As streaming media and other types of online content have grown in
popularity over recent years, the issues caused by geo-location barriers have become more
and more apparent. In short, most companies that operate streaming services are only allowed
to make their content available in a limited number of countries for licensing or other
reasons. Sometimes, this is because the owner of the content has chosen to license it to
someone else in another country (or not make it available at all). In practice, this means
that using streaming services, particularly if you are trying to watch a show with someone
who is physically located in another country, can be challenging.
A VPN can allow you to solve these problems by making it appear that your
computer is located in a different country than the one where you really are. This is
accomplished by encrypting all of your website requests and sending them to a server that is
physically located in the country where you wish to be seen as being situated. The websites
that you are browsing will then believe that the server you are using is actually your
computer and will use the server’s location when deciding which content they are going to
Many of the major VPN companies operate servers in countries all over the
world. This is particularly useful if you are interested in being able to keep up with
shows, movies, and other types of content from other regions. Before you decide which VPN
service is right for you, take a look at the list of server locations that the company
offers. Most operators will have this type of information on their website. If a country
that you are interested in doesn’t have a server available, then remember to check back
regularly, as most of the big VPN operators periodically add new locations. There are a few
countries, such as China and Saudi Arabia, where VPN providers can’t operate servers due to
local laws. However, in the vast majority of cases, VPN companies are working on adding
server capacity as quickly as they can.
From time to time, major entertainment portals such as the BBC
iPlayer take steps to block known VPN servers from accessing their content. VPN companies
are aware of this and regularly change their IP addresses and add new servers to help their
users avoid these types of restrictions. If you do run into problems when you are trying to
access content from another country using your VPN, it is generally a good idea to get in
touch with the company’s customer support team to make sure that they know about the issue.
This will encourage them to add new servers or help their customers to find other ways to
get around these content blocks. After all, their business model relies on helping their
subscribers to get access to this type of content.