How to watch blocked YouTube videos from other countries

Image: YouTube

24 July 2018

YouTube is a global video giant that’s helped companies and individual YouTubers and creators to reach fans all over the world. That doesn’t mean every single video is available in every single country however, and all of us have probably come across the occasional irritating ‘The uploader has not made this video available in your country’ error message.

That’s frustrating when all you want to do is watch a film trailer or music video, and don’t want complex licensing nonsense to get in between you and your video. Luckily, there are ways to bypass YouTube’s regional filter and watch videos that are blocked in your country. Here’s how.

Use a VPN
The most reliable way to get around the region filter is simply to use a virtual private network (VPN), which lets you browse the web as if you were based in a different country. You can try this with a free VPN, though it’s better to use paid service like NordVPN as you tend to get faster connections, more server options, and much better data security. There’s usually a free trial, anyway.

Install your VPN of choice – many will now run on PC, Mac, Android, or iOS – making sure you choose one that lets you pick the location of the server you connect to. Head into the VPN app, and make sure to set the server to be within a country that you know has access to the video in question – normally the location of the video’s creator or uploader is a safe bet.

Then all you have to do is open your browser again, and head to the YouTube video you want to watch. YouTube should now think that you’re located within the other country and load the video. Depending on your choice of VPN the video might load slightly slower or in lower quality – again, part of why a paid service is normally worth the cost – but either way the video should play fine.

This is usually the quickest and easiest way to get past the region block on YouTube videos, especially if it’s a problem you run into repeatedly.

Use a proxy
If you don’t want to use a VPN, the next best thing is a proxy server. This has a similar effect to a VPN – allowing you to browse as if in a different country – but is less secure and doesn’t encrypt your traffic, which is why we normally recommend a VPN over a proxy. If you just want to watch music videos on YouTube, encryption might not be your biggest concern, but if you’re trying to access YouTube from a country with a repressive government that bans certain videos, a VPN is definitely the better option.

As with VPNs, there are free proxy servers around, but they’re often so limited that a paid service is worth it, especially if you can find one with a free trial. You’ll typically have to access the server through a web browser extension, and once again make sure to select a server located in a country you think will have access to the video in question. Then load up YouTube and start watching.

Download the video
If all else fails, you might be able to simply download the YouTube video and thus get around the region-blocking entirely.

Do bear in mind that while it isn’t illegal to download videos from YouTube, it is technically against Google’s terms of service, and is arguably immoral since you’re circumventing the adverts that help fund the site and its content.

IDG News Service

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