Use VyprVPN to connect to Hong Kong and watch World Cup from overseas

Most of us are busy watching World Cup 2014 this early summer.

TVB gets the sole TV distribution in Hong Kong of this soccer event in Brazil. 22 out of the total 64 games will be available on TV for free. For the other 42 games, Hongkongers either subscribe paid service from TVB or NowTV. Subscribers can watch all the games via TV, computer, smartphone and tablet. The mobile device app myWorldCup is great and provides both live game and goals/goal attempts replay. The app is geo-restricted to be functional for Internet users in Hong Kong only.

I am one of the subscribers and I watch the games mainly on my iPad. It is HD video. I can watch it anywhere, provided my device IP address is a routable IP address in Hong Kong.

The World Cup lasts about one month and it happens that I’m not in Hong Kong sometime during the period. I need a VPN to connect my iPad/iPhone to Hong Kong!

My VPN requirements, in descending order, are:
1.with VPN servers in HK
2.good connection performance
3.with VPN servers in many Asia countries
4.multiple concurrent connections
5.easy to use software

After doing some studies, especially reviews from VPN Creative and BestVPN, I made my short list of VPN providers. I tired to try the VPN services before I purchase because good VPN performance – high speed/capacity and reliability – is not something written on websites but real experience. Finally I subscribed VyprVPN Pro service. My reasons:
-VyprVPN offers free trial and I can try before I buy
-VyprVPN is one of the VPN providers with good VPN server coverage in Hong Kong and Asia.
-VyprVPN connection performance is great. (Will talk more later.)
-VyprVPN price is reasonable. Support multiple connections. The bundled Dump Truck storage is a nice plus!
-VyprVPN interface, both web GUI and PC/mobile app, are very user friendly
-VyprVPN supports both L2TP/IPSEC and OpenVPN protocols

I prefer to use OpenVPN because the VPN connection setup is faster than L2TP/IPSEC. From my experience OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSEC connection speeds are similar. The OpenVPN app provides more information than the VyprVPN app.

Form my viewing experience on iPad and iPhone when I was not in Hong Kong and using VyprVPN, the live videos were HD, smooth, clear and very detail. Below are some screen captures of a live game on iPad:

20140624-161259-58379274.jpg

The live games were streamed via HLS and it was likely that the maximum bitrate was market standard 2Mbps. I found VyprVPN supported more than 2Mbps connectivity between my devices and the Internet in Hong Kong. I used Speedtest with test server in Hong Kong and most of the results were more than 60% of the broadband speeds! Based on the OpenVPN app, there was about 2GB data transmitted via the VPN in two hours, so we have the HLS bitrate at 2GB/2hr = (2048*8Mb)/(2*60*60sec) = 2.28Mbps.

20140624-161403-58443472.jpg

It is explicitly listed on the VyprVPN official website that multiple concurrent connections are supported. VPN software is available on most common platforms. The support page is written very clearly and it is very easy to follow the instructions to set up OpenVPN. All this well written information make me find that VyprVPN provides good services and customer supports.

Good companies help their customers to do businesses with them and use their products/services.

Cheers! Enjoy the World Cup!

Remarks:
a.OpenVPN is an SSL VPN implementation and is not compatible with IPSec, L2TP, or PPTP. See OpenVPN.net.
b.The iOS OpenVPN client uses PolarSSL and is not vulnerable to the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug.
c.VyprVPN users are safe from Heartbleed bug.
d.[update] It is a surprise to me that I received a thank you email from VyprVPN after a few hours this blogpost was published! Anyone who read this blogpost can get a 50% discount for the first month from VyprVPN by clicking the banner below! Cool!!


Crafting a Successful O2O Dialogue

I attended the “Crafting a Successful O2O Dialogue” seminar early this week organised by one of my partners. It focused on Online To Offline, a new business mode combining the online shopping and the front line transactions. Speakers from Bluecom, NDN Group, SalesCatalysts and PayPal shared a lot of valuable knowledge and experiences.

