We’re quickly getting technology addicts – and the habit begins early. For years parents have been worried about their children developing drug or alcohol problems. It started perhaps when they watched too much TV, however there’s much more available now than just a few TV channels like the BBC. However recent studies have revealed that for many the problem is in a much more benign form – technology.
Research indicates teens may be so glued to their telephones, televisions and tablets which they no longer have time to get alcohol and drugs. The tendency has been building for a decade and specialists think that technology can offer young people with a similar kick to experimentation with drugs.
Teens’ use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol in America has diminished considerably and prices are at their lowest since the 1990s, based on results from the annual Monitoring the Future study.
Considerably fewer adolescents reported using any illicit drug aside from marijuana in the previous 12 months – 5 percent, 10 per cent and 14 percent in 14, 15 and 16-year-olds respectively – compared anytime since 1991, according to the report.
The percentage of secondary school pupils in the US who used any illicit drug in the previous year dropped appreciably between 2015 and 2016.
Anti-drug campaigns are mostly deemed a failed venture that has led investigators to think that mobiles are currently giving teens so much stimulation they are not as inclined to find alcohol and drugs. This has been helped by some developments in treatments for both drug problems and alcohol abuse. Some Norwegian clinical trials of The Sinclair Method which uses a drug called Selincro – read about it here, have reported successful results of nearly 80%.
Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse expects to learn more about the connection between the decrease in medication and the increase of technologies to find whether there’s causation – rather than only correlation – between the two.
‘Something is happening,’ she told New York Times.
‘Teens can become actually high when playing with these matches’, she explained, describing interactive websites as ‘a different reinforcer’.
Smartphones are so brand new to our own lives investigators are only beginning to understand how they’re altering our brains.
Dr Nicholas Kardaras is a major psychotherapist, dependence expert and senior clinical adviser at the Dunes East Hampton, among the world’s leading rehab components.
He explained: ‘Screen timing is “electronic heroin” for kids — especially those below ten.
‘Some accuse me of scaremongering for comparing it to addictive substances like drugs and tobacco. However, I have treated patients using crystal meth issues and will tell you it is more difficult to find someone on a digital dependence. Unlike illegal drugs, displays are everywhere.
‘It is not only kids, however. The normal age for a video game enthusiast is 35. But children are especially at risk from displays since the pre-frontal cortex — our character centre — does not finish developing until their early 20s’, ” he explained.
A research by Indiana University asked teens who did not normally play video games to perform to get a fortnight.
‘In this brief time period, mind pictures before and after revealed changes in the frontal cortex which mirrored chemical dependency’, said Dr Kardarassaid
Choosing the right VPN to watch the BBC abroad can be somewhat of a challenge. Every year this changes to some extent so it can be difficult to keep track. So here’s my assessment of which is the best VPN for streaming BBC iPlayer abroad in 2021. If you can’t be bothered to read to the end, then in my opinion these are the best options –
Identity Cloaker– for use on a PC/Laptop, super reliable for accessing all UK TV channels. Great security pedigree and support however a bit limited in support for other devices like Smart Phones, tablets etc.
NordVPN – the giant in the VPN world, they have even advertised on major UK TV channels ! Lowest prices if you go for the longer term subscriptions, support for most major devices and a fast reliable network. Sometime servers get blocked due to huge number using these for streaming the BBC. however use the ‘BBC optimized’ servers and you’ll rarely have a problem.
I’ve lost count of the number of VPN programs that I’ve used over the last 15 years to make sure I maintained access to BBC iPlayer and the other UK TV channels when travelling. To me it’s hugely important as the amazing site contains the majority of my online entertainment needs. Whether it’s the BBC news every day, politics from News Night, or dramas like Line of Duty – I don’t really need anything else. For movies there’s a few on BBC but loads more on the other domestic UK TV channels – Channel 4 even has it’s own film channels. These are not the latest blockbusters but are usually highly rated, quality films actually worth watching.
