These days, more and more brands are serving several different versions of their website depending on where in the world you are browsing from. But sometimes it’s preferable to check out a specific country’s website – for example the USA versions are almost always better!
I realise that this is a very niche problem that will trouble only a small number of you, but it has been driving me nutty recently, so I’m going to write about it gosh darn it!
I live in the UK, but quite often I need to access USA websites for information, either for work or here on LeftyFretz. Most of the time, moving to a region specific variant of a site is as simple as choosing a different country from a menu on the website. Most of the time! But recently I’ve been having trouble with the Fender website, so I assume that others will be having the same issue.
Changing my location from UK to USA on the new Fender website just flat out does not work anymore. It sits and thinks for a few seconds then spits up an error – This page isn’t working – shop.fender.com redirected you too many times. To make things worse, if you manage to navigate to this error page it is nigh impossible to get back to the UK website without an honors degree in computer sciences.
Another issue. If I surf over to Google UK and search for any Fender product, the Fender link I am served is for the USA website. Which I cannot access! So I click on the link and get redirected to the Fender UK homepage, from where I have to repeat my search. The same issue arises on social media when trying to follow links posted by their main pages.
At the end of the day, the Fender USA site is just a better experience. There are more products listed, there’s an active blog with news and tips, and I can access and mess around with the Mod Shop. So how do those of us outside of the USA get there?
How to Set up a FREE VPN in 2 Minutes Flat
A quick and simple way to circumvent this issue is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This service offers numerous benefits, but in this case we are using it to fool the website into thinking we’re based in the USA. It does this by routing our connection through a server based in the States (or whichever country you choose).
VPNs are usually a paid for service, but if you are willing to download and install a new browser we can use one for free.
Step Number One : Download the Opera Browser
Step Number Two : Open Opera and turn on the VPN service. (Menu > Settings > Privacy and Security)
Step Number Three : Click on the VPN dropdown menu and choose ‘United States’
Step Number 4 : Navigate to Fender.com. Boom! We get the USA website!
One slight caveat to using a VPN service is that it can slow down your browsing speed a little as a result of having to reroute your connection through another server. But as we’re only firing up Opera in select situations, this isn’t going to be a major issue for most of us.
Or if you decide that you like Opera and want to make it your default browser, you can always turn off the VPN service when you don’t need it.
No doubt there are countless other methods for achieving the same result, but this free VPN service is a quick and simple workaround for accessing region locked content. It has been working perfectly for me and I hope that this will help a few of you out as well.