Best VPN for North Korea to Fight Internet Censorship

The secretive “hermit country” known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) has something of an unusual internet infrastructure. The major cities, especially Pyongyang, are wired to offer access to tourists, workers, and the general population. Outside of urban centers, though, most North Koreans have little use for the world wide web.

If you’re visiting North Korea, though, you’ll want to take every precaution to keep your identity and your data safe. Problems like internet censorship do exist in North Korea, though tourists rarely report problems accessing the sites they want. Even without these restrictions, though, it’s a good idea to lock down your data, as you never know who’s watching in this totalitarian state.

How to Find the Best VPN for North Korea

There are countless VPNs on the market today, most of which promise all the best features at the lowest possible price. How do you separate the marketing hype from the real deal, and how do you know which features are necessary for having the best online experience in North Korea?

We’ve simplified the research process by providing a list of selection criteria below. We used these features to narrow down the list of popular VPNs to find the ones best suited for use in North Korea. Follow the guidelines, pick a VPN, then use it as soon as you get on the plane for the ultimate in online security.

  • Jurisdiction – Where does your VPN operate from? Make sure it’s a user-friendly region, otherwise your privacy could be secretly compromised.
  • Server distribution – The more servers a VPN operates, the better your chances of finding a fast connection.
  • SpeedVPNs are often slower than unencrypted internet connections, which is why you need a service that puts a high priority on speed.
  • Traffic restrictions – Some VPNs block P2P networks and torrent traffic or restrict how much data you can download.
  • Zero-logging policy – Data that passes through a VPN’s network can be stored, including detailed traffic logs, time stamps, or DNS requests.

Can You Get a North Korean IP Address with a VPN?

One of the benefits of using a VPN is to switch your IP address to a virtual location–one situated in any country in the world. There is a limitation as to which country you can connect to, as your VPN has to run servers physically located in that area. Thanks to the North Korean government, however, this is impossible. No matter which service you use, you can’t get a North Korean IP address. Many unscrupulous providers still claim to offer this ability, but don’t believe it for once second!

The good news is you don’t really need a particular IP to use the internet safely from inside North Korea. Any anonymous IP address will do, just so long as the VPN encrypts data before it leaves your device. Simply choose the fastest server, connect, and you’re safe and sound.

Best VPNs for North Korea

We tested the top services on the market to find out which ones are best to use in North Korea. The results are below, ranked in order of usefulness. Please note, you’ll want to complete signup with your VPN of choice before crossing into the DPRK’s borders.

1 – ExpressVPN – Fast and User-Friendly

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest and easiest to use VPNs on the market. You’ll get top speeds from nearly all of the company’s 2,000 servers in 94 countries, including dozens of locations throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Even if you’re connecting from the remote North Korea, ExpressVPN will give you a reliable low-lag connection every time. Just in case things feel sluggish, you can also run a speed test from within the ExpressVPN software to experiment with the fastest connections.

Privacy is another of ExpressVPN’s strongest selling points. Data is protected with 256-bit AES encryption and backed by a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. There’s also both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch to deliver a reliable safety net in case of an accidental disconnect, not to mention unlimited bandwidth and easy and unlimited server switching for all users.

Check out our full ExpressVPN review for more info about the VPN’s amazing features!

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2 – NordVPN – Fast Speeds, Powerful Protection

NordVPN has the largest server network of any mainstream VPN. This fact alone makes it a fantastic choice for all of your VPN needs. The list is constantly growing, but right now users have access to over 5,080 servers in 62 different countries, occupying every continent except Antarctica! You’ll always be able to connect to a fast server with NordVPN, and you’ll get extra protection through double encryption, onion over VPN, and anti-DDoS servers, too.

NordVPN provides an incredibly thorough zero-logging policy that covers everything from bandwidth to time stamps, traffic to IP addresses. Your activity is never recorded or shared with third parties, which helps keep your privacy intact, even in restrictive, surveillance-heavy countries. Backing these features is 256-bit AES encryption on all data, an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a host of customizable encryption features.

Learn more about the NordVPN experience in our full NordVPN review.

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3 – PrivateVPN – Stable and Secure

PrivateVPN is a strong and reliable service that lets you keep all of your devices nice and secure anywhere in the world. With the VPN running, you’ll be able to safely stream, surf, and download content from the web with full anonymity. PrivateVPN accomplishes this without sacrificing speed or ease of use, making it one of the best VPNs for your daily activities. You’ll find it also works perfectly on smartphones, desktop PCs, and even Fire TV thanks to a lightweight and streamlined interface.

PrivateVPN runs a network of over 100 servers in 56 different countries that deliver all the speed, security, and location variety you need. The service locks down data with 256-bit AES encryption, keeps your connection safe with an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection, and features a zero logging policy on all traffic, as well.

Read more about PrivateVPN’s useful features in our full PrivateVPN review.

4 – CyberGhost – Secure, Safe, Fast

CyberGhost offers just the right combination of speed, security, and location variability, achieving a balance few other services manage to accomplish. CyberGhost is also one of the fastest and most reliable VPNs on the market, delivering great connection speeds around the world so you can stream HD videos or watch live sports with ease. They offer a network of over 2,400 servers in 60 different countries, along with mobile and desktop apps that make it easy to enjoy a secure internet experience.

CyberGhost’s privacy features keep you secure with 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. All of these work together to hide your identity each time you connect. With CyberGhost on your device, you can use the internet safely and securely from any country in the world, including North Korea!

Learn more about CyberGhost’s great features in our complete CyberGhost review.

Get a 71% discount on CyberGhost’s two-year plan, for payments as low as $3.50 per month.

5 – PureVPN – Privacy and Much More

PureVPN does more than just encrypt your data and protect your identity. The service gives you full and instant access to anti-virus protection, malware shields, app blocking features, and DNS website filtering, all wrapped into one secure and convenient package. All you have to do is download the VPN app, and you’re set! It’s perfect for anyone who needs thorough and complete protection without all the hassle.

PureVPN also offers useful security features that keep you safe online, as well. It starts with a zero-logging policy on traffic, an automatic kill switch, solid 256-bit AES encryption on all data, and DNS leak protection. These work alongside the company’s self-owned network of 750 servers in 180 different countries, providing a ton of options for fast, safe, and secure connections.

OFFER: Take advantage of an amazing 73% discount on a 2-year plan, just $2.95 per month! You can even try it risk-free with the company’s seven day money back guarantee.

More Privacy Measures to Stay Safe in North Korea

VPNs do wonderful things for online privacy and security. They make it easy to stay safe by encrypting data, hiding your identity, and just generally providing a safe experience each time your devices connect to the web. In places like North Korea, though, it doesn’t hurt to take a few extra precautions, especially if you need to deal with sensitive information.

