How to access Spotify in South Africa

There are a lot of music streaming websites around, but none (in my opinion) can compete with Spotify. Their track library, streaming service, social integration, playlist sharing is head and shoulders above other services. You already know that though, you just want to know how you can access Spotify from South Africa (or any other non-supported country). This is my simple guide to doing just that without using a proxy.

Well this has always been extremely difficult as Spotify is exceptionally crafty when it comes to blocking users from different countries. You may have read articles on websites about using a proxy to access the Spotify website. Proxy’s invariably don’t work, they are a pain to use, have security issues and are just really slow (not what you want when streaming music over a SA internet connection!)

I have put together a guide on how to easily access Spotify from within South Africa without using a proxy service.

UPDATE:

There have been a lot of changes in the last few months and I have had a lot of queries around this guide. I wanted to add some of this info in so that it makes your life a bit easier and clears up some of the queries.

1.) If you are willing to pay for Spotify i.e. the Premium Spotify account at $9.99 a month, you wont need to do any IP/DNS tricks or use a service like UnoTelly. The Premium Spotify account allows you to use Spotify (ad free) on any device (iPhone/Android/iPad/PC/Mac) and crucially also gives you Unlimited Travel – which essentially means that you can access it from SA (or any country int he world) without any issues. To do this you will need to set it up as a US account (which you will need the UnoDNS 8 day trial account and can follow steps below) and then buy Spotify gift vouchers from Jerrycards.com. You won’t need the UnoDNS account again as long as you pay for Spotify Premium.

2.) If you just want Spotify for Free (has some radio style ads every now and then and won’t stream on mobile devices) then you will need to trick Spotify into thinking you are in the US and will need a UnoDNS Gold account. Note: Spotify used to work just with the standard UnoTelly DNS settings, but they have changed their detection settings now. The UnoTelly Gold account comes with a Bonus VPN service that you need in order to activate Spotify every month or so. This works out cheaper than paying for Spotify Premium (at just $4.99) but you wont be able to stream on your iPhone and you will have to endue the radio style ads every few tracks.

 

spotify south africa logo

 

Right, so how do you get around Spotify’s IP detection then? The trick is a company called UnoTelly which provides a service called UnoDNS. You can read my full UnoDNS review on my other site, PixelVulture. While UnoDNS provides access to a range of services (some of which you pay a monthly fee for) it offers Spotify access as part of its free package. Yes, free. You just sign up, download a small program that will help you setup your PC/MAC/Phone/Tablet etc. It takes 2 seconds and couldn’t be easier.

Once you have this enabled, you can access Spotify as a US user and voila! This will give you full speed access to Spotify US. The full process is explained to you with videos and instructions upon registering, however here are some step by step instructions:

  1. Head to UnoDNS and register for a free account.
  2. Download & install the UnoHelper software.
  3. Run the UnoHelper program and click the start button. In a few sections it will show up as active meaning you are now using the DNS service.
  4. If you want to set this up on alternative devices have a look at the QuickStart guide(it will also show you the list of channels you can access – i.e. Spotify and more). I suggest setting the service up directly in your router so that all the devices in your household are enabled (Xbox/PS3/AppleTV etc). To do that you need to manually edit your router’s DNS address – this is an optional step:
    1. (Optional) Navigate to the global page to get the DNS address for a region near you (I just used Germany) and enter this into your routers settings. Don’t worry you can find a video showing you how to do it in the QuickStart section.
  5. All you need to do now is head to Spotify.com and register for your free US Spotify account, download the Spotify program and get listening.
spotify screenshot south africa

 

After using Spotify for a while you may decide that you would like to pay for the Premium version – giving you additional features, no advertising etc. Well Spotify has another trick for you… you can’t pay with anything other than a US credit card. I even tried registering a US PayPal account and depositing money into it in order to avoid this, but Spotify requires a credit card to be linked to the account anyway. Dead end.

