Netflix is definitely the most popular streaming site on the Web. With over 200 million subscribers worldwide, you can’t go wrong if you register an account. However, unless you're aware of how Netflix works, you're in for a big surprise if you're not currently in the US. You might encounter a highly limited library of on-demand content, which is why we need to talk about how to watch Netflix outside the US.
If you read this guide carefully, you'll learn how to change your Netflix region. Thanks to a VPN app, a whole new library of movies and TV shows will open up - letting you take full advantage of your subscription. So, let's dive right in, shall we?
Where Is Netflix Available?
Netflix is available across the world. More precisely, you can access Netflix and register an account in more than 190 countries. However, some of you might be disappointed, though - as Netflix is split into different regional libraries.
Right now, the US alone has the most titles (roughly 5,600 movies & TV shows). Plus, some of the best and the most popular Netflix titles are only available in the US - The Tudors, Dexter, Shameless (U.S.), The Office, Weeds, The Borgias, Twin Peaks, and more.
That's precisely the reason why we've produced this guide. That's because using a VPN, you'll get to unblock numerous regional Netflix libraries, and that includes the US version of Netflix. So, let's show you how exactly you can achieve that.
How to Watch Netflix Outside the US (While Traveling / If You're Subscribed)
First, let's address those who already have a Netflix subscription. Unblocking the US version of this streaming service is easy - but you'll need a powerful VPN. So, go through the following steps to watch Netflix outside the US.
1. As mentioned above, you need a VPN. Go ahead and subscribe to ExpressVPN.
2. Once you visit ExpressVPN's website, click on 'Get ExpressVPN' to begin.
3. Now, pick a subscription plan (if you want to save, pick a long-term one).
4. Provide your email address and then pay for the chosen subscription plan.
5. Expect to receive a confirmation email once done. So, check your inbox.
6. This is when you can proceed to set up ExpressVPN on your device(s).
Keep in mind that ExpressVPN must be open and active in the background - as long as you plan on streaming Netflix. So, use the link provided above to learn how to install ExpressVPN on all your devices (as you get five simultaneous VPN connections).
7. Once you set up ExpressVPN, launch it. You should see its home screen.
8. Then, click on the button below the ON/OFF switch.
9. Pick 'United States,' and then double-click on any server found in that country.
10. As soon as your connection becomes active, ExpressVPN's UI will turn green.
11. Now, feel free to access Netflix - and you'll see its US version. That's it!
How to Watch Netflix Outside the US (If You're Not Subscribed)
Considering that Netflix is available across the world, signing up is easy. However, we'll show you how to get the most out of Netflix by not only subscribing to this service but also accessing its US version. In other words, we'll show you how to change your Netflix country to the US.
1. Let's begin by letting you subscribe to Netflix.
2. On Netflix's home page, input your email address and click on 'Get Started.'
3. You will then need to create a password and select a subscription plan.
4. The available plans change depending on your location (country). Pick one and select 'Continue.'
5. Finally, input your payment details and select 'Start Membership.'
6. Now, feel free to download Netflix's app on your device(s).
Netflix is available on a wide range of devices, and that includes computers, smartphones, smart TVs, media streaming players, set-top boxes, and more. Make sure to learn more about Netflix's app via its official website.
7. Then, log in to your Netflix account. However, don't keep the app open (close it).
8. To change your Netflix country, first, make sure to subscribe to ExpressVPN.
9. Once you get to ExpressVPN's website, feel free to select 'Get ExpressVPN.'
10. Pick a subscription, input your email address, and finalize the sign-up procedure.
11. Once done, you'll see a confirmation email from ExpressVPN. So, check your inbox.
12. Next, proceed to download and install ExpressVPN on your device(s).
13. Launch ExpressVPN and make sure to go through its initial set-up (log in to your account).
14. Now, click on the button below the ON/OFF switch, on ExpressVPN's home screen.
15. Select 'United States,' and then double-click on any server found in that country.
16. Once ExpressVPN connects you, its interface will turn green.
17. Finally, feel free to launch Netflix's app or visit its website.
18. You should see Netflix's US library, which means you've switched your Netflix country.
What's the Best VPN for Netflix?
We tested over 60 VPNs and managed to find the best 6 Netflix VPNs that will unblock the US library for you. We'll list them all below and offer a quick summary for each one.
1. ExpressVPN - Best All-Around VPN for Netflix
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It's not surprising that ExpressVPN comes in at number one. They're without a doubt the most popular Netflix unblocker on the market right now. It really does offer the simplest (and the most effective) way to watch Netflix outside the US right now.
What's not to love, after all? They have native apps for tons of platforms (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and routers), allow up to five simultaneous connections, and offer a very user-friendly design. So even if you never used a VPN, it won't take you more than a few minutes to start unblocking Netflix outside the US with ExpressVPN.
Plus, you'll get a very smooth streaming experience since the provider offers high-speed servers (and lots of them - well over 3,000) and unlimited bandwidth. ExpressVPN also provides split tunneling so that you can fine-tune your VPN speeds. So streaming Netflix in 'Ultra HD' is definitely a possibility.
