How a VPN Service Can Help Your Language Studies
It's been a little while since a new post came out on TYAL. Life gets busy, am I right? But we can pick our goals and hobbies back up at any time. So here I am.
Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite paid services, which I use to watch foreign films, Netflix shows that are only available in certain countries, and a few other random things that it comes in handy for.
It's called a VPN service. Have you heard of it before?
A VPN service basically changes your IP address and reroutes it through the country or region that you choose. For those of you who don't know, your IP address changes depending on which internet router you're connected to, and one of the things it can indicate is where in the world you are.
For companies that use targeted ads, and streaming services like Netflix or YouTube, your IP address can change what you see when you're online. Because of privacy laws that change from country to country, it can also change whether or not you get asked to accept cookies one million times.
If you've ever noticed that when in a new country, your YouTube ads are in the native language, you won't be surprised to hear this. If you haven't experienced this before, it might be because of your location services. Your phone lets you choose whether or not to share your location information, and some people opt out.
A few months ago, I pulled the trigger and signed up for the $12 / month VPN service called ExpressVPN. There are lots of different ones, and I think some are even free, but I am always skeptical of free software. ExpressVPN came with lots of good reviews from real customers, so I was pretty confident that I wouldn't get a virus or have my identity stolen by putting it on my PC. And after a few months, I don't think I will go back to life without it! Here's why.
1. I can watch Ru Paul's drag race whenever my heart desires.
It's only available on Netflix in certain countries.
2. I can access subtitles in different languages, depending on where I set it.
A friend once asked me, how do you get Dutch subtitles on your Netflix? I can never get Arabic
subtitles to show up in the options. My answer? ExpressVPN.
Setting your VPN to the country where your language is spoken opens up new possibilities. You'll even see more foreign movies and shows on the menu.
3. I like Dutch advertisements.
They're funny and they keep my language skills sharp. I'm often surprised by them when they pop
up on my YouTube or other places online because I forget that I have my VPN on, although I
change its location often.
4. I can shop for books or other items specific to a country or region.
5. I can use it on more than one device.
I have it installed on my PC and it sits next to my internet address bar as a little icon. My
boyfriend shares my account and uses it on his phone.
6. It's convenient every now and then for other things, like filling out forms or logging into sites that only allow entry from certain IP addresses. Once, I needed to pay my American phone bill from the Netherlands, but it wouldn't let me onto the site without setting my VPN to somewhere in the states.
I'm hoping that you'll use this information responsibly to further your education and enjoy a few harmless luxuries.
You can, of course, also choose another service! I am just recommending ExpressVPN because that's what I use and I have zero complaints so far. And that sums up my post for today.
Did you know about this trick before reading this? Did you learn something new? What are you using your VPN for? Drop a comment below!
Until next time...