We're pretty lucky over here in the UK and also in the US because we have access to the streaming movie giant that is Netflix. You may find it strange that a “pom” is letting you know about the way to watch Netflix in Australia but in all honesty it isn't as strange as it may seem.
As I'm sure you're aware a lot of Brits have family in Australia and with the explosion of the internet I have made many friends over in your neck of the woods and have even helped Aussies watch TV from home when they're over in the UK. We're also pretty similar in terms of attitudes and humour which makes you, my Aussie cousins always good people to help out. We're probably slightly better at Cricket than you 😉 but I won't hold it against you and will let you in to the secrets of watching Netflix in good old Aus.
One of the reasons that Netflix isn't available in Australia directly is due to local agreements with various agents who hold the rights to movie streaming etc, etc. This list is endless and really one that you're probably not all that interested in.
The fact that it isn't “officially” available in Australia is of no comfort to any Aussie who wants to watch the huge range of films and shows available. Not only is it annoying because it looks increasing unlikely that it will ever arrive on your shores and even your offer to pay… yes, PAY! to watch official streaming of legitimate movies isn't enough to convince them. You would assume that just the mention of you wanting to part with your hard earned Aussie bucks would have the movie studios clambering over each other to fill their coffers but sadly not.
Whatever the reason and no matter how long we ponder over the rights and whatnot, the simple fact is one of the most forward thinking and popular services for streaming legitimate movies online just isn't available directly in Australia. There are between 50,000 and 100,000 aussies making use of the method we explain in this article so you don't have to be disheartened…
There is a way in which you can use a workaround and still pay for the service at the same time meaning that you can get full access to the US version of Netflix directly inside Australia and pay with little to no hassle, pretty much the same as you would with any local service.
So first a quick understanding of what stops you from accessing Netflix currently. When you connect to the internet from any device, be it PC, Mac, iPad or anything else you do so via your home connection, for the internet to understand where to send the data that you request, be it websites, a Skype call or anything else you are assigned what is called an IP address, this is a unique set of digits in the format of 188.8.131.52.
By these numbers everything you request knows where to be sent but a by-product of that is that not only does data know where to be sent but it is also possible to know your physical location, not exactly to your house but usually to within a certain area that you live. Regardless of how big that area is or how close it can pin point you it really doesn't matter because the overall result is it 100% definitely knows you're in Australia whether you're in Perth, Sydney or anywhere else. With this information at hand it obviously knows you're not in the US and so when you visit the site it is easy for it to serve you up huge blockade notice. Access Denied.
So, you're probably wondering what the solution is or even if it is possible at all. The simple answer is Yes and it is very easy to achieve. To access Netflix in Australia you will need to sign up for a service known as a VPN. They are used by businesses and regular people to not only encrypt and protect their internet connection from outside snooping, but also allowing anonymous internet usage.
This is done by connecting to the VPN provider and then all of your data flows through their systems on to the internet, the magic of this is whatever websites you visit, in this instance Netflix, they only see the IP address of the VPN provider. So to complete this workaround you connect to a server based in the United States which then allows your connection to appear as if you are in the US, even though you're not.
The Netflix site can't tell the difference and so will let you watch films as if you're a US customer. Netflix allows you to sign up for a trial so you can even see this working before you actually pay for the service. One minor drawback is reliable VPN services do not come free and for streaming video you'll need one with fast speeds. The good news is they're only about AUS$6-11 per month or even cheaper if you take a yearly package. You can take a look through our comparison table on the front page to find a provider of your choice or two that we highly recommend are IPVanish and Overplay. Clicking either name will take you to their website. They both have US servers which is critical, we've reviewed both of them and found them to be two of the best providers with the fastest speeds and not only that but they also have easy to use software for computers and mobile devices.
Once you've signed up load up their supplied software, connect to a US server, head over to Netflix and get signed up. All you need to do is enter any American address with correct Zip Code, as long as the address is valid then it doesn't matter. For payment you can use your normal Australian credit card / debit card without an issue.
That's it! If you run in to a problem feel free to post in the comments and we'll help you out.
Australia Map Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net