How To Stream Netflix And Hulu In Australia, And Other Stuff Geoblockers Don't Want Known

Quickflix, BigPond Movies, catch-up TV services. They're all good, but some of us still pine for amazing services Netflix and Hulu in Australia. It's unlikely they'll ever come to Australia, so to get at them, you'll have to tunnel through to the US. Here are the best free and paid services for doing just that.

How Netflix Is Doing In Australia: Two Stats That Should Scare Foxtel and Quickflix

Before You Start...

...a word of caution.

Tunnelling through into another geolocation via a proxy service is still a legal grey area. Sure, it's not as bad as torrenting content, which is tantamount to just outright theft, but it's certainly sitting in an area that hasn't been legally tested.

If you want to be sure where you stand legally, try any of these legal streaming services we covered earlier in the week.

With that said, let's go.

Hola

Hola is the easiest solution imaginable for tunnel-through.

It's a free extension for Firefox and Chrome that, once installed, lets you simply flip the switch into the On position and bam: you have yourself a proxy tunnel-through.

So what does it allow you to do? Access Hulu, BBC iPlayer and Netflix for a start, but you get access to so much more if you install the Windows Extension, including AETV, Google Play, Syfy, YouTube and Pandora.

The best part? It's free and it doesn't slow down your connection.

Unblock.us

Unblock.Us is one of the simplest ways to get around region-blocked content, blocks from your ISP, or any other restrictions you run into. You get a free week-long trial, and it’s $US4.99 a month after that.

Both services also support set-top boxes such as the Apple TV and Playstation 3.

Tunnelbear

If you want an incredibly easy-to-use on-off switch, Tunnelbear works wonders. Simply download the software, flip the switch to the location you want, and you can start streaming immediately. When you want your normal internet back, turn it off. The free version will only get you 500MB of data for the month (probably less than an hour of streaming); $US4.99/month gets you unlimited access.

Thorin Klosowski also contributed to this article.


Comments

    But what about setting up an account on Netflix....it recognises my Aussie "zipcode" (for Visa) and paypal location doesn't it?

      I was reading about this only last night. You put in your standard street address, and make the country USA, and the Zip code - add a 0 to either the front of end of your post code.

        Worked nicely - thanks! House of Cards streaming now. Yay Audials.

          I feel obliged to inform you that while it's not illegal to access a geo-blocked site, identity fraud is illegal, which lying about your residence falls under. So while you can technically access the site, the means of doing so are all illegal.

            Not true. There is no legal requirement to provide accurate address information.

              In my opinion using VPN service is the best solution to bypass Geo-blocking and get access to restricted services and within encrypted tunnel to ensure security and anonymity. I am using Express VPN http://bit.ly/Express-Vpn to watch US Netflix in Australia

              Last edited 03/06/16 2:41 pm

            I currently use PureVPN, $4.16/month. Works fine for watching Hulu and Amazon Prime overseas. I have also downloaded movies from Torrent while connected to PureVPN and gets good speed
            https://www.purevpn.com/australia-vpn-service.php

            Last edited 30/03/16 9:34 pm

        I always put 9010 - Have done since the start of the net (good old dial-up) when you needed to sign up to sites, and apparently it thought everyone existed in the US o.O

        I always use 90210

          haha, i've done that for years, its the only postcode i can actually remember the city to. Thankyou TV

    And here's me thinking we had a free-trade agreement in place with the US.

      We do, and neither the Australian or US governments are restricting the trade here: it is the private companies.

        .....then it's not a free trade agreement is it ?

        Last edited 30/03/13 9:11 pm

          Free trade agreements are about government imposed tariffs and duties. There aren't any of those involved here, so yes I would call it an FTA.

          Would you really want the government passing a law saying that if you start a business you are required to serve US customers?

            Then it's not free trade ...is it ?...I don't think it's any of the governments business who I sell my product to.

            Tosser.

            Last edited 31/03/13 1:32 am

              Why so hostile?

              The FTA says the governments won't get in your way if your business wants to trade with the US. It doesn't force you to trade with them.

              It is Hulu deciding not to do business with you, rather than a government preventing them.

              Last edited 31/03/13 1:56 am

                Zaphodity is ignorant and doesn't understand what a free trade agreement is. His hostility is a result of you rebutting him and not stroking his narcissistic ego with affirmation.

                As with many obnoxious morons... he thinks he knows what he's talking about, and someone exposing him for the fraud he is... makes him mad, real mad.

