VPNs are popular in the land down under. Recently passed legislation that threatens internet anonymity in Australia has its residents signing up for VPN accounts in droves. Most Australian VPN subscribers simply want to stay safe online. However, many have also been using their VPN software to gain instant access the American version of Netflix. Late last year, problems arose for Australian Netflix “geododgers” when Netflix decided to block several popular VPN service providers. Fortunately, there’s a workaround available. Read on to discover how to get American Netflix in Australia by using a free new service called CheckFlix.
How to Get American Netflix in Australia – A Video Guide
Before we get down to business, you may want to consider following along with the accompanying video guide to this article below. Everything you need to know from this article, compressed into under five minutes!
Why is Netflix blocking Australian VPN users?
The reason for the Netflix VPN block boils down to money.
When a new show or movie comes out, studios shop it around and try to sell broadcast licenses to as many different media outlets as they can. Different broadcasters sign different deals, which is why new movies and TV shows are often released on different days in different parts of the world.
For example, United States movie theatres will begin playing the new Wolverine movie Logan on March 3rd. Germans, on the other hand, get to see it on day earlier on March 2nd.
Wide open, international streaming services like Netflix make it harder to sell content licenses. If anyone in any part of the world can access a show or movie via Netflix, that makes it less valuable in the eyes of international broadcasters.
The Netflix block keeps the old business model alive, which in turn enables content providers to keep making lucrative deals.
How is Netflix blocking Australian VPN users?
The Netflix geo-block is basically a simple IP address filter.
A computer’s IP address functions like a mailing address. You can’t receive postcards if you don’t have an address. The same principle applies to IP addresses. There’s no way that computers can send or receive data without them.
Once you sign into a VPN server, it looks like you’re logged in from wherever the VPN server is located. That’s why if you login to an American VPN, you can fool Netflix into thinking that you’re locate in the USA.
To prevent international VPN users from getting to American Netflix, Netflix compiled long list of IP addresses associate with different popular VPN servers. If your VPN service’s servers are on the list, you won’t be able to get to American Netflix.
Fortunately, IP addresses are not hard to change. Some VPN service providers regularly change their VPN server IP addresses in order to make them harder to block.
How to use CheckFlix to get to American Netflix content
The most responsive “on the ball” VPN companies develop workarounds as soon as a new Netflix block comes out. Others, however, aren’t quite as quick on the draw.
The four VPN services listed below are the fastest at adapting to Netflix VPN blocks:
To assist our readers with finding VPNs that allow access to American Netflix, we’ve designed a convenient and free new service called Checkflix.
No downloads required, no signup necessary
The CheckFlix script is constantly checking to see whether or not various VPN servers can access American Netflix.
If the CheckFlix checker can pull up Netflix, you’ll see the WORKING message listed next to the VPN service. But if the CheckFlix script can’t get to American Netflix, you’ll see the BLOCKED message.
Open up the CheckFlix page if you’re curious to see how it works. You don’t have to sign up for anything to see the results.
What’s so great about CheckFlix?
With CheckFlix, you can instantly check the top 4 VPN services for NetFlix geo-block hoppers. Each of the 4 CheckFlix services are dedicated to immediately finding a workaround every time Netflix changes its geo-block parameters.
Here are 3 more reasons why we like StrongVPN, Buffered, Nord and Privateinternetaccess:
- They all have large number of US-based servers. It’s easy for Netflix to block a VPN service that only has one American VPN. But it’s a whole lot harder for them to block VPN services that have multiple servers located in the USA.
- They all feature configurable ports. VPN services that rely on port 1194 won’t work at all with Netflix. 1194 is a very common VPN port– that’s why Netflix has blocked it. The 4 VPN services we’ve identified all use different ports to communicate or allow users to choose from a selection of different port numbers.
- They all use obfuscation technology. The VPN services that we check with CheckFlix all use port forwarding and other advanced data concealment methods to help their users lay low and go unnoticed on the web.
Which of the 4 VPN services on CheckFlix is the all-around best one?
Currently, StrongVPN is offering the best all-around value for Australian Netflix subscribers.
- Lots of USA servers. Most VPN services only have a handful of servers in the US, but StrongVPN has 14.
- “Scramble” mode. StrongVPN has a unique feature called “Scramble” that adds an extra layer of complexity.
- Hardly ever goes down. StrongVPN always reacts quickly to Netflix policy updates, which is why it’s almost always green on CheckFlix.
- StrongVPN encryption is literally impenetrable. Out of all the VPN services that we’ve tried out and tested, StrongVPN is by far the most secure. Most VPN services offer 256-bit protection, but with StrongVPN you can lock down your connection with 2048-bit encryption.
- Subscribers get free access to StrongDNS. If you want to spoof your location without using encryption, you can turn off StrongVPN and logon to StrongDNS.
StrongVPN’s encryption is indeed very powerful. However, all that encryption does take a small toll on your internet connection speed. Be prepared to wait a few extra seconds for your Netflix movies to buffer when you access American Netflix with StrongVPN.
Additional StrongVPN benefits
How to Watch American Netflix in Australia With StrongVPN
Step #1: Sign up for a StrongVPN account.
The entire StrongVPN setup process only takes about 5 minutes. The first thing you have to do is sign up for an account.
Tip: If you sign up for the 12 year plan, you can reel in a huge discount.
Step #2: Get your initial password
After sign up, StrongVPN will automatically email you a login name and password.
Tip: After you login for the first time, you can change your password to something more memorable via the “My Account” menu.
Step #3: Download and install the StrongVPN software
Once you’re in, you’ll see a screen that looks something like the one depicted below. Click the section labeled “StrongVPN Client” to proceed to the download page.
After you select the appropriate operating system, a window will popup that’ll allow you to select a download location. Once download is complete, open up the program and follow the wizard’s instructions to complete the installation process.
Step #4: Open the StrongVPN client and login
The first time you open StrongVPN, you’ll need to type in (or copy-and-paste in) your login information and password. Of course, if you opt to allow StrongVPN to save your credentials, the next time you open StrongVPN you’ll be able to login with a single mouse click.
Step #5: Select any United States server from the server list
The CheckFlix script is always checking to see if the following to StrongVPN servers are able to access to American Netflix:
- The Los Angeles based StrongVPN server named str-lax302
- The New York City based StrongVPN server named str-jfk303
If you notice any slowdowns while using those, go ahead and try your luck with one of the other American VPN servers.
Once you’re in, you should see an American flag icon in the left hand part of the screen.
Step #6: Turn on “Scramble” mode
Go to the “Advanced” tab and select the “Scramble” menu. Then, choose the “Obfuscate” option from the list. This will keep Netflix’s servers from detecting that you’re logging in via a VPN.
Australian professor David Glance on the recent Netflix block
After Netflix implemented their controversial VPN ban, thousands of people canceled their subscriptions and the Netflix stock plummeted. So, what gives? Are the people at Netflix stupid, just plain greedy– or both?
David Glance– the University of Western Australia’s Director of the Centre for Software Practice– has a theory that content providers have been putting behind-the-scenes pressure on Netflix.
Netflix has been forced into the move to block “geododgers” by the content providers who are still trying to control geographic restrictions that underpin their licensing deals around the world.
Dr. Glance thinks that the Netflix crackdown will wind up being counterproductive. He suggests that if the Netflix blockade continues, its Australian user base will simply cancel their accounts and use illegal torrent sites to download the TV shows and movies that they want to see.
And if Australia’s ex-Netflix-subscribers-turned-Pirates use VPNs while they torrent, there will be no way for content providers to track them down.