I Stream, You Stream

 Good morning!
Here’s an underrated but amazing song from The 80’s
to get your day going.

Have you been thinking about giving FoxyProxy’s paid service a try but haven’t quite made your mind up?

Well, make up your mind now, because we have two discount codes for you to use, for $5 or $20 off a plan. Head on over here for the details. Our paid service includes both proxy and VPN service, along with dedicated customer service. Go on, give us a try.

 

I stream, you stream, we all scream for a decent selection
of streaming options.

We go on about Netflix a good deal, but as most of you know there are other streaming options as well. Some good, some not so good. (remember when Hulu had a free option?)

Amazon has long offered streaming services, though a lot of people (me, I’m referring to myself here) tend to utterly forget about the streaming service included in a Prime membership and focus on that sweet Free Shipping.

Maybe a drone will deploy a tiny screen for us to watch their streaming video on.
Here’s hoping a drone will deploy a tiny screen for us to watch video on.

No longer, says Amazon! This week, Amazon launched a monthly streaming service aimed to take a bite out of Netflix and Hulu’s market share. At 8.99 a month, it sweetens the deal by allowing the option to download video for later viewing.

What does this mean for us consumers of streaming media?  Both providers are already well into creating their own content along with licensed shows and movies, so competition between them will hopefully mean more choices for us.

What are the geo-restricted offerings on Amazon? STAY TUNED and you’ll find out soon, because we’re going to do a little digging for a future post.

 

Fox Force Five is Go

Good morning. Happy Monday.
You look very nice today. 

handsome fox
What a dandy gentleman.

We want to give a congratulations to Evan Hamrick, first winner of our Free Month promotion! How does one get a month of free service, you ask? Simple. Just keep an eye out on our Facebook page, we’ll be selecting winners through April.

Also, don’t forget we’re offering Discount Codes for our 10th anniversary!

We’re pretty proud to have been around for 10 years, so we’re sharing the excitement with you.

Whether you’re already a customer or thinking about giving us a try (hint: you should), we’re offering you a couple of great discount options. Just use these coupon codes to apply the discount towards your purchase.

fox-force-five
$5 off! That means you can get a 1-month account for $4.99. This is perfect if you’re a month to month subscriber, or if you’ve been thinking about trying our service for yourself.
is-area51-the-home-of-the-grays
Are you in it with us for the long term? We love commitment.  Get $20 off the 6-month ($29.99 instead of $49.99) or 12-month plan (69.88 instead of $89.88)

Checkout using USD. We accept other currencies, but the codes need USD in order to work properly. Codes are good for one-time per customer.

Monday Morning Fun Time

This week, a few useless additions to the Internet of Things came across our desk, so we’re going to be highlighting and laughing at them here. Point and laugh, everyone.

By the way, if you own a smart thing, chances are everyone can see it and know what you’re doing with it. 

Don’t believe me? Check out Thingful and enter your location. Now you’ll think twice about smarting up your home.

Organic, Free Range, Artisanal, Small Batch juicer  Our first ridiculous thing is a juicer which connects to your wi-fi, but wont actually juice anything other than its own brand pre-packaged produce. Which, buy the way, costs between 4 – 10 per pack. I guess if you’re willing to from 700 for a wi-fi juicer, buying pre-packages, pre-chopped veg seems normal.

SmartFork.   Seriously. Switch off your brain, everyone, this fork tracks your eating habits for you and lets you know if you’re eating too quickly.

Smart Wifi Wine Bottle  Ok, a few things here. This contraption promises to keep the rest of your bottle fresh after you’ve had a glass or two. But let’s be very honest – who needs that? Who is leaving wine in the bottle? No one, that’s who. It claims to keep the wine fresh by being all smart and keeping oxygen out, but it turns out that they do that by having the wine in a little plastic pouch inside that fancy canister. Know where else you can get wine pouch wine? From a box. And it’s perfectly good, and a whole lot cheaper than a fancy wifi bottle that displays a digital label.

spill
On the other hand, this family may need smart devices. Get it together, Deborah.

