Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Netflix is coming, but is your bandwidth good enough?

Netflix is coming, but is your bandwidth good enough?

In the US, Netflix is one of the largest players in the online streaming video space, offering a catalog of thousands of movies and TV series for a low monthly fee. So low, in fact, that a number of Australian users have already started availing themselves of Netflix’s services via VPN or DNS redirection to make it seem as though their connections are actually in the US and thus eligible for Netflix services.

Come March 2015, and those same users will, in theory, be able to drop their VPN, as after months of speculation, dropped hints from other players and some reaction moves from other streaming players such as Quickflix and Foxtel, Netflix has finally announced that it’ll launch Netflix down under next year. Using a VPN or DNS always involves some kind of speed hit, because your traffic has to go through a proxy server in order to appear to be in the appropriate location you’re spoofing — or to hide your location if that’s your VPN purpose.

Figures as to Australian Netflix account users vary quite wildly. CHOICE recently surveyed and suggested it could be as many as 340,000 accounts already in Australia. That leaves a lot of potential customers for Netflix to snaffle up, but it seems less likely that the existing customer base will simply jump over to Netflix Australia, and that’s for one simple reason. While Netflix hasn’t made any wide scale announcements regarding its Australian streaming video catalog, the reality is that it’s unlikely to have anywhere near its US catalog size to draw from. That’s because there are already existing players such as Foxtel, Quickflix, and another new competitor streaming service being run jointly by Channel 9 and Fairfax called “Stan” that are also locking down exclusive rights to program. As an example, while Stan has yet to launch in Australia, it’s already hyping up the exclusive for Breaking Bad and its new spinoff, Better Call Saul. Foxtel is clearly the big dog in this particular fight, and it’s even feasible (although not yet confirmed) that some series that Netflix developed itself, House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black may in fact be Foxtel exclusives in Australia due to deals already cut with Netflix US before they decided to launch here.

There are other issues for a streaming-only service such as Netflix in Australia, however. Whereas Foxtel offers its services as net streaming and via cable/satellite, Netflix is entirely reliant on the quality of your broadband connection, and Australian connections, on the whole, are generally poor. That’s a particular concern for Netflix because when it launches, it’s hyping that it’ll offer some 4K TV content as well as Full HD, where its competitors are at Full HD at best. 4K content can look spectacular, but it uses a lot of data along the way. Around 18GB for an hour of content, which on the limited cap plans many Australians have could just be a little rich. That’s presuming you’ve got a wide enough data pipe to manage 4K in the first place, with Netflix’s own estimates suggesting a 25Mbps connection as ideal. Given that Australian average figures suggest a connection speed of just 15Mbps, that might be unachievable for many.

What’s undeniable is that streaming TV is rapidly expanding in Australia, whether we all opt to stream via Netflix, view via YouTube or relax in front of iView. There’s a lot of competition, and a lot of choices — and we’re all going to need more bandwidth!


Recent News

I’ve not had a standard landline in my home for quite some time now. Partly that was because I very much did switch over to using my smartphone a great deal more over time. Mostly, however, it was because getting rid of it was one of the simplest ways to cut off those interminable “support

Social media can be a huge force for change, and in these times where many of us are bouncing in and out of lockdowns, also a vital lifeline for communication on everything from important matters to the wildly trivial. We’re all allowed our personal obsessions, after all. However, many of us don’t think about the

Microsoft recently released its first public-facing beta version of the Windows 11 operating system that it will ship later this year. You’ve got to be signed up to its Windows Insider program to get it – and be willing to accept a little risk in terms of unstable operating systems – but then this is

Telstra recently announced that its 5G coverage for its mobile phone network covers around 75% of the Australian population. It’s also announced the “longest” (as in range) 5G phone call in the world, spanning some 113km in Gippsland. Meanwhile, rival telco Optus has claimed that it’s hit 300mbps upstream on trials of its emerging mmWave

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Learn about the precautions we are taking and our new contactless pick-up and remote service options. Read More
Get help setting up your home office or homework area today. Learn More