Classification of IP Addresses

If you’re looking for a VPN or proxy solution to switch your IP address, then there’s certain information you should be aware of regarding the classification of these addresses.   Most people who use VPNs to change their addresses are normally concerned with only one factor – the country that the IP address is registered too.

This is because many of these services are used specifically to bypass the growing trend of region locking operated media sites.  Sites like Hulu, BBC, NBC and in reality most of the major entertainment sites usually restrict access to their home countries – so for example you would have to be in the UK to watch all the British TV channels, whereas the US stations like ABC are only accessible to American IP addresses.   So people will use a US VPN to watch US sites, and UK ones to watch UK channels and so on.   In fact this is so important that most services provide servers located in most larger countries to allow their users the most flexibility in their web browsing.   Not all companies do this, but if you want to access a particular website you should determine that they have a server in the same country if you want to access it.

The above video demonstrates some of the options available and how region locking can be accessed, but it has recently become even more complicated. The problem lies not in the location of the IP address but in the classification. Most IP addresses are listed as either being commercial or residential. Commercial ones are used mostly by companies and run from datacentres or corporate networks whereas residential addresses are assigned usually from ISPs to home computers. Increasingly media sites are choosing to block all access from commercial IP addresses primarily to try and enforce their region locking attempts.

Netflix where the latest company to do this, and overnight nearly all commercial VPN services stopped working with this website much to the annoyance of thousands of users who access Netflix with a VPN. Now you need to use a residential VPN to access any of the Netflix global sites. That is the IP address assigned to the VPN server you connect to must be classified as a residential one or it simply won’t work.

A few of the VPN services have adapted to this change and offer residential IP addresses although they are more expensive to obtain that the more plentiful commercial addresses. If you want to access something like Netflix though it is essential they have these classified addresses or they just won’t work.

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