect to? The secret lies in using a VPN. Installing and configuring one is as simple as installing any other application on your device. Better yet, being connected through one does not slow down your connection at all; more often than not, it stabilizes it.
Here’s how it works: after getting everything set up and running, you’re free to choose from a wide range of servers to connect to. Ideally, you want to choose something close to your actual physical location for best performance, but in this case, the priority is to gain access to the streaming service in question. Therefore, the correct course of action is to choose the nearest country that can still access the streaming provider. If you’re not sure, fiddle around with it, and you’ll see. But if you don’t have time, simply select your home country, and you should be good to go.
In certain cases, you’ll need to register the IP you want to use in the user account of the live streaming service you’ve chosen. A simple copy and paste operation should do the trick. In the event of trouble, reaching out to the customer support team of either the live streaming service or your VPN provider (depending on the source of the problem) should resolve it.
How to choose the best VPN
Choosing the best VPN provider for bypassing geo-blocks comes down to more than looking at the price tag alone. A good rule of thumb is to open up a user review platform and examine the entries one by one. Again, if you’re short on time, looking at the average ratings is not a wrong way to go about it. But if you have time to spare, it’s good to take an in-depth look as well and read the reviews. In any case, no matter what you do, don’t take things at face value. It’s much better to check various different sources, including what people are saying on the VPN provider’s Facebook page.
As for the other metrics you should consider, speed and performance are very important areas you shouldn’t ignore just for the sake of saving a couple of bucks. Furthermore, you should make sure that the VPN software offers a broad list of locations to choose from. That way, you’ll be able to effectively do away with any geo-blocks and restrictions anyone throws your way.
This is pretty much the gist of it. It’s a good idea to revisit and re-read certain sections of this article to make sure there’s nothing you’ve missed. If you need additional help, there’s no harm in directing your queries to the VPN provider, so you can get the whole thing up and running in no time.