Though we’ve been trying to do our part to ease the end-of-summer woes, there’s no escaping the fact that we’re getting nearer to colder days, and for some of us, that includes going back to school too.
But all is not lost! Aside from the fact that some of us at FlashRouters much prefer fall weather to summer weather, the end of summer also means the return of many of our favorite shows. Granted, a lot of the best shows (Mad Men, Breaking Bad) seem to run on their own schedule, but such is the leeway provided to show-running auteurs like Matthew Weiner and Vince Gilligan.
As we reminded you, Breaking Bad is newly returned, two episodes in to wrapping up the back half of it’s final season. You can get as far as the middle of season five on Netflix, but Vudu or iTunes might be your best bet if you want to catch new episodes that are currently airing. That leaves plenty of other popular returning US shows available on all sorts of streaming services that need to be sorted out, and we’ll get to that right below.
Where/How to Watch Popular Returning US Shows
Before we dig in to these streaming media channels, it’s probably worth mentioning that you can always access a lot of these shows, without subscriptions, from the websites of their original channels. So, in certain cases, you can just head on down to NBC.com, CBS.com, ABC.com, TBS.com, TNTdrama.com, and many more to access your favorite shows for free (though many of these sites tend to hold only a few episodes at a time, so be warned). And if you’re outside the US, you’ll likely need a VPN to access these sites (which we’ll get to in the next section). Anyway, enjoy!
HBO GO – We’ve previously extolled the virtues of HBO GO elsewhere on this site, but it’s worth reiterating that a subscription to HBO GO means having access to every episode of The Wire, The Sopranos, Deadwood, Sex and the City, Band of Brothers, and many, many more popular HBO shows.
Game of Thrones and Girls are both gearing up for their next seasons (with GoT set to debut in the spring of 2014 and Girls just generally pegged as due in 2014), and the newest seasons of True Blood and The Newsroom are already underway. But for right now, you need to get your subscription to HBO GO in order for two reasons: 1) Nucky Thompson, Chalky White, and the rest of the Boardwalk Empire crew are coming back on September 8th and 2) Kenny Powers (Eastbound and Down‘s final season starts airing on September 29th). Get ready.
Showtime Anytime – It’s Dexter‘s final season, and the new Ray Donovan has attracted quite a bit of attention, but really, there’s one very important reason you’re going to want Showtime Anytime.
Yup, Homeland is coming back (Sept.29), and while the show pivoted away from the gritty realism of the first season in favor of grand, operatic storytelling gestures, we’re just as hyped to find out what lies ahead for Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis).
Netflix – Netflix certainly isn’t the channel you use to keep up with the newest episodes of your favorite shows, but it’s an invaluable resource for catching up on whole seasons before the new ones begin airing. Intensely violent FX shows like (Sons of Anarchy returning Sept. 10), intensely vulgar FX shows (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Wilfred, and The League, both returning on Sept. 4) rest comfortably alongside network television fare like New Girl (Sept. 17th) and Glee (Sept. 5). And let’s not forget Netflix’s recent successful forays into the realm of original programming.
Hulu Plus – While Netflix is the go-to channel for catching up on previous seasons of your favorite shows, when it comes to currently airing material, you’ve got to go with Hulu Plus. Almost all of your favorite basic cable shows show up the morning after their original airing. You can even bypass the Time Warner Cable dispute and get CBS shows like The Big Bang Theory (returning September 26th), and NCIS (returning September 24th).
As for us, we’re most hyped about the return of Community (which has no scheduled return date), mainly due to the reinstatement of show-runner Dan Harmon. And another returning favorite, Parks and Recreation (Sept. 26), will help fill out our Thursday nights (RIP 30 Rock).
Use VPNs to Access These Streaming Services From Anywhere
Of course, some of these streaming services and their fine rosters of popular returning US shows are not available all over the globe. Well, not available in the strictest sense of the word.
As we’ve demonstrated countless times, Netflix isn’t in many countries. Neither is Hulu Plus. Germany’s Watchever isn’t available here in the US. So what’s a person in a country without access supposed to do? The answer, as ever, is use a VPN.
VPN service providerss, or Virtual Private Network services, are subscription-based services that are intended to provide users with a much safer internet experience than those provided by your usual ISPs. When you log in to your VPN, all of your online information is tunneled through encrypted servers that VPN service providers maintain all over the globe. This makes your sensitive data (e-mails, credit card numbers) completely untraceable, thus heading hackers and identity thieves off at the pass.
More to the point though, VPNs allow you to access geographically restricted websites from anywhere in the world! Since VPN service providers maintain servers around the globe, VPN users are able to choose IP addresses in just about any country they can think of. Want to watch Netflix US in Egypt? Just choose an American server when you log in to your VPN. Want to access Google in China? Pick an IP address in, well, almost anywhere else.
Popular VPN service providers for US-based IP addresses include IPVanish VPN, Overplay VPN, HideMyAss VPN, and PrivateInternetAccess VPN. FlashRouters also offers a new VPN provider comparison list to help you find the virtual private network that best suits your needs.
FlashRouters and VPNs
If you’re going to be using VPNs to access popular returning US shows from far-flung places around the globe, you might as well ensure that your whole network is in proper order; and if you’re going to do that, you’re going to need a FlashRouter.
Our mission at FlashRouters is to provide powerful, fast, and affordable devices that cannot be found anywhere else. We flash all of our routers with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware, replacement firmwares that are designed to give a significant boost to already powerful routers. With DD-WRT and/or Tomato, you can control how your bandwidth is allocated (allowing you to prioritize higher volume activities like Netflix streaming or online gaming), extend your wireless network’s range, and take advantage of advanced security options.
What’s more, a FlashRouter will make the process of utilizing your VPN subscription that much easier. All of our routers are equipped with built-in VPN-connectivity, which saves you the trouble of installing the VPN software on your own (a perilous process that’s led to a bricked router or two in its day). You can even use your old router in conjunction with your new FlashRouter and go with our popular dual router set-up, making the process of switching between your local connection and your VPN as simple as pushing a button.
Some of our most popular devices include the Cisco Linksys E4200 DD-WRT FlashRouter, which routinely tops our best-seller’s lists (and is available as a Tomato router too). If you’re looking for something more affordable, but still top-quality, you can always go with the Cisco Linksys E1200 DD-WRT FlashRouter. But if it’s sheer, jaw-dropping power you’re in the market for, then the Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight Tomato FlashRouter is the way to go.
And if you really want to make sure you’re all set for the upcoming fall season of television, then you should visit our media device store and get yourself a Roku or Apple TV. Complete your network today!
For more popular streaming movies & TV updates, unblocking geo-restricted content, DD-WRT/Tomato VPN Router deals & VPN Service Provider info, follow us on Twitter @flashrouters or like us on Facebook.