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Two easy ways to access sites blocked in Europe

Europe Map

Two easy ways to access sites blocked in Europe

Even though the GDPR became enforceable more than four years ago now, there are still many North American websites that haven’t got round to making sure they are compliant with the legislation and are continuing to block European visitors instead.

Often, this is accompanied by a message that “our visitors from Europe are important to us”. Given that the GDPR was adopted all the way back in 2016 and has been enforced since 2018, European visitors can be forgiven for feeling this sentiment comes across as somewhat insincere.

Fox8.com, a Fox Broadcasting Company-affiliated news website that serves Cleveland, Ohio, is a culprit that springs to mind. Honestly, come on Rupert Murdoch – sort it out!

If you need to access American sites and are fed up with sites like that one telling you you’re not allowed to, there are two pretty quick and simple tools to do so, both of which use a virtual private network (VPN).

1. Hidester

The most hassle-free web proxy is possibly Hidester.com. The site tries to encourage you to pay for a subscription or add the proxy extension to your browser, but you don’t need to. Simply paste the URL you want to visit into the ‘Enter URL’ box, ensure ‘US Server’ is selected from the dropdown box on the left, and click ‘Surf anonymously’. You should now be able to view the site in the same way as a US web user would.

2. Opera browser

Alternatively, download the internet browser Opera. It’s a pretty good browser anyway that you might find yourself using all the time, but one of its best features is the inbuilt VPN.

To access it, open Opera and go into ‘Settings’, then ‘Privacy & security’ and you should see an option to ‘Enable VPN’. Enabling it should mean you’re able to bypass the GDPR block.

I’m honestly not sure some sites will ever get round to sorting this issue, but thanks to straightforward workarounds like these, they’re not going to keep us Europeans out that easily!

John Murray

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