How to unblock Netflix on IndiHome?
To gain seamless access to Netflix in Indonesia, just do the following:
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. In this Guide we explain:
How to use a VPN to get around the IndiHome Netflix block;
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.
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.
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:
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).
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 August 2020), several of ExpressVPN’s Indonesia-based servers are allowing access. The other relevant section is:
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.
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.
Besides VPN services, there are also other ways in which IP addresses can be obscured. Other common methods include proxy servers and the use of the Tor browser. In our experience, however, proxy servers tend to provide unreliable access to Netflix (due to the banning of IP addresses), and Tor tends to be too slow for a streaming service such as Netflix.
To unblock Netflix as an IndiHome customer, we recommend:
1. Choose a high-quality VPN service such as ExpressVPN;
2. Download the VPN onto your computer or device, and consider adding a browser extension;
3. Once the VPN application is opened, choose a server based in Indonesia, and connect to it. The VPN will create an ‘encryption tunnel’ between your real-time location in Indonesia and a new visible IP also located in Indonesia.
4. Go to Netflix, login, and enjoy Netflix’s excellent Indonesian content. Note, if you have not signed up for a Netflix account, you will need to do so before watching anything.