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Using Netflix in Australia
ara
Sydney, New South Wales
3669 posts
So I have started looking in to using Netflix to get most of the TV I currently watch. I recently got back from 6 weeks in America and was exposed to how awesome Netflix is and thought it might be a better solution than my current one and incredible value at 8$/month.

Is anyone using one of these DNS redirection type services to do this? I have done a bit of research into these and they seem a bit patchy. I'm not sure how exactly they work, either by DNS redirecting to their own content reflectors, or just getting around the GEO block on the DNS servers that are used for the particular streaming services, but either way I am concerned that they would eventually be blocked as they rise in popularity.

I was thinking more along the lines of US VPS + VPN for the VLAN I put my media device(s) on to so all. Combined with a static routes on the gateway of the VLAN to get to my local content server or local services such as ABC iview.
11:28am 14/05/13 Permalink
system
Internet
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11:28am 14/05/13 Permalink
Dan
Special Text
Brisbane, Queensland
14341 posts
Free browser extensions/addons like Mediahint are enough to get around Netflix rudimentary geoblocking. It's the credit card billing address that is the tricky part.
11:30am 14/05/13 Permalink
KungFuCamel
Brisbane, Queensland
593 posts
I use unblock-us.com for netflix access. $4.99 a month and you get access to their dns server which allows you to access netflix and hulu etc.
11:35am 14/05/13 Permalink
Dan
Special Text
Brisbane, Queensland
14342 posts
Main reason to use a paid service would be if you wanted to get the hi-bitrate Super HD working http://support.unblock-us.com/customer/portal/articles/973404-netflix-super-hd
11:39am 14/05/13 Permalink
crazymorton
Brisbane, Queensland
4129 posts
*sigh* if only my speeds were fast enough to have such a choice.

constantly chasing that little grey progress bar.

someone build me an NBN

*/sigh*
11:42am 14/05/13 Permalink
TiT
Brisbane, Queensland
5609 posts
yeah i used unblock-us.com a few times now (using the trial) and its alot better than VPN as speeds can vary alot with VPN.

What i did last year is bought Apple TV entered the DNS setting on the Apple TV as i didnt want to have US DNS for everyone else (Because i play alot of games etc.) It worked a charm also created US iTunes account which worked fine :)
11:45am 14/05/13 Permalink
Herron
Brisbane, Queensland
205 posts
Yeah, I just use unblock-us at the router to take care of Netflix and Hulu Plus. Was also using it for a US iTunes account too which was very handy.
11:47am 14/05/13 Permalink
ara
Sydney, New South Wales
3670 posts
It's the credit card billing address that is the tricky part.


On my recent trip to the states i set up a Bank of America account, no monthly fees, came with a Visa Debt card and all communications from them are via email.

https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/checking/ebanking-online-checking-account.go
12:19pm 14/05/13 Permalink
TufNuT
I like eel pie
Brisbane, Queensland
4185 posts
I use https://www.privatetunnel.com/

found it to be very reliable and have never had streaming problems.
12:26pm 14/05/13 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
36981 posts
On my recent trip to the states i set up a Bank of America account, no monthly fees, came with a Visa Debt card and all communications from them are via email.https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/checking/ebanking-online-checking-account.go
Important safety tip with US accounts - if there's no activity on them after some certain amount of time the bnak (or government?) just takes the money. I had an account with less than $100 in there and ignored it for a while and when I finally went back to check the bank had closed it and the money was gone.

I can't remember the details but it was some serious bulls***. This is pre-GFC and I don't know if banking actually has laws now or not but bear in mind it is a different world over there. Check the terms and conditions carefully for their inactivity clauses - some of them have significant "inactivity fees".

My (US-based) uncle has auto transfers set up on some of his accounts to move 1 cent between them every month to make sure they don't go stale.
12:51pm 14/05/13 Permalink
TicMan
Melbourne, Victoria
8609 posts
I tried out Unblock-US & Netflix on my 5mbps ADSL2 (hhhaha 2, asif!) connection and it was rubbish. Poor quality, streaming issues, etc.
01:09pm 14/05/13 Permalink
Zak
Brisbane, Queensland
2979 posts
I've been using Mediahint with Chrome for the past month to view Netflix on my laptop. Used my Australian credit card and address, but just added an extra digit to my Australian postcode to get it to accept it.
01:09pm 14/05/13 Permalink
DM
Gold Coast, Queensland
5157 posts
I have Unblock-US set up with Hulu+, Netflix on my Roku 2. Netflix is straight forward to setup really and like Zak said, you just take your existing post code an add another digit. Hulu+ is another story and there are places you can buy pre-paid debit cards from and let you set up fake addresses and so on, so its a bit harder to get working but doable.