So choosing the right VPN is vital for me, because increasingly many simply don’t work with BBC iPlayer or the other UK TV sites any more. So what are the components that you should look for in a VPN for watching the BBC? If you’re like me and just want something reliable so they can watch their favorite BBC shows whenever they like and wherever they happen to be,
Best VPN for BBC iPlayer ?
There’s actually a few aspects to consider if you’re choosing a VPN primarily for BBC iPlayer access although the primary one is of course that it works! A super, secure, low priced VPN is no use if the VPN doesn’t let you watch the BBC.
IP Address – the vast majority of VPNs use shared IP addresses on their servers, This means that when you connect you’ll be sharing your assigned VPN address with potentially thousands of people. Normally this is no problem, however BBC iPlayer WLL BLOCK access if the number connecting with the same address gets too high. It’s an easy way to block access to VPNS and proxies and one that is used consistently. It’s actually the primary reason that many VPNs now are blocked automatically by the BBC and other UK sites – too many people sharing the same IP address when they connect.
Speed – this is probably the next most important factor. There’s little joy to be had if your VPN reduces your connection speed to a crawl. What’s more streaming video especially HD quality takes lots of bandwidth, a slow VPN makes watching online TV extremely tedious. You’ll get stuttering, freezes and buffering while your VPN connection tries to catch up. It’s an awful experience, your VPN must be fast and ideally maintains your native connection speed if possible.
These two are where most cheaper VPNs and all the free ones fail. They reduces costs and therefore their prices by loading as many customers onto each server as possible – crippling speed and getting the IP addresses blacklisted for too many concurrent connections.
Security – ok not always essential if you’re just wanting to watch Match of the Day, but a decent VPN should be secure. A poorly configured VPN will be detected by media sites like the BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub. So although not a core requirement, a decent VPN should encrypt and secure your internet connection.
Multiple Devices – nowadays people surf the internet and world wide web on all manner of different devices. The same is said for streaming multimedia content, while some only watch the BBC on a computer or laptop, many others use tablets, smart phones and TVs to stream directly. You should check that your VPN supports multiple devices and ideally has customized applications for each one.
These are the most important criteria to check if you’re searching for your ideal VPN for BBC iPlayer. In our two recommended examples Identity Cloaker scores well on the first three – low number of users, high speed and very secure. However their support for multiple devices is not the best, you can use it on most devices but they only have applications for PC and MAC, you can connect manually using tablets and phones etc.
NordVPN scores well on security, speed and multiple device support but you have to be careful with the IP addresses you use. NordVPN has millions of users and you have to ensure you use specific servers for watching the BBC. If you use the auto connect feature which assigns your server connection automatically you’ll often find access to BBC iPlayer is blocked. Fortunately Nord maintain a series of UK based servers which are optimized for BBC access – currently these are as follows –
These servers are monitored to enable BBC access, IP addresses are swapped if they’re blocked. These UK servers should always work with BBC iPLayer but keep checking with the company that they don’t change them!
As many of us probably know it’s kind of difficult to enjoy British television stations outside the UK. Sure, pretty much everything from the major broadcasters is streamed online but by default all these sites block access to anyone based abroad. That’s everyone, it doesn’t matter if you’re a premium subscriber or have been paying for your UK TV license for years. If you’re physically outside the United Kingdom then you won’t be able to access sites like the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub or All Four. It’s hugely frustrating that all these channels are available online yet watching UK TV abroad is not technically allowed. You can’t even download the software to play them – try to access BBC iPlayer or the ITV Hub from the app store and you’ll not be allowed either.
Of course, restrictions like this don’t often stand unchallenged online and fortunately there’s several ways to bypass them. It’s fairly straight forward and indeed millions of people use these ‘workarounds’ all over the world. What’s more it works with just about every country restricted site too, including sites like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and virtually every media site. The method
To enforce these rather ridiculous blocks the technology used is called geo-targeting. This involves looking up where your IP address is registered and then applying a rule based on the location. It could sometimes be routed through to an appropriate language version but more often that not it simply blocks access. It happens across all sorts of channel both free and premium ones. Here’s me getting blocked from my beloved Britbox subscription simply because I was in the wrong country at the time.
