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US Proxy Buy – Take back Control

There was a time when the word ‘proxy’ was used little outside the geeky chat of an IT department.  The first primary use of a proxy server was too control access to the internet in corporate and education networks.  By enforcing the proxy as the only access to the internet, networks could be secured and web activity logged and controlled if necessary.    Basically only one computer would be allowed access to the world wide web and that would be the proxy server itself.

Times have changed and now proxies represent something other that restrictions,  people look for US proxy buy options for a variety of reasons.   One ironically is that of try to maintain some privacy, the internet has become much more pervasive but there’s never been that much privacy.  The average internet user is probably unaware that every file they download, every image the view or move they watch is recorded and logged at their ISP.  Your internet history is very far from a secret and is equally coveted by the state and big business for different reasons.

So how does buying a US proxy help matters with regards to privacy.  A well configured proxy or better still a VPN service will do three things with regards online privacy.  Firstly it will hide all record of your activity at your ISP.  Secondly (although this is normally only a VPN) your data can be encrypted to keep personal details and things like logon credentials secure. Finally it hides your location from the websites you visit, stopping them logging and recording your activity as well.

The use of a secure VPN when browsing the web, certainly improves your security.   However there is another important aspect to consider which people should consider – region locking.  This is the practice where a web site will attempt to control who gets access to a certain site or content.  It’s particularly common in media and TV sites who block access to surfers who are not from a particular country.  This is why you’ll find people asking for a US proxy buy, for the simple reason that a US based proxy or VPN will allow you to watch US sites like Netflix, Hulu and NBC irrespective of your location.  Ever tried using your Pandora account outside the USA, well it won’t work.

There are a myriad of reasons websites block access to people outside their domestic market.  Online banking is often restricted due to the risk of digital fraud, yet ironically it’s travellers who need the service more.  Companies like US Netflix restrict based to copyright laws, digital content needs to be licensed in individual countries which obviously can be expensive.   Others simply want to charge different prices based on someone’s physical location – a common profit maximization technique.

So these are the fundamental reasons, a desire for an element of privacy online and the ability to control what you can access online.  It might be trivial to want to access ABC or the US version of Netflix whilst out of the country – yet for many it’s a real lifeline to their homelife.   It’s ironic that in an age where we are all expanding our boundaries and travelling more that the internet is starting to put up more blocks in the form of these region locks.   Buying your own high quality US Proxy or better still VPN service does mean that these restrictions are lifted when you’re online.  Our recommendation is a service called Identity Cloaker – it gives you access to a secure, encrypted connection to a range of servers across the world – no need to buy a US proxy or a UK one.

You can try their 10 day trial here – IDC

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High Quality US Proxy Server or a VPN

Many people use proxies to bypass internet filters and regional restrictions.   For example YouTube videos are often restricted to specific countries and it’s quite common to get the message – ‘not available in your country’.   However these are enforced by looking up your IP address and if you use a proxy you can effectively bypass these blocks.  They work because if you connect through a proxy, it’s the address of the server which is identified not your real address.   So if you use a US proxy you can access US only sites, use a UK server for British web sites and so on.

Unfortunately most of the websites that operate these region blocks can detect the use of proxies and they are mostly blocked.  Even if you use a high quality US proxy server, you won’t be able to access sites like Netflix or Hulu without receiving these sort of messages –

The usefulness of a proxy server is fairly limited now with more and more sites automatically blocking access from them.   There are some issues with this, particularly people who surf through corporate networks for example.  Most firms use proxies in order to control access to the internet and limit security problems, so when Hulu blocks access through proxies it’s actually effecting this group as well.

If you want to bypass all the region locks and completely unrestrict your internet connection then it’s a VPN service you should be using.  A VPN is a Virtual private network and operates in a similar way to a proxy server however the connection is encrypted and almost impossible to identify.     Even the highest quality proxy server can be detected however there is currently no method for actively identifying an incoming connection from a VPN server.

