Governments around the world have different laws upon what content is legal and what is not. If you follow the news about Internet privacy and security, you must be familiar with geographical restrictions.
What is geographical restriction?
Geographical restriction, namely geo-blocking, is a technology that blocks users from Internet content based upon their geographical locations.
In other words, this means that some websites are available in the US, but not in Canada, or that you are restricted to a different version of a website when accessing from China than when accessing from Sweden.
For example, the censorship laws are stricter for citizens of Saudi Arabia than in most other countries. They can not access some content, including pornography, which is freely available elsewhere in the world.
Consequences of geographical restrictions
Generally, geo-blocking means you can’t view the entire Internet content. If you are outside the US, the content you can enjoy on Netflix is much less than the US version.
Another common consequence of geo-blocking is price discrimination. It is always the case that you have to pay a higher price for the same service.
Besides, some websites may also restrict foreign credit cards, foreign bank accounts and international payments, and do not offer Paypal, which can be used over the Internet.
The purpose of geographical restrictions
Many governments claim to adopts geo-blocking rules to protect customers from potential risks on the Internet. They believe that completely free Internet access will leave users more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Restricting access to content based on your location in the world is a popular strategy that is widely used by multinational technology giants. The IP address of your computer, acting as an intermediary and receiving content in your name and then passing it on to you.
Due to copyright, license restrictions and many other factors, online retailers may set different prices for their products in different locations around the world.
The problem of geo-blocking exists both for digital assets (such as streaming services) and for many places in the world. If you want to overcome geo-blocking and explore the Internet freely and without restrictions, you can use a VPN.