Author Archives: Alex Grant
Author Archives: Alex Grant
Avast is a big name in the cybersecurity space with its free antivirus software that’s used by over 400 million people. But how does it’s SecureLine VPN stack up? Overall, you’ll find average performance and solid security features, all in an easy to use tool.
In this Avast SecureLine VPN review, you’ll learn about the privacy and security features, content unblocking abilities, available plans as more, so you can decide if this is the best VPN for you.
Why Choose Avast VPN
It’s a good VPN, simple, easy to use, affordable, and has solid security features. However, some privacy red flags hold this VPN service back.
Best VPN for
Avast has very simple and straightforward pricing plans. There are only two plans to choose from, which makes your decision easy. There’s a month-to-month plan which costs $8.99 per month, which is one of the cheaper month-by-month plans you’ll find.
If you want to save a lot more on the price, then there’s also a one-year plan which breaks down to $3.99 per month, saving you nearly 50% on the total price. Of course, you’ll have to pay for the entire year upfront, but if you want to use a VPN for a year, this could be a great option.
No matter which plan you choose you’ll have support for up to 5 simultaneous connections, so you can connect multiple devices to the VPN at once.
The payment methods offered by Avast are a little lacking. Most other VPNs offer a variety of payment options including Bitcoin, but Avast only supports PayPal and credit cards.
The overall price for the Avast VPN is pretty affordable, but the lack of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency support makes it so you can’t fully hide your online identity.
However, there is a free VPN seven-day trial that’ll let you fully test out the service to see if it’s right for you. You can also take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee, all you have to do is request a full refund from customer support.
The Avast Virtual Private Network (VPN) was created for ease of use and works great for simple tasks like securely connecting over public wi-fi. It caters to a worldwide user base as well, since the tool is available in over 40 different languages.
It doesn’t offer the best content unblocking features (as you’ll learn), but the affordable price makes it an attractive option for those who want basic online privacy features.
There’s also an Avast VPN app, so you can use the VPN on mobile devices who are running Android or iOS. Users who have a smart TV that’s running Android TV can use this VPN to protect their television and any apps you’re running as well.
However, if you’re a Linux user, then you’ll need to find a different VPN, since this tool won’t work on computers running Linux.
Avast VPN has regular and streaming servers available (as you’ll learn below). Here’s how the streaming servers break down:
The streaming servers are optimized and stream content faster than the standard servers.
The VPN is supposed to be able to stream Netflix, however, the results are inconsistent and depend upon your location and the server you’re using to stream.
Amazon Prime Video also had difficulty streaming and commonly gets blocked. However, BBC iPlayer had greater success streaming than both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
If your primary goal of using a VPN is to get around geo-restrictions and unblock streaming services there are better options available. The VPN can get around restrictions, but overall it’s pretty spotty.
The Avast VPN server network is on the smaller side, with 55 servers spread out across 34 different countries, making the total number of servers smaller than most other VPNs. In a lot of locations, you’ll only have access to a single server as well, which can affect bandwidth and speeds during peak hours.
Once you install the application you’ll be able to select your server location, or choose a server for a specific purpose, like streaming, or torrenting.
In the United States, you’ll find 16 different cities, while the United Kingdom has 3 different locations supported.
Streaming optimized servers are available in the US, UK, and Germany. While P2P servers that are dedicated to torrenting are available in 6 countries spread out across 8 different servers.
Here are a few P2P server locations for torrenting:
The Avast VPN actually has pretty great download speeds and overall connection speeds. There’s a lot that goes into measuring speed and a lot of factors that can influence speeds, like your location, server location, time of day, the device you’re using and much more.
Speed tests show that the overall speeds put it well above average when compared to similarly priced VPNs.
Avast VPN uses the industry-standard 256-Bit AES encryption. This is the gold standard of encryption and is used by institutions such as banks, to secure sensitive financial information.
