The internet has changed how we consume content, and most people have abandoned cable TV services. All you need is an internet-enabled device and a subscription to a streaming service to watch your favorite shows, films, and live sports events from the comfort of your couch.
However, this world of possibilities has risks and limitations, and using a VPN is an effective way to avoid many internet-related issues. Using one of the best VPNs for streaming can be a real game changer.
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What Is a VPN?
A VPN is an app that adds an extra layer of encryption to your internet connection, keeping your online presence private from anyone trying to see what you’re up to. This means no one can track your online footprints or access your online data, including your ISP and the government.
But most people use VPNs for an entirely different purpose, streaming. A VPN has servers worldwide, which mask your IP address when connected to a server in another region. This process spoofs your location, allowing you to watch content unavailable in your country.
Using a VPN provides an easy workaround to geo-restrictions to get the most out of the streaming service you’re subscribed to.
Most VPNs give streamers the freedom to use any device. The best VPNs support streaming devices such as smart TVs, mobile devices (Android and iOS), desktop computers (Linux, Windows, Mac), Roku, Firestick, etc.
Why You Should Use a VPN to Improve Streaming Quality and Experience
If you’re a streaming buff like us, you already know that streaming services have limitations. Even if we enjoy the most extensive content libraries in the US, there are some shows and films you cannot find on your content streaming platform.
Also, buffering, annoying ads, and poor resolution negatively impact your streaming experience. Here’s why you should use a VPN to avoid frustrations while streaming:
Make Full Use of Your Internet Connection
ISP throttling is a common practice among internet providers and negatively affects streaming. Most ISPs check your online activities and throttle your connection when they identify that most of your internet traffic is associated with streaming.
The result is an unstable connection and buffering, which turns your streaming experience into a nightmare. Also, streaming platforms adjust the video quality based on your connection speed, and any throttling results in poor-quality video feeds.
However, you can get around these ISP speed-related issues with a quality VPN. A VPN provides a private tunnel between your streaming device and the internet, hiding your data from the ISP. The private and secure connection means they’ll never know what you’re up to online.
A robust VPN helps you avoid the penalties from ISPs when you surpass a certain amount of data to watch your favorite content in HD.
Getting Around the Streaming Service Geo-blocks
Most streamers learn about content restrictions the hard way when traveling abroad for business or holidays.
Geo-restrictions mean you cannot binge on a series you started watching back home or catch up on the latest sporting event if it’s not licensed in your current location. You’ll receive a message informing you that the content is only available in the US.
This is a pain, especially when you have spent your hard-earned cash on subscription costs. A VPN can help you get out of that hole by switching your current location when you connect to a US server.
Also, a VPN allows you to access geo-restricted shows, movies, documentaries, etc., only available for foreign subscribers. There’s much content out there from streaming services unavailable in the US. For example, you can use a VPN to watch Stan in the US even though the online content platform is only available in Australia.
Streaming platforms like Netflix, Stan, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and Hulu can identify your location even if you turn off your device’s GPS.
A good streaming VPN hides your device’s IP address, switching it with another in a different country. You can access content from other regions with IPs from separate locations as long as the VPN has a server in that location.
Get Better Deals from Streaming Platforms
Streaming platforms are businesses, and they, too, want to make money to finance the production and licensing of content. They use price discrimination methods to charge different prices using pre-defined standards.
A streaming service can charge higher prices in a country with a higher average wage. You can use a VPN to switch your location and pay a lower fee than you would’ve paid back home.
You Can Stream on Public Wi-Fi
If you’re traveling long distances, enjoying your time in a café, or lucky enough to live in an area with public Wi-Fi, you can stream with a VPN.
Public Wi-Fi isn’t secure, and you should stay away, especially if you have sensitive data on your phone or if you have mobile banking apps.
But this isn’t a concern when using a VPN with high encryption levels, and additional features like a Kill Switch to stream your favorite shows. A Kill Switch is a vital feature in a VPN because it ensures your IP address doesn’t leak if the VPN connection drops.
Most streaming services encrypt their platform with a secure HTTPS extension to keep out snoopers, but you should take additional steps to stay out of reach.
Stream Across Your Devices
Nowadays, you don’t have to watch content only on TV as there are various streaming devices, each providing a unique experience. You can watch online content on your mobile device while commuting to work or catch the latest episode on your work laptop during lunch break.
The best streaming VPNs offer simultaneous connections on a single subscription. For example, ExpressVPN allows five simultaneous connections, which are enough for all your streaming devices. But you can subscribe to Surfshark and enjoy unlimited simultaneous connections and even share your VPN logins with family and friends.
A VPN is a must-have tool for movies, series, and sports buffs as it will improve your streaming quality and experience.
You can access your favorite content no matter where you are and enjoy high-quality video streams without buffering. A VPN also allows users to stream across all devices, stream via public Wi-Fi and get better subscription deals from content platforms.