Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Accessing RTE player without an Irish IP Address

I've been struggling to access RTE.ie with my UK IP Address for ages. Really, quite a long time! There's been several methods posted here and there about forging Irish IP Addresses by changing the URL used to download, using a free-proxy server, using a 3rd party website to translate address... lots of random solutions to a frustrating problem. My lack of an Irish IP address.

Some of these solutions would even work, for a while. So I set about finding a real solution. The de facto way to change your IP address would appear to be using some software called OpenVPN, and an account with a VPN provider. It seems there's only a very limited number of providers who have Irish IP addresses available, and owing to a speedtest available on their site, I decided to go with overplay.net. Signup was fairly simple, just the usual form, followed by entering PayPal details (it's $9.95 per month to access their UK, US, and Irish servers).

Once that was completed I downloaded some VPN software. This was just the usual process, run the installer .exe, and an icon will appear down by the clock in Windows Explorer. I right clicked this and found a list of their VPN servers ready to be connected to... next it was simply a process of entering the username/password I'd signed up with.

Finally, i visited RTEplayer, and was delighted to note that a process which took only five minutes finally allowed me to watch Ireland's world cup progress!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Recently, I decided I wanted to watch some TV online... unfortunately hulu.com decided otherwise, all because i'm located outside the US! Not to be so easily defeated, I began to explore the options.

Hulu famously defeated the basic workaround, posted here so we need to go a layer deeper. Turns out that a VPN is exactly what i'm looking for. A VPN converts your IP address into the one on the server you connect to, so for example i'm in the UK - and I connect to a USA VPN server, and instantly my IP address changes to a USA one. Winner.

Next step to find a fast reliable VPN provider. Google was my friend here, and turned up several options. Being a bit of a sucker for a pretty site, I decided to give Overplay.net a chance - $9.95 seemed a reasonable price, and their T+Cs allowed multiple connections, so i'd be able to link up all the computers in my house. Filled out the signup form, and after paying via paypal i had a VPN account ready to go. Step 2 complete!

Now to find a decent way to connect. I'm using Ubuntu so I figured it'd be not quite as simple as usual, but turned out to be easy enough.

1) Click Applications/Accessories/Terminal
2) type 'sudo apt-get install network-manager-pptp' -- you'll likely need to reboot here.
3) Click the Network manager icon in the top right hand corner of the screen
4) Choose VPN Connections->Configure VPN
5) Click Add, choose 'Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol', and then click Create (overplay also seems to support OpenVPN - but pptp is easier on linux)
6) Give the connection a name, and type the address, username and password into the 3 boxes below. I left NT Domain blank.
7) Click Advanced, and check 'Use Point-to-Point encryption (MPPE)', then click OK
8) Click Apply
9) Click the Network Manager icon again, Choose VPN Connections, and then click on the connection you just created, it should start the connection, and hopefully a padlock will appear over Network Manager once connected.

At this stage I tried hulu.com again.... and it worked!!

Success within 10 mins.