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Clever Hacks to Get YouTube TV in Canada

YouTube TV launched in the U.S. in 2017. There’s been speculation that they would expand outside of the U.S. and offer their streaming service to Canadians along with others like Hulu. However, YouTube TV hasn’t made an official announcement about this.

So, Canadians that are tired of hoping and waiting may want to grab the bull by the horns. Yes, you can get access to YouTube TV in Canada today! All you need to do is jump through some hoops before signing up and follow the tech savvy steps in this guide.

Is It Worth the Effort?

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and CBS All Access are available in Canada. Thus, one might wonder if getting YouTube TV in Canada is really worth it.

For those who want a comprehensive replacement for cable TV, it is. This a great opportunity to get sports, news, and special interest programming you don’t have access to on Netflix.

Channels on YouTube TV

Google has obtained deals with the five major TV networks in the U.S.: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and The CW. About 40 cable channels owned by the parent companies of those networks are all onboard. This includes content from The Walt Disney Company, CBS Corporation, NBCUniversal, Brave, USA Network, Discovery, CNN, Cartoon Network, Fox Sports 1, BBC, ESPN and more.

Like traditional cable TV, it’s also possible to add additional premium channels. Some of these channels include AMC Premiere, Showtime, and NBA League Pass.

How to Gain Access to YouTube TV in Canada

YouTube TV has a variety of methods to verify if the user is based in the U.S. Therefore, to pass these checks and successfully get a YouTube TV account, you need to ensure their site can’t tell you’re based in Canada.

1. VPN Location Magic

First, you’ll need a VPN. By using a VPN, you can access the web with an IP address associated with a physical location in the U.S.

To do that, sign up with a VPN provider, and choose a plan. These services are very inexpensive these days. And typically, if you’re willing to commit to a plan for a year or more, you can save quite a bit.

Recommended VPNs are listed below. For more details, read full reviews of the top 3 VPN services here.

2. Get a U.S. PayPal Account

If you use a Canadian credit card, you’re rolling the dice. You may be able to rig YouTube TV’s payment system to accept it, but that doesn’t work with every credit card provider.

The most reliable method is to set up a U.S. PayPal account.

To ensure success, be sure to follow these tips:

  1. Before you do anything, enable your VPN. And make sure the service has assigned you with a U.S. IP address. This will give you access to the U.S. version of PayPal.
  2. Use a valid email that isn’t already associated with a PayPal account.
  3. When signing up, put in your real street address and credit card info, as you normally would.
  4. You’ll need to choose a zip code and find the U.S. city that is associated with it. The full process is below.

Your Canadian postal code needs to converted to a zip code. To do this, remove all the letters from it. For example, a postal code of M4B 1G7 is changed to 417. Next, to make it valid, add zeros to the end so it’s five digits. So, your new zip code should look something like this: 41700.

Keep in mind the zip code you got from the above process must be real for it to work. To verify if it’s valid, go to the USPS website and enter it. If it’s invalid, replace one of the zeros with a one. That should do the trick.

Finally, enter the U.S. city from the address found in the USPS link, along with your real street address. Now you should be able to complete the PayPal sign-up process.

3. Create a U.S. Gmail Account

This part is really simple!

  • Go to Gmail.com and click on the option to get a new account.
  • Make sure that you select the United States as your location.
  • Validate your account with your mobile phone number.

4. Change Your Location in Chrome

Although you’re now using a VPN to hide your location, Chrome can still spill the beans and reveal that you’re actually based on Canada.

The final step in hiding your whereabouts is editing the settings in Chrome’s location services.

