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VPN Assist Extension

A browser extension
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When trying to watch a TV show or movie on a streaming site, one can sometimes encounter a message saying the episode/movie you're trying to stream is geo-locked, ie not available in your country or region. It's possible to bypass such restrictions by using a VPN routed through a server in a country or region where it IS available, but how does one find out which countries/regions have access to a given stream?

That's where this extension would come in. It would link to a Wikipedia-like database, updated constantly by volunteers who use the service themselves, which monitors what's on your screen and whenever such a denial message appears, would provide a small unobtrusive popup telling you where to steer your VPN to gain access to what you were trying to watch.

21 Quest, Aug 30 2023

One such database https://unogs.com/
You won't believe where some of these titles are (and aren't) made available to viewers. [21 Quest, Aug 30 2023]

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       // but how does one find out which countries/regions have access to a given stream? //   

       Usually country of origin is helpful, isn't it? If I'm looking for something on the BBC I'd come in using a server in the UK.
a1, Aug 30 2023

       You'd think it's that simple. But take Shawshank Redemption, for instance. An American film, but not available on the US version of Netflix. It's available, on Netflix, in 6 countries, including Canada, Japan, and Germany... but not the US. Unofficial databases like this already exist, that part is WKTE. The idea is simply for a browser extension that automates that searching process and works for all streaming sites.
21 Quest, Aug 30 2023

       The reasons for a movie's availability can often have to do with copyright laws in specific countries, licensing restrictions, political pressure from big countries like China, etc. It's crazy.
21 Quest, Aug 30 2023

       Do you think there is some legal liability for the VPN provider themselves to give you that info?
minoradjustments, Aug 30 2023

       There might be, IF it was the VPN provider doing it. I'm not suggesting that; this would be a neutral 3rd party simply sharing information. "I see you're trying to watch a movie that's not available in your region. Here are some regions you can TRAVEL TO (*wink*) where you could watch it legally."   

       I'd fight that out in court on 1st Amendment grounds.
21 Quest, Aug 30 2023

       I've had a VPN for 6 years, a different one last year, and neither one would provide a node speed test that was customizable to just the ones you favored. eVPN has a useful test but you have to sit through ALL their nodes before getting the result. Mullvad doesn't have any speed test. You'd think this was a very basic thing; finding the node that was least affected by the hop induced by your VPN. But no. So I'm not sanguine about getting additional info directly from the VPN. But it would be great.
minoradjustments, Aug 31 2023

       Do you mean latency or bandwidth?
Voice, Sep 01 2023

       I'm with 21 on this, but this makes it not a halfbaked idea. Instead of that it's a sensible idea. The halfbaked version would be configured to actively search out mad rubbish that you would not normally be able to see, then use VPN to circumvent the location firewalls.
xenzag, Sep 02 2023


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