Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

If your ISP blocks you, they are blocking you: there may be little you can do other than changing your physical location.

My problem is this: I'm in Kuwait now. I wanted to watch videos in YouTube of Brad Paisley, my favorite country singer, but when I try to view the video, it says, "Sorry, the uploader has not made this video available in your country." If I type in a proxy address, any proxy address for that matter, my ISP blocks it. I tried using Tor and Hotspot Shield, but it takes a long time to load the video. Perhaps even hours, so my question is there any way I can type in a proxy address without my ISP blocking me and is there any way to view these videos on YouTube? Any help would be appreciated

In this excerpt from Answercast #18, I look at the problem of getting through various blocks to watching YouTube videos.

Can I get around the blocks?

The short answer is no. You have basically explored the two common solutions for this problem.

Things like Tor, and other anonymous types of proxies, often get blocked (as you're experiencing) from the ISP. By their very nature, they add a fairly significant amount of overhead to the process of getting data packets from the source to your computer.

Normally, for something like email, or if you're willing to do some slow web browsing, it's not that big of an issue. But for something like video? Video is very bandwidth dependent. It uses a lot of data and it assumes it can get the data to you relatively quickly. As soon as you start going through something like Tor, "relatively quickly" kinda goes out the window.

Proxy services

So, in a case like that, those kinds of anonymization services aren't really going to help you much. I don't know of any way to get around your ISP blocking you from connecting to a proxy. If your ISP blocks you, they are blocking you. There's not much you can do.

I really don't know of a way to solve your specific problem other than leaving Kuwait.

Article C5355 - May 17, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

John Smith
May 19, 2012 2:53 AM

All you need to do is sign up with a reputable VPN service. It can be trial and error as some of the larger ones get the attention of censors and are blocked but I'd give Witopia a shot, or google around for other ones. You will have to pay for a subscription but they are fast enough for streaming videos if you are willing to pay.

May 19, 2012 3:34 AM

One way that sometimes works is to paste the url into Google Translate and watch on the translated page.

There's a good overview on Lifehacker

May 19, 2012 8:10 AM

I live in England and had the very same problem when trying to watch the (apparently) U.S only film “A Girl Walks into a Bar” on YouTube.

This is how I got around the problem.

1. Get the web brower Firefox and install two add-ons: “DownloadHelper” and “DownThemAll!” (After DownloadHelper is installed, check that its icon is located somewhere on Firefox’s menu/tool bar. If not, you can put it there from Firefox’s Customise menu.)

2. Go to the YouTube page with the video you want through any proxy that gets the video to at least start. Unfortunately, I cannot remember which proxy I used.

3. As soon as the video has begun to play, the DownloadHelper icon will start to animate to tell you that it’s detected the source of a video. A drop down arrow will appear next to the DownloadHelper icon. Click this and several names for the video will pop up (one for each video quality setting, if applicable).

4. Hover the mouse over the one you want and options will appear.

5. Select the option “Copy Url” (this url is the video’s location).

6. Turn off the proxy you’re using.

7. Paste/add the copied url to the DownThemAll! Manager (click the blue button with the white ‘+’ symbol in it). The video should now download to your computer at the normal speed of your connection and you can watch it when it's done.

John H
May 19, 2012 9:45 PM

I use Witopia VPN here in the US. They now have a pay by the month plan. When I first started with them years ago, they were seriously concerned about providing service to users in heavily censored countries.

They have no bandwidth restrictions but reserve the right to stop service for abuse. They don't consider movies and such as abuse.

November 15, 2012 5:32 PM

I have a slightly different problem. I have been repeatedly playing a "ganesh" chant video. I've played it many, many times and suddenly today it says you do not have permission to access this video. Why now???

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