Can I get Netflix on my ordinary TV (not Smart TV)? Yes you can

Yes, there are a couple of options to get Netflix on your ordinary television if you don’t have a Smart TV.

Option 1 – Smart Streaming HDMI stick

The best (but more complicated option) is to get a smart streaming stick that connects directly to your HDMI input of your television (yes you must have a HDMI input on your TV and also Wi-Fi access to the internet).  Just follow my step by step guide by clicking here.  This guide will also help you unblock the US version of Netflix if you are located outside of the United States.

Option 2 – Buy a smart Blu-ray player instead

The easiest way to turn your ordinary television into a smart television is to buy a cheap smart blu-ray player. Most new blu-ray players are smart internet connected devices with apps.  It’s much cheaper to buy a new blu-ray player than it is to buy a new Smart TV.  It’s also cheaper to replace the blu-ray player with newer technology in the future compared to replacing your whole television.

For example, Sony’s entry level BDP-S1200 blu-ray player has a heap of apps and, if it is set to United States settings, has a Netflix app (amongst others).  The Sony BDP-S1200 sells for less than £60, US$80 or AU$110.  You will however need HDMI input on your TV.

Obviously you will need internet access to get Netflix. Entry level blu-ray players require a wired network cable to your internet router. If you don’t want a cable the next model upwards usually have built-in wi-fi.

But what if I live outside of the United States?

If you live outside of the United States, then you will need to trick the Sony blu-ray player and then the Netflix app into thinking your player is located in the United States (otherwise Netflix USA is blocked).

Just following my step-by-step guide to getting Netflix on your Sony blu-ray player.

Happy viewing and enjoy the smart TV apps on (what was once) your ordinary television! 

Australian Government requires telecomms industry to retain metadata for two years

Fortunately, it is quite simple to protect your privacy from your ISP and therefore from the Australian Government. You will also protect yourself from foreign government who have more malevolent intentions in tracking your internet habits. Don’t forget if you use Facebook, it tracks and stores your visits to any webpage that has a Facebook “like” button which may then be accessed by the United States intelligence agencies.

The Australian Government is committed to providing law enforcement and security agencies with the tools they need by requiring the telecommunications industry to retain a limited set of your personal metadata for two years.  

http://www.ag.gov.au/dataretention

What does this mean for Australian internet users? 

This means multiple Australian Government security agencies can and will track your internet usage for no less than two years. They do this by requiring your internet service provider (ISP) to store the internet sites you visit for a two year period.

This means your ISP (i.e. Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet, iPrimus etc) are obligated by law to track and hand over your internet usage to secretive government agencies.

This means everything you do online is being tracked.  

This means everywhere you go with your internet enabled mobile phone is also being tracked.

How can I protect my privacy from the government and the abuse of my metadata? 

Fortunately, it is quite simple to protect your privacy from your ISP and therefore from the Australian Government.  You will also protect yourself from foreign governments who have more malevolent intentions in tracking your internet habits.

Don’t forget if you use Facebook, it tracks and stores with your profile visits to any webpage that has a Facebook “like” button using cookies (whether or not you actually press like) which may then be accessed by United States government intelligence agencies and contractors.

Facebook Is Tracking Your Every Move on the Web 

This isn’t a far fetch conspiracy theory; it is now accepted fact where governments have now shifted from denying the allegations to defending their spying activities as necessary.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_%28surveillance_program%29

The simplest way to protect yourself is to always use a virtual private network (VPN).  You should at least use a VPN when undertaking any activities that your government (or an unfriendly foreign government) may consider questionable or against its sponsor’s interests.

A VPN works by encrypting your internet data and tunnelling it through a special server. This way your ISP can only track that all your data goes to this server but cannot see what that data is or where you might visit at the other end.  VPN service providers that value your privacy do not keep any logs so have nothing to hand over to government spy agencies should they come knocking.


Where can I get a VPN? 

You can easily sign up for a VPN service online. They do cost money but only a few dollars a month. There are some free VPNs available but they will slow down your broadband internet which is just not worth it (i.e. why pay for fast broadband by slowing it down through a free VPN server). Paid VPN services have high speed servers.