                Anyway as for the article itself. There is nothing illegal or "grey" about using a proxy, VPN etc to access region restricted content.

                But it is illegal to provide a false address (with your payment details) or if you are circumventing ISP restrictions, especially if those restrictions are imposed by the government.

                Last edited 31/03/13 4:32 pm

                  Or alternatively, trolling (just not very well)

                  http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/535/465/118.jpg

                  While you may be right about the illegality/legality of accessing US content via proxy, I am sure it violates some ToS that they have in place. TBH I do it, and thats just because im paying for the content rather than just downloading it. At least they are getting money for the content I am watching.

                  haha... too funny.

                one might argue that a FTA should also guarantee that companies cannot deliberately restrict trade as well. Why should Bose be able to dictate who their stockists sell to? Shouldn't they be able to deal freely with Australia? Our courts did kindly rule that Sony can't stop people modding their consoles since they place region locking on the games...so our courts should also uphold that ideal for us for purchasing online and for blu rays etc. (also forced Sony to change their global model in that instance)

                Amazon obviously want to do business with Australia but they can't for certain products...that's pretty restrictive and why people think its not 'free trade' (I completely understand your points about it being government tariffs and restrictions.... I also think we still get screwed by it....look into the ugg boot debacle...or Kellogg's and chocolate crackles)

                  Unfortunately it not always as simple as that (although sometimes it is). Sometimes it's a case of not exporting to a country as a local company (or local arm of an international company) has paid for the rights for exclusive wholesale/retail distribution (including digital products) and so it falls into the realms of parallel importing which was setup to protect local businesses (and ensure the government got their "fair share" of taxes) but is all too often exploited by multinationals to create a monopoly.

                William Hurt narrates Einstein's general theory of Smarties manufacturing. Fascinating.

              Don't worry James, this guy is a genuine f**kit. He has no idea what laws and free trade agreements are. You are completely right James, this guy is simply the 'tosser' everyone look at his comments and laugh. Unfortunately he is the cum his mother should have swallowed.

          OMG the depth of your stupidity is astounding.

          Tell the truth. you have to wear headphones 24/7, playing a track simply repeating "breath in..... breath out" don't you.

            Sorry, what did you say, can't hear you, my headphones are too loud.

              You better get off the computer now, time to get ready for school....

    I find Hola does, in fact slow my connection actually, I turn it off when it's not being used, otherwise it causes a major slow down.

      x2 on this. Might give Unblock.us a go, I just want something I can set up on the PS3. I don't play games on it anyway, might as well get Hulu and Netflix. No desire to watch TV on a computer or have to plug into my TV every time.

        Do it. Unblock.us is cheap, super easy and has no effect at all on your connection and it only goes through the it when it's a site that's blocked. I've got it set up on my Xbox, PS3, PC, Phone and laptop. Super easy and super awesome

          This. I've set it up on an iPad, Mac and Windows box and it all works fantastically.

            Hi Bushrat
            I'm wondering if you could elaborate on how you setup Netflix on your iPad? I have an iPad mini and a Netflix account, have installed the Netflix app, but it keeps telling me I can't access it from my location. Thanks in advance.

        I would highly recommend Unblock.us, it's awesome, it's easy to set up and it doesn't slow your connection at all.

        Another vote for Unblock.us. Super cheap and super easy, we've had no problems with it at all. Also makes it ridiculously easy to switch Netflix regions if you so desire (some shows/movies are only available in certain regions).

      Agreed, it slows Firefox/Waterfox start up significantly. So best left disabled when not in use.

      i didn't notice when I started using it last night, streaming Arrested Development without a hitch.
      Although i wasn't monitoring internet performance/usage.

      I had to uninstall it though as it was installing to chrome on my work PC.

      I have noticed that Hola also causes IE10 to stop working properly. Could just be my laptop though... I have to say though Netflix has really got me back into TV. I watched the whole Futurama series a couple of months ago as well as all of the Borg episodes of Star Trek and it works perfectly. For $8-9 bucks a month its cheap enough and has actually stopped me resorting to torrentz to get TV.

      Hola is very slow, especially in Europe, Asia and South Africa. May only it works ok in Canada. But only works with a browser. I suggest Smart DNS Proxy (www.smartdnsproxy.com) or anything similar to stream Netflix and Hulu in Australia. When you are using Smart DNS Proxy streaming directly comes from the Netflix (or Hulu) CDN network to our PC (or devices) so we always get the best possible speed. I watch my Netflix and Hulu Shows in HD with my Apple TV and Chromecast.

