AnyStream + VPN Guide

Discussion in 'AnyStream' started by zero269, May 24, 2021.

  1. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    UPDATE: Check out my AnyStream User Guide (Unofficial).

    I started using VPN with AnyStream just a month or so after I first started using this amazing product. I've seen others in various threads indicating they are too, and some are interested in knowing more. I will share my experiences here to help those who want to add this option to their arsenal as well.

    Contents:

    • Prerequisites
    • Limited Support
    • Providers
    • Backstory
    • Finding Titles
    • Benchmark/Testing
    • Usage per Provider
    Prerequisites:
    A few things to understand before going down this route.
    • Support from RedFox is limited, but plausible in some instances. See Limited Support below.
    • Finding titles can be a little challenging which can frustrate and deter you. See Finding Titles below.
    • Not all VPN services work, or work as well as others. Recommend using trial versions before committing.
    • Performance will be impacted versus a non-vpn connection. Some regions/countries will be slower than others, and some so slow they are not worth it. Experiment with various regions/countries with each trial service you use. See Benchmark/Testing below.
    • Not all providers within AnyStream (3 to date) will benefit from using VPN.
    Limited Support:
    RedFox obviously supports AnyStream, so do not expect them to support issues you experience when using it over a VPN connection. However, from my experience, if you provide a log file and an honest description of your symptoms - including that you were using vpn - they may be more likely to look at the log file and determine if any action is warranted on their end. You should assume that no support will be provided in these instances due to complexities of the various VPN providers.

    Providers (APV, NF, D+):

    • APV: This one is limited to certain regions/countries and requires trial and error.
    • NF: Easy to use. Only challenge is locating titles of interest. You may find some have a title in 1080 vs 480 elsewhere, but rare.
    • D+: Never tested. Considering it's a proprietary provider, chances are you'll see little difference in selection.
    Backstory:
    I first experimented between:
    • ExpressVPN: This one worked more for mobile devices and not so much for Windows.
    • NordVPN: This one worked great for Windows, but not so much for mobile devices.
    Finding Titles:
    There are a variety of ways to find titles within your own region or another:
    My first choice is using JustWatch. Credit goes to @VonB for recommending such as great resource.

    Registering for a free account gives you plenty of features to find movies/shows. Whether to stream, rent or buy, they got you covered. You can switch between countries using the Streaming in drop down arrow, and can even report an issue if something is incorrect or unavailable for streaming. Also available on Android and iOS.

    upload_2021-6-16_16-43-6.png
    Code:
     https://www.justwatch.com/us 
    Unogs is specifically for NF. When looking for content outside your region, this is my first choice. You can do a Quick Search by title in the upper right. Select the title, and use the Direct Path link. You will likely need to check several countries before finding it. You can narrow your choices by filtering by VPN service.

    upload_2021-6-16_16-44-30.png

    Use Country Details to browse new videos or expiring videos by country.

    upload_2021-6-16_16-45-17.png
    Code:
    https://unogs.com
    
    Some other options are:
    
    https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/whats-new
    https://www.amazon.com/primeinsider 
    Benchmark/Testing:
    To gain a better understanding on what VPN connections may yield better results, you can benchmark your VPN connection before testing an AS download. Test with short episodes to get your testing done quicker, versus a long movie. Track your results in Excel for easy reference.

    Most VPN services have a split tunneling feature that lets you choose specific programs to run through VPN, instead of your entire system. This feature lets me choose only AnyStream to run through VPN; not my entire system. This is a must for me.

    In NordPVN for example, go to Settings > Split tunneling > Enable VPN for selected apps only > Add apps (button)

    • AnyStream
    • Speedtest available in the Microsoft Store for free
    Note: It's easier if you open the apps first and then add them, else you have to browse to the program files folder for each one. If the program is open and you don't see it in the list, check the box to Show all processes.

    I run the Speedtest app through the VPN connection as well, for benchmarking my various VPN connections for testing. Connect to Canada and then run Speedtest which will run a speed test based on a Canada location. Bell Mobility in Vancouver, BC in this case.

