Access US-Only Websites and Content from Abroad with Hotspot Shield

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There are so many websites that stream movies, TV shows, and music, but many of them restrict their content for US residents only. Many of the corporate websites like NBC, CBS, Netflix are usually the ones who have these restrictions on their content due to copyright issues, advertising, licensing, etc.

There are many ways around this, as some websites like Icefilms and Ninja Video have a massive collection of streamable movies and TV shows. However, you may have to install specific software and all these plugins before any content can be viewed. The worst part is, you may have to dig through several links before you find one that actually works. The good thing is, there is an easier way to access US-only content, and it is non-pirated either!

Solution: Hotspot Shield (download link for both Mac and PC available Here)

Websites are able to tell where a user is from based on the IP address of the device from which the user is using. For example, if you are in Canada and try to access Pandora you will see this message:

We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

We believe that you are in Canada (your IP address appears to be 12.34.567.800). If you believe we have made a mistake, we apologize and ask that you please email us.

Annoying right?

Hotspot shield is program that allows you to surf the web with a different IP address than the one you have. It’s like wearing a mask to Halloween party. No one will question you even if you aren’t invited.

Download and install Hotspot Shield
Launch application
Surf the web with newly assigned IP address

When the application is launched, a web browser will open and will prompt you to “connect”. Once you are connected, you can go ahead and surf the web and gain access to previously restricted US-only content. Sometimes, you may be assigned a European-based IP address, if this is the case, disconnect and then reconnect until you are assigned a US-based IP address.

Here are some links to some of the sites that have quality but restricted content

NBC
Full episodes of current TV shows aired on NBC are available including The Office, Saturday Night Live, Community. Some shows have more full episodes available than others.

CBS
Full episodes of current TV shows aired on CBS are available including How I Met Your Mother, CSI, Survivor. Some shows have more full episodes available than others.

Pandora
Internet Radio with tons of channels to choose from. It is similar to Satellite Radio, but free!

Netflix
US Netflix has much more content available than Netflix Canada

Hulu
Similar to Netflix, arguably better for TV shows. Lots of full episodes available.