How to watch Netflix from other countries

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How to watch Netflix from other countries

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Netflix is known for its premium video streaming content. With over 139 million subscribers across the world, the service keeps on getting bigger and better. However, there are some limitations when it comes to being a Netflix subscriber. With Netflix putting a lot of focus into regional content, not all countries get access to the same shows and movies. For example, if you are living in the US, you do not have access to a number of quality shows and movies that Japan has access to and vice versa.

By Editorial Team | 16th May 2019
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While the geographic restrictions make sense for Netflix as it lets them keep their catalog for each country de-cluttered, it worsens the experience for those who want to catch up on a variety of international content. One of the most common workarounds that people used to try was using any random VPN to bypass regional restrictions, but the method doesn’t work like it used to before. If you are wondering how to watch international Netflix, we have you covered with our detailed guide.

Why watch Netflix from other countries?

Before we get to how you can watch Netflix from other countries let’s figure out why you want to watch foreign content in the first place. Many of us do not live in the same countries for long, and if you recently moved but happen to be missing out on your favorite local content, then it’s definitely worth reading on. The same goes for those who like exploring content from other countries to understand new cultures and soak in what other regional shows and movies have to offer.

It is not solely Netflix’s fault that all of the content is so bifurcated. Regional distribution rights can be quite problematic, and Netflix is aware of that. If you are someone from Australia or Europe, you will be surprised to see how far ahead the US catalog is. American users have access to far more shows and movies than most countries in the world and the difference can rake up to thousands. While it is easy to blame Netflix for not making all content available globally, there is a bigger picture behind the scenes. Due to hefty production costs being involved with TV shows and movies, many distributors seek licenses for regional distribution only. Netflix does not have a major role to play when it comes to smaller shows and movies. But as fans, we can definitely find a workaround for everything and catch up on our favorite shows.

How to watch Netflix in other countries using a VPN

The simplest way to watch content from other countries is by using a VPN to spoof your IP address. If you do not know what an IP address is, it is essentially a code assigned to you by your ISP which serves as your internet address. Netflix is fully capable of tracking your IP address and identifying your location. Even if your account originates from a particular country, you can’t watch the local content once you are abroad. While your subscription does not expire, the content you get to watch is dictated by Netflix. Many of you may have already tried various methods and failed. If you are looking for something tried and tested, you need to use a VPN.

The first reaction from many would be that VPNs do not work anymore. While it is true that Netflix has some safeguards in place, there are definitely some workarounds available that you need to be aware of. Firstly, the VPNs that do not work and throw you into an endless loop of errors when trying to view content on Netflix are not that great. If you want to really access quality Netflix content, you have to choose from the best VPN options available right now. Service providers like ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN offer unlimited bandwidth packages that allow you to stream as much content as you want. There are thousands of servers to choose from, allowing you to spoof your location to virtually any part of the world.

One of the biggest misconceptions about VPNs is that they often hinder your internet connectivity. Good quality VPNs are extremely effective at managing your internet connection, and despite spoofing your location, you will notice no lag when browsing the internet or streaming on Netflix. VPNs also have the added advantage of offering you anonymity when browsing the internet. VPNs are cost-effective, and you can think of them as upgrades to your Netflix subscription considering how much content they unlock.  Here’s how to get access to that content:

  • Create a Netflix account
  • Choose a high-quality VPN service provider
  • Subscribe to an unlimited bandwidth package
  • Follow the installation and setup instructions to configure your VPN
  • Choose a server from the country you want to access
  • Login to your Netflix account and enjoy the unlocked content
female hand holding phone with app vpn creation Internet protocols for protection private network
Using a VPN can help you watch Netflix in other countries (Picture: iStock by Getty)
How to watch Netflix in other countries using a proxy server

While it’s recommended to use a VPN to watch Netflix in other countries, proxy servers are a method some users go for. Proxies are similar to VPNs in many ways, but they aren’t ideal when it comes to security. When you connect to a proxy server, you are assigned a new IP address. However, you don’t benefit from having your internet traffic encrypted, which is what a paid VPN offers you. Often, people will find that free proxies won’t be able to unblock Netflix for other locations – and they will make your internet speed too slow for you to carry out other activities online. The reason your connection will be slow is because proxy servers are shared with many people across the globe. What’s more, you will have to put up with advertisements that pop up while you’re streaming, distracting you from the content you’re trying to watch. As of May 2019, many users may find that they are unable to use a proxy to watch Netflix, as the site will simply come up with a Netflix proxy error.

How to watch Netflix in other countries using a VPN browser extension

You can download extensions to your internet browser if you use services such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, which can improve your browser by adding functions to it. These are known as a lighter version of VPNs, and there are many free versions available. However, the downside of using both a free VPN service and a VPN browser extension over an individual, paid-for VPN subscription is the fact that videos are frequently unavailable to watch in the quality you would like. This is because other users can use your bandwidth, and this in turn puts strain on your own network. Additionally, many browser extensions don’t have the security features you would enjoy with a paid for VPN service, and Netflix has learned to recognize some extensions, making it only a matter of time before more and more get blocked from the site.

Chiang Mai, Thailand - April 26, 2016: man hand holding screen shot of Netflix application showing on Asus Zenfone 2 mobile phone. Netflix is a global provider of streaming movies and TV series.
Netflix offers different content depending on your region (Picture: iStock by Getty)
Does Netflix know about VPNs?

Netflix has worked on software which can detect proxies and VPNs being used by people trying to access their content with a spoof IP address. This has led to error messages when people click on video titles in video libraries, stating that they are using an unblocker or proxy, so they need to turn off these services and start again. The reason for this investment in blocking technology is because the pricing for Netflix packages in certain regions can vary, as Asian subscribers often pay less than those in Europe and North America, for example. This means that Netflix would be losing potential profits if someone in Asia were to successfully use a VPN to watch an American Netflix content library.

However, while Netflix is becoming increasingly aware of these tools, it has not yet managed to completely block them out. This means that, if you find that a particular VPN service doesn’t work for you, you just need to find another one and try that one. Perhaps do some research to find out which VPN has the best results for your region, and browse online forums or ask friends and family to see which tools they use to access their favorite Netflix shows.

Summary

Using a VPN not only lets you access a large amount of content, but you also get to be anonymous and prevent any tracking activity. All you need to do is choose a reliable VPN provider, and you are good to go. It is important to not fall into the trap of using a cheap or unreliable VPN as it will cause Netflix to flag your account. Opt-in for a VPN that lets you keep your internet activity secure and also lets you spoof your location perfectly.

Written by
Editorial Team
Our Editorial Team is constantly watching for new and exciting services to report on. They aim to bring balanced, honest reviews to the site to give you the best comparisons and ensure you have the knowledge to choose the product right for you. Read more.
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