It's possible to change your Netflix region without a VPN - through workarounds such as a proxy, 'Smart DNS,' and by connecting to a virtual server. As you can guess, we'll explain all those methods in this guide, making sure to let you know about their benefits and downsides. However, we'll be completely honest with you and say that nothing really can replace a VPN.
So, if using a VPN is a possibility for you, we offer an in-depth guide on changing your Netflix region using a VPN app. That really is the most convenient and effortless method to bypass geo-blocks and similar restrictions.
And now, if you want to know more about non-VPN options, make sure to keep on reading.
How To Change Your Netflix Region Without a VPN
These are the 5 steps you can take to change your Netflix region without a VPN:
- Pick a proxy, Smart DNS, or sign up for a VPS (virtual private server).
- Based on which method you chose, set up a proxy, Smart DNS, or VPS on your device.
- Connect to your chosen proxy or VPS. Smart DNS always runs in the background.
- Launch Netflix's website or any of its apps.
- Find a movie or TV show not typically available in your region. That's it!
4 Different Methods To Change Your Netflix Region Without a VPN
There are 4 methods to switch to another Netflix region without a VPN: using a proxy, Smart DNS, VPS, or traveling to a different region. Find more info below.
1. Use a Proxy
Proxies are pretty similar to VPNs. To help you change your Netflix region, they hide your IP address by routing your traffic through a proxy server that sits between you and Netflix. Basically, Netflix will see the proxy's IP instead of your own.
To unblock content, you have to connect to a proxy server in the same country as the Netflix titles you want to watch. So, when it comes to US shows and movies, you'll have to use a proxy server in the US.
However, there's also a limitation to that. Many proxies, especially free-of-charge ones, don't let you pick a country. They mostly offer servers in the US, so you'll be able to unblock only the US version of Netflix (other versions will be out of your reach).
Proxies have a local caching ability to save content on the proxy server itself. When you request the content, the proxy retrieves it from the server instead of sending your request to the Internet.
That way, you get faster load times. But keep in mind that the content might be outdated sometimes - unless the proxy is programmed to first check for an updated version online before retrieving the cached content.
Unlike VPN services, proxies don't use powerful encryption. Many times, they don't use any encryption at all. That means you'll get better speeds, but it also means that proxies can't secure your traffic against hackers, government spying, and ISP surveillance.
If your ISP can see your traffic, they can throttle it. Essentially, that means they can selectively slow down your Netflix speeds.
Besides that, there's another problem - Netflix has a good proxy detection system in place. You might see the Netflix proxy error more often if you use a proxy instead of a good VPN.
2. Use a Smart DNS
A Smart DNS is a digital tool that can stop Netflix from seeing your location. It doesn't do that by hiding your IP address. Instead, it changes your DNS settings to prevent you from using your Internet provider's DNS server (to avoid leaking your location).
What's more, a Smart DNS sends your traffic through different proxy servers. It intercepts and edits your DNS queries (when your browser asks for DNS servers for website IPs) to further avoid geo-data leaks.
In our tests, we almost always managed to change our Netflix region with a Smart DNS. We also had faster speeds than when we used VPNs.
Smart DNS services are faster for a reason - they don't encrypt your traffic. Your ISP can still see you're binging Netflix, so they can throttle your connection.
Also, since Smart DNS tools don't hide your IP, you can't bypass firewalls. That means you can't unblock Netflix on your school or university's network if the admins block it.
There's one last thing to remember - most VPNs offer Smart DNS services alongside their VPN. Examples include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark. If you want to use a Smart DNS, get one of those VPNs instead of paying for a standalone service.
3. Use a VPS
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. You can rent one online and use it like a proxy or a VPN. You connect to Netflix through it, so the site only sees the VPS' IP address. So, if you browse Netflix via a VPS in the UK, you'll end up on the Netflix UK library.
Most VPNs use virtual private servers. So if you get your own VPS, it's like you're cutting out the middleman. That sounds great in theory, but know that using a VPS just to unblock Netflix might not be worth the cost. On top of that, we can recommend this method only to more advanced users, as setting up a VPS can be quite tedious and complicated.
We have a whole guide explaining why VPNs are a better option than VPSs for most people. Here's what it all comes down to:
- It's much harder and more expensive to set up and use a VPS.
- If Netflix blocks your VPS' IP, you'll have to get a new one (expensive).
- With a VPS, you're limited to just one regiona Netflix library.
4. Travel or Relocate
The only other option left is to just take a quick trip or move to the country where the Netflix title you want to watch is available. Once you're there, Netflix will automatically send your traffic to said country's library.
Obviously, this is only a solution if you have tons of free time on your hands and a lot of money. Or if you're feeling extremely adventurous. It'll definitely make for quite the story to share with your friends over a bottle of wine. You'll probably be the first person ever to say: "Yeah, I moved to the UK because I wanted to watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."
Well, it's a no-brainer. It's a way cheaper and more convenient solution. Instead of spending thousands of dollars, you'll spend an average of $60 (give or take) per year. Also, you can use the VPN to change your Netflix region from the comfort of your own home.
Thinking of Using a VPN After All?
Considering they're the best way to change your Netflix region, we're not surprised. But with hundreds of VPNs on the market, how do you know which one can actually unblock Netflix?
We tested over 60 services and found the ones that offer the best streaming experience. You can read about them here. If you're in a hurry, here's the list:
Where Can I Change My Region on Netflix?
There's no option on Netflix's website or apps that let you change your region. To make that happen, you need a standalone tool - like a VPN, proxy, or Smart DNS.
Can I Change My Netflix Region from My Account Settings?
No, Netflix doesn't have such an option in your account's settings. As explained in this article, your best option is a VPN - which comes as a standalone digital tool.
Can I Unblock a Specific Netflix Region Using a Proxy/Smart DNS?
Most proxies and Smart DNS services are typically restricted to the US since they have servers in that country only. So, you'll only get to unblock the US version of Netflix.
If you want to watch Netflix like its subscribers in the United Kingdom, France, Japan, or Australia do, you will need a VPN (one that offers servers in those countries).
Is Using a Proxy/SmartDNS for Netflix Illegal?
Technically, Netflix doesn't allow you to "alter your access" to the streaming service in any way. However, that doesn't make proxies or Smart DNS services illegal.
We haven't heard of a single case of someone getting banned for using a VPN, proxy, Smart DNS, or any similar digital tool. With that said, you should be safe.
Can I Change My Netflix Region with a Free VPN?
Yes, you can. But we can't say how efficiently you can do that.
Netflix easily blocks most free VPNs because they don't refresh their IPs fast enough. And those that don't get blocked often have slow speeds and capped bandwidth (the average is anywhere between 500 MB and 2 GB).
If you want to give this a shot, use our guide to find a reliable free VPN.
That would be all on how to change your Netflix region without a VPN. Let us know what you think using the comments section below. Finally, thanks for reading!