It’s been a little while since we last checked in with Netflix Instant, and in that intervening time, the streaming media giant has added so much quality television and film that we felt compelled to give our readers an update.
Of course, all any television fan can talk about these days is the return of Breaking Bad, which has begun airing the second half of their fifth and final season on AMC on Sunday nights. Netflix Instant can’t quite help you with that yet (though Vudu offers those episodes for a small fee, if there are any cord-cutters who can’t wait the months it’ll take for the new stuff to appear on Netflix Instant). That said, the first half of Breaking Bad‘s fifth season has only recently appeared on Netflix Instant, so if you’ve got some catching up to do, now’s the time to do it. Finish it by Sunday and you’ll only be one episode behind.
And if that isn’t enough to get you excited, Netflix Instant’s original programming is showing serious signs of life. Now that we’ve all burned through House of Cards, it’s time to get hyped about Orange Is the New Black, a funny, touching, and frequently creepy dramedy set in a women’s correctional facility. If you thought House of Cards was going to be the pinnacle of Netflix Instant’s original programming, we’re happy to tell you that you were wrong.
Use VPNs to Enjoy Netflix Instant From Anywhere
As we’ve pointed out time and again, Netflix Instant is not the same everywhere in the world (see Netflix in Ireland, Netflix in Brazil, Netflix in Asia or for example). Travel overseas on business or vacation and you might find your queue looking a whole lot different. In fact, there are some things that are available overseas that may even make you wish you lived in another country (mild exaggeration).
So if you want to ensure that you’re always able to connect with your instant queue, no matter what country you find yourself in, then you’ve got to take advantage of the things VPNs can do.
A VPN service, or Virtual Private Network service, is a subscription-based service that is designed to increase the online security of whoever uses it. When you log in to your VPN, all of your online information is then tunneled through encrypted servers located in the country of your choosing. This keeps your sensitive information (e-mails, credit card numbers) out of the hands of hackers or would-be identity thieves.
One of the particularly useful benefits of using a VPN is that it allows you to access geographically restricted material. Remember how we said that you get to pick the country in which your VPN server is located? Well, that means that if you want your computer to think it’s in the US, pick a US-based server. Want your computer to think it’s in the UK? Pick a UK-based server. We think you get the idea.
So this means that there’s no need to adjust to a different countries streaming options, no matter where you are. Popular VPNs include Overplay, HideMyAss VPN, Strong VPN, IPVanish VPN, and PrivateInternetAccess VPN. FlashRouters also offers a new VPN provider comparison list to help you find the VPN that best suits your needs.
Best New Streaming Releases on Netflix Instant
It’s been a couple of months since we’ve made one of these lists, so we’re going to be reaching back a bit further in Netflix’s release calender than usual. Let’s get to it…
Orange Is the New Black – As we mentioned above, the first season of this series has already set the bar for original programming on Netflix Instant. Within 13 episodes, the Orange Is the New Black universe feels thoroughly defined, rounded out with uniformly interesting characters, and worth getting lost in. Set in a Ladies prison, this sometimes dramatic, sometimes comedic but always interesting show is worth a month of Netflix alone.
Breaking Bad: Season Five (Pt. 1) – We probably don’t need to hard-sell this one, right? Given the astonishing amount of Netflix Instant binge-watching of Breaking Bad that already exists, we can safely say the word is out. So if you’re one of the few people who hasn’t done everything in their power to catch up before the second half of season five, we’ll keep it real simple. Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is better at crime than ever, and growing less and less concerned about the collateral damage that accrues in his wake. Unmissable.
Zodiac – A movie about obsession worthy of obsession, Zodiac focuses on the serial killer who terrorized Californians throughout the ’60s and ’70s, and the men (Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr.) who tried to track him down. Aside from featuring two of the most effectively chilling murder scenes ever captured on film, Zodiac is astonishingly meticulous, thought-provoking, and brilliantly acted, written, & directed. A personal favorite.
Do the Right Thing – Conventional wisdom has this as Spike Lee’s best movie, and we’re not about to argue with the conventional wisdom on this one. A sprawling, day-in-the-life story of racial tensions boiling over during a Brooklyn heat wave, it’s still easy to see how this movie provoked such intense reactions from all who saw it, just like the best movies do.
Shut Up and Play the Hits – If you’re familiar with LCD Soundsystem, then you’ll certainly want to watch this documentary, which chronicles their final show at Madison Square Garden, and their frontman (James Murphy)’s rationale behind ending the band while they were at the top of their game. If you’re not familiar with LCD Soundsystem, then we’re sorry you missed the chance to see them live, but you can still enjoy this movie.
Tabloid – Once again, Errol Morris’ fascination with the elusive nature of truth yields another mind-bending documentary. Tabloid tells the story of a former Miss Wyoming whose abduction of a Mormon missionary became a national news sensation.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit – Oh, we’re happy to see this one again. For sheer inventiveness, hilarity, and audacity, it’s almost impossible to beat Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Also, it’s the second Charles Fleischer movie on this list (Zodiac being the other).
Titanic – Say what you will about James Cameron screenwriting abilities (and we could say plenty), but the guy’s been given massive budgets for four decades now because all of that money shows up on the screen.
Miami Connection – Some people say watching so-bad-they’re-good movies is a waste of time when there are so many good movies out there to watch. We say those people haven’t seen Miami Connection. Rather than explain what makes this movie so watchable, we’ll just paste the plot here:
The year is 1987. Motorcycle ninjas tighten their grip on Florida’s narcotics trade, annihilating anyone who dares to move in on their turf. Martial arts rock band Dragon Sound has had enough and embarks on a wave of crime-crushing justice.
Need we say more?
The Expendables 2 – Hey, we’re children of the ’80s and ’90s, and it certainly seems like action movies have lost something that they had back then. Sylvester Stallone certainly agrees, which is why he’s once again collected all of the old, familiar faces (Lundgren! Willis! Norris! Van Damme! Schwarzenegger!) and made them trot out some of their old tricks.
The FlashRouters Difference
Aside from offering counsel on how to enjoy Netflix Instant from any corner of the globe, FlashRouters has a lot to offer in terms of improving your streaming experience.
Our routers are all flashed with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware, replacement firmwares that make already powerful routers faster, more stable, dependable, and more adaptable to your needs. Using a router flashed with DD-WRT or Tomato allows you to control the way your bandwidth is allocated, meaning that you can prioritize heavier tasks like streaming video or online gaming, making annoying freezes and stalls a thing of the past.
What’s more, our routers come with built-in VPN connectivity. So should you take the advice we laid out above and subscribe to a VPN, you won’t need to worry about installing the VPN software on your own, a tricky process that has bricked a few routers and broken a few hearts in its time. Actually, if you buy one of our routers and hold on to your old one, you can use our popular dual-router set-up, which allows you to switch back and forth between your VPN connection and your local connection as quickly as you can think about doing it.
Some of the best routers we offer for flawless streaming include the always popular Cisco Linksys E4200 DD-WRT FlashRouter (which also comes in Tomato flavor), the one that always tops our best-sellers lists. If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, there’s always the dependably excellent Cisco Linksys E1200 DD-WRT FlashRouter. But if you want to be assured that your router is so powerful that it will crush any potential streaming issues, then you have to go with the Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight Tomato FlashRouter.
And, of course, your Netflix Instant streaming experience won’t be complete unless you have a Roku or Apple TV, both of which we happily provide in our media device store. Head on over there and make your streaming experience complete!
For more popular streaming movies & TV updates, unblocking geo-restricted content, DD-WRT/Tomato VPN Router deals & VPN Service Provider info, follow us on Twitter @flashrouters or like us on Facebook.