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VPN for Streaming

Is It Safe to Use a VPN for Streaming?


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For many of us, streaming services play a big part in our every day lives. No matter the time – whether it’s late at night after work, early in the morning while going to work, or during your break time, we can now watch our favorite TV series or the latest movies from streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and many more. However, there are limitations to what content you can access on these platforms depending on your geographical location. Streaming services often restrict content libraries based on licensing agreements and copyright laws. This means you might miss out on a show that’s trending worldwide simply because it’s not available in your region.

Now, many avid streamers are using VPNs to bypass georestrictions, maximize their subscription, and watch content beyond their location. Of course, the inevitable question is, is it legal? Do streaming services allow this? Will there be repercussions for using a VPN? We’ll talk about all that, but first, we want you to understand what VPN is.

What Is VPN?

VPN is a service that creates a secure and encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet. This tunnel protects your data from being snooped on by cybercriminals through encryption. It makes all your data unreadable to anyone who might try to intercept it. Wireless connections, especially public WiFis, are particularly vulnerable because anyone nearby could potentially intercept your traffic.

How Does VPN Work for Streaming?

Streaming services like Netflix or Hulu guard their content libraries based on licensing agreements and copyright laws. This means what you see on your screen can differ depending on your location. Since VPN masks your actual IP address and gives you the freedom to choose an IP address from different server locations.

So if you connect to a service in Japan for example, websites will see a Japanese IP address which makes them think you’re physically in Japan. When you’re TV streaming, let’s say Netflix or Disney+, they will then use this Japanese IP address to determine your supposed location and grant you access to the content library available in Japan. This means you could potentially watch shows or movies only offered on the Japanese Netflix or Disney+ library, even if you’re physically located in a different country.

Is It Safe to Use a VPN for Streaming?

Using VPN for streaming services is generally safe and legal in most countries. However, while it’s not inherently illegal, bypassing geo-restrictions with a VPN might violate a streaming service’s terms of service (ToS). Streaming services won the rights to show specific content in certain regions, and if they catch you using a VPN for that reason, they might take actions such as warnings, temporary blocks, or even account termination. That’s why before using a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions, you must familiarize yourself with the specific terms of service of your streaming platform.

When to Use a VPN When Using Streaming Services

There are two main situations when you must use a VPN when watching a TV show or movie on your favorite streaming platform. One is when you have limited content library and the other one is if you’re streaming via public WiFi. Here’s why:

  1. Limited Content Library

Copyright laws and licensing agreements can restrict what’s available in your area. This can be frustrating if you miss out on shows or movies trending worldwide. When you connect to a VPN server in countries where those content is available in, you’ll be able to access it as well. Using a VPN allows you to maximize your subscription by accessing more content outside your region.

  1. Using Public WiFi

Like what we’ve been mentioning, public WiFi is unsecured. That means you’re at higher risk of having your data intercepted by hackers. Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient, but they often lack the security measures found on private networks. When you connect to public Wi-Fi, your data travels unencrypted, making it vulnerable to cyber criminals on the network. Hackers could potentially steal your banking information, login details, and more. By using a VPN, you can encrypt your data and prevent these criminals from making you a victim.

Potential Disadvantages of Using VPN for Streaming

It’s clear that using VPN can give you added protection and allow you to access to restricted content. However, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. There are also potential downsides that can affect your streaming experience. Here are some of them:

  • Slow Connection – VPNs he encryption process and rerouting traffic through a VPN server can sometimes slow down your internet connection. This can be really frustrating when streaming, as buffering can disrupt you while you’re watching an episode of a TV show or a new movie.
  • Effectiveness – Not all VPNs work for streaming services, especially if the one you’re using is free. Some of the VPNs that really work for this purpose is NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and others. If your current VPN isn’t well-known, it’s best to double check with their customer service representative or terms of service on their website.
  • Budget – VPNs can be a bit expensive, depending on the provider you’ll choose. On average, it may cost you around $5-$20 a month. It can be a bit expensive to pay for every month, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Server Network – Some VPN providers only offer limited networks, which may affect the content you’ll be able to access. It’s always best to look into the number of networks offered by the provider. If you see a low number, check the countries available and see if it’s sufficient for your streaming needs.

Wrapping Up

VPN definitely changed the game when it comes to streaming content. However, there are several factors to consider and take note of. When choosing a VPN, carefully research your options and consider factors like server network, speed, and cost, before making a decision. Even the best VPNs can encounter challenges when bypassing geo-restrictions, so manage your expectations as well.


Wanna become a data scientist within 3 months, and get a job? Then you need to check this out !