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VPNs, which ones are good, how they work, etc

Thought it might be useful to have this as a separate thread, rather than clog up the Streaming from outside the UK thread.

Here's a question for those who understand them better than I do. I understand that a VPN disguises your IP address. So if I set my VPN to UK while sitting in Prague, I can watch iPlayer because it sees a UK based IP address. This works, although last week the BBC rumbled my VPN's IP address, and for a couple of days there was a hiatus. Cat and mouse game, as my VPN support person candidly admitted.

Here's the thing. I was on the Telegraph site reading the Robert Peston article (see Brexit thread). I was able to read the full article, left the page, and then came back to it. But now I could only read the first couple of paras, without enlisting for Premium. Right, I thought, switch the location of my VPN and the Telegraph won't know it is me, returning for a second bite. But it did know. How can it recognise that it's me, that I have already had my free read of the article, if my VPN is sending me to the website using a different IP address?

Comments

  • edited October 2017
    Cookies!

    Probably. They are stored locally on your machine and websites can read them, regardless of VPN. Go in to your browser settings, you can usually delete them. If you do, then give it another go.
  • UK IP address huh..? Brexit thread, the Telegraph? Just come out and say it.
  • edited October 2017
    Yup, Cookies are your problem here.

    When I switch from a US server, to say, Sweden, to get extra Netflix content it will often know what I've done and tell me I'm using a VPN so cannot access anything, I delete all my cookies and it works again fine.

    As for the best VPN, almost everyone I know in China uses one and they all have problems at times, I use one of the more expensive options as I do a ton of streaming, so I need the speed. In my opinion pick one with the most different 'routes' Astrill offers c.100, what works for me is they have a lot of 'China optimized' options, although this is irrelevant for almost everyone on this forum.

    It's interesting that you have issues with iPlayer, as I watch it almost daily and I've never had a problem, I've always just assumed this is because they don't have the same resources as Netflix, Hulu etc. Although I've always doubted how much Netflix themselves, rather than the production companies care about VPN usage.
  • Agree with Stu re Astrill. Free or ridiculously cheap ones are no good for streaming as they provide such a small amount of bandwidth. I too lost iPlayer this week for a couple of days but it's back now. Astrill is reasonably priced in my opinion considering the number of servers you get access to and the speed.

    Just been watching ITV hub with no buffering at all, though sometimes watching live can be a little sporadic.
  • I am thinking about getting a VPN so has the industry moved on since this thread, any suggestions re the good ones and ones to avoid. I stream movies and TV shows so I need those to allowed through?
     
  • Off to Colombia in January, taking tablet with me so I can keep an eye on the football. Very computer illiterate - is there anything I can do VPN-wise to enable me to watch Now TV and BT Sport (which I have at home).
  • edited November 26
    Browsec... Its an Extension that you just install against Chrome
    Have to pay about £5 for the Premium service per month but is well worth it with ValleyPass
  • This is an interesting short vid explaining VPN's and some of their bullshit claims...




  • I have been using IPVanish for about 3 years and have been streaming the sh*t out of the web and the feds haven't knocked on my door*

    * yet!
  • JohnBoyUK said:
    I have been using IPVanish for about 3 years and have been streaming the sh*t out of the web and the feds haven't knocked on my door*

    * yet!
    Cheers Johnboy, I was looking at IPVanish.

    I am not clued up on VPN's at all so can you answer a few basic questions for me if its not too much trouble.

    I have the following devices at home I would like included:

    Desktop PC
    Wife's Laptop
    My ipad
    Wife's ipad 
    Wife's Mobile phone

    Do I download the software once and register the above devices or do you have to download it to the individual devices?

    I also have a Firestick for streaming so how does that work?
     
  • Sponsored links:


  • Woah................does it sort out bastard spacing as well, WTF???
  • JohnBoyUK said:
    I have been using IPVanish for about 3 years and have been streaming the sh*t out of the web and the feds haven't knocked on my door*

    * yet!
    Cheers Johnboy, I was looking at IPVanish.

    I am not clued up on VPN's at all so can you answer a few basic questions for me if its not too much trouble.

    I have the following devices at home I would like included:

    Desktop PC
    Wife's Laptop
    My ipad
    Wife's ipad 
    Wife's Mobile phone

    Do I download the software once and register the above devices or do you have to download it to the individual devices?

    I also have a Firestick for streaming so how does that work?
     
    I have used both ExpressVPN and PureVPN. I primarily use it so I can still watch iPlayer, 4OD etc. from Canada but also occasionally US content like Netflix. Both of those VPNs carry apps for all of the things you list above, including a Fire Stick. Setting the firestick up is a bit fiddly as you need to tell your amazon account you're in the UK so it'll let you access UK only apps like iPlayer, but once you have them installed on your firestick you can just go back to normal and only need to connect to the VPN when you want to watch restricted content.

    In my opinion express has the best app for iPad/iPhone, but Pure has the better app for firestick and a good Chrome plugin for PC. The PureApp isn't as reliable on my daughter's android tablet, but we rarelky use it on there. I haven't tried express on an Android device (I know firestick is technically android).

    For a while I was finding one or the other would get intermittently blocked by BBC which is why I ended up subscribed to two, but I haven't been blocked out for quite a while now. I use Pure primarily.
  • I'm looking for an alternative to Zenmate, which seems to be losing out to the BBC. Looking at websites which claim to evaluate VPNs for this, the names which come up are Express, Nord and CyberGhost. I see that @Exiled addick uses Express, anyone else using any of these?
  • CyberGhost popped up on a lot of my research as well Prague and gets good reviews.
  • edited November 26
    I use ExpressVPN and I've found it to be reliable without effecting the speed of the connection too much.  Using Firefox browser, uBlock Origin ad blocker and Cookie AutoDelete also stops a lot of the tracking that websites do.  I use DuckDuckGo as a search engine too so my info isn't tracked and profiled there either.

    I'm probably going to sound like a paranoid tin foil hat wearing nutjob now but I believe everybody should do their utmost to protect their privacy online.  It's astonishing the amount of information we give away without really thinking about it. 

    I also think freedom of expression online is gradually being controlled and crushed by corporations and governments.  The thought of a Labour government nationalising and seizing control of the internet frankly appalls me.
  • DRAddick said:
    This is an interesting short vid explaining VPN's and some of their bullshit claims...

    I would've put money on it being a Tom Scott job before I clicked on the video, and lo and behold...
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