Accessing PheedLoop from China or Countries with Internet Restrictions
PheedLoop is a global platform with attendees from over 150 countries having attended events running on the platform whether the event is on-site, virtual, or both. The good news is PheedLoop has the ability to function wonderfully from anywhere, with even the slowest internet connections or old devices to accommodate the greatest number of event planners and attendees. However, just like any piece of software that accesses the internet, there are limited instances where internet restrictions and firewalls can block access to PheedLoop or the sub-processors it depends on. You'll see this most commonly for direct connections to the internet from China, or in very rare cases from government or corporate networks with tight restrictions. The good news is there are both solutions, and alternatives to allow PheedLoop to work for just about everyone!
What is the Cause of the Restrictions?
A few countries have stringent censorship policies which prevent access to commonplace platforms and services like Google GCP and Amazon AWS. PheedLoop, along with just about every platform on the market, rely on companies like these behind the scenes for server management, databases, streaming, etc. This means that although PheedLoop isn't blocked, the services behind the scenes may be, and that's where the problems typically come from. What makes things more challenging is these countries change their rules and restrictions quite often.
Note: Not all attendees from these countries will experience restrictions. They are just more likely to.
Quick Fix - Use a VPN
If you have an attendee from a country with stringent censorship policies, our first and best recommendation is to encourage the attendee to use a VPN service. Using a VPN is extremely common practice and in just about every case totally eliminate any restrictions the attendee may be facing. Any off the shelf VPN that the attendee has the option to download and use would do the trick here.
Quick Fix - Don't Use a VPN
Wait, didn't we just tell you to use a VPN!? That's right, and that's generally the easiest solution in countries with censorship and restrictions on internet access. However, there are also the quite rare cases of organizations like governments, educational institutions, and large companies that place similar restrictions on their staff via their organizational VPN. The attendee should consider disabling the VPN, using another computer/network, and for a permanent fix, contact their IT team to whitelist PheedLoop and the resources it uses.
Configure a Backup
This is especially relevant for virtual events, because on-site events usually happen at a venue that have the right internet settings configured to maximize access. So if you're running a virtual event and are still concerned, what you may want to do is choose to simulcast your streams to more than one platform. The way this works is by choosing one of PheedLoop's streaming methods that supports streaming to multiple sources, one of which would be PheedLoop. Many events do this to minimize risk, and it works phenomenally well! The two options that are most common are:
- Direct RTMP - Using PheedLoop's Direct RTMP streaming method is a powerful option because it provides versatility. You can use a platform like Restream.io, and add several sources to your stream output, one of which would be PheedLoop. You can choose from dozens of other platforms and even social networks. This way, in the extreme case, an attendee can use a separate interface entirely to experience the most important part of the event.
- Zoom - After PheedLoop's native streaming options, our white-labeled Zoom integration is certainly the second most popular one. With China being the most common countries that have attendees with restrictions, the good news is Zoom works in China. So you can use our standard integration or stream from Zoom to RTMP, while also providing a direct Zoom option.