Netflix Indonesia Tips & Tricks

Netflix in Indonesia, using a VPN?

Ok, so now you can watch Netflix in Indonesia. Even on a low bandwidth connection (1 – 2Mbs) you can watch low resolution Netflix. It becomes more enjoyable if you have a higher bandwidth and a Netflix HD subscription. 720p HD should be possible with 5Mbs, and 1080p with 10Mbs and higher. 20Mbs is preferred.

If you use a computer to watch Netflix, you can see what resolution you are using by pressing Shift+Ctrl+Alt D. You can force Netflix in to highest resolution by pressing Shift+Ctrl+Alt S.

Use Internet Explorer to watch Netflix, Google Chrome has a maximum resolution of 720p, IE goes up to 1080p and possibly higher.

Unfortunately Netflix in Indonesia is restricted to Netflix productions only (until now). If you want to see country specific content, and the content licensed to specific countries, you need to use an IP address located in that country. A VPN connection to that country is needed. For now Netflix doesn’t care if you do so as it seems. The use of VPN’s can be detected in most cases and Netflix doesn’t do anything about it.

Using a VPN for Netflix

A good, fast and reliable VPN provider is Private Internet Access. I have been using this for quite some time and at 40 US$ per year it is very affordable.

PIA allows for OpenVPN connections, the best and safest way to connect to a VPN. PIA has thousands of OpenVPN servers World Wide.

The easiest way to use a PIA VPN is on your computer, with the latest community OpenVPN client software (better than the PIA client software). The latest version allows an extra setting to route your DNS requests explicitly through your VPN connection. This is needed especially on Windows 10. If your DNS requests are not routed through the VPN, websites can detect your country of origin even-though your IP address is in another. Again, Netflix does not seem to care, for now. As an added bonus you circumvent the great Indonesian firewall. In Indonesia all DNS requests are filtered and possibly logged. This is done by a transparent proxy.

(DNS is name resolution, if you type a website name, the corresponding IP address is looked up by a DNS server. If, like in Indonesia, the request is intercepted, the government can approve or deny the request. In Indonesia some porn and torrent sites like Piratebay are blocked with this method. In theory the same method allows a government to record general, but also personal surfing behavior.)

If you want access to Netflix through a VPN on devices that don’t allow OpenVPN clients, you can use a (Wi-Fi) router with a build-in OpenVPN client. All devices connected to this router will connect in the country you have selected with your OpenVPN. Not all Wi-Fi routers have an OpenVPN client option, and, you need a router with a fast processor. A cheap router may have the software, but not the computing speed to deliver Internet traffic at full speed; you may have a 20Mbit connection, but your VPN traffic may be slowed down to half(!) because your router can’t handle it. Be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars on a good router, install addtional firmware and some expertise to get it all going.

In some cases, whatever router you have, traffic may slow down anyway through a VPN, because of other reasons. It may have to do with the way your connection to the VPN server is routed. You have a optimal VPN connection with Hong Kong or Singapore, but your VPN connection to an European country is slow. In such cases your speed may improve by using two VPN’s, strangely enough. This is possible with the use of one VPN router and a PC or Mac VPN client, or even two fast VPN routers.

Private VPN Server ??

And, it is possible to run (or have run) a Private VPN server, somewhere in the cloud. In some cases a well known VPN provider IP address may be refused or questioned by websites. (Loads of naughty people use VPN’s to do nasty things on the Internet, because of assumed anonymity). A private VPN server is very affordable, somewhere between 60 US$ and 120 US$ a year. You need to have some basic Linux and security knowledge, and a good knowledge of “Internet”. And Linux needs to be updated regularly, just like Windows or OSX. But, you will be the only one using the server, so that is comfortable. In addition you will have a fixed IP address to connect to the Internet, and that may be useful. IP addresses in Indonesia are often banned because a lot of spam is send from them. A disadvantage is the “confusion” you may create for payment systems. If your payment account is registered in a certain country, and your IP address is in another, payments may be refused.

If you need a Private VPN server, use Digital Ocean. Best speeds, reliable.

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