Why Can’t I Watch This Streaming Site?
That favorite show of yours that comes out every Tuesday evening in the US, you know the one. Unfortunately, it is no longer available for streaming online. Why? Because a lot of streaming sites are blocked for international viewers.
When streaming is blocked in a country for a particular show or platform such as Netflix, it’s usually because the business details have not been agreed upon between your country and the service itself. Broadcasting rights mean that many companies (like HBO, Netflix, and YouTube) have restricted their content so that it is not available away from home.
Governments in countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, amongst others, heavily restrict their people’s internet exposure to the rest of the world. News websites, social networking platforms, and chat services are restricted so that people outside their country cannot see in.
Preventing the misuse of the internet is important in workplaces and schools. Think about it. Your boss doesn’t want you streaming your favorite show during working hours. Also, it prevents workers from accidentally or intentionally sharing company data.
Some countries heavily censor the internet, meaning if you leave your home country you might experience a shock as you won’t be able to access the content you’ve been used to.
Sports Streaming Services
NBC Sports Live and ESPN are just two of the sport streaming services that are not available outside of the US. This goes hand in hand with news live-streaming services like CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox News which are also unavailable to the rest of the world.
How Do Countries Block Websites?
You might be wondering how it’s even possible to block a website. There are actually a number of ways to do this. Here are just a few ways that certain countries make it more difficult for their citizens to access online information:
Blocking IP Addresses
Preventing access to a certain IP address is one way of keeping people from using those particular sites. In reality, it is simple to go around those blocks. Countries that are serious about blocking certain sites will not rely on just blocking an IP address in order to block the use of that site.
Blocking or Redirecting DNS
Although not very effective, blocking or redirecting a domain name server makes it harder for people to reach specific websites.
Deep Packet Inspection
Now we are getting to the more advanced versions of how some countries like to restrict access to websites. By analyzing and filtering data, rather than just data headers, they are able to monitor and censor much more than the previously mentioned methods.
During times of protest or war, this is one of the options countries like to take. By simply cutting off internet networks in certain regions or cities, they ensure that their people have no internet access whatsoever. It is a quick and technically effortless way of cutting people off completely.
Scary isn’t it? However, don’t let any of this discourage you, because we have the answers below to help you unblock streaming websites using a VPN.
A VPN Will Unblock Streaming Sites
If all your video streaming dreams are crushed, we have great news for you. There is an easy solution which will help you access your favorite online videos and it comes in the form of a VPN.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network or VPN will allow you to disguise your IP address and in turn, your current location, making it look like you are browsing the internet from a completely different place altogether. In short, a VPN lets you access content online from Switzerland but makes it look like you are in the US.
When it comes to video streaming, one of the greatest choices in VPNs is ExpressVPN, as they offer everything you need to stream freely and stay anonymous.
There are a couple of things you need to look out for when choosing the perfect VPN for you. This, of course, depends on what you need your VPN to do. Below, we have listed a few elements you need to keep in mind:
No traffic or connection logs
The whole point of having a VPN is guaranteed anonymity. Some VPNs keep a record of what you do online, while others have a strict zero-logs policy. The best ones will have no logs kept of your online activity when you connect to their service.
Strong encryption technology
Stay secure when it comes to your privacy and keep away from prying eyes. A great VPN will offer foolproof ways to keep any unwanted snoops or government officials from catching onto your streaming activities.
DNS leak protection
Not even your VPN should be able to see what content you are trying to access. That is what separates the good from the great and keeps your browsing truly private.
Choosing a VPN provider that offers many servers in numerous countries is important so that you are never locked out.
High Speed and Unlimited Bandwidth
Using a VPN will almost always slow down your internet connection, so it is vital to find a service that will allow you higher quality streaming through high speeds.
Good Customer Support
This is important when you are a new VPN user. Although many VPNs are incredibly straightforward and easy to use, a first time user may get lost in the process. That is why you want someone on-hand to help you out when you’re in need.
Supports many devices
Human beings are multitaskers, so it is no surprise if you want to use your mobile, PC and tablet at the same time. Of course, you want them all to be covered with VPN security.