UPDATE: check my other post on choosing a VPN provider by clicking here.

I use privateinternetaccess.com which has has easy apps for Windows, Mac and Android and simple instructions for for iOS and other platforms.  You can sign up for privateinternetaccess.com by clicking here (currently less than US$5 per month).

If you want to try a different VPN provider then check out IPvanish or overplay.net.  Overplay also has a package deal that includes both a smart DNS (for unblocking Netflix and other streaming video services) and VPN (protecting your privacy and downloads).  Just click here to check out overplay.net.

Don’t take your privacy for granted; your government doesn’t! 


10 things to do with fast unlimited data internet (NBN or ADSL or cable)

Got unlimited internet data and want some ideas on what to do with it? 

Or are you considering upgrading to unlimited internet data but not sure what you will do with it?

Here are 10 (ten) ideas to take advantage of a fast unlimited internet data plan. Some ideas are simple and free whilst some take some work and money.

Idea 1.  Turn your big screen television into a huge aquarium 

With unlimited data, you can stream high definition YouTube videos all day and all night without worrying about your data limit.  One idea is to turn your big screen TV into an aquarium but you can stream all sorts of very long videos to make your television a window into tropical rainforests, waterfalls and mountains.

If you have a Smart TV, just use its YouTube app.  If you don’t have a Smart TV you can plug your laptop into your television or see this step-by-step guide on how to turn your normal television into a  Smart TV.

Here’s some ideas below.  Just dream where you want to be and then search for it on YouTube.

Turn your big screen television into an aquarium

or a rainforest stream

 

Idea 2: Stream your movie collection to your mobile devices and friends with Plex (free) 

Do you have an extensive movie and television collection? Have you converted all your DVDs and Blurays into video files? Perhaps you already use torrents on your unlimited internet (if you do use torrents, make sure you use a VPN to protect yourself; click here to see how).

Set up your computer (Windows, Mac or Linux PCs) as a Plex movie streaming server?  Once you have set up a Plex server, you can stream your movies and television shows throughout your house to other televisions, your Xbox or Playstation, Android phone/tablet or Apple iPhone or iPad.  You can also share with your family and friends over the internet (i.e. you can share your videos with them and they can share their videos with you).

Plex will automatically sort all of your movies and television, download cover art and descriptions to make using your video library like a professional studio!  Plex will also stream your videos to other devices like phones, laptops, tablets and gaming systems.

Take a look at this beautiful screenshot of Plex.

plex

The first thing you need to do is download and install the Plex Media Server on your main PC (Windows, Mac or Linux) that has all of your movies and television video files.  Once you have downloaded, installed and got the Plex Media Server up and running, you need to download Plex clients for all of your connected devices to watch your indexed Plex videos.

For PCs and laptops (Windows, Mac and Linux) download and install the Plex Home Theatre program from the Plex downloads page (use this even on the PC you have already installed the Plex Media Server).  The Plex Home Theatre client is the easiest way to watch Plex. Note it doesn’t use mouse controls but only keyboard short-cuts like arrows and escape.

Plex also has apps for Android, iOS, Playstation, Xbox, Roku, Google Chromecast and more.

Go ahead, free your video collection with free Plex!

VPN

Idea 3: Endlessly watch incredible live streaming videos on YouTube 

YouTube now has live streams so you don’t have to search widely anymore to find interesting webcams.

(1) Just go to youtube.com, (2) search for your topic of interest, (3)  select”filter” for your search results and select “live” under the “Features” heading.

Here are some examples below:

Bears catching salmon in an Alaskan stream 

Puppy nursery 

Puffins! 

NASA HDTV

Sky News Live 

Aljazeera English Live HD 


How to unblock and watch U.S. Netflix on your Apple TV – step by step guide

Do you live outside the United States and can’t watch Netflix on your Apple TV device because it is blocked? Read on for this step by step guide to unblocking Netflix on your Apple TV.

Hello viewer from and welcome to my website.

Do you live outside the United States and can’t watch U.S. version of Netflix on your Apple TV device because it is blocked?

