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The Internet has brought a wave of communication, instant access, and other elements of the digital life. Netflix is now used by many as an alternative to traditional film rentals. Americans have grown to love BBC programs like Sherlock, Doctor Who, and Top Gear. Likewise, those of the British Commonwealth enjoy shows and services available exclusively to U.S. viewers. Not everything in this digital world is equal, but there’s a way to change that. A small tool called Tunlr enables users to use services internationally, no matter the location. I’m going to show you how to use it to listen to Pandora or use the BBC’s Web site wherever you are.
How Does It Work?
If you live in the U.S., or anywhere outside the UK, you get this a lot. Time for a fix.
People typically use virtual private networks or proxies when accessing a Web site outside their country. These work, but they are slow, and better functioning versions cost at least $10 per month. A free tool is always preferred, and that’s where Tunlr comes in.
Instead of acting as a proxy, Tunlr changes your domain name system, or “DNS” as the acronym goes. Changing this is like a proxy, but doesn’t cost anything and only reroutes certain traffic through itself. So, instead of getting Google.co.uk, you’ll get the regular old Google.com. Anything but the supported services, listed here, will appear normal. All Tunlr does is help you access the service, not tell the whole Internet that you’re somewhere else.
It's as simple as inputting two DNS addresses with copy and paste.
Installing Tunlr on a Mac is simple and there are two ways of doing it. You can go the manual route, which involves changing the DNS yourself, or you can use a one-click tool to do it.
The latter is easy, requires no installation (just a drag and drop), and switches the tool on and off upon a click and entry of the administrator password. Download it here. The manual method, however, is a bit more complicated. Below is a step-by-step guide on setting up the custom DNS for Tunlr.
- Open System Preferences.
- Click Network.
- Unlock the pane if needed.
- Decide which network connection you prefer to use. If you connect to the Internet using mainly WiFi, then use that. If you’re using Ethernet, click that connection.
- Click “Advanced…” in the bottom right corner.
- Navigate to the DNS tab.
- Click the + button and add 126.96.36.199, pressing return upon finishing.
- Do the same for 188.8.131.52 (Tunlr requires two IP addresses) and make sure both of these addresses are at the top of your DNS list (if there are any others).
- Press OK, followed by Apply.
- Don’t worry about recovering your old DNS. All you have to do is go to the DNS tab, select the new ones, and click "-" on all of them. This will reset it to default.
- Test out the connection by going to Tunlr’s status page. Make sure you look at the bottom half of the page, titled “Tunlr activation check”. You’re looking for “Tunlr DNS address is set. Tunlr is activated.”
- Open your favorite streaming service and — provided it’s on the list mentioned above — start watching or listening.
Enjoy International Streaming
Turn on Tunlr and voila.
That’s all there is to setting up and using Tunlr. You can now watch CBS and other national channels outside the U.S., the BBC outside the UK, and more. There is also a guide for setting up Tunlr on an iOS device, if you happen to use one of them often to watch films or TV shows. The tool works with Windows and Linux, too, if you've got other machines lying around. Refer to the website for documentation on installing in those operating systems.
Have you found this Quick Tip helpful? Do you think there’s something better than the method mentioned here? Let us know in the comments.