Getflix sounds like the perfect name for a service which unblocks Netflix, but there's just one problem: it can't. The company specialises in unblocking more than 200 video and music streaming services across the world (Hulu, Amazon, BBC etc), but Netflix isn't on the list.
The service still has many appealing features. Smart DNS technology reroutes your DNS requests through its own network to bypass geo-blocking, there's an unlimited VPN as well, and prices start at $3.95 (£3.25, AU$5.35) for a single month, dropping by 40% if you purchase a two-year subscription.
- Want to try Getflix? Check out the website here
Getflix has an unusual complication. The product it's selling is the Smart DNS service – the VPN is described as a ‘free, optional’ service which just happens to be included in the bundle.
This structure matters because the products are sometimes treated separately. The 14-day Getflix trial covers the Smart DNS service but not the VPN, according to the website. And we'd guess it's going to be harder to raise complaints about the VPN, or get refunds, if it's not a paid product.
Still, when you can sign up for $3.95 it's hard to feel too concerned, and overall Getflix seemed like an interesting service. We were keen to find out more.
The Getflix website has some informative and well-presented articles on the service, what it does and how it works. The FAQs page is a highlight, gently explaining Smart DNS (redirecting some DNS traffic to make it look like it came from somewhere else), their VPN, when to use them and what's involved.
The small-print also has no explanation of how the company handles government agency requests for your data, but as Getflix is based on Turkey we'd guess your information is relatively safe.
Signing up for Getflix is a little more complicated than we expected. You must provide your email address at the site, follow an email link, complete a simple signup form, ignore a misleading message to ‘signup to Netflix or Hulu Plus’, set up a subscription, follow an OpenVPN tutorial, then solve an error message (‘too many locations’). It's not exactly polished, but we still figured it out within a few minutes.
Our performance tests* gave generally poor results. Over short hops we found download speeds were less than half our usual rates, significantly below average, although still reaching a usable 18-20Mbps. Switching to a US server (connecting to the UK) saw latency double and both upload and download speeds plummet to a sixth of our usual rate, barely 3Mbps. We tried other US servers with very little change.
Our privacy checks didn't improve the picture, either, with IPLeak.net able to identify our real ISP via both DNS and WebRTC leaks. Getflix may be cheap, but maybe there’s a reason for that…
Getflix is cheap and the Smart DNS works well as an unblocker for streaming sites (though not Netflix), but long-distance VPN performance is poor and overall there are better deals around.
*Our testing included evaluating general performance (browsing, streaming video). We also used speedtest.net to measure latency, upload and download speeds, and then tested immediately again with the VPN turned off, to check for any difference (over several rounds of testing). We then compared these results to other VPN services we've reviewed. Of course, do note that VPN performance is difficult to measure as there are so many variables.