Geo Blocking - GeoSurf Proxy Glossary

Geo Blocking

What is Geo Blocking?

Geo-blocking is a technique that is employed to restrict internet users from accessing specific websites, online content, or web-based services based on the geographical location from which they’re browsing.

Geo blocking is typically implemented by filtering user IP (Internet Protocol) address. When users attempt to access a website or online platform, it will view that user’s device IP and use it to deduce their location. Subsequently, if that user is in a restricted region, the platform will block them.

What is the difference between geo blocking and geo fencing?

Geo blocking and geo fencing are similar in that they are both used to influence what Internet users can and can’t see. However, the two methods function differently and have different use cases.

Geo blocking, as we’ve mentioned, is done by tracking IP addresses to determine user locations, then applying the relevant restrictions. Its purpose, as the name suggests, is to restrict users’ access to specific content or platforms.

Geo fencing, on the other hand, is done by creating a virtual perimeter around a specified geographical area using technologies like GPS systems, Wi-Fi, and cellular data networks. It exists primarily for the purpose of targeting rather than restriction, enabling the delivery of tailored services and geo-specific marketing content to users who enter the area in question.

Whereas geo-location blocks prevent certain user actions, geo-fencing uses them as triggers for location-based content.

Examples of Geo blocking 

Nowadays, content blocking is used by many different entities for a variety of different reasons. 

A common use case for geo-blocking is that of companies that offer online streaming services, such as Netflix or Hulu, for instance. These platforms have been known to limit access to some of their content for the purpose of adhering to specific licensing or copyright agreements that may be in place.

Other kinds of websites, such as travel websites, for example, often use geo-blocking to modify access to some users to maximize revenue based on their geo-location. This is not exactly geo-blocking rather than geographical price discrimination. This is not uncommon that a UK-based user will see a different rate for the same hotel room than a user in Poland.

Additionally, geographical blocks can be used by other online providers that wish to employ specific regional pricing practices. By preventing users from accessing versions of their sites that are intended for other audiences, these companies can direct them to the intended version of their site where prices are commensurate with the cost of living. This use of geoblocking, though somewhat controversial, is within the law and is commonly used.

Is geo-blocking effective?

Broadly speaking, geo blocking is a fairly effective means of restricting user access to specific sites or resources. However, it has its limitations, and those users who are technologically savvy enough to bypass them can do so with relative ease. 

Is it legal to bypass geo blocking?

While there are some misconceptions on the matter, it is in fact legal to bypass geo blocks that you might encounter online. While many websites and platforms that implement them may regard bypassing geo blocks as a breach of their terms of service, it is not technically against the law to do so.

However, depending on where you live, the use of certain technologies, such as VPNs, for example, may be banned. So, it is important to note that while bypassing geo blocks may not be illegal in itself where you are, your country may prohibit you from using the technology you require to do so. 

As such, it is important to err on the side of caution and do your due diligence before attempting to bypass any blocks.

How do I get around blocked Internet access?

Getting around blocks is remarkably easy once you know what you’re doing. You simply need to utilize a reputable VPN or proxy service to your advantage. 

Both VPNs and proxies can give you access to a network of servers in remote locations around the world. By connecting to a server in a location of your choosing, you can divert your internet connection to simulate the traffic of a user in that region. When you do so, your VPN or proxy will mask the IP of your device, and as such, you will be able to bypass geo blocks with ease.

Both VPNs and proxies serve a similar function, however, it’s useful to note that while both can enable you to change your browsing location, a VPN will also route your data through a secure VPN tunnel, encrypting it in the process. This can help to bolster your security and conceal your online activity to prevent bandwidth throttling from internet service providers.

Whatever your needs, GeoSurf has you covered, offering reliable VPN and proxy services.