I’ve written plenty in the past about why expats need VPNs (virtual private networks). You can find previous articles here and here.
Now comes yet another reason.
It’s called peering.
No, it doesn’t have anything to do with looking over someone’s shoulder. It refers to the way the internet works.
Recently Netflix and Comcast reached an agreement where Netflix pays a hefty fee. In exchange Comcast won’t throttle (slow down) traffic between Netflix and the Comcast servers. While that might sound like a good deal if you’re a Comcast subscriber who enjoys watching Netflix streaming video, think about the flip side.
If you want to watch something from a service that’s not paying those fees, Comcast has claimed the right to slow down your viewing. It’s the opposite of Net Neutrality.
And here’s where a VPN can help.
When you’re using a VPN, your ISP (internet service provider) has no idea what you’re doing online. You could be sending email, watching a Netflix video, reading a news site, scanning your Facebook or Google Plus feed. . . they don’t know. So they won’t throttle you.
A simple and elegant solution.
Here’s an infographic from VyprVPN that explains it beautifully.
Just as a heads up, within the last week Hulu has begun rejecting my attempts to sign on via my VPN. Like you, I am in Panamá, so I’ve been using a VPN to watch Hulu…up until the last week, that is. Their blocking message says “Based on your IP address, we notice that you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available outside of the U.S. If you are in the U.S., you’ll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu. If you think you are receiving this message in error, please submit this form.”
My VPN works just fine on all other sites…for now. I wonder if others will follow suit shortly.
Hmm. . . just out of curiosity, Michael, which VPN are you using? Personally, I use VPN4all and I’ve not had a problem. I don’t use Hulu myself, but I might give it a try just for jollies to see how it handles my VPN. It’s my understanding — and keep in mind I’m NOT a techie! — that a good VPN can connect you without being ID’d as a proxy server.
Michael, I got an email this morning from PureVPN. They explained that Hulu has been upgrading the software they use to detect proxy servers, but that the service still works with PureVPN. Maybe you should check them out.