Written by: Roshan Dwivedi
VPNs or Virtual Private Networks primarily in the areas of business and secure transactions. However, in Australia and the rest of the world for that matter, VPNs have found a new use — to watch Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, The Walking Dead, Firefly, Supernatural, The Flash, Agents of SHIELD, Sherlock and tons of other TV shows that are not immediately or locally available in their countries through video on demand streaming services such as Netflix, HBO Now and Hulu. In some circles, such an act is tantamount to piracy while others argue that as long as they’re paid subscribers, such content should be available no matter the location. Now VPN services are under threat down under. Australia seeks to pass a law that could outlaw VPN use.
The intense popularity of the above shows and their immediate unavailability has sparked a massive usage of VPNs in Australia simply for the purpose of watching. It’s estimated that over 200,000 Aussies use VPNs to watch the latest episodes of these shows as well as many other fan favorites in order to keep themselves updated. This is also due to the buzz these shows have generated in social media. What’s a couch potato to do when there’s literally nothing on TV—locally? Oh, they’re available locally alright, several seasons behind, even trumpeted as new.
It is indeed frustrating in itself to see the preview trailer of a new episode of your favorite show on Facebook or Twitter and end up with static and a message saying that the content isn’t available in your location. What’s more frustrating is to see these spoilers when the local content is two seasons behind. Such is the case of UK viewers where Supernatural is one season behind. So to see these trailers, shows and other geo-blocked content, users resort to using VPN services to mask their IP address on their end and convert it to a more acceptable one on the other end enabling users to view and even download blocked content.
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