How can I pay region locked online bills in the US from abroad?
October 29, 2018 5:10 AM   Subscribe

I have to pay various bills (water bills, and most pressing a real estate tax) online via a city website that ends in a .gov; I live in France and the city has, I assume, region blocked its website because who knows why. I used to be able to connect to this website with no trouble, then I started to need to use a proxy website, and now the proxy website is glitching.

I do not want to do anything nefarious. I just want to pay my bills. How can I get resolve this problem? If I need a VPN, what is the best free VPN? Thanks for your help!
posted by os tuberoes to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Not sure if this is any help at all, but earlier this year, I was traveling in a country that my U.S.-based bank had blocked for some reason. However, I was able to get to my bank's website if I turned off the wifi connection on my phone and used data to do it instead.

You probably want a longer-term solution, but worth a shot, if it works and you need to do it right away.
posted by tiger tiger at 5:17 AM on October 29, 2018


A VPN with a free option is probably going to be simplest and most effective option I guess. I've used TunnelBear in the past, which was fine, and you get 500MB of data on their free plan, so I'd suggest giving that a go.
posted by howfar at 6:00 AM on October 29, 2018


Another short-term solution might be to call the appropriate offices and either pay by phone or mail a paper payment (if you have a US-based bank account you might be able to do this via online bill pay, rather than sending a check from France).
posted by mskyle at 6:13 AM on October 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Seconding Tunnelbear. I’ve used it for similar things and it worked like a charm!
posted by greermahoney at 6:16 AM on October 29, 2018


The region blocking may be related to GDPR regulations - some sites have said they were blocking EU connections "while they work on a technical solution", but this .gov site presumably thinks there's no reason to comply with GDPR (assuming no-one outside the US would need to use their site) so they made the block permanent.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:27 AM on October 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


Quick and dirty answer would be to install the Opera browser as it has a free VPN baked in. then you can choose your VPN location as being the America's and hopefully that will work
posted by drinkmaildave at 11:36 AM on October 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


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