Have you ever visited a website that restricts your usage based on where you’re currently located? photo credit: Avatarshark
In case you’re wondering how these sites are determining which country you’re in, they can detect your IP address and determine which country you’re accessing their site from.
So if you’re not in their list of allowed countries, they would just display to you an access denied page.
In today’s post, I’ll attempt to show you how you can actually have a US based IP address and surf a site as if you’re located in the US.
There are many reasons why some people might need this capability which includes:
- To access US only / specific country only sites
- To surf anonymously so your ISP can’t track your Internet activities.
- To save even more on Skype calls especially if you’re intending to call to the US
- Bypassing restrictions / blocks set by ISPs, government, hotspots or even your office router.
If you’re an American who is staying in another country, this method can also be useful when you’re purchasing online via your US based credit card. Credit card providers usually track where the purchase is made and could easily trigger a suspicious activity if the transaction is made outside the country.
Having a US based IP address can really provide multiple benefits not just for Americans but others as well.
So what’s the solution? Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPN is commonly used by organizations to allow their employees who are not located in within the office an ability to be part of the organization’s internal network.
Let’s say an organization has an intranet system which should only be accessed by their employees with the correct access rights. In order to allow their remote users based elsewhere access to the intranet system, they could create a secure vpn tunnel for their staffs to log into the network.
Rather than making the intranet application a public web site, many organizations use VPN as a safe and secure method to allow their employees access to critical internal apps.
VPN technology has been around for quite some time so it’s a stable and reliable service to depend on.
Now that you know more about VPN, our objective which is to surf a site as if we’re located in the US will be based on this this technology.
Various VPN service providers have deployed VPN servers all around the world to allow the public to access their VPN servers. A few posts back I’ve mentioned about the free CyberGhost VPN (Germany Server).
Another one which is worth mentioning is StrongVPN.com.
StrongVPN is a VPN account service provider which allows access to over 4000 IPs on 96 servers in 12 countries around the world.
You can choose to access a VPN server based on any of the following 12 countries:
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
There are several StrongVPN packages to choose from, depending on your requirements and needs.
One thing to note is that StrongVPN does not provide trial accounts but instead 7 days money back guarantee.
I personally went for the one which cost lowest (PPTP & L2TP Servers Lite $7 / month) as I wanted to try if it works.
After subscribing and paying up via Paypal, I got access to my account in within half an hour.
One good point is that StrongVPN has a 24 x 7 support, so whenever you have any questions or problems, the support team is definitely there to help.
Setting up the VPN access is really simple. Depending on what OS you have, the detail step by step guide is there to guide you through the entire setup process.
If the steps don’t seem to work, just contact the support team via the live help and they will establish a remote desktop connection to your machine and attempt to set it up for you, right before your eyes.
Once everything is set up, I got mine successfully connected in less than 5 seconds. This is much quicker as compared to the free CyberGhost VPN which takes at least a minute to get connected.
Immediately after it’s connected, I launched my browser and headed on to IP-address.com and this is what I saw.
I gave Pandora.com a try and that was loading too!
So StrongVPN definitely works for me, which is why I’m recommending it to you.
The Internet should always be open and transparent for all. With StrongVPN, there’s nothing we cannot access. Give it a try today!
For other methods besides using VPN to access and visit US-only sites, check out this post from Mydigitallife.info.