In the last 10 years, content companies in collaboration with copyright holders around the globe have been pushing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to increase efforts in blocking pirate sites. Their efforts have been quite fruitful in some regions. This includes Europe where site-blocking has become the order of the day. But in some countries like the United States blocking sites on copyright grounds has not been as successful as expected.
A recent report by the Motion Picture Association showed that ISPs in 31 countries have so far blocked close to 4,000 websites. The number of blocked domains is over twice that amount. Studies show that there are over 8,000 blocked domains worldwide.
While blocking sites deemed to be promoting piracy has so far helped to prevent direct access to copyrighted content, there are still many workarounds. People all over the world use them. They exploit loopholes to access any type of content whether authorized or unauthorized. Alternatives of pirate domains, as well as mirrors and clones of piracy sites, regularly appear on the Tor browser.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) have also become a popular avenue for accessing restricted or copyrighted content. Using VPN for pirating is quite popular today but we don’t recommend that.
The Futility of VPN Pirate Traffic
In a recent correspondence with an operator of one popular pirate site, we learned that most advertising networks consider users using VPN for pirating to be worthless and undesirable. This is because piracy sites need to generate revenue. Having VPN users access their services doesn’t earn them money.
The operator says that most ad agencies usually frown upon VPN pirate traffic and rather prefer to see traffic coming that is already categorized by geographic regions to measure the value of each visitor they get. Keep in mind that some regions have higher-paying ads than others while VPNs mask the real location of each visitor that accesses their pirated content.
Traffic from tier 1 countries such as the US, UK, Canada, and Australia is more valuable than visitors coming from countries such as China and India. If the advertiser pays the pirate site’s owner based on the geographic location of visitors then visitors using VPN for pirating would be worthless.
For example, in a list of geocodes published on Maxmind, a sample of visitors is categorized as US for United States, GB for United Kingdom traffic and CA for Canada. At the top of the list is traffic categorized as A1, which is short for Anonymous Proxy or VPN.
Attention: Read before you continue
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. We strongly recommend you to get a good VPN and hide your identity so that your online experience doesn’t take a bad turn.
We use IPVanish which is the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including Amazon Fire TV Stick. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like their service, you can always ask for a refund. IPVanish also runs a limited time offer where you can save 65% on your VPN and they allow you to use one account on unlimited devices. This is a flash sale that can expire at any time.
Detecting VPN Traffic
Advertisers normally pay based on the geocode for each campaign. So, VPN pirate traffic marked as Geo A1 is outside the required geocodes and is therefore not paid for. Another owner of a similar website states that they hardly get paid for VPN traffic. That’s why they consider it to be worthless. Some networks don’t even show ads or pop-ups when they know a visitor is using a VPN connection.
The A1 code is also applied to traffic coming from Tor. Advertisers don’t pay for traffic coming from Tor. They even have special flags for Tor, VPNs, proxies, VPS servers, and Dedicated servers. They can easily monitor the networks. Everything today is public thanks to technological advances.
Some services such as IP2Location sell access to their database at a cost of $799. They can detect VPNs, bots, and proxies. They even have a demo. You can use that to easily enter any IP address to know if it is from a VPN, proxy, or bot. While people can still access pirate sites using VPNs, bots, and even Tor, most advertisers will normally frown upon such traffic.
Site owners can find other ways to monetize such traffic. But in most cases, VPN or Tor traffic is more of a burden and doesn’t generate meaningful income. In fact, the site owner ends up with lots of traffic, more server load, and no income.
The increasing concern about pirated content has led to a crackdown on sites that deliver this type of content.
However, most of these sites are accessed by people using VPNs to mask their real IP addresses, identities, and locations. These VPN pirate visitors have zero returns. Advertisers normally don’t pay for traffic coming from VPNs, proxies, and even Tor.
The traffic, categorized as A1, only increases the site’s server load without providing the expected returns. Using VPN for pirating actually deprives pirate sites a lot of ad revenue while increasing their operating costs.
What do you think of VPN for pirating? Do you use VPNs this way? Let us know in the comments section down below.