Are you a movie buff who does your best every year to catch as many movies as possible? Or are you one of those people who only bother to watch the movies nominated for the Oscars each year?
I used to be in the first group. Over time, I became someone who belonged to the second group.
Anyway, here’s my top five picks for 2019:
- Black Panther: T’Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country’s past.
- Bohemian Rhapsody: The story of the legendary rock band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985).
- Green Book: A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.
- Roma: A year in the life of a middle-class family’s maid in Mexico City in the early 1970s.
- A Star is Born: A musician helps a young singer find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.
Whichever group you’re in, what’s your favorite method to watch your movie picks? Do you still like to go to the theatre and spend a silly amount of money to watch a movie? Although they do have awesome seating now. And those VIP Cinemas where kids aren’t allowed and you can partake in an adult beverage and eat something other than popcorn and candy. So, yes, the theatre can be a cool place. Except, you can have cool seating and adult beverages in your own home—what you chose to do about kid-free zones is up to you.
If you’re watching your movies in your very own home theater—with or without the adult beverages and kids—you have a few options. Are you watching online? Do you have a subscription to Netflix or maybe Amazon Prime? Are you—ahem—downloading torrents?
Depending on where you live, or if you want to hide your tracks, you may need or want to use a VPN.
What is a VPN?
Among other things, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) will allow you to access online content anonymously. For example, you can watch Netflix with a VPN. Not sure why you would want or need to do that?
I’ll tell you, but first, let me give you a rundown of all the capabilities of a VPN.
As mentioned above, a VPN will allow you to move about anonymously while on the Internet. At its core, this network provides what some describe as tunnel around your activity as you move from website to website. This protection is provided because you don’t use your own IP address to surf the Internet. Before going online, you first connect to this private network and all subsequent activities are registered under their IP address.
So it doesn’t matter what websites you visit or what you do while you’re there, no one can spy on your activity. And someone is always monitoring what you do while you’re online. I’m not implying this is always for nefarious means, but it’s still an invasion of your privacy.
Another benefit of a VPN is that all of your data is safe and encrypted from prying eyes. All of us have some sort of sensitive information stored on our computers, so it only makes sense to do our best to try to tighten the security around that information.
So, we’ve discussed two separate ways a VPN can shield you and your data. But let’s get back to the subject at hand. How using a VPN can help you if you want to watch your movies using any of the online or streaming methods mentioned above.
Part of the beauty of being able to use an IP address that isn’t your own is being able to choose one from anywhere in the world to cloak yourself behind. If you aren’t in the US, and you’ve tried to access different content on the Internet, I’m sure you’ve run into situations where that content is blocked due to your location.
Enter the VPN. Regardless of the country you reside in, you can log into your VPN and choose an IP address in the US. Anywhere you go from there assumes that you are in the US. Now all the Netflix content that is blocked behind a geo-restriction is available to you.
And a note for those of you mentioned above who may download a torrent of your movie. A VPN is a wise idea for you as well, again due to the fact that your IP address is hidden. Otherwise, you might get an email from your ISP with some sort of threatening language because you’ve downloaded copyrighted material. Because your ISP is looking over your shoulder and paying attention to where you go while you’re on the Internet.
And by the way, don’t expect one of my top 5 to win. I never pick the winner. Or maybe I do?