Netflix when it first loads a show will be s*** quality and stays that way for about a minute but after that the quality goes up and improves a lot and i'm on still on ADSL1 with like 700kb down at most. Hulu+ works on and off. sometimes it's great sometime it sucks. It's not just me as many others have complained about the Roku app for it sucking balls and locking up even in the US. Well worth the odd $20 a month since everyone in my houses uses this stuff every night. Usually if I'm going for an older TV series and I want watch from scratch I boot up Netflix and then for current episodes i'll Hulu those.
01:27pm 14/05/13 Permalink
bepatient
Melbourne, Victoria
1191 posts
I've just been stared using a Chrome extension called Hola Unblocker for the moment for Netflix. A friend of mine is using Unblock US which is awesome cause he is running it through his AppleTV too
03:09pm 14/05/13 Permalink
Dodgymon
Brisbane, Queensland
2344 posts
+1 for mediahint
04:11pm 14/05/13 Permalink
Taipan
USA
4166 posts
I personally dont think netflix has a good enough range of movies and tv show to bother going to any real hassle getting it. The only time i bother with it is when i really have jack s*** to do.
04:18pm 14/05/13 Permalink
jmr
Brisbane, Queensland
7971 posts
So do you need a US payment method to hook up Netflix?
05:19pm 14/05/13 Permalink
E.T.
Queensland
4601 posts
So do you need a US payment method to hook up Netflix?


Nope
06:32pm 14/05/13 Permalink
E.T.
Queensland
4602 posts
I have Unblock-US set up with Hulu+, Netflix on my Roku 2. Netflix is straight forward to setup really and like Zak said, you just take your existing post code an add another digit. Hulu+ is another story and there are places you can buy pre-paid debit cards from and let you set up fake addresses and so on, so its a bit harder to get working but doable.Netflix when it first loads a show will be s*** quality and stays that way for about a minute but after that the quality goes up and improves a lot and i'm on still on ADSL1 with like 700kb down at most. Hulu+ works on and off. sometimes it's great sometime it sucks. It's not just me as many others have complained about the Roku app for it sucking balls and locking up even in the US. Well worth the odd $20 a month since everyone in my houses uses this stuff every night. Usually if I'm going for an older TV series and I want watch from scratch I boot up Netflix and then for current episodes i'll Hulu those.


DM. What sort of data usage are you looking at per month to do this? I'm considering cutting the Foxtel cable off and moving the net plan to 500gig per month instead.
06:49pm 14/05/13 Permalink
DM
Gold Coast, Queensland
5158 posts
I average about 250 - 300gb a month. That's with at least 4 hours of Netflix and Hulu every night. If you have access to better speeds than what I do then I would imagine that to be a bit higher. So perhaps around 400gb or so maybe? I cut foxtel off awhile back and don't miss it at all.
07:39pm 14/05/13 Permalink
E.T.
Queensland
4603 posts
I average about 250 - 300gb a month. That's with at least 4 hours of Netflix and Hulu every night. If you have access to better speeds than what I do then I would imagine that to be a bit higher. So perhaps around 400gb or so maybe? I cut foxtel off awhile back and don't miss it at all.


Cheers DM. I imagine you use your net for stuff other than Hulu and Netflix, so thats sounds promising..
09:38pm 14/05/13 Permalink
TiT
Brisbane, Queensland
5611 posts
I just wish there was some some good cheap packages for ESPN as well there i would be set!
09:51am 15/05/13 Permalink
jmr
Brisbane, Queensland
7972 posts
I've got it working sweet, only thing is it doesn't seem to be doing HD

I have an Apple TV v2, which is literally 3 metres clear line of sight from the wireless router, surely it should be able to hit 720p?

I can cable it if I have to
02:10pm 15/05/13 Permalink
ara
Sydney, New South Wales
3673 posts
I've got it working sweet, only thing is it doesn't seem to be doing HDI have an Apple TV v2, which is literally 3 metres clear line of sight from the wireless router, surely it should be able to hit 720p?I can cable it if I have to


have you gone into the netflix settings and set your default to SuperHD?

mine seems to always go 1080p straight away.
02:54pm 15/05/13 Permalink
TiT
Brisbane, Queensland
5612 posts
I've got it working sweet, only thing is it doesn't seem to be doing HDI have an Apple TV v2, which is literally 3 metres clear line of sight from the wireless router, surely it should be able to hit 720p?I can cable it if I have to


That's your problem i read somewhere you must have Apple TV3 to get HD as the device must support 1080


Edit: https://support.netflix.com/en/node/8731
04:02pm 15/05/13 Permalink
jmr
Brisbane, Queensland
7973 posts
Yeah, I've never mentioned 1080

This s*** is like 320, I'm just chasing 720 on this dev
04:09pm 15/05/13 Permalink
E.T.
Queensland
4606 posts
Questions about Hulu. I just signed up for a trial, but I cant see how you get to earlier episodes. Is there a way?