This means the VPN is secure, however, this level of encryption is common to almost every VPN on the market today. UDP messaging protocol is supported by Avast, which sends information securely between a web browser and a server and can improve speeds.
The two VPN connection protocols supported are OpenVPN and IPSec. The protocols that are used will depend on the operating system. If you’re a Windows user your connection will be established with OpenVPN, while if you’re a macOS user you’ll connect via IPSec. Unfortunately, no other protocols are supported, but the two protocols above work well for beginners.
The moment you turn on the tool, DNS leak protection is enabled. This helps to protect your IP address and make sure it isn’t being “leaked”, and your original IP address remains anonymous. IP leaks and WebRTC leaks can expose your IP, your location, and other identifying information.
DNS and IP leak tests show that the connection is completely secure.
There are some additional settings, which can ensure you’ll stay protected whenever you’re using the internet. For example, you can enable a setting that’ll automatically turn on the VPN whenever you connect to the internet.
You can also turn on the kill switch. This will stop your internet connection the moment your VPN disconnects.
These features work together to help ensure that whenever you’re using the internet you’re routing traffic through the VPN.
However, you won’t find any additional features like built-in malware protection, or an ad-blocker, like other premium VPNs.
Avast VPN is based in the Czech Republic which isn’t part of any intelligence sharing agreements across countries.
However, the VPN does capture some user information under the guise of improving the service.
Here’s some of the information that is recorded:
There are also some big privacy red flags you’ll want to be aware of:
Avast has a transparency report that shows the number of times a request has been made by law enforcement and the number of times it’s cooperated and given user information.
Although the numbers aren’t high, it is disconcerting to see that they have given over private user information in the past.
Recent reports have shown that Avast has collected user browsing data from 100 million devices. It would then sell this personal data to companies like Microsoft, Google, and Yelp.
This data wasn’t collected via the VPN and the Jumpcut program has officially been closed, but it’s still something to be wary of.
Even though the data that was collected and sold was anonymous, it’s still a breach of trust on behalf of its users. In the VPN space, you need to trust your VPN provider fully to protect your online activity and keep you safe online.
NordVPN and IPVanish are two incredibly popular VPN options. IPVanish isn’t as widely used as NordVPN, but it’s a popular choice for those looking for a VPN on a budget.
Below you’ll learn how these two VPNs stack up against each other and see which VPN comes out on top, so you can decide which one will be the best VPN for you.
$11.95 per month
$5.00 per month
$4.50 per month
$4.92 per month
$3.25 per month
$3.71 per month
When trying to find the best price you’ll want to look at the total cost and the flexibility of the plans. The last thing you want is to be locked into a long-term contract when you only need to use a VPN for a few months while traveling.
Both NordVPN and IPVanish have flexible pricing plans. You’ll find monthly subscriptions, along with longer-term plans.
NordVPN offers one-month, one-year, two-year, and three-year plans, while IPVanish offers a one-month, three-month, and one-year plan.
Signing up for a long-term plan might seem a bit more expensive, but both plans also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you can test out the service to see if it’s right for you.
When looking at the cost between the two, IPVanish is a bit cheaper than NordVPN across every plan. The price difference between the two is the smallest when you’re paying for a month by month plan. The biggest discount is when you’re paying for IPVanish on a three-month or yearly basis.
However, even though IPVanish is cheaper it’s not equipped with the same level of features. Including some must-have features for some users, like the ability to get around China’s firewall.
IPVanish wins on price, on every single plan. You can get a bigger discount when you pay upfront instead of monthly.
NordVPN and IPVanish both offer support for multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. However, there are some big differences between the total feature sets.
For instance, NordVPN is better for Linux users, since it offers a command based installer. While IPVanish requires a manual configuration on Linux machines.
If you’re in a device-heavy household, then you’ll be happy to hear that IPVanish allows 10 devices to be connected at once, compare this to NordVPN which only allows up to 6 simultaneous connections.
