The big downside of Netflix is that its content library is different for all regions around the world, and it has a tendency to launch with a considerably reduced content library in new countries. Netflix Australia has roughly 1400 titles, which is a far cry from the huge library Netflix USA has. It is expected to increase in size as licenses become more available, but you should also know that the library is dynamic i.e. the content is constantly updated to keep it fresh (and your favorite show might disappear eventually).
The American Netflix service has the more content than any other Netflix region. In fact, according to some estimates, it has almost twice the content available to the Canadian region. But this doesn’t mean that it has the absolute best in quality, though, Mexico and Brazil lead in that department for now, with a much larger selection of modern movies and great documentaries as compared to the US, but lesser in raw numbers.
Similarly, Netflix UK has a much greater variety of British content, as well as new episodes of Better Caul Saul every week, which is present neither on Netflix US or Netflix Australia (Stan has the license to that). On the other hand, Australians also have their own share of unique, new content on Netflix ANZ, and it’s not just Round the Twist. Netflix Australia has a much bigger collection of Disney content than the US.
The sum of the above discussion is that you’re much better off being able to use multiple Netflix regions.
But isn’t Netflix tied to Australia?
The region in which you sign up for Netflix only determines the currency you’ll pay, and that only has a small impact on the advantage of signing up for one region or another.
Once you create a Netflix account, the content that you can access is dependent on your physical location in the world, or, more appropriately, the location Netflix thinks you are in.
Netflix is a service made for travelling – you can sign up Netflix in Australia and still be able to enjoy US content when you’re in the States on vacation. And this portability of the service is what lets you enjoy US content from the comfort of your home in Australia as well, albeit with some ‘tweaking’ required on your part. This was how to get US Netflix in Australia back when it hadn’t been officially launched in the country, and it was availed by around 250K Australians according to an estimate!
How do I get Netflix?
Signing up for Netflix in Australia is now much easier than what it used to be:
- Fire up your web browser and open com.au and register for its 30-day free trial. It will require you to enter a payment method, but you won’t be charged anything if you cancel within the trial period.
- Choose your subscription – It now has three tiers, but we will recommend that you get at least the HD ($11.99) for the trial period to test out your internet connection. Netflix has an excellent setup, so even if you have trouble using YouTube on your connection, you might be surprised at how well Netflix can utilise it.
The prices, along with how many devices can you have on Netflix at the same time, are shown below:
- SD (one active device at a time): $8.99
- HD (two active devices at a time): $11.99
- 4K Ultra HD (four active devices at a time): $14.99
- As for how to set up Netflix, simply download the Netflix app on your desired platform (i.e. device) and sign in to start using the Australian content library. If you’re on PC, you’re already set up since Netflix can work via your browser, but an app will be required for devices such as PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, Android and iOS devices. Some might have the app by default too. Smart TVs and media players that are compatible should also find a working app if connected to the internet.
Accessing American / International Netflix on consoles and other compatible devices
Note that Optus and iiNet, inclusive of Internode and other subsidiaries, subscribers get Netflix ANZ without any metering. However, content WILL be metered when you switch to another Netflix region.
Netflix can be viewed on a television using a whole host of devices, some which have been mentioned above. In fact, most modern TVs can access the service directly through an app. Furthermore, it runs on Android and iOS devices, and these can access any regional library of Netflix, with a bit of setting up.
To use a console or another device, you will have to get past the geo-restriction which prevents Australian subscribers from accessing content in other regions.
The easiest way to do this is to utilise a dynamic DNS, a ‘DNS hack’ technique, such as Unblock-US. It comes with a free trial and costs a small amount each month (roughly $5 to $10).
Here is how you set up Unblock-US to get US Netflix:
- Sign up for a free trial at unblock-us.com, directly from its homepage – do not click on the sign-up button, or you won’t get the free trial.
- Now head on over to their How to Set Up page to learn the configuration steps for your device.
Doing this on your router is normally the simplest way since it will save you from having to set up each device separately. However, you will have to use Unblock-US to get back to Netflix ANZ, and that means you won’t be able to use it unmetered on Optus and iiNet.
Optus and iiNet subscribers who occasionally wish to use Netflix ANZ should set up the DNS hack on one device for international Netflix, and use a separate device for the Australian service. They can also do it the opposite way and enable Unblock-US on their router for all devices but alter the DNS on one of the devices to acquire the setting of their ISP so they can get unmetered Netflix ANZ on that particular device.
After you have signed up for your account by entering your email ID, updated your devices DNS settings with the following values:
- Primary DNS:118.175.56
- Secondary DNS:127.33.48
- Additional DNS:(if available)126.96.36.199
- Make sure that your settings are correct by visiting Unblock-US.com if you changed the settings on your router. Try running Netflix on the selected device if you updated the settings of a single device only.
If Netflix or Hulu are not working, go back to the Unblock-US website to reset your connection. It is likely that your IP has changed.
- Choose a Netflix region from Unblock-US’s interface, which you can do through a tablet, mobile or PC so long as you’re signed in from your account.