Which VPN??

Discussion in 'TV & Satellite' started by BASA47, May 30, 2016.

  1. BASA47

    BASA47 Funster

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    Hi Currently in Spain doing a bit of touring around the coast line. Have a Snipe Sat system which I can use to view some of my Sky programmes but miss watching the BBC news. I have read in various forums that some people use their computers/Tablets to view via internet other channels and use VPN's to fool the system that they are viewing in the UK. Which VPN's do you recommend for a Computer or Ipad and are they free?

    Thanks Basa
     
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  2. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    In the past I have used free VPN's but last winter they stopped working for UK TV use and required payment for this service to be enabled.

    I switched to Pure VPN which costs around $50 if you pay upfront for a 2 year deal and worked very well in Portugal.

    https://www.purevpn.com/?gclid=CNnkhMysgc0CFUefGwodAM0MqA

    The other option is Filmon which is free but if you register, which is also free, it is possible to save 1 hour to their server and download later as an mp4 file to your device and watch at your leisure, once downloaded and deleted from their server it is possible to repeat the procedure.

    For a payment of €5 a month it is possible to increase this allowance to 4 hours which we found perfectly adequate.

    https://www.filmon.com/
     
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  3. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    FilmOn is an illegal service, full of unsavoury content and extremely unreliable, suffering from poor network, low quality pictures and beset with user generated obscenities and constant technical problems. I think it highly unlikely they will be in business for much longer, as many ISPs are starting to block them (MEO in Portugal have just imposed a block and Vodaphone have been served a writ by US broadcasters to force them to block)

    Pure VPN is good. My favourite at the moment is now called LibertyShield (https://www.ukproxyserver.com/). A bit more costly at £59 a year, but they also offer dedicated VPN routers, which allows you to run Sky Now, etc. And they are simply brilliant in my experience. More importantly, they have been in business for years, and aren't likely to squeeze an annual subscription out of you and disappear overnight as so many others have.

    With the aid of the VPN, I generally use TVcatchup.com as that has all the main channels on one single platform, and uses adaptive bit rate technology, so you always get the best picture available.

    At our main home in Portugal we use Slingbox, which connects us back to our tv setup at our UK home. We picked up one of their M1 boxes for £85 on Amazon, hooked it up in 5 minutes, and nothing more to pay for full access to everything - picture perfect. Works nicely on iPad, laptop, etc. Of course you need a base back in the UK, or a friend or family member with whom to host it

    My personal favourite is the Slingbox. I prefer to own and control my own solution than to pay rent for something that may disappear overnight through litigation or fraud

    Hope this helps
     
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  4. RowleyBirkinQC

    RowleyBirkinQC Funster

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    I use Tunnel Bear when travelling or when accessing content from other countries, works pretty well.
     
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  5. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    I have not had any of the problems with Filmon that you mention and am not too worried about HD picture quality as we generally watch on the laptop or small TV. I have always been aware that Filmon would never be a permanent solutipn, I am surprised that it has survived so long but will continue to use it as long as it is available, it is the easiest solution for us.

    Not sure how long the VPN solution will work, I have heard whispers that the BBC are investigated ways to block them.

    I have made a note of the catchup service and will investigate, is it possible to record and download?

    How does the slingbox work? Do you need a good internet connection?
     
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  6. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    I think FilmOn hit big problems when there is high demand, e.g. a big sporting event. Their networks have reduced through legal action, and in parts of Portugal and on many networks, it is almost completely unusable. The big problem is bandwidth, as the absolute minimum you will get away with reliably is 1.5Mb/s. Fox and CBS have sued them in the USA, and their owner has left the country rather hurriedly!

    My major gripe with FilmOn is the amount of cr@p content, user generated junk and so forth. I also take exception to paying for a service and then being blasted with ads. That tired old bird from Crawley who wants to meet me for a "no-holds barred" date must have retired years ago!

    The BBC and all the broadcasters use geoblocking, which simply looks at the IP address to which the streams are being called. If it falls outside of the UK, which they use a database called Maxmind to detect, then they simply serve a "access denied" message.

    Identifying a VPN is easy but seldom (so far) implemented. In essence, the service (broadcaster) looks for multiple access from the same IP address. If there are more than, say, 3, then can easily block the service (unless it is a known institutional IP address, such as a college, in which case these are "whitelisted"). In truth, most broadcasters are not particularly clever when it comes to IT, so few have implemented it -as yet.

    Certain VPN providers (the one I mentioned is one of a very few) use clever tricks to disguise their origin. Probably best not to mention here, but they "rotate" IP addresses and obfuscate them very successfully. Others who don't use such techniques tend to disappear from the radar within months of taking that "bargain subscription" from you.

    TVCatchup was the original live rebroadcaster, and used to offer full recording, download, etc. Unfortunately the broadcasters clubbed together and had this part of the service banned by the High Court. The good news was that TVCatchup won the right to rebroadcast most significant content after a major appeal in the EU courts and a ruling in their favour by the Supreme court. I have an interest in that, as I was one of the lawyers involved in the appeal team. They are still the only legal rebroadcasting platform in the UK, and more popular than the broadcaster's own websites (less advertising). I understand that they are in the process of launching a pan European service, again something I can't go into on a forum as they are a client, so I would hold fire to see what happens. From what I have seen of their beta test service, it is mindblowing

    The SlingBox is an entirely different beast. You put it into the place from which you want to watch TV, plug it in to the mains, the internet (minimum upload about 1Mb/s - which is pretty much guaranteed everywhere in the UK), and your TV equipment (ours is plugged into a PVR), and then you access it from any computer, smartphone or tablet connected to the internet anywhere in the world - from which you control everything by an on-screen virtual remote.

