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Get a Czech IP Address

For Czech citizens who travel a lot, getting a Czech IP address really makes sense. For example many websites based in the Czech republic are inaccessible as soon as you travel outside the country. The growth of regional only websites has grown in the Czech Republic just like the rest of the world. Access is restricted for a variety of reasons, media sites like Czech TV channels do so because of copyright issues, whereas many organisations like online banking block access to prevent remote fraud. It’s rather ironic that most of the websites are more useful to the traveller when they are away from home anyway, you can find a list of Czech allocated addresses here.

czech ip address

 

There is a solution to this, when travelling you can hide your real location by connecting through a secure VPN server. If you enable this virtual connection when you logon, then you can effectively change your IP address to the Czech Republic as long as the server is based there.   Unfortunately the free route is pretty much closed now, even if you could find a CZ proxy site then it wouldn’t be much use.  Almost all websites which block based on location now can detect any simple proxy and block it automatically, they might possibly work with sites for YouTube region blocks.

How to get Czech IP Address – the Solution

You have to use either a VPN or SSH service to bypass these blocks nowadays, and it must be configured securely.   There are many VPN services which are available online nowadays, however most of them do not provide servers in the Czech Republic. Most have servers in places like the US and UK, for accessing popular media sites in those countries.

Some services however do provide a wider selection of countries to their subscribers. Most of these are the more established services who have built up a larger infrastructure One of the oldest companies in this sector are called Identity Cloaker who are actually based in Prague and therefore have some of the fastest VPN servers that provide a Czech IP address.

You can see the software in action here –

Although the connections illustrated in this video show the user changing to a UK IP address, for a Czech IP address you simply select one of the servers based in the Czech Republic. Because Identity Cloaker is based in Prague, the Czech servers are actually some of the fastest and they run very quickly indeed.

Remember when you’re connected to the Czech VPN server, you browse with Czech ip – your web and internet experience will be the same as if you were actually there. If you need to get actual local results you should turn off the VPN connection or select the country that you are in.

The best VPN services however have lots of uses to anyone who travels a lot.  You can switch through servers whenever you need don’t just use a Czech web proxy there’s loads of other media sites to explore.   Try the great sites in the US by switching to a US address, French TV has some great channels too if you speak the language.  Some of the world’s best online TV stations come from the UK in the form of the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 – just choose a UK server instead of Ceske proxy.

There’s really no reason to limit yourself, fight back against all the regional restrictions – you’ll be amazed what you find.  For example there’s lots of premium soccer games like the Premiership and Seria A broadcast from free in countries like India – just pick the right server to unlock.

Although using a Czech republic IP address is useful for travellers, security is also important. Ensure that you always enable the VPN before accessing any secure site like email or online banking through a public wifi access point. These connections are notoriously insecure and many of these connections in places like Hotels and airports are monitored by identity thieves who look for login credentials to steal.

When the VPN is enabled all your data is encrypted and protected from prying eyes, ensuring you can safely use secure sites while switching to a Czech IP address. Identity Cloaker is available in a ten day trial which is perfect for occasional trips although the year subscription is cheaper overall.

Test out the IDC Trial for just a few Euros

 

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UK IP Address in Hong Kong

For a British citizen who’s spending some time working in Hong Kong there were two priorities.  Firstly to find somewhere to stay that didn’t cost half my salary and the second was to work out a way to get a UK IP address in Hong Kong.    The first was solved thanks to a tip off from a local friend, who’d have thought living on a boat would be the solution, the second issue was solved quickly afterwards.

It’s probably an issue that lots of expats face, the issue that although virtually everything on UK television is broadcast online if you’re outside the UK you can’t see it.  When you connect through to the BBC website for example, you’ll discover a different version if you’re in Hong Kong. All you’ll get is the International version, which has none of the live TV or the archived programmes in BBC iPlayer.

This is what it looks like – you’ll see a shop link, advertisements and no sign of the BBC iPlayer link at all.

UK address China

That’s because the BBC site looks up your IP address when you first connect, and has routed you through to this international version instead. You can go directly to the BBC iPlayer web page, but that will do you know good because it also checks before you try and play any video too.  So is that it?  No Match of the Day, no BBC News, no dark detective dramas to while away a humid Hong Kong evening.

Fortunately not, if you ask virtually anyone in the same situation you’ll soon discover the solution – it’s called a VPN.   This stands for Virtual Private Network and it is the simplest way to obtain a UK IP address in Hong Kong.  Just sign up for a service, most come with some little piece of software to enable it to work.  Make sure you connect on to a British Server and when you visit any UK TV website it will see the IP address of the server not your own.   Here’s one in action to watch the BBC –

As you can see your location is actually irrelevant, the important factor is the location of the VPN server you are connecting too. This is the simplest way to get a British IP address and it enables access to all the main UK TV stations. What’s more a VPN is needed if you are ever in mainland China to access loads of websites which are routinely blocked by the state.