However, NordVPN comes equipped with extra features that the IPVanish VPN doesn’t have. For example, with NordVPN you’ll find:
Unfortunately, NordVPN doesn’t allow for split tunneling on every application, only when using the browser extension. Split tunneling is a process that allows you to split your network traffic.
This lets certain apps connect to the VPN, while others will bypass the VPN. This can be useful if a certain app requires high-speed internet access, while the other can get by using a slower VPN connection.
NordVPN just barely nudges out IPVanish. Even though it doesn’t allow split tunneling on every platform its ad-blocking and automatic VPN connection sets it apart.
Both VPNs offer you a wide selection of VPN protocols. IPVanish lets users connect via OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP protocols. While NordVPN supports, IKEv2, and OpenVPN protocols.
Both VPNs also provide AES-256 data encryption, which is impossible to encrypt and will ensure that your browsing is private and completely secure. Both providers also have features in place to prevent DNS leaks.
NordVPN also offers obfuscated VPN servers to help get around censorship restrictions in certain countries, this prevents them from finding out you’re using a VPN in the first place. IPVanish has a feature that allows you to scramble traffic when using OpenVPN, but it’s not as effective.
Both NordVPN and IPVanish have a kill switch. A kill switch will automatically drop the internet connection if your VPN drops out. This ensures the device you’re using to browse the internet won’t connect to your ISP without the protection of a VPN.
NordVPN has a kill switch for its iOS app but doesn’t currently support Android devices. The kill switch offered by NordVPN also allows you to apply it to certain applications while forgoing others.
There is one black spot on NordVPN’s privacy record. In 2018 they suffered a data breach, where a hacker was able to penetrate one of NordVPNs 5000+ servers and expose the IP addresses of users who were connected to the server during that time.
NordVPN did cut ties with that server provider, but a lot of the damage remained and it left users wondering how secure the VPN really is. On the other hand, they took additional steps to bolster their security following the breach, so moving forward the security standards and protocols are higher.
Both providers are extremely secure, but the recent data breach makes IPVanish the winner here.
Which VPN provides the fastest connection speeds? This question can be a little difficult to answer since there are a variety of factors that can influence speeds. For example, the location you’re connecting from, the server location, the speed of your current broadband connection, the router you're using, how many devices are connected to the network, and more.
Both NordVPN and IPVanish are very fast VPN providers. Depending on the time, day, and the other factors mentioned above, one VPN could be faster than the other.
However, NordVPN does offer more server locations, so you get access to geo-restricted content from a wider variety of countries, like Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Japan, and much more. Plus, NordVPN has almost a thousand more servers than IPVanish, which can mean higher speeds and greater reliability.
NordVPN also offers support for WireGuard. WireGuard is currently the fastest VPN protocol and continuously outperforms OpenVPN, which most other VPNs still utilize.
Overall, NordVPN achieves faster download speeds than IPVanish, plus it has a larger server network and can support more bandwidth. The ad-blocking feature of NordVPN can also improve speeds by preventing ads from loading, which saves on bandwidth.
Speed is tough to calculate, but NordVPN wins this round due to its larger server network and support for WireGuard.
The ultimate goal of a VPN is to keep your online activity private from your ISP and the government. To achieve this all of your traffic will be rerouted through the VPN, so it’s crucial that you actually trust the VPN to protect your privacy.
NordVPN and IPVanish both have a zero logs policy. This means they don’t keep a record of your activity or connection logs. None of this information is stored on their servers, including your IP address.
Instead of relying on a single server, NordVPN uses a double VPN server setup for even higher security.
When you sign up to create an account with either NordVPN or IPVanish you will be required to input your email address. There are a variety of payment options including PayPal and credit card. However, you can also pay via Bitcoin for a completely anonymous transaction. NordVPN also accepts payment via a variety of altcoins including, Ethereum and Monero.
