As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, many have started feeling a unique and palpable, albeit lowkey, kind of stress. Opening their Netflix account or scrolling their YouTube homepage, it dawns on them – they’ve seen all this before. They have reached the end of the library, at least of things they’d been meaning to watch.
How will you spend your weekday evenings? What will give structure to your weekends? When you’ve exhausted all the prestige television, big superhero movies and recommended content, what do you turn to for entertainment?
Don’t give up hope yet. In this article, let’s survey a few tips for accessing more streaming content. Whether you’re looking to squeeze all you can out of your current streaming subscriptions or find new avenues for content, check out these tips.
Use a VPN for YouTube
YouTube is just like several other websites in that it’s geo-restricted. That means your access to it is based on the location of your IP address. If you’ve ever encountered the “Content not available in your country” on YouTube, this is the reason.
A VPN sidesteps that. VPNs like the Malwarebytes privacy VPN switch up your location, making it appear as though it’s coming from a different country. Not only does this make your internetting more private (your traffic travels through an encrypted tunnel, so it stops hackers and unauthorized tracking), but it also allows you to view geo-restricted content.
You don’t have to limit your VPN browsing to YouTube, either; experiment with using a VPN on several streaming platforms.
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Explore Netflix’s Hidden Genres with Codes
A while back, someone – no one knows who – got access to Netflix’s hidden genre codes. These aren’t illegal or even actively discouraged codes. They just aren’t codes that Netflix has ever made public.
What they are, essentially, are shortcuts to niche genres. By adding one of these codes to a Netflix genre browsing URL, you can gain access to specifically curated lists like “deep sea horror movies,” “screwball comedies,” or “foreign gay & lesbian movies.” If you’re tired of relying on the Netflix homepage algorithm and basic genre divisions for recommendations, this hack may open up a world of new content.
Be a Free Trial Opportunist
Free trials are your boredom-fighting friend. In a desperate bid to steal you from their competitors, streaming services often offer generous free trial periods. So generous, in fact, that it’s entirely possible to binge seven seasons of a show in the duration.
If you’re tired of seeing the same title recommendations recycled on your current streaming service, simply pick up a new one. Just make sure you set a reminder on your phone for the end of the trial period. That way, you can either cancel or – if you really do enjoy it – stay subscribed.
Use Your Local Library Card
Finally, a quick tip for anyone with a library card: Check to see what media subscriptions your card allows you to access. Many local libraries have added access to streaming services in recent years. If you’re lucky, you may even have access to extensive film archives like the Criterion Collection.
When you think you’re scraping the bottom of the content barrel, all you can do is keep digging. With a VPN, a few Netflix cheat codes, a bevy of free trials and a trusty library card, you should find more than enough to binge while stay-at-home orders are in effect.