A free ride to US content? Sorry, no.

Sat Feb 11, 2012

The world wants a piece of America. Not the real America mind you, with its ugly highways, guns, and inequalities, but fantasy America. US entertainment is a highly desirable commodity that is denied even to international netizens. Access to services like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and Spotify is stymied by an invisible Copyright wall where the wrong IP Address leaves you out in the cold.

Fortunately, there are ways to tunnel through that wall and get a piece of that US action. Two common methods are through a proxy or through a VPN. A proxy (such as hidemyass) allows you to piggyback on a US server so that your connection requests are made using an IP address originating in the US. A VPN (such as proXPN) encrypts your data by emulating a LAN network over the internet.

Fortunately, there are many free proxies out there (VPNs not so much, although proXPN is free). Unfortunately, these free editions have severe bandwidth restrictions. This limitation means that your dreams of streaming all that juicy US Netflix content can die right now. Unless you’re willing to pay for unlimited bandwidth. As in real life, there is no free ride to America, but money can buy you anything. 

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