For the last few years, one of the hottest properties on the internet has been Instagram. It started as a simple photo sharing site but has developed into a fully fledged social network. Many people spend a large part of their lives on Instagram sharing pictures and experience. In some senses it seems to have become an alternative for younger people to Facebook. Although the premier social sharing site is still amazingly popular anyone who has kids has probably noticed that you won’t find them on the site much.
Part of this is understandable, after all unless you spend some serious time configuring your options much of what you post on Facebook is shared with everyone in your list. As you can imagine our children probably don’t want to share that much online with us, their grandparents and parents friends! One of the places they’ve sort refuge is Instagram which is far more popular among younger people than Facebook is.
The demographics of Instagram’s audience also make it pretty appealing to marketers. Combine that with the easy format of posting and even reposting images means it’s pretty accessible. You don’t need a lot of content to set up a popular account, in fact if you have the right tools you don’t really need anything at all. However it can be quite time consuming especially if you have a lot of accounts to manage. Also there are many people making an awful lot of money from Instagram in a variety of ways.
However there are a few points to remember before you start investing all this time and effort into making money out of the platform. Firstly Instagram doesn’t like marketers, especially those who operate lots of accounts and take people away from their site. Every day they instigate lots of blocks and bans plus they even delete thousands of accounts every day. So if you’re operating on Instagram on a commercial level, to sell or send directly to offers prepare to lose some of those accounts. It can be tough, watching an accounts with tens of thousands of followers disappear in a second but it can and will happen so don’t get too involved with any account.
Most successful marketers on Instagram operate on a volume basis using software and tools to create, manage and develop many accounts. If you’re trying to stay legitimate then you’re currently allowed 5 different accounts with no restrictions, if you want any more you’re going to need to hide your identity and connection. Also check what current limits are, it’s five at the moment but that could change by the time you read this.
Running multiple accounts is hard work, you won’t get far without using some software to help you. Be careful there’s lots out there but using any of them badly can get your accounts banned. It’s best to start out really slow, and learn the software while you develop your money making Instagram accounts. Going aggressive from the start will only end up in one way. The market leader for managing social networks including Instagram is called Jarvee, it also can be used to control accounts on lots of the other major platforms. There’s no doubt it’s an impressive piece of software but it does have a learning curve, try out on this link – Instagram Marketing Free Trial.
The software can be used to actively manage and promote your accounts but there is an awful lot of configuration options to be aware of. the best advice is to carefully watch the demo videos then slowly start to promote your accounts. If you’re using aged accounts with followers and something of a history then potentially you can be a little bit more aggressive, although obviously you’d have more to lose in these scenarios. Remember the goal of any of these automated software is to mimic and ordinary Instagram user. So before you configure anything bear that in mind, a normal Instagram user would not for example follow two hundred people a day in an attempt to expand your account reach.
There are many people and businesses online who are finding themselves increasingly constrained by having only a single network address. It’s not the technical limit that’s the issue, it’s the fact that increasingly IP addresses are used to filter, block or reroute online users. For example if you’re a business who advertises online in different countries, it’s only natural that you’d want to check your campaigns occasionally. Yet the problem is that what you see on your screen is not always going to be the same as your target audience.
Let’s for example look at one of the most popular sites on the internet – the BBC. This is what you see if you visit from outside the UK.
It looks similar to the main BBC site, but in fact it’s very different in many ways. This is BBC.com the site you will be redirected to if your IP is detected as being outside the UK. It’s designed for an international audience so has more a focus on global rather than UK news. It’s also missing most of the best bits of the BBC site, live streaming the TV channels and access to the BBC iPlayer archive.
Unfortunately this is a common occurrence and what you can see or access varies greatly depending on your physical location. Obviously this is a real nuisance if you’re in the UK and you want to check how your US Google adverts are looking. However it get’s worse than that and there’s many more restrictions, some sites you can’t even access if you’re not in the right location.
Furthermore research is difficult as your results are all skewed to your exact physical location. If you do anything international online you have to be very aware of these geographical considerations. Even relatively small companies will operate internationally over the internet so this isn’t an issue that just affects the big companies either.
