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Netflix on Android and Chromecast in NZ

Netflix on Android and Chromecast in NZ

Difficulty Level: Advanced.

Just a small heads up that this process is a little complex so please read the entire process first to make sure you are capable of completing all steps.

The Problem:

The issue with using Netflix outside of the US is that the software checks your location and blocks the playing of content, to work around this you can use a proxy server, a VPN service or even some DNS solutions will allow you to get around this and play content from your PC or android device. Chromecast however is a little more tricky as it always uses the google DNS servers 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 and you cannot configure it to use a proxy or VPN. It would be possible to have your router always connected to a VPN service but this would mean all traffic would go via the states and also not many modems support this functionality.

Requirements:

  • A Netflix US account. To sign up use a free VPN or proxy service as the signup is also location locked. If you do not have an account yet you can signup after you have configured your modem in Part 2.
  • A free beta account from https://unlocator.com/
  • An android based phone or tablet, according to Google Play Android version 2.2 upwards is supported for the Netflix 3 app. If you are using iOS then you will need to figure out how to get the app onto your device yourself.
  • A router (modem) which supports dd-wrt firmware. Check http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/support/router-database to ensure your modem suits. My orcon modem didn’t so I had to add a second router to my network as an Access Point (AP mode) to use so this shows as a second wireless network at home. If your modem does not support the dd-wrt firmware then you may be lucky and there may be another method for your modem, check here.
  • A Google Chromecast Dongle

Process Part 1: The Netflix App

Lets start with the easy part first, getting the Netflix app. If you are in New Zealand you will not be able to install directly from google play as it is location locked so you need to download the APK file and install it manually.From your device either visit this site http://goo.gl/clUkzq or scan the QR code below and download the apk file. In order to install it you will need to allow ‘Unknown Sources’ to install apps, enable this in your phone settings under the ‘Security’ menu.

Netflix_QRPart 2: The Modem setup

As I mentioned earlier your router needs to support the dd-wrt firmware and you need to upgrade to this firmware. To do so go to the website (link above) and download the firmware for your exact router model and install it from the routers web administration console. Once this is done you need to configure the modem for your LAN again, then enable WIFI and WIFI security. Once that is done follow the guide here to configure your modem to use the Unlocator service. Once the modem is configured do a reboot of it then connect your Phone/Tablet to its WIFI and boot up your chromecast (they need to be configured to use DHCP). You will need to configure your chromecast to also use this WIFI, this can easily be done from your Android device too by installing this app.

Once you have all devices using your newly setup router you can launch Netflix on your Phone/Tablet and sending it to your Chromecast should work.

About Scott Thompson

29 comments

  1. Hey man.. trying to do this myself in NZ too..

    You reckon dd-wrt absolutely necessary? Can’t just use the DNS server addresses from unlocater plugged into your standard router setup?

    Cheers
    dan

  2. I understand why now – after looking around.. the google DNS is looked into the standard Chromecast firmware… need to get a dd-wrt compatible router or root the Chromecast wish I don’t really want to do.. Maybe try again soon!

  3. Exactly mate. Other option would be to install something like pfsense firewall in a virtual machine and use this as gateway, DNS and dhcp server as it supports dnsmasq also. that would be a free workaround if your modem doesn’t support dd-wrt.

  4. hello mate, i just bought a chrome cast here in the US to use it in NZ…does it work with you tube though?

  5. Thank you so much.
    I used unblockus and couldnt get netflix to chromecast but works perfect on tablet/phone. My skill is very low but I cracked this. My generic telecom router doant do dd-wrt thing so followed yoir link to unlocator site. Once again no generic telecom router but all signs pointed to make static route for 8.8.8.8 an 8.8.4.4. Did t h is and hey presto. Had to unplug then plug back in router for it to start. All seems good but would this have broken something else?

    Thanks

    • Great, glad it helped you. It shouldn’t really break anything, if your DNS request goes to unlocator and times out then you will need to log into your account and update your IP Address (modem will grab a new IP from your ISP each time it restarts unless you pay an extra $10 a month for a static IP). I have had a problem with android updates on my phone/tablet a few times but seems to come right if I update my IP then restart my phone. Enjoy!

  6. I have connected a Tp-link Tl-841n router and am using unlocator. Everthing is fine and I can get uk netflix and bbc iplayer on my tablet in France but it wont cast to the TV. As a novice networker I am a little worried about putting dd-wrt on the router. I am still not clear why you have to use dd-wrt. Can you explain in simple terms for a dimwit like me why it is necessary

    • When you put the unlocator settings into your modem the DNS settings are provided via DHCP to your clients on your LAN (pc, laptop, phone etc) which is why they will all work fine. However Chromecast ignores the DNS settings provided and still uses its own DNS servers 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.8.4 which is why you need to change the software on your modem to use dd-wrt or another firmware capable of forcing the traffic heading to google servers elsewhere (to unlocator). Changing the firmware on your modem is very easy, the only difficult part is putting back your ISP settings so make sure you have these first. You then download the firmware suited to your exact modem model and then through the modems web interface do a firmware upgrade by selecting the downloaded file (likely a .bin image file). Good luck.

  7. I only needed the Netflix Android app as my modem was setup for my PC and Sony Bluray and now my Samsung tablet works very well. I do appreciate your knowledge and effort. Great help thanks.

