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How to watch Netflix in South Africa

So every month you spend about R600 for DSTV and another R700 on your uncapped ADSL line. This is a lot of money and frankly DSTV is only really useful for sport. If you’re not that into sport, I have found the solution to your entertainment needs.

In the US with just an internet connection and a credit card you’ve got access to basically unlimited TV viewing options. Services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand mean you can find any type of movie or series to suit your taste. Yes, we’ve just got iTunes in South Africa meaning you can rent or download a movie or series but services such as Netflix offer so much more for a fixed monthly fee. I personally haven’t watched DSTV properly in ages and while I will miss the occasional sports match I’ll enjoy the R600 I save on something I hardly use. Netflix is a whole $8 per month but this is a flat fee no matter how much you watch.

I’ve got a 2mb uncapped ADSL line and while the shows take about 30 seconds to buffer they work perfectly once everything gets going. Netflix is great for kids shows and you can keep your kids entertained for the rest of their lives without having to watch the same show over again. I’m talking Barney, Shaun the sheep, Thomas the tank engine, Spongebob and pretty much anything you can dream of. A bonus is to buy an Apple TV ($99 if you know someone going overseas or buy it from Wantitall for probably the cheapest price in SA) you can plug it into your TV and watch shows on your couch.

I’ve recently found a service called Unotelly that allows you to pretend that you’re somewhere else in the world so that the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, Hulu, Vudu, Pandora and countless other really great streaming services are available. There is so much content out there you may never leave the house again. I’m not going to go into the technicalities of how the service works as it involves lots of three letter acronyms but follow the steps below:

Step 1: Sign up to Unotelly

Go to www.unotelly.com or click on this link for a free trial: http://www.unotelly.com/unodns/pricing

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Click that bad boy

Step 2: Change your DNS

Don’t worry if the term “DNS” scares you, just know you need to change it. If you’re interested in how it all works here’s a wikipedia article on the topic. You need to setup the new DNS in your router or modem, the device that you connect to the internet with. Most likely a technical friend or the Telkom man set yours up but know it’s the little box with the aerial or wires coming out of it. Don’t be afraid of the technicalities here, Unotelly have a great section where you can get information about how to change the DNS depending on what make of router you own.

Click on this link (http://help.unotelly.com/solution/categories) to go to their help site and then scroll down and select your router. This is probably the hardest step in the process so if you’re having no luck find a geek and bribe them with an iTunes voucher or something to set this up for you. In South Africa you’ll use the DNS in Cape Town which is “196.41.139.189”. If you’re anywhere else in the world try this website to locate your closest DNS: http://www.unotelly.com/unodns/global

Pick the brand of router you own

Pick the brand of router you own

Step 3: Check it’s all working and setup your IP

Okay, now we get to check that you setup is correct so go to http://www.unotelly.com/quickstart2/ and you’ll see a bar at the top showing you the status of your service. You’ll probably get an error message about your IP address which you need to setup. Click on the “authorised networks” tab on the left or click this link: http://www.unotelly.com/quickstart2/networks.php

Enter your IP

 

Simply type any name into the “Network Name” and then type your IP into the “Your IP Address” area. You can see your IP address below the empty spaces but you need to still type it in. For example my IP in the example is “41.244.158.134” and the “41” goes into the first block, the “244” into the second and so on. Everytime your router gets restarted you’ll need to redo the IP address part of these instructions but this isn’t often.

Once you’ve done this the top of your browser will show the following image. If you don’t see this you’ve entered the IP incorrectly so try again.

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Step 4: It’s Netflix time

So now that the internet thinks you’re in America it’s time to setup Netflix. Simply go to www.netflix.com and signup for a months free trial.

Please don't judge my viewing habits

You can now phone up DSTV and cancel your account because it just because totally superfluous. You can check how to setup additional devices here or follow the Apple TV tutorial here. Your Xbox or PS3 that’s already sitting next to your TV also have the ability to stream the likes of Netflix, Hulu and music streaming services such as Pandora.

It’s a pleasure.

26 thoughts on “How to watch Netflix in South Africa

  1. XBMC with Navi-X is a free option but not always reliable, you quickly find yourself looking for a source that does not suck…

  2. Ahem there is just one major problem with all this and that is you need a US bank account and address.

    The address part is very easy but there is simply no way of getting a US bank account. I have been to the states before and actually had an account but the card expired and I can’t even get them to send the replacement card to a new address. I tried phoning the bank and looked into postal forwarding services. It simply cannot be done frankly.

    Additionally I have both a SA and US paypal account and netflix accepts paypal. So I thought I’d just send the money from my SA paypal to my verified US paypal and sign up…….but no that didn’t work either because since my US bank card expired my US paypal says it doesn’t have an active card attached. Netflix cleverly checks with paypal to ensure there is an active card attached to the paypal account and it also only accepts US paypal. So another dead end there.

