You may have heard that you can unblock plenty of Netflix libraries from around the world using a VPN. While that’s absolutely true, is it really worth the extra subscription? Pretty much, and here are the main reasons why.
Big Shows with Weird Regional Exclusivity
The biggest title that comes to mind is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If you weren’t aware, the smash comedy series is only available on Netflix UK. It’s not even available in the US, which boasts the biggest Netflix catalog to date. Why is a US-based series only available in the UK? Your guess is as good as ours.
Another strange case is Lost. And we’re not talking about the plot here. Looking to revisit the island’s mysteries, or just haven’t seen the show before? Then you’ll need to access it on Netflix South Korea or Japan. Speaking of which, a lot of anime (such as some 20 Studio Ghibli movies) were recently made available worldwide – except the US, Canada, and Japan.
Who comes up with these exclusivity deals? Well, no matter – because you can access all of these beloved series, movies, and more with a good VPN for Netflix. Of course, being able to unblock Netflix’s international catalog is more of a side benefit.
Using a VPN for Netflix Is Not the Only Benefit
Maybe you don’t see the value in paying extra for more content (even though Netflix keep raising their prices without much to justify it). However, you’re not just paying for a few extra movies and shows here and there. Here are some other advantages of using a VPN that you should know about.
#1 Privacy and Security
Now more than ever you need to secure all your devices against the pandemic-related influx of cyberattacks. VPNs may unblock content, but they also block hackers from trying to steal your logins and payment info.
Further, they also encrypt (i.e. garble) your network traffic so your ISP can’t sell your private data to advertisers. Data such as:
- Your browsing history (yes, even the embarrassing stuff).
- Location data – where you shop, eat, hang out, have your doctor’s appointment, and so on.
- What apps you use, provided they need to use the Internet – which is basically everything nowadays.
All of this is fair game wherever there aren’t extra privacy rules in place.
#2 Prevent Bandwidth Throttling
Selling your data isn’t the only shady (yet completely legal) thing your ISP does. They may also slow down your connection if they see you use too much data on particular services. See the case of AT&T throttling YouTube and Netflix speeds while suspiciously leaving Amazon Prime video content alone. They’re not the only ISP that throttles speeds, of course.
Fortunately, VPN encryption can prevent throttling. How? Well, it’s simply a case of your ISP not having any idea which services you’re using. Is that 1 GB of data from a Netflix stream, a large work file, an extended fall down a YouTube rabbit hole? Your ISP simply can’t tell, and they won’t risk throttling something at random in the hope of catching the right thing.
#3 Safe (Legal) Torrenting
Torrent clients can be used to easily share large work files. Do you regularly travel for work? Is your boss is intruding on your vacation time again? Then you’ll need a VPN to use torrents on most public Wi-Fi networks, such as those found in hotels.
Otherwise, you risk getting kicked off the network, because torrenting is automatically associated with piracy nowadays. Free hotel Wi-Fi is also a hacker’s favorite target, so having that extra security doesn’t hurt one bit.
#4 Save Money on Digital Goods
Airline tickets, car rental services, online gaming, and service subscriptions – what do these things have in common? The answer is regional pricing. It’s pretty standard for prices to differ wildly depending on which country you’re accessing the service from.
With a VPN, you can change your network-visible location to a different area and take advantage of lower prices. It’s not a guarantee, and services have been getting craftier at preventing this (e.g. by requiring a local payment method). Nonetheless, it’s worth a shot. At the very least, you might be able to recoup your VPN subscription money!