Have you ever been browsing the internet just to find ads popping up for stores in your area? Or perhaps you want to host a watch party with a friend in another country only to find that your streaming service doesn’t have the same movies or series? Your location has a direct impact on what you see online. But why does your location have such an impact, and can you bypass these restrictions?
In this article, we explore the effect that your location has on the content shown to you online. We’ll also look at why certain content is restricted for specific countries. Finally, we’ll discuss a few options to help you bypass these restrictions, such as using location-specific proxies or the Tor browser. Click here to learn more about location-specific proxies, like a German proxy.
The following topics will be covered:
- What effect does your location have on your browsing experience?
- Why does your location affect what you see online?
- How to access information from other countries
What Effect Does Your Location Have On Your Browsing Experience?
Your location is directly tied to your IP address. That is how websites, search engines and other platforms know where you’re located and show you content relevant to your location. This means you’ll frequently see content related to your location when you search online.
You may also have noticed that there is specific content you can’t view because you’re in the wrong location to access it. Have you ever tried watching a YouTube video, only to get a message saying that the video can’t be viewed in your country? Well, YouTube isn’t the only platform that does this. Many websites, streaming services or content creators will place location blocks, known as geo-restrictions, on their content.
These restrictions are why you might see different shows or movies on Netflix while your friend in Germany sees something completely different despite using the same streaming platform.
Why Does Your Location Affect What You See Online?
Your location directly affects what content you see online, and there are a couple of reasons for this. The first and most common is because of geo-restrictions or blocking. These restrictions limit users’ access to certain content based on their location. These restrictions can be placed to protect copyright restrictions. Examples are the movies and series shown on Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming services.
Subscribers in the US will see different programs than those in the UK or China. Other reasons content may be limited can be to protect citizens from harmful content such as pornography. Certain countries and governments may also block content to drive their political agendas or to protect national security.
Another reason you may see different content based on your location is that search engines place a higher regard on local content. Search engines see local content as more valuable to users, meaning that they’ll often rank better in search results. This means when you make a search request in the US, you might get different results than when you use the same request in another country.
How To Access Information From Other Countries
Since your location is directly tied to your IP address, you may be thinking about how you can change it to access content that has been restricted. There are a few ways that you can bypass geo-restrictions to access content in any part of the world without physically being there.
Residential proxies are your best and safest option to access restricted content. These proxies are linked to real devices, making them appear like real users so websites won’t block them. You also get location-specific residential proxies, like a German proxy, that you can use to access content in specific countries.
By using one of these, the proxy provides you with an IP address in that country while safely hiding yours from websites. Aside from a German proxy, you also get ones for other countries like Russia, China, Japan, UK and more.
A VPN is an encrypted connection that also allows you to change your IP to a different one from another country. VPNs are easier to block than residential proxies since the IPs aren’t linked to real devices and can be identified more easily. This means you’ll have to switch between server locations to avoid bans.
Using the Tor browser is another great option to bypass geo-restrictions. This unique, completely private browser encrypts your data and sends it through multiple servers to ensure it is kept private, and it makes it impossible to trace.
One of the reasons that Tor, or the Onion Router as it’s also referred to, was developed was specifically to bypass geo-restrictions while ensuring complete online anonymity.
Your location can have a great impact on the content you see online. Due to geo-restrictions, you might not be able to access certain websites or platforms in specific countries. To bypass these restrictions, you’ll need to change your IP, which is directly linked to your location. Luckily, this is possible by using tools like residential proxies, VPN or the Tor browser.