For Netflix users with an iPad you don't have to totally give up your Netflix account when you leave The USA. Netflix doesn't tell you this, but it's not totally true that you can't watch Netflix outside The US on iPad. They don't advertise it because they've got contracts and what-not, but there are some tools you can use to get access to your Netflix account anywhere in the world.
Netflix has over 20,000 movies in their instant-stream database, so it's a great boredom killing tool for anyone on the go. When I left The US last year to travel for a while, my iPad and my Netflix account were the most important things I took with me, second to my Passport and plane ticket, but still more important than underwear. The thing is, as any experience traveler knows, that traveling can get BORING after a couple weeks. The cure for boredom is watching Netflix outside The US on your iPad.
It may seem a bit weird to go traveling and make preparations to watch Netflix outside The US on your iPad. Lots of people go backpacking taking nothing but a Jack Kerouac book of poems, a moleskin notebook, and enough clothes for an entire month without washing, but this is a mistake. I won't go into the whole "what you should pack" talk now, but the point is that you're going to need some entertainment. You can't write on a train, and even less so on a bus. If you can manage reading without getting car sick great - but are you taking a bus from Paris to Berlin or Thailand to Cambodia? I don't know anyone that could contemplate Leaves of Grass on a Thai bus in the middle of the summer. Don't be such a hippie and bring your iPad instead.
The first step to be able to watch Netflix outside The US on iPad is of course, an updated and paid for Netflix account. Anything can go wrong with credit cards overseas, and although if you lose your credit card or it gets blocked, your Netflix account will be the least of your worries, why not prepare and make sure your account is up to day. It's just one less thing you've got to worry about.
The other thing you need to watch Netflix outside The US on iPad is called a VPN. This can be downloaded before you leave as well. There's no hardware to buy, and although a VPN doesn't really count as software, to the average iPad user, it's basically the same thing. Downloading takes about one minute and you can active the VPN by going into your General Settings area. The VPN company will provide you with a username, password, secret, and possible a server name, depending on the VPN service you choose. Once you've set up your account, you can turn the VPN on and off by pressing "on" or "off". Duh.
A VPN allows you to watch Netflix outside The US by changing your IP address. Because Netflix bases access to their Netflix Instant movies on IP address alone, no matter where you are in the world, if you've got an American IP address, you can stream video from their site. This means that even you're in the backwoods of Siberia, as long as you're signed into a VPN server in New York, Netflix thinks your iPad is in New York and will allow you to stream movies.
For iPad, a L2TP or PPTP VPN is required. Go with the L2TP because it will keep you connection more secure. This means that it will be less likely to drop the signal, and you will be safer in public Internet zones like hotels and airports. VPN's are actually commonly used as Internet privacy tools, so as an added bonus to being able to watch Netflix outside The US on your iPad, you can also protect yourself from unsavory characters who may be lurking in shadows on that cheap hostel in China.
So with an iPad, a Netflix account, and a VPN connection you're sure to avoid any travel boredom this year!
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