Important: you’ll need to repeat these steps every time you launch your browser

  • Launch Google Chrome
  • Press ‘Ctrl,’ ‘Shift,’ ‘I’ to open Chrome’s backend framework on a PC. Mac users will want to hit ‘Command,’ ‘Option’ and ‘I.”
  • Click the icon made up of three little dots in the top corner of the new panel that just launched. Go to ‘More Tools,’ and then select ‘Sensors.’
  • You’ll now see an option called ‘Geolocation’ with a dropdown menu next to it. Select a location in the U.S. such as ‘San Francisco’ or ‘Mountain View.’
  • Great, now Chrome will think that you’re in the U.S.

5. Access Your YouTube TV Account

Whew, you’re nearly there. All you need to do is test that everything worked.

  • Go to the YouTube TV website.
  • Sign in with your U.S. Gmail account.
  • Choose to pay for the service with PayPal, then sign in the PayPal account you just created.
  • If all is good you should see a $1 charge and refund in your PayPal account (this is part of the validation process).

You Did It!

Congrats! You now have YouTube TV, just like the fortunate folks in the States.

As the process is pretty involved this guide is intended for PC and Mac users.

If you’re even more ambitious and tech savvy you can also get YouTube TV to work on Google Cast, Android, iOS, and Apple TV. To learn more about support for these platforms check out the guide on MobileSyrup (and scroll to the bottom of the article).

Why Brave Browser is Safe and Secure

Brave has been picking up a lot of steam lately.

The crypto community loves this browser. It’s being quickly adopted because Brave has cleverly integrated blockchain tech to create a totally new ad ecosystem. Both publishers and users are awarded with BAT (basic attention token). Also, underneath the hood its secret power is enhanced privacy.

For users of Chrome, this new browser isn’t much of a change in terms of use. Brave could be described as a privacy-hardened version of Chrome. After all, it’s built on top of Chromium, Google’s open source browser project.

So, Brave has killer privacy features (as explored in a previous article here). But is Brave Browser safe? Is it secure? Let’s jump into it!

Brave Browser Safety

Although not a household name like Google, Brave Software’s leadership has a history of achievement and trustworthiness.

Brave’s CEO Brendan Eich invented JavaScript, a programming language that is ubiquitous on the web. Also, he was a co-founder of Mozilla before moving on to Brave. So, Firefox, another popular and reputable browser is also associated with Eich.

It’s said that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

Studies have proven that people trust their private data with Mozilla more than Google. This is expected as user privacy is a part of Mozilla’s core philosophy. Brave Software was born from the same ideals as Mozilla, so in time Brave browser is likely to gain at least the same high-level of trust.

Success and Trust Go Hand-in-Hand

Software won’t remain safe and secure without the dedication and talent of great developers. And clearly, it’s only possible to gain and hold on to talent when adoption of that software is healthy.

Before Brave came to the scene, those seeking an alternative to Chrome flocked to Firefox.

At its peak nearly half of all web users used Firefox. And it is still more popular than Edge, Safari or Opera according to browser use statistics. Due to the good track record of Firefox, Brave has a real shot at challenging Chrome’s dominance.

Rooted in Chromium

Rather than building a totally new browser and reinventing the wheel, Brave Software took an already great browser and made it their own. Brave is essentially Chromium with added features most people want built-in, and intrusions on privacy taken out.

Google built the codebase of Chromium initially, and as an open-source project, developers all over the globe continue to improve it.

There are two main factors that contribute to the safety of Brave.

First, Google is one of the best software companies in the world right now. That means the code was built from the ground up by top-notch developers. Second, due to the open-source nature of the project there are a lot of eyeballs on the code. This means security issues can be quickly spotted and patched by the community.

Brave Security

With a new update around every 42 days, Chrome is the industry leader in browser security. Inevitably every browser is judged against this gold standard.

And Brave isn’t far behind, which is impressive for a new, growing browser. A new version of Brave is released every 8 to 9 weeks.

The frequency of updates is about what you’d expect from Firefox. So, if you’re a Firefox user, you’ll feel right at home.

The Verdict

Although Brave is new and many still haven’t heard of it there’s no reason to shy away from using it.