Use the Tor Browser for Extra Privacy

Tor leverages onion routing to wrap data in multiple layers of encryption. Each layer is stamped with an address that tells the node where to send the packet next. This happens countless times as data bounces through the Tor network. When the final layer is peeled away, the data is sent to its final destination.

Tor’s randomized routing, combined with heavy data encryption, make it an incredibly useful privacy tool that can crack even the toughest censorship walls. It’s also extremely difficult to track, allowing for full and nearly impenetrable online anonymity. Best of all, anyone can use this technology by downloading the free Tor Browser on their device.

It’s worth noting that the Tor Browser isn’t built for bandwidth-heavy usage. You won’t be able to access most online videos, torrents or P2P downloads, or anything using JavaScript or HTML5. If you need to access simple information or send an e-mail, though, Tor is the best way to do it securely.

Learn more about the Tor browser, including full installation instructions, by following our guide: How to Use Tor: A Guide to Getting Started.

Shadowsocks (SOCKS5 Proxy)

Shadowsocks was developed to allow free and open internet access in China, but it works perfectly as a privacy tool in other areas, as well. It operates by using the SOCKS5 protocol (Socket Secure 5) which transfers data by using a remote proxy server. SOCKS5 also provides a layer of authentication to make sure only the intended user can access the personal proxy, giving it similar qualities to a VPN.

To use this method you’ll need access to a shadowsocks server, which either requires deploying your own or renting an expensive external service. Once things are up and running, shadowsocks provides amazing access to the web that’s arguably better and faster than a VPN.

SSH Tunnel

SSH tunnels are a method of wrapping data packets in an extra layer of SSH encryption, allowing them to pass through filtering services like the Great Firewall. SSH is a widely used protocol with a number of legitimate purposes (such as securely sending files from hosts to servers), which means it’s extremely unlikely to ever be blocked by any government agency–even in North Korea.

The downside to SSH tunnels is that they can be slow. The technology wasn’t designed for large amounts of traffic, so if you’re downloading anything more complex than a basic website, you’re in for a long wait. Still, it’s surprisingly easy to make an SSH tunnel on Linux and Mac systems (Windows users will have to do some extra work), making it a viable alternative for Twitter access in China in case VPNs won’t work.

SSL/TLS Tunnel

Online shopping, e-mail, banking, and other services that deal with private data use SSL to offer secure connections through HTTPS, which makes them somewhat immune to censorship. By utilizing an SSL tunnel, you can wrap your traffic in encryption to make it look like a standard SSL connection that’s indistinguishable from regular encrypted traffic.

To use an SSL tunnel you’ll need to download the stunnel software. It’s not easy or quick to set up, and you’ll need a fair amount of technical knowledge to pull it off. An alternative is to use a VPN service that offers SSL tunneling through their software. NordVPN is one of the best mainstream VPNs that delivers this feature.

Conclusion

Finding and using a VPN in North Korea isn’t as difficult as you might think. Fortunately for tourists visiting the DPRK, the country does little in the way of online surveillance or censorship. You can’t be too careful, though, which is why getting a VPN in North Korea is a smart move.

Planning a trip to the hermit country? What other security measures will you take to lock down your device’s connection to the internet within North Korea? Tell us all about it below!

Read Best VPN for North Korea to Fight Internet Censorship by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best Alternatives to Terrarium TV on Kodi

Terrarium TV is dead. The developer shut down the service in September 2018 due to the current climate surrounding pirated content online, especially with Kodi. Within days of the announcement countless clones and “patched” versions of the software started to appear, each as fake as the last.

Terrarium TV may still work on your device, but the clock is ticking on how long that will last. Your best bet is to look for a reliable alternative to Terrarium TV as soon as possible, otherwise you risk losing access to your TV show and movie streams. Below we discuss some of the best alternatives to Terrarium, focusing on the Kodi environment and its top TV and movie streaming add-ons.

Keep Streaming Activity Secret with a Reliable VPN

The only real drawback to using Kodi is that the software has drawn scrutiny from governments, content rights holders, and ISPs. This has led to a number of users having their connections throttled for no apparent reason. If a company detects Kodi traffic, it’s very possible they might assume you’re accessing content illegally, even if you’re not!

The best way to combat this is to use a good VPN. Virtual private network services create a private tunnel between you and the internet, all thanks to a little thing called encryption. Each time you connect through a VPN, your identity is anonymized and your traffic hidden behind an obscuring veil of cryptography. This allows you to surf freely and stream anything you like, all without worrying about copyright infringement or ISP throttling.

Choosing the Right VPN

How in the world do you decide which VPN is best for Kodi? We’ve simplified the process by outlining the most important qualities you need in a VPN, followed by our recommended service. Use the information to keep yourself safe every time you stream on Kodi.

  • Fast speeds – Only the best VPNs provide fast speeds.
  • Server network distribution – VPNs with a huge server network are usually better than the competition.
  • Wide device support – Make sure your VPN runs on smartphones and tablets alike.
  • Zero-logging policy – Only sign up with VPNs that have a strict zero-logging policy

The Best VPN for Kodi – IPVanish

IPVanish has all the best privacy and security features Kodi users need to stay secure. It delivers incredibly fast speeds (perfect for streaming), has amazingly strong privacy policies (great for security), excellent encryption, and a huge network of 1000+ servers in over 60 different countries. As soon as you sign up, you’ll have full access to all of Kodi’s amazing add-ons without having to worry about ISP throttling.

Security features built into the IPVanish experience include DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch, two features that help keep your identity and real location hidden. Data sent from your device is secured with 256-bit AES encryption to make it unreadable to third parties, and IPVanish’s zero-logging policy on all traffic ensures no one can get their hands on that data once it leaves their servers.

IPVanish offers a 7-day money back guarantee which means you have a week to test it risk-free. Please note that Addictive Tips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan, taking the monthly price down to only $4.87/mo.

Terrarium TV – Before Installing Alternatives

Before we start looking for a good alternative to Terrarium TV, we’ll need to do a few quick maintenance tasks on Kodi, just to make sure everything is ready to go.

What Did Terrarium TV Do?

Terrarium TV was, for years, a perfect solution for the rising costs of cable TV. Users could install the service and gain instant access to a massive variety of free TV and movie streams, many of which were in full 1080p HD. The app worked on Kodi, was fully compatible with Android, and could even be installed on Fire Stick with a quick sideloading process.

