When you read about the internet, it’s usually about how it’s constantly expanding and growing but that’s not strictly true. Of course, new pages and sites are being added all the time. However the reality is that much of it is being blocked, filtered and restricted to many of us. Indeed many of the web’s most popular video websites are often inaccessible to much of the world’s population depending largely on where they live. Indeed even something like YouTube, number one in the world’s video streaming sites has many videos which are completely inaccessible to many of us.
Internet censorship is growing almost as fast as the internet itself. For instance take the example of another one of the world’s most popular video websites the BBC iPlayer. It’s a huge site containing 11 live streaming channels plus thousands of programmes, videos and radio broadcasts and in their archive section. It’s a wonderful free resource, the equivalent of an entire cable subscription accessible from your web browser. Also it’s continually refreshed, with new shows, documentaries and programmes being added continuously. Unfortunately the site is not accessible when you are located outside the United Kingdom unless you use something like a video proxy to help you.
So why is it so difficult to access these sites, why do people who happen to be away from home, perhaps in France Roubaix or a seaside town in Spain have to constantly search for ways to unblock video pages on YouTube and the big media sites?
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. You’ll find that a particular site will remove objects based on your location, in fact some countries it’s almost impossible to watch videos on any of the major platforms. 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. Each site will check your IP address when your web browser connects and will 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 documentary for example, then if your IP address isn’t registered in the UK then you’ll get blocked.
It’s extremely frustrating especially for someone from the UK who might just be on holiday or travelling. Fortunately workarounds have been created so that anyone can access any blocked website including these video websites. 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 proxy server based in the location you need, which effectively hides your true IP address and location and will unblock video sites easily
However it’s important to remember that from around 2017 onwards a simple web proxy will no longer work on any of the major media sites. They have all introduced technology which will block ordinary proxy servers from connecting to their content.
So alas you can forget about the thousands of simple unblock sites, proxy browser pages or free video proxy server sites that promise to bypass internet restrictions. They simply don’t work anymore to access any blocked website. Unfortunately without even simple SSL encryption they can be detected easily and all the sites block them automatically. Some of them are still able to unblock YouTube videos but even those are fairly rare now. Most of the free ones, have been blocked at the server level and their hosting services have told them to remove scripts like Glype. Unfortunately the days of the free proxy sites and web proxy servers have now gone for good. None of them are much use for privacy or for being able to access videos sites. The large multimedia companies who provide the top rated videos all use technology which blocks their web address or connections 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. The encryption is useful giving you the insurance of anonymity whilst able to allow cookies to flow down the connection transparently too. 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. Unfortunately most simple proxies are now blocked so even the best free proxy sites are useless for accessing media sites like these.
Here’s one in action using a proxy to watch video content from the BBC –
It’s a highly sophisticated program that will allow you to proxy video through a secure connection, also fast enough to allow you to watch video without buffering. It’s very easy to use to unblock video and you’ll find it can bypass internet filters too which are also commonly implemented. The demo version is available to test it out, it won’t function as a YouTube proxy unfortunately but you can at least use the free version to unblock Facebook. The main program works on PCs and laptops but unlike simple unblock proxy sites you can use it as a video proxy mobile by establishing a VPN connection on your smartphone or tablet – it’s relatively simple to do. Check out a video of it in action switching IP addresses online on this page.
There is one other method, I should mention which you can find discussed in this article here, it’s called Smart DNS and is a simpler alternative to using a VPN service. If you want to scale things up you’re going to need access to a bigger network it’s worth reading this article about residential proxies as a start.
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. For proxy video streaming, speed is essential and that should be the first thing you assess. This one has been working 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 CloakerNo schema found.