Geo-Blocking: Restricting Internet Usage

In the words of the renowned software developer and philanthropist, Bill Gates, “The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” It cannot be denied that the Internet has become a vital component of global connectivity these days. Starting from our personal lives to our professional lives, Internet has permeated our lives to an extent where it is almost impossible to imagine a world devoid of it, even for the shortest time span. For the purpose of accessing information or for professional and business reasons as well as for the fulfillment of our entertainment and social needs, we visit a plethora of websites every day. Each of these websites is hosted on the web server of some web hosting company which provides it server space, necessary technologies and services. Often these companies are referred to as the “Best Website Hosting Company” or as the “Best Cloud Hosting Company” or even as the “Best Windows Hosting Company in India” owing to the exceptional quality of service offered by these companies. These companies which are also called web hosts offer various hosting packages to cater to different hosting requirements.

One of the main purposes that the Internet serves is to keep us connected on a global scale. This is hindered by geo-blocking. Geo-blocking ensures that the users of a certain physical location have limited access to the Internet. As the term itself suggests, it blocks the access to certain websites and content based on the user’s location. Usually this practice is a direct result of a country’s government’s decision. Moreover, websites and content providers along with intellectual proprietors implement it. In this case it is done with regard to copyright restrictions. Often businesses and telecommunications companies make use of geo-blocking. This enables businesses to create content that is accessible to its targeted users.

With the aid of technology a user’s location can be determined for the implementation of the appropriate restricting protocol. This entails identifying the user’s location from the I.P. address, checking profile information along with measuring ping. In the context of websites, geo-blocking blocks websites from being accessed by users who are from a specified location. Geo-blocking provides the necessary control over the viewership of the online content.

Let us gain some information on how geo-blocking works. Every device that is connected to the Internet has an IP (Internet Protocol) address, which is a unique numerical identifier. Each time that the Internet connected device makes a request to a server for content, its IP address is forwarded along with that request. This enables the server to know where to send the requested content. An IP address can easily give away a computer’s geographical location and that too with reasonable accuracy. There are databases that map IP addresses to countries. These databases are used to create this type of a block list. Geo-blocking prevents people from accessing global markets and hinders the freedom of communication. It also acts as a means of government censorship.

Restricting online access based on a user’s geography by implementing geo-blocking isn’t a foolproof method for achieving this aim. As with every form of restriction, evading a geo-block isn’t impossible for those who are determined to not let it hinder their freedom regarding their use of the Internet. Dodging it can often prove to be expensive and/or require technical knowledge that is not commonplace. Additionally, it can make users vulnerable to getting their online activities tracked. A VPN is often used to circumvent geo-blocking as it enables the user to appear to be using the Internet from another location than his actual physical location. This is made possible through the aid of VPN, a seach time the user runs a VPN client and connects to a VPN server, the connection request is encrypted before it is sent to the server. Next, it is decrypted by the server. Then it is forwarded to the Internet. The requested data is encrypted at the time when the server receives it. After that it’s sent back to the user’s device. In the final stage, the received data is decrypted by the VPN client for it to be viewed and comprehended. VPN encryption entails encryption keys, encryption algorithms, VPN encryption ciphers, VPN encryption protocols, handshake encryption, HMAC authentication, Perfect Forward Secrecy. Through VPN encryption geo-blocking can be evaded. It is the most commonly used way to circumvent geo-blocking and go about one’s usual usage of the Internet without letting geo-blocking hamper one’s freedom related to access to the Internet.

  • web security, Geo-Blocking
  • 1 Users Found This Useful
Was this answer helpful?

Related Articles

Easy Ways to Ensure Website Security

In the world that we live in today,it is impossible to imagine a life that is devoid of the...