Guys, as excited as we all were to get Netflix last year, there’s one resounding truth that hasn’t stopped stinging since we started streaming: American Netflix is literally a hundred times better than our stripped-back counterpart. The mid-strength beer to the US’s 5.1% pale ale, Australian and Kiwi Netflix misses out on a bunch of shows that we’d rather be binging on. Whether you’re a devastated Parks and Rec fan, or a Lynchian stream-aholic who’s hankering after a Twin Peaks marathon, you’ll be relieved to know that we’ve found a loophole.
Viewers, welcome to the world of VPNs—that get rid of geoblocking. Nope, it's not illegal, because even Malcolm Turnbull says so.
What the hell is a VPN and how does it give me #alltheNetflix?!
Let’s start right at the beginning: VPN stands for virtual private network, which basically means a network on the internet that allows the good people of the world wide web to access and exchange information.
It might sound a bit stalker-ish, but it’s quite the opposite: It actually allows you to remain anonymous. A VPN network allows you to access sites such as Netflix using an IP address (a number that tells websites where in the world you’re accessing them from) that tricks Netflix into thinking that you’re in the USA, when you’re still on this side of the world. Simply download a VPN service, open the webpage you want to view, and you’ll be served all of their content—not just the stuff they want your country to see. GENIUS.
Is it illegal?
Nope! It might sound a little dubious, but right now, there’s nothing to stop you from tricking the internet into thinking you’re kicking it in LA when you’re in fact bedbound in any other city.
Where can I get this magic technology?
There are a few providers that we’re head-over-heels for when it comes to fulfilling our Netflix dreams.
Getflix is a paid-for monthly service that gives you all the Netflix upgrades your square-eyes could dream of. For only $3.95 per month (plus your regular Netflix fee, obvs), you can get all of the US Netflix you need, as well as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video and heaps of other channels. Every winter night in, sorted, forever.
ExpressVPN seems to be part-web security service, part-Netflix golden ticket, which is perfect if you’re the Breaking Bad binge-watcher who’s also been harbouring a significant collection of naked selfies since 2007. It’s a little bit more expensive, at around $8.32 per month, but comes with 24/7 customer service and an app for mobile viewing. The ultimate VPN for you multi-device viewers who are also uber-nerds.
Unblock-Us is ideal if you’re a VPN novice who’s also a commitment-phobe. At $4.99 per month, it’s the price of a cup of coffee, and comes with no strings attached—you can quit whenever you want.
So, cancel your social plans for the next billion years and get ready to satiate every viewing need with this handy life-hack. And, hey, let’s not beat around the bush: we all know ‘Netflix and chill’ is a faaaaaar more appealing offer when it’s actually ‘US-Netflix-no-I’m-not-kidding and chill’ *insert creepy wink face*.
Image credit: Twyla Mae