My tutorial “Netflix in Deutschland” is quite popular on the web and it got a lot of comments from English speakers, so I decided to make an English version of it. The good thing is, in this version I don’t have to explain what Netflix, Vudu or Hulu is – you guys already know it well. So if you moved to Germany or Europe in general lately and would like to continue using your existing Netflix, Vudu or Hulu Plus account overseas, just follow this simple tutorial. If you need to sign up to a new account from Germany, that also works – it is a bit more complicated, though. BBC iPlayer is free by the way and also works as described later on – it’s quite like Hulu for our british friends.
What do I need to use Netflix, Hulu (Plus), Vudu or the BBC iPlayer outside the US, eg. in Germany?
By default, many internet services like Netflix, Hulu or Vudu are region-blocked outside the US, for example here in Germany. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them overseas like you’re used to – just follow these simple steps. You’ll need:
- A VPN-Server that acts as a middleman to pass the data from the US (or UK) to Germany. Unblock-Us is recommended – it’s cheap and it’s fast. (4,99$ / month, 1 week free trial). There are free ones in the web, but they tend to be too slow, which sucks when trying to watch a movie.
- A working Netflix Account. If you already have one, this should be a piece of cake. If you need to sign up first, you’ll need a US Credit card and, if you are already abroad, the mentioned VPN-client.
- Access to the Internet (obviously). Hulu can be accessed over the website www.hulu.com once you have set up Unblock-Us without any further costs. If you want to use Hulu Plus in Germany, you’ll need a working Hulu Plus account. If you don’t have one yet, you’ll either need a US credit card or alternatively a US iTunes Account that you preloaded with US-Dollars from a prepaid iTunes Gift Card.
- If you want to enjoy Netflix or Hulu Plus on your TV screen, you’ll have to connect your computer with an HDMI cable. If you own an Apple TV, an XBOX 360 or a Nintendo Wii, you’ll also be able to use Hulu and Netflix natively on these devices. Usually, your Account (Apple ID, Microsoft XBOX Live Account etc.) needs to be set to “Country: United States” to make Netflix or Hulu appear as an option.
Is it legal to use Netflix in Germany?
As long as you have a valid Netflix or Hulu Plus Account and you have paid for it, it is legal. Christian Solmecke, a german lawyer for media-law, explained it this way:
“Watching a videostream by avoiding a “region-block”, for example on hulu.com, creates a temporary duplication of a video that is justified through § 44a in German copyright law. Watching a video from a foreign streaming-portal is therefore considered lawful.”
However, using your account from outside of the US is against Netflix’ or Hulu Plus‘ terms of service – doing so may get your account suspended (although this has never happened to my knowledge).
How do I set up Unblock-Us?
Unblock Us uses a DNS-server (domain name server) as a “middle man”. It directs the videostream to you, wherever you are located on the globe. After signing up to unblock-us.com, you’ll receive the DNS-address of their service in a mail. Enter this DNS-address in the network settings of you computer or device, then go to unblock-us.com in your browser. Login using your username and password and click on “check service” – that’s it. Netflix, Hulu, Vudu etc. will now work on your devices as if you were in the US, as long as they use the said dns-server.
How do I change my DNS-server?
If you are using Windows, go to Control Panel > Network Connections and select your used network. Click on Properties, then select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Click on Properties. Select „Use the following DNS server addresses“ and enter the Unblock-us DNS servers 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 in the spaces provided. Click OK – that’s it. Now go to unblock-us.com and click on “Check Service”. Finished – You should now be able to reach Netflix.com from Germany.
If you are using a Macintosh, go to System Preferences > Network. Double-Click on the connection that you want to change the DNS for. On the connection properties window, click on the DNS tab and use the “+” symbol to add the servers 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 . Click on OK and you’re done. Now go to unblock-us.com and click on “Check Service”. Finished. Now Netflix.com or Hulu.com should work from Germany.
Setting up your XBOX:
Note: You’ll need a laptop or desktop computer set up with the said dns adress to go to unblock-us.com and click on “Check Service” to activate your unblock-us account first. Then you can setup your XBOX.
On your XBOX: Go to Settings > System > Network Settings. Choose your used connection. Go to Configure Network > Ip Settings. Select Manual > Primary DNS Server. Enter 220.127.116.11. Select Secondary DNS, enter 18.104.22.168. Select Done, Done again. Press B to test the connection. Restart your XBOX 360 – that’s it. If you haven’t done it yet, download Netflix and Hulu from the marketplace. Netflix or Hulu should now work from Germany on your XBOX.
From time to time, your internet service provider will change your external IP adress. If this happens, Netflix will not be reachable unless you go to the unblock-us.com website on your computer. You will see the message „Looks like your internet address has changed. Please click here to activate your new internet address“ Just click it, and everything will work as usual.
That’s it. As you see, it’s quite easy to use Netflix, Hulu, Vudu or BBC iPlayer in Germany. Please leave your comments below and don’t hesitate to correct my English – I’m sure I made a lot of mistakes here. Anyhow, let me know if this worked for you. Thanks!