As you likely came here questioning if Brave is safe, the fact Brave Software’s CEO was also the force behind Firefox should put your mind to rest.

Mozilla and now Brave Software provide an alternative to browser offerings by tech behemoths like as Microsoft, Apple and Google.

Those seeking the best privacy possible have a good reason to look beyond the obvious choices. Protecting your privacy and turning a profit are currently at odds with one another in the industry.

Download Brave browser here. To add to what you’ve learned, read more about Brave’s privacy benefits.

How to Unblock Spotify at School or Work

Music makes time spent at school, work, or traveling so much more enjoyable. It lifts your mood. It reduces stress when a middle-manager is micromanaging you again, and it lessens the risk of burnout.

And while playlists or iTunes Radio are decent for music listening while you’re preoccupied, Spotify is the ultimate solution.

It’s a bummer to give up Spotify and when it’s blocked. Luckily, with a little tech wizardry, you’ll never have to do without it again! More about that soon.

No Spotify? Why Not?!

Here are the three main reasons why you can’t use Spotify:

  1. Country you’re located at is blocked (China, Russia, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, etc.)
  2. Network administrator at your school or place of work has restricted access to it
  3. Your favorite songs are blocked outside the USA due to rules specified by the record company

None of these are deal-killers. You can work around any roadblock above with a VPN.

Of course, keep in mind there are certain risks associated with doing this. If your workplace has draconian rules about software use for example, it might not be worth it. That being said, onward to the tech!

How VPNs Unblock Spotify

A VPN (virtual private network) in essence allows you to swap your real IP address with another IP provided by the service.

So, if you’re visiting China on business for example, you can choose to use an IP associated with the US. This way Spotify will work just like it does in America, since the software assumes that is your physical location.

Additionally, if Spotify is blocked via the local network, a VPN allows you to bypass the restrictions set by the administrator.

Regaining Spotify Step-by-Step

In this mini tutorial we’ll look at how you can use one of the most popular services, NordVPN, to unblock Spotify. The process isn’t much different with other VPNs, but it’s easier to get across with a specific example.

Let’s get started:

  1. Sign up with NordVPN
  2. Download NordVPN software: whether you’re on a Mac, PC, iOS device, Android or other, reputable VPNs like this one have you covered.
  3. Both the app and desktop software display a map with locations to choose from. To connect to the VPN server and change your IP location, tap or click on a country, then a city if desired. Most people will want to choose a US-based IP address as Spotify offers this audience the most content.
  4. Launch Spotify on the device: now that VPN software is configured Spotify should be unblocked!

Other Good VPNs

VPNs that are often recommended here are listed below. If you’ve a got a bit more time you can also read full reviews of the top 3 VPN services.

Note that prices for even the best options are very reasonable and start at around $3 per month.

Goodbye to Prying Eyes

There’s another key privacy benefit you’ll gain by using a VPN. It encrypts all web traffic on your machine or device. So, if Spotify is banned on the network the admin won’t be able to figure out you are connecting to their music streaming server through the app.

So, VPNs not only help you break through to blocked content and applications, but also prevent you from getting busted. After all, limitations like this are pretty arbitrary, and contrary to the vision of a free, open internet.

Go Forth Grasshopper

Got it working? Congrats! Unlocking awesome tunes on Spotify should make your life a little sweeter in public places. And that path has led to top-notch overall privacy too.

Should You Use a VPN When Downloading Torrents?

Have you ever wondered if someone is watching when you download a torrent?

The answer is categorically yes, even if you haven’t noticed any evidence of it. The snooping is indeed as undercover as it comes.

What you likely have noticed is irritating popup ads for VPNs on torrent sites. Then there are the flashing warnings that your IP address is exposed.

Sure, it’s an attempt to put the fear of god into you so you sign up with a VPN provider.

Nonetheless, is there some validity to covering your behind with a VPN when downloading torrents? Let’s explore that.