NordVPN does get a leg up because it’s based in Panama, which doesn’t require VPNs to maintain a log of user activity. IPVanish is based in Orlando, Florida, USA. Since it's based in the United States it has a presence in the Fourteen Eyes and Enemies of the Internet. This does raise questions about the overall privacy of IPVanish.
NordVPN wins the privacy round due to being based in Panama and supporting multiple cryptocurrency payment options.
NordVPN is known for its ability to bypass content blocking restrictions. IPVanish has a selection of regional streaming services that it can bypass, but it has difficulty getting around more strict geo-restrictions.
Plus, NordVPN can also unblock a wider range of services and can access a wider selection of Netflix libraries that are based in certain countries. Plus, it can unblock Hulu. IPVanish does have trouble unblocking Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer.
However, neither of these services succeed in unblocking ABC when you’re in a different country. This isn’t really a failure on the part of either of the tools, but instead, it’s because ABC has very strong geo-blocking features that other networks don’t have.
Finally, we have torrenting. NordVPN offers P2P specific servers for anonymous torrenting, while IPVanish does not.
China will always pose a problem to VPNs. The Great Firewall receives constant updates, which can render a lot of VPN functionality useless in regards to China
IPVanish is unlikely to work in China. However, users are still welcome to try the VPN to see if it’ll work.
On the other hand, NordVPN works flawlessly in China. The setup time will be longer than in other countries, but it’s one of the few VPNs that works in the country.
However, you’ll need to configure your VPN before entering the country, since a lot of VPN websites are automatically blocked by the firewall.
NordVPN wins this round with its ability to unblock almost every network, plus its commitment to getting around the Great Chinese Firewall.
Choosing between VPN services is a tough choice. Both VPNs offer solid security features, great privacy options, fast speeds, and access to a variety of streaming networks.
However, NordVPN beats out IPVanish. Although it’s pricier, it has better content unblocking features, better speed options, along with a handful of additional features that push it ahead.
If you’re still on the fence, you can test out either service risk-free and take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee.
The internet has fundamentally changed the human experience. It’s impacted the way we exchange information, communicate, buy goods and services, learn, and much more. And while the internet offers huge benefits, it’s not without its share of dangers, risks, and unwanted side-effects.
Parents, educators, and politicians are all facing a new challenge: How to teach children and young adults how to use the internet responsibly. The term “Digital Citizenship” has emerged, as a way to describe the concept of being a responsible citizen, not only of one’s own country, but of the increasingly digital global world.
This guide seeks to explain what digital citizenship is, and what it means for children, parents, educators and more. We’ll explain how to teach children to use the internet safely and responsibly, how to establish boundaries and practice digital wellness, how to secure digital devices, and more.
Digital citizenship refers to how an individual uses digital tools and the internet - and whether or not digital use is managed in a responsible and safe manner. Digital citizenship applies to anyone who uses the internet regularly - which, increasingly, is the vast majority of the global population.
Put simply, a good digital citizen is someone who uses the internet safely, utilizes digital tools to connect with others in an empathetic manner, and who avoids overuse of social media and other addictive elements of the internet.
On the other hand, a bad digital citizen is someone who does not follow internet safety protocols, uses digital tools to bully or divide, and who overuses the internet to the point of being unhealthy.
The internet is a powerful tool. Online shopping, digital entertainment, social media and more can all be extremely useful tools - but only if used correctly. Responsible digital citizens know how to use these tools properly, rather than letting those tools use them. Digital citizenship best practices are vital for thriving in the 21st century - and it’s up to parents and educators to teach the elements of digital citizenship.
Despite living in a digital age, digital citizenship is not yet taught in most schools. Although some educators are starting to at least introduce the topic, much of the responsibility falls on parents. If you’re looking to teach responsible digital citizenship, here’s now to start:
Before you can teach responsible internet use, it’s important to understand the topics yourself. Educating yourself before guiding your children is not only helpful for their learning, but also for your own digital wellbeing. Like anything else, parents should remember that children often mimic our own behaviors - and how we behave online is no different. Teachers should understand privacy and security in the classroom, as well as how to teach children the necessary skills to be responsible digital citizens. Read through this article, as well as the linked resources, to gain a better understanding for yourself, before you begin teaching your children or students.
