5 Most Important Things to Consider When Selecting a Virtual Private Network for Streaming

Virtual Private Network

Virtual Private Network is a connection method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks, like WiFi Hotspots and the Internet. Virtual Private Networks are most often used by corporations to protect sensitive data. However, using a personal Virtual Private Network is increasingly becoming more popular as more interactions that were previously face-to-face transition to the Internet. Privacy is increased with a Virtual Private Network because the user’s initial IP address is replaced with one from the Virtual Private Network provider. Subscribers can obtain an IP address from any gateway city the Virtual Private Network service provides. For instance, you may live in San Francisco, but with a Virtual Private Network, you can appear to live in Amsterdam, New York, or any number of gateway cities.






VPN (Virtual Private Network) Security


Security is the main reason why corporations have used Virtual Private Network for years. There are increasingly simple methods to intercept data traveling to a network. WiFi spoofing and Firesheep are two easy ways to hack information. A useful analogy is that a firewall protects your data while on the computer and a Virtual Private Network protects your data on the web. Virtual Private Network use advanced encryption protocols and secure tunneling techniques to encapsulate all online data transfers. Most savvy computer users wouldn’t dream of connecting to the Internet without a firewall and up-to-date antivirus. Evolving security threats and ever increasing reliance on the Internet make a Virtual Private Network an essential part of well-rounded security. Integrity checks ensure that no data is lost and that the connection has not been hijacked. Since all traffic is protected, Virtual Private Network are preferred over proxies.



Virtual Private Network Security



In this day and age, when people are abandoning traditional cable or satellite television services at a faster rate than ever before,Virtual Private Network for Streaming, more important than ever to have reliable and diverse streaming services for your entertainment needs.

Depending on where you live, however, the content available to you can be heavily restricted by licensing and distribution agreements and so forth.

On the other hand, more and more people are taking to using various file-sharing services and means to share television shows and movies, usually through the BitTorrent protocol – a process known as torrenting, and then playing back the files on a smart TV, tablet, or other home media center, usually via a streaming relay device.



Why Use a VPN for Streaming?


There are many reasons to use a Virtual Private Network service for streaming.  VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, provide security, anonymity, and privacy online. They disguise your true IP address from destination servers.  They also encrypt the data stream between you and the Virtual Private Network server, meaning government and ISP monitors can’t tell what you’re sending, receiving, or accessing.

Additionally, they allow you to get around geographic restrictions on content, which is a crucial part of having an optimum streaming experience and availing yourself of the full range of content available online in different markets.

This is because the Virtual Private Network services often have servers located in other countries – many countries, in the case of the top services.  So, you can connect to Virtual Private Network servers in other countries, and the ultimate website or destination server you access will THINK you are accessing from that country!

When it comes to torrenting, using a Virtual Private Network is really a must.  The peer-to-peer protocol is great for getting content fast from disparate sources, but has one significant vulnerability – everyone connected to you, and everyone you are connected to, can see your IP address.  By using a Virtual Private Network service that supports torrenting, this vulnerability disappears.

It means that no one can use torrent connections to try to hack your system.  What’s more important for many people is it means your true IP address, ISP, and other information is obscured, so any litigious corporate lawyers or copyright enforcement services can’t serve you with a cease and desist or go after you for monetary damages for sharing copyrighted content.





5 Key Things to Consider

There are many different factors to consider when you are trying to find a good quality Virtual Private Network for your streaming needs.



Because VPNs use data encryption techniques, the latency and max download speed of your connection can be reduced somewhat.

The best Virtual Private Network services only have an impact to max download speed on the order of 10-20%, whereas some lower-quality Virtual Private Network may slow connections to a crawl, with a 90% or greater hit to download speed. For streaming needs, you generally want to ensure the download speed hit is less than 50%, or you may experience buffering and other issues.  When torrenting, of course, you want the fastest speed possible, too.


Servers and Countries 

The number of servers gives some sense of the size of the network of Virtual Private Network , and the number of countries the servers are located in provide insight into the potential for unblocking of geo-restricted content.


Torrenting, Streaming, and Geo-Unblocking 

Whether or not the Virtual Private Network offers torrenting or peer-to-peer file sharing support, streaming support, or geo-unblocking of popular streaming platforms like Netflix and similar are extremely important criteria.  Many cheaper or budget VPN options do not offer all of these features, as the bandwidth required for streaming or torrenting is significant.


Security – Encryption, Logging, Etc. 

The security of a Virtual Private Network is only as good as the encryption protocols and other measures that the company takes to protect its customers.  Most quality VPNs use industry-standard AES-256, a 256-bit encryption algorithm that is, for all intents and purposes, unbreakable by brute force attempts.



Like any service, a cost must be considered.  For any kind of meaningful Virtual Private Network for streaming use, free options aren’t going to cut it – they almost all come with bandwidth caps, lower speeds, and limited options.  Most top-tier Virtual Private Network offer subscription packages, that can range in price from a few dollars a month to $15 a month or so, depending on the features, options, and payment cycle.



Ultimately, you need to define your streaming goals and intended use before test-driving a Virtual Private Network.  And not every Virtual Private Network offers generous trials or free versions, so it’s best to consult online reviews and do your research.

Consider the above important factors, as well as anything unique to your setup and how you intend to use the VPN service.



VPN service



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