However, you have to be careful even when selecting a VPN service to use – some of the media companies have started to manually block these services too.  What they do is identify IP address ranges and companies who advertise the ability to bypass these blocks and ensure they can’t access the services.  Hulu and Netflix have been particularly aggressive in doing this and even some of the UK TV channels like the BBC blocking abroad as well.

If you want to use a particular service then it’s best to test the functionality first before subscribing for a longer period.  There are still VPN services which work with most of the media sites, however some are more difficult than others.  Accessing the US version of Netflix is probably the hardest as they only allow a specific category of IP addresses through their firewalls.

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American Netflix DNS 2017 Solution

Only a couple of years ago there were many options for bypassing the extending region locks that most media sites were using.  The internet has been getting more frustrating to use with blocks, bans and ‘not available in your country’ messages appearing every time you try and visit a new site or watch a movie online.  It’s pretty bad for a US based surfer but can imagine it’s even more frustrating for people surfing from a smaller country.  Netflix has been one of the most aggressive in this area, using very advanced techniques to restrict access from it’s paying subscribers !

Netflix wants to keep French Netflix users using the French Netflix, Canadians using the Canadian version and so on.   One of the simplest methods of bypassing these blocks available was a American Netflix DNS solution which previously worked very well. This simply involved pointing whichever device you used to watch Netflix at a specially configured DNS server.    This would quietly reroute your initial connection to make it appear you where in a different country to allow you to unblock US Netflix,  it worked perfectly and was easy to configure on things like media boxes, phones and tablets.

Unfortunately when Netflix targeted the VPN services, it also obliterated the Netflix DNS options too.  Netflix blocked all connections which originated from commercial servers, which included all the Smart DNS solution servers too.

US Netflix DNS

The only option that survived initially were the ‘free solutions’ like Hola which shared your internet bandwidth.  You’d get a residential connection through these, but you’d also get umpteen unknown people surfing hard core porn through your registered address too.   Using these on your own connection or computer was madness so it looked like Netflix has won.

So No US Netflix DNS Solution Left ?

Fortunately both the VPN services and the Smart DNS providers have started to come up with solutions. Residential IP addresses to allow access to the Netflix network are not easy to get for commercial providers. Some companies have managed to get them and establish a residential server network to facilitate access to Netflix. IDC was the first company to provide a working Netflix VPN and now there’s a Smart DNS Provider too.

The company is called Unblock and is a Canadian company who specialise in Smart DNS solutions. They have actually integrated residential addresses across their networks so you can access all sorts of versions of Netflix. The few VPN providers who now support Netflix access will normally only work with UK and US versions of the site.

Smart DNS is definitely not as secure as using a VPN and may be vulnerable to other detection techniques but at the time of writing the Unblock US solution is working well. So if you’re looking for a working US Netflix DNS solution at the moment it’s your only real option.

At the moment there’s a free trial of the only viable Smart DNS solution available here –
FREE Trial of Unblock Here

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How to Change Netflix Country

There are of course few sources of entertainment quite as popular as the media company – Netflix.  It’s name has become synonymous with streaming video and entertainment, in fact in some demographics Netflix is becoming a verb.  To Netflix, or ‘I just Netflix’d all night’ means that you simply chilled in front of the TV (or PC, laptop or phone) and relaxed.  You’re never alone with a Netflix account although if you’ve ever travelled and tried to use it you’ve probably been somewhat shocked.

The reason is that although your Netflix account is meant to be a global one, what you can access is very dependent on your location.  So if you’re an American travelling in say Japan and you login to your Netflix account – you’ll be greeted by the Japanese version of the media site.   For some people it’s a pleasant surprise and you may find yourself with lots of new movies and TV shows, but generally for a US account holder it’s invariably a disappointment.  Simply put, the American version of Netflix is way better than any other and it’s likely you’ll end up missing a lot of your favorite shows when logging in to another country’s variant.

How to Change Netflix Country

So what do you do if you’re stranded away from your preferred version of Netflix? Can you switch back to your favorite or are you stranded? Well fortunately there is a solution to change netflix country although it’s not quite as straight forward as it used to be.

