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How to watch Amazon Prime Video shows in Zim the right way

Here is a little known fact, Amazon Prime has been available to Zimbabweans for years! Just like Showmax they even have a mobile-only plan that’s dirt cheap and sells for below $1.99, although that’s not available to Zimbabweans yet. They did however previously have a special US$2.99, 6 months trial which has since been discontinued. These days, though, you can have a one-month free trial.

So why is everyone always raving about Netflix and Showmax and no one barely mentions Amazon Prime? I think it’s a content issue. Thanks to geo-locking and a lot of rules, the content available to Zimbabweans is pretty thin and underwhelming. Sometimes you don’t even get some Amazon Originals and even when you do, when it comes to churning out new content and originals, Amazon Prime isn’t Netflix. The good news is that there is an easy fix for that.

How to sign up for Amazon Prime the right way

For you to be able to enjoy Amazon Prime you need to “trick” Amazon into thinking that you are in the US. Just like with Netflix and a whole lot of other services out there, those in the U.S get all the good stuff. The rest of us are just being fed scraps from other the table. Not only is Amazon Prime more than a streaming service when you are a U.S customer, you get more shows and movies too. Much more.

To get all the goodies follow these steps:

  • Go to Amazon Prime’s website and sign up for an account if you don’t already have one.
  • You will need a Visa or MasterCard to do this. You can use BancABC, Steward or FBC Visa. Ecocash’s VCN doesn’t work.
  • Enter your Zimbabwean address if you wish. Amazon doesn’t really care what your country is in the settings. Like Netflix they filter content based on the IP you are using to watch.

Try to watch The Americans or Line of Duty. You will get an error saying the show is not available in your location. You should however be able to watch originals such as Clarkson’s Farm or The Boys.

To appear as if you are in the U.S you can use what is known as SmartDNS. It’s a better alternative to VPN in my book. While VPN reroutes all traffic from a given device, SmartDNS cleverly reroutes only the aspects of given services that allows them to detect your location. So for example if you try to visit Amazon Prime’s website, the SmartDNS service automatically detects this as Prime, based on your settings, it forwards all requests through it’s US server IP and then passes the contents back to you.

As far as Amazon is concerned, you are in the US. Once that part is done you are given access to the video stream. This is routed directly to you. If you don’t understand any of this, just think of it as magic. There are several SmartDNS service providers out there, but I recommend SmartDNSProxy and SmartyDNS both of which I use. Just use Google to find them.

Once you have settled on a service sign up. SmartDNSProxy gives you free two weeks without even asking you to enter a Visa or MasterCard. You will be given two DNS server number you can use. I suggest you choose servers that are close to you. For SmartDNS Proxy these are the South African servers. Enter them in your router or computer. Activate your service inside the SmartDNS dashboard and restart your router or device with changed DNS server. SmartyDNS has an app which you can install on your TV box too.

Now try to watch the shows I pointed out above and you should be able to. You will also note that your TV Show and Movie selection balloons once it appears like you are in the US. You won’t be complaining about the limited selection anymore.

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