All internet users will have some existing knowledge about the internet and its use. Some students may even receive some basic digital education at school. Parents should have a basic conversation about the internet and technology with their children, to help evaluate current knowledge and behaviors.
How you choose to present digital citizenship resources and knowledge is important. For young kids, presenting information in an engaging way is important. For teens, who may rebel at the thought of a parent telling them how to behave online, you may have to change the approach. By focusing on how digital citizenship can empower users to be in charge of their own data, their own time, and their own wellbeing, parents may be able to break through the resistance they face from teens and tweens.
Many parents can gather enough information on their own to teach their kids about online safety, their digital footprint, etc. Educators can look to school districts for formal curriculum and lesson plans, or use a variety of online resources.
If you’d like a more structured curriculum, there are some paid resources available to the public, such as CyberCivics.
When learning about or teaching digital citizenship, here are some key tenets to focus on:
Understanding how the internet works is the first step in starting to think about digital citizenship. This gives students the background knowledge of the internet itself, and may also foster a sense of appreciation (or even wonder) at something that many of us take for granted.
This infographic from WebFX covers the basics.
For a more in-depth learning experience, this paid course from Study.com is specifically targeted at kids.
Understanding how to safely and proactively manage user data and privacy is absolutely essential. Explaining simple concepts, like the permanence of social media posts, is vital yet often overlooked. Internet users must understand that nearly every website, service or app they use is collecting and storing a huge amount of data automatically.
This guide to user data from Wired is a great starter resource.
Maintaining privacy online is a struggle. However, children must be taught about the very real privacy (and safety) concerns of internet usage, and particularly social media usage. On the surface, the internet can seem like an anonymous place - but with data tracking, user accounts tied to social media profiles, and easy tracing, it’s very rare that anything done online is actually anonymous.
This detailed privacy guide is a helpful primer on internet privacy.
For parents specifically, our privacy guide for parents gives some tips on how to teach your children online safety.
Digital literacy, sometimes called digital information literacy, is the practice of consuming information online, and judging whether it is accurate, where it originated, and what it means. In an age of misinformation and fake news, digital literacy is exceptionally important.
One of the most direct ways to teach kids about digital literacy is to supply them with good-quality sources to use for academic research. By consuming safe, accurate media, your children will start to learn what quality content looks like, making it easier to spot misinformation.
Keeping accounts, personal data and passwords secure is an important part of digital security for internet users of all ages. This starts with creating and managing strong, unique passwords on all your accounts (strong passwords are important for adults, as well!). Learning which websites and topics are potentially unsafe is also important. Devices themselves must also be secured - particularly smartphones and other mobile devices.
More advanced topics that will be more relevant for teens and adults, like using VPNs, ad-blockers and more, is explained in our complete guide to online privacy and security.
Here’s something you may not think of right away: Empathy is actually key to the responsible use of technology. The anonymity and mostly text-based nature of internet communications can easily empower children to say things online that they don’t truly mean - and often, things that they would never say to someone’s face. This can lead to hurt feelings, and in more extreme cases, cyberbullying. Thus, teaching children empathy - and how it relates to internet use - is important for turning today’s students into responsible technology users with proper digital etiquette.
Bullying is a huge problem in schools, social groups and childhood in general. And while technology has enabled kids to stay connected outside of school, it’s also empowered a whole new type of bullying: cyberbullying. Introducing kids to this topic can help arm them with the tools they need to react appropriately if they are ever cyber-bullied. And a primer on this topic, combined with lessons in empathy and compassion, can help prevent kids from becoming cyber-bullies themselves.
This article from UNICEF is a good primer to the world of cyberbullying.
