Over 1.3 billion users access content on YouTube. With 300 hours of media uploaded each hour and 5 billion views each day, it is safe to say that many want to enjoy everything YouTube has to offer.
While YouTube clearly has plenty of content, not all of YouTube is available everywhere in the world. As an industry leader and a global brand, YouTube aims to offer as much content as possible, but some restrictions are put in place.
Virtually all of YouTube restrictions are done by geo-blocking. Nothing is more frustrating than the moment when you have found the perfect video or show and then get the dreaded, “The uploader has not made this video available in your country” message. Sometimes these geo-blocks are used to limit access to specific regions for marketing purposes. In other cases, geo-blocks are enforced by governments for political reasons.
Regardless of the reason, geo-blocks are frustrating for anyone who’s access to certain content on YouTube is denied. Fortunately, there are ways around these blockages for those who are willing to put in a little effort. Here are three ways to evade geo-blocking restrictions.
Buy a VPN
The safest and most efficient way to access geo-blocked content is by obtaining a high quality VPN. When using a VPN, you appear to be accessing a website, like YouTube, from a different region. This is how a VPN helps some users access geo-restricted content.
There are free VPN services available. However, you should invest in a high-quality VPN to stay secure while evading geo-blocking. A good VPN will also allow you to choose which region you would like to appear to be accessing the site from. Free VPNs tend to offer non-secure connections, have fewer options for server locations, and are slow.
Using a VPN to access geo-restricted YouTube content is simple. Download a VPN app or program that is compatible with your operating system. A good VPN will allow you to choose the region you would like to access YouTube from (ideally, you should choose the region the video was uploaded from). Open your browser and access the content as you normally would.
A VPN offers the best opportunity to evade geo-blocking restrictions and also encrypts your data in the process for additional security.
If you choose not to use a VPN to access restricted content, a proxy server could help. Proxy servers act similarly to a VPN, because they convince sites that you are browsing from a different location. The major difference is that a VPN encrypts data, while a proxy server does not.
It is important to evaluate the type of content you will access before deciding if a proxy server is right for you. If you simply want to access a popular new music video from a restricted region, a non-encrypted connection might be the right fit for you. Alternatively, if you intend to access sensitive information by bypassing a politically-driven geo-block, you might prefer a VPN to mask your identity and data transmission.
Once you evaluate your needs, choosing a proxy server will become easier. There are free options available, but they often lack server locations and limit your ability to bypass geo-blocks. Like a VPN, using a proxy server is as simple as downloading it, choosing an appropriate server, and accessing YouTube through a browser or browser extension.
Download the YouTube Video
In some cases, it is possible to just download the YouTube video you are trying to access. Once the content is on your device, the geo-blocking restrictions are ineffective. Downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is legal, as there are no laws against it. However, if you intend to show it in a public setting, you could run into trouble.
Downloading is simple, if you are a little computer savvy. Essentially, you copy the URL of the content to a online or desktop video downloader.
Geo-blocks are put in place for a variety of reasons, all of them frustrating to those who want to access the restricted content. There are ways to bypass these blocks that require a bit of time and effort. If you choose to a VPN or a proxy service, you will have the most success with a paid service. YouTube works hard to prevent users from avoiding geo-restrictions, so getting around them might require some trial and error.