Wednesday

Why do People need a French Proxy


It won't work, and I wonder how long it will take companies before they change their restrictive internet business models. Several emails this week asking me about how they can access a Proxy France. Mainly so they can access a French media channel called M6 Replay - if you want to see more details here - M6 Replay.

But let me first explain what's blocking you, the technology is getting slightly more complicated but the concept remains the same. It's called Geotargeting, which is basically customising the web content you can access dependent on you location. Let's take a look at some examples - when I access Google when I'm in the UK, this is what I see.


Which makes sense, Google has looked at my IP address and decided that I would be best to use the Google UK version which tailors all my searches to UK results. But what happens when I fool the server and use a proxy server based in a different country?  Just to illustrate further the following screenshots are from when I surf through a German and then a French proxy server.


Here I get redirected to the DE version of Google, and all my search results will be tailored as if I was in Germany.


And finally, using a France proxy, I am redirected straight to the French version of Google.  This is geotargeting in action, and of course in this instance it's quite useful.  It makes sense to customise search results depending on your location,  localised results are generally more useful to the user.

A Proxy France in Action


Unfortunately the practice of geotargeting is more often used to restrict access to web sites and content.  The reason people can't access M6 Replay anywhere outside France is because your IP address defines your location, it easy to detect which country you're in and tailor your content accordingly.

So when I try and access M6 Replay - I will get the following screen shot displayed.

To be fair on most web sites, you get a little apology saying that you can't access the video because you'r in the wrong country due to license restrictions or something like that.  In the case of M6 Replay though you just get ignored and a blank screen like this.

But if you connect through a French proxy then all the content is available, with no restrictions. Here's what happened after I selected to surf through a Proxy based in France through my security program.


It's happening everywhere, all the big media sites like Hulu, BBC Iplayer, M6 Replay and Pandora all restrict content to whichever location your IP address is linked to.  Considering the great content on some of these sites it gets quite annoying never being able to access most of them online.

But this is where the ability to mask your IP address and surf through a proxy server is so useful and why ultimately the business models of these companies will have to change.   You can search online and find specific proxies for different countries or pay a subscription to allow you access to a network of proxy servers in different countries.   I can bypass the restrictions of most geotargeting web sites simply by picking a proxy server from the appropriate country from my software which sits in my task bar.

You'll be surprised how much you use these proxies if you spend any amount of time online, one useful tip is to check out the prices offered in big multinational corporations, I found I got different charges or a Napster subscription depending on which country I connected from, I suspect there might be many other examples of this.

Anyway so if you want  find a Proxy France to search for then I suggest investing in a paid service which offers you a network of servers.  Don't subscribe to the companies who charge you extra for each server you access it can get really expensive, there are a few companies who charge you one subscription for unlimited access to their whole network - it makes much more sense as one day you'll need a French Proxy for M6 Replay but you might want to catch a series on Hulu for which you'll need a US server, or BBC Iplayer using a UK proxy server.

Here's the service I recommend - Identity Cloaker, it's inexpensive and extremely easy to use - the program sits in your task bar and you can switch proxy servers at the click of the button.  Try the 10 day trial first to see if you like it - you'll find it opens up so many possibilities with proxies all across the world including a French Proxy !

2 comments:

Welshgadgets said...

This service also has a decent French proxy server, and they also have the all-inclusive deal to access all servers for a single price - OverPlay, a good option for M6 replay.

Welshgadgets said...

French proxies up and running again on Identity Cloaker. Initial tests are encouraging they are a lot faster than the previous ones.

Spoke to the company and they are installing further French servers over the next few weeks, seems there is a demand.