Lately, there has been a lot of news buzzing about several IPTV services getting raided and shut down by government agencies, including some rather popular IPTV providers used by many people. If you have been wondering why your favorite IPTV service hasn’t been working lately, then it may be because it was recently seized in a raid and then shutdown.
If you’re curious about which IPTV services are confirmed to be currently inoperable, then read on to learn more about the big IPTV raids that have occurred recently.
Terminated IPTV Providers
It’s an all too familiar sight. An IPTV service rises to the top, only to vanish without any signs of warning. The latest victim of this trend: Iconic Streams.
The first early indicators started popping up in early June 2021, when readers complained about the lack of support from the official Iconic Streams team. It’s only taken a few days and it is now official. Iconic Streams was shut down. Customers are left wondering what will happen to their subscriptions. At the time of writing, none of the subscriptions appear to be working anymore.
I can confirm that there has not been any law enforcement action that has lead to this, so your information should be safe. But regardless, it is just another reminder to keep your personal information safe with a VPN service!
On November 20th 2019, the owner of Gears Reloaded IPTV, OMI In A Hellcat, released a 36 minute long Youtube video that you can find right here, titled “THE FBI SEIZED EVERYTHING FROM ME.” In the video OMI (real name being Omar Carrasquillo) films himself in the middle of the raid while several FBI agents are in his house and taking away much of his property and assets.
Not only was Gears Reloaded shut down, the IPTV service that OMI founded and developed, but he also details how the FBI took away many things such as his expensive car collection, all of his SD cards, cameras, television sets, computers, phones, and other expensive electronics were taken away as well.
More importantly is the fact that millions of dollars were seized from all of his homes and accounts, which the FBI believes may be cash that was earned illegally through money laundering.
The justification for the FBI raid is allegedly that OMI and Gears Reloaded have a questionable track record with their taxes, which OMI blames on having hired the wrong kind of accountant.
As this federal investigation is still ongoing at the time of this writing, Gears Reloaded IPTV is still currently shutdown and its future does not look bright.
Xtream Codes IPTV was a very popular IPTV panel service that was apparently serving roughly 50 million users. The Xtream Codes raid back on September 19th of this year made a lot of headlines because of how popular they were.
While not much information was made public about this takedown, we do know that Xtream Codes had lost about 200 different servers, 150 PayPal accounts and about two dozen people from the staff were arrested.
The thing that makes this particular raid interesting is the fact that Xtream Codes actually isn’t a streaming service. Xtream Codes is merely an IPTV panel that people can use to manage their own streaming services received from IPTV providers.
In other words, Xtream Codes isn’t really an illegal service, even if this platform has the potential to be exploited for disobeying copyright laws. (Which is very similar to how Kodi is operating.
Therefore if there is anything that we can take away from the Xtream Codes incident, it’s that federal agencies around the world are really beginning to crack down hard on IPTV services in general.
Vaders Streams IPTV was once a very popular streaming service that was used by millions of people, but that all changed earlier this year when Vader Streams announced that they would be shutting themselves down on May 3rd of this year.
The official announcement given by the company that they would be shutting themselves down was, to say the least, vague. While there didn’t appear to be any raids or takedowns per se, it seems clear that the obvious and logical conclusion is that Vader Streams was receiving a lot of pressure from a third party to end their services in order to avoid more severe consequences.
Because the circumstances surrounding this issue are mysterious, many rumors have spread concerning what actually happened with Vader Streams IPTV. Some insist that there was a power struggle among top members of Vader Streams and some of their providers, which caused one of them to blackmail the others by ratting them out to the authorities.
However, this is just speculation as we have found nothing online to corroborate this story. We may never know all the facts related to this specific IPTV shutdown. But given that they voluntarily shut down as opposed to being forcibly shut down, it seems to suggest that there were simply too many complications for them to stick around—whether they were legal threats or it was due to internal turmoil.
Android TV Box Bestsellers
The story of Ace IPTV is an older one that occurred back in April of 2018. After having been exposed for violating copyright laws, the owners of Ace IPTV made a settlement to liquidate their assets and pay £600,000 in fines.
The most interesting details lie in what Ace IPTV did after that. They gave the details of their clients to Premier League, the official soccer league of England, as well as to the liquidators involved in this shutdown.
Ace IPTV was a very popular choice for sports fans that wanted a cheaper way to stream their sports content, but a year and a half later Ace IPTV is still out of commission. It seems very unlikely that after all this time that they’ll ever make a return—at least not under the same name.
On July 30 of 2018, Fab IPTV was raided by Europol and then was forced to shut down their website and operations.
Fab IPTV released a statement back in September of 2017 as a response to several raids that were taking place on various IPTV organizations. These raids were conducted by Scottish police and members of Europol. Fab IPTV continued to operate for some time but refused to accept any new subscriptions.
