How to stream Netflix in Australia

Get Arrested Development Down Under

Australian television fans are used to getting the short end of the stick when it comes to international shows getting broadcast on free-to-air TV.

But with Netflix launching Arrested Development and no Aussie network announcing its plans to air the comedy series, The options for catching up with the Bluths is severely limited for anyone outside a Netflix market.

While hitting up Bittorrent has historically been the method of choice for Australians wanting to access TV shows before local broadcasters get around to it, Netflix's online presence offers an opportunity to avoid piracy.

Netflix rejection

The only real barrier between Australians and Netflix is an arbitrary IP block based on your location, which is easily bypassable using a VPN.

While once you needed a US credit card to access the IP entertainment service, the company recently relaxed its requirements, and it's possible to sign up with an Australian credit card fairly effortlessly.

The best part about using this method is that you are actually paying for the content you consume.

Unlike torrenting, getting around a geoblock by using a VPN isn't actually illegal. You may be breaking the terms and condition of the service, but that's not against the law.

And by supporting the company that is creating series like Arrested Development and House of Cards, you're actually endorsing them to continue making great content.

Going Virtual

The first step in setting up a Netflix account in Australia is to get a VPN. Without one, you'll be constantly met with a message on the Netflix home page that the service isn't available in your region yet.

There are plenty of VPN services to choose from online. Some work through the browser to offer immediate access to content. Others change the DNS settings on your device or router to tunnel all your internet through, allowing you to access the service through third party devices like an Apple TV, Playstation 3 or Xbox 360.

A good place to start is by using a service that's free or offers a free trial. Browser-based options like Mediahint or Hola will let you access Netflix on your PC or Mac effortlessly without paying a cent.

Simply download the extension, follow the instructions and you're good to go.

If you want to watch Netflix on the big screen, things get sightly more complicated. Unblock Us lets you tunnel all your devices by changing the DNS addresses on your router, or more specific devices if that suits.

Unblock US Netflix

While Unblock.us costs $US5 a month, it does have a one week free trial period, and offers the benefit of offering access via all your devices, not just your computer.

Development continues

Once your VPN is set up, it's time to point your browser over to Netflix. Instead of seeing a depressing message that Netflix isn't available in your area, you should get a nice message asking you to sign up.

It's as simple as filling out any other web based form, with two points worth noting. The first is that you can use your standard Aussie credit card. No need to source an American card for this anymore.

The second point is the Zip code. Netflix doesn't ask for your address, but it does ask for a Zip code. Adding a zero to the end of your real, Australian postcode tends to work, so give that ago and hope for the best. If not, you can always try 90210.

And it's as simple as that. Once you've set up an account, you're ready to watch the Bluths on your laptop without any effort whatsoever.

So it turns out that Netflix CEO was right: Waiting is for chumps...

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Editor (Australia)

Nick (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Australian editor, covering all the latest news and reviews from the Great Southern Land. Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.