How to get around Australian geo-blocking



blog Frustrated that you can’t watch Netflix because you’ve got an Australian IP address? Can’t log into Hulu? It’s a common problem, and one that many Australians find frustrating. However, due to the magic goodness of the Internet, there are ways around these kinds of headaches. PC & Tech Authority has put together a comprehensive guide to evading this decade’s IP watchdogs, with a number of handy tricks + tips. The publication reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):

“It’s frustrating to watch from the sidelines as American viewers enjoy unfettered access to Netflix and Hulu while the British gorge themselves on BBC iPlayer. Even in the Amazon and iTunes stores, Australians are treated as second-class citizens compared to what people enjoy in other countries … But where there’s a will there’s a way and geo-dodging is becoming easier than ever.”

The article makes the very valid point that some of the tips and tricks it outlines violate the various services’ terms and conditions, or are on the boundaries of legality. However, to my mind, using this kind of ‘geo-dodging’ approach, which has been used in Australia now for at least a decade that I know of, is actually a very direct way of giving the companies concerned very good and direct feedback about their products. If Australians are so keen to use a company’s products and services that they’re willing to risk breaking the law to pay for them, doesn’t that give that company a very clear indicator that they should consider launching Down Under? Seems pretty clear to me.

Image credit: Netflix


  1. Personally, if they don’t wish to cater to the Australian market then I find Channel BT to be much easier than trying to pretend I am an American.

  2. Did anyone catch the final episode of the checkout? They touched on this, focusing on iTunes though.
    I have found a VPN subscription is a good investment.

  3. “breaking the law”? Isn’t that a bit of a stretch? Or could we genuinely be breaking laws, and potentially be subject to a fine or prison time? I mean, we could potentially have our services terminated, and our names/addresses/credit cards banned/blacklisted, but could they actually bring the long arm of the law down on you?

  4. The services mentioned don’t comment on plans to launch here still-both Netflix and Hulu.

    They often say to us Australians not having international streaming rights for Australia. I don’t know if they are actively aware of VPN usage to influence where these 2 might expand to-though Hulu is known to block VPNs in the past.

  5. Breaking what law exactly are you talking about Renai?

    As far as I know the law there is absolutely no criminal conduct whatsoever with a person removing geo-blocking structures to purchase legal products anywhere within or outside of Australia under Australian criminal statutes.

    The only thing it might be is, at a very big stretch, a forfeiture of contract if there was a pre-existing contract in place at the time (EULA’s etc do not meet this requirement). Basically Australians have the ability to purchase and pay for goods however they see fit, and can not be held in any way liable for the removal of inhibitors used by a seller. It’s the sellers problem only since they might have a quasi legal contract with the actual owner of the content that could be breached by the sale (third line forcing and other trade laws come into that then though)

  6. Understandable that we get pissed about geo-blocking, but remember Australia’s networks do the very same thing to those outside Oz. I’m quite perplexed by the SBS “How-to” for breaking geo-blocking measures when I know for a fact that programs on the SBS website are geo-blocked to the United States, even their own productions. I tried to send a link to a friend and it blocked him from seeing it.

      • The only thing I hope is that my editor never finds out about the fat buckets of cash money that I get paid every week for saying things Malcolm wants me to say. It’s getting hard to conceal it from him that I head over to Edgecliff every Monday morning for the compulsory weekly “talking points” briefing, and come back via the Commonwealth Bank for the weekly deposit, but I think he’s just convinced that I stay up too late on Sunday nights killing n00bs at Dark Souls PvP and so am always late on Monday mornings.

        It’s a hard life.

  7. When you’ve got Harvey Norman selling devices with built-in VPN, I think the general public has spoken about it’s opinion of geoblocking…

  8. if you purchase an american itunes gift card online and redeem it anonymously, you get full access to the US itunes store. i’ve been doing it for years now. there are websites that sell them through paypal, like tunes codes or itunes giftcards USA. geoblock means nothing to me ;)

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