BUT <INSERT STREAMING SERVICE HERE> IS NOT AVAILABLE IN MY COUNTRY!
While you may be ready to sign up for one of the video streaming services, chances are you won’t get access to any. This is due to licensing and at present, just about all of theses streaming services are only officially available within the US. Previously, you’d need some technical expertise in setting up a proxy such as a Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and rerouting your DNS to access these sites.
Today, the popularity of VPN and DNS proxy service providers have made these services very affordable and easy to setup with a few simple clicks.
What’s the difference between a VPN and DNS? In a nutshell, a VPN employs a physical server in the location you want to access (such as the US). All your traffic is encrypted through the server, which affects every site you visit. The downside of a VPN is that you’ll be limited to the bandwidth and speed of the VPN server. Also, you cannot access multiple country sites. If you connect to a US VPN, for all means and purposes, you’re visiting from the US.
The second option uses smart DNS rerouting, as the service provider optimizes the routing only to the affected sites, such as Netflix. Your internet speed in general will not be affected and you can continue surfing local sites normally. It is also possible to setup multiple masks, so you can watch Hulu (US) and BBC iPLayer (UK) at the same time without having to manually switch servers.
Unotelly, one of the more popular internet DNS service providers have plans as low as US$4.95/month. If you don’t trust these online services, some broadband providers themselves have started integrating DNS rerouting as part of their packages. For example, Singapore ISPs MyRepublic and ViewQwest offer fiber broadband plans with built-in DNS rerouting as an optional value-added service. Users won’t need to adjust any network setting as everything is transparent. Sites like Netflix and Hulu will “just work”.