There’s nothing wrong with using a VPN in China, literally millions of people do this however it’s best to be discrete. In Hong Kong though it’s fine, most expats will use them routinely. It’s also useful for accessing normal UK websites such as online banking which may be restricted abroad, also using online betting sites can be difficult outside the UK too. None of these are an issue when you use a UK VPN to give you a British IP address. Hell you can even watch the UK version of Netflix instead of being routed to a Hong Kong version of the site!  Try . it’s been used in China for over ten years.

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Indian Censorship Backtrack – No Porn for Indian IP Addresses

It’s not uncommon, internet censorship at state level  is usually implemented in a fairly farcical way.   It normally follows some sort of pattern like this – first offensive article/blog post/video is posted on some huge social networking site, the government then expresses outrage and forces all the ISPs to block that site.  Next comes public outrage and a growing realisation that the offending content has been copied to thousands of other mirror sites and is in fact more accessible than it was initially.  Users are driven towards using technologies like VPNs and proxies, and thousands bounce their connections through UK IPs and US based VPN servers and proxies.  Net effect is that loads more people see the content than if it was simply ignored.

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There are many countries who seem to go through this cycle over and over again without ever learning a lesson.  Even without the mirror sites, a web site is not easily blocked without a huge investment in advanced content filters and firewalls like the Chinese have built, even then it’s pretty difficult to block all access.   Most countries do something pretty low tech like block IP addresses or maintain a URL blacklist – all can be bypassed using a VPN or proxy service.

India earlier this week announced a huge censorship program designed to block access to internet based pornography, a ludicrous thing to attempt.   They drafted an extensive list of porn laden urls and then passed a vague directive to the ISPS to block access.  Remember India is meant to be a democracy and the censorship was very badly received by the Indian public.

Outrage and condemnation followed and it took barely two days for the Communication and Technology ministry to  backtrack issuing yet another confusing directive allowing the ISPs to ‘not disable any of the 857 URLs’ as long as they don’t contain child pornography.  Another pointless exercise as the ISPs (just like the Indian Government) have no resources to be able to filter web sites for child pornography anyway.

It’s the usual half thought out, hopeless legislation that normally accompanies these filtering implementations.   The Indian Government has made itself look incredibly inept and incompetent just like most state sponsored web censorship attempts.

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How to Change DNS on Smart TV

Smart TVs are getting smarter, that’s for certain, the days when your TV would simply display a few channels received from a television aerial are long gone. Today’s Smart TV are multimedia powerhouses which can access and display all sorts of content from a variety of different sources.

For example a standard Smart TV will be able to use applications to access internet based sites like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ITV player, Netflix, Youtube and a host of others. Just plug your TV into your network and you can access all sorts of resources that previously were only accessible from your home computers.

However with this new power comes the annoying restrictions too, geo-locking technology that blocks access to different sites on computers has the same effect on our TV sets too. Our Netflix is locked to the crappy version we normally get and millions won’t be able to access things like BBC iPlayer or HBO online unless we start shipping or TV with us internationally. The blocks work in the same way as they do on computers, your IP address is checked and location noted then you’re allowed access or blocked depending on where you are.

BUT WAIT – IP Address on my TV, it’s not a computer?

Well a Smart TV is pretty much the same as a computer at least if it wants to access the internet, any network enabled device needs an IP address to function online. Which also means it needs a host of network settings to allow it to talk to your router or access point and ultimately use internet based resources.

So does that mean you can also use USA proxies and VPNs (see here) to bypass these blocks like millions already use on their computers? Well it’s possible but usually a little tricky simply because you’ll only have access to basic functionality on a Smart TV – it’s much easier to use a system called Smart DNS.

Here’s the one I use, after testing about 10 of them earlier last year.

They are called Overplay and to use on your Smart TV is actually quite simple, all you need is the cheapest service – Smart DNS. Once you’ve enabled your account, by visiting their registration page from any computer, phone or tablet on your network then you just need to enable it on your Smart TV. This process will vary depending on your TV but you’re basically looking for the Network Settings page.

Start Here.
smarthub-smasung

Then Find this….
networksmartdns

Leading on to this page……
smartdns-settings

Which is where, all you need to do is to input your new Smart DNS server in the DNS server settings. This turns your Smart TV into an international traveller able to adopt a disguise whenever needed. When you click through to the Netflix Application you’ll be able to access the US version, play BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world or in fact any UK Television stations. The Smart DNS server will apply a little disguise to your connection wherever you need it to. No software, no VPN, the SMart DNS server will do it all for you without rerouting your connection.

