Here we look at one of the benefits of using a VPN service – avoiding geographic restrictions.
First we need to look at what these restrictions are and why we might be interested in avoiding them.
A geographic restriction exists when a web page can only be viewed by people browsing the internet from a particular geographic location. e.g United States. In most cases the restriction is implemented by filtering our IP address. If your IP address corresponds to the area of service, e.g US, then our connection will be accepted. Otherwise it will be rejected. We can look at this graphically;
Here we can see a user browsing the internet and trying to access a website in the United States and the United Kingdom. In this case the websites recognise that the user is trying to access the web pages from Italy, and his access is blocked. By contrast, users trying to access these web pages from within the US and UK respectively will be able to access the web pages in question. This filtering has been achieved by identifying the users IP address which is particular to a geographic location.
How does a VPN service help in this regard? Simple. As discussed in previous blog articles, a VPN service replaces a users IP address with an IP address of the VPN service provider. Generally a VPN service provider gives you a selection of servers in different geographic locations through which to connect to the VPN service. So the solution then becomes simple. A user just has to chose the geopgraphic location of the VPN server node that will provide the appropriate geographic IP address. Lets see this graphically;
Obviously this can be achieved with the use of a proxy. However, many sites are now utilising sophisticated systems to identify when a proxy is being used and then denies the user access.
We hope this has been clear!