AF News

Friday, August 21, 2015

VPN Service and Smart DNS Service Providers for Streaming US Only Content most people know that live out here in Okinawa, and specifically in the Kadena housing areas, is that your Netflix/Hulu/DramaFever/etc. will not work out here.  There are a couple of ways around this, and they are usually low cost as well. I will detail what we have ended up going with so far during our time here on Okinawa. Oh and I will be using some technical terms, with no explanation, just so I can keep this post small. However, if anyone needs more info on this technical stuff, I will have links to help you educate yourself. Just know at a high level view, these services allow you to do something you want. You don't need to know HOW they work for them to work for you. =) Anyways...
Well first, why care about all this? Well if you don't want to use Netflix/Hulu/etc. out here, then yea, who cares! BUT if you do, you have two primary methods to bypass the region restrictions most US based streaming services use. And that is use a VPN or a SmartDNS service, both are usually pretty cheap. But before I get into those services, I wanted to clarify something on using these services out here though...
1.  I would try using Netflix/Hulu/HBO/etc. first, before getting these services. Why get them, when you don't need them, right? However, I live on Kadena and use Mediatti, and while it looks like a have a US based IP address, it still gets blocked by those streaming services. This may be the case for many living on-base, but that is why I say try first, before jumping the gun.
2.  For those that live off-base, will I heard they get it a little better, in internet speed and services. Basically, most off-base internet providers give you a router that has a special port on it that gives anything plugged into it a real US based IP address. So super cool and convenient, but yea, I live on-base...
Ok,  so VPN and SmartDNS services, what are they?
1.  VPN is basically a encrypted connection between your computer/devices to another computer/server located else where. What that means for us and our streaming services is that you can use this services to make it SEEM like you are located somewhere else; like the US! It also has the added bonus of hiding all your internet traffic from your pesky ISP and shady government orgs =). It may not be the best method for non-technical type of people, but if you know how to read, you can set it up in 30 mins or so. The service I am using is linked below, but there are a lot of them out there you can use. However, I went with these guys because they are cheap, accept Bitcoin for payment, it works on iphones/ipads directly, and they allow you to use torrents on their service; oh and of course you can stream through them too. Your best bet is to find a VPN service within your budget and provides what you are looking for. 
Get smart on VPN's!
2.  SmartDNS service is a rather complex thing to explain, so basically just understand it will "spoof" your IP and make it seem like your computer/devices are in the US. This service does not encrypt your internet traffic, however it will be "faster" than using a VPN service, so that feature alone may be best for people that just want to stream movies/shows. I service I am using is linked below and I am using it directly on my Samsung smart TV, so now my wife can stream all the DramaFever she wants! Oh and I am using these guys just because they are cheap and accept Bitcoin too!
Get smart on SmartDNS!
So there you have it, the keys to your streaming nirvana await you! lol Enjoy!
P.S. For those that care and are technically inclined, here is my setup currently with all these services.
1. VPN service: I use OpenVPN with this service and have it loaded on my iPhone/iPad. I used this VPN service at first to get around that damn pesky "censorship" of the country I was deployed too before. Worked like a charm! I also use the VPN when I am on open public wifi hotspots, better safe than sorry! Additionally, I have dd-wrt loaded on my home router and it can set up as OpenVPN client as well. Super cool and I have it set up to only route traffic through the VPN by a list of local IPs I have set; bonus points for that!
2.  SmartDNS service: I got this for my Samsung smart TV and it is set directly on the TV, no need to fuss with your router. It works great and all the TV apps think they are in the US! haha. I guess I could use it for other things, but that is all I need this service for.

1 comment:

  1. Having a lot of difficulty setting up this VPN off-base. StrongVPN -- OpenVPN --- DD-WRT. Can you help me?