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BDFL - Memuneh
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# 173455 24-May-2015 10:43
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Many of you land here with a question in mind: "I want to access an online service not available in my region but have no idea how to do it. Can you help?"

Here is a quick guide for this. Some questions are answered here but for specific questions I suggest diving into our community and asking how others do. Also consider that there are many digital video content services available in New Zealand and most of the content you want may be available through these.

 

  • What is geo-blocking?
Providers (digital content, retail goods and services) may restrict their services and products to some regions only by using mechanisms to determine your location and disallow access to their website. Another case is if you are away overseas in a country that restricts access to some services you use.

 

  • How to get around geo-blocking?
There are many ways of doing this, depending on what you want to achieve.

 

    • You are overseas on travel and need to access a service that is blocked there
Some countries have strict Internet access policies and block all traffic coming in and out of their borders (for example behind the Great Firewall of China). In this case you can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service to create a "tunnel" to a non-blocked region and from there browse/use the service you need. VPN traffic is encrypted, which means is scrambled in a way that either can't be read by anyone looking at the network traffic or it would take too long to do it. When using a VPN you computer will appears as located on the "end point" selected (the network point where the connection comes out, as in a tunnel).

 

    • You want to buy some electronic product from an overseas retail that only ships inside their country
Again in this case you can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service with an end point in the same country as the retailer and use their website to order. Most of the times these retailers won't ship to overseas addresses, in which case you need to use a forwarder service. A forwarder service will give you an address that includes a code that is unique to you and upon receiving anything with that code it will send you an email with price for shipping plus their costs. Once you pay that the parcel is on its way to you.

Note that for this to work sometimes you need use a credit card with an address in the same country as the retailer.

When using this kind of service you must remember that some items will attract duty and in general if GST over NZ$ 60 is owed then you must pay these. This means imports over NZ$ 400 (including shipping) usually require GST (15% of NZ$ 400 and over). When paying GST a service fee is also included. When buying overseas items you have to also consider the local warranty plus the New Zealand CGA coverage. Also you have to consider most online retailers in the US list prices without local tax. This could be anything from 0% (Oregon) to 10% or more depending on the address you are shipping the goods to. Depending on the product and the saving it may still be worth buying locally - but sometimes still makes sense to import the item due to savings.

New Zealand Customs Services hosts a very handy calculator to help you estimate fees/charges/GST at http://www.whatsmyduty.org.nz/.

 

    • You want to access digital content
In this case you have a couple of options: either a VPN or a DNS-unblock service. Which one to use will depend or what devices you have and how you want to use them.

If you want occasional access from a single device (Windows, OS X, iOS, Windows Phone, Android) then you can use a VPN. Start the tunnel when needed, use for the time you need and disconnect. 

Sometimes you want a more persistent connection without the trouble of starting/stopping a VPN; or have a streaming device which won't support a VPN (Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV StickRoku, Chromecast, PlayStation, Xbox, Smart TVs and others) then you have to use a DNS-unblock service. You use these services by changing either the device configuration or the router configuration. If you change the device configuration then only that device can access the content. If you change your router then any device in your network (wired or wireless) will have access to it. 

How you change the DNS is usually dependend on the device (router, media player, laptop, tablet or smartphone) you are using. Most of the DNS-unblock services have detailed instructions with screenshots you can follow for different devices and routers.

Again you have to consider payment methods and address for as per previous comments.

 

  • What services can you use?
  • Are there any discount codes?
    • UnoTelly: 25% discountcode "GeekZone" at checkout valid until mid-September 2015
    • DNS4Me: 10% discount code "geekzone" at checkout valid until end of May 2015.
I will leave this discussion open for comments but with the following caveats:

 

  • This is not a support thread. If you have specific questions please search first and if you can't find your answer create a new thread.
  • If you post a good suggestion here I might add to this post to keep this OP fresh
  • If you spam here your account will be banned - if you'd like me to consider a service to be listed, use the contact page.




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  # 1310750 24-May-2015 12:25
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Getflix also recently added a DNS Over VPN service and are Beta testing a full VPN service across some of their servers (See Here which servers can be used as a VPN). It comes free with their DNS which is great to not have to pay for two seperate providers.

I would also highly recommend Private Internet Access for their VPN service, I've been using it across multiple devices for the past year and have never had any issues or major problems with speeds - They also have native apps for major OS's. 




Any comments made are my personal views and does not represent those of my employer


 
 
 
 


740 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1310753 24-May-2015 12:30
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Good post, Mauricio. Can I suggest mullvad and ipredator.se as additional VPNs? A source I trust in these matters recommends them (as of the time of this post) as two of the best reliable, non-logging VPNs. If privacy is an issue, then the logging policies of your VPN are critical (and in some countries even life-saving).

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