VPN to bypass geo restrictions!

  • After the government started rumoring to extend the quarantine to July or possibly August, I decided to invest in trash TV to soothe my brain. They help me switch off and drift my attention elsewhere.


    Step 1 - I bought a VPN service and the choice fell on Express VPN. If you'd like to give it a try, you might as well do so using my referral link - we will both get 30 days free.


    I am able to use Express VPN on my computer, through a software (available for Win, MacOs, Linux), on our tablets through an app (app available for iOS and Android), on our smartphones through an app, too, and even on our old AppleTV by custom setting the DNS!


    There are several configuration options: you could set up your VPN on your router (if compatible), so that the whole network is under VPN. Or you could set up VPN on each device.

    We couldn't go for the router route (no pun intended) because we use Telecentro Sagecom router and didn't want to spenda extra money for a new one. You can also set up a double-tunnel option, i.e. decide that some browsers run with VPN and some not: for example, you can use Chrome under VPN by default and Firefox without VPN, so that you can do your local search/shopping taking advantage of geolocalization.


    The hardest part, for me, was setting up the DDNS service, which is free but not provided by Express VPN (they provide a thorough step-by-step guide, though!).

    You can get it for free through Dynu.com. Basically, since our Internet provider uses dynamic DNS, our IP address continuously change and we should update our Express VPN IP-masking settings regularly. With Dynu, they keep track of your dynamic IP and you can forget about it. Express VPN is not affiliated with Dynu, but their step-by-step guide explained how to set DDNS using Dynu, so it was a no brainer!


    We have the basic Telecentro plan for 50 Mbps in download and our Apple TV works flawlessly. There is no buffering when pausing, which was my main complain when I had used VPN with streaming services in the past (I was using the paid service Nord VPN).


    COST:


    Express VPN starts at 99.95 USD per year and there is a 30-day money back guarantee. I joined with a promo 12 months + 3 months free - that's 6.67 USD per month. It is not the cheapest paid VPN, but this had very good reviews for streaming services.


    I considered also SurfShark - the cheapest of them all, with $1.67 per month (their promo is 2 years + 2 months free for about $47) and Tunnel Bear, which about $40/year (their promo is 3-year for $120)

    SurfShack can be paid in cash at Pago Facil, but it wasn't clear to me how the money back guarantee would have worked if I paid cash. However, given the difference between the blue and the official exchange, it's probably the best deal out there. But I should test it to see if it really performs like Express VPN. My suggestion is to try the service using another payment method, like Paypal or a foreign credit card, and ask for a refund before the 30-day mark. If you are satisfied, pay with PagoFacil in cash.


    I would be interested in hearing your experience if you feel like setting up SurfShark!


    Step 2 - Subscribe to Hulu and get to see plenty of American trash TV shows. I really missed Hoarders, My 600 lbs. life, Flip or Flop, House Hunters in all its flairs (international, renovation, US). For under 6 USD a month with ads, and twice as much with no ads.

    On Netflix, I am accessing the US catalogue and I can finally go back watching The Great British Baking show!

    Amazon Prime seems to have the same the titles as before, but I haven't delved into it yet.

  • Love It or List It

    (2008)

    Overview

    Love It or List It is a Canadian home design TV show currently airing on the W Network and on VIVA. The show is produced by Big Coat Productions and is based in Toronto and other surrounding areas in Ontario, Canada. The show premiered as a primetime program on W Network on September 8, 2008, and has since aired on VIVA Network as well as HGTV US. Read more
  • Love it or list it (reality on home improvements)


    Two hosts: she is an interior designer and he is a real estate agent. They help families who are unhappy with their current house to decided if keep their home (after the interior designer's improvements) or to move to a new place (that the real estate scouted for them).

    Each episode is about one hour long and starts with the current house, what the owners don't like, what they are looking for, their budget and location. Then the hosts come into play: the designer works on the renovations according to the allocated budget, while the real estate agent look for suitable houses in the desired area.


    While the interior designer works with the couple on the renovations, the real estate agents takes them house hunting. At the end the guest family will have to decide what to do with their home: do they love it or list it?


    Fun fact: While most of the show is true, apparently HGTV has the guests film both endings (love it and list it), so that they can pick the one they think the viewer's will like best during post-production.


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