VPN services to allow Canadians to access sites like Hulu - Page 6 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #76 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-01-24, 08:09 AM
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If so, how would I setup?
You need a router with firmware that supports VPN. DD-WRT firmware does. Tomato probably does as well. Not sure which routers support it with native firmware. The actual setup would be similar to setting up VPN anywhere else. (Enter VPN IP, username, password and any other info.)

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post #77 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-01-24, 05:08 PM
 
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ScaryBob, thanks
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post #78 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-01-24, 07:03 PM
 
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MoreDB you can also go to StrongVPN's site and they have a set up how to section. I plan on using 2 routers, one that will access the the regular internet and the other set up as a switch with the VPN serving only a couple of my clients.
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post #79 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-02-13, 06:45 PM
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short of using advanced routing techniques is there a way I can SIMPLY exclude some traffic from going through a VPN while include other traffic.

Here's my goal.

My HTPC is connected to 3 DMA2100's via a switch. The HTPC has two NIC's if that helps in anyway. The Switch is connected to my router. I want access to US netflix and Hulu ect... on the HTPC and the extenders but I need the all the standard traffic (particularily my Utorrent) to connect directly to my ISP. I regularily reach 1.5 MB on my Utorrent torrent downloads and don't want to sacrifice these great speeds by bottlenecking it via the VPN. I would even be happy if I could excluded just Torrent activity and everything else went via VPN.

I know I can do this via some advanced routing but I'm not interested into getting into all that, I am just looking to have the HTPC exclude the torrent load from the VPN...

Cheers
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post #80 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-02-14, 09:47 PM
 
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I trialed usvideo.org last week and it seems to work well. It's a DNS-based service and not a VPN. Not exactly sure how it works, but traffic flows over your normal ISP connection unless you're accessing one of the several video sites that the service recognizes.

It should work for your needs soul_stalker.
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post #81 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-02-27, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone else have any experience with usvideo.org? As Peter mentioned above it involves changing the DNS server(s) on your router or PC(s).

I am trying this right now but I only changed the DNS servers for one of my PCs, not for my router. I am able to watch shows on Hulu.com which you can't normally do from Canada. One downside is that using their DNS servers (rather than Rogers) appears to be blocking me from watching video from Netflix Canada on that PC.
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post #82 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-02-28, 04:44 PM
 
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I'm on usvideo.org. Works well for Netflix and Hulu, but doesn't work for Windows Media Center Internet TV - I was just trying it out.

About $5/month, cheaper than VPN, though I'm not sure what the advantages or disadvantages of each are.
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post #83 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-03-01, 09:19 AM
 
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I've used usvideo.org for a few weeks now, and it seems to work for me. I updated the DNS in my router and all devices in the house use the service.

Yes, for services like Netflix where it wants to identify you as either US or Canadian, it will think you are US.

For everything I've tested, it seems to work. The only significant exception is the Cartoon Network, which is one of the sources that comes up in Boxee for content so it's somewhat annoying that it doesn't work.

Just testing for now to provide some background for my blog, haven't decided if I'm going to stick with it.

Pete
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post #84 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-03-01, 09:28 AM
 
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I've been using them for a couple months now with no issues. pnear, email them about cartoon network. I've done that for a few sites and they've either fixed it or told me it can't work.

For people that want to be able to flip back and forth, I created 2 Automator scripts for the Mac to flip back and forth as I didn't want to have the router tracking everything through their DNS. I can post the scripts if there is interest.

I'm sure there is a way to do it on a Windows machine too.

Effectively what's happening is their servers are doing the "handshaking" during the geo location check and then handing the stream back to your PC/PS3/Xbox etc directly. It's not a traditional VPN service where all traffic is going through a 3rd party server, only the handshake happens on their end. The bonus here is better throughput for streaming as there is no VPN overhead.

I also subscribe to a $10/month VPN service elsewhere for the times when certain sites don't work with this service.

cyas
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post #85 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-03-01, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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One question around configuring to use usvideo.org - you have to change your DNS settings. If you are using static IPs on your PCs (or other devices) then do you have to change the DNS settings on your PC or on your router?

I would think it is on your PC as when you set up a static IP, at least in Windows, it wants you to also fill in the DNS primary and secondary servers.

Isn't it only when you are using DHCP that it uses the router DNS settings?
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post #86 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-03-01, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bucketo View Post
For people that want to be able to flip back and forth, I created 2 Automator scripts for the Mac to flip back and forth as I didn't want to have the router tracking everything through their DNS. I can post the scripts if there is interest.
It turns out that this is fairly easy to do in Windows as well. You can use a batch file with the "netsh" command to change your DNS server.

There also seems to be a way to configure your system to allow concurrent access to Netflix Canada and some US sites. However I don't think you could concurrently access both Netflix Canada and Netflix US. For example here is how you would configure your router if you are running dd-wrt firmware:

Quote:
Try adding following line to "Additional DNSMasq Options" (below
"strict-order"):
server=/netflix.com/netflix.net/8.8.8.8
It should redirect all queries for all netflix servers to Google DNS
(8.8.8.8) and you'll be able to watch movies at Netflix.ca
I imagine you could also use the DNS from your ISP rather than the Google DNS.
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post #87 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-03-02, 03:18 PM
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Rather than changing your router or all of your PCs why not just use one of these VPN services (even HotSpot Shield or Ultrasurf) on one PC and then just have it bridge the internet to your media streaming device? That seems like a more simple and more temporary solution to me.

I do something similar when in hotels. The AT&T Wi-Fi (at cost) service that most hotels offer only allow you to connect to one MAC address. I even called them on that and they said if you want a second device, it's going to be a second charge. Plus since most media devices don't have a web browser, you can't purchase from them or even accept their TOS if you wanted to.

So my solution: pay for the AT&T Wi-Fi on my netbook. Then have it share the internet and provide DHCP to my ATV2. Sometimes the speed is a little slow but generally it works just fine and I can watch Netflix, Hulu, and whatever else on the hotel TV.

Hence I figure you should be able to pretty much do the same thing from your home in Canada with the VPN service.
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post #88 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-03-02, 03:26 PM
 
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You touched on the advantage of the dns option: speed.

A true VPN option, no matter how good the pipe is can't compete with having a direct connection to the source (netflix, hulu etc). DNS options like usvideo provide this direct connection.

I can't find it now but there is a good thread on here that a member breaks down a VPN connection, overhead etc. None of that is present with the dns stuff.

On our macs we have 2 buttons, USA flag, Canada flag. It stays on USA 90% of the time but when my wife needs access to canada stuff she clicks the Canada flag. Easy.
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post #89 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-03-02, 06:47 PM
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I'm pretty sure that sites which do that at the DNS level do not provide a direct connection.

What they most probably do is redirect the domains they want to make appear as coming from the US (such as Netflix, Hulu, etc...) to their own servers which then act as proxies and talk to the real (Netflix, Hulu, etc...) servers...

This most probably provide a speed advantage but contrary to real VPN solutions this probably doesn't work for all sites, they must track down all the domains they want to redirrect to their servers and continually maintain them (in case new ones get added).
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post #90 of 426 (permalink) Old 2011-03-05, 05:31 PM
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I just finished trialing usvideo.org as well. I only changed the DNS settings on the Windows 7 box and left the router as it was. With this configuration I was able to use services from both sides of the border without changing my DNS settings. I tried Hulu, CBS, Netflix.ca, and GlobalTV. They all worked with no issues. My trial is over right now and Hulu failed the WAF due to commercials in the movies so I won't be subscribing to usvideo.org for now. Perhaps will consider it again once I drop cable in the spring.
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