Up until last year, you could easily just use something like a proxy or VPN server to switch to whatever version of Netflix you wanted. Literally millions of people did this and it basically meant you bounced you internet connection off a server in the country you wanted to pretend to be in. So if I sat in Japan and connected to a US based VPN server before I logged into Netflix, it would think I was in the US and I’d get the American version again.

change netflix country
Netflix’s Dastardly Plan

Here’s the problem though, last year Netflix decided that it wouldn’t allow this and came up with a fairly dastardly plan to block people doing this. What they did decimated all the VPN/TV watching services over night – they blocked access to anyone who didn’t have a residential IP address. This unfortunately included 99% of all the addresses allocated to VPN servers and they all stopped working with Netflix.

A huge industry of bypassing the Netflix blocks and filters almost vanished overnight. It even blocked people who lived in countries where Netflix wasn’t deployed yet which was even worse because they lost access completely not just locked into their countries version.

Here’s the message you then got when you tried to access Netflix –

change netflix country

Fortunately the internet normally provides workarounds fairly quickly and now there are a few VPN services which will allow access to US Netflix again.

What they have had to do is buy up residential IP addresses to fool Netflix which will only allow these addresses through their filters. There are only a couple of companies how have managed to do this, simply because these addresses are normally only assigned by Internet service providers and can be difficult to find. So if you’re looking for a way to change Netflix country make sure you check or test this works before buying any long term subscription. Lots of companies have conveniently forgot to update their websites and many still claim they work with Netflix still but they don’t

Our friends at Identity Cloaker have upgraded their Network to include residential IP addresses but currently only support US and UK Netflix access – try out their trial to check for yourself. It’s all been working for nearly a year though so it should be fine. If you know of any others please post a comment to let others know.

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How Does Netflix Block VPN Programs

Many of the internet’s biggest media sites operate a system of region locking.  The BBC iPlayer for example blocks access to anyone outside the UK, similarly the US website Hulu blocks access to anyone located outside the USA.  Virtually all the media web sites do this, including video sites like Youtube which controls what videos can be seen depending on your location.  Fortunately there is a way around this, and millions of people across the world use VPNs to hide their physical locations.

These work by obscuring your real IP address by redirecting your connection through the VPN server.  If the VPN is located in the correct country then you’ll be allowed access, so people would use a UK VPN to watch the BBC online and a US server to watch American content.    Most of the web sites try to block access from these VPN  servers however none have been very successful, except for one company – Netflix.

Here’s How Netflix Block VPN Programs

Most of the previous methods for blocking VPNs and proxies simply involve detecting and blacklisting the IP addresses of individual VPN servers. This works to some extent but is relatively simple for the VPN providers to bypass. When specific IP addresses are blocked they would simply replace them with alternatives, it ends up something of a cat and mouse game with the web providers. Many companies such as the BBC do this periodically so the blocks are normally fairly intermittent.

netflix-ussmartdns
Mostly though people were unaffected, most of the decent VPN services have many servers which they rotated IP addresses when unaffected. Netflix however adopted another tactic, which proved to be more effective. What they did was instead of blocking individual IP addresses of VPN servers, they blocked a whole classification – commercial based addresses.

All IP addresses are classified into two types – residential and commercial. Residential IP addresses are allocated to domestic customers via their ISPs well companies and data centres receive commercial addresses instead. Netflix solution worked instantly by blocking access to all commercial addresses, the region locking was enforced and none of the VPN services worked.

Currently there are only a couple of VPN services which still work, these have managed to incorporate residential addresses into their network. One of the oldest companies, Identity Cloaker has built this capability into it’s software so that if anyone tries to connect to Netflix they will automatically be redirected to a server assigned with a residential IP address range. It works perfectly although these addresses are expensive and difficult to obtain so you should check if you require them as most VPN services won’t have access to them.

