At the time of writing this article, Spotify is open for use in 65 countries, far behind its rivals Deezer and Apple Music. What happens to users in restricted countries? Well, they just see a message of “Spotify is not available in your country”.
How to solve this issue and open up Spotify and other online services?
The ideal solution is to connect to a good VPN service and have your traffic appear as coming from a different country, one that is in Spotify’s non-restricted countries list. This is a simple process and will be shown in detail in this article.
How to unlock Spotify in restricted countries?
As mentioned above, the fastest and easiest way is to use a VPN or a proxy service. With such a service your internet traffic appears to be from a different origin than where you are physically based. Since Spotify restricts traffic according to where it appears to be from, this solution will work like a charm.
What is a VPN?
A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is a service that takes your network traffic and alters it in a few ways.
First, your traffic is being encrypted. The encryption types may vary, but essentially your data is randomized with a specific key. Data that was previously very easy to follow, intercept, and monitor, now becomes a stream of random numbers and letters. Anyone who wants to understand what you are actually doing while surfing right now or using any online service must have a matching key to the one that was used to randomize your data.
The data is then sent to a server on the receiving end, where it is decrypted and sent to the correct address.
There are many types of VPN services, mainly varying in location, usage limitations, and price.
How to choose a VPN for Spotify
Picking the right VPN service isn’t that simple. There are a lot of providers out there and not all are of the same quality.
Select the correct location
The first and most important thing in choosing the correct VPN for Spotify is the location. If you would choose a really good VPN server outside of Spotify’s available countries, you still have the same problem you had initially.
Your first intuition might be using a US-based server, but this might not be the best solution. Since your traffic must go through the VPN server, it might be wiser to choose a good server located in a country that has Spotify and is close to your country. The reason for this is that data that travels a long way will eventually be much slower.
Make sure you are not out of bandwidth
Many VPN companies limit the amount of data you can use per month. Spotify is, in fact, a very lightweight service and using it will consume around 1 GB for every 7 hours of listening. But, since you will probably use other services that are blocked in your country with this VPN, I would recommend you sign up for a service that allows you to use an unlimited amount of data.
Validate the connection quality
A lot of VPN products out there have the same issue, which is slow connection speed, especially at peak hours. Your music and other streaming content will be available for you, even in the restricted country you live in. But, while watching a movie online, or listening to your favorite album, you might realize the connection is so slow that it’s impossible to use it in practice. Therefore, it is crucial to select the right VPN service.
How to choose your VPN service?
For the untrained eye, all VPN services seem very good. They all promise high speeds and an incredible set of features. But what is actually ‘under the hood’ is sometimes very hard to determine without trying it for yourself.
The recommended way to verify a VPN service’s quality is to sign up for it and have a little test:
- Start with a basic test of the speed you can stream content in, listen to Spotify, etc.
- Try making these tests a few times a day, maybe also during the weekend when the internet usage in your area is at its peak.
- If the results are consistent for more than the first few times you use it, go ahead and enjoy your content.
The catch here is, that VPN companies know that during the ‘Free Trial’ you might be doing these tests and might be allocating more traffic to their users that are not paying a thing and just testing the system. It sounds like a scam, but you will be surprised how many of the companies do that.
That is why it’s important to:
- Read reviews, recommendations and real tests that have been done with several VPN services.
- Always prefer services that have a long trial period or where the service is in fact free to use.
In order to unlock Spotify, you will need a good and fast VPN service that is located in a country that appears in Spotify’s service area, preferably a country that is also close to your location. It’s very important to choose a provider you can trust and to make a good system test before fully committing and paying too much.