They allowed their current end users to use up the remainder of their subscriptions but then eventually dissolved in July 2018. This was obviously to protect themselves from getting arrested by the Scottish police and then prosecuted.
How IPTV Shutdowns Can Affect You
With so many popular IPTV services around the world either getting raided by authorities or feeling enough pressure to close up their own shops, you may be wondering what the big deal of it all is, and how it could possibly impact your own life.
Sure, it can be inconvenient when a service that you have paid for is no longer operational, but then the solution is obviously to just find a replacement IPTV stream provider, right?
Well, the problem is that finding a replacement IPTV provider may very well be the least of your worries when these sorts of things happen. As we already previously mentioned in this article, there are times when IPTV services are forced to hand over information relating to their customers to the proper authorities during raids or shutdowns.
This kind of information is everything that you give the IPTV service when signing up. It can include things such as your name, address, e-mail address, PayPal address, credit card number, etc.
Raids Mean Your Private Info Gets Raided Too
If you sign up with an IPTV service that gets raided, your personal information may very well end up in the hands of the same authorities who initiated that shutdown. Then they would know that you were partaking in the acquisition of copyrighted material, and that could come back to haunt you in the future if these authorities ever decide to take action on end-users or customers. Whether your actions are actually considered illegal very much depends on where you live. Read more on whether IPTV services are illegal.
While having your personal information associated with a federal raid sounds like really bad news, fortunately there are many steps you can take to protect yourself when using an IPTV service.
How to Protect Your Information from a Possible Raid
For one thing, you should pay with cryptocurrency instead of using your credit card or your PayPal. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are used in a completely anonymous fashion and your Bitcoin wallet cannot be traced back to your own identity.
Slow Streams or Buffering?
Are your streams loading too slow? Getting constant buffering? Not able to stream at full resolution? Check out these tips to improve your streaming experience:
- Use a modern Router that has advanced features like QoS to prioritize video content. Check out our recommended Routers for Streaming.
- If you are using a Wifi connection, be sure to check out our 9 easy steps to improve your Wifi for Streaming.
- Some Internet Service Providers throttle video streaming traffic without telling their customers. A VPN encrypts all your traffic and circumvents throttling, blocking and geographical restrictions.
If you are particularly worried about having your real name be associated with an IPTV raid then you can easily just use fake information while paying, although that doesn’t quite solve some other issues like having your IP address tracked or other details related to payment.
There are other options we could suggest, but quite frankly, most of them simply fall short of offering the protection that you need. The single best thing you can do to protect yourself in these situations is to use a VPN.
Why You Should Always Use a VPN with IPTV
These days, VPNs, or virtual private networks, go hand in hand with online streaming precisely because they protect your identity. Using IPTV streaming services certainly is convenient, but there is a risk involved like the ones we talked about earlier in this article. Having your personal information leaked to federal authorities can only be a bad thing. But with a VPN, you won’t have to worry about that whatsoever.
For those who are not aware of what it does, a VPN is this very useful tool that masks your real IP address when using the internet. It does so in a way that not even your internet service provider can see what you’re doing.
VPNs allow you to use the internet under a different IP address that is provided to you from a server that the VPN provider uses. So it gives you total security and privacy to browse the internet.
VPNs are especially important when it comes to IPTV streaming as they will mask your identity when watching online live content. That’s ultimately the tricky thing about using IPTVs in general – while they may be convenient, you can never really know which channel or which program is obeying copyright infringement laws, and which ones are violating them. A VPN protects you in case you end up watching illegal content without even knowing it.
It also comes in handy during the IPTV shutdowns we were discussing earlier. If your IPTV service gets raided or taken down, you won’t have to worry if you were using a VPN. No one will be able to tell if you were using that IPTV when a VPN is active.
Plus, if your payment information given to the IPTV service was also done anonymously (like using Bitcoin) then you would be completely in the clear.
There are other benefits of using a VPN for streaming. Check out the top 4 reasons why you shouldn´t be streaming without one.
How to Get a VPN
There are many, many options for either free or paid VPNs. PureVPN is a popular option and the service I use. All you have to do is install the software on your computer or TV Box and then activate it before connecting to your IPTV stream.
It’s best to select a server that is close to your city when you start up the VPN. This will usually provide a faster streaming service.
Pretty much all VPN providers offer this as an option, so no matter which one you choose, you should be able to get a good streaming speed. However, it is best to check first and make sure that they offer servers in your country.
To sum it all up, VPNs are irrefutably a valuable asset for you to have when using virtually any kind of IPTV stream. There’s really no good reason not to have one. Take the extra step to protect your identity and your privacy so you can have both the convenience of IPTV streams and the peace of mind that comes with guaranteed online privacy—including protection from raids.