Saturday, February 25, 2012

IP Addresses

One of the biggest downsides to living in the BVI from an entertainment perspective is the lack of a US IP address. If you sign up for internet with either of the two major providers here, you will probably get either a BVI IP address or sometimes, a Dominica IP address. The problem with this, is that many multimedia sites, including Netflix, Hulu, and iheartradio, do not work outside the US -- and they know you're outside the US by your non-US IP address. Even some YouTube clips won't work outside the US.

Obviously, there are ways around this. You can download an IP proxy program that will convince Netflix and Hulu that you are using a US IP. Unfortunately, an IP proxy also slows down your internet speed.

Internet speed in the BVI is already remarkably slow compared to elsewhere in the world. At our place, where we were using a wireless air card through CCT, it could easily take me upwards of an hour to pre-load a 10-minute YouTube video. Now that we're using wirelessly broadcast Lime DSL at home, things have improved, and I can even use Skype to call my parents ... as long as I don't use video.

As a result, the IP proxy that gives you access to Netflix also has the side effect of changing an otherwise happy video-streaming experience to one of constant buffering.

The moral of the story is that if you're moving from the US to the BVI, and you're accustomed to using all these nifty online services for nightly entertainment, you might want to stock up on movies and CDs before you come.

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