If you want to shop worldwide, the Internet is a great place. Unfortunately, some governments and companies are hindering free access to the web. That can be as big a problem as journalists who can’t work for a free press or a customer who wants to order products from another country.
EU Commission: Many online retailers use geo-blocking to hinder free trade
In May, 2017 the European Commission published a press release on their final report on e-commerce sector inquiry. The findings: About 40 percent of online retailers use geoblocking software. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in charge of competition policy said:
“Certain practices by companies in e-commerce markets may restrict competition by unduly limiting how products are distributed throughout the EU. Our report confirms that. These restrictions could limit consumer choice and prevent lower prices online.
Some companies are actively working against customers. They restrict access from certain countries to their online shops so they can charge higher prices in these respective countries. However, there is a way around this system: VPN software and Mailbox Germany.
How to get your products: VPN software and Mailbox Germany
VPN is short for virtual private network. Normally, whenever you log in to the Internet, your access point generates an IP address to identify you. That is necessary for the Internet to work. Unfortunately, companies and enterprises can misuse this system to identify your location and block access to a specific Internet page, i.e. a non-government page or an online shop. A VPN software generates another IP address as an alias. That way, the web page you want to access will only see the IP address of the VPN software.
In combination with Mailbox Germany, you can safely order products from Germany that may be restricted in your home country. That’s how you do it:
1. How to install VPN software
There are many resources for VPN software – free as well as of charge. If you are a student, you often can use your university access. However, that one is tied to your country. If, however, you know a student from Germany or are yourself studying abroad, you can get access there. But since that is often not the case, there are other possibilities.
- Cisco System AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client: Cisco offers a good and free VPN software. You still need access to a foreign server, e.g. one in Germany for your access to work.
- anonymoX – Anonymous and private internet: A freemium service. Install the add-on on your Firefox or Chrome browser and you can choose server locations in the UK, Netherlands, or the United States. This should work in most cases when you want to order something from Germany.
- Hide.me – World’s Fastest VPN and Privacy Protection: A full-blown service for your
2. How to use Mailbox Germany
Once you have a working VPN software, you can use the online shops. However, you will need a working delivery address in Germany as well. That’s where Mailbox Germany chimes in. We can help you with the logistics.
- Register a free Mailbox Germany account (you can upgrade anytime)
- Order your products from a German shop
- Put in your Mailbox Germany address
- We take care of the rest and get in touch once your packages arrive with us. From there, you can bulk-ship everything you’ve ordere to us.
I have a neverending curiosity how things work. I'm involved with Mailbox Germany since 2014. Let us explore this world and its logistics!
Since 2011, I work as Schrift-Architekt, a freelance consultant for social media and for some time now I am an avid German podcaster with #Onlinegeister, radio about internet culture, social media, and PR.
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