Thursday, July 29, 2010

Not Available in the Philippines!

I find it annoying, when I find something interesting and 'Click' on it, to then see a Pop-up advising "Sorry this is not available in the Philippines".

Obvious examples of this GEO Location Filtering are when you try the BBC iPlayer

Currently BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only, but all BBC iPlayer Radio programmes are available to you. Why?
Can I use BBC iPlayer outside the UK?

Rights agreements mean that BBC iPlayer television programmes are only available to users to download or stream (Click to Play) in the UK. However, we are aware of demand for an international version.

How does GEO Location Filtering work?
Information on where you are physically located is usually obtained from your IP Address.

Geolocation software

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In computing, geolocation software is used to deduce the geolocation (geographic location) of another party. For example, on the Internet, one geolocation approach is to identify the subject party'sIP address, then determine what country, organization, or user the IP address has been assigned to, and finally, guess that party's location.

Data sources

There are a number of free and paid subscription geolocation databases, ranging from country level to city (and/or state) level, each with varying claims of accuracy (generally higher at the country level). These databases typically contain IP address data which may be used in firewalls, ad servers, routing, mail systems, web sites, and other automated systems where geolocation may be useful. An alternative to hosting and querying a database is to obtain the country code for a given IP address through a DNSBL-style lookup from a remote server.[1]

The primary source for IP address data is the regional Internet registries which allocate and distribute IP addresses amongst organizations located in their respective service regions:

Secondary sources include:

  • Data mining or user-submitted geographic location data. For example, a weather web site might ask visitors for a city name to find their local forecast. Another example would be to pair a user's IP address with the address information in his/her account profile.
  • Data contributed by internet service providers.
  • Merging databases from different suppliers.
  • Guesstimates from adjacent Class C range[2] and/or gleaned from network hops.

Accuracy is improved by:


A distinction can be made between co-operative and oppositional geolocation. In some cases, it is in the interest of users to be accurately located, for example, so that they can be offered information relevant to their location. In other cases, users prefer to not disclose their location for privacy or other reasons.[3]

Technical measures for ensuring anonymity, such as proxy servers, can be

used to circumvent restrictions imposed by geolocation software.
Some sites detect the use of proxies and anonymizers, and may either block service or provide non-localized content in response.

So your IP Address reveals what Country you are in, but may not show exactly WHERE.

You can use Proxy Servers that use an IP Address of a different Country, to try and overcome such GEO Filtering that blocks content to certain locations, such as outside the UK, or outside the USA etc.

However once the IP Addresses of known Proxy Servers have been determined, these may be put on a 'Black List' and blocked also.

One product I have tried and tested with success has been Identity Cloaker

What is Identity Cloaker?

In short, Identity Cloaker could be defined as an "Internet Privacy Protection Service". Its main goal is to protect your privacy by encrypting the data sent over the Internet in the most vulnerable part of the data transmission path, and by hiding your physical location and IP address from the prying eyes. There are, however, more advantages...

Do you want to see a website that is normally blocked by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or network administrator, or that can not be viewed from your country? Do you manage Internet marketing campaigns targeted to specific geographical locations through IP address based content delivery and want to see the advertisements exactly as your potential customers in different countries see them? Identity Cloaker can help you with that too.

Situation 1 - Browsing the web without Identity Cloaker:

Direct connection with a hacker...

How does this situation change, when you install, and use Identity Cloaker?

I must admit I could not get it to
initially work with BBC iPlayer
(the BBC must have blocked the IP Addresses of their UK Proxy Servers most likely)?

However I did get it to work using their optional Open VPN service.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Open VPN)

OpenVPN is a free and open source software application that implements virtual private network (VPN) solutions for creating secure point-to-point or site-to-site connections in routed or bridged configurations and remote access facilities. It uses SSL/TLS security for encryption and is capable of traversing network address translators (NATs) and firewalls. It was written by James Yonan and is published under the GNU General Public License(GPL).


OpenVPN allows peers to authenticate each other using a pre-shared secret key, certificates, or username/password. When used in a multiclient-server configuration, it allows the server to release anauthentication certificate for every client, using signature and Certificate authority. It uses the OpenSSL encryption library extensively, as well as the SSLv3/TLSv1 protocol, and contains many security and control features.

Setting up Open VPN option, is done by clicking on 'Launch OpenVPN' button with Identity Cloaker

This is not quite as simple and 'user friendly', as selecting a Proxy from one of nine countries:-
Germany / Sweden / United Kingdom / France / Ireland / Poland / United States / Canada / Netherlands
Power-Users Warning
WARNING: This feature is intended mostly for power-users!
OpenVPN, OpenVPNGUI and OpenVPNPortable are not a part of the Identity Cloaker dient application, it just downloads valid SSL keys from the main server when it runs so it is best to launch OpenVPN from within it.
I have discovered, that with an 'update' to Identity Cloaker, I can now simply use their new United Kingdom Proxy Servers, and successfully watch UK content, with the likes of BBC iPlayer for example.
(if this gets blocked, I should be able to at least gain access, once more, using the 'Launch OpenVPN' button)

With my current subscription to PLDT MyDSL (1.45MB max peak download) I do not have enough Bandwidth to watch BBC TV content in HD, as it keeps 'buffering'.