    Usage per Provider:
    Note: Login to each provider you intend to use; turn off the ones you will not use. See
    Provider Settings.

    Using AS wth VPN:

    1. Establish a VPN connection and wait for your VPN IP Address to be assigned before proceeding.
    2. Open AnyStream and browse content like usual.
    Note: If you need to change the Region in AS, you must change it first, close AS and then perform the two steps above. This only applies to APV for now; see below.

    Note: I'm in the US, and I've pretty much got my order of precedence for the (NF) provider: Canada, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany then Australia. I will look to Spain, Netherlands, UK, Japan and India if titles were not available in my first order, or if they only offered SD content, and I want to check if HD is available in my second order. Note: My order of precedence was based on my VPN benchmarking and performance results. Yours will be different.

    D+: I have not tested this one and personally I don't think you will find any content based on region/country unless it's language specific content. However, if you are currently subscribed to D+, give it a shot and share your findings.

    NF: Just use the two steps above for Using AS with VPN and use like normal. Too easy…

    APV: This one is a lot trickier. This one requires changing the Region in AS, General Settings. Treat this one as Step 1, and then close AS. Now just follow the original two steps above for Using AS with VPN.

    • You can switch your display language using the flag icon to the right of the search bar.
    • Your login may require additional confirmation using a CAPTCHA by typing in some characters.
    • You may need to authorize the login via a text message.
      • I had to look up Genehmigen (authorize) and Ablehnen (reject) in German, so I didn't choose the wrong option.
    Switching Regions:

    upload_2021-6-16_16-39-8.png

    I tried Canada, and had no success which is what prompted me to create this thread: APV Canada Not Accessible in AS using Other Region. Please support that thread by asking for support from the DEV TEAM.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2021
    suzy816, Bornsoft and Don922 like this.
  2. Don922

    Don922 Well-Known Member

    Nice guide. I would add the following when using a VPN.

    1. You should use your VPN's DNS servers. I have seen provider error messages (like your are using a VPN) when you don't use the VPN's DNS servers.
    2. Sometimes not all of the VPN servers will work with AP, NF, and D+. If you have trouble connecting you should contact VPN support and ask them which of their server work with the streamers.
     
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  3. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    An excellent addition to the topic. I personally haven't had to do that just yet, but when the time comes, I will definitely try your recommendation.

    Thanks! (y)
     
    Kalemvar likes this.
  4. k2000

    k2000 Active Member

    Speedify allows to bypass several countries for Prime Video my less fast than Nord VPN.Nord VPN is pretty much limited to the USA for Prime Video unless you have a Prime Video account in another country. My Speedyfi offers several possibilities for Prime Video.A disadvantage of Speedyfi by cons some popular title not available invisible.
     
    suzy816 likes this.
  5. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    Hi K2000,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with this VPN service. Although I've never used that service, I'm not sure that will benefit the purpose of using AnyStream over VPN. The main purpose is to access content available in other regions/countries right from our own home. This service you're proposing clearly states this is not a capability of their service. See line 3.

    Code:
    Unlike other VPN services that can break Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO, Hulu, Peacock, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, and Ring.
    Speedify has the ability to allow you to use these services while being connected to a VPN.
    Please note that Speedify will not give you capabilities to access other Netflix countries or unblock Disney Plus, HBO, Hulu, Peacock, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, and Ring.
    In the past, the only reliable way to enjoy your Netflix content was to disconnect from the VPN–leaving you unprotected online.
    Speedify’s new approach puts an end to the cat-and-mouse game, allowing you to watch all your favorite shows uninhibited while keeping the rest of your online activity protected!
    
    https://support.speedify.com/article/271-does-speedify-work-with-netflix?source=ir_ce1ceea0Nbd0911eb906842010a246f1b&mediaPartner=221109&clickid=ce1ceea0Nbd0911eb906842010a246f1b
    
    This Speedify service is for people who are using VPN within their homes and do not want to have to disconnect in order to stream from media content providers.

