Entertainment unlocked - how to access more Netflix content in Singapore

Remove the shackles of geo-restriction and watch more TV shows that aren't available here (yet)

The wait is finally over. From today, you can binge-watch your favourite movies and TV shows on Netflixm, anytime, anywhere.

Except, you can’t access all of the content that Netflix has to offer, even if you are willing to fork out a reasonably affordable monthly fee of S$10.98 for the streaming service.

But fret not, people of the interwebs. You can still access the critically acclaimed political drama House of Cards even though it, being a Netflix original show, isn't available here.

How? Virtual private network (VPN) or changing your domain name system (DNS) are the keys to your kingdom of entertainment. And it's not just Netflix, you can also access Hulu and Amazon Prime accounts. These paid subscription-based streaming services are home to massive libraries of movies and TV shows too.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Television network websites like Fox, NBC, CBS, ITV and BBC iPlayer also stream same day/next day telecasts of their TV shows.

We sense the look of intrigue in your eyes accompanying this question - how the heck does one do all that? We've got the answers right below.

Additional text by Tein Hee Seow

Let the ISP do the work for you

Perhaps the simplest way is done through your local ISP. For example, MyRepublic’s VPN integrated service, Teleport, is an intelligent-network routing system that routes to content carriers’ websites without hosting or storing any copyrighted content. With Teleport enabled, MyRepublic users can stream online content without any third-party services.

Similar to this is Viewqwest’s Freedom VPN. Through smart DNS-based routing, you can access direct streaming on multiple devices from your computer to your smartphone to TV streaming devices like WD TV Live and Roku Box.

The perks? Both services require zero configuration. That means you don’t have to set up anything because it's all built into the network. Boom. Instant access.

US credit card not required

Here's the good news - you won't need a US credit card to sign up and pay for a US-based account. That said, not all credit cards here are accepted, so it's still somewhat a luck of the draw situation.

Create a VPN via an application

The second option: download a desktop application. One VPN service provider worth noting is Private Internet Access. It supports multiple mobile and desktop operating systems and provide connectivity options for your home router so you can stay constantly connected and/or access your home network remotely.

Another great VPN service provider is Cyberghost, an easy-to-use, multi-platform VPN provider. Expect great connection speeds and a wealth of servers to choose from (even for free users).

On a budget? Here’s a freebie

The third: through a browser extension. This might be simplest because it’s a low memory footprint and efficient because you already watch all your television through the web browser anyway. ZenMate for Chrome is a free browser extension that unblocks websites and encrypts your internet traffic. It’s also available for Firefox, Android and iOS.

The legalities of VPN

Accessing geo-restricted content, from all perspectives, is a grey area. Theoretically, content creators could request for VPN services to be blocked, in the name of licensing restrictions that don't allow certain movies or TV shows to be shown in specific countries.

That said, VPN acts like parallel import - think of it like paying for an item that's available from Amazon, but it doesn't ship directly to Singapore. Instead, you're using a shipping service to bring the said item to you. This analogy fits the VPN example perfectly, and more importantly, you are paying for the said content.

All things aside, once you've unlocked the treasure trove of movies and TV shows via VPN, you'll never, ever want to leave the house during the weekend.

Going the DNS route

VPN services, though convenient and readily accessible, tend to be on the slow side. Since you might be streaming a full HD movie, which amounts to GBs of data, a slow connection speed will be a real buzzkill.

Using a DNS service such as UnoTelly, however, avoids this particular issue. It's also pretty simple because all you need to do is go to the UnoTelly website, follow the tutorial for specific devices and voila, the DNS has been changed.

With that done, you can immediately access US or UK content from Netflix, without going through the hassle of switching on a VPN just to mask your IP address.