Sometimes there can be nothing lonelier than a hotel bar. Yes, it’s fine heading down to the bar for a drink but when back in your room you’re faced with dozens of foreign channels on the TV with the only source of entertainment being the 24-hour news channel.
The obvious distraction is to find something on your laptop. Catch up with the latest show on Netflix or try and stream a channel from back home on your computer. It never quite works though.
Geoblocking. It’s a real enemy when you’re abroad and can be the difference between a chilled out evening watching your favourite programmes ahead of a hectic day and an evening watching French soap operas. And nobody wants that.
Most of your usual channels will have some form of black on them, as certain TV shows or channels will only allow broadcast within the country they are based. This, particularly for Netflix, is down to broadcasting licences. So a TV show on Netflix, for example, may only be licenced in the USA, UK and Australia. Therefore you might be able to watch something in New York but then the show disappears when in France.
That’s due to geoblocking which will essentially detect where you are through the IP address and prevent you from watching programmes outside the media’s country of origin. For example, if you’re from the UK, you’re probably going to want to load up BBC iPlayer when you’ve got a moment to sit back and relax. However, if you’re sitting back and relaxing in Turkey, for instance, you’ll be faced with a screen saying you can’t watch iPlayer from the country you’re in.
This isn’t strictly true though, there are plenty of ways around geoblocking and if you’re a regular traveller, they’re well worth taking advantage of as they really can save you from a lot of boredom.
A VPN is most certainly the perfect solution, and is one that is used by thousands upon thousands of people all over the world. Whether you’re using a laptop or smartphone you can catch all your favourite programmes no matter where you are in the world.
There are many free VPNs that will give you access to dozens of servers all over the world. It works by connecting you to a server in the country where you need to access content and, ultimately, disguising you a local user of that geolocation.
So, say you were holidaying in Spain, but you wanted to watch the latest episode of a drama on US Netflix, all you’d need to do would be to use your VPN to connect to a US server and you’d be in.
It’s straight-forward, as easy as pie, and can often be free or work off an incredibly small budget each month. You can gain access to streaming services all over the world, meaning you’ll never miss out on the best series’ and episodes no matter where you are.