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Why are streaming services blocked?

The reason you’re blocked usually has to do with your physical location. Here are the top three reasons why streaming services are blocked.

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Content licensing restrictions

Services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have agreements to only show certain programs in certain geographic areas. For example, Netflix might only have the license to show the next James Bond movie in the UK for the first three months after release.

If they cannot prove that they’ve taken adequate steps to uphold the terms of their license, they could face heavy penalties and lose the right to broadcast similar content in the future.

Most VPN services can help you get around geographic restriction by allowing you to use servers in other countries, but not all VPN services actively work to make sure that services like Netflix have not also blocked known VPN servers. Hotspot Shield VPN takes extra steps to ensure that you have access to your favorite streaming shows.

Government censorship

Some governments block websites that contain content they feel is culturally offensive or to protect their own interests. Be sure that what you choose to do while connected to a VPN isn’t a crime in the country you’re visiting.

To see a list of countries where you should take extra caution, read this guide.


Work or school censorship

Your employer or educational institution may feel that certain streaming services are distracting and will block them with content filtering software. However, lower quality content filters can also block legitimate websites that are required for research or to conduct business.

If you cannot access a website for any of these reasons, download Hotspot Shield VPN right now.

How do streaming restrictions work?

There are two primary factors that determine if you’ll be restricted from accessing streaming content:

  • Your network

    Your network

    Content restrictions start with the network that you’re connected to. The people who control the network make the rules about what can be done on the network. There are different types of networks, which can range from local area networks (home, school, work) to wide area networks (cities, states, countries). Even if you’re allowed to view content on one network, a restriction on another network can block that content.

  • Your IP address

    Your IP address

    You’re identified on a certain network by your IP address. This is the unique string of digits that is given to every device on the internet. You can get more details in our IP address guide. When you use a VPN service like Hotspot Shield, you borrow the IP address of one of our VPN servers and can bypass most IP address and network restrictions. But don’t take our word for it, download Hotspot Shield VPN and try our free trial right now.

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Streaming content with Hotspot Shield VPN

We work hard to ensure you have access to your favorite streaming content. Hotspot Shield VPN allows you to access the following types of content:

  • Recorded content

    Recorded content

    Watch movies, TV shows, and listen to music online from any country.

  • Live events

    Live events

    Watch your favorite sporting events and live shows from anywhere in the world.

  • Keep your information private


    Stream your favorite games and gaming content, even at school or work.

Options for unblocking streaming content

You can unblock streaming content in several different ways. The most popular solutions are a VPN or a proxy server. Here’s how the two solutions compare.

  • Recorded content


    Hotspot Shield VPN gives you the same benefits as a proxy server, but with these additional upgrades:

    We do not log or share your data (not all VPNs do this)

    VPN servers that are among the fastest in the industry

    Data encryption between your device and our servers

  • Live events

    Proxy server

    There are many free proxy server services out there, but they have the following risks:

    They can easily log your browsing history

    Many are not fast enough for streaming content

    Your data is usually not encrypted

Using Hotspot Shield VPN has significant advantages over using a simple proxy server.

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The solution is just a few clicks away

Access to your favorite streaming content is just a few clicks away. You don’t have to settle for the rules that network owners force on you. Click this button to get started with a free trial.

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