VPN, or Virtual Private Networks, are networks that make use of the internet to offer secure access to a network. What it does is summarize transfers of data between two (or more) networked devices so that the data that is transferred can remain private. VPN is therefore an ideal platform for viewing international television.
When using a VPN with an internet TV channel provider, a wide variety of different television channels from the US, UK and Canada are accessible online which were previously only available to residents of that country. It allows for expatriates globally to watch broadcasts from their computers via the internet. This is a very unique and useful system. And here’s why:
How a VPN works is as follows: only a personal computer and internet connection can be used. An account must then be opened with an internet TV channel provider, and within minutes, the VPN can be activated. This system allows for access to the internet without any restrictions or circumventing blocks that make it difficult to make international calls via Skype or MSN, and eliminates internet censorship in places like the Middle East, Dubai and China by making previously blocked and censored channels, web sites and blogs available.
To set up a VPN is easy! You don’t need to be an IT technician to enable this; all you need is a quality internet TV provider and a working internet connection.
Other advantages of having a VPN service are having protection when using wireless hotspots, complete anonymity as your IP address cannot be tracked, and being able to access online gambling sites, which are now restricted in many countries.
All that said, however, perhaps the biggest advantage of having a VPN is the fact that it is one of its sidebar features is free long-distance phone calls, which can be a major factor despite the existence of Skype and Yahoo.
A word of caution, watching TV over a VPN does require an Internet connection with a speed of at least 1mbps so it’s critical, that you check anticipated speed, not theoretical speed before signing up to any package offering TV over the Internet, most users need a connection speed between 1.5 and 2 MB to guarantee live TV streaming without any interruptions. At peak times, download speeds usually by up to half, making viewing impossible.
There are several types of VPN’s:
PPTP VPN (point-to-point), which is a simple method of software-based VPN systems which makes use of an already existing internet connections. It essentially creates a “tunnel” between two users.
Similarly, STS (site to-site) VPN makes use of each site with its own internet connection, which doesn’t necessarily have to be the same.
MPLS is an IPS-tuned VPN that needs two or more sites connected by the same ISP. It stands for Multi-Protocol Label Switching.
Some VPNs are hardware-based, others software-based, and certain VPNs are Firewall-based.