When you read about the internet, it’s usually about how it’s constantly expanding and growing but that’s not strictly true.   Although new information is being added all the time, the reality is that much of this is often inaccessible.

For instance take the example of one of the world’s most popular websites the BBC iPlayer.  It contains thousands of programmes, videos and radio broadcasts and indeed is updated every single day.   It’s a wonderful resource which is continually refreshed, yet unfortunately the site is not accessible when you are located outside the UK unless you use something like a video proxy to help you.

It’s an incredible situation, yet one that is becoming increasingly common – the internet is becoming compartmentalised, split into geographical sectors controlled by the internet’s big players.   The method used is something called geo-blocking or locking and the majority of large web sites use it to some extent.    Now the method has been criticised from all sorts of civil liberty organisations. Indeed the EU itself has made criticism which you can find here because it also undermines it’s concept of a Single Free Market.

The technology implemented varies slightly from site to site, yet it’s basically the same – record IP address and look up it’s location from a central database of addresses. So when you try and visit the BBC web site to watch a David Attenborough definition, if your IP address isn’t registered in the UK then you’ll get blocked.

Planet Earth Documentaries on BBC iPlayer

It’s extremely frustrating especially for someone from the UK, and so the workarounds were created.  Now I mentioned above the concept of a video proxy to bypass these and it does work to some extent.  You bounce your connection off an intermediate server based in the location you need, which effectively hides your true IP address and location.

However it’s important to remember that from 2016 onwards simple proxies no longer work on any of the major media sites.  Unfortunately  they can be detected and all the sites block them automatically.

However the concept does still work just like the old video proxy method, it’s just you’ll need a securely configured VPN server which cannot be detected.  This works in the same way hiding your real address and instead presenting the address of the VPN server.  So using this method, you can watch any media site from Hulu to Netflix and the BBC irrespective of your location.   Here’s one in action using a proxy to watch video content from the BBC –

There is one other method, I should mention which you can find discussed in this article here – http://www.theninjaproxy.org/content-filtering/smart-dns-vs-vpn/, it’s called Smart DNS and is a simpler alternative to using a VPN service.

It’s what literally millions of people around the world are doing right now, relaxing in the sun whilst watching the News on the BBC or their favorite US entertainment channel.  There are a lot of these services available now, but only a few that work properly.  Our recommendation doesn’t look like a TV watching VPN at first glance simply because they keep that functionality low key.  Yet for over a decade it has supported all the major media channels in a variety of countries.

It’s called Identity Cloaker – You can try their 10 day trial here – Identity Cloaker

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