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How To Unblock and Watch Netflix On IndiHome in Indonesia

Updated: 25 June 2021
Updated: 25 June 2021

Justin Oyaro

Fact-checked by

Some Netflix content is currently blocked and unavailable on the IndiHome network in Indonesia.

However, it is possible to circumvent this block by changing your IP address to that of another country.

The simplest and most efficient way to do this is using a VPN.

We recommend the VPN method because of the fast streaming speeds (which you will be needing!).

ExpressVPN currently works best with unblocking Netflix on the IndiHome network.

You can read more about ExpressVPN here: ExpressVPN review
You can read more about how VPNs work and what they do here: VPN Guide

This is what you need to do step-by-step:

  • Get ExpressVPN from the official website
  • Install the program
  • Connect to a suitable VPN server outside of Indonesia
  • Access Netflix unrestricted

This should be all, really.

Article Summary
In this guide, we explain a problem that affects many people based in Indonesia who wish to watch Netflix: The blocking (what some call ‘banning’) of Netflix from the IndiHome network.

  • The problem for accessing Netflix from the IndiHome network;
  • Why this block is not a ban, nor government censorship
  • How to use a VPN and other methods to get around the IndiHome Netflix block
  • Despite claims to the contrary, why this is not a breach of the Netflix terms of service;
  • That not all IP replacement services are likely to work to get around the block;
  • How to use a premium VPN, ExpressVPN to get around the block.

How to Unblock Netflix on the IndiHome Network

Why Can’t You Access Netflix from the IndiHome Network?

In some corners of the internet, people state that Netflix is blocked or banned in Indonesia. This is categorically false. Only four countries or territories in the world are currently blocked from accessing Netflix: Those countries are China, Crimea, North Korea, and Syria.

As one of the most heavily populated countries in the world, it would be incredible for Netflix not to be available in Indonesia. Netflix has actually, in fact, pumped a significant amount of capital into developing Netflix content for Indonesia, including training Indonesian scriptwriters in the United States.

So, what exactly is the problem? The problem is that through its cellular provider Telkomsel and internet service provider (ISP) IndiHome, Indonesia’s state-owned Telkom group has blocked access to Netflix from all its internet protocol (IP) addresses. This group constitutes the biggest internet provider in Indonesia.

Telkom’s rationale for the blocking is that Netflix has not complied with a request to remove “problematic content” within 24 hours. This is intended to cover sensitive content such as nudity and violence: While Indonesia is a secular country, it is a Muslim-majority state with a generally conservative approach to content.

A Form of Censorship? Or Maybe Not?

Commenting on the block that has been in place since 2016, Emma Sri Martini, president director of the Telkomsel mobile operator company, stated last year: “The block on Netflix is under consideration, it’s still being blocked because of concerns about regulation.” During the same interview, she stated that “We have [regulations] on pornography and SARA [tribal affiliations, religion, race, and societal groups]. Meanwhile, [Netflix] uses United States regulations as a point of reference, which are more open.”

To clarify, the decision to block Netflix is a decision of Telkom (and its subsidiaries IndiHome and Telkomsel), NOT censorship from the Indonesian Government, nor is it an act of Netflix. There have been no warnings from the government about Netflix’s content, nor have there been any complaints that have been publicly reported.

To emphasize the point, Netflix is still available in Indonesia via the services of other ISPs.

There is a looming dispute between Netflix and the Indonesian government over Netflix’s non-payment of tax in Indonesia. As Netflix bases its Asia-Pacific operations in Singapore, it does not have a taxable base in Indonesia despite making approximately $77 million in revenue there over the past year. In response, the Government has developed a new ‘digital transactions’ tax to combat this kind of conduct. There is no reason to think, thus far that this dispute is connected to the Telkom decision to restrict Netflix.

How to Use a VPN to Get Around the Netflix Block?

If you still wish to stay with a Telkom internet provider, what might you do to reliably access Netflix? There’s a solution to the Netflix block – VPNs. Short for Virtual Private Networks, these programs allow you to use Netflix from anywhere in the world via a private server. This is how VPNs work:

  • You install a VPN service on your computer, device, or router;
  • You connect to a VPN server from your computer, device, or router;
  • This server creates an encrypted and private tunnel covering your internet traffic;
  • Your IP address gets replaced with another one, with the precise address depending on the country that you choose for your IP location;
  • Finally, your internet traffic will appear to originate from that IP address.
  • Through this mechanism, you can mask the location where you are accessing Netflix, from your ISP.

The best VPN services also have special functions that hide the VPN’s presence, so your ISP or other systems don’t detect you’re using one. Remember, once again, not only is it perfectly legal to access Netflix in Indonesia, there are no laws against using a VPN there either (though there are in some other countries).

Further VPN guides we recommend you to check out:

But Isn’t This a Breach of Netflix Terms of Service?

The answer is no. – There are two relevant clauses in the Netflix Terms of Service (‘ToS’) which relate to this point. The first:

“You may view Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such content. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location and will change from time to time (ToS 4.3).”

This means that it may be a breach of the Netflix ToS to use a VPN from outside Indonesia to access its Indonesian content. But through premium VPN services such as ExpressVPN you can select an Indonesia-based server for your IP address, in full compliance with the ToS. We have just checked (as of June 2021), several of ExpressVPN’s Indonesia-based servers are allowing access. The other relevant section is:

You also agree not to circumvent, remove, alter, deactivate, degrade or thwart any of the content protections in the Netflix service; use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Netflix service… We may terminate or restrict your use of our service if you violate these Terms of Use or are engaged in illegal or fraudulent use of the service (ToS 4.6).

