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How To Change Regional Access of iTunes

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

The iTunes Store is one of the biggest digital markets for music, videos, apps and e-books. The store has a collection of over 25 million digital downloadable products and boasts of more than 500 million active user accounts. Moreover, the store has sold more than 25 billion songs globally and serves more than 300 million mobile devices. The iTunes Store has been ranked #1 music vendor since 2008 and generates billions of dollars in revenue for Apple Inc. year after year.

US vs. Non-US version of iTunes Store

Although the iTunes Store can be accessed from all over the world, the content availability varies from country to country. For instance, in order to download Netflix, Hulu and Pandora apps, you need to access the site from US (or with a US IP address). Similarly the collection of music, TV shows, movies and e-books available to UK customers is significantly different from what is available to US customers. By far, the US customers have access to biggest media collection (20 million+ songs, 1 million+ podcasts, 45,000+ movies, 3000+ TV shows, over 40,000+ music videos, 700,000+ apps) whereas the content availability in other countries depends on copyright agreements and digital right management rules set by the copyright owners and publishers.

In order to determine the location of users, Apple as well as content publishers rely on the IP address of visitors. If the IP address of the user is from United States, he/she automatically gets access to the vast collection of digital media. On the other hand, if the IP address of the user is not from US, the media available for buying and download could be significantly different. In order to access US version of iTunes Store, you need to ensure two things:

Step 1:  The credit card that you use to buy content from the iTunes Store has a US billing address. That’s because, Apple ties the location of a customer with his credit card address. If you move out of US but still use your US based credit card to purchase media from the iTunes Store, you would still be able to buy most media. However, certain content or apps may not be available due to DRM or GEO-IP based restrictions (Netflix, Hulu etc.).

Step 2:  In order to bypass GEO-IP based restrictions, you would need to access the iTunes site with a US IP address. If you are physically not present in US, you can use a IP changing service like a proxy or VPN to change you IP address before you log into the iTunes site. Even though proxies are easy to use, they may leak your real IP address so it is highly recommended that you use a VPN to change your IP address.

How To Unlock US Version Of iTunes From Outside Of US With A VPN

Step 1: The first task would be to subscribe to a VPN service provider that has server(s) in United States. To access the iTunes Store, you can choose the unrestricted speed and bandwidth VPN offers from HideMyAssIPVanishVyprVPN, and Overplay. These VPN sellers are well-known for their American VPN offers and are in a position to deliver extremely high speeds and privacy required for accessing sites like iTunes.

Step 2: The second step is to modify your current network configuration or install a VPN client as per the instructions provided by your VPN company. For mobile devices like iPhones and iPads, there is no software installation necessary but you will have to configure the VPN by adjusting few networking options.

Step 3: After the installation or change of network settings is finished, save the changes. You might also have to reboot your laptop or computer for the network setting changes to become effective. As far as tablets and Smartphones are concerned, you only need to save and apply the new changes and close and restart the iTunes Store application to make use of the new network setting.

Step 4: Connect with the VPN service by simply clicking on the Connect option or the VPN icon. Subject to your speed and current location, it may take few moments for the VPN program to locate the default VPN server.

Step 5: Make sure to choose a US server in case the default VPN server is not from America. The majority of VPN companies have servers in a number of countries around the world so you would need to pick a server from US to unlock the US version of iTunes Store.

Step 6: Visit the iTunes website once more and check whether you can download US only apps and are able to access the content meant for US customers. In order to access the US version of iTunes Store from mobile devices, close the iTunes Store app and start it again.

August 25, 2013

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