And if you ever have issues, you can expect them to be resolved in no time since ExpressVPN offers 24/7 support through live chat. Finally, you can count on a very generous 30-days money-back guarantee (it's a no-questions-asked deal). However, we are sure you are going to be more than happy with this service.
2. NordVPN - Best Choice for High Security
On a market flooded with VPN apps, NordVPN stands out thanks to its ease of use. If this is your first time using a VPN, you are going to love this provider.
You can expect cross-platform compatible apps with a very intuitive UI that takes seconds to master. There are 5,300+ servers to choose from (some of which are fully owned by them), and they all offer lightning-fast speeds + unlimited bandwidth. We can safely say that this VPN handles HD and 4K content with ease (if your Internet connection allows for that).
What's more, you can use NordVPN on up to six devices, which is great for shared Netflix accounts. You can also get a dedicated IP, which is a nice perk.
If you encounter any issues with unblocking Netflix, you can contact NordVPN's support reps anytime - they're usually available through live chat. Also, the provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Useful Guides: NordVPN Review
3. CyberGhost VPN - Best Streaming-Focused VPN
CyberGhost VPN is an excellent alternative if you're not happy with ExpressVPN. They offer user-friendly native apps for most platforms, unlimited bandwidth, and very smooth speeds.
Their server network is much larger, though - counting over 6,000 servers. Even better, CyberGhost VPN has dedicated streaming servers that are optimized for Netflix US. You might be less likely to deal with the Netflix proxy error by using them (they probably refresh their IPs more often).
Also, CyberGhost VPN supports up to seven simultaneous connections - which is perfect if you love binging Netflix on multiple devices or if everyone in your family uses Netflix regularly. Also, you can get a dedicated IP too ("truly anonymous dedicated IPs," like they call them). With it, Netflix will be less likely to think the IP you're using belongs to a VPN.
As for support, the provider doesn't disappoint. Their reps are quick to answer, very helpful, and you can contact them over live chat. Moreover, the service comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee (14-day if you get a monthly subscription) and a free one-day trial.
Useful Guides: CyberGhost VPN Review
4. Ivacy VPN - Most Cost-Efficient VPN Service
Ivacy is a pretty decent option for the regular Internet user who just wants to unblock a few titles on Netflix US. It offers decent speeds, unlimited bandwidth, a decently-sized server network (1,000+), and the ability to use streaming-optimized servers for Netflix US.
Ivacy also gives you the option to get a dedicated IP address when buying a subscription for an additional monthly fee (which is lower compared to VPNs like CyberGhost VPN and NordVPN). It's a pretty nice and cheap way to lower the odds of Netflix detecting your VPN usage.
The provider also offers native apps for most devices, though the UI could use a bit of polishing. Still, it's nothing you can't quickly get used to. Finally, Ivacy offers 24/7 support (live chat is available) and a 30-day refund policy.
Useful Guides: Ivacy VPN Review
5. Surfshark - Best Multi-Device VPN
Surfshark is relatively new, but that doesn't stop it from being a pretty great Netflix VPN. The VPN offers speedy servers (around 3,200+), has intuitive apps for most platforms, and provides unlimited bandwidth. You also get split tunneling, so you can make sure the VPN only routes Netflix traffic while leaving the rest of your data alone.
While Surfshark doesn't offer dedicated IPs, they do let you set up the service on an unlimited number of devices (with just one subscription!). That's a really convenient way to binge Netflix anywhere on as many devices as you want. It's also a great and cheap way to use a VPN to watch Netflix outside the US in a college dorm.
Surfshark offers live chat support, and their reps are really helpful. And just like ExpressVPN, they provide a no-risk 30-day refund policy.
Useful Guides: Surfshark VPN Review
6. Private Internet Access - Best Option for a Polished UI
Finally, we have Private Internet Access (also known as PIA). They offer a really convenient way to watch Netflix outside the US. It's all thanks to their user-friendly apps, clean design, fast speeds (especially on their US servers), and unlimited bandwidth.
While PIA doesn't let you get a dedicated IP address, they do offer split tunneling. That means you can configure PIA to only route Netflix traffic so that you get better speeds. Moreover, the provider allows up to ten simultaneous connections, which should be more than enough for anyone trying to unblock Netflix US.
In terms of support, PIA offers 24/7 live chat. So if you're unable to unblock Netflix US with their service, the solution is just a few clicks away. Also, they offer a reasonable 30-day money-back guarantee.
Useful Guides: Private Internet Access VPN Review
How Does a VPN Unblock Netflix?
We showed you how easy it is to use a VPN to watch Netflix outside the US, but how exactly does it help you do that? Well, it's actually pretty simple - here's a quick look at what goes on behind the scenes.
- When you use a VPN app to connect to a VPN server, the two establish an encrypted connection. Nobody can spy on the data passing through it (not even your ISP, so no more bandwidth throttling).
