Have you ever visited a website that restricts your usage based on where you’re currently located?
There are a few sites that only allow people who are in the US to use the services provided by their website. For example Hulu.com and Pandora.com.
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 access denied page.
In today’s post, I’ll 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 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 within the office an ability to be part of the organization’s internal network.
Let’s say an organization has an intranet system that 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 staff to log into the network.
Rather than making the intranet application a public website, 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 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 the free TouchVPN.
Another free tool that is worth mentioning is Change My IP.
Change My IP 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 States
- Hong Kong
- United Kingdom
After downloading the Android App, you will have an option to select from the list of countries above.
Clicking on the connect button will take 2-3 seconds before you’re connected to the VPN server, while your IP address will be updated accordingly.
In order to check if your IP is really changed, simply Google “What is my IP?” and your current IP will be displayed.
Clicking on the first result, whatismyip.com will reveal the location you’re at (in this case the country you’ve chosen)
Initially, Pandora doesn’t work from where I’m at, but after using the Change My IP app, I’m able to.
So Change My IP definitely works for me, which is why I’m recommending it to you. Do give it a try!