Not Just Geographical Filtering
If this wasn’t bad enough, the internet is beginning to be segmented in other ways too. Although you can in some senses see a logical justification for filtering based on location, after all the search engines have always done it to ensure you get results which are localised. However the other growth area is in filtering based on the classification of your IP address.
IP addresses can also be split into two other groups (actually it’s more than this but these are the important ones) – commercial and residential addresses. Broadly speaking the residential ones are supplied to individuals and smaller businesses through their Internet Service Provider (ISP). Whereas the commercial addresses are assigned to corporate networks and datacentres. However from a web sites perspective the distinction is even more important – basically ordinary web users and commercial connections. Plus to extend the comparison, one group is full of ‘ordinary users’ and the other is full of commercial connections, bots, automated software, people using proxies and similar.
Not surprisingly most web sites have much more time for the first category and many have started filtering on this basis. For example a couple of years ago, Netflix got totally fed up with people using VPNs to switch which version they got access to. What was happening was people were logging in through a US VPN in order to get the much bigger and better US version. However this broke the film and movie industries rather archaic licensing rules and so they instigated a blanket ban on access to all commercial addresses.
Basically you couldn’t access Netflix from anything other than a residential IP address. If you accessed via a VPN or from a corporate network or anything remotely originating from a datacentre you’d get blocked. It was a huge change that of course you probably only noticed if you tried to watch Netflix from work or used a VPN to get more movies!
Growth of the Residential IP Provider Services
It’s not stopped there though, many websites are doing the same. Even if they’re not actively blocking yet they’re monitoring access from these commercial addresses. You’ll have problems on many sites using commercial addresses, including social networks and many e-commerce sites especially if used aggressively.
Many businesses have been forced to use residential IP proxies in order to conduct their research or access blocked resources. Many entrepreneurs who buy and sell online have found they need to use residential addresses to buy items especially if they’re scarce. Also internet marketers who run multiple Instagram or Facebook accounts have found that you’re much likely to get blacklisted from commercial IP addresses.
The demand is growing for these residential IP addresses as more and more websites start to favor them. Many marketers have been forced to invest in proxies which are pre-loaded with these IP addresses in contrast with the normal commercial addresses which were used previously.
They can be expensive but are invaluable in many situations particularly when accessing popular sites. The prices have come down slightly as providers have come up with technical solutions like rotating addresses automatically, but they’re still much more than commercial addresses. The problem is that unless you’re an ISP it’s actually difficult to get hold of them. So if you’ve started looking you may be surprised at some of the prices if you want to buy residential ips. they also have a tendency to be given different names too like ATC proxies which can also add to the confusion.
There are actually a few tactics to gain access to these addresses, although none of them are that easy. Probably the most straight forward and extensive is the one operated by a company called Luminati. They have literally millions of IP addresses available because they have a very unique way to gathering them. If you need real volume it’s probably the nearest you’re get to a network of unlimited residential proxies. The company offer a VPN service which users can access for free in exchange for allowing some of their bandwidth to be used as ‘a residential desktop proxy’. This means that connections are actually routed through an ordinary residential home users connection so are virtually indistinguishable from any other home based user. What’s more because the endpoint of the connection is not limited to some datacentre, there’s much more geographical variation involved. This is important if you want an IP address registered to a very specific location for example for posting in Craigslist.
It’s probably the most anonymous and hardest to detect residential IP address, although it’s not one of the cheapest options.
There are lots of VPN services available now but there’s certainly been some significant changes in the industry over the last few years. Whatever you need a VPN for, whether it’s for security features or you just want to change your IP address to watch a TV site. Your primary needs will determine which sort of VPN provider you need, there’s actually a significant difference between the IP VPN address supplied by each service. There’s a certain amount of distinction between security focused providers and those who are clearly targeting bypassing geo-targeting on big media sites like the BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
Of course, the simplest way to find out if a VPN works well is to try it out. However there’s a lot of choice and most of the VPNs charge quite a lot for short subscriptions preferring to offer great deals on long subscriptions like two and three years. In an ideal world the answer would be a VPN free trial but over the last few years these have gradually disappeared. Much of the reason is abuse, many people used the VPNs with free trials for nefarious purposes – mainly hacking and spamming. With no trace backs and identification required these were ideal – the trial users had no intention of converting their VPN free trial to paid subscription either.
