Changing your Online Country
Once upon a time, people generally just used the internet at home or possibly in the office. Internet connections where fairly rare and usually pretty slow, so it was more of a hobby surfing the web than anything else. This has of course changed, for most of us the internet is a vital part of our lives indeed deprive an under-30 year old of their smart phone and it’s likely they’ll go into shock after a few hours.
Nowadays most of us have the internet at hand and it’s the first place we turn to pay bills, buy stuff, book holidays and a whole myriad of everyday tasks. This is the same when we travel abroad whether on holiday or for work, a connection to the internet allows you to keep in touch – pay your bills, follow latest TV series and generally all the simple day to day things which you used to have to put on hold.
Unfortunately many of the biggest international web sites are starting to make this a bit more difficult. They are starting to use a system called region locking which blocks or restricts access depending on your location. For example you may find that your online banking systems or your Paypal account can’t be accessed from certain countries. It can be very inconvenient, For financial websites like these then the reason is likely to be to prevent fraud, nevertheless when you’re travelling it’s when remote access to your bank is most useful.
The same technology is used by media sites to restrict access based on their own copyright restrictions. The fantastic BBC site for example is inaccessible to those who are outside the UK for instance. Most of the major US media sites only work when you’re physically located in the USA too. Can you believe that if you use a USA Netflix account in Paris you’ll get lots of French films, which is why people change Netflix country manually by hiding their real IP address and location.
So there you have it, on one hand we have the websites desperately trying to control what we can do or see online (although many governments are doing this too) whilst we are having to invest in all sorts of technical tools to bypass these blocks and filters. Fortunately on the internet, the lawless masses usually get the upper hand but to some extent it’s a huge waste of time and resources, The world wide web was designed as a global communication medium where everyone is equal, it would be good if the large web businesses would put aside the profit motive and try and remember this.