Read on for this step by step guide to unblocking the vast U.S. video library for Netflix on your Apple TV.

1. Unblock geoblocking with a free trial service 

First, you will need to sign up to a DNS unblocking service to trick your Apple TV and Netflix that you are located in the United States when you are actually located in another country, like Australia or almost anywhere else. These DNS unblocking services get around the geoblocks used by Apple and Netflix.

Don’t worry, you can use a 7 day free trial (without any sign-up and no credit card) to check first that you can get it working before you hand over any payment details.

Go to Unlocator and use their free trial unblocking service and follow their Apple TV specific instructions.  Just click here to get started setting up your Apple TV for Netflix.

2. Start up the Apple TV menu and go to the Settings > General > Network

3. Select Wi-Fi for wireless network or Ethernet if you are using a wired connection (if you have not previously setup a Wi-Fi connection you will have to choose your network and enter your password for the Wi-Fi again if needed).

4. Select Configure DNS and select Manual 

5. Enter following number and click Done: 185.037.037.037

6. On the Network screen, check that that the DNS numbers you have just entered are visible and correct.

(Steps 7 to 10  below are unnessary if a local version of the Netflix app is available in the iTunes store, such as in Australia or the U.K.).

7. You now need to make sure the USA edition of apps are present on your Apple TV.  Please go to the Settings > General > iTunes Store > Location  and select United States

8. Go to settings and select Sleep now

8. Go ahead and Unplug the Apple TV power cord and wait ten seconds (yes the full ten seconds, not just two seconds)

10. Plug the cable back in on your Apple TV.

 

Your done! Sign up for a Netflix free trial and start watching Netflix!

The Unlocator service also unblocks over 175 other geoblocked services from around the world, including video streaming and music services.  Now that you have Unlocator, check out the many free and subscription based streaming services now available to you by clicking here. Happy streaming.

You can also search Unlocator for step-by-step unblocking guides for many other devices, including your iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, Windows PC and modem router to unblock a whole world of streaming services.

How to unblock and watch U.S. Netflix on your iPhone/iPad from outside the United States – step by step guide

Do you live outside the United States and can’t watch Netflix on your iPhone because it is blocked? Read on for this step by step guide to unblocking Netflix on your Apple iPhone.

Hello viewer from and welcome to my website.

Do you live outside the United States and can’t watch the better U.S. version of Netflix on your iPhone or iPad because it is blocked? Read on for this step by step guide to unblocking the larger U.S. Netflix library for your Apple iPhone or iPad.

1. Unblock geoblocking with a free trial service 

First, you will need to sign up to a DNS unblocking service to trick your iPhone/iPad and Netflix that you are located in the United States when you are actually located in another country. These DNS unblocking services get around the geoblocks used by Netflix.

Don’t worry, you can use a 7 day free trial (without any sign-up and no credit card) to check first that you can get it working before you hand over any payment details.

Go to Unlocator and use their free trial unblocking service and follow their iPhone specific instructions.  Just click here to get started setting up your iPhone for Netflix.

2. Once you have enabled the Unlocator service, then open “Settings” on your iPhone/iPad.

3. Select Wi-Fi

4. Press the blue arrow located on the right of the router you are connected to (i.e. your home’s internet wi-fi service).

5. Under “DNS” input these numbers: 185.37.37.37, 185.37.37.185

6. Press Wi-Fi to go back

7. Restart your iPhone by pressing and holding home key and then power button, holding both until iPhone shuts down and restarts

8. Go to Apple app store and find and install the Netflix app

If the Netflix app you need is not available in your local iPhone app store you need to change to the US app store in order to install it. Please follow the following steps to get the US app store on your iPhone.

9. How to Get the US edition of the Apple App Store on Your iOS (iPhone or iPad) Device

Just follow these Apple instructions but select the US versions instead of your local country versions.
http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204034

Your done! Sign up for a Netflix free trial and start watching Netflix! The Unlocator service unblocks over 175 other geoblocked services from around the world, including video streaming and music services.  Now you have Unlocator, check out the many free and subscription based streaming services now available to you by clicking here. Happy streaming.