- When you visit Netflix, the VPN routes your connection requests through its server. Basically, it acts as a middleman between your device and Netflix, so your connection looks like this: Device --> ISP Network --> VPN Server --> Netflix.
- Because of that, Netflix thinks your requests are coming from the VPN server, not your device. Connection requests contain IP addresses, meaning Netflix only sees the VPN's IP.
- Based on that information, Netflix will redirect you to a regional library that matches the VPN's IP (so Netflix US for a US IP address).
Can You Use Your Netflix Account Overseas?
Yes, of course - as long as you're in a country where Netflix is available. The service is present worldwide, with a few exceptions: China, Crimea, North Korea, and Syria.
Keep in mind you won't have access to your home country's content library. Instead, Netflix will redirect you to the library of the country you're currently in. You can solve that issue by using a VPN, though. Just connect to a server in your home country, and you're good to go!
How Do I Change My Netflix Billing Country?
To change the billing country you've set in your Netflix account, make sure to cancel your membership first. Then, wait until your current billing period is up. Once that happens, restart your account from a new country, and you'll be billed in the local currency of that country.
How Does Netflix Control What Titles You Can Watch?
Netflix uses geo-blocking - a content control method that automatically redirects you to a regional library based on your IP address. Here's how Netflix does that:
- When you visit Netflix, your device sends connection requests that contain your IP to the site through your web browser.
- Netflix checks the requests - specifically your IP, which tells the site what country and city you are from.
- Using that data, Netflix redirects you to the right content library. So if you have a Polish IP address, Netflix takes you to the Polish content library.
Why Does Netflix Geo-Block Its Content?
They have to do that, actually. Netflix doesn't own most of the shows and movies on its platform, so it buys licensing rights from the copyright holders. Unfortunately, they often can't get global rights because the copyright holder already sold the rights for different countries to other streaming sites and TV networks.
To learn more about how Netflix licenses content, check out this FAQ on their site.
Are Netflix Originals Geo-Blocked?
No, you don't normally have to worry about this. Since Netflix owns the copyright, they can freely stream the content wherever their service is available (in over 190 countries so far).
There are a few exceptions, however - like Orange Is the New Black. That show isn't available worldwide (it's geo-blocked in Indonesia, for example) because Netflix no longer owns the licensing rights for all countries. They sold them to other sites and TV networks when the shows launched since Netflix wasn't available in most countries back then.
What Are VPNs?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. In the past, VPNs were corporate private networks. You can think of them as private Internet networks where outside users were cut off. However, things have changed. These days, VPN applications are incredibly simple to use. All you need to do is download an application to your device, run it, and connect to a server.
We could spend quite some time talking about VPNs, but let’s keep this short for now. If you want to learn more about how VPNs work, follow the provided link.
Can All VPNs Unblock Netflix?
No - only a few providers can do this consistently (offer 24/7 access to Netflix). The site is actually really good at detecting VPN IP addresses. When it does that, it redirects VPN users to the Netflix proxy error page.
Don't worry, though - all the VPNs we recommended in this article can successfully unblock Netflix. We test them regularly and never have any problems. If you do see the Netflix proxy error, try using our guide to fix it.
How Do You Know What Netflix Region You Are On?
The easiest way to do this is to use the Global Netflix API. Just follow that link, and look for the following:
- geolocation.locale - it shows your country's code.
- geolocation.country - it shows which Netflix regional library the site redirects you to.
Can You Optimize Netflix VPN Speeds?
VPNs can slow down your speeds. That's usually not noticeable, but it can be a problem if you have slow speeds to begin with (like 30-40 Mbps). If they dip under 25 Mbps, for example, you won't be able to stream Netflix in Ultra HD anymore.
But don't worry - there are plenty of ways to increase VPN speeds. We outlined them all in this helpful guide. If you're in a rush, though, here are some quick tips that work well for Netflix speeds:
- Use servers that are close to you. If you're in the UK, a US server on the East Coast will be faster than one on the West Coast.
- Use lightweight protocols like IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and WireGuard.
- If you can only use OpenVPN, use it over UDP instead of TCP.
- Watch Netflix outside the US on wired connections, if possible (so not Wi-Fi).
- Use split tunneling to ensure the VPN only routes Netflix traffic.
Will Netflix Ban You If You Use a VPN?
If Netflix catches you using a VPN, they will only redirect you to the Netflix proxy error page. They won't ban your account.
Is There a Free VPN That Can Unblock Netflix?
No, there are no free VPNs that can let you stream Netflix without any limitations. That's because free VPNs are typically restricted in their bandwidth (around 500 MB/day), and they're also restricted in their speed. The only reliable way to change your Netflix country is via a premium VPN, such as ExpressVPN.
That’s it, folks. This is all you need to know about how to watch Netflix outside the US. Whether you’re traveling abroad or live in another country, there’s no reason not to take full advantage of this simple way to unblock content on this popular media streaming service.
We hope you’ll manage to make this happen. If you experience any issues, you can count on us for help. Just leave a comment below. And lastly - thank you for reading!