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Use A Uk Tv Abroad Service Or Vpn Service?
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I live in China, and I watch a lot of TV and listen to music on the internet. I've done quite a bit of research over the years (I've been here a while), and I've notice that there are basically two kinds of services for watching UK TV abroad: Websites targeting a "Watch UK TV Abroad" service, specifically for British expats living overseas, and VPN services, who provide services for clients from a number of countries, looking to access sites from their home countries.

Clarification

I know that was a bit confusing, so here's what I mean. You'll know these "UK TV Abroad" services by their simple sites, badly designed layouts, and cut-and-paste graphics. Honestly, I don't know how they expect to run a professional service with a website like that, but somehow, they manage. I'm sure their service works fine - they seem to be making the top of the results in Google.

VPN services can be used to watch British television among other things. A larger VPN service will provide IP addresses from a number of countries - as few as three or four, or as many as 30+.

Are they the same thing?

Probably so. Basically, to change your IP address, you can use a proxy or a VPN. Not all proxies will get past the regional restrictions of sites like BBC iPlayer or ITV (or Hulu and Netflix for that matter), so watching TV abroad services are probably using virtual private networks. Not all services are explicit about this, but it doesn't really matter, as long as they deliver the TV they promise.

Which service is better?

Well, as you can tell from my first paragraph, I think these sites targeted at UK expats are badly designed and unprofessional looking. However, that doesn't affect how their product works.

The biggest difference I can see is in the price they charge to watch UK TV abroad. Many of these sites advertise 6 to 15 GBP per month. A VPN service will cost you a few dollars less per month - probably about 5 to 10 USD. Not a huge difference, but who wouldn't want to save a few bucks.

Also, some VPN services have live support, and email support is much faster - sometimes within the hour. With a UK IP address from a VPN service, you'll get access to ALL UK streaming sites. Some individual websites make you choose which channel you want to access.

You might also be interested to know that some of the larger VPN services rent out their VPN servers to smaller companies as "resellers". This is just speculation on my part, but considering the cost of maintenance of a VPN server, I doubt that these smaller companies own their own network. They're probably resellers from larger companies. This means that if you sign up with them, you'll be paying more for the exact same thing you'd get with a professional VPN service.

On top of all this, some VPN services offer packages with multiple server locations. This means you could sign up for a VPN with servers in The UK, The USA, Canada, and other European/Asian countries, and access to all their local TV sites. (*cough *cough, Hulu, Netflix, and Pandora). Oh yeah, and with your UK IP address, you'll also be able to access Spotify from anywhere in the world.


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