Amazon Prime Instant Video is a premium video streaming service created by the Amazon.com company. For a flat fee, a subscriber gains access to the service as part of a bundle that includes priority shipping for a majority of items on their website. Like many of their competitors, Amazon Prime Instant Video (referred to from this point on as the acronym APIV) uses geo-blocking to restrict viewing. Geo-blocking means that the service is not supported outside of the geographic region the subscriber is in. If you wanted access to APIV outside of the five countries the service is offered in, you would need a paid subscription to the service and a good VPN. Coming up, we have some great thoughts on which ones to choose.
First launched in the US in 2006, APIV has gone through several iterations. The service started as Amazon Unbox, and was renamed Amazon Video on Demand in 2008. In 2011, the service was renamed again to it’s current name, Amazon Prime Instant Video. With this renaming, Amazon.com added access to 5000 movies and shows. In an effort to rival their biggest competitor, Netflix, Amazon signed a deal with Epix.com to feature movies on APIV, and in 2013 started producing original content.
Amazon Prime Instant Video members have exclustive access to original series like Bosch, Alpha House, Mozart in the Jungle, and Transparent. They have also produced several programs for children including Annedroids, Creative Galaxy, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, and Tumble Leaf. Amazon will be adding Hand of God, Just Add Magic, The New Yorker Presents, and Red Oaks to their list of original series this year.
Currently, APIV is only available in five countries. Those countries are the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Austria, and Germany. Again, if you are traveling outside the US or if you do not live in one of those countries, you would need a VPN service and a paid subscription. Despite the small number of libraries to connect to, the content in those libraries is massive.
Amazon Prime Instant Video reports over 17,000 titles for the US market. That is almost double the number of titles on Netflix. The question is, do you prefer a huge variety of things to watch over image quality? Of the 17k titles, a rough estimate states that only 2,000 or so are in High Definition for APIV vs. the over 7,000 High Definition titles for Netflix. Of course, these numbers are different depending on which region you are connecting to, and there is more content added regularly. There is a trade off in the two services, but according to Consumer Reports, both are pretty equivalent.
Pricing for Amazon Prime is different for the five countries and APIV is available as part of the bundle for all of them. When you convert these numbers in to a common currency, It becomes clear very quickly who has the best rates in this equation. Here is a brief list of most of them.
- USA = $99 a year for regular, $49 a year for a student membership
- Austria = €49 a year
- Germany = €49 a year
- UK = £79 a year
So, a VPN service is a must whether you are traveling outside of these zones, have moved outside these zones, or just want uninhibited access to the five markets. There are many choices online for VPN services, but which one should you choose? Our list above includes some splendid recommendations for you. These services all have custom clients, so all you would have to do is select the country you wish, and connect.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the best VPNs to use with Amazon Prime Video.
If you are a fan of certain sports teams like those you may find in the English Premier League, you can watch some of the games on the BBC iPlayer website. Of course, you would need to be in the UK. However, if you are not, you will want to connect to a UK VPN server. To watch BBC coverage of your favorite football team or any other sports from outside the region, you would simply connect a server located there. That way, you can enjoy seeing your team lay waste to the competition.
The ExpressVPN team goes the extra mile to provide a feature rich service. They are also strong privacy advocates. They offer a $5,000 Future of Privacy scholarship every year to help promote privacy among college students. Just a quick example of their dedication to spreading the message of privacy around the world. Just as important, they offer a premium network to allow for fast connections. This makes the service an excellent choice for downloading and streaming. Test their network for yourself with their 30-day money-back guarantee. Sign up for 12 months and get 3 months free with our ExpressVPN deal.
NordVPN does a great job of protecting your privacy when you use their service. One of the ways they do that is by offering you a kill switch feature. When you turn it on, it will ensure that all of your traffic is protected. It does that by shutting down your internet traffic if the VPN disconnects. That way, you won’t have to worry about unprotected data getting into the hands of others so you won’t leave yourself vulnerable to theft or attack.
Sports is still one of the biggest draws of TV watchers. More often than not, viewers want to watch their favorite events at the scheduled time. Unfortunately, you may not always be able to view your favorite sport because of licensing rights from other countries. By connecting to a VPN server from Private Internet Access, however, you can watch your favorite no matter where it is. All you would have to do is select the country where the sport is, have access to the channel for watching and enjoy them.
One of the significant advantages of using IPVanish when you’re gaming is to help you get around lag. While you may not think about it, using a VPN may make your game faster because of network congestion. Whether you game competitively or just casually, using a VPN could make a difference between in-game life and death. All you have to do is connect to the closest server to you, and you may be able to get around any issues that the lag causes.
As you may know, some countries offer great content. Whether that is content from the US like HBO Now, Stan from Australia, CBC shows, or others, you can bet that StrongVPN has you covered. All you have to do is connect to a VPN server and choose the country you wish. That way, you can enjoy some of your favorites or make new ones. As long as what you want to watch is from one of the 30 countries, you will have no issues.
If you are in a country or visiting one that has strict rules on censorship, you can help keep yourself safe by connecting to a server from StrongVPN. One of the ways it does that is by providing its users with a “no-logs” policy. What that means is the promise never to track, store, or sell your data to 3rd parties. Not only will that help stop advertisers, but it will also help prevent the prying eyes of those that would otherwise want to do you harm.