Unblock Streaming TV & Music
One of the most popular uses for virtual private networks is unblocking streaming TV, music, and movies online.
There are two reasons for this.
- 1. Unblocking Geo-Restrictions by Changing your IP Address
- 2. Getting a Faster Connection By Changing Your IP Location
Most database streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and iPlayer will restrict their content to the country their business operates in, or a few select countries will have access to some content.
There are many types of fees they have to pay and contracts which require them to do so. The details of these restrictions are inconsequential. The point is that Hulu is only available in the US & Japan. The full version of Netflix is only available in The US, and iPlayer is restricted to the UK and a few select European countries. Each country will have similar streaming sites but they're generally smaller and feature language specific movies/TV, so I don't know specific names.
The same applies music streaming sites like Pandora, Spotify, Raditaz, and other online radio, playlist, or DJ sites. The restrictions will vary in type and location, but regardless, changing your IP can lift these restrictions.
Basically, if you sign up for a VPN service with a broad enough network, you can unblock any of these sites. Many VPN services allow you to switch servers for free, so you can access UK streaming sites one day, and American streaming sites the next.
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Getting a Faster Connection For Streaming
Something I had read about, but never really experienced was a VPN connection actually speeding up your internet connection. I know it seems like a gimmick, but there are a couple of things that make this happen.
1. Server Proximity To the Web Servers
The rule is that the closer the servers, the faster the connection. I found this out on my trip to the Philippines recently. Though YouTube is not blocked there, I was getting terrible buffering times. Once I signed into a VPN server in Chicago however, I could see an obvious improvement in loading time.
At that time I was using OpenVPN (from my trip to China). OpenVPN usually gets a bad reputation for eating up bandwidth, but it worked out well for me in this case. I think PPTP could have been another step in the right direction.
So the point is that although websites may not be blocked, you can use VPN servers as a ‘stepping stone' to websites you want to stream from for better connections.
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Get a UK IP Address For British Music & TV Streaming