Geo-blocking - Definition from the Hotspot Shield Glossary

Geo-Blocking is the process of blocking users from access to certain regional programs. Depending on the distribution license of a TV series or a movie, it may only be distributable in a certain set of countries or geographical locations - To stop the file being distributed outside of this area Geo-Blocking is implemented.

Geo-Blocking involves identifying a user’s IP address and determining the physical location of this address - If it is in a region that does not have access to the file, then the user will be unable to watch it. Online streaming applications like Netflix and BBC iPlayer will implement Geo-Blocking to ensure that their programs are only distributed to the intended audience. Things like VPN networks are able to work around Geo-Blocking by hiding a devices true location.