Can you watch American Netflix in South Africa? Absolutely! Our simple guide will show you how to use your current Netflix account to access American Netflix content.
Netflix South Africa shows only 7% of the content that is available on American Netflix. Our simple guide shows you how to unblock this and start watching American Netflix in South Africa today.
So Netflix South Africa has finally launched. But there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that you can now get some great content that wasn’t available to you before.
The bad news is that even if you sign up for Netflix in South Africa you will only be able to access 7% of the content that is available on American Netflix.
With Smart DNS Proxy now you can access all the Netflix content. It’s actually pretty simple but you need to follow a few steps to get it right. For the short answer you can go straight to Smart DNS Proxy.
If you want a more detailed explanation of how to use the Smart DNS solution to unblock Netflix in South Africa then here are the simple steps to follow.
Netflix South Africa – Why Don’t We Get American Netflix Content?
First off, why isn’t the American Netflix content available in South Africa? Netflix only operates in certain countries and they check your IP address to make sure that you are in one of those countries before providing you the service.
This is why, when you tried to access Netflix before they launched in South Africa you probably saw this:
Now when you go to the Netflix website they will allow you to sign up but once again they look at your IP address to see which country you are in.
When they see that you are in South Africa they only make a limited amount of content available to you and not the huge amount of shows and movies that are available in the US.
This is because it costs Netflix money to license content every time they make it available in a different region.
If they show a movie in the US they need to pay the production house that made the movie a license fee.
If they want to make that same movie available to Netflix South Africa subscribers then they need to pay an additional license fee.
When you consider how much smaller the potential market in South Africa is compared to the American Netflix market then you begin to understand why they don’t spend too much money on making all the content available in South Africa. It just wouldn’t be profitable for them.
To give you an idea of the difference in the amount of content that Netflix makes available in different countries check out the stats below:
We don’t have the stats yet for South Africa but you can imagine it’s going to be pretty low down on this scale.
It is estimated that there are just under 700 titles available on South African Netflix compared to a total of 14,500 titles available in other Netflix regions combined.
With the Smart DNS solution you will be able to access all the American Netflix content which is over 5,000 titles.
The process we will outline below will enable you to make it appear as if you are accessing the service from within the US.
Once you do this then you’ll be able to stream Netflix from anywhere.
Now it’s going to get a little technical but if you follow the steps exactly it’s going to be a breeze.
Unblock American Netflix in South Africa: VPN or DNS?
To be able to unblock American Netflix in South Africa you need to make it look like you’re in the US and you do this by using either a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or a Smart DNS service provider.
The VPN route is the worst possible way to go. It’s super slow and ends up redirecting all your internet traffic through the VPN. Don’t do it!
First go on over to the Netflix website and sign up for their free trial.
Even though you’re signing up for an account on the South African Netflix we’ll be able to use that account to watch American Netflix once we’ve got our smart DNS set up.
If you’re running on less than a 4Mb line then it would probably be best to just choose the cheapest $7.99 per month package.
That being said, I manage just fine loading the HD content on a 4Mb line so if you’ve got a decent internet connection then sign up for the HD package.
Now go to Smart DNS Proxy and sign up for their free 14 day trial.
You don’t need to give them your credit card details, DNA samples or anything else besides your email address to access the free trial.
Once you get it up and running after the 14 days you can choose to continue to use their service or not.
We’re guessing you’re going to once you see how awesome it is to stream American Netflix and other media you never had access to.
Smart DNS Proxy have a few different payment options starting from $4.99 per month or you can save a few bucks by signing up for their annual or 24 month packages.
Their setup process is brilliant! They make it so easy that my mom could follow the instructions.
Once you’ve logged into your Smart DNS account then click on “How To Setup” at the top of the page.
Essentially they will be showing you how to set your DNS settings of your device to use their DNS servers.
For every router, operating system, smart TV or mobile device they’ve got step by step simple instructions to help you get set up.
You can either set your router up with the DNS settings so that all your devices (laptop, tablet, etc…) that connect via the router can access Netflix or you can set it up on a single device like your laptop.
You can set Smart DNS Proxy up on a router, television, PC, laptop, iPad or even a set top box like Roku. You simply choose your device from the list and they show you step by step how to set it up.
The easiest option is to just make the changes on your router instead of on each individual device. If the changes are made on your router then each device connecting via that router will be able to access American Netflix.
Once you’ve followed all the steps restart your device and go to Smart DNS and login again.
After you have made the network changes make sure you restart your device and then log in to your Smart DNS Proxy account and check for the four green ticks on the right of the “My Account” page indicating the status to see if you made the changes correctly.
If you see 4 green ticks like in the picture below then it means you have completed the setup successfully.
If you see that the third tick is red then just click on the “Activate” link next to it and restart your browser.
If your router powers down at some point or if your ISP renews your IP address then you’ll need to come back to this page to click on the “Activate” link again to make sure you get 4 green ticks.
If you have any trouble with this then use the support link on the Smart DNS website or drop us a mail and we’ll help you out.
So you’ve got Smart DNS up and running, what’s next?
Well now if you go to the Netflix website instead of seeing the content they make available in South Africa you will see the content that American Netflix users have access to.
