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How to access Netflix in South Africa

Netflix in South Africa
Written by Sam Iheonye

There is no doubt that currently the provider of the best entertainment and information content whether it comprises of music, movies, news, is Netflix. Their library of content is so vast and always regularly updated that other competitors like Hulu, Padora, HBO, and so on are having a very difficult time trying to compete with them.

That is right, when it comes to entertainment your best bet would always be to turn to Netflix. Unfortunately, for some reasons it is not available to everybody. And by everybody, I mean everybody around the world. I have heard about this exclusion before but I was able to get firm confirmation of this situation when one of my very good friends traveled to South Africa for an assignment.

You cannot imagine the level of shock and confusion when she put on her computer and tried to access Netflix in South Africa and kept on getting the message “Sorry, Netflix is not yet available in your country.” When she contacted me, I did some research and discovered that she was not alone. In fact, it is a deliberate policy of Netflix to deny users who are not based in the United States access to their content. This meant that my friend or anyone for that matter cannot watch Netflix in South Africa even if you have a valid and up-to-date subscription.

Why it is not possible to watch Netflix in South Africa

The main reason why any resident or visitor to South Africa cannot access Netflix is as a result of the company’s licensing and copyright agreements with the major movie and television studios. These content producers force Netflix to restrict where their content can be provided in the world. And these restrictions have far-reaching consequences.

For example, officially there is Netflix in the United Kingdom and Netflix for Canada. However, these variants cannot be comparable to the premium subscription and contents available to subscribers in the United States of America who have access to Netflix USA. In essence, what this means is that even if you were based in Canada or the UK you would still not be able to access the USA version of Netflix. And when it comes to South Africa, you cannot even access any content from Netflix because there is no Netflix South Africa for now.

The way Netflix restricts and excludes its content is by geographically detecting the location of any device that attempts to access its content. This means that if you are in South Africa and try to log into Netflix, its systems would detect that you are based in South Africa.

How to get Netflix in South Africa

Although it would be disheartening to discover that Netflix South Africa is not operational there are actually ways through which you can still watch Netflix while being physically based in South Africa. And what I am going to describe are not ways of accessing Netflix through any unlawful or illegal means. All the methods are 100% legal and ethical. And they work under the same principle.

As I stated above, Netflix systems are already designed to detect the geographical location of any user/would-be user. Therefore, in order to watch Netflix without any hitches at all we would need to be geographically located in the United States of America. But please do not start throwing any tantrums. I am not asking you to relocate from South Africa. What I am saying is that we need to give Netflix the impression that you are geographically and physically based in the US.

The methods that can be used to accomplish this task would involve having our IP addresses changed to those of any user in the US. And there are quite a number of methods of accomplishing this. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Watch Netflix in South Africa using VPN – a VPN refers to a Virtual private Network. How it works is to create a very private network between your device or computer and any server. In our particular situation, by making use of a VPN we would be able to connect to Netflix in the United States through a VPN’s server that is located in the US. This would make Netflix think that we are in the US and not actually in South Africa. And the good thing about this method is that it is very easy to setup without much difficulties or hassles. Your next question would now probably be which VPN service to choose. From my experience, HideMyAss VPN should be the best VPN available. And there are good reasons for this recommendation.
    • HMA VPN works on all operating systems, whether they are Linux, Mac, of Windows.
    • They equally permit their service to be used on all manner of devices like Android, and Apple (iOS) devices.
    • They have a wide range of IP address to select from because of the over 360 servers which are situated in over 50 countries all around the world. You can read the comprehensive review about HideMyAss here.
  1. Watch Netflix in South Africa using Smart DNS Proxies – this is another method that can be used to watch Netflix in South Africa. How a Smart DNS accomplishes this task is by hiding or masking the actual and true identity of your IP address. For anyone willing to try out a Smart DNS, I would recommend Unlocator which has a free trial period of seven days. Any first timer would like to know why a Smart DNS like Unlocator is being recommended by me. Well, the obvious merits of using a Smart DNS are as follows:
    • There is no change that would be made to your local, South Africa IP Address when you make use of the Smart DNS.
    • The Smart DNS is highly compatible with all devices that you can think of for streaming content from Netflix. This means that you can access Netflix in South Africa using Smart DNS through any device like Android, iPad, iPhone, Xbox, and so on as long as they have internet –connectivity capability.
    • Your internet speed does not get used up when you stream Netflix through a Smart DNS.
  1. Watch Netflix in South Africa using other methods: other methods that you can make use of for accessing Netflix in South Africa are by the use of other VPN services which are equally recommended like ExpressVPN, and Unblock-US. These are good VPN services which allow users to stream and watch Netflix in South Africa. All you need to do is to visit their respective websites and follow the easy-to-understand instruction to get set-up with them.

In conclusion, you can now see that there is no need to fret because you might not be able to watch Netflix if you happen to travel to South Africa. From the above, you now know that any trip can be made by you to South Africa rest assured that you would still have access to your favorite Netflix programs.

Feature Image By Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar via Flickr

About the author

Sam Iheonye

Samuel is an avid reader and writer. His interests cover technology, computers and smartphones. He is a close observer of the updates in the technology world. When he is not writing, he is engaged in watching movies, listening to music, or travelling.


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