family movie night

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Netflix recommendations are alright for the most part. But sometimes you might be looking for something more specific. Well, at least more specific than “TV comedies”, “Feel-good movies”, or whatever vague categories are plastered over the Netflix homepage.

Luckily, you can find movies using the hidden Netflix codes posted at ExpatTech. Simply follow the link for dozens of codes spanning a myriad of categories. For instance, you can find codes for kid movies of specific age groups (e.g. movies for ages 2 to 4, 5 to 7, 11 to 12, and so on).

They make it much easier to find movies or TV shows that fit a certain mood, theme, or something for the whole family (that won’t bore mom and dad). Of course, if you’re still itching to watch something after the kids are asleep, there are plenty of action movies, thrillers, dramas, epics, and other genres to pass the time.

Want even more content than what’s already available? Read on for the details.

Get More Out of Your Netflix Subscription

No matter how large your country’s Netflix library is, there will always be a few classics that are only available somewhere else. Say, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or The Office, both of which only stream on Netflix UK. Or Taken, available on Netflix solely in France and the Netherlands. Then there are shows like Arrow that are incomplete in several countries due to weird licensing issues.

The only reliable way to avoid pesky geo-restrictions like this is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). By changing your IP address, VPNs let you cross virtual borders and see what content is available abroad. All you need to do is sign up, download and run the provider’s app, pick a country, and refresh the Netflix page. There you have it; you can now access previously hidden content.

And with a decent enough provider, you can unblock region-specific streaming sites like Hulu or BBC iPlayer as well.

How Else Are VPNs Useful for Streaming?

VPNs also help you avoid bandwidth throttling by your Internet provider. If you haven’t heard, ISPs now slow down your streaming speeds regardless of whether the network is congested or not. Each provider seems to focus their attention on different services (e.g. AT&T throttling Netflix but not Amazon Prime Video).

However, VPNs prevent throttling by encrypting your network traffic – scramble it so it can’t be read by outsiders, essentially. And yes, that includes hackers and your Internet provider. Pretty neat bonus if you’ve noticed Netflix starts buffering like crazy after a while.

Do note that you can’t prevent throttling caused by going over your monthly data cap. Otherwise, everyone would be using VPNs for cheap, unlimited Internet.

Are Free VPNs Good Enough for Netflix?

Sadly, no. Netflix and other streaming services are contractually obligated to geo-restrict content according to the wishes of the studios they license from. As a result, Netflix bans VPN traffic, with free providers being the most affected of the bunch.

Premium VPNs manage to stay one step ahead by constantly acquiring new servers and renewing their server IP addresses to get around filters. Even if you find a free VPN that works with Netflix, you won’t see much in the way of performance. Data caps, slow speeds, bandwidth throttling, overcrowded servers – not exactly the best combination for streaming.

All this is disregarding the many security issues of free VPNs, such as potential malware infections, leaking your data or selling it off to shady third parties, or hijacking your device into a botnet. At that point, you’re better off sticking with the default Netflix library in your region.

 (guest article)

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