Why would you want to do this I might hear you ask. Well it’s mainly due to a practice called geotargeting and it’s extremely annoying. You’ve probably come across it before – perhaps you’ve clicked on a particularly interesting video on Youtube, you click to play but just get a message about ’this video is not available in your area’. Rubbish eh. But there’s more – loads of web sites do it. When I’m abroad I’ve been blocked from my online bank account as I’m in a different country, can’t access Hulu or Pandora on holiday as their US only. Literally more and more incidents being blocked or filtered from websites I use to access without problem.
Now a VPN is a Virtual Private Network and it’s just a little tunnel between you and another computer. So for example I could set up a VPN to a USA server, or an Australian proxy, check this out. The beauty is that I now appear to be in the location of the VPN server not my actual physical location – so I can connect to the country I need to access a particular website.
I’m actually quite lucky as the company I work for has lots of VPNs all across the world. This means I am able to access the one I need at any given time. The ones I use most are the UK one for BBC Iplayer (blocked outside UK) and the US one for when I’m travelling. I really wish the web sites wouldn’t do this – it just seems against the spirit of the internet. However as usual money making seems to have overtaken ideals once again.