Here’s a current list of the most popular UK TV sites which are restricted when you leave the United Kingdom. Some access was allowed in the European Union because of the EU digital rules, however this finished when Britain left the community at the beginning of 2021.
BBC iPlayer – including all the BBC TV sites and some of the radio channels.
ITV – ITV Hub was accessible in EU but finished 1/1/21.
Channel 4 – All 4
Channel 5 – My 5
Sky TV – Sky GO access was allowed in EU but that finished 1/1/21 when Britain left.
Now TV – access restricted outside the UK.
BT/BT Sport – access restricted outside UK.
Basically every decent UK station including subscription and free to air channels now won’t work outside the United Kingdom.
It seems rather old fashioned and backward for a global communication network like the internet. Yet it happens all the time and on all sorts of platforms. Of course, it’s worse for some people than others but happens in every country on the planet to some extent. It seems especially bizarre for subscription channels that you actually pay for like Britbox or Sky Go.
How People Watch UK TV Abroad – Using a VPN to Stay Hidden
VPN services are a relatively recent tool but something which has become increasingly important for people who use the internet a lot. It stands for virtual private network and is essentially an encrypted tunnel between your computer/device and a secure managed server. It’s prime purpose is security, it ensures everything you online is protected by the encryption. However it also provides another level of privacy – by hiding your location and identity from the websites and servers you use online. Instead of seeing how you are and where you’re logging in from, only the VPN server is visible.
This facility to basically hide and change your real location has spawned a huge market for VPN services all over the world. For instance anyone who wants to watch British TV online from outside the United Kingdom simply has to use a VPN. As long as they connect to a server based in the UK then they are able to watch any TV channel they like. So for example normally you can’t watch BBC iPlayer or ITV Player online as soon as you step outside Britain, however with a VPN service it doesn’t matter. You can essentially watch TV online from any country you want and use any streaming service in any country anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter where your internet connection originates from only the location of the VPN servers that you connect to.
Sounds complicated but it really isn’t – here’s a quick demonstration on how to use a UK VPN to watch British TV content..
Here’s my favorite the best VPN for most of use – a great combination of speed, value and fantastic support with a money back guarantee too. I use it primarily for the BBC iPlayer to watch Match of the Day and to watch BBC News. Remember speed is important too especially if you want to watch full ultra HD or HD streaming using the connection.
However sometimes a VPN is not the right solution for bypassing these blocks and enabling TV channels like these. For example you can’t always install VPN software on some network enabled devices like Smart TVs or media streamers. However there is another option, which although has less security is useful in many situations.
How to Watch UK TV Abroad Free Online Without VPN Services
So what do you do if you don’t or can’t use a VPN, is there an option to use something else to hide your location? Well for many years people did use something called proxies which worked in similar way to a VPN without the encrypted layer. You could certainly use a UK based proxy for watching UK TV and other streaming services too. However those days are long gone, most proxy servers are detected by the TV and media sites very easily and will rarely work. It’s probably about 5 or 6 years since you could use a proxy to watch most of the major UK TV channels or TV services.
The latest solution is actually something called Smart DNS which is kind of a combination of a VPN and a proxy server. It still hides your location but doesn’t route all your connection through an intermediate server. It’s also important to remember that Smart DNS doesn’t encrypt your connection in any way so is of limited value as a security system.
There are however two advantages to using Smart DNS solutions particularly to watch UK TV channels and other TV streams.
Faster as it doesn’t route your entire connection through an external VPN server
Easy to set up, the system works through DNS so you only need to change the DNS servers
The speed difference can be significant in some situations as the majority of traffic is routed directly to your device after the initial connection phase. The setup just involves pointing your DNS settings at the Smart DNS servers, which is usually possible through the network connection settings on most devices. There’s no requirement for any software to be installed to make this works.
