Lights, Camera, VPN and Action!

Lights, Camera, VPN and Action!

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If you had believed that Mayan prediction that the world would end in 2012, you might well have sold all your possessions and partied away in 2011 like there was no tomorrow.

Those of us sensible enough to have predicted that the Mayans were in fact simply wrong, probably still had enough money left to buy a movie theater ticket to see that excellent Roland Emmerich film of the same name – 2012. It was an apocalyptic rollercoaster of a movie with edge-of-the-seat special effects and a sobering message that our individual lives aren’t that important within the context of the history of our planet. In short, we all lived to watch movies another day and then more than another decade later.

Geo-restrictions on content

Of course, even though many people find the magic of a big cinema screen as the way to enjoy top films, many more like to view their entertainment via Netflix, Disney +, Hulu and a host of other streaming platforms. To be able to watch movies and shows in the comfort of your own home with a couple of cold beers or whatever takes your fancy is just fine. But if you go away on vacation, or if you want to save a little money, accessing the internet via a VPN  extension for Chrome on a virtual private network (VPN) can offer substantial benefits.

A VPN can be installed onto your favorite device’s Chrome browser as an extension that takes literally a couple of minutes to install from a tiny, downloaded file. Your internet connection is then achieved via a ‘middleman’ server of your choice, crucially from wherever you’d like that to be in the world.

This ‘international’ aspect of using a VPN is invaluable when accessing streaming platforms, either when you’re on vacation or business in a foreign country, or if you encounter geo-restrictions on content from streaming platforms in other countries.

Let’s imagine that you have a Netflix account in the US, and you wish to catch up with a show when on vacation in France. If you tried to access your Netflix account from the hotel Wi-Fi in Paris, your access would be blocked as the IP address would indicate you were outside the USA. But by choosing a server based inside the US from the list of servers available on your VPN, you could access your Netflix account within seconds.

Likewise, if you are a big Bollywood fan, if you choose a VPN server based in South Asia to access the internet, you could watch movies in the USA with the content you desire at a fraction of the price of basing your Netflix account in the USA or Europe.

Data downloads in slo-mo.

Some internet service providers (IPSs) have fair usage policies in place to penalize those who are heavy data users, especially if that data is sourced via a 4G or 5G signal rather than fiber or landline broadband connection. If you have a household where both parents work from home, one son is a student filmmaker, another is an avid gamer, then the chances are that household will be gobbling gigabytes of data daily! If that’s the case, the ISP might well ‘throttle’ their rate of data transfer to a crawl, effectively making it impossible for the data-hungry activities to continue until the next monthly anniversary of the internet access contract.

But by using a VPN as an extension onto the browser of each device in the household, the ISP can’t identify where or who the data users are, so they can’t throttle that household’s connection. Junior can go on re-watching endless re-runs of Spielberg masterpieces like Saving Private Ryan via his Netflix, while his brother can use a data center’s worth of gigabytes on Grand Theft Auto 24/7.

All that data usage brings hackers to the yard.

Let’s not forget also that the more web activity an ISP account creates, the more visible their IP address to hackers and internet bad guys. Leaving aside the dangers of unsecured ‘phantom’ Wi-Fi hotspots in the local mall, gamers and streamers attract hackers, who attempt to steal data, passwords and / or install spyware or ransomware onto their victims’ devices and laptops.

Again, by using a VPN as a browser extension, if the software detects any malware or scanning activity by hackers, it will instantly disconnect the device in question from the household router before any damage can be done.

What with the added security, anonymity and additional content available to stream by removing geographic content restrictions, anyone who uses the internet to do anything from checking their email to watching the best new movies would be well advised to use a VPN. There are many reasons to take advantage of the protection offered, and almost no downsides to having the facility whenever it’s needed.

That way you can stay safe watching the movies you love the most without falling foul of content restrictions or security hassles.

Also Read: The Top Reasons to Start Using a VPN


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