Would using a VPN be an attempt to circumvent content protections under this section? Arguably, it would not. Netflix is perfectly legal in Indonesia and has purchased the rights to screen all its content there. Therefore, attempting to access Indonesian content, in Indonesia, even via a VPN, is not an attempt to circumvent content protection.

Does this mean any old VPN would work?

Even though it is not, in itself, a breach of the Netflix ToS to access the site using a VPN, Netflix has a policy of screening for, and blocking VPNs attempting to access its site. Netflix does this as it cannot verify the location of any user using a VPN.

This means that not all VPNs will help you unblock Netflix in Indonesia. Free VPN services exist, but aside from their poor security and data protection protocols, they tend to only have a few servers in each country and the IP addresses of those servers tend to get swiftly banned, without a ready replacement.

By contrast premium, high-quality like ExpressVPN tend to be very reliable at providing access to Indonesian Netflix. If one of the IP addresses is blocked by Netflix, it is usually quickly replaced by the service to allow you continued access.

Additional use cases for VPNs:

Unblocking Netflix on IndiHome using Smart DNS service

A domain name system (DNS) maps domain names into their IP addresses. A DNS server is responsible for servicing your DNS queries when you access resources on the internet. Most times, this role is handled by your ISP (IndiHome). IndiHome also assigns you the DNS address to use.

Changing your DNS may help you bypass the IndiHome Netflix restriction. The best way to change your DNS is to use a Smart DNS provider. Smart DNS redirects your queries through its servers.

Hence, the Smart DNS provider will service your queries instead of your ISP. This way, you will bypass the restriction and thus stream Netflix. This is possible since the Smart DNS doesn’t change your IP address.

How can you get the service/choose a provider?

You can get a Smart DNS through various providers. This includes VPNs such as NordVPN and Express VPN. You can also get it through providers such as Unlocator and Unblock US.

To choose a provider, look at the list of services it unblocks and the location of its servers. Also, premium providers are recommendable. Their Smart DNS addresses have a higher success rate than those from free providers.

Comparing Smart DNS with other methods

  • A Smart DNS will change your DNS address, but a VPN hides your IP address.
  • A Smart DNS does not offer encryption to your internet traffic, while a VPN encrypts your data and traffic.
  • Smart DNS is faster than both the VPN and Proxy servers since it has no encryption and the servers are located in proximity to the content location.
  • A Smart DNS cannot bypass the firewalls enforced by Indi home while VPNs can.

Advantages of Smart DNS

  • Compatible with most devices.
  • Affordable compared to VPNs.
  • Faster speeds for seamless streaming.

Disadvantages of Smart DNS

  • Lacks encryption.
  • It does not bypass firewalls.
  • It does not work if ISP uses a transparent DNS proxy.

Unblocking Netflix on IndiHome Using Proxy Servers

Proxy servers act like intermediaries that handle your internet queries and browsing needs. They receive your requests and forward them to the websites you want to access.

In the same manner, they receive feedback from these sites and forward it to you. These sites will only see the IP addresses of these servers. Therefore, your actual IP address, which is restricted by Indi home ISP, will not be visible, hence bypassing the Netflix restriction.

The proxy server you’re using has to be based in another region that can access Netflix. Although there are many types of proxies, HTTPS is the most suitable for this task.

Comparison with other methods

  • Proxy servers are slower than the smart DNS but faster than VPNs
  • Proxy servers log your activities while most VPNs don’t.
  • Proxy servers offer weak or no encryption, similar to Smart DNS. VPNs offer impeccable encryptions.
  • VPNs and Smart DNS are more compatible with most devices as compared to proxy servers.

Advantages of using a proxy server

  • Reduced load times.
  • Bypasses geo-restrictions.
  • May protect against malicious websites.

Disadvantages of using a proxy server

  • Unreliable.
  • Log your internet activities.
  • Incompatible with some devices.

Recommended method

VPNs are the most recommendable option. They guarantee increased encryption and privacy, which are the most important when surfing the internet.

Wrap Up

Although recent negotiations led to partial unblocking, IndiHome continues to restrict access to some Netflix content.

Whether you decide to use the VPNs, Smart DNS solutions or go for the proxy, the restrictions by Indi home should not stop you from enjoying your favorite Netflix shows.

FAQ

Is it legal to access Netflix in Indonesia?

Yes, no laws are prohibiting you from watching Netflix content. Likewise, Netflix has also purchased rights to screen in Indonesia through other ISPs. IndiHome still blocks Netflix content.

Why does IndiHome block Netflix in Indonesia?

Telkom Company, the owner of IndiHome, has cited a violation of local regulations concerning the type of content to be displayed within Indonesia. The government has, however, not imposed any restrictions, nor have complaints been raised.

Can I access other Netflix catalogs in Indonesia?

Yes. Using the above methods, you can access various Netflix catalogs. For instance, when using a reputable VPN, you can access catalogs based on geo-location. You have to change the server and clear your browser or Netflix app cache.

Do free VPNs unblock Netflix on IndiHome?

Using free VPNs for Netflix is not recommendable. They offer unlimited bandwidth with data caps, some log your activities, and some may steal your data. For a seamless streaming experience, use premium VPNs, Smart DNS, or proxy servers.

Written by: Stephen Mash

Connect with the author:

Software and Systems Assurance Specialist Based in West Sussex, England, Stephen has worked as an information security and safety assurance consultant since 1997, specialising in risk management for high integrity systems. Prior to that, he developed safety-critical software-based systems for the aerospace industry. He transitioned from consultancy into the role of technical copywriter and editor in 2019, writing and reviewing materials on behalf of a broad spectrum of clients.

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