I live in Taiwan.

I was asking a question on Super User concerning Access Denied problem when accessing http://www.cvs.com

One of the user from Netherlands made a comment that he is having the same problem. I am not sure if he has the same network/browser problem that I am having or actually I should blame this problem to CVS.

I am wondering if there are commercial web sites in the US who are blocking access from outside US?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – SztupY
    Jan 12, 2016 at 16:38

4 Answers 4


There are plenty of websites that are only accessible from within the US. Most of them being video on demand or video rental companies that let you download content and the law does not permit them to do so outside the country hence the blocking.

Some webmasters or companies do not want business from outside the country so having visitors from abroad just eats away their resources and the find it easier and cheaper to block outside traffic.

This is also true for some non commercial websites. Some websites block certain countries to prevent spam attacks. There are many such examples. IP level blocking is very easy to do and hardly takes 5 mins to set up. IP range lists for every country are freely available on the internet.

What can you do?

Use a proxy like hidemyass and use a US IP address.

Source : I am a server admin myself.

  • I would say a (especially paid) VPN is normally more reliable than a publicly accessible proxy.
    – kiradotee
    Mar 1, 2020 at 11:36

After looking at every network request, I figured out what causes CVS to deny access for me:

The primary language of my browser was not English.

After I changed it from Russian to English, I could access CVS again; thus, looks like they deny access based on your preferred browser language.

  • 2
    incredible, i was wondering why this was happening, and sure enough it's due to the accept-language header. what on earth is CVS thinking?
    – lensovet
    Aug 2, 2020 at 1:23

Since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force, some sites outside the EU refuse to serve their content to IP addresses associated with Europe. Last summer, I was unable to load a news story from a small newspaper in the US when I was in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (I do not remember what newspaper it was; I found the article through an internet search.) The page I received instead of my story indicated that this was because of the GDPR, even though Bosnia is not in the EU and therefore not subject to the GDPR.


I believe it is when I am using the Tor browser and the country of origin is not the key item. Of note, CVS also only wants registered Twitter users who are followers to see their tweets. So, I expect this is about a U.S. company wanting to be able to track potential and current customers rather than welcome open access.

  • This is not true. I used to live in the US and am a member of their Extra Care program, I still receive their promotion e-mails from CVS at least once a week. They have link to their web in the e-mails. When I click the link, I get "Access Denied" message.
    – Nobody
    Jan 10, 2016 at 3:49
  • Also, I always use IE. I was able to browse cvs.com just about a year ago. All of a sudden, I got the message (around March, 2015). So, it has nothing to do with my browser (I am using Windows 10 and IE 11 now). I am able to browse JCPenney, Walgreen, Walmart and many other sites in the US.
    – Nobody
    Jan 10, 2016 at 4:00

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