Between the frivolous novelty of the selfie-stick and what has become the basic necessity of the internet itself, some of the best tech advancements, time-wasters, hacks, and utilities are those which do a very important job, but largely go unnoticed. If you’re a frequent traveller and you often cover long distances and cross borders, there are a number of reasons why you take your internet connected Smartphone, tablet, or even your laptop along. Maybe you just want to be able to stay connected so that you can quickly access any information you need. Perhaps you want to be able to keep an eye on your emails, you want to be able to access your social networking sites, or you maybe even just want to catch up on and binge-watch some of your favourite shows. You might even be part of the latest generation of people who earn their living online, in which case staying connected is crucial for you.
Whatever your reason for seeking to stay connected while travelling is, if you have any experience of trying to connect to the internet in different locations, you will inevitably have come across the problem of certain websites being blocked in specific locations. It isn’t always a case of serious cross-border internet usage regulations, such as government censorship or certain sites being illegal in certain jurisdictions. Sometimes it’s merely a matter of a lack of willpower on the side of regulators and at times the website owners themselves to take the time to open the network up to qualified travellers and other consumers. I mean if you have a fully paid-up Netflix account you have full access to back home, why on earth should you not be able to access it just because you’re in a different country?
The same applies for some free internet services, such as Facebook, Twitter and other social networking platforms. There are indeed some countries which don’t allow their own citizens to use certain free online platforms, but you’re not a citizen and chances are those restrictions don’t apply to you. What if it’s crucial to your livelihood to have access to something like your Gmail account if you’re in a territory that has blocked off access to it? In this case, using a proxy to unblock the network’s restrictions is more than justified, quite simply because most of these blockages are implemented on a one-size-fits-all basis. If say Showtime or even something as simple as Google Search has been blocked to the residents of your travelling destination, the local authorities and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are not going to go out of their way just to unblock it for one case, even if you have legitimate reasons to have your personal access granted.
With great power comes great responsibility however, so as much as a DNS proxy can be used to circumvent regional and international broadcasting restrictions, as a traveller it should be nothing more than just a useful tool to help you stay connected to your essential online information sources and platforms.