      So rather than Smart DNS Proxy, you may also prefer unblock US. It's also very good but more expensive.

      You may also try VPNs like Tunnel Bear but they are even slower than the hola due to encryption and middle proxy servers. I still suggest Smart DNS Proxy solutions. They are faster, works with multiple devices and much simpler to setup you will see.

      I have been using for over 6 months in Europe and I'm very glad :), thank you!

      Last edited 28/06/14 9:43 pm

    I use unblock us on my Apple TV and love it.

    For those looking at paying for a service:
    Netflix: they accept Aussie credit cards. Simple and easy.
    Hulu plus: they don't accept Aussie cards, but if you have a US iTunes account, you can pay for this service this way. I only use my US iTunes account for hulu services.

    The best thing about these services is that once they are setup, they just work.
    The most important thing is that my wife can use it!! :)

      Thanks for the info with the US iTunes account thing for Hulu, will need to look into that.

      Looked into the iTunes thing and I can only see subscribing using Apple TV as a way to get around the whole US credit card debacle. Anyone one know how to subscribe via iTunes without Apple TV? My google skills are failing at this.

        Yep. I didn't use any geounblocker though. Creative addressing and US itunes cards from pcgamesupply.

          I have no issues with any of the above. The only way I can find to sign up to Hulu via the apple back door is directly through an apple tv, which I don't have and have no intention of getting anytime soon.

      Do you get account fees for an international transaction with your Aussie credit card though? I would imagine that will add quite a lot to the cost of the service.

        That depends on your credit card. I don't get charged a fee for purchasing from US stores/sites, I just get a small conversion fee on my statement.

      I turned off my location services on my iPhone and PayPal let me set up a US PayPal account. It then let me link it with my AU Credit Card. I could then transfer between my AU and US PayPal to pay for Hulu. Even if you setup a US iTunes account it will not let you link an AU Credit Card.

    I installed the Windows 7 version of this. I had to search the net for an uninstall solution, their uninstall method is to do a system restore. I did that now my hard drive keeps chugging away all the time. What a heap of rubbish, anything that will not uninstall easily is pretty suspect to me.

    Anyone used tunnelbear? I use unblock us which is great for US content but pretty unreliable and slow for bbc iplayer

    had to put spaces in my credit card number and a 0 before my post code but then it worked.. Just trying it out now..

    I have been using Unblock.us for over 6 months to stream Netflix to NZ. It is probably the best option as you can set the IP in your router so every device connected to it, be it a computer, iPad etc can access US or UK content. US$4.99 a month you can't go wrong.

      I have been using unblock.us for 3 years as well as netflix. I also can access netflix on my android tablets, android phones, ipad or any pc in the house. it is awesome.

      Instead of setting the DNS server in the router, which then applies to all connected device, I prefer to manually configure each device. My Apple TV and iPad have the Unblock-US DNS manually configured, however my xbox 360 is untouched. I figured the USA DNS may affect online multiplayer matching for Call of Duty, however I haven't confirmed that (I should investigate that at some point). In any case I still prefer to have a local DNS for as much of my internet traffic as possible, but that's just me.

      Overall the Unblock-US service is fantastic. I use it for both Netflix and Hulu Plus via my Apple TV. unblock-US doesn't however hide your location from Apple (it only hides you from Netflix and Hulu Plus). So when you make a purchase on your US iTunes account, such as subscribing to Hulu Plus, Apple themselves detect the transaction as originating from Australia (at least they did with me despite having Unblock-US active).

        It shouldn't affect the multiplayer matchups as the tunnel only activates on certain predefined addresses as stated on their website.
        http://support.unblock-us.com/customer/portal/articles/291570-supported-and-unsupported-sites

          Thanks for that info, I hadn't seen that list of supported sites before.

          A query though: If the DNS is specified in the router (so it applies to all connected devices), to me that would suggest that ALL my activity is referred via the Unblock-US DNS located in the US (or Canada or UK as desired), and at that point the Unblock-US service decides which traffic passes through unaltered, and which traffic needs to be concealed/re-geo-badged. If the traffic isn't directed to one of the predefined sites then it's not tunnelled via a new IP address to bypass geoblocking.

