So, I need to come clean. I have had Netflix setup on my Apple TV for the last month and, love it! The way a TV should truly be enjoyed, full on-demand content with with no ads. Best of all it’s only $7.99 a month.
Despite the above plug, the purpose of this article is not to evaluate Netflix. I will let you do that for yourself. I will just leave this topic saying you may very well start looking for an article on how to setup Hulu Plus. I have found that Netflix is great for all kinds of content, however Hulu Plus does has some of the latest TV shows.
So to be frank, “pirating” is a big hassle and it does have an element of risk with viruses, poor quality and the legality/morality side of it. Yet the free to air and cable TV options we have available make piracy seem like a worthwhile endeavor, mainly because if I see one more cooking show, singing competition or DIY play off, I might just spontaneously combust out of sheer frustration. In fact to be honest before Netflix I didn’t watch TV for years.
I had been using iTunes which is a great option, although you still have to wait ages to get access to the latest shows unless of course you live in the US. Then secondly iTunes is hideously expensive especially if you live in one of the unlucky countries (which I think is most of them) in which Apple decides to rob you for every hard earned dollar.
I’m not going to make any kind of political or ideological excuses here and I am not cheap but I have to draw the line at blatant robbery. I just don’t want to pay $3.25 (yes that is how much it is in AU) for a single episode of a TV show, when – for my entire life – I have watched those shows free on a TV set. In addition, new movie releases are close to $7 each!! for a rental, again, robbery. So know wonder torrents and TV streaming websites are growing exponentially …
Yet these murky options still does not provide a comparable service to Netflix, for those that like watching movies on your Apple TV, iPad and any other Apple Devices you are left with a n uphill battle: limited storage space on device (max around 64GB) even on the new Apple Macbook Air, max is around 256GB on the SSD’s then the encoding. If any of you have tried re-encoding a movie or bunch of episodes so you can watch it on the go or on your iPad, you will know it’s a massive hassle!!
Netflix solves all these issues, so roll on Netflix.
Oh no wait what’s this, only US and UK citizens are allowed, well that’s not fair.
Anywhere else and you’re stuck with a shoddy local TV offering or – more likely – nothing at all. This is because Netflix checks where you are, and only allows yo to use the service if you are geographically inside the United States. This is all based on your IP address, which luckily for everyone outside the US and UK can be fooled.
What we have to do here is simple, make Netflix think we are in the US.
One could do this by setting up a VPN or work VPN and tunneling all traffic through via US, however that would destroy your internet speed and cost a lot of cash.
Luckily for us there are enterprising individuals who have spotted this niche and created special DNS services that can spoof your location. But the clever part is that they only divert the packets needed to make Netflix believe you’re a local customer.
The best service I have found is: Unblock Us
Unblock Us is a clever paid service which uses DNS to spoof your location. But the clever part is that it only diverts the packets needed to make Netflix believe you’re a local customer.
The heavy internet traffic and workload still come through your regular broadband pipes. So if you have a fast 100MB connection, then you’re golden.
What You’ll Need
• A U.S iTunes Store account (free)
• A Netflix account ($8 per month)
• A valid credit card
• An Unblock Us account (First Month is Free)
Unblock Us is a brilliant service and has top quality in=depth setup instructions for all your devices. It is so easy to setup that I am sure anyone can do it.
Once you pick your device all you have to do is setup the DNS settings that are provided from within your Unblock Us account.
Unblock Us will setup you IP and then route certain traffic through via the DNS to enable Netflix.
The only real decision you have to make is which device to setup with the special DNS setting or whether you setup your home router, this will mean all devices will connect via the DNS and be able to get Netflix.
The only issue I have found is that there are some issues with the local iTunes in terms of downloading apps and content for the local region. That is why I setup Apple TV but left my iPad/iPhone as normal.
You have to setup your iTunes to the United States so this can play havoc when you actually try to buy content or apps from the store. You will find it hard to find local apps for instance weather or news apps made for your local region.
Signing Up for Netflix
Netflix signup is easy. You will just need to provide your credit card details and you get one month free trial. You can use a credit card from anywhere unlike Hulu Plus which is great; it just asks you for a US post code so I used the one everyone know 90210.
Now, you’re almost done if you watch Netflix using a computer or Apple TV then you is done. Enjoy your new-found TV channel (complete with subtitles!).
If you’re on an iPad, there’s on more steps.
You’re going to need a U.S iTunes Store account to get the Netflix app. This is pretty simple, as the app is free, and Apple provides instructions on setting up an account without a credit card on its support pages. See below on how to set your iTunes store location. The below is a screenshot from Unblock Us who again has some great support videos on setting all this up.
If you are wanting to use Netflix on your portable device then you will need to set the store lcoation and download the Netflix App. Once you have the Netflix app installed, just make sure you’re on the Unblock Us before launching it. Sign in and you’re off. I found it much easier to signup for a Netflix account via PC first then just download the app and login.
Well, not much to say other than I am now a very happy Netflix user. All in all this will end up costing you around $13 a month ($5 for the DSN service and $8 for Netflix).
So now all we need is some smart company to start offering a local subscription service that will offer up to the minute shows, not delayed for month’s even years in some cases for a flat monthly fee, not ridiculous $3 per episode.
Until then I am very thankful for this workaround…