Best VPNs For Unblocking Streaming Sites
#1 ExpressVPN – Streaming Dedicated Servers
There is a reason that ExpressVPN is the first on this list, and that is because they seem to be the best in the VPN business. Offering everything from an enormous variety of server locations spanning over 95 countries, to having a zero logs policy, it really is impossible to beat. In addition to that, your protection
- Consistent high performance
- Compatible with virtually every device
- Over 1700 VPN servers
- Customer service: email, phone, chat or online query submissions
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- $12.95 a month
- $9.99 a month for a six-month plan
- $6.67 a month for a 15-month plan (+ three months free!)
- Includes a 30-day money back guarantee
For more information on ExpressVPN features, read our extensive ExpressVPN review.
#2 NordVPN – Security First
When it comes to security, NordVPN does not play around. Other than having a large number of servers in over 60 countries, they also have an add-on called CyberSec. This magic addition to their service means that you will have no trouble with ads, bots or malware. Their 5% speed loss is not noticeable when it comes to streaming, which is a huge plus.
- Zero logs
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Live chat support
- Ad blocking feature
- Works with Netflix
- $11.95 a month
- $7.00 a month for a six-month plan
- $5.75 a month for a 12-month plan
- Special deal: $3.29 a month for a 24-month plan
- Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee
For more information on NordVPN features, read our extensive NordVPN review.
#3 Hotspot Shield – US Based VPN
High speeds and unlimited bandwidth is what you want from your VPN service, and that is exactly what Hotspot Shield is able to deliver its customers. With great location coverage, it also comes with high SSL encryption levels. This is one factor you have to think about if you are unblocking and streaming videos in countries with highly restrictive internet laws.
- More than 2,000 servers
- Fast speeds
- Free alternative
- Great for beginners
- Has suffered data breaches in the past
- Slow customer support
- The free version will not unblock Netflix
- $12.99 a month
- $8.99 a month for a six-month plan
- $5.99 a month for a one year plan
- Current limited offer: $119.99 Lifetime plan – one-time payment!
- 45-day money-back guarantee.
For more information on Hotspot Shield features, read our extensive Hotspot Shield review.
How to Setup A VPN for Streaming Online Content
Setting up a VPN to unblock video streaming is really quite simple.
- First, choose which VPN service you’d like to use, simply sign up and create your login details. We’ve recommended some below.
- Follow all instructions to download the VPN software and install it.
- Once installed, choose a location – a ‘server’ – you’d like to connect to – this could be either from a list of servers in various countries worldwide or from a world map with servers marked out.
- Choose the server you’d like to connect to.
- Now browse online to your heart’s content.
How to Set-Up a VPN on Your Smartphone
Although some slight details may vary from service to service, most VPNs have a similar set up when it comes to your mobile phone device.
- Log in to your account on the chosen website and select the kind of mobile device you will be using.
- Get your password from that site to launch the VPN on your smartphone.
- Use the selected VPN app on your smartphone and enter your email and unique password from the account page.
- Follow set-up prompts to add configurations.
- Stream away to your heart’s content.
Can I get Caught When Streaming Videos
Unless you use a great VPN, you can get caught (especially if you are downloading torrents). When you download movies or videos by torrenting them, you automatically add your IP address to the mix. This means that virtually anyone can see your IP address.
Can I Get Caught When Using a VPN
There is a great little trick that you can use to check if your IP is hidden. Just follow the next few steps and you will see whether your VPN is coming through for you:
- Go to www.whatismyip.network before you hook up to your VPN and note your IP address
- Connect to your VPN server and write down your IP address again
- Go to www.whatismyip.network once more and check your IP address (it should be different from the initial one)
What Are Streaming Sites?
We use streaming sites to watch content online without having to download torrents. This is something that occurs when people go on holiday, business trips or even when they relocate to another country. Simply put, you can change a lot of aspects in your life, but it is those home comforts that make change easier.
Some of the most popular and most visited streaming websites in the US and the UK include BBC, Netflix, iPlayer, ITV, and Hulu. These platforms make it easy for their customers to stream some of their favorite shows when it suits them, offering instant and easy streaming.
What many people do not know is that a lot of the content on platforms like Netflix change as soon as you leave the US. Your library will no longer consist of many of your favorite shows, making it impossible to view them.
This is why a VPN will be able to save you and unblock and restricted streaming of videos you love.