Streaming services are resembling cable TV more with each passing year. We're talking bundling, comparable prices and more.
But at least with modern technology, you can take your streaming services with you. Right?
You can watch on your TV, computer, iPad or phone. You probably take at least one of those devices with you when you travel. Easy peasy.
If you’re leaving the United States, though, things quickly get complicated or impossible. Are you able to access the content you pay streaming services to view when you leave the borders of the 50 states?
Can I Use My Streaming Service When I Travel Internationally?
Can I access my streaming services when I travel internationally?
That’s what a Clark Howard podcast listener recently asked.
Asked Carey in New York: "When you sign up for a streaming service, can you access it — including all the channels, anywhere in the United States and abroad — assuming internet access?"
Few things are more painful than plopping down on a comfortable bed in some swanky international hotel room, ready to watch a movie while contending with jetlag, only to realize you can’t access your streaming service.
For sports fans, the sting can be especially painful, considering most people consume sports live. You’re paying for the streaming bill each month. Yet you often can’t even get to the content you want outside of the U.S.
Potential Workaround: Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Let's say your favorite streaming service won't work in the country you're visiting. Try accessing the internet through a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Through encryption, among other things, a VPN can represent that you're in a different location than you are. Team Clark recommended a few VPN options to keep your home Wi-Fi network secure:
Some streaming services may be able to detect VPN usage and block that method. But it’s worth looking into if you get desperate to watch something and you’re outside of the United States.
For movies and shows, you also may be able to download them to your device before you leave the United States. That way you can watch them without needing to log into your streaming service.
You Don’t Have To Try Streaming Internationally To Run Into Complications
Frustration can find you even if you’re in the United States but away from home.
Want to watch your streaming service wherever you are in the United States? That depends on the terms of service of that subscription.
As an example, Clark's family uses YouTube TV.
“If I’m traveling, there’s a popup on YouTube TV that asks if I am temporarily in this area or if I am permanently in the area that I’m now watching,” Clark says.
“If you’re traveling, they’ll let you temporarily watch it under their terms of service wherever you are. But let’s say you’re somebody with a vacation home and a regular home. They’re going to try to force you to have not one subscription with them. But two.”
Netflix also spent the last few years working on its profit margins. One of its strategies? Cracking down on password sharing. As a result, it has become harder to use the same Netflix account in multiple locations within the United States.
“In families where people have shared passwords,” Clark says, “Netflix caused a lot of hurt feelings when they went to this system where you had to have a different Netflix subscription depending on where you were in the country if you had two people watching in different places.”
Planning an international trip? Do some research ahead of time if you plan to utilize one of your streaming services.
It’s quite possible that you won’t be able to access the content you want simply by logging into your streaming service while abroad.
The post Can I Access My Streaming Service Anywhere in the U.S. and Internationally? appeared first on Clark Howard.