It’s become so useful that the biggest VPN services like Nord now supply a Smart DNS service included. For example you can use Smart DNS service as part of your NordVPN subscription at no extra charge when required. However if you think Smart DNS might be enough for you on it’s own perhaps just to access a particular streaming service like BBC News then here’s a free trial option.
It’s a Smart DNS service which works with the vast majority of streaming services and has a 14 day free trial which you can try out for nothing. What’s more there’s no credit card requirement so there’s no risk of testing the technology entirely without risk.
The earlier you start saving for retirement, the better. There is no debating that fact and far to many people today never get around to it at all. This leaves them having to work well into their 70’s and really struggling to get by late in life. It’s even worth considering choosing your employer based on the pension provision. for example in the United Kingdom, Government employees rarely receive the highest salaries but most have pensions far and above most private ones. For those people, pensions are often just linked to their final salary so they don’t have the worries about performance of their investment like most pension funds.
I started buying stock when I was in college and it is something I have never regretted. Today that might be difficult for most students as tuition’s have skyrocketed and it is hard trying to stay out of debt. But working and putting away even a little bit of money on a regular basis is what every student should be trying to do.
The Internet has empowered people to be able to have access to all sorts of information and use it to better their lives. For someone young trying to learn how to buy stock in a particular company, they find that it is easier than many of the computer games they play. Buying stocks and building a portfolio can all be done right from your home laptop and even an iPad if that is all you have. Once you open a broker account, buying and selling stocks takes place any time of day over the Internet. It is easy, quick, and virtually anyone can do it. Most importantly though, everyone should learn how to invest in the stock market because that is the best way to build a retirement nest egg.
The key fact is that it’s much, much easier to save for retirement when you’re young than if you leave it until you’re older. Unfortunately it’s difficult to appreciate this when you’re young and have more fun things to spend you cash on. Recently on UK television and the BBC, there have been many adverts encouraging people to start saving for their later years including using a new state backed pension system for people who have no other fund.
Kids today learn to use the computer just about as quickly as they learn to talk. Investing now days is done online and it should be taught to all kids, the earlier the better. They need to learn that we all have to provide for our own retirement and not rely on the government. With the easy accessibility of the financial markets online, every one is on equal footing and anyone can learn how to participate in stocks which are the best way right now to grow your money. There’s no reason why you should be limited to just US sources of information as well. Although many media and TV sites are restricted based on location you can use a proxy like this to watch UK TV online in Europe or the US easily. When you’re connected to a proxy in a specific country, you can access the same resources as someone actually located there. This sounds fairly minor but it’s not! Changing your location like this can give you access to all sorts of information and offers not available (even remotely) to people based outside that particular country.
Whenever you connect to the internet, your physical location makes a big difference to your experience. For example when you use a search engine like Bing or Google have you ever noticed how it brings you in answers that are relevant to your location. So if you typed in local plumbers you won’t get a list from the other side of the world or a completely different continent. Search engines tailor your results to your physical location and lots of other sites do exactly the same.
The reason is that the search engine has looked up your location when you connected, then provided results based on that location. Mostly this is a positive experience because it brings you useful results that are based in your area. The locations are not always perfect but generally they do a reasonable job. However increasingly this technique is being used for other purposes which are perhaps not quite as beneficial. For example many sites will redirect users to different prices depending on their location – so you may pay more (or less) depending on your physical location.
So How Does This Happen?
Well basically when you connect to any web site, you make a direct connection from your PC to the web server hosting the site. This allows the web server to access your IP address, which is tied individually to your computer uniquely. This address can be looked up using a big database to see where it is located. Now at this stage the IP address won’t give your exact location and address (although it can be used for this), just your specific location based on your ISP.
So for a search engine this is generally fine, after all it’s unlikely you want results based on Japan if you live in London. Where it gets annoying is when you get blocked or rerouted simply because of your location by other websites. For example if you’ve ever had that message on Youtube – ‘not available in your country’, or been blocked from watching something on Hulu or BBC iPlayer because you’re in the wrong country.
