VPN trouble with Amazon.com?

By | October 13, 2016

I receive more and more comments from people who have VPN trouble with Amazon.com. The trouble is not really with the VPN and not with Amazon.com, but the combination of the two of them.

As you might know it has become very normal for TV companies and streaming services to block the IP addresses used by VPN providers. This is in order to keep the “copyright” laws intact, making sure that only people in certain nations can access certain content. VPN providers are out there to help you stay safe on the Internet. As you connect to a VPN service your online activity will be encrypted. That is very useful, especially as you surf the Internet in free WiFi zones and use unencrypted networks. But, why does Amazon.com block VPN users?

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Why does Amazon block VPN users?

Since Netflix started blocking VPN provicers in the start of 2016 this has been one of the big battlefields. Why should I have to say no to security and encryption in order to watch Netflix? If I surf the Internet in an Internet coffee shop in New York and use a VPN to stay safe, I can not watch Netflix because I will get a proxy error. As a result I need to disconnect from my VPN (and stay unsafe) and only then can I watch Netflix. That’s a pity! And now the same is happening with Amazon.com to a larger degree. Why?

A VPN connection works like a tunnel. When you connect to a VPN server all your traffic will be routed through the server and seem to origin from that server. Most Instant Videos available on Amazon.com are available only to people in the USA. If you however connect to a VPN server in the USA you can access these, even if you are located in another nation. That is how people use VPN to bypass geographical blocks and bans.

In order to defend themselves against such users Amazon (and Netflix) has to block these users. Their attack is of course not on the usage of VPN for Internet security. Their attack is on the abuse of VPN in order to access geo-blocked material.

What do you think of this? Is it fair?

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