The coronavirus pandemic has forced the whole world into quarantine and lockdown. No one goes out anymore or engages in any sort of social activity. As a result, people all over the world are turning to their phones, laptops, and other devices for salvation from boredom and unemployment. Naturally, all major and small streaming and platforms have noticed significant growth in traffic.
Unfortunately for many of us, many streaming services and webmasters limit the accessibility of their content based on users’ locations. For example, such giants as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offer different sets of shows and movies for people from different countries.
Luckily, those, looking for content outside of the limited picks they get, can avoid any geographical restrictions with the help of a virtual private network (VPN). VPN simply allows someone located in, for example, Italy to appear to be in the US. The best part is that consumer-grade services have managed to make the technology as easy as you can imagine. VPN providers mostly offer browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and others, as well as mobile apps – both only take one click or tap to work.
Google Trends lets us clearly see a rise of interest in VPN technology ever since the start of the pandemic. Users from Italy, who are all under a strict quarantine at the moment, are actively searching for VPN providers. Based on this information, we can expect a 150% rise of interest in VPN from the US users, as they are about to start their lockdown.
Increasing digital consumption
Governments all over the world are taking measures to decrease the number of social gatherings in any form to overcome the pandemic as fast as possible. With everyone locked behind the doors of their own homes, a sharp increase in internet traffic, specifically in the digital entertainment area, has taken place. The US alone shows an all-time high for gaming (75%), VPN (34%), and video streaming (12%) services amid the quarantine.
It comes with no surprise that the streaming platforms are looking to capitalize on the situation. Disney+ has made some pre-scheduled releases of blockbuster movies, whereas NBCUniversal is planning to skip theater releases and present its new movies, like Trolls World Tour, right online. Many providers, including the ones offering adult content, are taking a step towards their users by making their services available for free.[adsense]
Gaming platforms are experiencing a traffic spike as well. Steam, for example, has recently had its record amount of online users with 20 million people logged into their accounts at the same time. At the same time, Blizzard had not had their servers prepared for the amount of login attempts they had to go through, which led to some outages. Certain ISPs have also made a warning concerning bandwidth-hogging activities, which are gaining popularity as users begin to spend more and more time streaming and torrenting.
Numerous entertainment platforms are still, however, applying geo-restrictions leaving millions of users struggling to get access to the content they are interested in. Not only this, but we should not forget about the issues fans of adult content stumble upon when trying to avoid messing up their browsing histories. Thankfully, both of these issues can be solved with the help of a VPN for Chrome.
VPNs proves itself useful
The way VPN works is pretty simple: it extends a secure private network over the public internet. What this means is that a user can access the public internet and maintain their privacy thanks to the VPN’s data encryption.
For the most part, VPNs are useful for connecting to potentially unsecured networks, such as public hotspots, as an extra security measure as they ruin any possibility of the data being intercepted or stolen. Not only this, but they are also used for hiding browsing history from trackers that log search it or any other data connected to an IP address.
Most streaming services rely on IP addresses to determine the location of their users. Simply speaking, if a user is using an IP address from Chicago, the system automatically welcomes him with the picks made for the US audience. VPN services offer the privilege of choosing the server location you want to use. All it takes is searching “VPN for Chrome” (or any other browser you are using) and clicking “Install”.
Any user located in, let’s say, Italy or the UK can use the VPN provider’s US server to connect to a streaming platform of their choice. The platform in question will, without a doubt, automatically determine the user’s location as the US and will present the corresponding content.
Making the most of the situation
All health organizations are stating that some countries are either about to be hit by a second wave of the pandemic or are yet to reach the peak of the first wave. This means that, for the time being, working and relaxing at home will become the new normal for most of us, who follow rules of social distancing. All areas of digital entertainment will inevitably be rising to their high as users all over the world will search the internet unstoppably, desperate for new content. VPN is simply another tool that can improve and refresh the quality of the time you spend online.