Good morning. Happy Monday.
You look very nice today. 

handsome fox
What a dandy gentleman.

We want to give a congratulations to Evan Hamrick, first winner of our Free Month promotion! How does one get a month of free service, you ask? Simple. Just keep an eye out on our Facebook page, we’ll be selecting winners through April.

Also, don’t forget we’re offering Discount Codes for our 10th anniversary!

We’re pretty proud to have been around for 10 years, so we’re sharing the excitement with you.

Whether you’re already a customer or thinking about giving us a try (hint: you should), we’re offering you a couple of great discount options. Just use these coupon codes to apply the discount towards your purchase.

fox-force-five
$5 off! That means you can get a 1-month account for $4.99. This is perfect if you’re a month to month subscriber, or if you’ve been thinking about trying our service for yourself.
is-area51-the-home-of-the-grays
Are you in it with us for the long term? We love commitment.  Get $20 off the 6-month ($29.99 instead of $49.99) or 12-month plan (69.88 instead of $89.88)

Checkout using USD. We accept other currencies, but the codes need USD in order to work properly. Codes are good for one-time per customer.

Monday Morning Fun Time

 

This week, a few useless additions to the Internet of Things came across our desk, so we’re going to be highlighting and laughing at them here. Point and laugh, everyone.

By the way, if you own a smart thing, chances are everyone can see it and know what you’re doing with it. 

Don’t believe me? Check out Thingful and enter your location. Now you’ll think twice about smarting up your home.

Organic, Free Range, Artisanal, Small Batch juicer  Our first ridiculous thing is a juicer which connects to your wi-fi, but wont actually juice anything other than its own brand pre-packaged produce. Which, buy the way, costs between 4 – 10 per pack. I guess if you’re willing to from 700 for a wi-fi juicer, buying pre-packages, pre-chopped veg seems normal.

SmartFork.   Seriously. Switch off your brain, everyone, this fork tracks your eating habits for you and lets you know if you’re eating too quickly.

Smart Wifi Wine Bottle  Ok, a few things here. This contraption promises to keep the rest of your bottle fresh after you’ve had a glass or two. But let’s be very honest – who needs that? Who is leaving wine in the bottle? No one, that’s who. It claims to keep the wine fresh by being all smart and keeping oxygen out, but it turns out that they do that by having the wine in a little plastic pouch inside that fancy canister. Know where else you can get wine pouch wine? From a box. And it’s perfectly good, and a whole lot cheaper than a fancy wifi bottle that displays a digital label.

10th Anniversary Gifts

Did you know that 2016 is FoxyProxy’s 10th anniversary? Ten years in Internet time is approximately 40 years in real time, so we’re in the mood to celebrate this great milestone.

fox
We’re pretty pleased

Because we love you and we understand that our customers are the most important part of our business, we’re offering a few specials for our anniversary.

Checkout our Checkout Codes! 

Whether you’re already a customer or thinking about giving us a try (hint: you should), we’re offering you a couple of great discount options. Just use these coupon codes to apply the discount towards your purchase.

fox-force-five
$5 off! That means you can get a 1-month account for $4.99. This is perfect if you’re a month to month subscriber, or if you’ve been thinking about trying our service for yourself.
is-area51-the-home-of-the-grays
Are you in it with us for the long term? We love commitment.  Get $20 off the 6-month ($29.99 instead of $49.99) or 12-month plan (69.88 instead of $89.88)

Checkout using USD. We accept other currencies, but the codes need USD in order to work properly. Codes are good for one-time per customer.

In addition to our discount codes, we’ll be choosing one customer a week through April who will receive a free month of service!

What do you have to do to be entered? Keep an eye on our Facebook page. Every week we’ll make a contest post, and everyone who answers will be entered to win. It’s that simple.

Netflix pt. Two: Electric Boogaloo

Good morning, welcome to another Monday!
Fox Tip of the day: treat yourself today. Get that overpriced cup of coffee or that new graphics card you’ve been thinking of. 

