Tag Archives: AnchorFree

Free Expat Shield – Easily Watch BBC iPlayer From Outside The UK.

My very good friend, Michael F., with whom I share similar views on life, technology, and related issues, often forwards articles/announcements/videos etc., that I’ve managed to miss – but, wished I hadn’t. I can easily say that Michael keeps me on my toes – so, thank you Michael.

A few weeks back though, I had no access* to a particular documentary suggested by Michael – Surviving Progress. Since the documentary “explores how we are repeatedly destroyed by ‘progress traps’ – alluring technologies which serve immediate need but rob us of our long term future”, it was a “must see.”

So then, how to overcome the viewing restrictions imposed by the BBC iPlayer* since this super service can only be viewed in the UK?

Here’s an example of what you’ll see, should you visit BBC iPlayer from outside the UK. Bummer!

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Still, you can’t keep a good man down – and, I’m a good man – sort of.   Smile So, on the hunt I went for a VPN that would provide me with a UK address – which, as it turns out was very simple exercise.

AnchorFree, the developer’s of the ad-supported VPN service Hotspot Shield, which I’ve reported on a number of times, offers a free additional VPN – Expat Shield (ad-supported) – specifically designed to provide users with a UK IP address.

Following an easy straightforward install, Expat Shield was quick to launch and showed little or no degradation in connection speed – more on this in a moment.

Once the application is up and running, you’ll find a new icon in the Windows System Tray. Clicking on the icon provides access to a selection of input commands, as shown in the following screen captures.

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Having viewed the Surviving Progress documentary earlier, for this review, I watched the full length feature film, The Four Feathers –

“England, 1884. When British officer Harry Faversham resigns right before his regiment is sent to fight in Sudan, three friends and his fiancee each award him with a white feather to symbolize his cowardice. Disowned by his father, renounced by his fiancee and disgraced in society, Harry is determined to prove his bravery. Thrilling adventure based on the classic novel.”

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What an enjoyable experience! The film streamed perfectly – no stuttering or slowdown of any description.

Since the BBC is by far and away my favorite TV network, I’ve made good use of Expat Shield. If you’re a British expat and you miss the BBC, then consider adding Expat Shield to your system. I think you’ll be very pleased with this free solution.

Fast facts:

Get a UK IP address.
Secure your web session, data, online shopping, and personal information online with HTTPS encryption.
Protect yourself from identity theft online.
Hide your IP address for your privacy online.
Access all content privately without censorship; bypass firewalls.
Protect yourself from snoopers at Wi-Fi hotspots, hotels, airports, corporate offices.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista and Win 7.

Download at: ExpatShield

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Filed under downloads, Freeware, Online Privacy, Software

Hulu For You – No Matter Where You Live!

Update June 25, 2009: Hulu is now blocking all proxies, so the following information is now out of date.

In order to enjoy the benefits of Hulu, the free website that offers commercial-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies from NBC, Fox and other networks and studios, your computer must be located, or appear to be located, in the United States.

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But why do you have to live in the U.S. in order to enjoy the benefits of Hulu? At least in Canada, where I live, it all comes down to licensing issues with Canada’s major television networks.

There’s not much point in ranting and raving about the fact that the Canadian government supports a non-competitive environment that restricts MY free choice. I’m curious though, as to how a government can support a “dead” business model, still being pushed on Canadian consumers by mainstream media corporations.

I finally got fed up with messages such as this, “We’re sorry, but the video you selected isn’t available from your location”, when attempting to watch a video offered by Hulu and other similar sites, and went on an Internet hunt to find a tech solution to this aggravating problem.

Surprisingly it took only minutes to find a free solution offered by AnchorFree, the developers of Hotspot Shield, an application whose main purpose is to protect your security, privacy and anonymity while surfing the Internet by:

Securing your web session with HTTPS encryption

Hiding your IP address for your privacy online

Securing your connection at both your home Internet network and public Internet networks (both wired and wireless)

Allowing you to access all content privately without censorship

Protecting you from snoopers at Wi-Fi hotspots, hotels, airports, corporate offices and ISP hubs

According to the developers “Hotspot Shield creates a virtual private network (VPN) between your laptop or iPhone, and our Internet gateway. This impenetrable tunnel prevents snoopers, hackers, ISP’s, from viewing your web browsing activities, instant messages, downloads, credit card information or anything else you send over the network”.

Now for the good news: If you are in a country that restricts your access to Hulu, not only does Hotspot Shield perform all of the functions listed earlier, but most importantly, for accessing Hulu, it makes your computer appear to be located in the United States.

Hotspot Shield isn’t something you’d want to leave running all the time, since this is an ad supported application and it puts banner ads on every web page that you view, but as a Hulu access solution, it works well and is easily turned on/off via the system tray icon.

Incidentally, Hotspot Shield was named as one of the best free applications of 2008 by PC Magazine.

I have heard good news about a similar application UltraSurf – a program developed to bypass the Great Firewall of China, but to this point I haven’t had a chance to test drive this one.

Some forum comments on Hotspot Shield:

Works good, greetings from Mexico City

Works perfectly in Tokyo, Japan on Mac OS X Leopard. And fast!

Tip – to everyone outside the states watching Hulu through Hotspot shield, connect to Hotspot, start watching the movie, and then disconnect, it should work just fine.

One caveat: I don’t have the ability to test this application in all countries so it may be, that it may not work in all locations.

I have to tell you though, I’m having a terrific time watching Hi-Def movies, videos and TV shows on a 22 inch wide screen monitor – finally!

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, Mac OS X (10.5 Leopard), (10.4 Tiger)

Download at: Anchorfree

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Filed under Browser add-ons, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Hulu, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Internet TV, Living Life, Software, Windows Tips and Tools