I really want quickflix to succeed and become a service as good as netflix, so please support it. It's only $9.99 a month, its cheap.
Setting up your ConnectionThere are basically two options
1. Using a VPN
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network, basically its a secure connection between your computer and another computer, and all your internet traffic will be request/sent via the other computer and then passed onto you. So the internet traffic from Netflix/Hulu perspective is coming from the US etc
- Works on any ISP
- Pretty easy to setup
- Not as fast as a DNS solution, HD doesn't always work
- Routes all your traffic through the private network, so stuff from NZ will go to the US first then back to you in NZ etc.
- Have to switch VPN locations to access content from different countries (eg US VPN for netflix/hulu and UK vpn for BBC iPlayer)
You can also setup a VPN on some routers, a popular router firmware to do this is the dd-wrt firmware, with this firmware you can setup a VPN connection on your router so all your devices/clients access the internet via this connection. You should be able to find a dd-wrt router on trademe or can buy a preconfigured one from various VPNs directly.
Note: setting up a VPN on your router means every machine on that network will tunnel all their traffic to that server, so internet banking will go to another server. I recommend you setup a second network that uses a VPN so only your HTPCs/ATV etc use the VPN.
2. Use unblock-us which is a DNS service
DNS stands for Domain Name Service, and its basically how you resolve an address on the internet. So when you type google.com into your browser it makes a request to your DNS server to find the IP Address for goolge.com and then connects to that IP Address.
- Easy to setup, just change your DNS settings on your client or router
- Since its a DNS service and not a private network you get full speed, so its fast.
- Steams HD easily.
- Doesn't work with all ISPs (TCL)
Using a DNS can suffer from the similar security issues as a VPN, e.g. your DNS server might say mybank.co.nz IP address is 18.104.22.168 where in fact its 22.214.171.124 and you are unknowingly taken to a different website and then you may provide the fake website with your banking information. So I recommend setting the DNS settings on a each client rather than your router, or on a separate network.
Testing ConnectionOnce you have setup your connection you should be able to go to hulu.com and watch a video or two to test it works
Signing Up to NetflixNetflix works with Paypal or Credit Cards, you should be able to use a NZ credit card to sign up (correct me if this has changed, when I signed up it worked). Just select any address for address and make sure you only signup for the streaming service (otherwise they might send DVDs to your fake address :))
Signing Up to Hulu+Hulu Plus is a little trickier, you need an US Credit Card to signup.
From the discussion on geekzone.
- Sign up for a prepay Credit Card from http://www.buyfrompowerseller.com/hulu-plus-account-outside-us-25-prepaid-cards/
- Wait for them to email your credit card details, usually a few hours.
- Follow the email instructions to setup the card
- Go to Netflix and sign up for Hulu Plus
- IMPORTANT: Choose Oregon as your state for you address, this way you avoid sales tax, otherwise the 3 months of Hulu plus CC won't be enough for 3 months. Just search for houses for sale in Oregon and select an address from one listed
Other ServicesOther services you might want to checkout
VuduStreaming movies similar to netflix, but you pay per movie. They offer SD, HD(720p) and HDX(1080p) and they also have 3D titles. Vudu also let your rent TV shows the next day after they air in the US, so for $1.99USD you can watch the latest episodes of the walking dead. You can also buy movies from Vudu, but this just means you can stream it as many times as you want for free, you cannot download a copy.
Free Cable addon for XBMCThis is basically just an addon/plugin for XBMC which allows you to watch videos from TV studio websites, it skips the ads too. So instead of going to CBS.com for the latest episode of the Big Bang Theory, you can watch it from XBMC and it will skip the ads. Really nice addon
BBC iPlayerHaven't used this much myself, but allows you to watch content from the UK.
I'll do some follow up posts on how to setup Xbox 360 and PS3 clients.
Comment by Juha, on 4-Apr-2012 19:17
Unblock-us doesn't work on Vodafone either, as they use "transparent" cacheing.
