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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I don't actively think about things that might be useful information to post for others (maybe I should!), but occasionally my brain lights up.

For those of us here in NZ, we might miss streaming content from our home country, or not be able to play newsclips, etc, due to geographical restrictions. And, god knows, we get the last of everything here when it comes to movies and shows being released.

To navigate around this geographical restriction, my household invested in a VPN (google it if you don't know what it is). It allows us to "hide" our NZ IP address, and choose one from whatever country we like. That "new" address is identified as our local IP address, thereby allowing previously geo restricted content to be played. We did this primarily to access Netflix (we use an account my US family uses). We already have a decent broadband allotment used for skype, etc., so the streaming feature doesn't cost any extra (unless we started streaming constantly).

The VPN also allows me to access other US websites that wouldn't open (overstock.com), and allows me to view video and newsclips previously denied. We found that if we stayed on the VPN while movies were streaming, the download stream would often pause, lag, or have to reload constantly. What works for us is starting the stream while connected to a US VPN, and once the streaming content has started playing, disconnect the VPN and the stream continues uninterrupted.

The other advantage to navigating websites using this method is that the website does not see that you are in NZ to automatically change its pricing to NZD. If you do a decent amount of online shopping, you'll have seen the enormous change in price that can happen between something listed in USD and something listed in NZD. If you've kept a bank account open in your native country and use it to shop and ship here with, this could be very useful.

Anyway, just a share of something else that has made being in NZ, less "backwards and behind" than some other people seem to have experienced.

Cheers,

Kim
 

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VPNs are too slow which is why your video keeps buffering. Try out an unblocking service instead as then the speed is only limited by your internet connection and the server you are trying to access, much better than a VPN.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
VPNs are too slow which is why your video keeps buffering. Try out an unblocking service instead as then the speed is only limited by your internet connection and the server you are trying to access, much better than a VPN.
Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out!

Since we figured out that the streaming really only requires it ID'ing our IP address one time as 'inside the US' and we simply disconnect it once it streams, there have been no issues. We did pay a small fee for the VPN, but if I can find something just as good for less, that's even better!
 

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Kimbella, you had mentioned before you use your American bank account to purchase items online. Do you ship the item directly to your ChCh address, or do you have to send it to family in the states and have them ship it to you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Kimbella, you had mentioned before you use your American bank account to purchase items online. Do you ship the item directly to your ChCh address, or do you have to send it to family in the states and have them ship it to you?
I have done both...single order items that are small-ish get shipped here directly (books, CD's, etc), but about three times a year I order a large stash of stuff and have my family ship it (usually about $60-$100 to ship depending on size of box). Right now I have a box in the US that is waiting for the last item before they ship it. There is about $400 USD worth of items in it, it will cost $60 to ship, and buying just one of the items overseas saved me $150 (jet ski cover: $199 here on TradeMe for a super cheapie, $46USD for a much better quality one on Amazon). Even accounting for the shipping cost, I'm still ahead almost $100. I do look at how I do things in terms of value for dollar, as you might have noticed from previous posts. I'm pretty certain that it is part of my success in transitioning here. Others who maybe don't think like that automatically may have more trouble streamlining the cost of living here into a rhythm they are happy and satisfied with. And, planning ahead can definitely make all the difference between a successful move and one that is a complete money-burning disaster!
 

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Kimbella, you had mentioned before you use your American bank account to purchase items online. Do you ship the item directly to your ChCh address, or do you have to send it to family in the states and have them ship it to you?
Look up YouPost | New Zealand Post - you're given an address in the US where goods can be sent, then you pay the NZ postage to get it sent to you.
It's run by NZ Post so is very safe and reliable. We use it all the time for those things where they either won't send outside the US, or put a silly price on the postage.
 

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I purchased a VPN for my in laws. As well as hooked them up with my Netflix account.
They are happily watching the thousands of programs normally unavailable in NZ. For free :)
 

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I agree

I was enlightened about Unblockus.com from this forum and have never looked back. ITV in the UK has a few quirks and a lot of adverts. Tip, if you want to watch ITV use Scottish TV "player.stv.tv" and when asked about your postcode use any Scottish one.


If on slingshot and it does not work, do a search on the Unblockus forum about getting rid of the cache.

I also agree with Topcat about Youpost, a brilliant service, they also do the same for the UK.

The world has got smaller.
 

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Generally speaking, under $400 you are fine.
Just remember that the shipping cost is included. So, if you buy items worth $320 and it costs $100 to ship the total being assessed is $420.

On high value items where the goods here are a terrible price even paying GST can be worth it. I had a tent sent in from the US. Landed, including postage and GST, plus all the processing fees, was still $500 less than if I bought it in NZ. Just do the sums when you order and you won't be in for any nasty surprises.
 

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VPNs are too slow which is why your video keeps buffering. Try out an unblocking service instead as then the speed is only limited by your internet connection and the server you are trying to access, much better than a VPN.
That's a fairly sweeping statement - and incorrect. We've been using VPNs for years and any slowdown tends to be at our end. My business, for the last nearly 40 years, has been comms - for the last 25, internet comms. Your 'unblocking service' IS a VPN, but with a proxy added on.

If you have a decent (i.e. paid, reputable, reliable, reviewed) service, you shouldn't have any issues due to a VPN.

Try some of the better-rated ones with decent servers and a lot of bandwidth and you should have no problems at all.
 
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