For many years now, people have been using proxies and VPNs to protect their privacy. The proxy is the simplest, an intermediary server which hides a person’s location by routing traffic and hiding your real location. The main advantages of using a proxy server are as follows:
- Prevent any web server from recording or logging your visit.
- Prevent ISP logging your internet activity.
When you visit any web site whilst connected to a proxy server, instead of recording your IP address it will only see the address of the proxy. This means that your privacy and location is protected and can also be useful in bypassing any geo-targeting that the web site might attempt.
The second aspect, is to hide your internet activity from your ISP (Internet Service Provider). The logs stored here comprise a complete record of every web site you visit, email you send and anything you download so using a proxy can provide a significant level of privacy. If you combine it with the ability to choose the location of the proxy you are using it offers significant benefits as we can see in this demonstration.
The market has become very competitive with literally hundreds of providers of proxy and VPN services now. However although these work very well, there is a considerable investment needed in order to provide a fast, stable service and some people were not actually that worried about the privacy aspect and just wanted to bypass the geo-blocks.
THe problem is that many media services restrict or even block content based on your physical location. From the BBC iPlayer which is only available in the UK, to HBO and ABC in the US all restrict access to specific locations. Even global media sites like Netflix offer different services depending on where you connect from – which vary greatly.
Obviously there is some discontent that a US Netflix subscriber would have a much superior service to someone who subscribes from canada or the UK for example. Fortunately, now it’s possible to hide your specific location using a technology called Smart DNS. This web page shows how you can use a US DNS server to access American Netflix.
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