Streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and others often have different content libraries available depending on your location. This is due to licensing restrictions and rights issues. However, there are ways to access content that may not be available in your region. Here are some methods to watch geo-restricted streaming sites:
Use a VPN
A VPN allows you to change your IP address and appear as if you are in a different location. This tricks streaming sites into thinking you are somewhere else, granting access to different content libraries.
Steps to Use a VPN:
- Sign up for a VPN service. Look for ones that offer servers in different countries and advertise their ability to unblock streaming sites. Some popular options are Surfshark, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN.
- Install the VPN app on your device and log in.
- Connect to a server in a location that has the content you want to access. For example, connect to a US server to access US Netflix. You can also set up VPN on router.
- Launch the streaming site and you should now have access to the different regional library.
The advantage of using a VPN is it allows you to easily change locations and access different libraries. The drawback is you have to pay for a VPN subscription.
Smart DNS Proxies
A Smart DNS proxy service changes your DNS settings to route traffic through different servers, fooling sites into thinking you are elsewhere. Some popular Smart DNS options include UnoTelly, Unlocator, etc.
How to Use Smart DNS:
- Sign up for a Smart DNS service.
- Follow the setup instructions to change your device’s DNS settings to use the Smart DNS servers. This may require logging into your router.
- The Smart DNS will now route your traffic and bypass geo-restrictions when accessing streaming sites.
The benefit of Smart DNS is it is generally cheaper than a VPN subscription. However, it only changes your DNS data, not your IP address. So it can be less reliable than a VPN.
Browser Extensions and Proxies
There are various browser extensions and proxy sites that claim to bypass geo-restrictions. Some examples are Hola, Zenmate, ProxySite, etc.
How to Use Browser Proxies:
- Install the browser extension or navigate to the proxy site.
- Enable the extension or enter the streaming site’s URL on the proxy site.
- Stream the content while routed through the proxy network.
The advantage of browser proxies is they are quick and easy to use for free. However, most are slow, unreliable, show ads, or even unsafe to use. Tread carefully with free options.
Use Mirror Sites
Some streaming and torrent sites have mirror sites – copies hosted at different URLs. If the main site is blocked, try using a mirror site. Mirror sites retain all the content but with a different address to bypass ISP blocks. The downside is mirrors tend to appear and disappear quickly.
How to Use Mirror Sites:
- Search for “(site name) mirror” to find mirrors.
- Navigate to the mirror site which should have the same layout and content.
- Stream or torrent as you normally would.
Mirror sites allow you to easily bypass blocks without any additional tools. But you have to find reputable up-to-date mirrors which can be difficult.
Geo-restrictions are annoying but surmountable with the right tools and services. The best options are using a VPN or Smart DNS proxy for reliable access and speed. Free options like browser extensions can work but are often slower and at risk of being shut down. And torrents allow you to download and watch content offline but come with potential legal risks.