It always feels good to have a TV streaming device that frees you from the local cable operators but there are various important factors which you need to consider when using streaming alternatives. This is true even more so today than it ever was before as countries and governments around the world continue to crack down on streaming – specifically the streaming of copyrighted content.
The Amazon Firestick has done an impressive job and millions are using the devices across the globe. But no good things come without challenges. When using Amazon Firestick and FireTV, you need to take great care while streaming premium content from various sources.
To maintain the privacy of the streaming activities you need to hide your networking credentials. Nothing can mask your network’s information better than a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Before moving on to the top 5 reasons for using a VPN on Amazon Firestick and FireTV, it is important to know what exactly a VPN is.
What exactly is a VPN?
In simple words, a VPN secures your internet connection by encrypting the information about the network. It basically manipulates the network’s data. The Internet Service Provider fails to notice your streaming activities because the VPN keeps your device anonymous. Apart from the ISP, the cybercrime agencies and copyright protection agencies are unable to track your activities.
Working of a VPN
As soon as you turn ON the VPN, the services activate and create an end-to-end private tunnel through which the streaming data travels. This tunnel remains hidden from the agencies and ISP. Foolproof encryption technology secures the tunnel from the watchdogs. They only notice the connection but don’t find a way to know what’s traveling through the tunnel. The VPN also masks your IP address which protects your device from unauthorized access especially when you are using a public Wi-Fi.
|Before I continue, I want to make sure that you understand the significantly higher risks of streaming with Kodi and Firesticks. This applies to any device you use online as well as your smartphone or tablet. |
Not too long ago users online enjoyed a certain degree of anonymity due to the Net Neutrality laws. However, in 2018, these laws were repealed. This means your own Internet Service Provider can legally sell your personal data (such as health records, security information, and browsing history). More recently Article 13 came into place in Europe. Unlike the Net Neutrality laws which protected individuals, Article 13 helps to prosecute individuals.
In addition, they can monitor your online traffic to ensure that you are in compliance with their “fair use” policy. Streaming is generally quite bandwidth heavy and you’ll find ISPs often buffer user traffic which drastically impacts the streams and makes them unwatchable.
Even if you’re just streaming through another app make sure you secure your streaming data with a no-logging VPN. This is your only protection and it’s worth the nominal investment.
Reasons for Using a VPN on Firestick and FireTV
There are various good reasons for using a reliable VPN on your Firestick or FireTV. In this list we’ve included five of the most important reasons:
1. Privacy and Security
When you opt for Firestick and similar devices, you are basically downloading and streaming content. Now in many countries, torrents which you need to download are already restricted. It’s easy to understand this as the law is quite clear with regards to downloading and storing files. With streaming, things are different – or at least that’s what many people believe. The common thought is that streaming doesn’t store files locally so its OK. However, that’s not really the case … even when streaming files are cached and stored & this is where you can get into trouble. This content may belong to various illegal sources. In simple words, some sources may share copyright-protected content. As you stream or download such content, the Govt. agencies detect your connection. This practice can lead to heavy fines.
When you use a VPN, the encrypted tunnel keeps the content hidden. Nobody knows what you are streaming or downloading. It protects you from legal issues. Your ISP only realizes that you are streaming or downloading something but it can’t determine the type of content. This is why you need a VPN service like IPVanish. IPVanish offers significant protection and provides exceptional privacy protection.
2. Avoid Censorship Restrictions
Some countries impose restrictions on various online sources even the streaming apps. If you want to access these sources, you need something to bypass the watchdogs. You can do it by using a VPN. The VPN assigns a virtual IP address that belongs to a country where that particular source is freely available.
For instance, if you want to access live streaming of a soccer match in India or Pakistan, you can’t access a reliable source because most of them are blocked by the Govt. agencies. The VPN will mask the IP address by assigning a virtual IP address from Europe or any region where the live streaming of that soccer match isn’t blocked. Again this is where you need a service like IPVanish. IPVanish has thousands of servers all over the world that you can access.
3. Unblocking Geo-Restricted Services
Amazon and BBC iPlayer and some other impressive streaming sources allow access to different content in different regions. There are a number of TV streaming apps that are not available outside a specific region. For instance, The UKTVNow is an extremely popular source but it is not accessible outside the United Kingdom. To gain access from anywhere outside the UK, you’ll need a VPN to download and install the UKTVNow.
Talking about Netflix, the USA version brings the most extensive library. If you want to fully enjoy the content on Netflix, you’ll need a VPN. Spotify, HBO, and Hulu are some other examples of Geo-restricted streaming sources. With a reliable VPN like IPVanish, you don’t have to worry about geographical restrictions because a VPN can easily assign a virtual IP address from anywhere in the world.
The good news is that a reliable VPN service is smart enough to assign the right virtual IP address suitable for the content you want to access. For instance, for BBC iPlayer, simply connect to a server in the UK and you can quickly and easily access the content.
4. Access Streaming Apps for Free
As a VPN maintains the privacy of your streaming activities, your ISP and other agencies fail to determine the type of content you access. It means that you can also download, install and use streaming apps that are not accessible otherwise.
The problem is that streaming apps seldom filter the content on the basis of copyright protection. If you don’t use a VPN, your ISP can block the content if it is legally protected under the copyright act. With a VPN, you don’t have to worry about the content type. Nobody can notice even if the content is protected. You don’t have to worry about the legal consequences.
5. No Bandwidth Restrictions
As soon as your ISP notices streaming activities, it tends to limit the bandwidth which means that it provides you with less speed. Most of the ISPs offer their own streaming services. They want people to use their services and discourage other streaming sources. This is why they tend to throttle bandwidth.
In addition, during peak hours, the ISPs tend to limit the internet speed only to the premium users. The connections that are not using the premium packages suffer as a result.
Whatever is the reason, the result is the same, low speed and crippled buffering. It becomes extremely frustrating and you even think of restoring the local cable network.
With a VPN in place, your ISP will fail to detect your streaming activities. As a result, you don’t have to suffer from low speed and crippled buffering.
Local cable networks are safe and less complex but they offer limited options and high prices. Online streaming devices are better but you must not underestimate the significance of a reliable VPN. With a VPN in place, you have endless options without worrying about the copyrights, geo-restrictions, and bandwidth throttle.