Look… a padlock with arrows. Must be talkin’ bout VPN
Netflix Australia has had a huge amount of success, and it is not surprising since it is a great service. You can create an account on it and get access to all the videos Netflix offers in Australia. The best part about it is that you can view entire seasons of series in one go, instead of waiting and watching one episode at a time.
Because of the rate of the Australian dollar, Australian subscribers pay a much lower registration fee as well. However, the upper hand that we have in the price department becomes meaningless when you realise how limited the size of the library is.
Australian Netflix has a smaller library size not only when compared to the US, but also to other regions’ collections like UK and Ireland, Canada, and New Zealand. This has led many Aussie subscribers to look for options to unlock overseas libraries. One of the solutions chosen by many has been using a VPN to access Netflix. VPN, though not a perfect solution, gets the work done.
For those of you who don’t know how your browser accesses a website and how Netflix knows where you are, here is an easy-to-understand Netflix VPN guide. Your internet service provider has its own DNS server, which you access when you want to browse. When you enter an address into your browser, it goes to your ISP’s DNS server.
DNS, or Domain Name System, is how machines recognise the web address you give to them. The alphanumeric name you type in is converted to the numerical ID by the DNS server, and you are taken to the site. The numerical ID of the site is known as its IP address.
Conversely, your device’s IP address, which is based on where you are situated physically, is given to the site by the DNS server. Because your IP address tells Netflix where you are coming from, it can send you to the appropriate library.
But what if you could somehow change your IP address to show you coming from another region? Well, that is the job of a VPN. Netflix is a travel-friendly service, which means that it does not restrict you to the content of the region you registered from. As long as you are a subscribed member, it will show you content of the country your IP address reflects.
What a VPN, like Private Internet Access (PIA), does is gives you access to its own DNS servers, and allows you to specify the region you want to appear from. From the moment your browser connects to the internet to the point at which it emerges, you are hidden. For any website, including Netflix, VPN services act like a shield.
Thus, you are the one determining which country’s library you can see. Because of the anonymity provided by PIA, you can browse freely without the fear of being tracked down. VPNs like PIA do not keep any logs either so you do not have to worry about crackdowns in the future either.
The one disadvantage a VPN for Netflix has is that it might end up slowing your connection. Because all the subscribers’ traffic is going through their servers, it ends up slowing the speed of your browsing. For streaming services like Netflix, VPN speed might end up being a drawback.
This is why DNS based products like Unblock-Us might end up being better. Since Unblock-Us allows you to specify which website you want to hide your IP from, it does not affect your browsing over other websites. It gives you the same service with the same anonymity, but without the speed of your connection being affected. For more info on DNS services check out our guide here.