No worries, what you can do is purchase a US Spotify Gift Card. You get the details for your gift card via email. All you then do is follow the instructions that are mailed to you with your card – here is a step by step guide:

  1. Head to Jerrycards.com and select a Spotify gift card. Enter your payment details (I used PayPal) and complete the checkout process.
  2. Wait for your card details to be emailed to you. You will get an email to confirm (just click the link) following that you will get another email with the link to your card.
  3. Head over to your US Spotify account, head to the redeem gift card section. You can then go and select the option you want to upgrade to (Unlimited/Premium) and when asked to enter your payment details just enter your Gift Card details as you would a credit card.

All in all its actually pretty easy. Especially the UnoDNS / Spotify Free part. In fact you have no excuse. Get it done and come find me on Spotify (Username: matthewarnold). Drop me a comment below if you need any help or info.

66 thoughts on “How to access Spotify in South Africa

  1. I cant seem to get the DNS working on my computer. I’m on a Mac, and the instructions told me to put the DNS addresses into the DNS tab in my network preferences, but the quickstart page is saying that the setup is not complete. I followed the Mac instruction video, but it’s not picking up. Any ideas what might be wrong?

    Thanks for the guide, I have been looking for a way to use Spotify for a while now. It was really helpful, now I just have to get it to work!

  2. Hello, thanks for that tutorial.
    Please tell us how it goes when they charge your credit card for the first time. As far as I know, thats the moment of truth. Another question that card is reloadable?

    1. Hi Cristian, I have used the Buyfrompowerseller site and everything worked perfectly. I got my Mastercard Gift Card details via email (it did take around 12 hours) and I managed to use the card perfectly. As far as I know the card is not reloadable – you would need to buy another one. Mine is currently setup within Spotify as a standard US credit card and is working fine to date, even after one months fees have been deducted.

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  3. You are a legend! Works a treat! All I need now is a faster line speed so I can stream more than just Spotify.

    I am on the 8 day free gold subscription. I cant seem to find anywhere whether Spotify is on the list of accessible sites once the trial period ends. Anyone had any experience with this?

    Thanks again for the info on this…….very, very cool!

    1. Hi Paul, Spotify is available on the free package – so you should be good to go even when your trial is finished. Thanks for reading!

    1. Rather use the Jhb / Cape Town DNS servers. It won’t affect your access to Spotify.

      Using a US DNS will slow down all DNS lookups on your network (i.e. slowing down your browsing slightly)

  4. Hi Matthew,

    Am I right in saying that the free version of unoDNS no longer exists? I have just finished the 8 day trial but can only upgrade to Premium / Gold.

    Additionally have you done any reviews on getting Hula going?
    We’ve been testing it out on Netflix and works brilliantly even on a 2MB line.

    Cheers
    Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa, it does seem that they have changed their pricing structure – I will see if I can find out a bit more.

      I haven’t tried Hulu at all – although I would imagine it would work pretty much the same as Netflix. I guess I will have to give it a try 🙂

      1. Thanks Matt,
        Any advice on the Hulu would be greatly appreciated. At any rate it is so reasonable for unoDNS that it seems silly not to get the Premium subscription.

        Another question – I have obviously changed the DNS on my mac and on the Apple TV but not our router.
        What would be the reason / benefit of changing the router? I’m guessing for using my iPhone but is that the only reason?
        Cheers
        Lisa

        1. Changing the settings on your router just means that it will apply for all devices in your house. For me that worked really well for phone, tablet, Xbox and AppleTV which all work across my wifi. It’s optional and depends on the way you consume your media I guess.

  5. Hi there. My Spotify has been disconnected after a month or two with the notice : ‘Your country does not match the one set in your profile’. Any way I can regain my access!? I am heartbroken.

    1. Hi Marushka, I’m not sure why that is happening. Are you sure that you have the country in your profile set to US? I will send a mail to UnoTelly and see if there is anything that has changed on their side.