In addition to its streaming features, Terrarium TV was also extremely easy to use. The interface was smooth and responsive, and it came with a variety of extras that made users rely on it for their everyday entertainment, including the following:

  • Bookmark TV series and movies
  • Display sources in order of video quality
  • Download files to view offline
  • Full support for subtitles in multiple languages
  • Native Chromecast support
  • New TV show episode notifications
  • Sort TV shows by country or language
  • Support for Trakt.tv and Real-Debrid

Removing Terrarium TV from Kodi

A best practice for third party Kodi add-ons is to uninstall them the minute they’re shut down. Terrarium TV technically still works, but with the number of fakes popping up around the internet, you’re better off getting rid of the deprecated extension as soon as possible, as it’s only a matter of time before it stops working entirely.

Uninstalling Kodi add-ons is pretty simple, and the process is no different for Terrarium TV. If you need a hand getting rid of the outdated extension, see our guide on how to uninstall Kodi add-ons the right way.

Prepare Kodi for New Content

Kodi can manage and download repositories on its own–it’s one of the many things that makes the platform great. In order to do this, you need to toggle a setting to allow external sources to be accessed. This is necessary for installing any kind of third party content, including alternatives to Terrarium TV. In case your version of Kodi doesn’t have this switched on already, follow the steps below to get it ready to go.

  1. Open Kodi and click on the gear icon to enter the System menu
  2. Go to System Settings > Add-ons
  3. Toggle the slider next to the Unknown sources option
  4. Accept the warning message that pops up

Be Sure to Secure Your Device with a VPN

It’s impossible to overstress the importance of using a VPN with your Kodi installation. Not only does it protect you from invasive surveillance programs, it also ensures your data remains secure even in the event of a cyber attack. Once you’ve chosen a service to use (see our recommendation above), follow our guide on how to install a VPN on Kodi to get everything set up and ready to go.

Is it Safe to Install Kodi Add-ons?

The Kodi media center is completely free, safe, and legal to use. It doesn’t contain or provide direct access to any content whatsoever, making it exempt from any kind of copyright infringement laws. Add-ons and repositories for Kodi are generally safe to use, too, though some third party content does cross the line into questionable territory.

As long as you stick to official content and reliable repositories, you’re perfectly safe on Kodi. Taking basic security precautions is always a good idea, however. Keep your virus scanner active at all times, and make sure your operating system’s firewall is switched on. Also make sure your VPN is active and connected each time you look for add-ons or run Kodi itself.

Disclaimer: Unofficial Kodi add-ons may access videos and streams that are unlawful to view in your area. Addictive Tips does not condone piracy or any attempts at circumventing content regulations using Kodi, VPNs, or other methods.

Alternatives t0 Terrarium TV – Replacement Kodi Add-ons

While no service completely replicates the awesome features and resources of Terrarium TV, there are some Kodi add-ons that come remarkably close. Below are some of the best alternatives to Terrarium TV you can find.

Maverick TV

The Maverick repo is one of the better Kodi resources for movies, TV shows, live sports, and so much more. It’s safe, reliable, and surprisingly easy to use. Once you install it you’ll have access to a massive variety of live and on-demand streams, many of which are in full HD and ready to go.

Follow the guide below to install the Maverick repository, followed by the Maverick TV add-on itself.

  1. Open Kodi and click the gear icon to enter the System menu.
  2. Go to System Settings > Add-ons.
  3. Toggle the slider next to the Unknown sources option. Make sure it’s white and to the right, allowing you to install third party repos.
  4. Accept the warning message that pops up.
  5. Open a web browser and go to the official Maverick repository.
  6. Download repository.maverickrepo-3.5.zip and save it somewhere convenient.
  7. Back in Kodi, go to the main menu and choose Add-ons.
  8. Click the box icon and select Install from Zip File.
  9. Navigate to where you saved repository.maverickrepo.zip
  10. From the open box menu, choose Install from repository.
  11. Scroll down and open the MaverickTV repository.
  12. Enter the Video add-ons folder.
  13. Look for the Maverick TV add-on in the list and click to install.
  14. Once the installation process completes, launch Maverick TV from the main add-ons menu, then enjoy your free TV and movie streams!

Wumpa Fruit

The Wumpa Fruit add-on is filled with movies, live streams, TV shows, and themed collections of content. The latter is the most valuable part of the extension, as it gives you fast access to new kinds of media, making discovery a breeze. With Wumpa Fruit, you’ll be able to watch popular movies, TV shows divided by genre and rating, box sets of kids content, entire movie series, sports archives, and a lot more.

Wumpa Fruit is created and maintained by the Bandicoot Builds team. To install it, you’ll need to add the group’s repository first, then get the add-on packaged inside. The whole process doesn’t take more than a few minutes.

  1. Open a browser window and visit http://coots.co/bcrepo/
  2. Look for repository.bandicoot-#.#.#.zip
  3. Download the zip file and save it somewhere easy to access, such as your desktop.
  4. Open Kodi and go to the main menu. Select the Add-ons entry on the navigation bar.
  5. Click the open box icon and scroll to select Install from Zip File.
  6. Navigate to the file you downloaded above and install it right away.
  7. Return to the open box menu and select Install from Repository.
  8. Scroll down and select the Bandicoot Builds Repository listed in yellow.
  9. Navigate to the Video add-ons folder inside. You should see Wumpa Fruit listed near the top. Click Wumpa Fruit, then install to add it to your system.

UK Turk Playlists

UK Turk Playlists is one of the Kodi community’s favorite resources for sports, movies, TV shows, foreign films, live TV, and everything in-between. It has long been a reliable add-on, and continues to thrive despite other veteran resources dropping off the face of the Earth. This fact alone makes UK Turk a fantastic replacement for Terrarium TV, though the sheer volume of content it offers also makes it worth installing in its own right.

To learn more about UK Turk or to install the add-on, check out our complete guide to installing UK Turk Playlists.

Not Sure Add-on

It’s an odd name for a Kodi add-on, but it works! Not Sure is a relatively new movie and TV show streaming resource that brings together a strong variety of live and on-demand content for a great all-around experience. Want live sports? Hollywood blockbusters? New TV series? Not Sure can deliver, and it manages to do a lot of this in HD quality, as well.

For a full guide to the Not Sure Kodi add-on, along with complete installation instructions, see our guide to installing Not Sure for Kodi.

Conclusion

It’s a great loss to the Kodi community for a powerful add-on like Terrarium TV to shut down. Fortunately, there are some amazing alternatives on the market, many of which provide unique and special functionality, all while delivering HD movie streams, access to TV series, and a wide selection of sports and live TV, all for free, and all at your fingers.

Have you used any of our recommended add-ons before? What do you miss most about Terrarium TV? Did you run into any trouble with our install instructions? Tell us about it below!

