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I have a question about something I read online, but want to be clear that I have no intention of doing this... just thought it was interesting and could cause a problem for US based legal internet betting.
Does anyone know about masking your location through a VPN or other means? Does this mean you could make a casino think you are say, in London when you are really in New York? Would this allow you to play those games?
I am sure that it is not accepted at casinos, and there are many dubious uses to it. Can you imagine someone in New York pretending to be in New Jersey so that they can gamble online?
Is this a real issue or something that happens online? What do you make of it?
Yes, in fact I use a VPN to test the country detection features of our site here as well as casinos if they block certain countries, and it also helps me if I want to watch streaming services like Hulu that aren't available where I live.
The one I use is called PersonalVPN from a company called Witopia and they allow me to connect via loads of different countries all around the world. It can also be handy if you are out and about and don't trust whatever wireless network you're connecting to. Just set your phone or laptop to tunnel through the VPN and all of your traffic is encrypted so anyone evesdropping on the local wireless network can't snatch your logins or passwords.
It is definitely something you can use to play free games like the ones we have here that are normally blocked from your country (I know because I have done it). But I would strongly recommend not to try it for real money because you would have problem when it is time to supply ID to the casino and withdraw.
If you want instructions on how to set up and use it just let me know.
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Yes, I absolutely would like that information. Can you PM it to me?
I don't mind posting it here. That way if anyone else wants to try it out they will know what to do.
Let me repeat do not do this for real money play. Eventually you'll want to be paid and when the casino finds out that you have been using a VPN you'll have your account locked quicker than you can blink.
The first thing I tried long ago was a bunch of free proxy services and I generally found them to be unreliable, slow, and most of the time the games simply didn't work. The problem is that generally the proxy loads you a web page that contains the free game via the proxy server, but then the free game is loaded directly from the game server and they instantly know where you are located.
A VPN, on the other hand, builds an encrypted "tunnel" between your computer and the VPN server, wherever it is located in the world. The VPN server acts as a middleman, forwarding your requests to websites and then forwarding on their responses to your computer. As far as the website or game server is concerned, your computer appears to be located wherever the VPN server is. This, of course, allows you to pretend to be in a country that will allow the free game (or Hulu or BBC or whatever) to work.
So VPN it is.
Like I said above I use Witopia. They have two services: Pro and Basic. I have the Pro, but if you're just wanting to play free games on our site, try the basic first and see if it does the job as it is a little cheaper. It looks like you can try it for a month for $6 if you just want to test the waters.
Once you sign up they have some software you can download and install. I have a Mac so its probably slightly different if you're on Windows but the principle is the same. When you run the software it shows a window with a live map of your current location. Switch to another server, or what they call a "gateway", and after a few seconds connecting the map will update to show that you are now located in London or wherever you chose. From that point on, everything you do on your internet connection will go through this VPN server, and you will appear for all intents and purposes to be in that location.
To play our free games, there is one more thing that you have to do. On our site we save your country setting (the flag up the top of every page) so that we can tailor some of the information on the site so that it is most relevant to you. For example the bonus and tournaments lists and the casino recommendations will exclude casinos that you can't play at. So you don't want to change that, and it won't change to your new faux-location unless you change it manually. However when you load the free game, our system will look at that country preference, and it won't take into account that you are using a VPN, so it will still show that the game is blocked and instead you'll see a few screenshots. What we have done is added a link under the screenshots that allows you to force the game to load. So click that link and away you go.
One thing to remember when you connect via the VPN - everything you do on your computer is now going through the VPN. This can have unexpected side effects - for example gmail might alert you and say that your account was just accessed from another country. Or if you try to login to Neteller or your internet banking while on the VPN the bank may lock your account as a security measure (Neteller has done this to me which was annoying). So bear that in mind.
Thanks, Ed. I am going to sign up and try it out today!
So how did you go?
I was able to get a VPN connection, but for some reason it still showed my home US connection as my IP, which was kind of a bummer. I am going to re-try it again here and will let you know how it goes.
Oh SNAP! I got it. It was a stupid mistake on my part. I'm masking out of London now and can play all the games, including IGT titles!
Awesome. I'm in London at the moment and I am using it when connecting via wifi so no-one can sniff out my passwords or anything. Thats another use for it to keep up your sleeve.
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