    2. Hi Marushka – I have spoken to UnoTelly and they are aware of the problem. Please see their response:
      “We are aware of the Spotify issue for some of our users. The solution is to login to Spotify by using our US VPN (Bonus UnoVPN). Afterward, the country will reset and you will be able to connect to Spotify again with our normal DNS service. The bonus UnoVPN is absolutely free with any UnoTelly Gold subscription. For your readers who don’t have Gold subscription, they can contact our support team by sending an email at support@unotelly.com “.
      If you don’t have a gold subscription, drop them a mail and just let them know you are a reader of this site.

    1. Hey, thanks for the comment. SpotFlux doesn’t seem to do the same thing as UnoTelly – it’s more about securing you browsing than being able to access content restricted by country. Does the hiding of your IP address allow access to US services?

  6. You rock!
    Your instructions were straight forward and easy to follow.

    One question, did you perhaps find a solution for linux users?

    Once again thank a million.

  7. Matt, I pay monthly for a premium account in the UK but am possibly moving back to SA. I have a UK bank account so the premium fee can continue to come off my UK bank account. Would I still have to use a prog like unotelly to allow me to play tracks I’ve already downloaded on my phone? Especially the ones that are available offline as those won’t require and IP addy?

    1. Hi Michal, Spotify Premium accounts allow for unlimited travel – which essentially means that it doesn’t check your IP address. So if you are paying the monthly fee then you are good to go. Even if you no longer have your UK bank account you would still be able to buy Spotify prepaid vouchers from resellers online – it’s quite simple to do but you will pay a slight premium. No need for any additional services such as UnoTelly in this regard.

  8. Hi Matt

    Thanks for this! Trying to set it up now…

    Now i see when you posted this the UnoDNS was free – now it looks like you can only get 8 days free or pay? See link: http://www.unotelly.com/unodns/pricing

    OR am i doing something wrong? If i have to pay which one should i purchase so that i can have access to Spotify on my iPhone and perhaps some of the features for my apple TV? I live in South Africa but have a USA iTunes account.

    Thanks a mil!! Look forward to your reply.

    Garth

    1. Hi Garth, you are correct the cheapest package used to be free but is no longer free. You have two options:

      1.) If you are just after spotify & you want it on your phone you would have to pay for the premium Spotify account $9.99 a month. What this does is allows you to use Spotify (ad free) on any device (iPhone/Android/iPad/PC/Mac). What premium spotify also gives you is Unlimited Travel – which essentially means that you can access it from SA without any issues. You will need to set it up as a US account (which you will need the UnoDNS 8 day trial account and can follow steps above) and then buy Spotify gift vouchers either from the link above or from http://www.jerrycards.com (which is what I am using now). You won’t need the UnoDNS account again as long as you pay for Spotify Unlimited.

      2.) If you just want Spotify Free (has some radio style ads every now and then and won’t stream on mobile devices) the you will need the UnoDNS Gold account. The Gold account comes with the Bonus VPN service that you need in order to activate Spotify every month or so. This works out cheaper at just $4.99 but you wont be able to stream on your iPhone…

      Sorry if this sounds a bit complicated 🙂

  9. Hi Matt. Following on your last post, can I thus assume that I can get a mate in (for example) London to open me an account – make it premium immediately – and link it to a UK credit card, I will be able to access the service in SA uninterrupted?

    Thanks for being so helpful here.

    1. That is correct, as long as you are paying for the premium account you can use Spotify from anywhere. It’s using the free service that is tricky from outside an official market.

  10. Hi Matt
    Fantastic resource, thanks very much! One of the commenters asked about Hulu – it does work perfectly for me (I have a Roku and a gold UnoTelly account) but it has the same restriction when it comes to paying with a credit card as Spotify does. I guess the Gift Card would solve that problem 🙂

    p.s. Vudu is similar to Hulu and works fine with my SA Credit Card.

