Tag Archives: VPN

How to Unblock U.S. Only Videos (YouTube, Hulu, MTV, South Park, etc.)

Being denied access to a video merely due to living outside the U.S. may be one the most annoying problems to plague the web.

sorry-canada

Luckily there are a variety of browser plugins, software and services you can use to overcome the barrier.

The catch is that the free options aren’t always quick enough to stream high quality video without hiccups. Virtual private network (VPN) services that ensure flawless video playback consistently aren’t free. A VPN may or may not be worth it depending on how much U.S. only sites and content you crave.

Plugins

If you just plan to watch the occasional U.S. only video and aren’t picky about performance, start with a browser plugin. Just keep in mind you’ll be entering captcha codes to prove you’re human on sites like YouTube, which can get tiresome, because the proxy server IPs are overused.

There are two popular plugins to consider: ProxTube and ProxMate. They work with Chrome and Firefox. These work by hiding your true IP and replacing it with an IP associated with the country the video is allowed in.

VPNs

If you’re planning on watching a fair bit of video on YouTube or Hulu and want the best user experience free of technical issues and shoddy streaming, VPNs are the way to go.

With a VPN you download desktop software, which manages connecting to proxy servers available with the plan you go with.

Generally I recommend these three VPN services:

VyperVPN is super quick and the best overall VPN. The monthly rate is a good value, but you won’t save as much as the others if you pay annually. A three-day free trial is offered so you can test drive the service before committing to a plan. Read my full VyperVPN review here.

PureVPN and StrongVPN get the job done just fine and are dirt cheap if you pay annually ($50 or $55 per year).

Closing Remarks

Hopefully content providers will get more lax about restricting video from being viewed outside the U.S. as time moves ahead. Some of these copyright laws strike me as antiquated and arbitrary. Until then enjoy all the video you can handle with the use of a handy plugin or VPN.

VyprVPN by Golden Frog VPN Review

Looking for a slick, easy way to hide your IP without sacrificing speed? Golden Frog’s VyprVPN may be what you’ve been seeking.

Software

vyprvpn-chicagoVyprVPN is available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. This review focuses on the Windows version and was tested using their Premier plan.

The Microsoft .NET 4.5 portion of the VyprVPN installer package stalled on me, but after getting through this small hiccup any initial doubts I had were eliminated.

VyprVPN desktop software is wonderfully designed, intuitive to use, and it just works. It appears in a tall, thin window, like a desktop widget, freeing most of your screen real estate for Web browsing.

Click the big “connect” button and you’ll be connected to the closest server available without any hassle. Every time you do, you are given a new IP to hide your true IP address.

Props to Golden Frog for keeping things simple for the average user by making the most used basic functions prominent. Connection speed bar graph, VyprVPN IP address, time connected, protocol and encryption details, NAT firewall, etc. are cleanly displayed.

server-locationsUnder the hood it offers a great level of settings under the options menu reserved for power users. One notable aspect is the encryption options, which include Chameleon (256 bit), OpenVPN (256 bit or 160 bit), L2TP/IPsec (256 bit) and PPTP (128 bit).

Chameleon encryption is unique to VyprVPN and works by masking VPN traffic so the connection isn’t blocked or throttled.

Speed

Naturally the closer the VPN speed is to that of your vanilla internet connection, the better the VPN’s performance.

To start I tested my ISP speed (cable broadband) in order to compare the results to the performance while connected to VyprVPN servers.

Base ISP speed results:

no-vpn

VyprVPN automatically makes the default server the one with the fastest ping time. If you want to assume an IP associated with a specific country or U.S. state, you can choose from a list of 45 major markets around the world.

The two closest servers to me are Toronto and Chicago.

Toronto server, VPN results:

toronto-server

Chicago server, VPN results:

chicago-server

Speeds were so close to my connection without a VPN I couldn’t tell the difference. Big files were downloaded with ease and HD video streamed without hiccups.

VyprVPN would be a good choice indeed for people outside of the U.S. that want access to the U.S. version of Netflix, which is one of the most demanding uses of a VPN.

Price

VyprVPN has a competitive monthly fee, especially when you consider the high quality of the service. Three plans are offered depending on your needs. The main difference is the number of simultaneous connections they allow. With basic you get one connection, with pro you get two, and premier allows three.

vyprvpn-plans

  • Basic: $6.67/month annually or $9.99 monthly
  • Pro: $8.33/month annually or $14.99 monthly
  • Premier: $10.00/month annually or $19.99 monthly

Learn more about the plans here on Golden Frog’s official site.

Conclusion

VyprVPN is polished, easy to use and the performance is top notch. I’m docking a bit off the score for the installation woes but keep in mind this could be the fault of Microsoft and not Golden Frog.

Highly recommended!

4.5/5

Click here to get VyprVPN software or learn more!