They’ve now virtually disappeared replaced instead with money back options and guarantees, where you have to almost always have to supply a credit card and then trust that your money will be refunded if it’s not suitable. However there are a couple who still do offer a chance to try out without payment and even one of the best VPN companies too.
The Best VPNs with Free Trials are Here (well there’s only one!)
If you want to test out for yourself, this is the best free trial available, it’s currently a 14 day trials too and what’s more it even works with Netflix. If you want to see how it works, scroll down to the video at the bottom of the page – it’s as easy to use as something like NordVPN too.
They’re called Smart DNS Proxy and have actually been around for many years. They offer two key products both which are included in the free trial package – Smart DNS and a traditional VPN. Smart DNS is actually a technology which allows you to bypass geo-restrictions on popular sites like BBC iPlayer and Netflix. There’s no software involved you simply change your device’s DNS setting and enable your account. It means that you can get it working on virtually any device including games consoles, media streamer and smart TVs plus on phone and laptops too.
It’s an ideal product for those who just want to stream media from a normally blocked website. I usually use it on my laptop and Nvidia Shield to watch the BBC iPlayer when abroad.
Choosing the Right Type of VPN Provider
For most customers, there’s two primary reasons for investing in a VPN – the privacy/confidential aspect and the ability to use it to watch things like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix and blocked YouTube videos
There is some crossover, most of the ‘serious’ VPN providers connections will obviously unlock many of these entertainment sites. This is because they are less of a target than the mainstream entertainment VPN and DNS services, so tend to get ignored. Certainly if your primary concern is a secure encrypted connection with the added facility of bypassing geo-blocks they’re often the better option. Whereas if you’re not bothered about security or encryption then one of the TV watching type VPNs or Smart DNS systems will suit you better.
Indeed it may be that for those who just want to watch things like Hulu and the BBC iPlayer then you might be wise to disregard the VPN completely. One of the drawbacks of using a VPN is that it routes your entire connection through the VPN server which when streaming video can slow your connection down substantially. Consider that the entire video stream is routed from the origin via this third party server then to your client – there’s inevitably going to be some drop in speed. Normally this depends on the cost of the VPN service, the cheaper ones will load more clients onto each server and will usually be a lot slower than the slightly more expensive ones.
For streaming video, especially to devices other than a computer or laptop you may find Smart DNS works better. This is because only a small part of your connection is routed through the target country, literally enough only to hide your location. The rest is then streamed directly to your computer meaning you should get your full connection throughput.
Best of Both Worlds – UK VPN Free Trial
So let’s assume that your primary aim is to watch UK Television from abroad, you may need the occasional VPN service to check your email or online banking on the move too. Smart DNS requires no software and a few of the services offer a VPN service included in the package.
So here’s the one mentioned above and the one I primarily use for my TV watching –
As you can see it’s relatively simple to set up on a computer or laptop. On any other device you just need to find the network connection settings and modify the DNS servers to the ‘Smart ones’. If you want the changes to affect your entire network you just need to change the DNS servers on your router or modem. In this case all your devices will be routed through the Smart DNS servers and will be unlocked to all sites. Remember this method offers no security or protection at all, it’s simply a method to bypass geo-blocks operated by sites like the BBC.
As mentioned there is a VPN service included in the package at no extra costs and it’s something you can test in the trail too. You can use the VPN free trial download and the Smart DNS service on any devices you want for up to 14 days. It’s plenty enough time to try it out properly and see if it unlocks the sites you need. It’s quite unusual for a firm to offer such a lengthy free period nowadays, there’s very few who even offer a VPN trial 7 days at maximum.
Again I’d be cautious about relying on the VPN for too long because too many free trial users will affect the speed. It’s not such an issue as using Smart DNS as the VPN servers are not really used that much as explained earlier in the post. In general for security it’s best to pay a little more if it’s important to you, the only free VPN programs that are available are highly insecure and actually share your connection with other users. Having someone else using your internet connection in exchange for a free VPN is not something I’d advise.
