Picture this: you’re traveling from the U.S. to another country. Before you left, you added five movies to your list. But now that you’ve arrived, those titles are gone, nowhere to be found.
Why does this happen? While Netflix is available in 190 countries, the availability of TV shows and movies can vary from country to country due to content rights agreements in each location. For example, while HBO Max currently has the rights to the Harry Potter movies in the U.S., you can watch all eight movies via Netflix if you are located in Australia.
But get this – you don’t have to actually be in Australia. In fact, you can access Netflix libraries across the world to watch thousands of titles that would otherwise be unavailable.
You can operate online from any country, and access any Netflix Library, by using a VPN. So whether you want to watch Titanic after it leaves Netflix U.S. this month, or binge all the Harry Potter movies, it might be time to look into getting a VPN.
How Do VPNs Allow You to Access Netflix from Any Country?
Let’s say you want to watch Elle Fanning fight Nicholas Hoult for the Russian Throne in The Great, but you don’t want to subscribe to Hulu. You are in luck because The Great is available on Netflix Australia! Using your VPN, you can operate as if you were actually in Australia.
That’s because a VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, encrypts your data and disguises your IP address so that you can navigate the internet securely and privately. So in addition to providing security against would-be hackers or unethical data collection, a good VPN, like NordVPN for Netflix, will lead your streaming service to think that you’re in a different country, by pushing your computer data through a server in that location.
That said, not all VPNs are created equal. To watch Netflix, you’ll need one that is secure, fast, and with a widespread server to get through most geo-blocks.
The Best VPNs for Accessing Region-Blocked Netflix Libraries
There are a few considerations you should take into account when finding a VPN that can get through Netflix’s geo-blocks. Because constantly pausing your favorite title to buffer is frustrating and time-consuming, it’s worthwhile to pick a VPN with a proven track record for quick, secure connections.
In addition to NordVPN, which is one of the most reputable VPNs out there for accessing Netflix US or Netflix UK, other highly-rated VPNs include ExpressVPN and Surfshark. Each of these VPNs is affordable, fast, and consistently well-ranked when it comes to watching Netflix from home or abroad.
Once you pick your VPN of choice, it’s a relatively simple process.
- Download and install your VPN of choice
- Connect your VPN to a server in your country of choice
- Log in to your Netflix account to see the available content in that country
- Sit back on the couch and enjoy!
Can Free VPNs Also Allow Access to Region-Blocked Netflix Libraries?
Some readers may ask whether or not free VPNs can also access Region-Blocked Netflix libraries. The answer is, well, a bit dicey. After all, few established businesses can offer something for nothing while still maintaining a quality product.
First, keep in mind that free VPNs often enforce monthly data caps. Because streaming video uses up so much data, you might not make it through a single movie before you reach your data limit.
Second, most free VPNs just do not have the capacity to get through region-restricted content. Netflix and other streaming services are regularly improving their ability to detect and prevent VPN streaming. While many lower-rated paid VPN providers struggle to keep up, free VPNs simply do not have the resources to keep their software on the cutting edge.
What to Do if You Encounter a Streaming Error Message
If Netflix thinks that you are using a VPN or proxy service, then you may find yourself with a black screen and a streaming error message announcing that “you seem to be using an unblocker or proxy”. Thankfully, this is fairly straightforward to fix.
- Do your research and choose a VPN with a solid rating. When it comes to accessing region-blocked Netflix libraries, you need a VPN that is fast, secure, and effective.
- Open the VPN app or browser extension. Then, connect to your desired location. Make sure that if you want to watch something on Netflix U.S., then you are connecting through a U.S. server.
- Clear the cache or cookies in your browser.
- If the problem persists, try using a different server or web browser. If this doesn’t work, try contacting your VPN’s customer support for more help.
Is it Legal to Use a VPN to Access Netflix Libraries?
Yes. Currently, it is completely legal to use a VPN to access Netflix in most countries. There are only a few select countries that restrict VPN use, including Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea. Apart from these locations, it is legal to use a VPN on any website from Netflix to HBO.
That said, technically it goes against Netflix’s rules to use a VPN to watch content in another country. But that doesn’t make it illegal, and while Netflix could technically terminate your account, it’s not in the habit of doing so, even for repeat VPN users. After all, the user is still purchasing a Netflix subscription, even if they access the content from another streaming location.
Whether you’re craving The Great British Bake Off or another round of The Office, you can use a reliable VPN to stream your favorite titles anywhere in the world. The most important consideration for you as the user is to choose a solid VPN, whether that’s NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Surfshark, or one of their competitors. With a little research and a bit of installation time, you’ll be back on the couch in no time.
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