Ie. Arrow. They have up to EP22 but my missus want Ep 3,4,5 ect
11:12pm 15/05/13 Permalink
DM
Gold Coast, Queensland
5159 posts
Some series on Hulu have every season, some have only the current one airing in TV and, perhaps worst of all there are some which only have the last 5 episodes or so for you to watch. Arrow seems to be one which only has the last few episodes aired sorry.
11:18pm 15/05/13 Permalink
ara
Sydney, New South Wales
3676 posts
so just an update.

signed up with unblock-us, hulu and netflix for a trial.

all worked fine on my wdtv live streaming but using the unblock-us dns servers for everything on my desktop to access hulu and netflix slowed down general browsing.

after messing around with using their dns servers via a dnscache i ended up setting up a second squid server on my linux box, and then running it as a sibling with unblock-us dns servers as its resolvers. Then i shunted hulu and netflix domains and geolocate services over to it with some acls.

now it works perfectly and no issues streaming at full HD on the desktop without impacting general web browsing speeds.
02:56am 16/05/13 Permalink
E.T.
Queensland
4607 posts
so just an update.signed up with unblock-us, hulu and netflix for a trial.all worked fine on my wdtv live streaming but using the unblock-us dns servers for everything on my desktop to access hulu and netflix slowed down general browsing.after messing around with using their dns servers via a dnscache i ended up setting up a second squid server on my linux box, and then running it as a sibling with unblock-us dns servers as its resolvers. Then i shunted hulu and netflix domains and geolocate services over to it with some acls.now it works perfectly and no issues streaming at full HD on the desktop without impacting general web browsing speeds.


This sounds great Ara. The only problem is, average Joe me doesn't know s*** about WTF a squid server is or how you did what you said you did :(
08:59am 16/05/13 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
13906 posts
So lets be clear about this - its not legit, right?

For example, you wouldn't run a netflix/hulu region dodger on company-owned gear?
09:05am 16/05/13 Permalink
jmr
Brisbane, Queensland
7974 posts
The only thing that is naughty is giving a false US address
10:01am 16/05/13 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
13912 posts
The only thing that is naughty is giving a false US address

Any other input?
10:14am 16/05/13 Permalink
ara
Sydney, New South Wales
3677 posts
Any other input?


It is doing what choice said we should do to avoid regional prices, isn't it?

choice link

The legality of circumventing geo-blocking is a grey area. Some copyright experts claim those who promote devices or programs that encourage people to infringe copyright are breaking the law. However, CHOICE believes consumers who circumvent measures used to protect copyrighted content should be exempt from what could be construed as a breach of copyright simply because they’re accessing products and services that are being provided knowingly and willingly by the copyright holder.

...

t’s also important to note that circumventing geo-blocks may breach the terms and conditions of the company you’re buying from, and if discovered, your account could be cancelled, losing credit and access to your downloads.

According to the ACCC, your rights when dealing with overseas-based companies to buy products may not be protected by Australian law. While some companies, such as Apple, have international warranties, others, such as Canon and Nintendo, say they refuse to recognise products purchased internationally under domestic consumer law.

10:22am 16/05/13 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
13913 posts
Choice is a private entity though. "should be exempt' is hardly reassuring.

Part of the decision to go fully legit is that I'm using my internet at home more and more for work so its being claimed as an expense. I'm interested in legit sources of content but as noted in your quote its a grey area and some shouldas from a magazine isn't reassuring enough.

Its probably good enough for a normal home user but for my circumstances its a little too grey and I don't want to find myself a convenient test case :)
10:30am 16/05/13 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
36992 posts
The only thing that is naughty is giving a false US address
That sort of trivialises the actual "naughty" part, which is falsifying your identity information and manipulating computer networks in such a way so that (I assume) it violates the Terms and Conditions that you have to agree to when signing up for the service.

It actually seems way riskier to me than (for example) just using Usenet or even BitTorrent because you're leaving a paper trail a mile wide that points back to your circumventing activities.

(This assumes it is actually a violation of Netflix's T&Cs; I had a quick look but it was too boring for words so I stopped.)
10:59am 16/05/13 Permalink
Midda
Brisbane, Queensland
8175 posts
Yeah, but violating T&Cs isn't the same as copyright infringement, either.
11:38am 16/05/13 Permalink
ara
Sydney, New South Wales
3679 posts
Yeah, but violating T&Cs isn't the same as copyright infringement, either.