  11. Hi Mat,

    Reading from your posts you seem to know a bit about the UnoTelly service, quick ?….

    I was using the UnoDNS and it worked perfectly in trial, then subscribed to UnoVPN for the only reason being that I have multiple device and a Roku on the way and my Huawei 3G router does not support me adding in the UnoDNS DNS entry. Setup worked perfectly, shared the VPN connection and Netflix works but Hulu picks up I am not in the US, any ideas?

    Thanks
    Russ

    1. Hi Russell,

      Thanks for the comment, I am not 100% sure why you are having problems with Hulu. The best idea would be to mail your query through to the UnoDNS support team. They are very helpful and should get back to you quickly. You can mail them at: support@unotelly.com

      Let me know if you have any issues.

    1. Official Spotify App is available in the US iTunes and Google Play stores, but you will need a Premium Spotify account to enable mobile streaming. Alternatively there are a lot of Spotify remote apps (3rd party apps used to control Spotify on your PC via your phone).

  12. Hey there. Awesome article. However, i have a stupid question, if i get one of those cards, lets say, the 30 bucks (enough for a year of no ads service) and want to keep paying the service but with my Argentina registered card, will Spotify accept it or i’m prisoner of paying a premium for those gift cards?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Gabriel. Basically you are locked in to the gift cards unless you have a valid US credit card. Spotify will only allow credit cards from within the relevant country – so for the USA store you need a USA credit card. The gift cards are the only way around this, unless you know someone in the US who can buy the gift cards for you at a cheaper price.

  13. For the free version I prefer the UK one. Some of the adverts are quite funny and they’re all far less irritating than the US adverts.

  14. I have a friend in Sweden to whom I send money via PayPal to buy me premium coupons. He also has to log into my account to activate them as Spotify blocks me from adding coupons from my side (in South Africa). This seems to me the smoothest workaround. So if you have family/friends in Spotify countries, use them and abuse them!

  15. Thanks. Good post but i found an easier way. Download tunnelbear. Free and quick. With click of a button your location changes and you are able to register on Spotify.

  16. How do I hookup a friend in South Africa with me paying monthly from my account in USA? For Spotify Premium? Thanks, any help will be appreciated, just need to let them know what to do.

    1. Hi Larry, that should be easy. Premium allows unlimited travel – i.e. it doesn’t check your IP address. So you can setup the account as if it is for you in the US (just using a username & email for your friend here in SA) then share the login details with your friend. He can download the Spotify application and log in with those details without any problems. Thats it.

  17. Thanks for sharing… Looking forward to streaming on my Sonos. I’ve hit a snag though; I’m at work right now and when I try to stream Spotify a note pops up saying:

    “Sorry but it seems we can not stream at this time. This is probably because of restrictions placed on your network but we are working on ways to get around this.”

    Is this because of my work internet settings (facebook, youtube etc available all the time at work)? If so how do I get around this? Or is this a non-work network related issue?

    Cheers

    Ryan

    1. Hi Ryan, the short answer is that I don’t know. There could be a number of issues. Are you using Spotify Free or Premium?

        1. If you are using the free version it won’t work because it thinks you are outside the US (which you are). Unfortunately the UnoDNS settings are not going to help you on your work network as you will not be able to change the whole networks settings to go through the DNS service. If you are using premium (instructions above) then you shouldn’t have any issues with the location, the only problem could be if your work network blocks streaming services like this, in which case there is no solution.

          1. hi, thanks for all this Ryan. I recently moved to SA from Germany. Have been streaming Spotify (Premium) onto Sonos by using Sonos App and importing Spotify as a music source. Seems that his does no work anymore in SA – probably for legal issues. Any experience with streaming Spotify onto Sonos in SA (either directly from Spotify or via Sonos App?). Thanks so much!