Part of the problem is that Routing to the UK, from the Philippines (using PLDT) is not very 'direct'. Connection to UK and Europe, seems to be via USA!
IP Address:
Organization: BBC Internet Services, Docklands.
Region: Over (GB)

Traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
4 if-15-0.mcore3.LAA- ( 236.436 ms 235.546 ms 255.448 ms
5 if-4-0.mcore3.NJY- ( 416.769 ms 413.428 ms 419.186 ms
6 if-4-0-0.core1.FV0- ( 528.265 ms 498.496 ms 500.791 ms
7 ( 494.908 ms 512.247 ms 514.442 ms
8 ( 512.957 ms 483.702 ms 494.503 ms
9 ( 545.980 ms 525.875 ms 495.997 ms
10 ( 476.282 ms 474.097 ms 480.620 ms
Trace complete

In 'normal' mode, I was able to watch 'Top Gear' for example, pretty much OK, with hardly any 'buffering', however. I am pleased that the use of Identity Cloaker, made this possible for me.

There is however another aspect of using
Identity Cloaker, and that is keeping your identity and DATA secret and secure.

Did you know that almost all the data you send and receive over the Internet is transmitted unencrypted and can be easily stolen? Spammers, hackers, data thieves, identity thieves and just about all kinds of bad guys simply love it. And yes, this list may just as well include even your own government, your Internet Service Provider or an overly curious boss or spouse. If you are not protecting yourselves, you are an easy prey for them!

But what if there was a solution to this problem?

A sophisticated, yet easy to use system that would protect the sensitive data you send and receive over the Internet using an encryption technique so powerful that even the US Department of Defense and the US Army is using it for protecting information classified TOP SECRET? Encryption technique so powerful you would need at least a few hundred years to break even with huge computer networks? Encryption technique so powerful that even the best funded intelligence agencies cannot break it?

Congratulations: You've just found such a solution. Welcome at!

We will protect you from Internet spies and prying eyes!

The technology used to cause you harm is becoming more and more affordable and widespread among the bad guys. What was restricted to intelligence agencies and law enforcement just a few years ago, is now available on the open market. The danger is *very* real and far more serious than you may think. Obviously, we can not protect you from every possible threat on the Internet. But we will do our best to help you survive the Wild Wild West. And we will do more than that!

Situation 2 - Browsing the web with Identity Cloaker:
Using Identity Cloaker
You visit a website - again, let's call it The request is sent through the established encrypted secure tunnel to the chosen Identity Cloaker proxy server. This is done in the background - you do not even have to know about it. The proxy server then sends the request on your behalf, receives the answer and forwards it back to you - again through the encrypted secure tunnel. At all time, was communicating with the proxy server and does not even know about you! The proxy server works as the middleman.

How large is the network of secured proxy servers?

Our network of secured private proxy servers is growing all the time. Currently, we have our servers located in Germany, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Canada and USA. If there is interest, we may also add servers in other countries and parts of the world too. Our system is very flexible and has been designed to be able to increase its capacity easily, without sacrificing quality of the service offered to our valued customers.

At this time, there are 13 servers with 142 IPs in 8 countries in the Identity Cloaker network!

We should mention one thing. When we talk about "proxy servers" we mean our own secured private proxy servers. Those are either physical computers or Virtual Dedicated Servers we have rented in several data centers throughout the world. We pay a monthly fee for all of them. They all have 100Mbit+ ports with monthly traffic allowance usually in the terabytes.

If you have no idea what that means, it means that we have enough capacity to offer any customer more than reasonable broadband speed of data transfer. We do not rely on some low quality free proxy servers that are almost always oversaturated, overloaded, and may be even infected by malevolent software threatening - not helping, your privacy!

Another important characteristic of the system is that the data transmitted between you and our private proxy servers is encrypted using a military class encryption technique! This is an extremely important feature, not offered even by premium services offering access to private proxy servers.

Disclaimer: Downloading of copy write material is illegal in most countries, as may be, the use of Proxy Servers /VPN and Data Encryption.

Can I use Identity Cloaker to surf illegal websites or do something illegal?

The short answer: no, you can not! When using Identity Cloaker, you have to agree not to breach any law valid in the country of the party running Identity Cloaker (Czech Republic) and the country where the proxy server is located. If visiting some particular websites is considered illegal by your country government but legal by both Czech Republic and the proxy server country, we will not interfere. This is between you and your government.

Hypothetical scenario:

You live in China and your government makes visiting certain websites such as illegal and if they find out you visited, you could have some serious troubles. They normally block access to but with the help of Identity Cloaker, it's a matter of clicking one button to "punch a hole in the firewall". You choose to be connected through a proxy server located in the Netherlands.

So will you have a problem with us in this case? Absolutely not. Visiting is 100% legal in both Czech Republic (company seat) and the Netherlands (proxy server location).

Note: we don't really know whether visiting is considered illegal in China, this was meant only as an example for illustrative purposes.


David Whittall said...

I managed to obtain a 25% Discount Voucher, to use when placing a Subscription to Identity Cloaker

The 25% 'Voucher' Discount Code, is for my 'Cebu_BritClub' Members (but would work for anyone) using this URL

bbc iplayer USA said... provide tutorial regarding BBC iplayer outsite UK including Australia, USA, Korea, Germany, France, Mexico, China, Denmark, etc

David Whittall said...

"VPN Authority. They are easy to use with excellent customer service and great speeds and offer a 2-day free trial".

"FREE for 2 Days" only - big Deal. What does it cost after that?

"Unlimited VPN Access as low as $5.30 per Month!"!

Identity Cloaker
12-month subscription (€79.97) (Convert Currency)
(€6.67 a month)
Would seem to be more expensive but getting that 25% Discount Code, brings it down to under €5 per month ($6.64).

So on face value it looks like VPN Authority is over $1 per month cheaper. If you only want UK and USA VPN Service then give it a try?

Identity Cloaker may more Servers in UK than VPN Authority? Not sure about USA though. Identity Cloaker does have Servers in many more Countries other than UK and USA however, for same Subscription.