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Local startup Break Portal lets you watch Netflix in HD

By Koh Wanzi - on 5 May 2015, 4:58pm

Local startup Break Portal lets you watch Netflix in HD

Anyone who’s even remotely acquainted with shows like The Walking Dead will have at least heard of the wonder that is Netflix. It’s basically an online movie and TV series archive that lets you watch a vast array of movies and TV serials whenever you want and from any device. Think you want to catch up on Season 6 of Supernatural? Netflix has it (Supernatural is already in its tenth season).

Unfortunately for those of us living in this part of the world, we can’t access Netflix and other similar services because they’re often locked to specific regions. If we wanted to, we’d have to sign up for a paid Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, which, while simple, still requires a small bit of tinkering with the settings.

Local startup Break Portal promises to change all this with its new Dome (Dynamic Home) DNS routing service, the first of its kind in Singapore. Break Portal Dome allows users to circumvent content restrictions due to geographical location blocking and access sites like Netflix and Hulu via Break Portal’s global servers.

Break Portal Dome allows users to access the vast online libraries of services like Netflix.

How it Works

Compared to regular VPN services, Break Portal is even simpler to setup and use. It’s also cheaper than many VPN services at just S$4.99 a month. We had the opportunity to test the service out, and from what we saw, even the least tech-savvy users should have no problem getting it up and running. You'll need to sign up in order to access the links to download Dome for Windows or Mac (they show up right after logging in), but Break Portal is offering a one-week trial for just S$1, so you may want to sign up here to try the service out for yourself.

After logging in, you'll be taken to a page from which you can download Dome for Windows or Macs, complete with a detailed setup guide.

After downloading Dome, you can go on to launch the QuickSetDNS executable file. To activate the service, simply click on ‘BreakPortal Asia Pacific’ and hit the green button at the top left corner. You’ll be prompted to enter your username and password when attempting to access sites like Netflix – just key in your Break Portal access credentials and you’ll be good to go.

You can activate Break Portal Dome by clicking on 'BreakPortal Asia Pacific', followed by the green button in the top left.

And that's really all there is to it. To deactivate the service, just select one of the other two options and click the green button again. According to founder Calvin Lim, the global landscape for PayTV is changing and there are now a lot more choices for discerning global audiences. Viewers in Singapore are also moving towards on-demand TV as opposed to older linear program schedules. Other than Netflix and Hulu, Break Portal counts among its list of supported sites names like HBO Now, Pandora and Dramafever, and a more comprehensive list can be found here.

Is it Better?

One advantage that Break Portal Dome has over existing VPN services is the lack of a speed penalty. The VPN protocol encrypts your session and tunnels you from one location to another, and your connection speed suffers because of this encryption process. On the other hand, Break Portal Dome allows you to access geo-blocked websites by telling the host through Break Portal’s network of servers that you are from, say, the US, instead of revealing your IP address. You’ll be able to consistently access HD videos, as long as your connection speed allows for it.

And unlike its VPN counterpart, Break Portal Dome also allows users to access websites from multiple locations in the same browser. If you wanted to connect to HBO Now and BBC, you'd have to manually connect to VPNs in the US and UK respectively. But with Break Portal, you can access both websites from the same browser without additional configurations.

However, one edge that VPN retains is the ability to work on mobile devices that are connected via 3G/4G cellular networks, so commuters will probably still favor using a VPN service. But if you mainly find yourself watching movies at home or on your mobile devices when you have a Wi-Fi connection, Break Portal Dome is a convenient alternative to consider. The company has also included quite a comprehensive FAQ section on its website, with instructions on how to setup Dome on your mobile devices, configure your router and even download the Netflix app.

Source: Break Portal