          2. Hi Hendrik,

            Only seeing your message now…

            I use Spotify Premium and stream from within my Sonos. I cant use it offline yet but am working on resolving this. Also I dont have the freestanding Spotify App yet but also trying to set this up with a US iTunes Account. Will let you know how it goes.
            I do know that they are busy ‘trialing’ Spotify in SA right now…

  18. Hi Matt

    Ive successfully got Spotify on my PC but am stuggeling to get it onto my Android (HTC One). Can you assist?

    Thanks

    Steve

    1. Hi Steve, you need to make sure you have a Google Play account that supports Spotify – for example a US Google play account (you wont find an official Spotify app in the SA store for example). Then you need to have a Premium Spotify account – which enables you to stream to mobile (the free versions don’t allow this feature). If you are having technical problems please check the FAQ section on Spotify’s website.

  19. Hi again Matt

    I got it installed on my HTC one. And am using it happpily. So thanks! However, I am now not able to access it on my PC. It keeps giving me error code 112 and saying I am in offline mode..

    Can you assist? (again)

  20. I am using my spotify on my Mac which was set up in Sweden perfectly well but I am unable to get the app for my iPhone in South Africa. Is there a solution available??

    1. Hi Mike, the problem that you have is that you are using a South African iTunes account. Due to the fact that iTunes is not supported in SA they won’t have the app in the store (same goes for Google Play store on Android). You would need to setup a US iTunes account (fairly easy to do – instructions on Marc’s blog > http://www.marcforrest.com/2010/04/08/get-a-us-itunes-account/ ).
      A side note is that mobile streaming is only supported for Premium Spotify members (you can see the different features and pricing on their website).

  21. Hi Matt and anyone else on the thread,

    I’m trying to get hold of an iTunes USA account. Seems like the loopholes have got fewer since I tried this a couple of years back.
    Any advice in setting this up now?

    Thanks for your help.

    Ryan

  22. I have changed my DNS to cities in the US, but when I access UnoHelper, it changes them back to the original, therefore Spotify knows where I am! What am I missing

  23. I have successfully installed and activated UniHelper. When I try to sign up with Spotify – with UniHelper running – I get a message that it is not available in my country (RSA). I have tried using an @Hotmail.com account and also tried signing up through Facebook, all with the same result. Any suggestions?

  24. Hi Matthew,

    I’ve been using Spotify for the last few months and it has been working great. But two days ago it stopped working due to a network error. I eventually figured out that it stopped working on my Telkom line even though I had UnoTelly running. It works on my mobile devices that use Vodacom 3G. So definitely seems like a block from Telkom’s side. I used Tunnelbear on my Desktop and that seemed to work, but that means using another service to get it working. Do you know of any other solution for me to be able to use Spotify while connected to my Telkom ADSL? I’ve become so addicted to Spotify!

  25. Greetings, I live in South Africa. My daughter lives in England & has a UK Spotify account. Can I use her name & password to login from my Samsung s3 phone here in South Africa?
    In other words (with her permission) I use her premium account “for free” because I won’t have to pay her.
    Cheers

    1. Yes, you should be able to do this. I have managed to do a similar setup myself and as long as you are not playing music at the same time it seems to handle it fine. Spotify is setup to work seamlessly across devices which makes this possible. You will share the same account though – same playlists and listening history as well as recommendation etc as it is all under one profile.

  26. Hi Matt,

    I live in London and tried to help a friend get access to Spotify on her phone when I was in SA last week. On her phone I logged into my UK App Store, downloaded Spotify and then logged her back into her SA App Store. When I opened the Spotify App it opened fine, but when trying to setup a new user it prohibited her. Any ideas to getting it installed on her phone?

    Many thanks – Adam

    1. For her to use it locally she would need to signup for a premium account and purchase Spotify vouchers via online webservices or using your UK credit card. The free version is restricted to the country it is available in (not in SA), however the premium version allows unlimited travel as well as mobile device support.

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