Watching series on vacation: What is geoblocking and how do you get around it?

Anyone who likes to watch series, would not want to do without this even on vacation. Due to geo-blocking, however, it is occasionally not possible to watch Netflix in countries like the USA as usual. That’s why more and more users are taking the opportunity to take action against geoblocking.

Among other things, series can be watched via satellite or different IP addresses can be used. VPN is also an efficient strategy to circumvent geoblocking. There are many providers, for example nordvpn – to get an overview visit vpncomparison. In the meantime, there are a variety of apps that make watching TV and streaming abroad easier. The different types of anonymizers each bring different advantages and disadvantages.

Where is geoblocking used and why?

Anyone who wants to broadcast series needs the necessary licenses for this. So it can happen that certain content that is available in one country cannot be viewed in another. This is then because the target country does not have the necessary rights to show a certain series. Those who want to watch Netflix in the US without additional resources often get an error message and cannot stream the desired series.

This phenomenon is called geoblocking, read more at Certain content is blocked in individual regions so that users cannot access it. If you travel a lot and don’t want to miss out on your favorite series, you have to find ways to get around geoblocking. There are various strategies for this that are legal and easy to implement.

End of geo-blocking without exceptions?

There will also be some exceptions to the ban on geo-blocking. Digital media, such as e-books, movies or computer games, are completely exempt. Furthermore, there is no obligation to deliver. If you sell furniture online and a Frenchman buys a cabinet from you, your customer may have to pick up the cabinet himself or arrange transport to his home country himself.

Also, redirection will still be possible. However, the potential customer must agree to this redirection. An “agree” default setting in the customer account should suffice for this, however. The website entered before the redirection must nevertheless remain easily accessible.

Even price surcharges should remain possible in justified cases. However, different VAT rates in the various EU states should not be a reason not to enter into the transaction.

The regulation is intended to enable EU citizens to buy products throughout the European single market as they would in their home country. However, not only products are covered by the regulations; services, such as renting cars, are also to fall under the regulation.

A host provider, which previously charged a surcharge to foreign customers, will in future have to offer its services at the same prices to all EU citizens. Ticket sellers are also affected. Tickets for a festival in Germany, for example, will soon have to be available for purchase directly in Germany – without an expensive national intermediary.

However, the regulation does not only affect geo-blocking. Furthermore, the same general terms and conditions will apply to foreign Internet customers as to domestic ones.

While the warning is only a piece of paper, the wrong reaction to it can result in unnecessary, time-consuming and cost-intensive legal disputes on the one hand and on the other hand in the obligation to pay the opponent, if necessary, excessive lawyer’s fees or damage compensation amounts not owed and, in the case of the smallest errors, lifelong contractual penalties of usually around 5,000.00 € in the future.

Watching content via satellite

Geoblocking is not a problem when using a satellite system. Through such a system, users have access to content from completely different countries and can watch it from their point of view. Due to such a satellite system, it is then not necessary to use additional technologies to bypass geoblocking and watch Netflix in the US.

  1. For this strategy to work, accommodation with a satellite system must be chosen. Hotels and vacation rentals often offer this service.
  2. However, those staying with friends who do not have a satellite system available must think of other strategies to combat geoblocking.
  3. Otherwise, those affected will have to rely on the program that is available in the respective destination country.

Working with different IP addresses

The problem with geoblocking is the IP address used. This clearly shows from where a user accesses the Internet. This means that operators know exactly where the user is located and whether he or she is authorized to view content for the country in question. If the necessary rights are not available for a particular location to view the content, it is blocked and it is not possible to watch Netflix in the USA, for example.

One strategy for circumventing geo-blocking is therefore to influence the IP address. One possibility is to have the IP address completely encrypted. This means that it is not clear where a person is located. Accordingly, the content is not blocked. An alternative is to use different IP addresses of certain countries. If certain content is only available in Germany, a German IP address is used, if the content is US-American, a correspondingly different IP address is used. Especially for people who are always on the road in certain countries and want to watch series there, this solution is well suited.

Combating geoblocking with VPN

VPN is a proven and efficient method of combating geoblocking. VPN is a Virtual Private Network. With this technology, a network is created that pretends the user is in their home country. Thus, all content and series can be viewed as if the respective rights were available worldwide. There are a large number of VPN service providers, each of which provides different services. A comprehensive comparison of providers helps to find exactly the solution that is best suited for one’s own needs and makes it possible, for example, to watch Netflix in the USA.

Another advantage of using VPN is that personal data is anonymized. Thus, no IP address is transmitted and the traces that are created when surfing the Internet are reliably deleted. Thus, users have the opportunity to surf anonymously and enjoy the greatest possible data protection. The use of VPN is completely legal, even if certain providers do not like it.

Various apps make watching TV and streaming easier

Nowadays, there are a variety of apps that make watching TV and streaming abroad no problem. Users are thus no longer necessarily dependent on a TV or a laptop to be able to watch Netflix in the US. Those who want to can stream conveniently via a tablet or smartphone, and are thus flexible and independent of location. The series are available everywhere and can be used at any time.

There are a variety of VPN apps that many users like to use. It is worthwhile to look into the most diverse offerings in order to find a solution that fits perfectly. A good strategy is to download the desired apps onto the mobile device while still in the home country. This gives them the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new technology and find out exactly how it works. This means that users can start watching TV and streaming directly in their destination country without having to spend a lot of time getting used to the technology.

Different types of anonymizers

There are a considerable number of anonymizers whose primary goal is to bypass geoblocking. The VPN is merely the best known. Another option is to use a proxy server, which is connected between the user and the target computer. This takes over the entire communication and ensures that geoblocking does not come into play. The anonymizers encrypt the content and thus make eavesdropping unlikely. The more users use a proxy, the more secure the respective connection. The target computer then no longer has the option of assigning individual connections to specific users.