We’d like to give a big HEY THANKS! to the very cool, useful, and exceedingly interesting blog Secrets of the Dark for including us in their post “What Does The FoxyProxy Say,” all about the joys of proxy usage on the Dark Web. If you want to give it a shot yourself, you can find our free software downloads as well as info on our subscription service right here!

There’s a pretty good (100%) chance that I, your blogess, will be reading up on Dark Web tricks and tools in order to better track down even more weirdo conspiracy theories.

jimi-foxyproxy
A+ on this image, Secrets of the Dark.

 

Last week, we solved a very annoying Netflix feature which has been plaguing some American users. Specifically, Netflix turned on a test mode for a good chunk of you without even asking, switching up the search categories into useless, non-genred descriptions. Not cool to just flip that test switch with no warning, Netflix.

This week, we’re breaking down some Netflix titles for you so that you can make some good decisions when deciding what to watch while you’re supposed to be working.

As you know, one of the perks of using a proxy is that Netflix’s options change from country to country. We’re sticking with the UK this week, breaking down some of the different choices for Sci-Fi picks, because Sci-Fi is great and we all should watch more of it.

Seriously, it’s a very influential genre both within popular culture and literature, even if those Literary Fiction people think they’re too good for it.

Anyway. 

Available on Netflix UK, but not on US: 

Captain America, Captain America Winter’s Soldier, Thor (UK edges out the US options for Marvel films) Cloverfield, The Mist  (Two very good horror/sci-fi entries) Star Trek Into Darkness, Coherence (A pretty good little indie,) The Hobbit Battle of Five Armies (this is completely not sci-fi but that’s another discussion all together.) Tank Girl, Night of the Comet, Tremors, Spaceballs, (very important movies), Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Available on Netflix US but not Netflix UK:

Star Trek (Netflix US absolutely beats the pants of the UK in regards to Trek. All of the series – even the animated! and all of the films other than the JJ Abrams “efforts”) Galaxy Quest, Nightbreed (a must watch for fans of Clive Barker weirdness) Batman, Serenity, Hellboy, Sharknado 2 (you know you want to) Melancholia, Young Ones, Goodbye World, Snowpiercer (for those of you in the mood for depressing apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories) Blade Runner (Your blogess’s most favorite movie)

 

Happy Binging!

Let’s Learn About Netflix.

Good morning!
Was your weekend a good one?
Are you well rested and ready to tackle the week ahead? 

Pretty much sums up our weekend.
Pretty much sums up our weekend.

Weekends are excellent for binge watching, as no doubt most of you know. Most of you probably also use Netflix, so today’s post is going to be the first in a series of educational topics on everyone’s favorite procrastination enabler.

Before I get too far today, I want to share with you this little discovery I made. Fellow American users may have noticed a recent and infuriating change in the way Netflix displays browseable categories.

Come on now.
Absolute garbage, though if this is algorithmic it’s a little revealing. Don’t judge me.
2016-03-06 (3)
So much more sense.

They apparently are testing some changes requested by customers (I don’t believe that for a second. No one would want this, it was probably an intern called Kevin. Thanks, Kevin.) and decided to just blanketly involve us all in testing this without notification.

I finally figured out how to revert back to the old category listing, so I thought I would share this enlightenment with all of you.

Just head on over to your account settings, and click on “test participation.” Then, select the little slider thing to “off.”

2016-03-06

Voilà!
Voilà!

 

You’re all, of course, aware that Netflix offerings change depending on which country you’re watching from. So today, I’m going to highlight some differences between Netflix US and Netflix UK.  For science!

I’ll be looking at British Comedies for this session. The Brits have a unique sense of humor, and one of the best ways to really get to know it is by diving head first into classic British Comedy.

Here are some which are available on Netflix UK but not Netflix US.

Black Adder is a classic starring Rowan Atkinson as an awful nobleman, set in differing time periods. Just…go with it. It also stars Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie (Yes, Dr. House himself,) Miranda Richardson, and others.

I’m Alan Partridge Starring Steve Coogan as a failed tv host/radio host/everything. Weird, sad, dipping with satire and sarcasm, it’s something of an acquired taste for Americans but it’s a good illustration of British humor. Wait, let me spell is as “humour” for my British readers.  I also heartily recommend checking out The Trip, which is Coogan not at Alan Partridge, but really at his best.

