Netflix Instant is a terrific and very popular streaming video service which provides unlimited access to a wide range of movies and TV shows for a very reasonable $8.00 US per month. For your $8 you can watch all the movies you want. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Netflix Instant is not available in most parts of the world outside the U.S.A.
If you try to access Netflix (or the Superbowl, or Amazon content, or Nook content) from outside the USA the above mesage is what you’ll get. Netflix can tell that you computer is outside the U.S. by means of your Internet Protocol Address (IP Address). One way of connecting to sites in the U.S. when you are outside of the U.S. is though a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. The VPN creates a secure tunnel to a server in the U.S. Virtual private networks are widely used by businesses and government to make secure connections for travelling businessmen and officials.
This screenshot shows us logging on to our virtual private network. We use StrongVPN as our VPN provider.
Once we are logged on to our VPN, our internet connection is encrypted and the IP address is through a server in San Francisco, California. Therefore, we are now able to log onto our Netflix account.
Now we are logged into our Netflix account and are able to select the movies we want to watch. Like most others living in the provinces, we have a fairly slow internet connection. Currently we use Globe’s WiMax. At best, our connection is 100kbs. We are amazed at how well streaming Netflix works for us. We are in awe of what the Netflix engineers have been able to accomplish. The quality of the streamed image does degrade when the connection is slow and sometimes the movie is delayed as the content catches up, but generally we are very, very pleased with how the service works for us. It’s a real entertainment bargain at $8.00 per month.
Since we have a U.S. credit card and address signing up for the Netflix account presented no problems. We are not sure what would happen if you tried to sign up using a non-US credit card. If you try, please post a report in the comments section.
One thing we don’t know is whether using Netflix on our Globe WiMax will lead us to exceed Globe’s download caps. Globe would like to see WiMax users use less than about 25 gigabytes of data per month. If you download too much they “throttle” your connection to a very slow speed. We have no way of knowing how much bandwidth a streaming Netflix movies will use. Our rough calculation is about 250 megabytes for a movie. This is based on a connection speed of 75 kps. Any comments on this question will be appreciated.
Remember too that the VPN connection is just not for NetFlix. We used it to watch NBC’s coverage of the Superbowl and we use to to access content and applications for our Barnes and Noble Nook tablet. It will also work for Amazon content for the Amazon Fire. VPN also encrypts all your web traffic and makes browsing, especially banking, more secure. For a discussion of the security advantages of VPN see http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/01/keep-it-secret-keep-it-safe-a-beginners-guide-to-web-safety/2/
There are free VPN services. See this PC Week article http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2390381,00.asp We signed up for VPN through one of the major VPN providers, StrongVPN.com It costs us about $55 per year. We consider money well spent because we use it almost every day of the year. It has worked flawlessly and avoids some of the limitations of the free services. The fact is that VPN has become another one of those “new necessities” that a few years ago we had never heard of. Without VPN, we’d have no content for our Nook meaning we could not get the magazines and newspapers we enjoy and now no NetFlix movies and American sports broadcasts. I’m not a big sports fan but when my son was here during the Superbowl, VPN allowed us to view NBC’s live Superbowl webcast. Those who can get along without these things don’t need VPN. If you sign up for Strong VPN using the above links, we will receive a small commission which will help support this site.