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The Netflix VPN Ban

It was always quite an anomaly, for several years before Netflix was actually available in Australia – there were over a quarter of a million registered users there.    If you tried to access any version of Netflix there, you’d be blocked and told that it wasn’t available there yet.  So how come there were hundreds of thousands of Aussie subscribers? Well the simple fact was that all these people got fed up of waiting for Netflix and simply used one of the better VPN services usually located in the USA.

Better VPN

The idea was, you start your VPN service first and connect through to a US based VPN server and then you’d be able to access the US version of Netflix using your subscriber account.   Of course, Netflix knew about this – suddenly hundreds of thousands of accounts were created using Aussie based bank accounts and credit cards – but they still paid for the service so nobody really minded much.   The same trick was used by millions across the world – either to access Netflix from somewhere it wasn’t launched in or to access a different locale version – until the Netflix VPN ban hit the world,  when they banned all VPNs from everywhere!

The Netflix VPN Ban – Why and How?

So why did Netflix take such a draconian measure after all people weren’t stealing the service, they still paid for a valid subscription simply accessed from another country? The problem lies with the ways that licensing works, all the non-Netflix movies, TV shows and documentaries are individually licensed on a per country basis. So Netflix may have the license to broadcast a particular movie in the US but not in Europe so they have to segregate their services.

Unfortunately this means that the smaller countries often have vastly inferior versions of Netflix despite the subscription being the same worldwide. The companies who own the broadcast rights got fed up with people in different countries simply using a VPN or proxy to bypass these licensing issues and put some pretty heavy pressure on Netflix to block access.

residentialipaddresses

This they have done, now nearly every VPN and proxy service has been blocked from accessing the Netflix service. They instigated a global block on accessing their servers using commercial IP addresses which included 99.9% of all the VPN services – suddenly everyone had to go back to their own regional version of Netflix. Which was ok if you are in the US which has a fantastic selection but not so much if you were perhaps an ex-pat accessing from a small European country.

The Netflix VPN ban on these services was incredibly effective and perhaps shows a model for region locking which other companies may follow. Previously people like the BBC had tried to block VPN services by individually identifying their IP addresses but it never worked for long as they simply be swapped out.

There are still some of the better VPN service which are still working, a small selection of VPN companies like IDC have implemented servers with residential IP addresses to bypass the Netflix VPN block.  You can also read about another firm which has managed to get a Smart DNS Netflix solution working too.

Most though have simply given up as these addresses are much more expensive and harder to obtain unless you are a registered ISP.  So if you want to access a different version of Netflix you should ask your provider if their service still works with Netflix as the majority don’t.

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How to Bypass the Netflix Block

It’s cunning, it’s sneaky and has caused much sadness among movie fans across the world, I’m referring to Netflix suddenly blocking virtually every single VPN and proxy service.   Slowly it’s become harder and harder to find a reliable proxy service to access the wonders of USA Netflix and last month became pretty much impossible.   However on the internet it’s very difficult to block everyone and when the secret is out, you’re back to square one.

How to Bypass the Netflix Block

Well first it’s important to understand the method, how does Netflix block VPNs is the question but also the solution too. In fact it’s actually not as sophisticated as you might have thought, but it’s definitely pretty effective.

Netflix had previously followed the standard route of big media company wanting to block people like you and me trying to get round their region locks so they could watch the best movies with their NETFLIX SUBSCRIPTION. This was a combination of picking out the high profile VPNs – the services who advertise on social media and PPC plus manual identification of IP addresses with multiple streams. It works to an extent but is very time consuming and the VPN/proxy services simply switch addresses when required so that it becomes a constant battle.

However instead of pursuing this tactic indefinitely, Netflix chose another option and decided to target the classification as well as the location of the IP address. They simply blocked all ‘commercial’ classified IP addresses – which meant that anyone using an address held by a commercial organisation would not be able to access Netflix wherever they happened to be.

So every standard residential IP address would be allowed through but all the addresses from commercial enterprises were blocked across the board. These included virtually every data center too so all the VPN suddenly stopped working almost overnight. The only addresses that now worked were the ones classified as residential which are mostly allocated through ISPs directly to home users.

