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Unlimited movies on your iPad

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If you’re one of the growing band of new iPad owners, you’ve probably already noticed that watching movies on a dazzlingly sharp screen is one of the device’s great benefits. You may also have heard of Netflix, America’s number one online movierental service. It’s not available to South Africans, though. Or is it? Our appexpert, LAURENCE SEBERINI, explains how to install the app, subscribe to Netflix and enjoy unlimited movies for a modest monthly fee.

So you have a new iPad but eitherdon’t know how to import your movies onto it, or perhaps the iTunes pricing is a bit steep?Simply follow the steps below and you can watch unlimited content for a mere $14.99 a month – that is R108 a month. And I am not talking about a DSTV type service where you watch what they broadcast – I am talking about video on demand ‚ it’s like having an entire video shop on your iPad!

Simply go to iTunes, enter Netflix in the search window, and Install it on your iPad – the app is free. The first month’s use is also free and, thereafter, $7.99 a month.

You will then need to set up a VPN, or virtual private network, on your iPad. This is normally a business service for large companies, but you can have your own personal VPN too. Go to www.strongvpn.com and sign up for the $21 for 3 months service, which effectively is $7 per month. Aside from added security, it also enables your iPad to have an Internet address that allows it to appear to be located in the United States or Europe.

Once your account has been created, follow the instructions they e-mail you for your VPN account settings – you can use the set-up tutorial page here to guide you: http://strongvpn.com/vpn_iphone.shtml

Once your VPN is up and running, launch the Netflix app. Create an account and sign up. Now you are ready to go.

There are a few important provisos before you get going, though:

Firstly, it seems that you need to re-enter your password on your VPN every time you want to use it – so save it to notes on your iPad and then copy and paste it whenever you switch on your VPN account.

Secondly, although the cost of the content works out to $14.99 a month, you are still liable for the internet access costs. Therefore it is strongly advisable to use an uncapped ADSL account and not your 3G modem.

Finally, you might run into an error telling you that you cannot view the content from your location. If this happens, simply sign out of Netflix, go to the settings in your iPad and go to the Safari section. Clear history, cache and cookies. Then login to Netflix again and it should work. If you still struggle, contact the Strong VPN team – they are very helpful.

You can now watch all “instant”” movies on Netflix on your iPad or even on your TV if you have TV-out cables, which you can buy from an Apple store. The selection is huge and the content streams pretty quickly.

Make a bag of popcorn and enjoy!

* The publishers of Gadget stress that much of the advice above is not consistent with the terms and conditions of using the iTunes and Netflix services. Apple and Netflix have the right to cancel the account of anyone providing incorrect information. However, Gadget believes it is necessary to open the debate on the geographical limitations of such services. We welcome comment, criticism and suggestions on this matter.

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