Maintaining a healthy use of technology is important - and surprisingly difficult. Most of the internet is designed to keep our attention for as long as possible, which can lead to addictive and unhealthy tendencies.
Social media can be particularly invasive, eating up a shocking percentage of our free time. Digital wellness is a broad concept that includes keeping technology use to an appropriate level, setting boundaries on use during certain hours, and maintaining a good balance between technology use and our own physical & mental wellbeing.
This Digital Wellness 101 guide from the University of Washington is a good primer resource for all internet users.
Social media is one of the most popular - and most pervasive - online activities. Keeping social media use in check is important for all of us, but it’s particularly important for children. Social media activity can affect kids’ body image, focus, mental health, and more. Additionally, social media accounts can be used as a hotbed of personal information for hackers and other bad actors, creating notable safety concerns for parents.
Kids Health has a good guide for parents on what to teach kids about social media use.
Learning about the “digital divide”, or the inequality of technological access, is an important part of being a responsible digital citizen. While many of us take internet access for granted, it’s still very much a luxury when you adopt a global perspective. While around 85% of people in the United States have internet access, only around 59% of global citizens do.
Explaining to your children or students that technology is a privilege and a luxury may help foster a sense of appreciation, and will also help shape a more empathetic world-view.
The internet is rife with scams, pyramid schemes, malware, “phishing” emails, identity theft attempts, and more. Introducing children and teens to these scams is important. Ideally, a good digital citizen can spot a scam posting or a phishing email at a glance - but doesn’t become overly paranoid or distrusting.
Scams can take hundreds of different shapes, and often take critical thinking to identify. Phishing emails are usually easier to spot - focus on the sender email address, and verify that the email is actually from the organization it’s pretending to be.
The FTC has a detailed guide on how to spot phishing scams.
Limiting “screen time”, meaning any interaction with digital technologies, cell phones and other devices, is important for all of us. Excessive screen time can cause sleep problems, addictive tendencies, mood problems, physical health effects, and more.
This is a good primer on screen time for children and teens, from the AACAP.
In many ways, being a good digital citizen is just as important as being a good citizen in general. And just as parents must teach their children to say please and thank you, and to look both ways when crossing the street, parents in the digital age must now teach children how to responsibly navigate the world of technology. Fortunately, there are many digital citizenship resources available to parents and educators.
Major news hit the gaming world recently with Microsoft announcing that it is shutting down the video game live streaming platform Mixer on July 22, 2020, due to disappointing growth and revenue.
The announcement came as a somewhat of a surprise: Mixer tallied over 3 million combined App Store and Google Play downloads in 2020, alone, and the service is the exclusive home of uber-popular streamers Ninja and Shroud. Nevertheless, Mixer simply hasn’t built up a large enough user base for the tech giant to keep it afloat.
However, there’s no reason for dedicated video game stream viewers to worry, as plenty of alternative video game live streaming platforms stack up well against Mixer, even outshining the site in certain areas.
Here are our picks for the 11 best Mixer alternatives.
Bigo Live is a streaming platform for PC, iOS, and Android released by BIGO, a Singapore-based company. Users can stream games, display their singing talents, conduct group audio and video chats, and go head-to-head against other streamers in fun competitions.
A majority of Bigo Live’s 200 million-strong user base hails from Southeast Asia, but the service is gaining popularity in the West, as well.
Bigo Live’s interactive social aspects and offbeat competitions make it one-of-a-kind, and a much quirkier beast than Mixer.
A relatively new, well-funded live streaming and social broadcasting platform released in 2018 banking on big-name celebrity broadcasters like Drake and Offset (of Migos fame) to expand its popularity and viewer numbers. Caffeine’s flashy app and website showcase a wide variety of content that goes beyond gaming.
While Mixer attracted some of the top game streaming personalities to its platform, Caffeine has thrown money at superstars in the entertainment industry hoping to become a draw for casual users outside of the niche gaming community.
