Listen, we’re gonna talk about VPNs, I promise, BUT FIRST, CAN I JUST SAY…
I have been obsessed with TV for as long as I can remember. (We didn’t have cable growing up, so I would get myself invited over to other kids’ houses just so I could watch Nickelodeon after school. “Don’t you wanna do something else?” they would ask after a while. “How could you even imply something better exists?!” I would more or less reply, indignant that they so underappreciated this GIFT. Eventually their parents would find a way to kick me out before dinnertime, so it was always a personal triumph if I could make it until Doug. COOL STORY!)
And I would say my bond with television is at a more or less all-time high during this godforsaken pandemic; it’s pretty much the only thing that has kept me from losing my mind. (I thought my introversion would have set me up for success, but even I am hitting a wall re: isolation.)
“RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT BUT WHAT ABOUT THE VPNs, MEGAN!” CALM DOWN, BECAUSE WE ARE GETTING THERE! All of this has to do with the fact that now I can technically watch TV from all over the world; I got a VPN, which gives users the added bonus of being able to geoshift. So while I already have YouTube TV for all my American broadcast needs, and I also have YouTube Premium, Netflix, Hulu AND Amazon Prime to boot, my streaming horizons were expanded this weekend when I finally took VPN life for a test drive.
If you’re going, “Wait, back the F up because I actually don’t know what a VPN is. And GEOSHIFTING?! WHAT IS THAT?!”, then I’m going, “VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it’s a connection method you can use to boost security and privacy while browsing ye olde interwebs on private and public networks. That’s like, the main purpose, but VPNs also allow users to get around geo-restrictions, aka location barriers re: videos and other content that might normally bounce you out based on the country you’re in.”
So basically, that means you can set your location to a different country and receive live TV streams (and Netflix libraries and etc.) from there. Are you supposed to use it for this purpose? I mean, no, not technically, but a lot of people do. Is it an infallible system if international streaming your MO? Like, can you access all of the channels and all of the content? Definitely not; for instance, the BBC still requires you to show proof of a TV license to stream, and (at least with Surfshark, which is what I have) you can’t get access to Australia’s Foxtel website at ALL. These are just two examples; many countries have gotten wise to the geoshifting undertones of VPNs, and so if you download one specifically for TV purposes and set your expectations ultra-high, you will likely be at least slightly disappointed. (Here’s more detail on all that jazz.)
But TV capabilities aside, it’s also nice to know that I have a more secure network, specifically because people have been going hard re: shifty behavior since they know a lot of people are working from home.
Long story short, would I recommend trying this out? Yes, mainly for creating a more secure network, but also as a big-huge TV fan, I am not mad at the added bonus of being able to boost content streaming capabilities via the aforementioned geoshifting.
If you’re wondering which VPN I used, I took advantage of a promo from a YouTube channel I follow which was offering like 85% off a Surfshark subscription; I went all-in and grabbed a two-year plan for like $40 USD (I paid the full amount up front), which works out to less than $2 a month. (Please note that I genuinely stand to receive nothing by telling you this information because this is not sponsored content, I’m just relaying my personal experience in the event you want to know! Also, I am very clearly not an expert, so do your research before signing up for anything, obviously.)
Anyway, that’s been my experience! What about you? Do you have a VPN? Are you more enticed to get one now? TELL ME ALL YOUR ANSWERS!