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Farncombe Security® Geo-Blocking Circumvention Testing


With over-the-top (OTT) content distribution, ensuring that your content is served only to authorized geographies is increasingly important. We support testing your solution, or a third party’s solution, to determine whether successful identification and blocking of VPN services and other circumvention mechanisms occur.

Testing the Effectiveness of Geo-Blocking Circumvention Mechanisms

Cartesian tests the effectiveness of geo-blocking circumvention mechanisms to access content from disallowed territories. Circumvention mechanisms are tools that provide the means for internet users to bypass geographic restrictions, also known as geo-blocks and geo-filters, put in place to protect digital distribution rights. These tools make it appear as if the user is in a different location from where they physically are.

These mechanisms are typically in the form of VPN applications or configurations, Smart DNS proxy services, and web-browser plug-ins.

Why Test?

  • Protect content rights agreements, i.e., ability for users to access geo-blocked content undermines international rights agreements and can lead to legal action from content owners
  • Benchmark your platform within the industry against your competitors
  • Determine the level of blocking per region, device, and circumvention mechanism to help improve your platform
  • Reduce piracy and cyber risk
  • Protect revenue
  • Confirm your geo-location provider is correctly detecting users outside the allowed territories

Our Approach

Cartesian tests geo-blocking circumvention mechanisms to measure how effectively video streaming platforms handle geo-filtering. It is conducted in three phases:

Phase 1: Setup

  • Agree territories and testing time periods
  • Circumvention mechanism selection
  • Device setup
  • Account creation

Phase 2: Testing

  • Each territory tested in defined test periods against the selected circumvention mechanisms:
    • Basic geo-blocking rules: prevention of access from a foreign location
    • Advanced geo-blocking rules: prevention of access through VPNs or other proxies

Phase 3: Reporting

  • Compile and analyze results including comparisons between territories, circumvention mechanisms and platforms
  • Create and distribute test report following each test period for client use

Why Cartesian?

Unbiased and independent testing and analysis.
Fit-to-purpose method and scope, adapted to each specific testing case.
In-house tools and techniques to carry out tests.
Content Security and Video Technology expertise.

Case Studies

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