So if you’re feeling isolated from your favorite UK TV channels and want to try something out – Smart DNS Proxy is definitely worth a try. I personally tried it out expecting the worse but I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t use the free VPN client that comes with it and pay for another solution. However for watching British TV stations like the BBC and ITV then their Smart DNS solution is hard to beat and it’s one of the cheapest available too.
Another huge plus factor for this Smart DNS company is the ability to route your Netflix account to the USA version irrespective of your actual location. The US version is fantastic and has loads more films than most other versions of Netflix. There are very few companies who are able to support Netflix now because in 2017 they started blocking access to commercial IP addresses. This meant that 99% of all the VPN services in the USA were instantly blocked. This is one of the few solutions which supports the residential IP addresses that Netflix needs.
So give them a go, you’ve got 14 days to try it out with absolutely no obligation. The best UK VPN Service free trial currently available, just click the graphic to get started.
Well I can I can certainly try. Computer programming is really a lot like writing a recipe. If you’ve read a recipe you know what what the structure of a recipe is. It’s got some things up at the top that are the your ingredients and below that the directions for how to deal with those ingredients.
Well it’s very similar thing happens in a computer program. You have you list out the various things that you’re going to be dealing with typically and then you have some instructions that say what to do with those ingredients. So if you can understand a recipe and follow it in in your kitchen then you could program on that level but you can take it a lot farther than that.
You know many of you I’m sure have seen the the Iron Chef show. I love to watch that especially if they are given strange ingredients and I’m not sure I would like trout ice cream either. But one of the things that happens there if you if you follow along is that the Iron Chef or whoever the chef is doesn’t actually do all the work. They have what are called sous chefs that they farm out subdivide the jobs to and they’ll do the kind of busy work and programming is kind of like that.
You are the the head chef but there are bits and pieces of the computer out there that will do things for you. Now it’s not quite like iron chef because iron chef you have some fairly intelligent sous chefs who know how to boil an egg or or chop up a fish, but your computer tends to be more like a bunch of really efficient robots. Unfortunately they’re very stupid robots and very literal-minded. So you have to at some level you know tell them exactly what to do. Yet once you’ve told them that you can just point to the robot and it’ll do the same thing over and over and over again and do it exactly the same. Computers like that that’s how they are valuable. It’s sort of take over all the boring bits of our thinking and then you can kind of take it beyond that.
Instead of just thinking of yourself as the chef that’s in control. Sometimes you want to program more like you’re thinking about how the food actually goes through the process and maybe even take it up a notch. Say here’s a factory that produces some food item Twinkies or whatever and you have raw ingredients coming in it’s. Assuming you think Twinkies or food you have raw ingredients coming in and they go on various conveyor belts and get chopped up in various ways and they get recombined. There’s this flow of the materials through the factory and eventually comes back out with a some sort of a product that we consider to be food.
So there’s programming languages that work like that too that are more about you just talk about how the data runs around in the in the program. For instance your Excel spreadsheet you’re putting data into little cells and you have other cells that say well just take take make a little conveyor belt of these cells and add them up in this cell. You’re really doing programming even if you think you’re just writing Excel macros. So that’s like a little little Factory on your on your desktop they’re now going beyond that!
There’s various ways that you can get into you know sort of more highfalutin concepts that you would learn if you were taking a computer science degree. So the whole idea of programming on this level is you’re saying one thing some abstract thing and that controls a bunch of other things. So the next step that happens is that instead of just thinking about data as the pieces of things you’re working with you know as strings, decks, phone numbers whatever. You start thinking about those those bits of recipe and those recipes can also be considered data and can be sent around on the conveyor belt in your factory. So it’s like little little conveyor that you might have in your cafe you put put little things up there that order things up. So when you start talking about actions and abstracting them.
That you can start talking about doing them multiple times and looping and this action may do this action. Which might come back and do the thing and you get a recursive sort of fractal pattern and so this this is these are the basis of the more mathematical views of programming. But you know you don’t have to do all that at the beginning you can just start off with a simple recipe ID and add things on as you go and learn as you go and then you’ll do fine!
If you want to make money out of programming, you don’t have to got the traditional route and sit at a desk coding for hours. There’s a whole world of opportunities for those who can code in all sorts of areas. If you look online you’ll find more and more ways that programming can help or even completely pay the bills.
