Resolved Accessing the U.S. iTunes/App Store Outside of the U.S.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by willmtaylor, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. willmtaylor, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013

    macrumors 68020

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #1
    All,
    I've searched, but can't find an answer. My sister is in the U.S. and has a U.S. Apple ID/account and will be doing nonprofit volunteering in Uganda for the next 2 years. She's bought an iPad, but wants to know whether she'll be able to access the U.S. iTunes Store in Uganda.

    Can anyone help us out here?

    Thanks,
    Will
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    #2
    When I was in this situation, I used to use a US-based VPN service. Most are not free, however. Here's a small selection:

    http://lifehacker.com/5759186/five-best-vpn-service-providers

    You log on to the VPN, and from that point on, your browsing is conducted through a tunnel via one of the the VPN servers. It's mainly designed to provide a very high level of security, but it also masks your originating IP address.

    I don't know if simpler IP spoofing schemes will work; they didn't for me when I wanted to use Amazon Unbox and other services that, at the time, were intended for US users. I had to use a VPN service for this.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    #3
    as long as you don't change the credit card to a Ugandan one and the billing address remains in the US, you will be always accessing to US store, wherever you are.

    I have always been switching between stores on one computer.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
    #4
    Easiest way would probably be to get a VPN located in the US.
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    #5
    Have you tested this out in many foreign countries? While it's true that your account is tied to your credit card and your credit card is tied to a particular bank, I'd be very surprised if iTunes lets somebody do transactions at their U.S. store from anywhere in the world. When I lived in Africa, I was blocked from Amazon Unbox and Netflix and several other streaming services because I wasn't logging on from a U.S. Internet address. My Amazon and Netflix accounts were tied to U.S. credit cards issued by U.S. banks, but the system was set up to reject users from outside the U.S., mainly for copyright reasons, I think -- and no doubt for security purposes, too.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    #6
    I have used both US iTunes store and UK iTunes store from the following locations:

    USA, UK, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai, Brazil, Kuwait, Portugal, plus many airports whilst stuck in transit.

    Your physical location is not a concern for the iTunes and App stores. What is of concern is your credit card and billing address as this designates which stores you can use.

    I am sure your sister will be able to access the US iTunes store whilst in Uganda. I would suggest a more pressing concern for her whilst volunteering there, is whether she can access an internet connection that is fast enough and/or reliable enough to allow her to download things from the store and whether she will have wi-fi access or not. She needs to check exactly what internet services are available in the location she will be volunteering, if she's outside of a city, the internet may not be available at all.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    #7
    I'm glad I'm apparently wrong about this. I shouldn't have assumed my experience with Amazon Unbox and Netflix would apply to iTunes.

    That's certainly true.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Jacksonville FLORIDA
    #8
    She shouldn't have a problem. As long as her Apple ID is tied to the U.S. store, her geographical location shouldn't have much impact.

    My girlfriend is in Venezuela but has no problems buying/downloading anything from the U.S. store using the account I've created for her.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    #9
    I understand your concern. The same situation applies with BBC iPlayer, this is blocked outside of the UK, I also know of sales websites that are blocked outside of the home country, so it does happen. Apple doesn't seem to do this though.

    I'm sure your sister will have a wonderful life experience.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    #10
    US iTunes store does work outside the US. I can confirm Thailand, Philippines, Nepal, Afghanistan, Oman, UAE, UK, Germany as well. It is definitely the credit card that ties it all together.

    Another way to connect to a particular iTunes Store from abroad is to buy and redeem iTunes gift cards into your account. Interestingly, iTunes gift cards are also tied to certain countries, and credit can only be redeemed in the store linked to that country.

    As mentioned (and my experience too) connectivity at all is going to be a greater concern than the store itself. I suspect many parts of Uganda, like places I work, use VSAT connections. Many times, the store, and many other sites will default you to some other country/language because that is where your satellite connection makes landfall. Get familiar with changing back. This happens with iTunes Store, as well as Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc...
     
  11. macrumors member

    jw12345678

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Like one of the earlier posters I've access both my UK iTunes account and my US account from many countries (including Uganda) without problems or the need for VPN. As for internet access, your sister may be surprised how comprehensive the mobile phone Internet connection can be in that part of the world. I hope she enjoys her experience.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 68020

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #12
    Thanks to those above for the advice & info. I also confirmed it with Apple support. I appreciate the help from this community, though.

    Will
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #13
    I frequently travel out of the country and there isn't any issue browsing the US iTunes store or making purchase provided you have a payment method hooked up to your account.

    The only issue I have found the need for a VPN service is using a streaming service like Netflix via the Apple TV. Everything else works fine.

    If she is canceling her US credit cards she will need a method of US method of payment to make purchases on the US iTunes store, which can get a little tricky. The best best is to use US iTunes gift card service such as www.mygiftcardsupply.com to get credit on her account and make purchases.

    This is much cheaper than switching to Uganda's iTunes store, and also the US iTunes store has much more content.

    PM me if you need any help creating a US iTunes account over there. Save travels!
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #14
    Not only do they not care about your physical location, they do not care about the address of issuing bank of the card. If your Ugandan credit card issuer sends statements to a US billing address, then you can use it for the US iTunes store. The only thing that matters is the billing address of the card - I have cards issued by US, Swedish, Polish and UK banks and all are sent to my UK billing address and all work with the UK iTunes store.
     

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