GDPR is now in full force, courtesy of the EU. Too many average people don’t understand how their browsing data is used. The companies have long gotten away with abusing our data—tracking, sharing and selling it— without any real recourse from government agencies.
But the EU has had enough, and websites that don’t adhere to the new regulations are blocked. And those that break the regulations will receive heavy penalties. Some people don’t agree with how stern the regulation is, not least the companies operating under it. Many argue that the blocking restricts access to educational resources.
It’s not just EU citizens that face geo-blocking, either. Internet users everywhere must deal with not being able to access region-specific news and television broadcasts, VOD, sports and numerous subscription services. But there are several solutions to bypassing the GDPR geo-lock as well as any region locking all users face.
Virtual Privacy Network (VPN)
The most efficient, turnkey method of avoiding GDPR geo-blocking is with a VPN. They provide a host of benefits to home and commercial users, and geo-spoofing—up there with encryption—is one of the most alluring features. It fools your ISP and the websites you access into thinking you’re located in a different country, which makes it highly difficult for them to track your activity.
Connecting to servers in specific countries means being able to access their movies, watch their live TV and sports broadcasts, all at the same time everyone there does. There are a lot of free options out there but, while not having to spend anything is always good, the level of protection and performance will usually be non-existent.
Other methods for bypassing GDPR geo-blocking
Proxy servers are a popular choice for those who don’t use a VPN. Using one comes with the same benefits of performance and anonymity, but they also allow for geo-spoofing too. There are five servers that fall in the forward, reverse and open categories, and they are there for users to have more flexibility in the usage that flows through the proxy.
Proxy servers do come with their drawbacks, however. They open users up to compatibility problems, as well as the chance of things like identity and data theft.
Smart DNS is another effective tool worth using to bypass geo-blocking. They’re a simple, common way of reaching all your favorite shows and broadcasters. By rerouting your online traffic through a Smart DNS proxy server, similar to a VPN, your online location is changed to the country of your choice.
If you’re looking for protection alongside geo-spoofing, then Smart DNS isn’t the best option. Not only does it come without encryption, it doesn’t mask your IP address to the full extent.
Lastly, Tor (originally, The Onion Router) would also serve you well as you endeavor to stay a step or two ahead of the prevailing GDPR blockades. Tor is a freely available software that you can download and use just like any browser. It keeps your IP address away from any person or organization that could be trying to identify where you are browsing from. It uses high-level encryption that keeps your data protected every time you visit the Internet.
Whichever way you choose, be sure to test your IP invisibility with the location-masking tool of your choice (they usually provide that feature), or with one of the many testing tools floating around the web. Safe surfing!