This solution will also allow you to have Hulu South Africa even though they haven’t launched here yet.
How to Change Your Netflix Region
[ *** NOTE *** This function has been temporarily removed. We’re not sure when the region change option will be back up again but here’s how it worked before. Let’s hope they let us change regions again soon! ]
So while the American Netflix content is great there are a lot of shows that are region specific and aren’t available on the American Netflix.
This means that if you wanted to watch something like the Battlestar Galactica series or British comedies like Fawlty Towers you need to change your Netflix region the the UK.
This is easily done from your “Account” page on the Smart DNS website. Once you login to your account and click on the link that says “Regions” as shown below.
On the regions page you can now click on the dropdown list and select a different Netflix region. Smart DNS will soon have South Africa added to this list in case you wanted to see some of the local content they offer here.
Choose a country and click update. Now when you go to the Netflix website you will see the content available in that country.
This is great if you’re looking for German shows, Japanese Anime, etc… Just browsing through the offerings in Netflix Canada or Netflix UK will give you access to a lot of great shows and movies that definitely aren’t available in South Africa and often aren’t available even in the US.
You can access all these Netflix regions with your existing Netflix account.
There have been some issues with the region changing options so you might find that only the American regions are available to you.
I know that Smart DNS have been working on this and hopefully they manage to give everyone access to all the global Netflix options soon again.
There will be some shows and movies that are only available on the South African Netflix offering that do not appear on the American Netflix list.
Don’t worry, these will still be available to you. Simply go to the “My Account” page, click on “Regions” and click on the “Netflix Off” button.
Now restart your browser and once it’s open again load the Netflix page.
You should now see the Netflix South Africa list of programs and movies. When you want to watch American Netflix again you simply go back to the “Regions” page and click the “Netflix On” button, restart your browser and log back into Netflix. Done!
Ok, so this all sounds great but perhaps there are some things you’re still not quite clear on. So here are some answers to a few questions you might have:
Netflix South Africa – How much does it cost?
For the Smart DNS service and the Netflix subscription, you’re looking at around $13 per month. With the current exchange rate that comes to around R180 per month.
Of course, you need to add the cost of having an ADSL line and service provider but seeing as you’re reading this website I guess you’ve already got that sorted.
At any rate, it’s still a bargain compared to the other paid options currently available in South Africa.
Even if you decide to get internet access exclusively for the sake of Netflix you’re probably looking at around R700 for internet access, R180 for your Netflix subscription and about R50 per month for your Smart DNS subscription if you sign up for a year package with them.
Even with all of that considered it’s still a far better alternative DSTV. You get a lot more content, on demand.
The only thing you miss out on is the sports and there are other online options to get around that issue.
Using the Smart DNS solution gives you access to plenty of sports streaming in South Africa options.
What kind of ADSL connection do I need to stream American Netflix in South Africa?
A 2Mb line will be just fine but 4Mb is better. When you select a movie or program to watch you’ll see that it buffers for a while (probably around 20 seconds) and then starts playing.
You can set the quality of the picture up or down from within the Netflix player. Hold shift-alt and left click on the screen and then select a higher or lower rate.
If you’ve got a fast line then the higher quality picture will play just fine and the buffering will be a lot shorter.
With some of the updates that Netflix have made you may no longer have control over the resolution of the picture and it will set it automatically for you depending on the internet speed you are currently experiencing.
The maximum resolution that you will experience is also dependant on the Netflix package you signed up for.
The more expensive packages will allow for the full HD experience and it’s defintely wortht the extra bucks.
Netflix South Africa vs Hulu
If you’re comparing the Netflix South Africa offering to the Hulu content then this is a no brainer.
Hulu is way better. But, if you’re using the Smart DNS solution and have unblocked American Netflix then the answer is not so clear cut. Both companies offer a lot of new bingeworthy TV series.
Hulu has a lot more of the newer series that are syndicated on American cable channels while Netflix probably has a greater depth into some of the documentaries and classic series.
Both are really good though and it may be worth it to subscribe to both.
There’s a lot more out there that becomes available to you now that you’ve got your DNS server set up so sweetly.
You can access services like Hulu, Pandora, BBC iPlayer and so many more. Spotify South Africa has recently launched here yet but this solution even lets you get Spotify without the ads with a little tweak.
You can check out the “Services” page on the Smart DNS website for a full list of other unblocked options.
They have plenty of other streaming media options unblocked for you to use anywhere in the world. Some of our favorites are BBC iPlayer or some of the news channels like Al Jazeera. Of course, some of these are going to be paid services but a lot of them are free as well.
This tweak will also allow you to use your Roku box, if you have one, to access a lot more content than you could before.
We’re really happy to see that Netflix is finally available in South Africa but local users still don’t get access to the full Netflix experience because they miss out on so much of the content that is available on American Netflix.
Signing up with Smart DNS Proxy is the easiest and quickest way to unblock Netflix and be able to watch all of the content that the American users get access to.
It works with your current Netflix subscription so there’s no need to make any changes to your Netflix account. Simply sign up with Smart DNS, make the DNS changes on your router and you’re done.
So go get Smart DNS Proxy so that you can start streaming and watch American Netflix in South Africa.