BitTorrent: Not Always Unethical

Before proceeding it should be said that LetMeBy.com doesn’t condone piracy. Moreover, it’s assumed the motives of the reader are pure.

Despite its reputation, BitTorrent distributes free content belonging to the public domain. Plus, it’s a protocol much like e-mail or www. So, don’t believe those who broadly label it as “bad.”

And then there are those many gray areas. Perhaps you want to download a video game ROM when you already own a physical copy. Or maybe you’d rather download MP3 files rather than ripping the music CD yourself.

Regardless, you have the ability and right to protect your privacy.

How BitTorrent Works

Downloading torrents isn’t as anonymous as it might seem. To understand why, we need to take a look at the basic mechanics of it.

The BitTorrent protocol is a peer-to-peer method of file sharing. It’s decentralized so there is no single point of failure.

So, when you start downloading a torrent you become an active participant in that system. Right from the top you help to serve the file. Thus, others can get the data you have so far. Then when the download is complete the file starts to seed, making you both an uploader and host of the content.

Who Can See Your IP Address?

During the process described above your IP address is accessible to others connected to the same torrent. So, it’s indeed plausible that an entity could monitor and record the IPs that connected to a torrent. Also, with apps like uTorrent you can view the IP of users quite casually by clicking on the Peers tab.

Savvy companies with big budgets use automated software to spy on users downloading their digital products without paying.

Another potential risk to your privacy is your internet service provider. This is the entity that can find out exactly who you are based on your IP. Although these companies rely on their users to maintain their business, they’ve clearly sided with other big business when it comes to copyright violations.

An online survey of 1,000 conducted by PCMag found that 25 percent of respondents named ISPs as the biggest threat to their online privacy.1

Those in the Crosshairs

Copyright holders are most concerned about stopping the original uploader of a torrent, followed by subsequent uploaders. Furthermore, since all downloaders are also uploaders by design, there is no way to shirk responsibly for proliferating copyrighted material.

The film and TV industries in particular have been vigilant about preventing unofficial distribution of their video.

Torrents and the Movie Industry

Napster first pulled the genie out of the bottle in the music industry. And it hasn’t been the same since.

The film industry was similarly slow to adapt to technological change. Initially, increased demand for digital downloads and streaming were often met by unofficial channels.

But in this case, studios have done better in terms of enforcing copyright. Along the way film studios managed to utilize incredible technology to defend their turf.

Trackers are now embedded into popular movies which automatically find users who download their material unlawfully. Copyright infringement notices are sent via e-email thanks to cooperation with the user’s ISP.

Thus, downloading movies from torrent sites carries greater risks than many imagine.

Recently 3,400 Canadians faced the legal consequences of illegally downloading movies in Federal Court. The crackdown was launched by a Toronto law firm on behalf of U.S. movie production houses hoping to enforce their copyright claims.

Defendants have paid anywhere from $100 to $5000 to settle these claims.2

How VPNs Protect Users

When you use a VPN (virtual private network), your traffic is encrypted and secured to ensure that no one can spy on your activity—even when you’re torrenting.

Your actual IP address is replaced with an IP provided by the service. This provides anonymity since the IP in use is not associated with any one person.

Recommended VPNs

As there has been a surge in demand for VPNs, there is no shortage of services to choose from. Luckily even the best VPNs are affordable, so there is no reason to go for anything less than top-notch.

Read full reviews of the best VPN providers here. Or if you’re short on time, click on one of the links below. These are currently among the top choices out there:

Wrapping it Up

Don’t kid yourself. ISPs and corporations with copyrights to protect have a very dim view of torrent use. Downloaders are treated with the same suspicion whether their activity is legitimate or not.

This is yet another reason to consider employing a VPN for all your internet use. You may have fared well so far, but there is no telling who is watching your activity waiting for an opportune time to take action.