For a VPN service to continue to work with Netflix in any capacity it needed access to these residential IP addresses. Without these addresses it is impossible to bypass the Netflix block at at all. Fortunately a couple of companies seem to have gained access to these and introduced them into their server infrastructure effectively regaining access – one of them is Identity Cloaker which has enabled UK and USA residential IP addresses for Netflix users only.

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Netflix Blocked VPN and Proxies – What Now?

Surely it cannot be true! Is Netflix blocking VPNs and proxies? Are we doomed to be locked into our own crap region of Netflix or even worse are people outside the Netflix coverage locked out completely. Well the simple answer is yes, at the moment Netflix is investing a huge amount of time and resources in blocking not just proxies – they’re also blocking VPN services too!

It’s come as a bit of a shock for many, most people go through the following stages with most region locked content.

  1. Annoyance – tried to watch a show, video or broadcast online somewhere like YouTube, BBC or Netflix and got blocked.
  2. Research – learn about region locking and finding out that it’s simply based on the location of your IP address
  3. Solution – realising that if you hide your IP address by using a VPN or proxy will bypass all these blocks and let you watch whatever the hell you want!

Once you reach the last stage all those annoying blocks and filters simply disappear.   You can watch anything from anywhere, irrespective of your location – for example I have sat in a Spanish bar watching the News on the BBC (UK IP address), then switched to an American IP to watch the US version of Netflix then watch some football on RTE (the Irish Broadcaster).    Without a suitable VPN service none of these would be possible, for me it makes a massive difference to my viewing options.

Netflix Blocks Proxies and VPNS

Now over the years, many of these online broadcasters have made various attempts to thwart these efforts.  In fact it would probably be safe to say the use of very simple proxy servers are now pretty much gone as far as bypassing region locking goes. There has been no such thing as a Netflix proxy that worked for many years, in fact the only major broadcaster who didn’t block proxies were the BBC but even they started doing this last year.   The problem is that the use of a proxy can be detected very easily by all these sites which now makes them fairly useless.

No worries, for we still had VPN services, the virtual private network connections are encrypted and almost impossible to detect.   Unfortunately these too started to suffer casualties and many broadcasters have waged a sort of half-hearted war on VPN servers too –  individually blocking the addresses of popular ones which became too mainstream.   It was never that bad though and usually you could just switch to another IP address and it would work fine.

Netflix have changed all this, they’ve really gone to war with VPN services and have actually managed to block 99% of them from working.   You’ll hear many tales of woe from people who have VPN accounts set up simply to watch the US version of Netflix which no longer work.   Netflix blocked VPN services every where, well very nearly all.

So how are Netflix blocking proxies and VPNs?

They have succeeded where many have failed by adopting a different tactic. Instead of trying to detect the VPN connections or individually identifying specific IP addresses, Netflix have focused on the origin of the VPN addresses. You see most IP addresses are grouped into two distinct groups –

  • Commercial IP Addresses – assigned from data centers for websites and commercial servers.
  • Residential IP addresses – assigned by ISPs to their customers from their internet accounts.

All the VPN and proxies came from the first category, so the VPNs all had commercial IP addresses. Netflix simply detected which group the connection was from and blocked all the commercial IP addresses whilst allowing the second category through. If you connected with a commercial IP address from a proxy or VPN to Netflix this is what you’d get this –

Netflix blocking proxies and VPNs
Suddenly almost overnight Netflix blocked VPNs, proxies and Smart DNS solutions from everywhere – they still couldn’t detect the presence of the technology – but they knew if the IP address was commercial.   However there’s a solution in this video entitled Netflix Block VPN services.

Fortunately there is some hope, a couple of the most advanced VPN systems had already identified this cause and have made plans to rectify. Identity Cloaker is one of these and have introduced code to detect when the VPN is used to connect to Netflix, when it does it is relayed through a residential IP address which is allowed through. It works perfectly and should do for the foreseeable future, although the downside is that residential IP addresses like this are much more expensive so there may be some pressure on subscriptions.