DLive is a live streaming platform with a heavy gaming focus built using Lino blockchain technology. The growing platform features a unique rewards ecosystem where streamers and viewers are granted Lino Points (worth $0.012), which they can give to their favorite content creators. DLive now boasts over 5 million active monthly users.
DLive is a decentralized platform, unlike Mixer. The service places fewer restrictions on streaming content, and gives users a more generous share of earnings compared to Mixer.
Many folks might not be aware that Facebook had a dedicated game streaming platform, but it’s been right there all along, accessible from a tab on the main Facebook page. While Facebook Gaming isn’t one of the most popular game streaming platforms, Microsoft has announced a partnership with Facebook to redirect Mixer users to Facebook Gaming once the site closes, which may give the service a boost.
Facebook Gaming is just one component of a large social media behemoth, rather than a dedicated streaming platform like Mixer. However, due to Facebook’s deal with Microsoft, many streamers and communities may be making the move from Mixer over to the service.
A long-running global gaming community with a major focus on popular eSports titles such as League of Legends, DOTA 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. GosuGamers has a competitive focus, with a menu that features global rankings and schedules of upcoming tournaments and matches.
Gosugamers is a more focused and niche-oriented site compared to Mixer, but it’s a great destination for eSports enthusiasts.
A decent live streaming platform that boasts low latency streams and a live chat window for viewers to interact just like Twitch and Mixer. Instagib TV currently has a small but growing following among game streaming enthusiasts.
Instagib TV is a much smaller and more intimate experience than Mixer, yet offers similar streamer-to-audience interactivity features as the larger streaming platforms.
An esports streaming service with a focus on the top competitive games in the eSports world, including Overwatch, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft. MLG isn’t a service where anyone can kick off a stream of their favorite game, but instead follows an air schedule of major matches between big-time eSports competitors.
MLG is a very different animal than Mixer, a broad, inclusive platform with many streamers playing all types of games, but it excels at delivering intense eSports matches featuring some of the world’s most talented gamers.
A versatile live-streaming app for Android and iOS used to stream all types of content and live events, including video games. Users are able to browse content on the app by type or by geographical region. Periscope has been lauded for its interactive features and the ease for which viewers can discover previously unexplored content.
While Mixer is principally for streaming video games, Periscope features a much greater diversity of content, which either is good or bad depending on your preferences.
The mother of all live game streaming platforms, Twitch is hugely popular, boasting several million live viewers and over 100,000 live channels at any given moment. Users can choose dozens streams of any game they wish to check out, including the latest AAA blockbusters like The Last of Us 2 and beloved retro titles, like Super Mario Bros. 3.
What’s more, the Amazon-owned service boasts exclusive multi-million deals with some of the most popular streamers in the business, including DrLupo and TimTheTatman.
Considering Mixer was in competition with Twitch to match it in content creation and viewer numbers before Microsoft announced it would shutter its service, Twitch has many similarities with Mixer. However, Twitch is simply bigger and better, with a greater number of streams and wider range of features and customizable functions.
Smashcast materialized in 2017 in the wake of a merger between the live streaming platforms Azubu and Hitbox. Although the service has experienced a decline in the past year, it was once one of the leading independent eSports broadcasters not based in Asia, and the site of choice of many fans for watching competitive eSports matchups.
Smashcast has a narrower scope than Mixer, with its eSports focus. However, the service does have one unfortunate thing in common with Mixer: it seems to be slowly dying out and losing its user base.
The gaming wing of the biggest online video-sharing platform in existence, YouTube Gaming is now the second-biggest live video game streaming platform behind Twitch. While it still has a long way to go to match Twitch’s viewership numbers, YouTube Gaming has been steadily drawing users away from its biggest competitor, thanks to exclusive deals with major eSports leagues like Overwatch League and Call of Duty League.
Once a separate app, YouTube Gaming has merged with the main Youtube site, and has grown into a solid live streaming platform for viewers and streamers alike, offering a wide selection of channels and support for 4K streaming.
