If you are going to travel outside the US or have to relocate permanently, you are going to be unable to access some websites. There are many websites these days that block users based on location. Some do this because of large amounts of spam and fraud that originates from a region, and others may do this because of contracts with advertising companies or distributors.
The way they are able to know where you are is your IP address. This is the “address” of your computer, and is unique to you. There are many bits of private information that can be seen from reading your IP, one of which is you location. The solution is to get a fake American IP address. While it’s possible to change your IP manually, this does not alter the location of your IP, and will not help you. To get an authentic, “fake” American IP, there are basically two main methods.
The solution: Get a fake American IP five minutes from now
VPNs and proxies can be used to change your IP. Depending on the location of the server where your traffic is redirected to, you’ll adopt the IP location of that server. In this case, we want servers in The USA, which most VPN services offer. Proxies are a different story. Unlike VPNs, you cannot choose the location of the proxy server. Also, they are lacking in many security features which make them more detectable by sites that block foreign IP’s (i.e. Hulu and Netflix). For this reason, I’ll focus on VPNs for your fake American IP.
Signing up for a VPN service takes on five minutes.
A VPN server in The US to get a fake American IP address:
What a virtual private network actually does is connects offshore (non-US) IP address to its servers in The USA. These servers in turn, channel your browsing request through the server, and then to the website you want to access. Though the IP they provide you with is totally legit, in some ways it may be considered a “fake American IP address” because you’re not really in The US. Regardless, they make it look like you are a user from within the US, thus granting you access to sites restricted for “American eye’s only”
Details about VPNs and devices/operating systems
You can use a VPN to get a fake IP address on your iPhone, iPad, Nokia phone, Android device, Mac, Linux, PS3, Xbox 360, Apple TV, and all Windows operating systems – and there’s more to this list! There are VPNs for everything! In general, smart phones and tablets will need a PPTP or L2TP VPN. I use PPTP on my iPhone just because I got it a long time ago and never upgraded, but L2TP is usually recommended. Laptops can also use these but SSTP or OpenVPN is recommended. SSTP is only for Windows Vista and Win 7, which can also use OpenVPN. To make things simpler, if you’re using a laptop or desktop, no matter what the OS, just get SSL/OpenVPN. This is what I use on my laptop running Windows XP.
These are three major VPN services, and are also three of the most popular. They all work great, but I’ll put a little blurb next to them to help you decide.
In one package you get PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN. There are servers in over 30 countries, and thousands of IP addresses, On there site they’ve also got a web based proxy, a free anonymous email service, and a current list of proxies to surf anonymously. Everything you could ever want in a VPN service for about six bucks a month. It’s a really good VPN, and a really good price, and there’s not much more else to say.
My classic VPN service. Simple choices, and great service is all you really need. They’ve got all the security features, all the VPN protocols, and a email team that will get back to you in the same day if you have any problems. Since you’re looking for a fake American IP address, they’ve got a cool US Only plan that gives you 10 servers in The US, and you can switch servers for free. Simple setup, and simple design mean minus all the fluff of Hide my Ass and the difficult setup of VyprVPN you can get up and running much quicker.
OpenVPN and PPTP available, on monthly plans. It drops fewer connections, and faster than Hide My Ass and 12VPN, but it’s also more expensive. There’s less fluff, and better service. It’ll cost you $15 a month for PPTP or $20 a month for OpenVPN. If you’re doing some serious downloading or heavy business stuff, this is the VPN for you. There are two servers in The US. If privacy is a concern, VyprVPN is the way to go – they own an maintain their own server network.