When most people want to access content that is region-locked, their immediate instinct is to set up a VPN. The easiest and quickest way of doing this is by paying for a commercial VPN service. However, there are drawbacks to using a commercial service. You can often get a more reliable experience by using residential proxy servers or setting up your own private VPN.
- Residential Proxies For Streaming
- Renting Your Own Server
- Setting Up Your Own VPN
- The Benefits Of Your Own VPN
Residential Proxies For Streaming
Streaming websites restrict content by countries and thus encourage paying users to look for ways of accessing streams that are available only in other locales. The simplest way to do that is to use an intermediary server – a proxy – to change the IP address of the connecting device. There are several proxy types people can rent, and streaming sites detect the most common proxies except for residential proxies.
Like any other IP address residential proxies are registered with internet service providers, and thus represent real devices, not public data centres. This is why using residential proxy networks such as Smartproxy is becoming more popular: residential IP addresses are harder to block. Much like a global data tube system, Smartproxy has proxies in every country, which act as tunnels for streaming and any other internet connections.
Renting Your Own Server
Renting your own server is a simple enough process, the only thing you need is a credit card. In fact, given that a growing number of data centers are allowing people to rent servers using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a payment method, you don’t even need that anymore. Once you have your own server, you can then set up your own VPN with relative ease.
There are various types of servers for you to choose from. A virtual private server, or VPS, is probably going to be the cheapest option. If you have never done anything like setting up a VPN before then a VPS is a great training ground for you to practice on. Whatever option you go with, you don’t need a very powerful server to run a VPN, even the most basic servers should be able to handle it just fine.
In the interests of maximizing your security, you should opt for a private server instead of a shared one. If you aren’t interested in security and only want to stream content, then it doesn’t matter as much. Just be aware that a shared server is technically less secure than a private one. This might not matter so much for a streaming VPN. However, you do need to make sure that the server is located in the US if you want to stream US content.
Setting Up Your Own VPN
Once you have your own server, you then need to install the VPN software. This is easy to do, thanks to the existence of open-source options. There are a number of guides online that can walk you through the process of installing OpenVPN on a cloud server. If you have a reasonably good grasp of tech then this is a project that you can easily complete in less than a day. For some people, it will only take a couple of hours to get up to speed with everything involved.
Setting up your own VPN for streaming isn’t just useful for enabling you to access the content you want, but it is also a great learning experience for anyone who has even a passing interest in how their computer or the internet works.
The Benefits Of Your Own VPN
Using a commercial VPN service is the easiest and quickest way of getting online with a VPN. However, there are some drawbacks to using a commercial VPN service. The main drawback when it comes to streaming is that streaming services like Netflix are getting a lot more aggressive when it comes to blocking the IP addresses of VPN providers. As a result, lots of people end up paying for services that are advertised as being Netflix compatible, only to then find that they are constantly playing cat and mouse looking for an IP that isn’t blocked.
With your own personal VPN, it is very unlikely that you will be on the receiving end of an IP ban. As far as any online streaming service is concerned, you will be connecting to them from within the US. That means that you will be able to access the full US library, just as regular American users can. Note that while using a data center in the US as a proxy will enable you to access US content, it won’t protect you from liability for piracy and copyright infringement notices.
Finally, another good reason to set up your own VPN instead of paying for commercial service is that you can save yourself money by doing so. VPN businesses charge a rate that doesn’t just account for the cost of using their service but also has to cover all the other costs of running a business. This is reflected in the rate that users pay. When you rent a server and install open-source VPN software, you are keeping your costs as low as physically possible.
The inability to access region-locked content can be hugely frustrating. In fact, it is one of the worst aspects of using streaming services. Unfortunately, the tangled web that is global licensing arrangements means that content available in one region isn’t necessarily going to be available overseas. A VPN or proxy is the easiest way of circumventing these blocks but commercial VPN services are regularly blocked and unable to stream. Setting up your own VPN service enables you to avoid this problem while also saving yourself money. It is also an excellent learning experience.