How to Choose the Best VPN for Buffer-Free Streaming

A VPN is a virtual private network that gives you a protected connection when using a public WiFi network. The abbreviation explains what it’s doing; it’s virtual because no physical connection is required. It gives you privacy and protection through encryption. And last, it’s networked because you can connect several devices to the network. Using a VPN means your activity is encrypted, making it difficult for third parties to track or hack your connection.

A VPN conceals your IP address from everyone, including your service provider; therefore, hackers won’t be able to see or steal your data. Different types of VPNs used are:

  1. Remote access VPNs are used by employees who work remotely, and employees can connect to the company network safely. Home users can also use this type of connection.
  2. Site-to-site VPNs merge two networks on different sites; if a company has offices in different countries, these VPNs are ideal. The site-to-site can be grouped into two categories: Intranet-based – this type of connection is suitable for companies with several offices connected via the same Site-to-Site VPN siteExtranet-based VPN is when companies use a Site-to-Site VPN to connect to another company.
  1. A cloud VPN allows users to connect to a cloud-based service securely; cloud providers offer these services. Cloud VPNs use the same protocols as traditional VPNs.
  2. Mobile VPNs connect users to public networks over an encrypted connection, typically through a cellular network. Mobile VPNs are available as standalone apps or can be integrated into MDM solutions.
  3. SSL VPN is a type of VPN that uses SSL protocol to secure the connection between the user and the VPN server.

VPN and Streaming

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In this technological era, nothing is more annoying than staring at the buffering wheel going round and round on your frozen screen. Buffering happens when the device collects a portion of the media file before playing it.

There are several reasons why buffering happens, but not everyone knows why. Below, we explain some of them:

  • Throttling is when your ISP intentionally slows down streaming services to ease network traffic.
  • Internet Speed: slow internet speeds cannot keep up with the demand for streaming high-definition content.
  • Network Congestion: during peak times, there will be a lot of network traffic; this can be at weekends, evenings, or on release dates of popular shows.
  • Weak WiFi signal: if you are far from your router, the weak signal can slow transmission and create buffering.
  • Cache Buffering: when the cache is complete, it can slow down data retrieval and create buffering. You should flush your cache from time to time.

So, how does a VPN help with buffering? Installing a VPN like Surfshark VPN can help, but how? There are several ways that a VPN can prevent buffering as explained below::

  • Reducing Throttle: Your VPN encrypts your online traffic, making it difficult for ISPs to slow down your streaming.
  • Public WiFi networks are notorious for unreliable connections, creating an unpleasant viewing experience. A VPN will create a secure tunnel, ensuring smooth streaming.
  • Data Compression: some VPNs use a compression technique to minimize the amount of data transmitted, which means faster loading times.
  • A high-quality VPN will help detect and throttle VPN traffic if it supports all the updated standards.

Why You Need A VPN

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A VPN can play a huge role in your online safety, whether working on a company or personal network. A VPN is also helpful in circumventing geo-specific restrictions usually applied to streaming sites. The other benefit of using a VPN is the encryption of personal data, especially when you have to use public WiFi networks.

What to Consider When Choosing a VPN

A high-quality VPN will help with some buffering issues, such as network throttling and congestion, but how do you know which one is right for you? Here are some factors to consider when choosing a VPN.

Do a speed test of your VPN on your device to determine whether or not it will be able to handle HD streaming. Most VPNs have a speed test tool you can use to test the download and upload speed. Alternatively, you can use free testing sites on the internet; remember always to run two tests, one with the VPN enabled and the other with the VPN disabled.

Look for a VPN with streaming capability that is compatible with popular streaming services like Hulu. Read the online reviews and test their compatibility during the free trial period.

Check that the VPN is compatible with your devices and smart TVs. For example, some Apple Smart TVs are not compatible with VPNs.

Choose a VPN with servers in various locations; some streaming content providers, like HBO, have geo-restrictions on their libraries. Suppose your VPN provider has servers close to the content servers you regularly access; that’s better. If the VPN provider has several servers in your location, they can help share the user load, which means faster loading times and less buffering.

Choose a high-quality and updated VPN that is properly encrypted; it will be more difficult for ISPs to detect the VPN. ISPs have started to block content or even slow down traffic when they detect VPN use.

Make Sure Your VPN Works Faster

Sometimes, your VPN can contribute to buffering and throttling; here are a few tips to ensure your VPN works optimally and gives you the best results.

  • Update your VPN protocol settings; some protocols sacrifice performance for security, and others do vice versa.
  • Restart your device when your VPN connection is slow. You can also try switching devices.
  • Switch to a wired connection; if WiFi gives you hassles, switch to a wired connection for more stability.

Lastly

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VPNs are becoming essential for our daily lives on the internet; they are like an extra layer of protection. They can protect us with simple things like our communications with others. In this time of data exploitation, where hackers have been known even to clone WhatsApp chats, it is better to be safe than sorry.