Read Best Alternatives to Terrarium TV on Kodi by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Firestick Streaming Problems? Fix Your Fire Stick Buffering in No Time

The Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are both wonderful pieces of hardware. They’re inexpensive and portable, yet they come with everything you need to enjoy a world of wonderful content, including HD movies, live sports, TV series, and some of the best games around.

Making the most out of your Fire Stick streaming experience unfortunately means having to deal with the occasional buffering issue. These errors are often temporary and easy to fix, but from time to time they can become a real hassle. Below we outline all you need to know about diagnosing and fixing slow streaming and buffering errors on your Fire TV and Fire Stick device.

Always Use a VPN with Fire TV

More people are turning to VPNs in the modern age to help protect their online privacy. Even streaming devices like Fire TV offer a weak point for surveillance programs and cyber criminals to break into your internet connection and steal your personal data. And with the constant threats to net neutrality always lurking, you really can’t be too careful when it comes to maintain your link to the free and open internet.

Using a VPN is a fast and simple solution to locking down your online privacy and bypassing censorship and geographical content restrictions. They’re fast and easy to use, and they work with a wide variety of devices, including Fire TV. We’ve compiled a list of recommended VPN services below, each selected using the following criteria. It’s a great place to start to lock down your online privacy on Fire Stick.

Evaluating the Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV

Carefully researching the fastest speeds, the top privacy practices, and the all-around best services can be a difficult task. We’ve streamlined the process by providing some of the top research criteria below.

  • App compatibility – To use a VPN with Amazon Fire TV you need to run custom software on the same device.
  • Fast downloads – Slow streaming speeds are the top cause of buffering, and VPNs are notoriously slow as compared to unencrypted internet connections. Keep your buffering issues at a minimum by going with a VPN that puts a high priority on speed.
  • Zero-logging policy – None of your online activity is safe if your VPN keeps detailed logs.
  • No bandwidth restrictions – What’s worse than buffering issues? Having your bandwidth cut off once you reach the daily limit.

Best VPNs for Fire TV

Now that all the research information is out of the way, are you ready to grab a great VPN for Fire Stick and enjoy some fast online streaming?

1 – ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a reliable and speedy VPN that has a wonderful reputation with its users. It’s one of the most popular VPN services in the world, too, largely thanks to its wealth of features, intuitive software interface, and variety of apps for desktops and smartphones. ExpressVPN is perfect for anyone looking for a reliable VPN but doesn’t want to spend hours setting things up. Just sign up, install, and you’re safe!

ExpressVPN offers a wide range of privacy features to keep you protected online, including 256-bit AES encryption, a zero-logging policy on all traffic, and both kill switch and DNS leak protection. ExpressVPN’s server network covers over 2,000 locations in 94 different countries, giving you plenty of options for a fast connection no matter where you live or travel to.

As a nice bonus to Fire TV and Fire Stick owners, ExpressVPN can be installed directly from Amazon’s built-in appstore, allowing for fast and easy protection while you stream.

Check out our ExpressVPN review for more info about the company’s amazing features!

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Sign up for a year with ExpressVPN at $6.67 per month and get 3 months FREE! There’s also an amazing risk-free 30-day money back guarantee, just in case you’re not completely satisfied.

2 – NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, and it matches these incredible speeds with a praiseworthy network of servers, too. The list is always growing, but right now NordVPN offers a whopping 5,080+ servers in 62 countries, all with unlimited bandwidth and switching. This amazing variety lets NordVPN deliver fast speeds to users regardless of location. There are also unique services only NordVPN can offer, including protection against DDoS attacks, double encryption, and onion over VPN.

NordVPN includes every feature you need to stay safe, from 256-bit AES encryption to DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and an amazing zero-logging policy that covers time stamps, DNS requests, IP addresses, and traffic. It’s also extremely easy to use, with smart, intuitive software designed for all modern devices that handles all of the heavy lifting. When you need solid, fast protection, just fire up NordVPN and you’re set.

Learn more about the NordVPN experience in our full NordVPN review.

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3 – PureVPN

PureVPN delivers more than just privacy and data protection. The service offers a suite of security options to protect you from all kinds cyber threats, making it one of the best ways to stay safe on the internet. With PureVPN, you get anti-virus protection, malware shields, app blocking features, and DNS website filters in one single convenient package.

Core VPN privacy features begin with a zero-logging policy on traffic, and continues with an automatic kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption on all data, and DNS leak protection. These work together to keep your data secure no matter what. And with PureVPN’s self-owned network of 750 servers in 180 different countries, you’re guaranteed a fast connection at all times!

PureVPN brings these excellent features to Fire TV with a fantastic app you can install directly from the Amazon appstore. Just grab it, sign in, and enjoy.

OFFER: Take advantage of an amazing 73% discount on a 2-year plan, just $2.95 per month! You can even try it risk-free with the company’s seven day money back guarantee.

Examining Fire TV Buffering Errors

Buffering issues on Fire Stick and Fire TV are more common than you might think. They’re not always caused by the same source, however, which is why it’s important to take a closer look at buffering before diving into the solutions.

What Causes Buffering Errors?

Whenever you stream media, the Fire TV/Fire Stick downloads a chunk of the content and stores it in temporary cache. The video you’re watching plays from this cache, while the next chunk is downloaded ahead of time. If everything goes well, the device can keep the streaming video well ahead of the content it’s downloading, which produces a lag- and buffering-free viewing experience.

When the movie you’re watching ends before the next chunk has been downloaded, the dreaded “buffering” message appears. The player then halts the video while more content is downloaded, all in an effort to keep things up to speed. Fire TV devices, especially the compact and low-powered Fire TV Stick, don’t have a lot of storage space for caches, nor are they always capable of top download speeds, which can lead to frequent and extended buffering delays.

Buffering is caused by the cached video playing before new content has been downloaded, but what causes that to fall out of sync? A number of things, really:

  • ISP throttling – The most frustrating cause of buffering is when your local internet service provider (ISP) slows down your streaming speeds on purpose. It’s not uncommon to find ISPs scanning for certain types of traffic and artificially dropping the download to discourage regular use.
  • Local hardware limitations – Your router, ethernet cable, modem, or even Fire TV hardware can be at fault for causing buffering errors.
  • Remote server slowdown – Buffering can also be caused by the server hosting your video content operating a little slower than usual.
  • Sluggish internet connection – Even without ISP throttling, your home internet may be too slow to handle certain movie streams.

How to Diagnose Buffering Issues

Now that you know what causes buffering, how can you set about fixing it? The first step is to figure out where the issue originates so you can tackle it at its source. Go through the steps below in order to zero in on the problem.