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Get a French IP Address -Change IP to France

There are quite a few very good media channels in France but unfortunately for many you’ll need to get a French IP address to watch them.   One of my favorites is called M6 Replay and I used to watch it with my son to help with his (and my French), simply because they’d dub a lot of popular US shows into French – so you could change IP to France and watch the Simpsons and pick up some new vocabulary.   However first we had to figure out how to access the programmes because if you tried to watch any of the shows from outside France then you’d get blocked just after the adverts.

The first important point is that the majority of internet filtering is usually based on your IP address.  This is the unique network number which is assigned to you whenever you connect to the internet, it can be assigned to a computer, tablet, smartphone or TV – if you’re online you have an IP address.  Furthermore all these addresses are assigned in blocks to different countries, here’s an idea of the numbers – IPv4 addresses by Countries.   The address you’re assigned will match the country you are in – connect from a French cafe Wifi, you will be assigned an IP address for France.

French IP address

So on to the filtering, remember any website can look up which country your address is assigned to.  You can’t stop this unless you happen to own an ISP and assign yourself a specific address.  Every big organisation, particularly media sites want to know exactly where you are connecting from and they do that from your IP address.  They want information about you, and classifying people by location/country is one of the easiest options.

The reason is that like all the internet’s big media sites, their content is normally restricted to the country of broadcast.  So M6 Replay was not available unless  you connected through a French ISP and had an IP address originating from France.  However fortunately you can change IP to France by by connecting first through a French proxy or VPN server.

How to Get a French IP Address

It sounds complicated but it really isn’t and if you use some simple software it’s just a matter of clicking a button or two.  There’s no real technical set up and once connected will browse from france.  Here’s how to use a French VPN service to do it –

It’s relatively easy to do and if you use the product demonstrated you can even disconnect after the show has started streaming because the check is only at the beginning. However if you restart or switch to another broadcast then the web site will check for that French IP address again, so often it’s easier to keep the connection on.   Remember your real address doesn’t change you are merely hiding it by routing all your traffic through an intermediate server.  Simply pick the country you need such as a French vpn server and you’ll have an IP address from that country – choose UK for watching the BBC online for example.

Remember though all your web experience will be affected by this address.  For example if you start Google with a French IP address you’ll be redirected to the Google.FR and will receive French based search results.   It’s not just the media sites which check your location the search engines do too, browse with French IP and you’ll be treated as a French web user.

The filtering practice is known as geo-targeting or geo-locking and it’s growing extensively. There aren’t many major sites which don’t check your location now and then customise what you can see (or more often not see) depending on that location. Sometimes this practice is  quite useful, for example – the search engines check your location too before listing results, to ensure your search results are localised.

Usually it’s done to block and filter access though, and big media sites like Netflix use it to lock you into a region specific version (usually with different prices). So if you start Netflix from the UK you’ll get a UK version, use a US IP address and you’ll see a USA version and so on.    Having control of your address means that you can bypass all these locks and filters, and there’s another benefit too.  Whilst the VPN france online connection is enabled, all your information is encrypted meaning that no-one has access to your personal data.  This is essential when using unfamiliar wifi connections, especially if you do things like online banking or checking your email.

Using a tool like Identity Cloaker you can actually get access to all versions just by switching your location. So if you want to access French Netflix simply route your connection through one of the French servers and your French IP address will allow you access.

You can unlock your internet access here – IDC France. for just a few Euros

 

 

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Hack Attack From Thailand

My server (it’s not the one this site is stored on by the way!) has been very, very busy this week being attacked by bots and crazed hackers from all over the world. One of the most persistent was from a Thailand IP address, the address was allocated from a Thai ISP and the reverse DNS is node-or5.pool-1-10.dynamic.totbb.net. The ISP responsible for this naughty Thai attacker is TOT Public Company Limited who are based in Bangkok.

It’s target was the EXIM service which is a message transfer agent, so our friend was looking for ways for relaying his Spam messages I would guess. I have the latest version of Exim which I think is 4.85, there were some security problems with earlier versions so make sure you’re up to date. At the very least make sure you’re running version 4.

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Nice Picture of Bangkok

The attack was automated and pretty dumb – consistently attacking the same service with the same username.   Obviously this triggered an automatic IP address ban and it’s been added to CPhulk brute force protection.  This is a service (available and configurable through WHM) which is designed to block Brute force attacks from troublesome IP addresses.   This basically maintains two lists regarding logins to the server – a black list and a whitelist.  When you add an IP address to the blacklist it won’t be able to ever logon to that server at all.  This covers every service so it’s useful to automated penetration or hacking tools which try to brute force every service in turn.  You have to be careful using it though as it’s perfectly possible to blacklist your own address, which I nearly did when I had a British IP address enabled through a VON which I didn;t recognise.

 

 

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