Youtube Gaming was once neck-in-neck with Mixer for the title of Twitch’s top competitor in the video game live streaming sphere, but has since moved ahead thanks to an exclusive deal with Activision Blizzard. What’s more, unlike Mixer, Youtube Gaming allows viewers to select from a large number of stream quality options.
Grey’s Anatomy is a hospital-based drama series. The long-running show has been a springboard for a number of stars, including Sandra Oh, Patrick Dempsey, and Katherine Heigl. The mix of medical emergencies and inter-personal relationships between the hospital’s staff members is a compelling formula that has kept this series at the top of the ratings for more than a decade.
Grey’s Anatomy first aired in March 2005 and it is now preparing its 17th season. Only three members of the original cast are still in the series. These are Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr. Ellen Pompeo portrays Meredith Grey. This is the character from who the show takes its name and the plot is delivered by a running commentary from Pompeo.
The longevity of the show means that, as well as the opportunity to watch the drama as each episode is released, there is also a large back-catalog of episodes. So, those who want to watch Grey’s Anatomy can look both for live TV streams and video on demand streaming services. The 16 series that have already been broadcast include a total of 363 episodes.
Grey’s Anatomy is a schedule highlight of the ABC network and that TV station is still the best way to watch new series. ABC.com streams the network live, so you could catch Grey’s Anatomy when each new episode is aired by checking in at the time of each broadcast. The video library of the ABC website includes the five most recently aired episodes of the show.
In order to get access to the videos at ABC.com, you need to have a cable TV provider. However, a second option is to check into the ABC service with a subscription to Hulu + Live TV, AT&T TV Now, or YouTubeTV.
Older series are available on Netflix and on Lifetime TV. Lifetime doesn’t stream the show on its website, but it can be streamed through Hulu + Live TV, Philo, fuboTV, and Sling TV.
Sky Witness shows Grey’s Anatomy in the UK. Subscribers to Sky can watch the Sky Witness channel live over the internet through Sky Go. Those who don’t have a home TV package from Sky can subscribe instead to Now TV to watch Grey’s Anatomy online. From series 17 onwards, Greys Anatomy will be streamed on Disney+ in the UK.
Grey’s Anatomy is available on Netflix for Canada, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Chile, Argentina, and the Netherlands.
In Australia, Stan has all of the older series up to series 13. Neon streams Grey’s anatomy in New Zealand
CTV owns the rights to broadcast Grey’s Anatomy in Canada and it has just finished showing series 16. The last few episodes are available at the CTV website for streaming. The 7 Plus has the latest seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and will show series 17 live when it is released. Both of these broadcasters show Grey’s Anatomy for free but only for viewers in their own country.
As explained above, you can get to watch Grey’s Anatomy without needing to subscribe to a video streaming service, but only if you are in the right country. VPNs perform the trick of making it seem as though the user is in a different country. The user of a VPN can change locations at will without actually moving anywhere.
All web and internet services, including video streaming systems and their websites need to know where to send back the response to a request. So, every request for a video has a return address on it. This is called an IP address and anyone can check on the physical location of the device that the address is assigned to. So, it is very easy for a video server to block people from different countries so they don’t get the video.
When a computer is linked to a VPN server, all of the traffic in and out of the device runs through the VPN. As it leaves the VPN, it gets the server’s address on it as the source. So, the video streaming server sends the video stream back to the VPN, which then forwards the stream on to the protected device.
The software on the device that creates a connection to the VPN server is called a client. The interface for the client allows the user to choose a server location before creating the connection. The location can be changed by closing the VPN connection, choosing a different server, and then reconnecting.
For the record, BestVPN.org does not condone copyright infringement but promotes online privacy and security inherent in legitimate VPNs.
The VPN just changes your location, it doesn’t do away with the need to pay for access to subscription-based video streaming services. It can’t break into systems that require a username and password.