Our Streaming Hero: Strong VPN

A screen shot of the StrongVPN Website
A screen shot of the StrongVPN Website

An important system that is adjunct to my SONOS system is my virtual private network (VPN). My VPN has its IP address in the US so that it will allow my to stream Pandora, Sirius, Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify streaming services. These are the more popular and reliable steaming services these days and they all form part of my entertainment system.

A VPN literally creates a tunnel from my house to an IP address in the US. Think of it this way: my house is in Pasig but I have an underground tunnel in my basement which connects to a house in the US. This allows me to receive newspapers, mails, and whatever else I need in the US from my house there. Whoever delivers in the US need not bother about the tunnel. As for as he/she is concerned, the delivered address is in the US. Then the occupant of my house in the US then scurries through the tunnel and delivers the goods to my house in Pasig.

There are, I am sure, quite a number of VPN providers out there. And I am not sure who is the best out there. I am, however, very happy with my own provider, StrongVPN. The company has been around for sometime and they have two major advantages for me:

> First, their live chat is what they advertise: live, fast, and knowledgable.

> Second, they have a partner with Sabai Technology, a router provider that provides an operating system (OS) that has been optimized to run StrongVPN’s protocols. I have a Linksys E3000 router with a Sabai VPN accelerator.

With my StrongVPN system my Apple TV setup is now more powerful. I can access its Netflix and Hulu Plus services. Streaming video around the house is fast and digital music streamed through my SONOS is of very high quality. All these hardware, however, will be nothing unless your Internet provider is giving you the bandwidth you need.

And this will be for another topic: the quality of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the Philippines.