I’ve spoken quite a bit about the importance of VPN’s from a privacy and security point of view. I’ve also talked about geo-blocking and how you can use a Shellfire VPN to bypass it. What I’ve not given you is instructions on how to do this, so let’s get into it.
Geo-Blocking … what is it?
As a reminder, geo-blocking is when specific content is only accessible in certain international regions. You often experience this when you try to access content that is country specific – for example, BBC iPlayer is only viewable in the UK.
Another example is the recently released Star Trek Discovery on CBS. This is viewable around the world on Netflix, but it’s blocked in the US. If you’re an American Citizen, you’ll need to sign up for CBS’s new pay service to watch Discovery!
How does a VPN help?
A VPN gives you a “virtual” location for your connectivity. In essence, it fools the servers into thinking that you are somewhere else. The IP address for the connection is linked to the local server in whatever country you are connecting from.
I’ve tried a couple of different VPN servers over the years, and the one I’ve had the most success with to date is Shellfire. On Shellfire, the speed reductions are minimal. Other servers I’ve used have throttled my connection significantly and this can impact your viewing experience considerably.
Changing your location
The interface varies slightly depending on whether you’re using a PC, Android or iOS device, so I’ll give you separate set of instructions for each.
Using Shellfire VPN on a Windows PC
|After you’ve launched your Shellfire VPN for the first time, you’ll see a screen similar to the one presented.
Select the option to show the server lists from the menu on the left-hand side
|Select a server in a location that you are interested in.
For example, if you want access to US Netflix you’d want to select one of the servers in the United States.
However, if you want to watch Star Trek Discovery on Netflix select the United Kingdom!
Once you’ve selected the correct location, all you need to do next is click on the connect button.
|You’ll then receive a message that your connection has been established and if you click back on the connection tab you’ll see that all of your traffic is now encrypted and going through the Shellfire VPN cloud.|
Install Shellfire VPN on an Android device
The steps on an Android device are similar to those described above, however, the screens look slightly different. I’ve used my phone for these screen captures, but you will find that they look the same on an Android box and Android Tablet also.
|Once you’ve downloaded and installed Shellfire VPN from the Google Play Store, you will be presented with a screen similar to the one shown to the right.
Select connect if this is the country you are interested in, or if you want to connect from a different country select the SERVER LIST option from the top menu.
|The SERVER LIST option gives you all of the different servers.
If you look at the bottom, you can filter them based on their speed and capabilities.
The 3 “crown” options are the best, so let’s select these.
|Click on the Server & Country you’re interested in, and you’ll get a prompt asking if you want to change the server.
|You will then be notified that the server has been changed, and you will then get the option to connect now.
|You will then be sent back to the main screen, and you will notice that the server you are connecting to is different and also the color of the map has changed.
Your link is now encrypted and secure & you are browsing through a different country!
Pretty simple right?
Install Shellfire VPN on an iOS Device
The instructions and screenshots provided are for an iPhone but they are the same for an iPad also.
|First install Shellfire VPN from the App Store and then follow the onscreen instructions to enable VPN services on your device.
Once it has been successfully installed on your device you can then change the server location.
|Changing the servers is the same as the steps provided for Android earlier and you will actually see that the screens themselves look very similar.
Simply click on the server list option at the bottom of the screen and then using the filter, select the location you are interested in.
Once again you can filter by the”crowns” so lets select the three crowns for the best connections.
Highlight the country you are interested in and click connect.
You will be asked to confirm whether or not you wish to change the server (Click YES) & then prompted once again to ask if you want to connect to the server.
|Simply click YES once again and you are done!
Really easy right?
Stay tuned for a future post on configuring the Shellfire Box.
This device is slightly different and is a hardware VPN, but by setting it up you can encrypt and secure ALL of the devices in your home through one single interface.
This is perfect for Smart TVs and other devices like the Apple TV which do not support VPN apps.