Liberté, égalité, fraternité or Liberty, equality, fraternity is the French national motto. If someone is going to be traveling to France, they should be prepared for a nation that highly values itself on democratic values and principles. However well this might make you feel on the inside, it might not be as helpful when you flip on your French television set.
It is true, spending any amount of time in France, you can easily tune in and enjoy quality French programming to help yourself learn the language and culture. Unfortunately, when you are attempting to stream something over the internet that isn’t from France, you will encounter some trouble. While there is a recently released Netflix France and other streaming options available, the American movie and TV series catalog for these services is quite small for various reasons.
So what if you wanted to watch the College World Series on watch ESPN, or catch that newest episode of South Park on Hulu? What if you simply just want to watch foreign Youtube videos that may be blocked in France? These are all situations where the user is stopped by two (and a half) insidious words: geo-restricted content. This is largely any media content that is location-based and restricts foreign computers from accessing (i.e Netflix U.S only available to people living in the U.S). This content tends to be video or music sharing services that have country-specific music rights deals with record labels (Warner Music, Sony, Universal Music etc).
The good news in all this is that a user can quite easily bypass these silly location restrictions with a service called SmartDNS. This relatively new solution is quite available and affordable, while also being simple and easy to use. The user’s computer connects to a remote proxy server in the target country, after which it is identified as being physically in that location. Once your computer is recognized as being “in” the host country, you are free to stream away!
It is also important to remember that once the SmartDNS is setup (about 10 minutes from start to finish), it does not affect where you actually may be due to the IP address remaining the same. Also, luckily, geo-restricted content is a gray area when it comes to law enforcement, so there is no need to be afraid of anyone knocking on your door.
While this service may not sound too different from a VPN (which are largely popular), it actually has all of the benefits without the slow connection speeds and extra software! Most SmartDNS services charge a low monthly rate (3-5 dollars a month) for the service, but also offer an extensive trial period prior to starting.
So if you will be spending any time in France, while the local TV might be interesting and new, if you want to enjoy any of the streaming media that is offered in the U.S, a SmartDNS might be right for you. For any other questions or further information, feel free to leave a comment or check out SmartDNS.com for in depth reviews and guides.
This article is a guest post for Paris Unraveled written by Thomas Ujj. Paris Unraveled did not receive any compensation for publishing this post.