India is an incredible country with rich culture and breathtaking scenic views. Taking it all in can be a life-changing experience. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to just lounge in front of a TV and watch some good old shows from home.
A few people possess the uncanny skill to fit everything, and their kitchen sinks into a tiny suitcase for a trip. But TV shows are one of those things that just have to stay behind. That is, at least, until now. Thanks to the evolution of online streaming services and on-demand programs, people can now take their favorite shows with them wherever they go.
The internet offers up plenty of new ways to access television shows from another country. So those living in or traveling to India don’t have to resort to illegal methods to get hold of what they want.
How to Access International Content in India
It is possible to watch shows from almost any country while in India, to varying degrees of success.
Certain international streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video bring a trove of American and international shows to countries like India. These services don’t always offer the same content everywhere, however. Many popular shows are still not available, even to those with a valid subscription.
Other countries’ channels are a little harder to access but can be found via free (legal) online streaming services. FilmOnTV, for example, streams popular French, Latino, Russian, Italian, and UK channels for free; if one’s willing to cope with the not so stellar quality.
Meanwhile, some countries’ citizens are extremely lucky with services like Newon TV that allow people to watch Dutch TV from anywhere. There’s a small subscription fee, but there aren’t any limitations on shows – no matter where the content is being streamed to.
Streaming services are growing in popularity and availability. They also keep expanding their services to new countries every year. There are workarounds to on-demand services too, mainly if the person visiting or staying in India still has friendly connections back home. For instance, BBC iPlayer and SkyTV can still be accessed through someone with a valid license in the UK.
Hopefully, everyone will be able to watch whatever content they want in the near future without any boundaries. But for now, there are still many shows and movies that people cannot access because they are not available in their country.
Why Are Some Shows Still Blocked Off in India?
Streaming services need to adhere to international broadcasting laws, which vary on strictness depending on the country. They need to petition for the right to stream any show or movie on a per-country basis. So subscribers who have the right to access a show in one country will lose that right if they travel to a different country. Unless the service has obtained the rights to stream it there as well.
As with many things, this is often determined by money, or rather, demand. Those that manage the service have to foresee a high demand for a show or a movie in that specific country. If they don’t, then they won’t pay the fees needed to localize the content there. Other times, another subscription service or local broadcaster already obtained those rights to air the content in that country.
How to Get Access to Everything in India: VPN
Unfortunately, copyright laws can get in the way of accessing quality content from just anywhere. Popular streaming services like Netflix do not share the same content in India as they do in the US, for instance. So even if someone is a paying US citizen, they will be locked out of that content when visiting or moving to India.
Right now, the only legal way around this is with a VPN. Connecting to a VPN server in the desired country (let’s say the US, for example) will allow someone in India to stream content from there. This is possible thanks to the fact that VPNs reroute the connection through that server, which then replaces the user’s real IP address. Changing the IP address overcomes geo-blocking because the website will think that the person is actually in that country.
Just be aware that, even though India allows VPNs, some websites do still find ways of blocking those connections.
Streaming overseas content while in India doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. There’s no need to resort to illegal streaming sites either (they’re infested with malware anyway).
Streaming services have come a long way and, luckily, VPN services are there to fill in the gaps where needed.