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/354396/the-best-vpns-for-bittorrent
  2. https://globalnews.ca/news/4933339/lawsuits-movie-downloading-uploading/

Brave Browser: Like Chrome with Great Privacy (No Trackers)

After its release in 2008, just 3 percent of people used Chrome for those first few months. It’s been a steady move upwards ever since. Fast-forwarding to today, Chrome browser has obliterated the competition with 80 percent dominance in the market.

The people have voted with their mouse clicks and taps. Chrome is indeed an amazing browser backed by great tech.

So why all this talk about Chrome? Well Brave is a close relative to Chrome. To be more precise it’s built on top of Chromium, which is Google’s open-source web browser project. Most of the code that makes up Chrome can be found in Chromium.

Opposing Views About Trackers

The key difference between Chrome and Brave is philosophy. The founders of Brave believe trackers have overstepped reasonable boundaries.

In short, everything we do online is tracked and saved by corporations. Sometimes that data is sold to other companies too. And no, it isn’t done because they want to get to know us. They want to sell us stuff, and to do so more efficiently than their competitors.

David vs Goliath

Brendan Eich, co-founder and CEO of Brave Software invented the JavaScript programming language and co-founded Mozilla. Eich and company brought us the excellent Firefox browser, and has done it again with Brave.

With established leadership like that, Brave Software has a real shot at converting users to its browser. In fact, it’s already going swimmingly. A website called BATGROWTH is tracking the growth of Brave publishers. This is proving to be a huge year for the browser with no signs of slowing down.

How Brave Gives Back to its Users

Tech companies like Google and Facebook make most of their profit from ads. Traditionally users endure a barrage of advertising messages and in return gain free use of superb web software.

The issue with this model is that we all avoid ads like the plague regardless of the fact that ads are necessary when the service is free. Banner ads were once widely used and are seen less and less due to an effect called “banner blindness.” People learned how to divert their attention away from the noise and focus on the content they came for.

And as advertisers tried harder to grab our attention with videos, texts ads that don’t look like ads, etc., we found new ways to push it all away. Now users have ad blockers to deal with these unwelcome commercial messages.

It’s become an arms race between the user and the publisher.

With no incentive to view and interact with ads, so it’s no wonder the traditional approach is a struggle.

Thus, Brave rewards people with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) when they opt-in and accept unobtrusive advertising. BAT is a cryptocurrency that can be exchanged for dollars or held if you believe its value will go up. Additionally, Brave has a built-in wallet to store these tokens.

According to Eich, the current internet’s current monetization system is “mature, but troubled,” suggesting that the human attention economy through the Basic Attention Token will eventually replace the need for fund-raising through sites like Patreon or through traditional programmatic digital advertising exchanges.

[NEWSBTC]

Once ads are turned on, by default every two hours a notification item appears at the top right of the browser window. You can choose to view the content or close this notification.

It’s not perfect since people can still tune out the advertiser’s messages. However, since the user is being compensated, the ads are no longer unwelcome. As with Brave’s model, it’s a choice.

Trackers and Ads Get the Heave-Ho

The ads publishers place on their sites are blocked by Brave right out of the gate. So are third-party cookies and trackers used to collect data on your browsing.

It’s pretty amazing to have this built-in to the browser. It works great. Plus, with much less bloat than extensions like Adblock Plus for Chrome. Third-party adblockers are notorious for hogging system resources. It’s good to see Brave addressed this inefficiency as well.

Making the Switch

If privacy is important to you, what are you waiting for?

Download Brave and give it a test run today.

If you’re a Chrome user, you’ll feel right at home. Also, if you like Firefox, it makes sense to check it out as well. Brave carries a lot of the vision over from Mozilla as both were founded by Brendan Eich.

This is a really exciting time for the web. Inspiring new projects that utilize blockchain are reinventing existing tools: in this case the browser. By using Brave you’ll be among the first wave of people to experience the new, improved internet, free of trackers and annoying ads.

Viva la revolución!