The Mighty Boosh  Boy, this is a weird one. There’s not really any describing this skit show other than surreal. Odd. Weird. A bit acid trippy.

Red Dwarf  This one is a classic, well loved among nerds and geeks. It’s set in outer space and features a humanoid cat, a robot, a sentient computer and..well. It’s very British.

Still Game  This one is about three old Scottish friends, in a little Scottish town, with accents so thick you’ll need a Brit with you to translate. Seriously, I can’t understand 80% of it.

Well there you have it. A tiny percentage of the British comedy available on Netflix. Did I miss anything? Let me know!

 

Tell the FBI: Don’t Break Our Phones!

rally

 

By now you’ve all heard about the Apple vs. FBI debacle in which the FBI has been making demands of Apple in regards to breaking the encryption on an iPhone involved in a criminal case. This would set a dangerous precedent that all of us should be vocally opposed to. 

phone

 

Fight for the Future has coordinated with many groups to come together today at 5:30 pm local time, rallying at Apple stores across the country in protest of the FBI’s demands. More information, including listings of rallies happening across the world at 5:30 pm local time, can be found HERE.

Show your support on social media by following Fight for the Future on Twitter and on Facebook with  #DontBreakOurPhones and #AppleVsFBI!

 

This Week in Internet Things

Good morning everyone! Another Monday come, another week gone. We hope week 6/52 was a good one for you.

We’ve had a pretty good one. We’re still pleased as punch about partnering with FlashRouters. If you’re in the market for a new router, FlashRouters offers routers with your FoxyProxy account info already programmed, ready to integrate with all of your devices including things like Chromecast and Roku! Yes, with these routers you can easily stream things like the BBC iPlayer to other devices via your VPN.

 12 hour Great British Bake Off marathon, here we come!

You haven't seen TV until you've seen a grown man proudly presenting a Bread Lion.
You haven’t seen TV until you’ve seen a grown man proudly presenting his Bread Lion.

 

It’s been an interesting week in the land of the Internet. No doubt you’ve read about the Apple vs. FBI  story. Support from all corners of the web has led up to an increasing back and forth between the two parties. Keep a close eye on this one, folks, as it has implications for privacy matters that involve all of us.

And then there’s China.  China is set to ban foreign media companies from publishing any content online without the government’s approval. The Ministry of Keeping You Safe From Dangerous Thoughts and Ideas (just kidding. It’s the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) has taken steps to further tighten its control over what the Chinese people can view online. Good thing services like FoxyProxy exist, eh?

And then there’s Turkey.  China has some competition when it comes to governments meddling with its citizen’s informational affairs. Turkey has topped the list Twitter’s biannual Transparency report, coming first among nations in censorship. Just days ago, in fact, Turkey throttled access to social media in response to a bombing in Ankara.

You’ve all seen that photo of Mark Zuckerberg, moving through a pack of humans with devices strapped to their faces, triumphant grin on his face. Just for fun, here’s a collection of images to jauntily distract us from the inevitable march towards The Singularity.

Speaking of The Singularity:
Did you know it’s going to happen in 2045? It’s true.
Someone came back from the future to tell us via youtube.

 

Your Monday Morning Weekly Roundup. With Bonus 70’s Soft Rock!

Good morning! We’ve all made it through to the 7th Monday of the year. Congratulations.

We did it!
We did it!

First off, a reminder about our great news from last week. If you didn’t catch it, we’re partnering with FlashRouters to bring you flashed routers pre-configured to your FoxyProxy account! 

This means you can do all the things you use FoxyProxy for with any device connected to your home router, INCLUDING streaming things like the BBC iPlayer to your Chromecast or Roku.

Pretty exciting, eh? We thought so, too.

FoxyProxy router, or Alien Communication Node? Why not both?
FoxyProxy router or Alien Communication Node? Why not both?

As always, here are some other cool/interesting things from through the week. Enjoy!

