The internet age is making the retail world obsolete as the whole world is now online. Whether it is playing games, chatting, video-calling, streaming music or movies or TV shows, etc. the internet has revolutionized everything. In Canada, you must be familiar with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, etc.
What if we told you you’re still not on the “world” wide web, because there are geo-restrictions. As infinite as the content on your site may look, it is still limited for some and not made for all. You see this a lot more in streaming services.
We know you can stream Netflix in Canada, but you’re streaming Netflix Canada. That means it differs from Netflix US, UK, Asia, etc. This is just regional content restrictions. There are also geo-restrictions on sites like HBO Max, Hulu, Sling TV, etc. But through the power of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), you can unblock HBO Max Canada and stream their features.
The relation between VPN and streaming services goes a long way. VPNs were created for offices and companies to secure their work data. It became cybersecurity’s preferred tool to combat cyberattacks. But later, its needs grew from work to fun.
To understand the depth of how VPNs bypass geo-restrictions, we write this article to explain some of the technicalities that go into bringing the global streaming services to Canada (virtually). If you’re looking to use a VPN for binging new streaming services, we’ll include a list of our preferred choices, to begin with. To start, we must first understand why there are geo-restricted streaming services in the first place.
Streaming Services that are geo-restricted in Canada
The following streaming services are unavailable for Canadians to stream:
- HBO Max
- Peacock TV
- Sling TV
- YouTube TV
It’s a shame to see such competitive and long-lasting players like Hulu not open their way for Canadian streamers. You must be wondering why this is happening, the reason for which we will discuss below.
Why are streaming services geo-restricted?
When a production company partners with a streaming service to show its content, it binds a few important rules. If we take the example of Netflix Canada against Netflix US, we see a difference in suggestions. This is because the production houses choose the markets in which they believe they can maximize viewership. They have their stats and research done beforehand on why a specific market would be more profitable than the other.
Netflix must abide by these rules and simply follow them. That is when you sometimes get the error message “This content is not available in your region”. It’s a bummer but the company knows which region they benefit most out of. It’s like expecting a 4th of July movie to have maximum viewership from Asia (highly unlikely).
Another important thing to note is when we access these sites, our IP address (which is like an internet address of ours) shows which region we’re logging in from. This helps Netflix separate the right content for our region. This information is vital because it will help you understand VPNs much more clearly.
How does a VPN help?
A VPN masks your IP address, making you anonymous to the site. VPNs have cloud or physical servers in markets that you want to access. It takes your IP address, connects it to a server, gives you a regional IP address, and then poses as the regional user, the streaming site gives you access.
As Dr. Strange said, “It’s a simple spell but quite unbreakable”. The VPN can give you regional access to any site you desire. Many VPNs have evolved over the years and planted servers across the globe. In just a few simple taps, you can virtually jump from Canada to the USA to the UK to Australia, and more.
Is this unethical?
Sorry to play the ethics card, but it is considered unethical. Streaming services are suffering a loss of content audience due to the rise in VPNs. That is why these services are equipping themselves with strong cybersecurity tools to reduce the number of VPN-aided IP addresses.
Netflix has been hard at work, trying to detect such IP addresses and it has successfully foiled the efforts of many VPNs. Of course, the VPN companies are hard at work trying to come up with ways to fight back. This is why, if you do buy a VPN service, be sure to check its testing dates, whether they are updated or not. Below, we will share the 7 best VPNs you can use to access geo-restricted sites.
Best VPNs in Canada
Out of the many tried and tested in the market, we find these 7 picks to be best for streaming purposes. They are:
- IP Vanish
- Private Internet Access
Using any of these, you’ll be able to stream new sites and uncover newer content to watch. VPNs will soon be the tool of the future as they will protect your devices against all hackers and cyberattacks.