Geoblocking and its Impact on Travellers in 2024

Geoblocking is often adopted by websites and services, as it gives them a way to control which countries and regions can access content. Netflix might release certain shows in the US, but not have the rights to show them to a UK audience.

Although sites have good intentions when implementing geo-restrictions, as a traveller, this can be frustrating. As you make your way through different countries, the content you can access changes, which can impact the amount of digital media you have access to.

Source: Pexels

Geoblocking Digital Media

Streaming platforms such as Peacock, Max, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime often restrict access to specific shows and music. Most of the time this is driven by licensing agreements. A common reason why shows are restricted is because the show is being broadcast on a local TV channel instead. Casinos also geo-block content so they can cater their advertisements and currencies to local audiences. If you play blackjack on one website, you might not be able to access the same site in another country. You probably will, however, find the same games available on a different website. As a gambler, signing up with another site will mean you can’t access your winnings and that you lose the progress of your current game. One way to work around this would be for you to use a VPN.

By using a VPN, you can access all of the games you play, through sites you’re already signed up with. Another example of how geoblocking can impact travellers would be sports streaming. BBC iPlayer is only available in the UK, and Sling TV is exclusive to the US. F1TV streams live Formula 1 races, but they vary the content available depending on your host country. 

Source: Pexels

Geoblocking Across Other Sectors 

eCommerce sites often restrict sales to certain countries or regions due to regulations. Certain products might not be available to purchase by someone in a different country if there are import restrictions.

News websites also use geo-blocking, to limit access to certain articles. This can be due to the relevance of the content to certain regions. You also have the financial sector. Banks and financial institutions often use geo-blocking as a way to enhance security. If you access your bank from another country, this often triggers various security protocols, so your access will be limited when using services like this abroad.

Companies that provide software may also limit access based on licensing agreements. The U.S. Export Administration Regulations are now stricter in regards to the export of data encryption software. Companies need to adhere to strict protocols and licensing requirements when selling software out of the country. Although these measures are implemented to support national security concerns, software providers find themselves having to employ geoblocking as a way to uphold them.

Geoblocking has a monumental impact on travellers, but by using a VPN, it’s easy to access the content you want, without compromise. It’s perfectly legal, and a great way for you to make sure you’re never out of the loop when it comes to news updates, live sports streams and even new album releases. 

Leave a Comment