  • Step 1: Try the same stream at a different time – If buffering is a serious issue, try pausing the video for 10-15 minutes and resuming it later. This can rule out remote server and temporary internet slowdown issues.
  • Step 2: Try a new stream – If the above doesn’t work, try playing a different video from a different source. If buffering persists, you know it’s not a problem with the video services.
  • Step 3: Try a different device – If you’ve got a different device capable of streaming, try connecting it and launching a video. Does the buffering error continue? It’s not your local hardware, and it’s not your Fire TV.
  • Step 4: Perform a speed test – Go to your PC and run an online speedtest. If your connection is strong, at least above 1.0 mbps, you should have steady movie streams.
  • Step 5: Check your Wi-Fi signal – Wi-Fi isn’t the best for video streams, but it’s all the Fire Stick is capable of. See if other wireless devices also have trouble connecting via Wi-Fi to determine whether or not your signal is at fault.
  • Step 6: Try a different internet connection – Finally, if all else fails, try using your Fire Stick on another network, such as at a friend’s house. If the buffering issues are still present, you know your device is in trouble.

Fire Stick Slow? Tips & Tricks to Fix Buffering Errors Quickly

Buffering errors on Fire TV can be extremely frustrating. After you’ve diagnosed the problem, use the quick solutions below to get things working once again.

VPNs Can Fix Buffering Issues Caused by Throttling

If ISP throttling is slowing down your movie streams, a good VPN can eliminate that in an instant. VPNs mask traffic to prevent artificial slowdowns put in place by certain ISPs. When your Fire Stick traffic is fully encrypted, it’s always sent through at the highest speeds possible.

Switch VPN Servers

If you’re running a VPN on your Fire Stick, you could be having an issue with a laggy server. Open the app on your device and choose a different location, preferably one that’s closer to your physical address. If your VPN has a built-in speed test or an auto-optimized connection feature, it can make finding the fastest server a lot easier. You can also wait and use the same server later in the day when congestion decreases.

Update Your Fire Device

Fire OS updates release at regular intervals, adding new security features or interface tweaks. They can also provide a quick speed boost to your Fire TV, which can help eliminate buffering issues of all kinds. Make sure your Fire Stick device is running the latest version of its operating system for optimal speeds. Follow the steps below to check for fresh content and update right away.

  1. Open your Fire TV interface and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings.
  3. Scroll right and select Device.
  4. Choose Check for System Update and confirm in the next window.
  5. The Fire TV Stick will automatically look for new software. If it’s available, you’ll be prompted to download and install.

Uninstall Unnecessary Apps

You can quickly gain some speed and eliminate certain buffering issues by uninstalling apps that may be lagging your device. This is especially true if you have sideloaded and third party apps on your Fire TV, as they aren’t necessarily optimized for top performance. For each app you think you want to get rid of, follow the steps below to remove it from your system.

  1. Open your Fire TV and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings.
  3. Scroll right and choose Applications.
  4. In the Applications menu, move down and choose Manage Installed Applications.
  5. Scroll until you find the app you want to uninstall.
  6. Select the app and a new screen will open. Scroll down and choose Uninstall.
  7. A secondary screen will open. Choose Uninstall again.
  8. After a moment the app will be deleted from your Fire TV device.

Restart Your Fire TV

When was the last time you turned off your Fire Stick? If you’re like most users, probably never! The good news is that some buffering errors can be eliminated by rebooting your Fire device to clear out the local cache. Follow the steps below to reset everything and see what happens.

  1. Open your Fire TV and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings.
  3. Scroll right and select Device.
  4. Choose Restart and confirm in the next window.
  5. The Fire TV Stick will automatically reboot and be ready to stream again in just a few moments.

Router and Modem Reboot

A fast solution to local network slowdown that causes buffering issues on Fire TV is to perform a reset. Turn off your modem and router, wait ten seconds, then plug them back in in the same order. This can instantly clear channel interference problems and put your local network back on the fast track.

Turn Off Unneeded App Settings

Many apps utilize background connections while you’re streaming movies. This can add up to some serious buffering issues, especially if you have dozens of apps installed. You can turn off some of these problem connections by toggling two different options under the Fire TV’s settings page.

We’ll start by turning off automatic app updates:

  1. Open your Fire TV interface and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings.
  3. Scroll right and select Applications followed by Appstore.
  4. Go to Automatic Updates and toggle it to off.

Next, disable an app data usage option:

  1. Go back to the Applications screen under Settings.
  2. Find the item named Collect App Usage Data
  3. Click to turn it off.

Factory Reset for More Speed

Tweaking and optimizing can often fix buffering issues with ease, but in severe cases, you might need to take drastic action. Performing a factory reset will erase everything on your Fire TV, including app downloads and sideloaded software. Your purchases will be saved, so you won’t lose any data, but you’ll need to re-download everything once the reset is complete. On the plus side, your buffering issues could be cured, too!

There are two methods for performing a factory reset on Fire TV. For the first, navigate to Settings, followed by Device. Scroll to the bottom and choose Restore to Factory Defaults. Confirm your selection and the Fire TV will automatically carry out the reset.

The second method is to hold down both the back button and the right key on your Fire TV remote. Keep them pressed for 5-6 seconds, then a factory reset warning will pop up. A timer counts down before the process automatically begins, so if you change your mind, you only have about 20 seconds to cancel.

Conclusion

Amazon Fire Sticks are perfect for all kinds of streaming, including live content, HD movies, and full TV series. Buffering issues can be annoying at times, but with the tips and tricks above, you can eliminate them before they turn into a regular hassle.

What do you use your Fire TV for? Has our guide helped you cut down on buffering and slowdown issues? Got any tips we missed? Let us know your thoughts in a comment below!

Read Firestick Streaming Problems? Fix Your Fire Stick Buffering in No Time by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPN for South Korea in 2018 to Protect Your Privacy

South Korea has one of the best internet infrastructures of any country in the world. It also has the fastest download speeds, averaging at just over 25 mbps. This gives the population unprecedented access to the world wide web, making things like video streaming and watching live TV as commonplace as going to the cafe for lunch.

Just because its speeds are extremely fast, doesn’t mean the internet in South Korea is perfect. Problems like internet censorship still exist, as do things like data thieves, ISP surveillance, and stalking cyber criminals. And what if you want to watch Netflix movies from other countries? Well, for that (and for protecting your privacy in general) you’ll need a VPN.

Keep reading for our full guide on how to pick the best VPN to use in South Korea for a fast and secure connection to the world wide web!

Finding the Best VPNs for South Korea

Hundreds of VPNs crowd the online marketplace, each claiming to offer the best speeds, the strongest encryption, and the all-around top experience for customers of all kinds. Learning which of these services live up to the hype can take some trial and error, along with plenty of deep research.