How Anyone Can Change Your Virtual Location
This is when it’s best to take control of your digital location and make it work for your. Here’s an example of how someone is hiding their real IP address so they can watch BBC Iplayer abroad by switching to a UK IP Address such as this.
What they are doing is actually hiding their real location from the website they are visiting and instead relaying the connection through another server (proxies). This means that the website only sees the location of the proxy server rather than yours, when you additionally use software with the ability to switch proxies it means you can change your location at will. Not only does it keep your own location and identity private, it also gives you the possibility of choosing a new one. If you connect to a proxy in a specific country then you’ll appear to be located in the same place. It’s great for all sorts of online activities, many millions for example use this technique to watch all the free UK TV that’s available online if you’re located in the UK.
It’s also much more secure to relay your connection through another trusted server, as well as allowing you hide your location it also means you can encrypt your connection too. Using the right tools, you can bounce your connection through something like a secure Russian server like this, without affecting performance and ensuring nobody can access any of your data. The encryption means that no-one can intercept your data when it traverses across the internet (using all the shared hardware that’s needed). It’s vitally important to use some sort of encryption if you’re connecting using someone else’s internet access point. Your data is especially vulnerable in these situations and cyber criminals often target places like coffee shops, hotels and airports to steal credentials of people using their free but often insecure wifi.
Not real money of course, but a version of the digital currencies that seem to be always in the news at the moment. A student who has not been named in Imperial College London, one of the UK’s top Universities has been sneakily setting up all the computers to mine dogecoins for his account. This is one of the very newest digital currencies, and ironically one which was initially setup as a joke. That seems to be changing now though, in December 2020 Elon Musk even tweeted in support of Dogecoin. He actually suggested that it might one day become the major currency of the planet. It was largely believed to be a joke but the value of the crypto currency soared anyway.
The cryptocurrency is one tipped to one day replace bitcoins and become the ipso facto standard for digital currency, although it should be added there are quite a few of those! Mining refers to the act of solving computer algorithms which earn the user dogecoin credits. It’s normally not worth mining many of these currencies as normally the costs of the cpus and electricity used are more than the value of the currency mined. However obviously if someone else is paying all the bills, then the economics of it change drastically. Basically the costs in mining most crypto currency are energy and resource based, so if you can use these for free you can’t really lose (unless you get caught of course).
As the value and potential of these currencies rise then incidents like these are likely to increase too. It’s the second report in a week we’ve seen of these sort of events although I’m sure there are many more. For example some years ago, in Harvard somebody tied up the college’s supercomputer – Odyssey to do exactly the same thing. Obviously there is a huge problem for college’s with the events as the computers are effectively not available to other students for more legitimate uses. As many have found college computer resources are often not entirely used for their specified purpose.
The simple fact that many overlook in committing these crimes, is the perception that the coins are anonymous. Although that’s only partly true – gaining and using computers themselves is rarely anonymous – access can normally be tracked very easily. Even if you don’t use physical access like entering the buildings and using the computers directly – you’re still not safe. Remote access is usually fairly easy to trace unless you use privacy tools like next gen proxies or VPNs with military grade encryption. This can hide your connection details if you do it right, most people involved in stuff like this rarely cover their track with any sort of proxy however.
The student in Imperial has now been banned from using the research computing facilities for the foreseeable future – the college issued a statement that such uses was strictly forbidden. Unfortunately for the student involved his 30,000 Dogecoins that he has produced using this method will hardly be sufficient reward – they are currently worth approximately £20! It should be mentioned that now, the value has risen considerably but probably not enough to justify the crime. The value now would be nearer £200 a slightly more respectable value, although if Bitcoins had been mined they would be worth considerably more.
There are similar ‘crimes’ taking place in other areas too, harnessing other peoples computers and networks can be very lucrative. From creation of huge Bot networks which are rented out online, to running things like ticket proxies for running multiple accounts to buy things like concert tickets and sneakers.