There’s a lot of demand for small companies and businesses for ad-hoc programming skills which can be quite lucrative. For every Microsoft and IBM there are thousands of smaller companies who need these skills for support and development. There’s a whole industry for example of VPNs, proxy and security services who always need network support and programmers. The company referenced in this post about How to change country on Netflix account is a prime example.
Another area which regularly recruits is the booming ecommerce and online retailing sector. Smaller companies and websites often can’t afford full time staff but are happy to engage on a project basis. This means you can get a simple job producing some code for a single company producing a product like an application to access rotating proxies or similar and then get follow on work supporting and upgrading.
It’s over nearly three decades since I completed my economics degree, but I often wonder how much more interesting the subject would be now. Sure we’ve had global crashes, recessions and all sorts of financial scandals, but to some extent we’ve always had events like these throughout the last century.
There’s little doubt that if you follow economics you’ll see how uncertain a science it really is. Pick up a copy of the economist from any given time and you’ll see articles about how well an economy is doing. I can remember reading about the powerhouses of Brazil and Turkey from only a few years ago. Incredible stories of economic success and huge growth rates have almost inevitably been replaced with currency crashes, inflation and corruption scandals.
These tales of economic boom and bust are almost inevitable most underdeveloped countries almost inevitably experience this sort of growth. It’s not really these situations that I find most interesting in the world of economics – it’s somethign much newer and unique.
It’s called the digital economy and in many aspects has the potential to change the economics of the world. There is little doubt that those countries in the forefront of the global digital economy have a distinct advantage and there’s huge potential to add significantly to their GDP. However one of the advantages that the developed world has is the ability to incorporate these ‘new economic sectors’ into the taxation system.
Take for example the millions of people who now make some or all of their living online. Through websites, blogs or even video channels many people are making very decent incomes. Unfortunately for governments this income can be difficult to monitor and track and hence more difficult to tax than traditional employment. many countries already struggle with gathering taxes from their citizens, even a relatively successful economy like Turkey has huge issues in collecting tax revenue. It is largely cited that collecting taxes (or not) played a large part in the demise of the Greek economy too.
Can these countries successfully collect revenues based on income from YouTube or Amazon or from online casino sites? It’s much more difficult to collect and the more citizens that move to these income models the more important that this will become. One of the problems is that the methods of making money in the digital economy are extensive and varied which obviously means that the source of the income changes too.
For example, in the US there’s a huge market for people buying and selling online via a myriad of different sites. These are often little more than buying and selling without the needs of stocks, manufacturing and business premises. yet the numbers involved may be actually much larger. In the ‘streetwear’ market there’s lots of individuals making huge amounts of money buying goods online. One such market is for branded sneakers, which are released in limited numbers by companies like Supreme, Nike and Adidas. Individuals attempt to buy these and then resell at huge multiples.
This is possible because of the scarcity of these releases yet people develop systems to purchase these in bulk. They use software programs called ‘bots’ and location hiding devices servers called proxies to make multiple purchases. You can read all about these sort of systems in this article which explains the whole system and what are proxies for bots, and how you make money from them. Remember there are literally millions of people doing similar things all across the globe and making huge incomes.
In the US, UK and other developed countries there has been some effort to incorporate these people into the taxation system but it’s not easy. It relies heavily on self assessment methods in most places and can be very difficult to trace income if it’s not declared. Much of this income doesn’t even have to end up in a traditional bank account either. I know many internet entrepreneurs who deal primarily in digital currencies like Bitcoin and transfer through various electronic payment processors on the periphery of the traditional banking systems.
It’s easy to find negatives in the ‘digital economy’ however it’s important to realize that for many people it’s become increasingly important. What’s more in the ‘less developed’ countries it offers a potential for individuals to escape poverty and set up online businesses which are much easier to set up than traditional bricks and mortar ones.
The world is changing in many ways due to the internet, it’s important that economics keeps pace. Both to maximize the opportunities and to adapt to them.
Blogger and technology journalist who writes on a variety of subjects all over the web. He also covers the world where technology and entertainment overlap, read this article about the Netflix and copyright blocks.