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Can you use VPNs to access content in other continents?

Kurtis Avatar By: Kurtis | Last updated August 15, 2020

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VPNs (virtual private networks) open up an entire world of digital opportunities. More and more users connect to the internet through VPNs and take advantage of the benefits they bring.

VPNs allow us to securely connect to a private network through a public one. They work by encrypting your data and changing your IP address. This way, you can appear as being in a certain part of the globe when you might really be located in a totally different area. For instance, a VPN can give you a Tokyo IP address, even if you are in fact located in New York.

Your information is encrypted using strong VPN protocols, such as OpenVPN, L2TP, IKEv2 and others. Most VPN providers use 128 or 256 bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption to protect your data.

VPN benefits and why you should use them

There are plenty of reasons why virtual private networks are popular all over the world. Here are some of their main benefits:

  • They help you stay secure online, especially when you are connecting to the internet via a public WiFi network, as they are known to be unsafe; VPNs are great if you use a lot of public network such as those in malls, airports, coffee shops and so on to connect to the internet; they encrypt your data and keep your real online identity hidden, making it look like you’re somewhere else than in reality. You can choose between hundreds or even thousands of servers worldwide and connect to the one you want, regardless of its location
  • Another great benefit of using VPNs is the fact that they help you access restricted content from other continents; geo-restrictions can be really annoying, especially when you are trying to stream certain videos, movies and so on; Netflix is a good example of streaming platforms that impose geographic restrictions and a good VPN can help you bypass this online censorship, by changing your IP address into one that is accepted by these websites
  • Torrenting is another good reason to use a virtual private network; they allow you to stay anonymous and hide your real IP address when sharing content online, so that you can’t be tracked down

What to look for when choosing a VPN for streaming

When it comes to choosing a VPN for streaming purposes, you should know that not all VPNs are equally good. Here are some factors to consider before making your decision:

  • Choose a provider that offers unlimited bandwidth because high quality videos can eat a lot of MB
  • You also want a fast VPN with great uptime scores for a smooth streaming experience
  • Search for a VPN provider that has a large number of servers worldwide, in different locations; NordVPN, CyberGhost, ExpressVPN are always safe choices
  • Make sure you use a VPN that uses strong encryption and has support for all the major protocols
  • Don’t forget about mobile apps, if you know you are using your smartphone a lot to surf the web
  • Opt for a VPN provider that respects your privacy and doesn’t keep logs; make sure the company has a “no logs” or “zero logs” policy

In our thourough testing of VPNs we have found that one VPN, ExpressVPN, was head and shoulders above the rest of the other products we reviewed. We found that their quality and connection security really set them apart from the other VPN providers on the market today. Find out why in our full review of ExpressVPN.