Ever wanted to watch a YouTube video but couldn’t because it wasn't available in your country? What about trying to watch the latest season of your new favorite show but can’t because it’s not available yet? Content varies per region. In fact, you may not realize it, but streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu have completely different content libraries in different countries. You may be able to watch BBC iPlayer in the UK without any issues, but when you travel to Eastern Europe, well, not so much.
Luckily there’s an easy way around this: Use a VPN!
How VPNs work
A VPN, or virtual private network, is the easiest way to go about unblocking content online. It’s a simple, user-friendly app you can use to bypass internet restrictions and access content from anywhere in the world. When you connect to a VPN server, it automatically reroutes your network’s traffic through an encrypted tunnel--websites can’t actually see where you’re browsing from and hackers and snoops aren’t able to intercept your private info.
While VPNs are great for unblocking streaming services, they’re absolutely essential for expats and people who are traveling abroad. If you’re traveling to Asia, for example, you may not be able to access sites like Facebook, Gmail, or even Google. Luckily, using a VPN can instantly help you access your favorite content back home. Plus, it instantly encrypts your online network, so if you’re browsing on a public network at a cafe or airport, then you can rest assured knowing your connection is protected.
VPNs offer a whole slew of different services, and they’re extremely easy to use. Simply connect to a VPN server in the country or city of your choice and voila! You’re able to instantly browse the web as if you were actually in that area.
How to choose a good VPN
While there are plenty of free VPNs on the market, we don’t advise using them. For starters, most free VPN services rarely (if ever) work. Instead, they’re usually just shoddy proxy services that reroute your internet traffic in less effective ways, resulting in slower connections and in increased risk of your data being stolen. Second, most free services actually keep track of your browsing info and often sell them to the highest bidders. Since the whole idea of using a VPN is to help anonymize your internet connection, it’s important you use one that doesn’t track your browsing habits.
Before you settle on a VPN service, make sure it meets the following criteria:
- They never keep logs
- They offer different server locations in various countries around the world
- Their servers provide strong encryption settings
- They offer apps on the device(s) you use
- They have a solid reputation and positive reviews online
Because VPNs are becoming more popular, you’re likely to find a host of new companies. While we can’t effectively say one company is better than another, it’s in your best interest to stick with companies that have a strong reputation and have been around for a while. With the right VPN, you’ll be able to access content instantly from anywhere in the world while securing your internet connection. Browse the web with peace of mind and unblock the internet today.