          But doesn't that mean however that my initial data still had to be routed to the US before it was analysed by the Unblock-US DNS, instead of being routed to my local DNS provided by the ISP?

          I get that DNS's translate domain names into IP addresses, but surely that means the initial DNS lookup has to be an international accessing of IP address data instead of a local lookup, which adds latency. I don't have a degree in IT or information networks or similar though so I probably just need to read up more on what a DNS actually does to information. Unblock-US won't re-geo-badge that Xbox 360's data as it's not on the list of supported sites you linked, so ultimately as long as it didn't add latency to my traffic I wouldn't care one bit.

            Yes, the initial DNS lookup is done via their servers in the USA. However, given that DNS data is cached and lookups take a fraction of a second, impact on performance should be minimal.

            The technically clueful can get around this by setting up their own DNS server with NS records for the key domains (such as hulu.com) pointing at the IP addresses that unblock-us asks you to use. This is probably more trouble than it's worth, however, even for those with the nous to do it.

    I can see, even without setting this up, how i can stream content to my PC. Any thoughts (forgive if this is naive) how I get the content to the main TV? It is quite a way away from the modem ...a cable connection would involve an exciting expedition under the house!

      Stephen if you want it on your TV you need to have an xbox or ps3 or rasperrypi or some other sort of device to watch it.

      chances are, you already have a device that is capable of receiving netflix, ps3, 360, wii, apple tv. if you don't have anything that can do it, grab an apple tv. they're <$100.

        Most Samsung "smart" devices have a Netflix app too.

    I have the Media Hint extension on Chrome.
    Seems to do the trick, though to be perfectly honest I haven't been overly impressed with the service that Hulu and Netflix provides.
    Even the paid versions don't compare with the speed, quality, range and ease of torrenting.

    So if a TV show comes to me via a VPN, it's legal (albeit a grey area) but if that same data comes to me via a torrent, it's illegal. And then again if that same data comes to me (6 months later) via invisible radio waves, it's legal again.

    What a world we live in.

      For the VPN example though you are at least paying for the content, whether it's Netflix or Hulu Plus, meaning the content providers & copyright owners are seeing the same financial benefit they receive from a US-based customer. For the torrenting however, the copyright owners see no financial benefit.

      Accessing Netflix & Hulu Plus is Australia is legally grey indeed, however I feel much better about it than torrenting as at least I'm not stealing (well I don't see it as stealing, however I accept that others might still have issues with this approach).

      Torrenting is legally risky because you're handing out bits of the files to tens or hundreds of other people. This changes the dimension of the problem because the copying is then "on a commercial scale" and the penalties are much, much nastier.

      A simple direct download (via whatever means) is not worth prosecuting because the fines are relatively small (basically a small multiple of whatever you would have paid for the content legally). This is not true of a torrent.

      Both are illegal, but torrenting is (under some circumstances) actually criminal.

    Another Unblock Us user here, been using it for 2 years. Without a doubt one of/if not the best DNS bypasser there is. I have never had slowdowns.

    What about the free DNS service that works great for Netflix and isn't tunnelling all your data through third-party servers?
    http://tunlr.net/get-started/

      tunlr is a bit iffy for me. i started using that, then they cut support for netflix one day without any warning. i checked their site and they stated that too much bandwidth was being used for netflix so they're cutting it.

    Hola hasn't worked for BBC for months, and wont even acknowledge that it's gone.

      You are correct that BBC does not work with Hola anymore. To be fair it is now not listed as one of the websites they support and people on whirlpool forums have stated that Hola have responded via email that yes access to BBC no longer exists and won't be coming back.

      Yes it does..
      You just need to install the correct script from the Great Wall of Hola Hscripts (on facebook)

    File sharing is "tantamount to just outright theft"?
    Seriously? I'd hoped for more accurate statements on Giz.

    Is file sharing illegal? Absolutely.
    Is it wrong? Subjective, but "yes" is certainly a valid answer.
    Is it stealing (the act of theft)? No, absolutely not.

    I assume you don't go around labelling other offences "theft"?
    You don't call trespassing "theft"? You don't call assault "theft"? You don't call vandalism "theft"? You don't call murder "theft"?

    Get it right, and stop conflating illegal copying of files (it has a name: "copyright infringement") with theft.

      Nice.

      But the ads say it's exactly like stealing a handbag or breaking into a car!
      TV NEVER LIES!!!!!

      Is file sharing illegal? Only if the content being shared is protected by copy right.

