By April 17, 2010

HideIP VPN review

IMG_0071 As you may or may no know, our US friends are able to enjoy all sorts of free streaming video and audio services that we just don’t have access to here in the UK. There was a time when I used to listen to Pandora radio all day long as it allowed me to choose the type of music I like to listen to and it customised the station for me. There are also services like ABC Player, similar to the BBC iplayer, that allows them to watch many of ABC’s TV shows on-demand.

You may be wondering why we cant simply use these services here in the UK? Well the fact is that when you attempt to connect in to these services either from your computer or iPhone you’ll be stopped at the outset by a message warning you that you the service is not available in this country. They know by the IP address of the connection which country you are coming in from and were not allowed to connect from the UK.

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Now a good friend of mine came visiting from the US with his iPad and showed me that he had the ABC Player and Pandora installed but that they sadly would not work here in the UK despite him living and residing in the US.

So it turns out that there is a solution. Set up a VPN connection on your computer, or in this case iPad and then connect to Pandora or ABC Player and enjoy the video/audio content you like.

I found a great company that offer a professional quality VPN service called HideIP VPN. They have VPN servers available in the USA, UK, Canada and Germany and services start at just $5.99

How the VPN works, in laymans terms, is that you establish a VPN (virtual private network) connection to a remote server that resides on the country where the service you want to use is. In the case where my friend from the US came visiting we set him up with a US VPN connection. Once you connect to the VPN, using a secure username and password, all of you internet traffic flows though that connection so that from the other side at least it looks like the connection originates at the server and not your iPad. For more on VPN technology have a look at the Wikipedia topic.

Make your traffic appear to originate from a United States, United Kingdom, Germany or Canada. Access sites like Hulu, Pandora, ABC, NBC, BBC, ITV

Setting this up on the iPad is simples. First of all you have to register with HideIP VPN for an account. I did that earlier this week and had my username and password along with all the connection details pretty much straight away.

On the iPad you then have to go in to settings > Network and create a new VPN. Put in the username and password with the server address and that’s about it. Press the connect button and within a few seconds you’ll be connected to the VPN and all your traffic will be going through a US server so Palringo and ABC Player will think that’s where you are!

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Of course the VPN could also work the other way around. If you are outside of the UK you wont be able to use the BBC iPlayer service. But that’s ok, you can sign up with HideIP VPN and use their UK server to use the BBC service anywhere in the world.

In practice, when testing out HideIP VPN’s service on my friends iPad it works really well, Palringo ran for over an hour while we tried it out and then watching a few videos they all streamed back perfectly. In all it’s a great service if you really need to retain access!

Another one is the Fortinet VPN technology that provides secure communications across the Internet between multiple networks and endpoints

You can also use the VPN on your desktop computer to connect to other region restricted services if you need to.

Now there is nothing to stop anyone using this kind of VPN service to watch TV or Video apps that are otherwise restricted to just one country. If you’ve just bought an iPad you might want to try out some of the services that are available in the US but not the UK. I must point out that I have no idea if it’s actually legal to do so. I believe that it’s all ok but you may want to check for yourself.

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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