Why DOES your iPhone brick when set to 1970?  It’s not because it’s trying to travel back in time to the glory days of soft rock (we totally would if we could). This guy explains just what’s going on in your iPhone’s brain.

THINGMAKER MAKE THINGS FOR YOU.  The fabulously named Thingmaker is a new 3D printer designed to make toys at a pretty reasonable price. Time to get fancy with those RPG dice deigns.

PC Makers have decided what you’ll want for 2016  The Register asked Dell, Lenovo, and HP what they think buyers will be looking for this year. The answer? Shrinkage.

 

Instead of a conspiracy theory, you’re getting some glorious 1970’s soft rock. We couldn’t decide between James Taylor and Neil Diamond, so you get both.
You’re welcome. 

 

FoxyProxy Partners with FlashRouters!

How much would you love to watch the BBC iPlayer on any device in your home, at any time, without having to configure anything?

Then have we got some news for you! FoxyProxy has partnered with FlashRouters  to provide you with wifi routers that are pre-configured to work with your FoxyProxy account! Exciting, isn’t it?

How we feel right now
How we feel right now

So what does this mean for a FoxyProxy user? Watch BBC iplayer on any device, at any time without configuring it. All devices using the wifi router automatically use your proxy or VPN. No need to configure your phones, laptops, tablets, PCs, and smart TVs. 

Here’s how it works. You select which wifi router you want (as low as $169), go through checkout, and then you are prompted to provide your FoxyProxy username, password, and server (details we give you when you purchase a FoxyProxy account.)

FlashRouters configures the router, then mails it to the customer. The customer plugs it in and, with zero setup, all devices that use that wifi connection are now “FoxyProxy-ified.” (including things like ChromeCast and Roku!)

So how are we able to do this? You’re probably familiar with all the firmware, bloatware, and other things which come pre-installed on many devices including TVs, computers, and phones. Wireless routers are no different. FlashRouters takes that pre-installed software and replaces it with their own custom programs. Replacing that software is called (wait for it…) “Flashing.”

FlashRouters buys off-the-shelf wifi routers, then “flashes” them with 1 of 2 open-source alternatives: Tomato Shibby or DD-WRT.  Why do they replace the manufacturer’s firmware with Tomato or DD-WRT? A few reasons:

1. Manufacturer firmware is usually just powerful enough to let you do simple things.

Router manufacturers make most of their products for non-technical users, making them simple and easy to use for the average customer, but also thereby limiting the potential of what they can really do.

Tomato and DD-WRT are much more feature-packed, and support things like VPN, increase your wireless coverage, monitor your bandwidth allocation, and keep your network as secure as humanly possible.

By using Tomato’s Advanced QoS (Quality of Service), you can even determine which of your online activities is given the most bandwidth (gaming and movie streaming can take top priority in order to avoid annoying freezes, stalls, etc), along with many other benefits. 

And DD-WRT transforms a retail, personal-class router into a powerful, multi-use, business-class router. With DD-WRT, a router’s enterprise potential can be unlocked at a home user’s price.

 

2. They are open-source.

So you know exactly what it’s doing. Thousands of eyes have written and reviewed the software, unlike the proprietary software that comes with wifi routers. This means there’s a much higher chance that your factory-loaded router is, or can be, compromised in some way.

There have been many cases of governments (US, China, just to name two) planting back-doors into router and networking software. In some cases, the company may be cooperating with its government, but in other cases the government physically intercepts and tampers with networking devices.

It’s true! Here are some examples:

1. China has a backdoor into Lenovo laptops  Sneaky, China. Very sneaky.
3. Juniper Networks devices are also hacked, signs point to the NSA  Again with the NSA. We’re not mad, we’re just disappointed. No, we are actually mad.
FlashRouters has selected 4 devices for you to focus on, but any of the devices on their website can be pre-configured for FoxyProxy.

You can shop these routers HERE.

* TP-Link WDR3600 DD-WRT

* Asus RT-N66U TomatoUSB

* Netgear R7000 TomatoUSB

* Asus RTAC88U DD-WRT