    I've been using Unblock Us with a Roku 3 for a while now without any problems. I was able to use the "add 0" method to sign up for most US services, like Netflix. For Hulu, I created a US paypal account and added a secondary AU visa card to that. After signing up for the Hulu trial I removed the card from the US paypal account and just transfer money to it when I feel like a month of Hulu.

    Yeah, and get the yank feds doing a Kimdotcom style raid on your house at 3am in the morning sounds like a wonderful idea, no thanks. Nice thinking there Luke. "Legal Grey Area" huh ? XD

    And were the hell are all these idiot yanks coming from, it says Gizmodo Australia, buzz off back to American Gizmodo. Sick of arguing with you brain dead retards.

    Last edited 27/05/13 2:39 pm

      As opposed to 3am in the afternoon?

      Just ignore this guy, a quick google search shows he's a notorious attention seeking troll on a bunch of video game websites. I know by posting this I am feeding the troll but the sooner he is ignored the sooner he will go away. He's just your typical uneducated internetard who thinks he is a genius but really has no idea.

    I've been able to get Hulu working just fine, but Netflix won't take my Commonwealth Bank card or my Entropay card. I've heard they no longer take any card outside the US so I'll probably have to look into a 32 Degrees card.

    Analogue TV gets switched off where I am tomorrow and Digital TV is completely shocking, it's unwatchable most of the time. I've been using Hulu for a week now and absolutely love it. I'd very gladly pay $7 or $8 a month to have on-demand TV and movies ready to go rather than digging for torrents on The Pirate Bay, waiting for hours for them to download and not being able to do anything else.

    Why do these content companies choose to block Australia then complain like little babbies when we pirate shit like Game of Thrones anyway? I've never understood this backwards logic.

      Wouldn't take my Commonwealth Bank card either, shame as I really don't want to get a credit card!

      I've heard someone else had this same trouble. I imagine this may happen when using paypal, I used a westpac mastercard (debit card) to sign up after turning on Hola and went through fine signing up last night.
      Just used 90210 as the zip code. No other info besides email, name, dob was requested during signup.

      Last edited 28/05/13 6:51 pm

      The USA has problems understanding what the internet is for. They somehow mistakenly think it's ok to offer content and then block every other country in the world from seeing it. I don't even...

    This thread is now known as the "zaphodity self destructs, self proclaims victory" thread. xD

    Let it live in pseudo-infamy

    Why is an article dated 27th March on the front page of Giz (given its now May 28th?)???

    Last edited 28/05/13 8:36 am

      Because Gizmodo has no freaking idea what they're doing most days.

        Nope. We're on our game everyday, sunshine.

        We stuck this article to the top of the site (we can do that because internet) because a big show has come onto Netflix in the last couple of days and a lot of folks don't know how to get it. We stuck it up here and we'll take it down tonight because we do this sort of thing at our editorial discretion.

        Don't be a douchebag, by the way. People can see you.

          Thanks for the info. It is not at all obvious which is I guess why everyone says "wtf" when old articles show up again and again.

          Wasn't meant to be a douchebag comment, but understand that constructive criticism is better received than "you guys dunno what you're doing" :)

            Because Gizmodo has no freaking idea what they're doing most days.

            This is constructive...... How?

            I would hate to see your version of hostile.

              Just replace "freaking" with another choice word and you're done =) Hostile.

            "Wasn't meant to be a douchebag comment, but [I] understand that constructive criticism [would be] better received than "you guys dunno what you're doing" :) [sorry!]"

            I assume that grantguest meant this ^

            I think the comment was just ambiguous. Though the first one did come across as a bit douche. People work hard at this stuff and it's a bit unfair to slag them off in such a general way. Obviously they're doing a good enough job that we're all here commenting on their posts!

          all i hope is that this article does not bring the end to using these wonderful services.. my netflix and hulu subscriptions will be worthless otherwise.. i have to say though, since i got hola and then bought subscriptions to both sites i have almost stopped illegally downloading tv shows and movies.. 'Cept Game of Thrones.. never thought that would happen.

          Is there any way you can highlight this article as being bumped? maybe featured as a Top Story.. I just keep thinkin its a slow news day whenever I go to the Gizmodo home page.

          Also, plz excuse my ignorance, but what big show came out in the last couple of days?

          Last edited 29/05/13 9:56 am

        I saw the date and knew why it was sticky.

        Don't you know what happens when you don't leave a note!?

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