  8. Another solution if your router is not dd-wrt is to use the firewall function in your router.
    You would only need 2 rules (in my case)each to block DNS traffic destined for google DNS (8.8.8.8.& 8.8.4.4) , most new router gateways sold in the last 3 years should support firewall function rule to include or exclude certain traffic for ever leaving a local network. Either way router gateways should have some sort of basic firewall that can do this.

    On DNS change , very frustrating , using unblock us or any DNS trickery leaves you blocked from NZ GEO content , sky go, NZ on demand etc, best find a provider locally that does this for you and not block NZ content at the same time.

    • Blocking the traffic didn’t work for me, it needed to be redirected using the dns masquerading to the DNS provider. Personally I never watch any NZ TV on demand so have not tried that but these apps do not support chromecast so surely you are watching these from a web browser on your PC or on mobile device so you could easily manually specify the DNS used on these devices (there are many free DNS switching apps available if you need to switch on a regular basis). To make things even easier you could buy a second WIFI access point without the DNS masquerading and connect to that for local content and the other for international, would only cost $40 or so.

  9. ZoogTV (http://zoogtv.com) works perfect for my Android device. I have American Netflix and Pandora on it.

  10. Another option (if you can stomach it), Slingshot have global mode as standard on their broadband connections now, so it automatically masks your IP and allows you to access content.

    You still need a US Netflix account but negates the need for any other steps.

  11. Hi – Thought I would stop in here and tell a story. Took me about 40 minutes of stuffing around with router settings and read a bunch of conflicting settings upnp being enabled or disabled (TP-Link W8960N) and found that disabling it allowed the Chromecast to access my wifi.

    As for Netflix, I used the static router settings as mentioned previously and which are available via unotelly help. I am with Slingshot but do find that Google DNS lookup often blocks my PS3 Netflix and at first the Chromecast. After setting up static routes it was all go. Netflix streams to the cast from the PC, phone and tablet. No need for other extra add ons.

  12. Update: It seems that it is harder than I initially found to have Chromecast and Netflix working together. After a week or so of use it then continued to give and error. I just tried Unlocator trial and I have everything working again.

    • Glad you got it sorted, agree Chromecast can be a bit of a mission but in my mind it is well worth the effort. I have a chromecast in my lounge, one in my bedroom, and one connected to my home audio (for audio apps such as songza, infinitracks, 1.fm etc) with the speakers wired throughout the house.

  13. Thanks for the article Scott . Netflix app is great on Android. If live outside USA, you can use tools like UnoTelly to get Netflix on your Android.

  14. In case this helps someone – I have an Orcon genius, and went to Advanced Settings, applications and added routes for 8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4, 208.67.222.222 and 209.244.0.3 and pointed them to a rubbish gateway (an internal 192.168.1.221 address that does not exist internally) And that then blocked the access to Google DNs, and then my chromecast worked with netflix.

    • Mark ! I Need Help……..trying to get Chromecast to work with Orcon Genius HOW IS IT DONE?

      • Well you will need to follow this guide but instead of using the unlocator DNS IP Addresses use the Orcon ones. I tried this about a week ago and it didn’t work, however Orcon said they were having issues so I will try it again this weekend and report back for you.

        • Hi Scott

          I have an Orcon genius modem and would like to configure it to use my new chromecast dongle

          can anyone please advise me on the process.I will try marks method and see if that works

          Any other hints?

          Thanks

          • To be honest you really should just add another cheap wifi modem to your home LAN and install the custom firmware as I did. You can even find modems on trademe with the firmware already on. The orcon modem cannot do what is required and workarounds are not very reliable. Good luck.

          • Hi Scott

            I installed a wireless access point which has done the job. I cant get bbc iplayer to cast. It flashes up for a second and then disappears.

            I have also tried to install the netflix app on my android following your instructions and have not been able too. Do you have any suggestions.

            Chromecast is awesome. I made the right choice. Im just trying to fine tune everything now

          • Not too sure about BBC iPlayer as I don’t use it but suggest you make sure you have the latest version of the app and check your IP is based in USA. In order to get latest version of BBC and Netflix I recommend you install APK downloader from here: and then browse to the netplix app page on the play store using chrome browser on your phone, then share the page to the APK Downloader app, this will grab the APK file for install. Are you getting any errors during install? You may also need an APK installer app such as this to install the file you download:

  15. See this thread is still up to date. So my own update – after a bunch of different methods as mentioned above I am now finding that the updated app of Netflix fully blocks out on Chromecast. I am with Unotelly and everything works sweet over Chromecast for Pandora, Songza, Crunchy Roll, Crackle but now no Netflix. The Unotelly support now says that Chromecast is not supported due to its hardwired DNS settings and suggests the only way around it is using a DD-WRT router. So, I have one currently on its way and I will load DD-WRT on it to give it a go.

    • Yip you are on the right track. As I said in the article the locked DNS in the chromecast is the ssue and why you need a dd-wrt modem to use as described. Im sure this will work for you fine as mine is still working. I have now sapped back to using orcon for the dns settings in my dd-wrt and it still works fine so I cancelled my unlocator account. Cheers.

  16. Just got a chromecast here in ChCh.I really just want it for youtube but I can’t even get it to connect.Installed the app on my laptop,put the dongle into my amp.It shows up on the tv.At first it couldn’t find the chromecast,then it did but it says it can’t connect.Make sure it’s on and that I’m not on a vpn.Its on and I’m not on a vpn.Any ideas.Thanks

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