Crafting a Successful O2O Dialogue seminar 20140610

As glass screens get more time & mind shares of people, companies are trying to engage their customers online as well as in the brick-and-mortar retail shops, and vice verse. One of the key success factors to drive more businesses is to have a holistic strategy and execution to connect online and offline customer experiences.

 

O2O is in fact not very new. It is everywhere. Step back, watch out. It is obvious.

I have a recent O2O experience at 7-Eleven. I bought some soft drink and snacks last night (to consume when I watch the opening World Cup game this midnight) and 7-Eleven gave me a Line emoticon card. By scanning the QR code on the card I got some free Line emoticon, as well as I added 7-Eleven Hong Kong in my buddy list. And then I get promotional messages from my new buddy 7-Eleven, I visited 7-Eleven again this morning and bought some more stuff…

7-Eleven and Line joint-marketing

 

PayPal shared in the seminar the research report Modern Spice Routes which they worked with Nielsen last year about Cross-Border Shopping. From the report we have:
1.Cross-border shopping spend will increase from $106B in 2013 to $307B in 2018. Almost 300% growth!

2.The top reasons of buying online from overseas is to “save money” (80% of respondents), followed by “more variety that cannot be found locally” (79%). Half of the shoppers surveyed use PayPals most often for cross-border purchase because they want buyer protection offered by PayPal.

3.Top five cross-border purchase categories: Cloths/Shoes/Accessories, Health & Beauty Products, Personal Electronics, Computer Hardware, Jewellery/Gems and Watches.

4.More than a third of all cross-border online shopping is via mobile devices. How to ease and speed up the buyer journey is critical to drive more transactions.

5.Hong Kong, a small city (in term of physical area) with 7m+ population, is one of the top cross-border shopping destinations:
-US shoppers buy from: UK (49%), China (39%), Canada (34%), HK (20%), Australia (18%)
-Brazil: US (79%), China (48%), HK (17%), UK (17%), Canada (14%)
-UK: US (70%), China (23%), HK (21%), Germany (19%), Ireland (15%)
-China: US (84%), HK (58%), Japan (52%), UK (43%), Australia (39%)
-Australia: US (69%), UK (47%), China (31%), HK (29%), Canada (9%)

Most popular overseas online shopping destinations

All these did not surprise me except the last one. Why HK is one of most popular shopping destination?
-there is no sales tax in HK
-stable currency exchange rate (USD1 = ~HK$7.75)
-good Internet infrastructure
-very easy to set up a company (from seller perspective)
-strong financial and legal systems (from seller perspective)
-no forex volume control (from seller perspective)

Valid points. Too obvious for me to overlook.

“The most obvious and important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about.” David Foster Wallace said in the 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College. (Youtube version)

 

In last week WWDC, Apple introduced HealthKit and HomeKit. A lot of articles, blogs and podcasts talked about the event. A good summary is that Apple focused in BTLE and iBeacons the last few years in order to plan for the next Big Thing: “iLifestyle”. Your iPhone will become more context aware – where are you (home, office, shopping mall…), what are you doing (sitting, walking,running, typing, browsing…) and when are you doing exercises. Your home electronic appliance will be switched on/off and adjusted based on your preference stored on your iPhone. Alerts/advises will be given to you about when and how to do sports. Things you may need will come to you when you are shopping and ease/shorten your buyer journey. Computing devices moving from a passive tool to an active assistant. Brand new experience. How? Apple Store will be one of the best places to experience all these. That’s why Angela Ahrendts will focus on “end-to-end Apple Store sales experience”.

O2O.

Remarks:
1.Vector episode 30 is a insightful podcast about wearables, contextual sensors, and how to make them mainstream.
2.Information is overload and we need content curation to help us explore music, as well as news. Zite’s future is unknown after Flipboard bought it from CNN. I’m trying other news readers such as Theneeds, Feedly, Newsify and Digg.
3.By replying on content curation, we hand over our information source to third party which may not have the same interests of us. In Exponent podcast episode 005, Ben and James have serious discussion about it.