In today’s digital age, traveling with technology is almost a requirement for even the most basic suitcase-wielding, city map-slinging traveler. Whether you may be the aforementioned tourist or a long-term expat, the advantages of today’s modern technology have greatly increased the comfort level of the international traveler.
Providing on-the-spot assistance with maps and tips is just the beginning. A remarkable advantage most people seem to overlook is just the simple comfort of feeling at home with a laptop or mobile device. Enter: Netflix. Online streaming services have certainly exploded over the last few years, and the simplicity and popularity of Netflix has taken the market by force. There are around 60 million U.S subscribers to the service, with an estimated 10 billion hours spent watching a month. People love watching their favorite shows and movies on Netflix, whenever and wherever they want. Period.
So if Netflix is so great, what are we talking about? Well, unfortunately, Netflix does not allow users with an IP address(basically a code reporting your location and who you are) different then from within the United States to access the service. Traveling outside the U.S for business or pleasure? Becoming an expat in another country? Want to tune in to your favorite show over the Internet? Nope, not on Netflix. Sorry!
But alas, there is hope on the horizon! As we live in a modern world with modern technology, it is natural that alternatives arise and help users work around silly location-based restrictions. There are primarily two different services out there for travelers looking for secure, fast connections to content back home.
VPNs(or Virtual Private Networks) are readily available for users looking to bypass stingy location restrictions by Netflix. VPNs are easy to setup and use, and require nothing more than a reasonable 5-8 bucks a month. Most VPNs are very secure, reliable and offer great connection speeds. VPN’s are typically recommended for users looking to access basic U.S services when abroad. To get a better understanding of how to and which particular service to use, check out bestvpn.com for in-depth guides and rankings of top VPN services.
Another similar service, yet relatively new and unknown is SmartDNS. This service operates in a similar fashion to a VPN, but with more support for multiple devices and relatively cheaper options compared to some VPN services(3-5 bucks a month), Smart DNS is also a solid option for people traveling outside of the U.S. The service itself is very easy to setup and usually takes no more than a few minutes. A SmartDNS would be recommended for someone who maybe has multiple devices that they wish to use for streaming or other services.
So which is better for you? Only you will know! The advantages of both are that they tend to both be secure connections to American servers, as well as fast speeds without the unpleasant “lagging” some users may experience with other services. VPN and SmartDNS services certainly offer users the comfort and ease that is so highly desirable in the travel world.
So whether you’re enjoying the view of the French Riviera in St. Tropez, picking peppers in
Padron, or fishing in Sardinia, take comfort in knowing that secure and reliable Netflix access is just a few mouse clicks away!
Thomas Ujj is a expat and IT enthusiast with a passion for security and privacy. Passion doesn’t always equal paychecks, so he writes for SmartDNS.com as well.