Online streaming services are entering into a fierce war – which hopefully means better quality content, lower prices and more options for everyone. In the early days of streaming, Netflix pretty much dominated the market – but not anymore. Netflix is losing customers around the world (Netflix’s share of streaming traffic is down from 37.1% last year, according to Fortune) due to its crackdown on VPNs, shrinking catalog and rising prices. The last resort for Netflix might be implementation of ads – which would completely turn the customers away, according to a recent survey.
So what are the streaming options that customers are choosing around the world? Currently, there is a whole array of streaming services – old and new, alternative and mainstream.
For example, Amazon Prime, which costs $8.99 per month (Netflix has hiked its prices up to $9.99 recently), can now easily compete with Netflix by offering such addictive shows as Golden Globe-awardedTransparent or comedy Catastrophe. There is no wonder that Amazon more than doubled its share of Internet traffic in 2016 (according to Fortune).
Hulu, at $7.99 per month, is known for offering newest TV shows as soon as they air on TV.
At the moment, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime are still three most popular subscription video-streaming services with more than 100 million subscribers combined, but a range of new streaming services also abound. For example, Showtime, which has recently launched its streaming service at $10.99 per month, gives live streams of popular shows such as Homeland. HBO Now, at $14.99 monthly, offers such hits asGame of Thrones and has its own loyal followers.
In addition, those who want to enjoy traditional TV experience that includes major news and sports channels, opt for Sling TV at $20 per month. On the other side of the spectrum there are smaller and more affordable options, such as Mubi, tailored to movie fans, or Crackle.
There is one thing about all these streaming services that differentiates them from Netflix: unlike Netflix,they do not aggressively target VPN users, making them choose between privacy and streaming convenience. Therefore, if you happen to be outside of the U.S., where most of theses services are located, you can easily reach any of them by connecting to a U.S. server through a VPN.
A VPN service links user ’s computer to a server in a country of their choice – USA in this case – via encrypted tunnel, so a person appears to be in the U.S., while they actually are in another country. A VPN service like NordVPN, would hide your real IP address, substituting it with the American IP address by connecting to a server in the U.S.
VPNs also offer security by encrypting all data shared between the Internet and a user’s system, so none of the data can be compromised.
NordVPN is one of the most advanced VPN service providers in the world. It offers military grade encryption, user-friendly design, and has recently launched apps for Mac, Android and iOS.
Instructions to connect to any streaming service with NordVPN
If you have Amazon Prime, Hulu or any other streaming service account already, and would like to access the service from anywhere in the world, follow these steps:
● Set your connection to one of U.S. servers
● Go to the streaming service website (Amazon Prime, Hulu, Sling TV, etc.)
● Log in with your user information – and watch as if you were in the U.S.