VPN is an acronym for “virtual private network.” They hide your hide your physical IP address virtual one. This is accomplished by routing your traffic through a different location before it accesses the internet. This allows VPN users to hide their actual location and bypass firewalls.
VPNs came into the spotlight when recently announced their ban on VPNs. Their reasoning is that VPNs allow users to circumvent regional restrictions and access the full range of Netflix’s streaming content. Not all VPN use is nefarious. They are used by corporations, universities, governments and individuals for all sorts of reasons.
Some argue VPNs allow free speech. Many countries attempt to limit or censor information obtained online through means such as blocking access to social media. VPN users are able to overcome these censorships and share information online. Some schools and companies provide their students or employees a VPN, so they can access resources when home or traveling. Frequent travels typically use VPNs, so they can watch programs regardless of their location’s network. Others use VPNs strictly for privacy and security.
Netflix has its reasons for banning VPN users. They sign contracts with studios, distributors and productions companies in order to stream content. Movies and TV shows are owned by different companies. This can vary by country and region. Netflix announced they hope to make the same content available everywhere, but it takes time.
Using a VPN is not illegal. It has many benefits beyond geo-spoofing. They provide an extra layer of security. If you surf the web on untrusted networks, it is advisable to look into obtaining a VPN provider. Because there are so many valid and legal reasons to use VPNs, it is unlikely Netflix will block IPs of all customers using VPNs. They have already blocked a few serial offenders. This recent blog post Best VPN for Netflix – February 2017 Update – vpnsrus.com suggest updated VPN providers that provide privacy and allow you to stream your favorite content as well.
VPN providers do charge a fee. Privacy will also cost you some internet speed. Due to the nature of encryption, it takes longer when data must first be tunneled through a VPN. The benefits typically outweigh the costs, depending on your motivation. Research providers before making a decision. There are many features to consider. If privacy and security are your main concern, make sure you choose a provider that does not keep usage logs.
Regardless of your motivation, VPNs are something to consider. Netflix has their reasons for banning VPN users, but legitimate users should have no fear.