Oftentimes, only after people leave a region or country where a certain show is produced, they discover they can no longer watch it. This isn’t limited to residents – the same happens to anyone whose IP address and DNS server aren’t within the permitted area. But why? Don’t the distributors want as large an audience as possible? Of course. But, their production, distribution, or licensing contracts are often limited to a location, and they’d have to shell out a lot more money for global content distribution, if even possible. Luckily, there is a way around it. Here’s how to watch redistricted shows in your region.
1. Figure out the desired location
If you’re watching a local show on the website of your regional TV station, you don’t need this step. However, this is pivotal when you want to watch shows distributed by major streaming services. Take Netflix for example. While we’re not sure how many of the catalogs are unique, Netflix has distribution contracts in 100+ countries. So, you’ll have to dig around to find which catalog, country, or region has access to the restricted show. Then, utilize that knowledge in methods 2, 4, and 5 below.
2. Find the method that suits you
Here are 5 ways to watch redistricted shows in your region:
1. Change your DNS server (Low success rate)
We’re starting with one with the lowest probability of success. This method won’t be useful with major streaming services, so don’t waste time. But if you’re outside the region and want to watch shows on local websites, on-demand streaming, or TV station online services, it can be a free and effective way to do so. Some popular examples include Cloudflare DNS, Google Public DNS, Quad9, or Comodo Secure DNS. Don’t expect amazing performance like streaming in 1080p or 4K, and sometimes not even in 720p.
2. Use an online proxy website
Another method of watching restricted shows in your country is using a proxy website as an intermediary. Here are a few things to keep in mind, though:
- This is limited by watching shows in the browser because you must enter the URL to route your traffic.
- Proxy websites that only change your IP address work when the service provider has no detection methods other than the IP address itself.
- Any content distribution service with stronger security measures requires the use of a proxy service that has its own DNS servers.
- If both of the methods above fail, look for proxy services with encryption and some VPN features, e.g., VPN proxies.
3. Use TOR (Unreliable)
Another way to watch geo-blocked shows is to use TOR (The Onion Router). To hide your identity and location, it bounces your Internet traffic through a network of computers. As such, you have no way to determine the location ahead of time. Therefore, depending on the show’s availability across the globe, you might experience inconsistent results. But hey, at least it’s free.
4. Install a VPN browser extension
We’ve finally arrived at VPN use, but with a technique with far less commitment and no software installation. What’s more, VPN browser extensions are frequently free, although with VPN server location limitations or privacy risks. A good example of the former is the ZenMate VPN browser extension. An example of the latter is a community-powered extension such as Hola VPN for Chrome.
5. Use a VPN (Best option)
Many of the premium VPN providers offer VPN browser extensions. But, if you decide to subscribe, the best approach to watch restricted shows in your region is to install their VPN software, whether for desktop, mobile, console, smart TV, or router. Also, the majority of top-end VPN services offer a 30-day money refund guarantee, and some of them have a free trial for 1 to 7 days. If you need help with practical applications, we demonstrated bypassing Netflix VPN block and watching HBO using ExpressVPN already. If you’re in a bad financial situation, however, check our list of free VPN software.