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Montevideo, April 17th 2024 - 12:46 UTC



Geoblocking restrictions you might face when traveling

Wednesday, March 20th 2024 - 05:00 UTC
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Photo: Pexels Photo: Pexels

Traveling can be an exciting experience. You’ll be able to see the Wonders of the World while sampling street food that rivals top-tier restaurants. Even just the chance of being able to immerse yourself in a foreign culture presents opportunities, so it’s no surprise that more and more people are choosing to live their lives on the road. With that being said, traveling the world does come with its challenges, one of the biggest being geoblocking.

What Type of Content is Often Geoblocked?

The biggest media streaming services, such as Amazon and Netflix, are available in most countries. Due to licensing restrictions, however, streaming giants often find themselves limiting what’s available depending on user location. What's more, is that some platforms aren’t available in certain countries. Hulu is only accessible from within the US, and HBO Max is only available in 60 countries. It’s not just streaming services either. Games and promotions are also prone to geoblocks.

If you’ve been getting daily free spins on Paddy's Wonder Wheel, you may find yourself missing out when you enter a country where the app or website isn’t available. Not only would you miss out on your free spin, but you may find that the spins you have expire before you’re able to get back and use them. Luckily, there’s a workaround here. Using a VPN is one of the best ways to ensure that you are always able to access the content you want, wherever in the world you are. This means you’ll always be able to access your favorite games and shows, without restriction.

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Photo: Unsplash

Live Sporting Events and YouTube

Have you ever noticed that some YouTube videos aren’t available in your region? The main issue here is that a lot of content on the site is uploaded by people, who don’t own it. As a result, the true owners of the content may ask them to limit access due to copyright. With sporting events, things become even more complex. Content is distributed by certain channels, services and platforms, ranging from small broadcasters to giants such as FOX Sports and ESPN.

The right to air an NBA match may belong to several companies, in several regions. Hulu+ Live TV often broadcasts live sports, so they may show the Minnesota Timberwolves game in New York, but not in Texas, where another distributor has the rights. Sometimes, fans may even find themselves blocked from viewing matches from their home team, because another network has the rights to broadcast that particular match, with the network not being available in the country you’re currently in.

Lastly, social media sites are another restriction you may face when traveling the world. The main reason why geoblocks apply to social media sites is because of internet censorship. You won’t be able to access your Twitter, Instagram or even Facebook page when in China. India has restricted WeChat, and a number of sites are banned in Iran.

If this is the only way you can communicate with friends and family, you can imagine how frustrating this is, but using a VPN should allow you to work around the issue. Learning the geoblocks in your region can also help you to uncover alternative sources of entertainment.




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