Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to use virtual private networks (VPN) anymore in order to sneakily access the US version of Netflix – the holy grail of great TV and movie content that isn't really available on the Netflix service in your country?
Well, Netflix is well aware that everyone in the world loves the US version of the video streaming service, but geographical licensing agreements with movie studios and TV companies mean that it's difficult to let other countries have access to the same amount of content that the US enjoys – and that's if the service is even available in their country.
VPNs are subscription services where users anywhere in the world can connect to a private network on the internet. There are some free VPN services, but they don't offer a lot of bandwidth, such as Hola.
They are useful for increasing online privacy as they hide the user's actual location, tricking Netflix US into thinking that users are in the same country, so users just pay the US subscription fee and the VPN fee in order to watch what they like.
Luckily, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has an answer to help people access the service legally – make Netflix global.
"The VPN scenario is someone who wants to pay and can't quite pay. The basic solution is for Netflix to get global and have its content be the same all around the world so there's no incentive to [use a VPN]. Then we can work on the more important part which is piracy," Hastings told Gizmodo Australia.
In January, Netflix took action to block people from accessing the video streaming service over VPN. The service currently operates in 50 countries.
Australia, the "worst pirating nation"
At the moment, there are over 200,000 Australian households that are accessing Netflix's US offering using VPN services. In June 2014, Australia's Attorney General George Brandis called the country the "worst nation for piracy on the planet" because the country has less laws to protect copyright creators than other countries.
Next week, Netflix will officially launch down under, but the service is already entering a crowded market where it will be only one of several video streaming services.
Aware that so people are already using VPN to illegally watch Netflix in the country, Australian TV networks have already created their own video streaming services – Stan, by the Nine Network and Fairfax Media, and Presto by Foxtel and Seven.
"The VPN thing is a small little asterisk compared to piracy. Piracy is really the problem around the world," said Hastings.
"The key thing about piracy is that some fraction of it is because [users] couldn't get the content. That part we can fix. Some part of piracy however is because they just don't want to pay. That's a harder part. As an industry, we need to fix global content."