    Code:
    How Speedify's Bypass Works:
    With Bypass enabled, your computer or mobile device will connect directly to trusted streaming service providers while keeping the rest of your online activity safe and encrypted behind the VPN.
     
  6. k2000

    k2000 Active Member

    Hi
    For Speedyfi I often connect to France and other countries to bypass Prime Video not to be limited just to my country.
     
    zero269 likes this.
  7. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    (y)
    Hi K2000,

    If what you're saying is true, then it appears the vendor is lying about the following claim:
    Code:
    Please note that Speedify will not give you capabilities to access other Netflix countries or unblock Disney Plus, HBO, Hulu, Peacock, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, and Ring.
    Perhaps they did that to serve as plausible deniability for this, that and the other.

    I'll certainly take your word that you can access non-US content over that VPN provider. I'm certainly in no position to say otherwise considering I've never used the product.

    I noticed it's rather inexpensive; $2.99/month which makes it an affordable option for anyone to test a VPN service in conjunction with AS.
     
  8. k2000

    k2000 Active Member


    Hi just to prove that speedyfi works with Prime Video to watch other countries. With anystream too.
     

    Attached Files:

    zero269 likes this.
  9. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    This is great, thanks for sharing! (y)
    This will help people feel more confident about testing this software as a possible VPN+AS solution.
     
  10. BuddyFunJet

    BuddyFunJet Well-Known Member

    I appreciate all these posts.

    With Amazon HD being limited, I'm exploring D+ through a VPN and struck gold on the first try from the US to the UK. D+ UK has many older catalog movies that are not available in the US.

    While not related to VPN usage, my D+ search technique is to search D+ through a browser rather than AS to have access to the D+ watchlist to mark the desired movies. The UK D+ does not offer an A-Z movie list of all their moves like in the US so all genres have to be searched. When I want to use AS, I open the D+ watchlist for the list of movies to DL within AS.

    On the VPN itself, my Speedtest speed to the UK with Nord is 550/120 with a ping of 102. My uneducated guess is that my reduction in DL speed is from the long ping and it seems that NF is affected worse than D+.

    To avoid having to mess with the AS settings for each country, I have set up a user login on my computer dedicated to VPN for each country (VPN-CA, VPN-UK, etc). Along with setting the AS parameters for each country, I set Nord to autolohin the the country and city that I want. To switch cities, I reboot and login as the desired user and know that all parameters are properly set.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
    zero269 likes this.
  11. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    Hi Buddy,

    I'm curious as to what parameters you are referring to.

    I use Nord, but all I do is run AnyStream through their Split Tunneling feature so my entire computer isn't running through VPN. I can either close AS then switch countries, or switch countries and close/open AS and I'm in business.

    If using APV, I can really only use it "easily" with a UK connection. First, I need to change the Region to the UK in the AS settings, then close AS. Switch Nord to the UK, and then open AS. Then I'm good on that front.

    If the parameters thing is a must for you, then perhaps a VM would serve you better...?
    If so, create a baseline Windows 10 image with nothing on it. Then create a linked clone for your different "parameters" to minimize storage space. Create Snapshots so you can recover if something goes haywire.

    I use VMware Workstation 16 (started with v9) and use it all the time. Mostly for Windows Deployments, and other home lab exercises, experiments, etc.
    Comes in handy. I can spin up a fresh VM in seconds and blow it out when I'm done with it. (y)
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  12. mikeas

    mikeas Active Member

    I can say that PrivateVPN works well, and I also use SmartDNSProxy sometimes.
     
    zero269 likes this.
  13. BuddyFunJet

    BuddyFunJet Well-Known Member

    My use of parameters was a poor choice of words. To be clearer, I should have used settings for AS. Since different countries can require a different region setting in AS, I found it easiest to have the VPN server and region set by using a country specific login (AS and Nord store its settings in the user area so different users can have different AS and VPN "profiles") so I don't have to think about switching regions if I change countries. This also reminds me to open AS after the VPN is connected. By rebooting after a session, I avoid the problem of AS misbehaving if it is left running for too long, particularly overnight.