 Identity Cloaker is now one of the only VPN/Proxy services which is not blocked by Netflix.  Try the trial here.

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Using a Fast USA Proxy for AMC Zombies

There are some wonderful media sites available in the US at the moment although there are some problems for many people who want to access them online.  Many of them are now only available to cable subscribers and you need your subscription information to be able to use the site.  However some are still available and one of the best sites is the AMC channel from AMC Networks.

Not only does the AMC site not require any login or subscriptions, it also carries some of the best TV shows from the last few years, including my all time favorite Zombie drama – The Walking Dead.

fastusaproxy

However there is one small issue for some people trying to watch the AMC site and that’s the fact that it is only accessible if you’re located in the USA.  When you try and access any of the media files on the site, your IP address is checked to determine your location, if the address is outside the US then you can’t watch any of the shows at all.

Fortunately there is a solution and it’s quite a simple one – you just need to use a Fast USA proxy to hide your real location like this.

This works by relaying your internet connection through a fastusaproxy server based in the USA. Therefore when you connect to the AMC site, it will see the proxy address and not your real IP address. The video demonstrates how to use a software program called Identity Cloaker to route your connection through the US server.

It is important to use a fast server though as speed is crucial to being able to watch any media files online. Remember that the video stream has to be relayed through the proxy itself so if that server and it’s throughput is not very fast then you will experience high levels of latency and buffering if you try and watch video.

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GCHQ Allowed to Hack

There are of course, lots of laws and legislation which concern hacking all over the world. In UK they have the Computer Misuse Act and the US has the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act both can lead to heavy penalties to your wallet and liberty. Although it’s quite interesting to see how those laws apply if you’re not an individual hacker operating alone but rather a Government security agency like GCHQ for instance.

Well we’ve had some clarification after a legal challenge raised by the campaigners Privacy International who have claimed GCHQ have overstepped the mark with their internet operations which are effectively breaking European law. The case has been raised in response to the numerous revelations by Edward Snowden concerning state sponsored spying conducted by the US and UK Governments.

air-monitoring-211124_640

During the hearings, which were held by the Investigatory Powers tribunal (IPT), we heard for the first time an admission by GCHQ that they did hack computers, phones and other devices located in the UK and abroad. It’s no great surprise of course, the previous responses consisted of we are not able to ‘confirm or deny’, but it felt like progress that at least an admission was made.

There is a real worry that the countries who have the most effective and extensive privacy protection laws, are actually ignoring their own legislation when it comes down to ‘security agencies’. Many people who live in undemocratic countries with a surveillance culture will even buy a proxy to route their information through the UK or USA.

Unfortunately rather than ruling against GCHQ they actually have approved their behaviour presumably including the siphoning of huge amounts of private individuals data. The IPT ruled that the the security agencies conduct was lawful and proportionate.  It also looked at the new code of practice for hacking or it’s legal description – ‘equipment interference’ published by the Home Office and deemed this a suitable operating policy.

It all seems rather establishment condoning the behaviour of another part of the establishment, although the panel of senior judges was supposed to be independant.

Privacy International who were backed by seven ISPs were understandably disappointed by the ruling and said that they would continue to challenge ‘state sponsored hacking’ attempts in order to protect democratic and principles of human rights.

The whole affair seems doomed to failure, the judges quickly siding with the government, the working guidelines which were deemed unnecessary before the spying  revelations of the whistleblower Snowden.  The way these guidelines were instantly rubber stamped by the same group of ‘senior judges’ is extremely convenient and certainly don’t legitimize most of the hacking conducted by GCHQ.

State condoned hacking on a wide scale is  sinister and anti democratic, it also undermines computers and the internet much the same way that bugging every telephone would the phone system.  For people concerned about their privacy and security, who invest in security products, it is perhaps best now to look away from using a British VPN and perhaps look at one based in  a more democratic society instead.