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Can a VPN help you to stream video faster online?

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

28 February 2014

We live in a world where almost everything is accessible at the mere touch of a button. We are constantly connected to the internet via our phones, our tablets and our computers, and content of all types is available to us at any time of the day or night. We can book tickets, check bank accounts, video call with relatives across the globe and even remotely control things like our fridges over the net. Standard net connections in homes run at around 16MB/s, and corporate WiFi connections tend to be even better.

So why, oh why, is it still a complete hassle to watch a video on YouTube or Netflix without knocking it down to the worst resolution possible, which is basically like watching it in Claymation?

Well, in the last few weeks, there have been allegations that certain ISPs are intentionally throttling these services, or at the very least, allowing peering links with certain companies to become over saturated, leaving their own services as the faster ones. This is in violation of the FCC’s Open Internet rules, which were recently struck down as “unconstitutional” by a federal government but are currently being rewritten in the hopes that they will be adopted again.

However, without any solid evidence that this is the case, we cannot truly speculate; we can, however, be sure that the performance of certain video streaming networks is getting worse on certain ISPs, especially the larger and ever-growing ones.

So what can be done in this situation? How can you avoid the frustrating lag that comes from watching a hi-res video on YouTube?

Using a VPN to stream faster video

VPNs have been shown to help with better streaming of video, as a VPN service can route you away from the more congested servers in your area and towards servers that are relatively idle, in another part of your country or even in another country altogether.

This works because a VPN can hide your IP address, and in the case of the SurfEasy VPN, lets you use an IP address from a different location altogether, effectively tricking the internet into thinking you’re somewhere else.

When you stream a video, then, you won’t be forced to use the server close to you, and can access different servers that are less congested. This means that your video will be able to stream quicker, and you won’t get that irritating lag halfway through House of Cards, just as something spectacular is happening.

While free VPNs often don’t give the quality of service you need to ensure that this works, the SurfEasy paid unlimited VPN plan is only $4.99 a month and works on up to 5 devices. You can even try it for free before you commit. Try your first 500mb for free today, and let’s see if we can get you streaming video faster!

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