    My using multiple user logins rather than a VM is a combo of my ignorance and laziness. I know of VMs but have never used one and don't know much about them. Combined with my laziness, I usually don't get into a new thing if I can do what I want with what I know.

    The login approach works for me since I have spare physical bench machines available and have assigned an AS license to each of them. One machine is set up for US use on Amazon and the other is set for use on NF and D+ via foreign VPN and local. This setup lets me spread usage between AS licenses and not use more than one license token allotment on Amazon. I control the bench machines via Microsoft Remote.

    After your mention of Two and a Half Men in Germany, I am going to play with Prime over VPN. My first few attempts did not go so well. After you VPN to Germany, do you set the AS region to Germany and use the US Prime login info or is a German Prime account needed?
     
  14. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    The above bullets are basically the steps you want to follow for the Germany+APV. However, I would change "may need to" to "will need to" in the 4th bullet. Let us know how it goes.

    Note: Once you go through the authentication for the Regions within As, you will not need to login to APV again and again. I can easily switch the Region, close AS, connect Nord to UK or Germany, and open AS and I'm good to go. I can switch back and forth by just repeating those steps which takes only a few seconds.

    If you're concerned with AS not closing ... all the way. It's just AnyStream.exe, and you can verify its closed using the Task Manager. If you want to double-check, just look at the Details tab. If it's open, just right on AnyStream.exe and choose End process tree. No need to restart. Save yourself the hassle and test out my steps on the same machine... not your preconfigured test stations. You may find yourself not using those anymore. (y)

    I only use a VM on my HP Workstation when I need the resources on my primary computer (laptop).
     
  15. sycor

    sycor Well-Known Member

    Forgive my ignorance and confusion but just to clarify. If using a VPN and I live in the US and connect to say, Japan, do I need a Japanese AP, N and D+ account? That would get pretty expensive pretty quick.
     
  16. Bogyo

    Bogyo Member

    Amazon.co.jp may ask a local Payment method and postal address to add to your account (.de;.co.uk; .com; .nl etc are not).
    Netflix working well without do anything.
    D+ (I have no account but) should work simply with a good VPN.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
  17. BuddyFunJet

    BuddyFunJet Well-Known Member

    Cleared the APV over VPN hurdle but now at another.

    Searching APV within AS is pretty limited and shut down when a DL is active so I’d prefer to search within a browser or the APV app. After login, I get a message that I’m traveling so the selections are limited.

    Is there a way to perform the region “magic” that AS does for APV searches to search prime through a browser and VPN? I tried both chrome and edge browsers.
     
  18. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    No.

    Just login as usual, and you can switch VPN locations anytime you want. Just close AS first, switch VPN location, wait until your VPN IP address is active, then open AS and do your business.

    Only APV requires you to change the Region (within AS Settings). Just follow my steps from above and you'll be good to go.
     
  19. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    Yes...

    I tested this out after I posted a concern about missing Purchases & Rentals and RedFox 1 replied that prompted me to investigate further.

    This involved me logging in to AMZ (US) and then switching my region to the UK. Once I did that, another tab opened asking me to login to AMZ (UK). This required me to authenticate via code received via text, but once I was in, I was able to see the UK content, but US only content now showed as requiring rent or purchase to view.

    Check out the link above to see more details...

    Just keep in mind each time you login to AMZ (UK), you will have to go through those steps over and over again. I use Excel to track my library, and integrated some columns that help me locate and track what is where. I will then filter my list and focus on one country at a time.

    Perhaps using AS to browse the APV (UK) content, you can build a list, and check the available quality (HDX/SD) and then just work off your list of 20-30 titles or so.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2021
  20. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    I wanted to add another source for Recently Added Movies:
    Code:
    IMDbTV
    https://www.imdb.com/tv/?ref_=nv_tp_fdv
    
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2021