VPN Articles and News

How To Stream Youku Videos Outside China

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Tuesday, July 9th, 2013


Youku (youku.com) is the second largest video sharing site on the internet. The site is ranked as #1 video site in China since YouTube is blocked over there. The site serves millions of users daily and together with Tudou represents a huge chunk of video traffic in China. The service can be accessed through computers as well as iPhones, iPads, Android Smartphones and tablets by means of native apps.

Youku is powered by user-generated content as well as videos provided by over 1,500 licensed content providers. The site also features episodes of popular TV shows and full-length films from Western countries. Such content is usually not available on other video sites due to copyright issues but they are freely available on Youku since the digital rights management (DRM) costs are lower in China than the rest of the world. In many ways, it is the industry’s way of combatting piracy since it is a strategy to give away the content at low costs rather than getting nothing at all.

Although many videos on Youku website can be viewed from any country, a lot of videos are blocked outside China due to copyright and licensing issues from the DRM level. As you can imagine, this can cause huge inconvenience for Chinese expats and tourists who rely on Youku for their daily dose of entertainment. If you’re looking for a clever way of getting around the DRM issues you might want to use a VPN to “go into China” for more content.

Youku is able to identify the location of its visitors through their IP address. Every computer connected to the internet has a different IP address and it can reveal a lot of details, including the location, of the visitor. However, it is also possible to bypass location based restrictions by using an IP changer like a proxy or virtual private network.

While proxy is popular as an IP changing service, VPNs deliver better results as far as unlocking video streaming sites are concerned. The reason behind this is not hard to understand; most proxy services are slow plus some of them even leak real IPs which can render them useless. VPNs, on the other hand, offer bulletproof security and very high speed that results in a much better streaming experience from sites like Youku.

How To Unlock Youku Videos Outside China With A VPN

Step 1:  The first step is to look for a VPN service provider with a server in China. For unlocking Youku videos, you can subscribe to unlimited VPN plans from HideMyAss, Leafy VPN, SuperVPN, VPNWorld and USAIP.eu. These VPN providers are well known for their reliable VPN service and they are capable of delivering superior connection speeds and anonymity that is essential for unlocking video streaming web services such as Youku.

Step 2:  Get the VPN client from the VPN provider’s official site and install it according to the details provided or configure the virtual private network by editing the network configurations. When it comes to mobile devices like Smartphones/tablets, there is usually no installation necessary but you do have to configure the VPN service by modifying few network settings. Nearly all VPN providers provide comprehensive setup tutorials so make sure that you pick up the most appropriate setup method meant for your current device and operating platform.

Step 3:  Save the updates and reboot your laptop or computer if required (not necessary for handheld mobile devices). As far as Smartphones and tablets are concerned, you only need to save and apply the updates and close and restart the apps to make use of the latest network configuration.

Step 4:  Get connected to the newly installed VPN service by clicking on the Connect option or the VPN icon. Based upon your net speed and location, it could take few minutes for any VPN to find the default VPN server.

Step 5:  Be sure to select a Chinese VPN server if the default server is not from China. Nearly all VPN vendors have servers in many countries meaning you will need to select a server from China to unlock all Youku videos. In case your VPN vendor provides multiple VPN servers in China, choose a server which is nearest to your physical location in order to get faster video streaming speeds.

Step 6:  Visit the Youku website again and test whether you are able to watch restricted videos. To access the service through tablets and Smartphones, close Youku native app and start it again to unlock all its features. You are now ready to enjoy Youku videos from any place in the world.


July 9, 2013
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