What a difference an IP address makes

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I took out a free month of NetFlix, and then decided to keep it on for a while. The first attraction was watching the first 3 series of “Warehouse 13” (the 4th series isn’t available yet), numerous films and the excellent “White Collar”. I then got heavily into “Breaking Bad”, and devoured it from beginning to end; and more recently, I enjoyed Hank Azaria in “Huff”. A short diversion was the very weird (but watchable) “The Booth At The End”.

All of this is being viewed on my TV, using the NetFlix app on my Wii; as YouView hasn’t got either NetFlix or LoveFilms yet.

However, this evening, I was browsing Netflix on my laptop, looking for my “next series to watch”, and was amazed by the amount of stuff there that wasn’t available on the Wii – things like “Eureka” and “Tin Man”. After puzzling for a while, I discovered it was because my laptop is currently in the USA.

Just after Christmas, I was trying to check something out – I can’t even remember what, but it had something to do with incidental music on a show. The item wasn’t easily available online in the UK, but was on Hulu in the US. A quick google and I installed a Firefox extension called Media Hint. I don’t know exactly what it does – it certainly doesn’t proxy normal traffic, as I have checked my IP address and it is correct. However when accessing certain sites, like Hulu and NetFlix, it spoofs the connection sufficiently for things to work.

Now I have realised what is happening, I have disabled Media Hint. I am aware that a lot of people are using NetFlix this way, and apparently without repercussions, and it is tempting to watch the tasty morsels available this way; but I have quite enough to watch (too much, if anything) on the UK service, and I don’t want to either take the mickey, or upset the nice people at NetFlix.

It occurs to me that somewhere there must be a log of my account connecting from the UK and the US during the same day. I wonder if they are monitoring this?

So with my laptop back in the UK, and my Wii fired up again, I launched into “Damages”. I really enjoyed this when the BBC showed it, but they chose not to carry series 4 or 5. Furthermore, although I remember some elements of series 3, I think I may have missed the end; so I have started from the beginning again.

That should keep me occupied for a couple of months, not forgetting that “House of Cards” starts in a couple of weeks.

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