The relationship between VPNs and streaming services has seen many twists and turns over the past decade, so much that you can even create a Netflix TV series on it.
As streaming services were gaining popularity between 2008-2010, the VPN fanbase also increased its numbers simply because of the geo-locations restrictions imposed by the streaming services.
To this day, a VPN is the most popular and effective way to bypass the geographical restrictions that haunts internet users. For example, when HBO Max was launched in the US, no one ever thought of accessing it outside the US, but now you can access HBO Max in Canada with a VPN with a simple click on a button.
Similarly, don’t forget to see what makes it easy for our Canadian friends to access Disney+, Hotstar, and other streaming services in Canada with a VPN.
So how does a VPN help binge streamers, why use it for streaming in the first place, what else can be done with a VPN, and few other related questions will be answered in this article today.
Why you can’t access some streaming services online
While you should only be worried about what to watch on Netflix in May, yet every time you pick up your remote and try to stream something, your actual IP address and location are transmitted to the streaming service from your device.
If you try to access something geographically restricted, you will probably receive an error message that the “content is not available in your region.”
How does a VPN help binge streamers?
A VPN service masks your actual IP address and location with its own. When you try to access the streaming service, it checks your location with the help of the IP address. Upon checking it, find it to be present in the authorized region for that content, hence getting access to your favorite shows and movies.
While it all looks so easy when reading, it is not. Each streaming service has its IP and location detection mechanism that they use to identify the user’s location and IP. Even the slightest discrepancy in the data can lead the streaming service to block your access to the content.
For example, you are located in Canada and wish to access the Hulu, a US exclusive streaming service. You will connect to a US-based server in your VPN application, and once your IP address has changed to the US, you will attempt to access Hulu from your living room in Canada.
Upon accessing the Hulu website, its IP checking mechanism will first check your IP address locations against different IP location websites. Once it is satisfied that your IP address belongs to the US, it will grant you access to its content library.
Similarly, by changing the IP address, a streamer can access different streaming services that were initially blocked due to geographical restrictions.
Bypassing ISP throttling is also another way in which a VPN helps streamers. Speed is an essential component required for quality streaming, and ISP throttling is usually tricky by ISP to bottleneck or restrict the speed or bandwidth of a particular user. Using a VPN, streamers can also bypass any form of ISP throttling that will ultimately enhance their streaming experience.
VPNs are not the perfect solution for accessing geographically restricted content. A streaming service can detect them, and your access can be blocked. However, by ensuring that you chose one of the best VPNs in the industry with a high level of encryption and a large quantity of server IP addresses in different parts of the world, you’ll be able to access all sorts of geo-restricted content.
Also, the chance of your streaming account being suspended or canceled on account of using a VPN are very slim. The worst that can happen is that you’ll see an error message about “video not available in your country.”
What else can a VPN do?
Besides providing unlimited and unrestricted access to streaming services and content from all around the world, VPNs are also capable of protecting your online security and privacy.
They encrypt your internet traffic with military-grade encryption, making it nearly impossible for hackers to steal your personal information.
You can use a VPN account on multiple devices, which means you can stream your favorite show or TV series on mobile, desktop, laptop, android TV box, firestick, and Roku as well. With this much compatibility, you will have clear access and choices for how you wish to watch your streaming content online.
What can a streamer do if VPN is getting blocked by a streaming service?
If you cannot bypass the geolocation restriction from a streaming service, you can try the following solutions that may benefit you.
- Disconnect the VPN and reconnect it to gain a different IP address.
- Disconnect and connect to another server location.
- Clear your browser cache, cookies, and history.
- Disable your device location service or GPS settings.
- Contact the VPN provider’s support team for further information.
To all the binge streamers out there, there may come a time when you start doubting the worth of a VPN for streaming, but always remember that by using a VPN, you can not only watch your favorite TV shows and movies but also protect your online security and privacy simultaneously.
Just remember to only invest in a decent VPN service. Hence, there’s a slight chance of streaming service detecting that provider, and you’d also avoid replacing VPN providers now and then.