You can cut through all of that mess and skip straight to finding the best VPN by using our guidelines below. We used the following criteria to rank some of the top VPN services on the ‘net. Our recommendations are listed in the next section, each one delivering a fast and secure VPN experience that’s the best to use in South Korea and beyond.

  • Zero-logging policy – Data that passes through a VPN’s network can be stored, including detailed traffic logs, time stamps, or DNS requests. If a VPN doesn’t have a zero-logging policy, it can keep this information forever, which harms your privacy.
  • Speed – VPNs are often slower than unencrypted internet connections, which is why you need a service that puts a high priority on speed.
  • Server distribution – The more servers a VPN operates, the better your chances of finding a fast connection.
  • Traffic restrictions – Some VPNs block P2P networks and torrent traffic or restrict how much you can download during the month.
  • Device compatibility – If you want your smartphone to be protected, you’ll need a dedicated VPN app for that platform.

Do You Need Servers in South Korea to Use a VPN There?

Finding the best VPN for South Korea doesn’t necessarily mean finding the service with the most servers in the country. Connections through VPNs can take place anywhere in the world, with servers placed in hundreds of major cities in a variety of regions. Using these non-local servers gives you an advantage when it comes to staying private and anonymous, and they also give you the ability to switch virtual locations to watch foreign movies with ease.

The short answer is no, you do not need servers in South Korea to use a VPN. Most mainstream services (such as our suggestions below) do offer connections based in Seoul, however. This can be useful if you simply need encryption and anonymity every time you go online without sacrificing on speed, as is often the case when connecting to far-flung servers.

Best VPNs for South Korea

We went through and tested the best VPN services on the market to find out which ones are perfect for using in South Korea.

Here is our list of the best VPNs for Soutch Korea, reviewed this year.

1 – ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN providers on the market, which makes it one of the best-named services, too. You’ll get top speeds from nearly all of the company’s 2,000 servers in 94 countries, including dozens of locations throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Even if you choose a server on the other side of the world, ExpressVPN will give you a reliable low-lag connection. And you can even run a speed test from within the ExpressVPN software to make sure you’ve got the fastest connection possible.

Privacy is another of ExpressVPN’s many strong points. Data is protected with 256-bit AES encryption and backed by a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. There’s also both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch to deliver a reliable safety net in case of an accidental disconnect, not to mention unlimited bandwidth and easy and unlimited server switching for all users (ideal for gamers!)

ExpressVPN runs multiple server locations within South Korea, giving you complete access to a secure web without leaving the country.

Check out our full ExpressVPN review for more info about the VPN’s amazing features!

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Sign up for a year with ExpressVPN at $6.67 per month and get 3 months FREE! There’s also an amazing risk-free 30-day money back guarantee, just in case you’re not completely satisfied.

2 – NordVPN

NordVPN has an amazing array of privacy and security features built into the core of the service, making it easy for anyone to sign up and stay safe. NordVPN also sports the largest server network on the market, with over 5,080 servers in 62 different countries, including multiple locations in South Korea. You’ll always be able to connect to a fast server with NordVPN, and you’ll get extra protection through double encryption, onion over VPN, and anti-DDoS servers when needed, too.

NordVPN provides a comprehensive zero-logging policy that covers everything from bandwidth to time stamps, traffic to IP addresses. Your activity is never recorded or shared with third parties, which helps keep your privacy intact, even in restrictive, surveillance-heavy countries. Backing these features is 256-bit AES encryption on all data, an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a host of customizable encryption features.

Learn more about the NordVPN experience in our full NordVPN review.

HUGE DEAL: Get a 66% discount on the 2 year subscription, just $3.99 a month! All plans are backed by a 30 day money back guarantee.

3 – PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is a balanced service that lets you stay secure anywhere in the world. With this VPN activated on your device, you’ll be able to safely stream, surf, and download content from the web, or just log on and check social media accounts, all with full anonymity. This comes without sacrificing speed or ease of use, either, making PrivateVPN one of the best VPNs for daily use. This provider’s software works perfectly on smartphones, desktop PCs, and even Fire TV thanks to a lightweight and easy to use interface.

PrivateVPN runs a network of over 100 servers in 56 different countries that deliver all the speed, security, and location variety you need. The service locks down data with 256-bit AES encryption, keeps your connection safe with an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection, and features a zero logging policy on all traffic, as well.

Read more about PrivateVPN’s useful features in our full PrivateVPN review.

4 – CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers a diverse mix of speed, security, and location variability, all designed to deliver an amazing VPN experience for everyone regardless of location. It’s also one of the fastest and most reliable VPNs on the market, delivering great connection speeds around the world so you can stream HD videos from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and more. CyberGhost accomplishes this with a network of over 2,400 servers in 60 different countries, along with mobile and desktop apps that make it easy to enjoy a secure internet experience.

CyberGhost’s foundation of strong privacy features 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. All of these work together to hide your identity each time you connect. With CyberGhost on your device, you can use the internet safely and securely from any country in the world, including South Korea!

Learn more about CyberGhost’s great features in our complete CyberGhost review.

Get a 71% discount on CyberGhost’s two-year plan, for payments as low as $3.50 per month.

5 – PureVPN

PureVPN is a full-featured VPN that does more than just protect your identity. The service gives you instant access to anti-virus protection, malware shields, app blocking features, and DNS website filtering, all wrapped into one secure and convenient package. All you have to do is download the VPN app, choose the extra protections you’d like to turn on, and you’re set. It’s perfect for anyone who needs thorough and complete protection without all the hassle.

PureVPN offers incredibly useful security features that keep you safe online, as well. It starts with a zero-logging policy on traffic, an automatic kill switch, solid 256-bit AES encryption on all data, and DNS leak protection. These work alongside the company’s self-owned network of 750 servers in 180 different countries, providing a ton of options for fast, safe, and secure connections.

OFFER: Take advantage of an amazing 73% discount on a 2-year plan, just $2.95 per month! You can even try it risk-free with the company’s seven day money back guarantee.

How to Use a VPN in South Korea

With such a great environment for online connections, it’s easy to see why South Korea is one of the world’s top destinations for reliable internet activity. Using a VPN while in South Korea lets you take advantage of all these benefits and much more, adding things like encryption and anonymity to all of your devices. If you’re not sure how to set up or use your VPN, check our quick set of instructions below to get started.

First, open a web browser and sign into your VPN account. Download the app for your operating system (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, etc.). If you want to use the VPN on a mobile device, you may need to visit an app marketplace, which the VPN pages should redirect you to immediately.

Install the VPN app on your device, launch the software, and sign in using your credentials. Most apps will automatically connect to the fastest server as soon as you launch, which is perfect if you don’t need an IP address from a specific location.

