VPN/Proxy Server: Solve Your Streaming Video Problems...


When I moved to Costa Rica, one of the things I begrudgingly gave up was my addiction to U.S. television.  Now after two years of viewing local cable TV, replete with it's 99 channels of fuzzy, Spanish speaking content, I decided to start watching streaming internet TV from the U.S.  But guess what... Costa Rica is unable to receive a significant amount of streaming content from services like NetFlix, Hulu and the three major US networks.  While this appears to be a problem, I have found a "back door" solution.

There are many U.S. based streaming video providers that simply DO NOT allow their content to be accessed by folks living outside the borders of the gold old U.S. of A.  When you try to log on, you are greeted with screens like the one's shown below.

Now you are probably asking yourself, why can't you get streaming video and television shows from the U.S. on your computer? 

Well the answer is very simple... every time you log on to the internet with your PC, your internet service provider identifies you with a unique number.  The IP Address identifies who you are and from where you are accessing the internet.  For a more complete (albeit boring) explanation of what an IP Address is, go here.  Therefore, when you log on to a site like Netflix or Hulu, they are able to see immediately whether or not you are located IN or OUT of the United States.  And if you are OUT... then you are screwed!

Beating The System

If you want to go out on the street and not be noticed or recognized, you simply change your appearance.  You can wear a wig, change your makeup, wear dark glasses or even put on a mask.  The same technique is employed if you want to surf the internet and not be recognized.  You need to make your computer look like someone else.  That's where a VPN or proxy server comes into play.  For a very detailed explanation of what these things are, look here:  VPN - Proxy Server

A proxy server, for the sake of this discussion, will make your PC appear as if it resides in a different location.  Accessing a proxy server before you begin surfing the net will generate a new IP address based on where the proxy server is located. 

You Get What You Pay For

Being a financially conservative kinda guy, why pay for something when you can get it for free, right?  Well, the old adage, you get what you pay for" now comes into play.  If you begin searching on the internet for "FREE PROXY SERVER", you will find a plethora of products out there that do work... somewhat.  But be careful, many of these products are not what they appear to be.  They mask themselves as proxy server solutions but in reality they are little more than a scam designed to capture your personal information.  Next thing you know, you will be on everybody's SPAM ME FOR LIFE email list.  In addition, after trying several of these so called "free proxy server solutions", I have determined that the underlying technology used in development was sub par.  In some cases it actually caused my (already slow internet connection) to slow down even more. 

So after much trial and error, I finally found a "pay service" called GoTrusted.com that provided me the anonymity I needed but also did so without slowing down my PC.  In addition, because it was a pay service ($5.99/month), I did not have to navigate through a barrage of mind numbing ads and deceptive log on processes.  GoTrusted also provides added security when using your PC over public Wi-Fi networks.

Total Success

Launching GoTrusted establishes a secure "tunnel" from which my PC accesses the internet.  It cloaks my PC with a new identity.  Each time I log on to my proxy server, my PC appears to be running from servers inside the United States.  Now I am now finally able to stream my video.  I can catch up on the real news of the day as I watch Jon Stewart's Daily Show as well as do all my electronic banking with no fear that someone is snooping on my activities.  Isn't technology great!

Putting It All Together

OK... I have my proxy server up and running.  Now what?  I want to run my NetFlix, Hulu, CBS, NBC, ABC, Comedy Central or even (God forbid) FOX News.  How do I do it?  The answer is quite simple... the same way as if you were physically in the United States.  You see... as far as the content providers are concerned, you ARE in the United States.

HULU - http://www.hulu.com  -  Netflix - www.netflix.com


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