    It is called "placeshifting" and works very well indeed once set up. From checking them out, they are part of a huge American corporation (EchoStar) and have been operational for 12 years. I have been using them for the past 6 years and not had a single problem.

    All things considered, I prefer the Slingbox solution for myself until something better comes along. Nobody can block it, I own the receiving and streaming equipment, there are no monthly charges and it is 100% legal. The only downside is the number of people who pile into our place to watch something on Sky or BT sport when there is something popular on, and the need to establish a "beer only" fridge to keep them supplied.
     
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  7. Satandpcguy

    Satandpcguy Funster

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    Not according to Swiss law, which is where they are based (from what I understand)
     
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  8. Satandpcguy

    Satandpcguy Funster

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    The OP could always tune to Astra 1 at 19 east for BBC World News?
    And a lot of BBC News content is available on their website without the need for the VPN - you get slightly different content, and adverts if viewed outside the UK
     
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  9. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    Actually they are incorporated in Los Angeles, where it was originally ruled unlawful, followed by Washington and an increasing number of states (e.g. here). The address is on the court rulings

    Curiously their terms and conditions misquote English law (the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act), thus they appear to be based in LA, using servers rented in Amsterdam (where they capture Freesat signals), hide under English law (on the premise they rent an office address in England) claim to be based in Switzerland (which is subject to the same WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation - with whom I am very closely professionally involved) copyright laws as the rest of the world) and are owned by a fugitive Cypriot who publicly admited to suffering from a bi-polar disorder

    Let's put it like this, I would no more buy a used car from them than I would trust them with my credit card details
     
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  10. olley

    olley Funster

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    Unless your on an unlimited connection, using a slingbox to get UK tv programmes abroad is going to be expensive, isn't?

    Ian
     
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  11. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    A very good point. I am on unlimited internet at both ends, but a quick calculation suggests:-

    1.5 Mb/s ...
    = 187.5 kB/s
    = 11.25 MB/min
    = 675 MB/h

    According to that, I reckon that you would get around 16 hours a month on a 10GB monthly allowance

    However, with BT offering unlimited broadband up to 17mb/s for £7.50/month (2.5Mb/s upload I believe) then it isn't quite so bad
     
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  12. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    As I said I have had no problems with Filmon whatsoever whilst using the service in Portugal via a Vodafone PT unlimited sim from October to May for the last couple of years. I have never encountered any crap content. I do not attempt to watch live TV mainly because of bandwidth problems, which seems to be the norm on both site wifi and the Vodafone network where we are, hence I record and download when the bandwidth is not an issue,it does not matter to me if it takes a couple of hours to download a programme. I only wish to watch the main UK chanels so do not utilise most of the other services that Filmon offer, perhaps this is why I have not come across the problems that you have encountered. I am still watching recorded programmes now in France.

    If the TV catchup site does not offer recording facilities then it would be of no use to me.

    Pure VPN has allowed me to use BBC iplayer recording facilities successfully over the Winter if this service goes under before next Winter then I have spent around £35 for a winters viewing, not a fortune in the great scheme of things. If it does go under then i will look for another.

    The slingbox looks good if you have a UK set up, which we do not, I do not think that my son or daughter would be too pleased if I took remote command of their viewing.

    Thanks for the information but as long as the methods that I have been using carry on then I will continue to use them as I consider them relatively cheap for my purposes.

    The OP will now have plenty of alternatives to ponder.
     
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  13. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    I have successfully set up and stopped direct debits with them without problem twice now.

    Is your big issue with them regarding copyright infringement?
     
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  14. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    Understood. My experiences are all based on viewing the live service of FilmOn, which is pretty awful. Can't comment on the recording/downloading side of things, and happy to take your word on that.

    I have no particular cross to bear with them save that their live service is very poor and they masquerade as a legitimate business. The fact that they honour DD handling is more down to their payment processor than themselves, as they get penalised heavily for "chargebacks". I have no particular qualms on the copyright issue, I happily use many services that operate in grey areas - although I don't shout about it too much

    As I say, I can't expand on what TVCatchup are planning, but I would keep an eye open.

    Pure VPN appear to be one of the good ones from the reputation they have earned. Possibly they are doing the same thing as Libertyshield or perhaps they have not grown big enough yet to have appeared on the radar of the broadcasters. As you say, a £35 loss isn't a disaster given you can enjoy the comforts of home

    There are businesses that offer to host a slingbox for you in the UK. They cost a fortune, though. "UK FreeSat standard package - $714.95 and then $129.95 per month" http://www.thetelly.net/order-now

    As you say, at least the OP has more information on which to base a reasoned decision, and hopefully we have helped in that process
     
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  15. Greenway

    Greenway Funster

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    This is tucked away in the recent BBC white paper, do you think it will ever happen?

    image.png
     
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  16. ukbill

    ukbill Funster

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    Try tunnelbear to scramble ya ip to uk
     
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  17. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    A racing certainty. I know several people involved in a BBC Worldwide project to stream the iPlayer overseas, with proposed charges of 4.99/month. They are currently inviting tenders to distribute content.

    The service is likely to carry most content, but not all, as the BBC may not have the necessary rights to distribute everything outside of the UK.

    It's going to make things expensive for those who don't have a TV licence in the UK, though
     
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  18. olley

    olley Funster

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  19. pyro

    pyro Funster

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  20. clanjones

    clanjones Funster

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    Another vote for PureVPN bought a 2 year subscription and I think it allows you to use it on up to 5 devices which can be multi platform. I use it on Linux, Windows and Android. Very pleased with it.
     
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