A simple and cheap VPN with the emphasis on media streaming – though be warned, you may not get all the services you’re hoping for
- Minimal performance impact
- No guarantee of getting streaming sites you want
- Fiddly to install
While most VPNs focus on privacy and security, Getflix unashamedly targets those wanting to watch region-restricted streaming services.
It’s an appealing pitch. Most general-purpose VPNs have simply accepted Netflix’s region-blocking measures. But since Getflix openly advertises itself as a way to watch streaming media from other countries, you can feel a bit more confident that they’ll be working to keep that side of things working.
The basic Getflix streaming service doesn’t actually use a conventional VPN. Rather, it operates a network of smart DNS servers across 20 countries, which forward requests for specific sites – such as Netflix and Hulu – to the US, or your country of choice, to make it look like you’re located there.
READ NEXT: Our roundup of the best VPN services
This means that no client app is needed: to get set up, you simply configure your PC (or router, or other device) to use your nearest Getflix DNS server instead of your ISP’s default. This can be fiddly, but the instructions on the website guide you through the process. With this done, you’re good to go, with none of the performance impact that you’d normally expect from a VPN.
After making the change ourselves, we had no problem accessing Amazon Instant Video, Hulu and other US services. Unfortunately – rather embarrassingly – Netflix itself didn’t work. Getflix isn’t complacent about this: as the website reveals, it’s constantly battling to keep Netflix US accessible. Unfortunately, what you’ll see in practice is a service that comes and goes unpredictably.
To be fair, there’s more to Getflix than DNS spoofing. Your subscription also includes a full VPN service, with servers in 40 countries, many of which allow unlimited, unthrottled peer-to-peer networking. Unusually, as with the Smart DNS service, there’s no client to configure: instead you use your device’s built-in VPN capabilities, pasting in the address of your preferred server from the Getflix website.
Getflix’s VPN servers support PPTP, L2TP, SSTP and OpenVPN, so they’re compatible with pretty much every OS and device imaginable, and you can use up to three devices at once. However, you don’t get advanced features such as a customisable whitelist of sites that should go over your regular internet connection, and hopping between servers can be a pain.
Happily, we found VPN performance was pretty impressive. Routing our traffic via Getflix’s New York exit node slowed our download speeds to 11Mbits/sec, down from an average of 13.3Mbits/sec via our UK ISP.
Overall, we like the idea of a VPN that focuses on streaming, but if you’re thinking of subscribing to Getflix, you should definitely go in with open eyes. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get Netflix US, and no cute and friendly front-end like you’ll get with CyberGhost or TunnelBear.
Even so, for basic VPN duties Getflix isn’t a bad choice. It’s headquartered in Turkey, so it’s unlikely that your personal information will be shared with the UK authorities. And the price is very competitive, starting at $4 per month (around £3.20), dropping to $33 (around £26) for a full year, or $57 (around £45) for two years. Think of it as a low-cost VPN, with streaming services as a bonus, and it’s not a bad deal at all.