Yeah, I am also unsure who, if anyone, would come after you, netflix for paying for their service? Or the local content license holders for accessing their content locally from another licensed content holder?

I think if netflix wanted to they could easily stop unblock-us from working but I feel it is in their interest to keep it going, so they can gauge if a market exists for their product over here and, much like pandora did, launch when feasible.

As for legality, I think NZB/Torrents would be considered much worse as far as infringing on copyright is concerned.

I do think it is funny though. People complain about no streaming/on demand type services being available in Australia at a reasonable price and therefore turn to NZB/Torrents for access to content. And then when one is, they don't use it because the way to get access to it is a bit grey.
12:03pm 16/05/13 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
13917 posts
I do think it is funny though. People complain about no streaming/on demand type services being available in Australia at a reasonable price and therefore turn to NZB/Torrents for access to content. And then when one is, they don't use it because the way to get access to it is a bit grey.

woah woah woah, I'm not downloading any pirated media, you may have missed the thread where I said I was going clean and got foxtel etc?

I'm legitimately asking whether Netflix via geo-circumvention is legal or not because I want to buy a subscription - but the internet service is paid for by my business so I'm super paranoid about legalities.
04:33pm 16/05/13 Permalink
ara
Sydney, New South Wales
3685 posts
woah woah woah, I'm not downloading any pirated media, you may have missed the thread where I said I was going clean and got foxtel etc?I'm legitimately asking whether Netflix via geo-circumvention is legal or not because I want to buy a subscription - but the internet service is paid for by my business so I'm super paranoid about legalities.


Not everything is about you dude. I saw your other thread about going legit and I think it is fair enough you don't want to risk your company's rep by using something that may be on the fringe of legality at work.
04:43pm 16/05/13 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
13919 posts
Not everything is about you dude. I saw your other thread about going legit and I think it is fair enough you don't want to risk your company's rep by using something that may be on the fringe of legality at work.

Everything is about me!

Your comments about the 'too grey' seemed pointed at me, since I'm the person who raised it as a problem and we're basically talking to each other here.
04:45pm 16/05/13 Permalink
ara
Sydney, New South Wales
3686 posts
Everything is about me!Your comments about the 'too grey' seemed pointed at me, since I'm the only person who raised it as a problem and we're basically talking to each other here.


No, I was actually looking towards trog's comment and the other thread going atm about Foxtel blocking Itunes from selling GoT.
04:46pm 16/05/13 Permalink
deadlyf
Queensland
3101 posts
That sort of trivialises the actual "naughty" part, which is falsifying your identity information and manipulating computer networks in such a way so that (I assume) it violates the Terms and Conditions that you have to agree to when signing up for the service.
Is any of that actually illegal in Australia?

IANAL but as far as I know a violation of T&Cs may see your service ended but it's not illegal to violate them and the way most are written it can even be impossible to use a product without violating the T&Cs. Same thing with providing false information about your identity. Perhaps it's illegal to do so to the police, maybe the bank but I don't think a foreign company on the internet can expect the same privileges.

However, I think it may still be a violation of copywrite since they are only licensed to give access to that media to customers in the countries they have paid the licenses for. Whether that is the responsibility of the provider like Netflix or the end user I'm not sure.
04:57pm 16/05/13 Permalink
natslovR
Sydney, New South Wales
8192 posts
If it's a violation of copyright it is they that are violating it by broadcasting it to a user base they haven't licensed it for. that's their issue with the rights holder not yours.
05:53pm 16/05/13 Permalink
Spook
Brisbane, Queensland
35705 posts
id stick with torrenting rather than this grey area
08:13pm 16/05/13 Permalink
DM
Gold Coast, Queensland
5160 posts
Something is messed up when buying netflix in australia is more intimidating than just pirating the entire show and paying nothing.
08:58pm 16/05/13 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
36993 posts
Yeah, I am also unsure who, if anyone, would come after you, netflix for paying for their service? Or the local content license holders for accessing their content locally from another licensed content holder?
yeh it seems massively unlikely. The worst case scenario I suspect is them just killing your account.
As for legality, I think NZB/Torrents would be considered much worse as far as infringing on copyright is concerned.
Completely agree!
I do think it is funny though. People complain about no streaming/on demand type services being available in Australia at a reasonable price and therefore turn to NZB/Torrents for access to content. And then when one is, they don't use it because the way to get access to it is a bit grey.
Well, that and the fact that it is a giant massive series of f*****g around just to get it!

I have enough Lunix skillz to get it working in a similar way, but only just - in fact until about a week ago I was going to get Netflix just for AD. But having to go to such ludicrous lengths to give them money and then STILL not being truly legit anyway... headdesk!
09:55pm 16/05/13 Permalink
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