Now it’s a good idea to test your VPN to make sure it’s actually keeping you safe. On the same device, open a web browser and visit ipleak.net. The page will run an IP address lookup. When it completes, you will see a box near the top that says ?Your IP addresses?. Just below it should show a country that isn’t the one you’re currently sitting in, meaning the VPN is secure and you’re ready to surf the web in peace.

Why Bother Using a VPN in South Korea?

Every time you go online, you put your privacy at risk. Even in relatively safe areas like South Korea, there are cyber criminals and government surveillance programs looking to track or take data from unsuspecting users. Only by running a VPN with full encryption and anonymity can you stay safe.

How VPNs Work

When you type a URL into your browser, data leaves your device, travels through a local service provider’s servers, where it is assigned an IP address matching the server’s location (rather than your own). It then goes to the internet to fetch the information you requested. The whole process takes a fraction of a second, but the amount of data it transmits through this highly secure tunnel is impressive.

On a normal internet connection the data is sent unencrypted, meaning anyone can see what you’re downloading. Combine that with an IP address that’s linked to your identity, and suddenly cyber criminals have an easy time cracking into and reading your data stream.

VPNs encrypt everything before it leaves your computer, making it impossible for anyone to see what you’re doing. After encryption, the data passes through your local service provider, goes to the VPN servers where it’s decrypted and assigned an anonymous IP address, then sent to the internet. This strips packets of personally identifiable information for a strong measure of anonymity.

Benefits of Using a VPN

The privacy and security features offered by VPNs come with plenty of added benefits, making them useful tools even if you aren’t worried about your online security.

  • Stop surveillance and tracking – IP addresses assigned by internet service providers can be used to track your activity. VPNs put a stop to online surveillance by encrypting traffic and automatically removing local IP addresses from each packet of information.
  • Watch videos from other countries – Does your local Netflix not provide enough content? Sick of seeing “this video is not available in your country” on Hulu, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services? A VPN can solve that problem with just a few clicks.
  • Access censored websitesOnline censorship is a huge problem in countries around the world. Safely and securely bypassing these firewalls is something VPNs are extremely effective at doing.
  • Stay safe from internet fast lanes – Net neutrality is under threat in many countries around the world. If you travel to these destinations, you’ll suffer the same restrictions as locals. That is, unless you use a VPN.

More Ways to Stay Safe Online

VPNs aren’t the only security measure you can take to protect your online data. Use the following tips to ensure you’re always safe and secure online.

  • Avoid free VPNs – Free VPN services can be tempting, but most of the time they actively destroy your online privacy by logging or selling your data. It’s best to stick with a low cost but trusted paid VPN provider instead of taking your chances with potentially dangerous no-cost VPNs.
  • Encrypt your mobile device – Smartphones and tablets carry a ton of personal information, making them a hot target for data thieves. To help ensure your phone stays safe, learn how to encrypt your Android or iPhone.
  • Install security focused browser extensions – A great way to ensure top level browser security is to install HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger, two extensions that force an encrypted connection when possible and disables tracking scripts respectively.
  • Keep your anti-virus program active – Malware is still a problem when using a VPN. Viruses slip through most services undetected, and things like key loggers or trojan horses are just as dangerous with a VPN active. Keep your anti-virus and firewall programs active at all times for maximum protection.

Conclusion

Getting a VPN in South Korea is a fast and easy way to lock down your information and enjoy a wide range of extras, including streaming foreign videos and accessing free and open content from around the world. With our guide and recommendations above, you’ll have things up and running in no time.

Do you currently live in, or are you planning to travel to South Korea? Which of our recommended services appeals most to you, and why? Tell us about in the comments below!

Read Best VPN for South Korea in 2018 to Protect Your Privacy by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Change Roku Account’s Region: Switching Location the Easy Way

Got a brand new Roku and are eager to see what it can do? Looking to install Kodi on Roku the easy way? Maybe you’re trying to decide on Fire Stick vs Roku, went with the latter, and now want to crack it open for some serious streaming? No matter how you got your device, the Roku is a fast, inexpensive, and surprisingly capable streaming stick. With it you can watch all kinds of movies, live sports, and TV series, all with a few clicks of that familiar purple remote.

Now that you’ve got your Roku up and running, it’s time to squeeze every ounce of entertainment value out of it possible. Roku’s region settings are automatically put into place when you set up your account, and there’s not much you can do to change that on a deep level. But with the right tools, namely a VPN, you can switch your Roku account’s region to a new virtual location and unlock an entire world’s worth of content with ease.

VPNs, Rokus, and Account Regions

VPNs sound like one of those crazy complicated tech things used by hackers and paranoid journalists. In reality, they’re incredibly useful tools that are easy to use, and should be deployed by everyone on all of their devices (if you think that’s a broad statement, read up on the government surveillance, net neutrality, and ISP tracking issues that effect us all).

With just a few minutes of effort you can lock down your online data, protect your identity, and ensure no one can track or monitor your activity on the internet. All of this is as simple as installing a good VPN and letting it run quietly in the background, encrypting every bit of data that leaves your device…

Using a VPN on your PC, laptop, tablet, and smartphone is a good idea. You can also use it with Roku and other streaming devices to protect your privacy and unlock new features. Below is a quick guide on what using a VPN with Roku does, and how you can use it.

How Does Roku Set an Account Region?

Roku sets your account region from the moment you connect to the internet. It all has to do with the country where you physically purchased your device, along with the IP address associated with your connection when you first set up the Roku. Both are used by the company to determine your region, but the latter matters a lot more.

When you get your brand new Roku device, the first thing you’ll do is set up an account. You’ll likely be doing this from your home Wi-Fi network, which means an IP address associated with your current region will be shared with Roku’s account service. This instantly identifies the location and sets the region to match your country.

Can You Change the Account Region?

Once a Roku account has been set, there’s no way to change the set region. In some rare cases when a device is purchased from one country but set up in another, contacting Roku’s support channels can allow for a permanent region change, but it can only be done once, and you can’t choose with region your account is associated with.

How Can a VPN Change Roku’s Account Region?

Here’s where virtual private networks come into play. By running a VPN on your home network, you can change your region before connecting your Roku to the internet. This allows you to manually set a location for your account before signing up, tricking the service into thinking you’re located in a different country. Everything will then be linked to a new area, all thanks to your VPN.

Switching Account Regions Vs. Using Virtual Locations

The best practice for managing your Roku account regions is to run the setup procedure without a VPN active so your device and your account are identified as being from the same country. Once that’s complete, you can then switch on your VPN and manually change virtual locations to access any country’s content. This won’t change the account region itself, but it will give you all the benefits of doing so, and it’s far easier than factory resetting your Roku every time you want to change regions.