    Before you tell me you heard that a temporary US prepaid credit card might work or used to work. Well that used to be the case from the forums I’ve read but paypal was getting ripped off by people state-side doing this and they have banned the use of all prepaid cards.

    That leaves basically you need a US bank account and it is probably ill advised to actually have one in the states like I have that has or will expired after a couple of years cause I think the bank posts the card to the address where you stayed in the states and then two weeks later they post the pin. meaning someone there will have an opportunity to get your details. Luckly for me it was a debit card with $1 in it but if its a credit card then things could get messy i’m guessing.

    If anyone finds a way of paying without a US bank account then let me know. Otherwise you basically need to travel to the states frequently or have a friend there who will open up an account for you in there name, which means they will use it too and you might get kicked off when they logon.

  3. Err my SA credit card was accepted perfectly. I Google’d a New York zip code and used that but my CC was accepted in the process.

  4. I’ve got the HBO App on ipad. Relatively easy to set up a US iTunes account to get it but pointless as it only works if you already have a US cable TV service. Better to get the NBC & ABC (US) apps as they both have full length current programming shows and it’s FREE…! I’m using Unblock-Us for my Netflix and other US streaming content.

  5. Will this work with the Apple TV sold in SA or do I need specific one from USA to watch Netflix?

  6. its a mess telkom, neotel and most of the mobile drops like you can belive. had enough hassles DSTV we gonna have to stay with u

  7. Doesnt make sencse, how do you pay for the subscription services ie netflix and unotelly with a south african account in the US?

  8. Thanks a million, works perfectly, no issues with payment on Netflix. Only issue I do have is signing back into unotelly. It keeps telling my my login details are incorrect, but know for a fact they are not. Even created another account under a different email address, and same story. Anyone had the same issue?

  9. My set-up works perfectly. I use the Unotelly service with the Apple TV. I recommend taking the recurring Unotelly subscription – it works out to something ridiculous like $12 once every 4 months. With regards to credit cards, I use my FNB card for both Netflix and Unotelly. Only place your SA credit card won’t work is with Hulu – that requires payment with a US card. There is a way to buy a Hulu voucher and have the monthly charge deducted from there (much like the US iTunes voucher system) but honestly, there is so much (too much!) on Netflix you have to be glued to a screen 24/7 to justify having Hulu too. Also, you can load the Netflix apps to your iPhone/iPad/Android device, fiddle with the DNS settings on the device (much like step 2 in the above article) and you have Netflix on the go. Just beware of Netflix paralysis – being so overwhelmed with the sheer scope and depth of content that you toss the remote in despair and go to sleep instead :)

  10. If you need help getting setup to either Netflix or Hulu, contact us to assist you. Lots of happy customers already who could not get connected using these self help instructions. Logon to http://www.globalsa.co.za and refer to On Demand TV on the Home page. Uncapped ADSL is also available for those who are battling with 3G.

  11. to all the people moaning about needing a US bank account, that is not true.
    I have an FNB Credit card and a Discovery credit card. Both work fine although occasionally the FNB card returns an error.
    Just make sure that you know what your postal code is according to the bank (especially if you have moved) and then search for a US postal code with that same number. US codes work on a 5-4 combination e.g. 12345-1234. the first 5 are what they use for the most part. since we use a 4 number system, just find a code whose last four numbers are the same as yours. then use the first 5 numbers when registering. search for a flat to buy/rent or restaurant or any business in that postal code and just use that address. same with the phone number.
    E.g. your postal code is 6543, search for us zip code with 6543. you will find something like 87456-6543. use the first part (87456) and search for a physical address in that zip code.
    Sounds like a huge effort but it really isnt.
    vodonlinemagic@gmail.com if you need help.

  12. * You don’t need a US credit card account for Netflix – it only cares about your IP Address when you stream. Interestingly services like Spotify require a credit card in the appropriate territory but don’t care about your IP
    * You can also stream Netflix (and others like Amazon video on demand) on your XBox and PS3/4. On PS3 at least, you’ll need to create a new US-based PSN account before you can see the Netflix app :(

  13. No ways I can get this working – can get into Netflix but it WILL NOT accept my CC details – have the ZIP code listed with my postal coded included but nada, nor will it accept my PayPal details (US PayPal with credit). any ideas?

  14. Hey Craig
    I know that there are a very small percentage of people who struggle with credit cards here, but the fact that you are having paypal issues as well makes me think it isn’t your credit card that is the problem. When you say you can get into Netflix do you mean you got the 7 day free trial working? Send me your postal code as well as the American address details you are using and I will check it out. Also, are you using a VPN or DNS service to hide your IP addresses location? Send whatever details you can (not your cc details) and I will happily have a look. Screenshots of any errors as well of you have.

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