Start Here! How VPN can change living abroad
For even the most adventurous spirit, day-to-day life in a foreign country can get tedious and exhausting. So, for those moments where you are just looking for a taste of home and want to curl up and watch a familiar movie or television show, VPN can be an invaluable luxury. VPN, at it’s most basic level, has three primary features: IP forwarding, security and anonymity.
IP forwarding means that while you may live, work, or play in Europe or anywhere else in the world, you can assign your computer location to be in the United States. This is an excellent workaround for location based site blocking. A very common experience is going to an online streaming service like Netflix and realizing that you cannot view the content because your computer is showing outside of the United States. IP forwarding is a very handy work-around to content location restrictions. By appearing to be American based, you can then access whatever American content you would like. The same, of course, goes for the BBC outside of the UK.
VPN, by default, encrypts all of your traffic. This is especially great if you are using Wi-Fi. Phishers and hackers can’t slip into your network and see all of your passwords. This feature, paired with the IP forwarding, is perfect if you still bank in the United States. Many banks firewalls won’t let you access online banking from outside of the country. Even if they did, you would be pray to local hackers. Security freak or not, an extra firewall never hurt anyone, right?
Privacy and Anonymity
If you live in a country with a high level of government oversight, VPN will protect you from those prying eyes. Because your IP is hidden behind your VPN provider, there is no way to track your online activity back to your specific computer. In fact, if you are connecting to another country, it won’t even look like you are physically where you are in the world! This also means that sites that are blocked by your host country will be available to you with this “hidden” IP address.
So, where do you start?
First, you have to have a high speed internet connection (DSL/fiber/cable/satellite). If your end goal is streaming video or music to a device like an AppleTV, SmartTV or Roku, you want at least 12MB from your ISP. There are tons of factors that can affect your speed over VPN, so getting the fastest connection available is recommended.
Second, you need to have a VPN service provider. There are several that are compatible with a Sabai VPN Router, which you will need if you want to stream to the devices mentioned above. On it’s own, a VPN service will allow you to access American websites like Netflix, Hulu, ABC.com, NBC.com, Pandora, Spotify and more on your computer only. If you are a frequent Skype user, there is also the added benefit of being able to use the service “domestically” instead of internationally, saving you a little bit of money. (If you are still confused, our intro video might help.)
Third, to connect this VPN goodness to ALL of your network devices (tablet, laptop, gaming system, smart phone, streaming player, smart device, ereader, etc.) you will need a VPN Router. This specialized router extends your single VPN connection to any device on your network. Sabai Technology provides the easiest to setup and use and boasts advanced features such as dual gateway. A VPN Router is like the cherry on your VPN Sunday. Not only can you connect to the internet the same as when you are in America, but you can do it on any wireless device in your home!
Now you are on your way!
The three steps above are the basic setup for a wireless home VPN. Many customers appreciate being able to access this content for not only themselves, but their children who might be having trouble adjusting to a new culture. Being an expat is fun and exciting, but that doesn’t mean that a little homesickness isn’t normal. Now, you can enjoy home away from home!