Best VPNs for Roku

In order to pick out the best VPN for Roku, you need to know which qualities are important. It can be difficult to make sense out of all the encryption jargon, privacy protocols, and other tech speak, but by focusing on the criteria listed below, you can cut through the fluff and find the right service to meet your needs.

  • Fast streaming speeds – Only the best VPNs provide optimized, lag-free video streaming speeds.
  • Device compatibility – To use a VPN with Roku, you need to run it on your router. Make sure the service supports this out of the box.
  • Network size – The more servers a VPN runs, the more virtual region locations are at your disposal.
  • Reputation – Make sure your VPN has a huge base of satisfied customers before signing up.
  • Zero-logging policy – A strict zero-logging policy for true online privacy and security is the only way to use a VPN.

1 – ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a reliable provider with thousands of satisfied customers around the world, each of whom enjoys incredible speeds every time they connect. The company runs a large network of over 2,000 servers in 94 countries around the world, meaning you won’t have to wait for buffering or other delays while loading movie streams. ExpressVPN has speed, security, privacy, and usability, all the features you need for a good VPN!

ExpressVPN’s privacy features are second to none. Data is protected with 256-bit AES encryption and backed by a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. There’s also both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch to deliver a reliable safety net in case of an accidental disconnect.

Check out our full ExpressVPN review for more info about the VPN’s amazing features.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Sign up for a year with ExpressVPN at $6.67 per month and get 3 months FREE! There’s also an amazing risk-free 30-day money back guarantee, just in case you’re not completely satisfied.

2 – NordVPN

NordVPN has the largest server network on the market, nearly doubling the size of its nearest competitor. The list is constantly growing, but right now users have access to over 5,000 servers in 62 different countries around the world, enough to provide the fastest secure connection no matter where you live. You’ll always be able to snag a great server with NordVPN, and you’ll get extra protection through double encryption, onion over VPN, and anti-DDoS servers when needed, too!

NordVPN provides perhaps the industry’s best zero-logging policy, covering everything from bandwidth to time stamps, traffic to IP addresses. Your activity is never recorded or shared with third parties while using NordVPN. Backing these features is 256-bit AES encryption on all data, an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a host of customizable encryption features.

Learn more about the NordVPN experience in our full NordVPN review.

HUGE DEAL: Get a 66% discount on the 2 year subscription, just $3.99 a month! All plans are backed by a 30 day money back guarantee.

3 – CyberGhost

CyberGhost is one of the best all-around VPNs on the market, all thanks to fast speeds, tough security, and the company’s custom app that works on smartphones, desktop PCs, and laptops alike. Users can connect with just a few clicks and enjoy unlimited access to a network of over 2,400 servers in 60 countries. CyberGhost leverages this network to deliver incredibly fast and reliable speeds around the world. No buffering delays, internet slowdown, or sluggish connections, just a blazing fast internet each time you log on.

CyberGhost’s privacy features keep you secure at all times with 256-bit AES encryption on data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. These features hide your identity each time you go online, allowing you to connect with full privacy no matter where you go. You never have to spend time configuring these features, either, as CyberGhost is ready to go right out of the box.

Learn more about CyberGhost’s great features in our complete CyberGhost review.

Get a 71% discount on CyberGhost’s two-year plan, for payments as low as $3.50 per month.

How to Change Roku’s Account Region

Once you’ve got your Roku ready and a VPN installed, creating and changing the account region is a piece of cake.

Step 1 – Install a VPN

Before you even touch the Roku, you’ll need to have your VPN set up and ready to go. This requires signing up for a reliable service, configuring it to work with your home router, then choosing a region to associate with your account. The specific details of how to do this will vary depending on your VPN service, but the steps below will get you started.

  1. Sign up with a reliable VPN service that supports router installs.
  2. Check the VPN’s support pages for full instructions on how to configure it to work with your router.
  3. Complete the router setup and choose a region to associate with your Roku account.
  4. Open a web browser on a device that’s connected to the same network.
  5. Go to ipleak.net and let it automatically run the IP address test.
  6. If the country of origin shown on the page is different than your physical location, then the VPN is ready to go.

Step 2 – Factory Reset

The unfortunate reality of changing your Roku account’s region is that it can only be done by fully resetting your device. This means you’ll lose your account settings, your channels, and your service sign-ins. None of your data will be lost, though, you’ll simply need to redownload everything once you set the Roku up the second time.

Note: If you’re setting up a brand new Roku, you can skip this step and move on to the next one.

  1. Turn on your TV and switch to the Roku’s main interface.
  2. Go to Settings > System > Advanced System Settings > Factory Reset
  3. A number grid will show up on the right. Use it to type in the PIN code displayed just below. This is to prevent accidental factory resets.
  4. After confirming the PIN, the factory reset process will begin.
  5. Give the Roku a few moments to wipe all account data and reboot, then proceed to step three.

Step 3 – Create a New Roku Account

With your VPN active and set to a non-local region, and your Roku fully reset and rebooted, you’re now ready to change the account region.

  1. Go through the Roku’s setup process step by step.
  2. When it comes time to sign into an account, choose the option to create a new account instead.
  3. Enter details for a separate account from your main one, including a new e-mail address and password.
  4. Confirm the account information and complete the Roku’s setup process.
  5. Once you’re finished, you’ll have a brand new Roku account associated with another region. Make sure you keep your VPN connected and active each time you use your Roku, otherwise you may encounter streaming errors.

Step 4 – Change VPN Locations

Once you’ve got your account region swapped, using your VPN router software to switch countries is a cinch. You won’t need to go through the entire process of factory resetting and creating a new Roku account each time you want to access foreign content. Instead, leave your Roku region the same, just switch your IP address.

  1. Leave your Roku account as-is, but make sure your VPN is active on the router. Run the IP address test on ipleak.net mentioned above if you’re not sure it’s working.
  2. Go into your VPN’s settings and pick a new server location to connect to. This will vary depending on your router brand and the VPN you’re using. If you’re not sure how to do this, consult the VPN’s support pages for help.
  3. Switch virtual locations on the VPN software. You may need to reboot the router to make sure this goes into effect.
  4. Run another test on ipleak.net to make sure the IP swap took place.
  5. Go back to your Roku and start streaming from other regions, all thanks to your VPN! In some cases you may need to restart the Roku for the changes to take effect, but otherwise you’re ready to sit back and enjoy.

Conclusion

The Roku streaming device is a handy piece of hardware. Not only does it offer access to a huge number of streams, it’s also easy to use, easy to set up, and easy to customize. With the tips above, you can even change your Roku account’s location to access content from all around the world!

Did you run into any issues using our guide? Or, got a better way of doing things? Leave us your thoughts below!

Read How to Change Roku Account’s Region: Switching Location the Easy Way by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter