Netflix

Are you able to access your Netflix account on your iPad overseas? Thanks. We are planning numerous months so we may have some downtime.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9094 posts

No, Netflix will not allow streaming if it detects that your iPad is in Europe. I couldn't comment if there's a technical solution around this restriction.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6827 posts

Even if Netflix did work in Europe, you would have problems getting enough bandwidth to stream anything. As online streaming gets more popular it taxes the speed of most hotel's free WiFi too make very unreliable. A better option would be download movies before leaving home from Itunes, or ripping your DVD/Blu ray disks into your Ipad via your desktop with a program like this: http://www.pavtube.com/products/

Posted by A&A
Flagstaff
44 posts

Oh cool that looks like a good idea! Do you know generally how much memory a burned DVD would take up?

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7675 posts

There is a technical work-around that might work, but I agree that you might have bandwidth issues, and that downloading movies might be a better option. When I was in Spain this year, I downloaded Hot Spot Shield (free), which "hides" your location. I started HSS, then watched episodes of Survivor and Amazing Race (the two-hour finale) with no problems at all. I can't see the difference between streaming a 2-hour TV show and a 2-hour movie, but I wouldn't count on being able to do so at any given location.

Posted by Sarah
Canada, eh
58 posts

I have a U.S. based Netflix account and when I'm in Mexico or Canada, I can access the Netflix content available in those markets. I'm not sure if that's the case everywhere Netflix is available, but you might be able to access the content available in the UK and Ireland if you're traveling in those countries, since they both have Netflix available. Another option is a VPN. You can use HotSpot Shield, which sort of works in my experience, or you can use a paid service like StrongVPN or HideMyAss (sorry, that's honestly what it's called) for a more reliable VPN. As others have said though, hotel WiFi is a mixed bag when it comes to streaming video. Sometimes it can handle it, sometimes it can't and a VPN won't overcome super-slow internet. Loading a few iTunes movies to your iPad isn't a bad idea if you have the memory available.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1391 posts

I rented movies from iTunes for our last trip. Found some good ones we hadn't seen yet. Cost from $3.99 to #4.99. You have 30 days to watch them, and once you start the movie, you have to finish watching it within 24 hours. (so if you fall asleep, you better made sure you finish it before the day if over) I rented 5 movies for our last trip and we had a "movie night" every other night of our trip. We just set the iPad on the bed between us. I bought iTunes gift cards at Target when they had them on sale foe 15% off so I kind of got one movie for free. Still have $8.05 left for my next download. Do keep in mind that it takes some time to download each movie, up to an hour or longer, depending on your internet speed. First time I rented a movie, I was in France, and downloaded there. Kind of a pain in the butt, because it took longer to download the movie than to watch it....so now I download before we go. Just something to consider.... Netflix won't work overseas.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1391 posts

Adding on to my last comment. I have the larger iPad for memory (36G) and I had to delete my photos to make room for the 5 movies. I was still able to download my photos from my camera each night to the ipad and post some to Facebook...and as I watched the movies and deleted them from the ipad, it freed up the memory....

Posted by Linda
Seattle, WA, USA
432 posts

What Ellen said... me too. Loved having a few movies to watch, especially at the airport with nothing else to do. Linda

Posted by Sarah
Canada, eh
58 posts

Actually, I have to correct Ellen. Netflix will work overseas if you use a VPN that makes it look like you're browsing from the United States (or, at least a country that has Netflix). I have accessed U.S. Netflix content from 8 countries through my VPN service. With a VPN, or virtual private network, you connect to a network and then use that network to browse the internet. So, you can connect to a U.S. network from a foreign country and look like you're browsing from the United States. You could conceivably do this to a network in any country, so if you wanted to look like you were browsing from the UK to watch the latest BBC offerings, you could do that, too. Again, I absolutely understand that that's probably not worth it for a vacation and that iTunes movies or something like that is probably easier than setting up a VPN, but Netflix can work overseas if you know what you're doing.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7675 posts

There was nothing difficult in setting up Hot Spot Shield. Just download for free, open the application before accessing the limited sites, and it works fine.

Posted by Dina
Fontainebleau, France
893 posts

Just an FYI. Netflix, Hulu, ABC, etc. have gotten better at detecting VPNs. I find that I must delete all cookies and my browsing history every time before I use a VPN to watch something over the Internet from Europe. Not a huge problem, but something to keep in mind if you find yourself blocked even while using a VPN.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6827 posts

I suppose this is related to Europe because it's a french film (which takes place in California)...... Netflix Instant just added The Artist a couple of days ago.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17736 posts

A&A, "We are planning numerous months so we may have some downtime." Just curious, how many months are you considering? Are you aware of the terms if the Schengen Accord for tourists? Cheers!

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

I wasn't talking about a legitimate corporate VPN that allows connectivity to one's company Intranet (I use one every day to telework), or using a legitimate VPN service for enhanced online privacy and security. I'm talking about VPN services that provide a proxy that allows people to get content that's not licensed for their area.

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

VPN services that 'mask' your foreign IP address are essentially giving you a proxy to tunnel through a server in another country so it looks like you are connecting from that country. This strategy is also used by hackers who seek to hide their point of origin as they carry out attempts to break into other systems. The legality of such VPN services is unclear. There are contractual agreements in place for access to content outside a given country. VPN proxy services sidestep those agreements. There's a reason why one service is called 'HideMyAss'. Also, VPN is either single-tunnel or full-tunnel (bi-directional). When you connect via VPN you may be exposing your device to entry and exploitation through the tunnel. There are various ways your device could be used without your knowledge. I always like to be certain I know who and what I am connecting my device to and that the connection is secure. There are also risks involved in use of any free WiFi. I feel more secure (but not entirely) when I get a code from hotel Reception.

Posted by Alexander
Manhattan, KS
277 posts

It surprises me how many people can't get away from American movies and TV shows when we're abroad. Even those that are only gone for a few days or weeks. I guess the stereotype is true, we tend to be attached to our electronics so that we can stay connected. There's nothing wrong with that. I always suggest going to a movie. It gives you the moviegoing experience that people in other cultures have (and usually there's something playing in English for those that don't speak the languages). But the best part about travel is that there's no one way to do things: do what makes you happy.

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2172 posts

I'll give an example of a perfect legitimate personal VPN service that I've been using for 3 years www.overplay.net . It is one (among many) that offer such services, allowing you to get an American (or Australian, or British, or whatever they cover) IP for a modest monthly fee ($ 9 in my case). It is useful for a variety of things (such as getting around certain censorship filters) which include IP-block restrictions like that of Netflix.