Also, don't use unblock-us DNS on all your devices if possible, just the ones for the movies/TV.
Comment by timbosan, on 5-Apr-2012 06:36
Juha - why would you not recommend using unblock-us at a router level? I have been using it this would for a few months and have had no issues.
BTW - I do have a few DNS entries loaded onto my Untangle gateway machine to speed up lookups of important stuff, like trademe!
Comment by Evil Engineer, on 5-Apr-2012 09:26
I'm currently using StrongVPN to access BBC iPlayer. It works but the connection speed isn't great. No way fast enough for the HD streams and SD performance can be a bit iffy sometimes with buffering pauses etc.
I generally put this down to the massive distances involved and possible speed drops due to peak internet times (no discernible pattern but given the 12 hour time difference it's pretty much guaranteed to be peak time somewhere along the route between the UK and NZ).
I may give unblock-us a try to see if it's faster. Does anyone know if it will work with Orcon Genius?
Comment by Tim, on 5-Apr-2012 09:53
I currently use giganews.com, which provides access to VyperVPN with one of their accounts. Gives me Usenet access for all sorts of downloads as well as VPN access to servers based in the US and UK.
Comment by Evil Engineer, on 10-Apr-2012 09:38
I had go using a DNS service (actually unoDNS rather than unblock-us)over the weekend and so far the results are mixed.
The DNS service still isn't fast enough for the HD streams on the BBC iPlayer site. Based purely on the connection speed test contained within the iPlayer help section I'm seeing the DNS service have a much faster download speed (11-14Mbps vs 5-6Mbps for VPN) but the streaming speeds for both are roughly equal at about 1.5-2Mbps. You need about 4Mbps for HD streaming.
I'm sure there's some technical reason why streaming is slower than downloading but I'll leave that to others with more knowledge.
One advantage with the DNS service, you can use both US and UK sites without changing settings. With VPN you'd have to change server each time you switched country.
Also, the DNS server keeps a close eye on your IP address which does cause an extra (minor) annoyance if you're ISP has you on a dynamic IP address.
Comment by David, on 13-Apr-2012 10:25
We've added New Zealand SmartDNS servers over at OverPlay, which will give you just about the best possible speed with the supported sites.
SmartDNS is included free with our VPN service, and we also have SmartVPN servers for those of you with ISPs who like to transparent proxy (which breaks DNS based services)
Comment by Andy, on 25-Apr-2012 21:18
By using a VPN you can unblock any site you like. I used this method to get Netflix http://vpnfreedom.com/netflix/how-to-watch-netflix-from-new-zealand/
Comment by Earbanean, on 4-May-2012 16:39
Great post reven.
Quickie. When you say to use the VPN at client level, is that fairly straightforward to do on an Apple TV 2? How do you go about that?
Comment by Earbanean, on 4-May-2012 16:52
Oops, I mean when you say use DNS at client level - not VPN. How do you go about DNS at client level for ATV 2?
Comment by chiefie, on 14-Sep-2012 12:23
On TelstraClear Cable, would the DNS on client level work? Looking to use on AppleTV 2
Comment by bobdbuilder, on 7-Oct-2012 00:49
@chiefie.... i know unotelly works with TelstraClear. Do try them out. Infact since both companies (unotelly and unblock) are offering free trials, I think users should be encouraged to try out both the services before committing to one. That way they can select the best for themselves
Comment by paid, on 16-Nov-2012 13:46
ive got Netflix working via Unblock-us - thanks for that.. but my question is: how can i get this to run on my ATV3? i'll change the DNS in the settings, but i dont even have the netflix icon on my ATV3
Comment by chiefie, on 8-Apr-2013 10:43
You need to have US iTunes account to see NetFlix and Hulu+ etc icons. And if you haven't got the NetFlix or Hulu+ accounts already, you can use your US iTunes account to sign up and subscribe. Much easier than messing with finding US-based credit cards.
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