Streaming services have changed the entertainment industry forever. Now, people can watch their favorite shows and movies when and where they want. Even the most extensive networks have put their content on streaming services.
Access And Watch Foreign Shows
With the emergence of companies like Netflix and Hulu, consumers have access to a wide variety of content. However, not all streaming services allow you to watch content from other countries. If you’re looking to watch content from another country, here are several tips to help you access and watch foreign shows.
Use A Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Geo-blocking is a practice where internet service providers, such as ISPs and mobile networks, restrict access to certain websites or online services based on the user’s location. In some cases, this isn’t much of an issue. However, due to intellectual property issues and other obscure legal points, many streaming companies will block certain content to a particular country or region.
This can be highly frustrating when attempting to watch your favorite shows from a blocked country. It is even more frustrating, as you are paying for the convenience yet still get blocked!
However, you can use a simple trick to access and watch ITV from the USA, ESPN from Vietnam, or whatever channels you are trying to access in whatever location. The trick is to use a VPN. A VPN is a secure, encrypted connection between your device and a server operated by the VPN provider.
It creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the server you are connecting to, which prevents outsiders from snooping on your data and prevents your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from spying on what you do online.
How to Set Up VPN
However, not all are created equally, and as such; there are some factors you should bear in mind:
- Only use paid services: While there is no shortage of free VPNs out in the wild, you should avoid them like the plague. They often make money in other ways, ranging from selling ads to selling your data (a big no-no). Even if you manage to find one that seems reputable, it will likely have bandwidth limits dramatically, reducing its usability.
- Select VPNs that use a secure protocol: The VPN protocol determines how the packets are routed through the network, what options exist for authentication and encryption, and how traffic is forwarded through the network. One of the best is OpenVPN, but others work well. However, you should stay clear of PPTP as it is outdated, and most consider it insecure.
- Get a multi-year contract for the best price: Many VPN providers offer very affordable monthly deals, but you can often find the best when you purchase several years upfront.
- Check what features it has: At the very minimum, it should have hundreds of servers worldwide and a kill switch in case of internet disconnection.
- Read online reviews: As usual, whenever you are about to purchase anything online, always check what others are saying.
Download The Shows
If you cannot access a VPN for whatever reason, the next best step is to download your favorite shows and watch them offline. Nevertheless, this tip might be more challenging than it sounds as you have the legalities to deal with.
However, many streaming services like Netflix enable you to download shows and store them on a device for a certain amount of time.
Use Physical Media
Ah yes, the humble DVD! How it has been forgotten and left to die by all but the most enthusiastic videophiles!
However, if you have a device capable of accepting a DVD, you can simply buy box sets and take them with you wherever you go. Obviously, this isn’t ideal for live shows, but it can enable you to binge-watch without internet access and in any region worldwide.
Find Streams Online
In some cases, you can find online streams of specific channels, like channel 4 abroad. This can be a great way to watch live shows in locations where they are unavailable or geo-blocked. However, you should understand that these services might not be 100% legal, and you will definitely be inundated with ads.
Moreover, these sites make pretty prolific use of pop-unders which can be highly annoying. Nevertheless, it might be an option if you are desperate and willing to take a risk.
Set Up A Remote Connection With Friends Or Family
This penultimate point is somewhat complex but can work wonders if you are in immediate need to watch a show. All you need to do is to enlist the help of a friend or family member, download something like TeamViewer and log into their computer remotely. You can then control their device and log in to the platform of your choice and watch your shows. However, it can be a bit laggy, and most services have limited bandwidth. This is really a workaround when all else fails.
Use Foreign TV Apps
The final point on the list is more suited to shows that aren’t geo-blocked. For example, if you have a hankering for some Bollywood when in Hollywood, you can often find Indian channels that provide apps that you can watch eh movies and shows live.
You have many choices if you wish to avoid a geographical restriction or don’t want others to see what you’re doing online.