If you want to watch American Netflix from outside the United States, you need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. After testing out several different popular VPN services, we’ve identified four that still provide an international entry point for American Netflix: ExpressVPN, StrongVPN, NordVPN, and VyprVPN. Continue on to find out everything you need to know about how to watch American Netflix abroad.
Your best option: ExpressVPN
Out of the four VPN services listed above, ExpressVPN is the best all-around choice. The main thing I like about it is that it lives up to its name. It’s a very fast VPN service. The speed probably has something to do with the way ExpressVPN has set up custom-built servers that are designed specifically for streaming.
Even if you’re not good with computers, you’ll have no trouble using this VPN service. If you happen to run into any issues, you can always open up a chat and get an immediate response. With other services, you have to open up a ticket and then wait for a reply.
This is what the ExpressVPN desktop app looks like at the time of writing:
As you can see, the interface consists of three buttons. All you have to do is select “United States” and then choose a server in the US that’s currently optimized by ExpressVPN for American Netflix. The company regularly changes which servers are optimized for American Netflix, so you may need to contact customer service to determine which server to use if you’re struggling to find the right one.
Friendly and quick customer support
All American Netflix VPNs experience occasional service issues. The reason: Netflix is always looking for new ways to prevent VPN users from accessing its services. When Netflix makes a change, you have to reach out to customer support for answers.
ExpressVPN has an interesting way of helping its customers connect to American Netflix. After you sign up, you have to download the software and log into the program. Then, you have to contact customer support to find out which server to use. This strategy of using the customer support team to direct Netflix subscribers to the right place prevents confusion and allows ExpressVPN to balance its server loads more efficiently.
Additionally, we’ve found that ExpressVPN’s method has thus far helped it stay well ahead of the Netflix proxy ban. By switching servers regularly and getting customers to contact them directly to find working servers, the service has been able to actively provide servers that help bypass Netflix proxy bans ever since the streaming service instituted them.
To find customer support, go to the ExpressVPN homepage, then click on the green live chat button on the bottom right. In my experience, ExpressVPN technicians are always on top of American Netflix solutions. They tend to be nicer compared to techs from other VPN services, too.
StrongVPN was the first VPN I started using when I moved overseas. Though the interface now seems a bit dated, it still works fairly well. You can get American Netflix with StrongVPN, it has good device support, and it’s affordably priced.
Getting started with StrongVPN is also fairly straightforward. First, you sign up for an account, then you download the installer, pick a US server and connect. Once you’re on the network, you can load up Netflix and enjoy an expanded range of titles.
Extensive protocol list
One way to rate the effectiveness of a VPN service is by the quality and number of its VPN protocols available for users. StrongVPN’s list of protocols is fairly impressive.
You can choose between L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv2 protocols, as well as WireGuard, a proprietary VPN protocol more commonly associated with the VPN service carrying the same name. The option to use WireGuard’s protocol is excellent as it’s shown to be faster than the popular and more commonly-used OpenVPN protocol.
NordVPN also provides a quick and easy way to access the American Netflix catalog from outside the continental United States. It offers a 30-day free trial, supports most devices, and has great discounts if you choose a long-term subscription plan. NordVPN’s client is quick and responsive and its intuitive buttons and menus make it user-friendly.
Lots of extra features
NordVPN is king when it comes to advanced features. NordVPN has “specialty servers” that let you do things like hide behind two interconnected VPN connections.
However, you don’t need to configure a specialty server to use NordVPN with Netflix. During my test, NordVPN let me get into American Netflix right away. NordVPN’s advanced features give you a way to create your own workaround in the event that Netflix updates its anti-VPN defenses.
Currently, Netflix is fairly easy to beat because it uses simple methods to determine your location. However, if Netflix starts using other kinds of data to figure out where its subscribers are located, a deluxe VPN service like NordVPN could come in handy.
VyprVPN claims that its vaunted “Chameleon mode” is strong enough to overcome China’s anti-VPN technologies. With Chameleon mode on, VyprVPN customers look exactly like everyone else on the web. There’s no way to block them out or prevent them from accessing any part of the internet.
VyprVPN also has good device support, solid prices if you choose a long-term subscription plan, and a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you don’t like the service. Like the other VPNs I tried, VyprVPN’s client is extremely easy to use. Here’s what it looks like:
Chameleon mode is interesting, but in my testing I didn’t need to switch it on to access American Netflix. So if you want to save some money, you may want to get the basic VyprVPN service instead of VyprVPN Premium.
The standard version of VyprVPN is significantly less expensive, but it doesn’t come with Chameleon mode. Also, VyprVPN Premium allows 5 simultaneous connections. With VyprVPN standard, you get 3.
Fast speeds, great performance
Out of all the VPNs I’ve tried, I’ve had the best luck in terms of performance with VyprVPN.
VyprVPN’s CEO is a self-proclaimed Netflix geo-hopper
Perhaps because Netflix is a large and influential streaming service, very few VPN services have gone on record to speak out against their anti-VPN policies. Golden Frog CEO / VyprVPN boss Sunday Yokubaitis is the exception. In a blog post, Yokubaitis said that Netflix’s blanket ban on VPN services doesn’t make any sense.
“As a Netflix customer, I know that they collect my billing information, including my mailing address and country. Why doesn’t Netflix use the customer billing information to display the correct content to users?” – Sunday Yokubaitis
Though Netflix may one day figure out how to effectively block all VPNs, the fact that Yokubaitis is dedicated to helping his customers access American Netflix wherever they go means that VyprVPN likely won’t ever stop finding Netflix workarounds.
How does a VPN help me watch American Netflix abroad?
When you connect to Netflix using any internet-connected device, it looks at your “IP Address” to determine the geographic area where you’re connecting from. So if you’re in America, you’ll have an American IP address.
And if you’re in a different country, your IP address can be used to identify your location — and determine that you’re not in the United States. If Netflix detects this, the service will serve up the local Netflix library — rather than the American Netflix library.
A VPN such as ExpressVPN allows you to connect to an American VPN server, which will have an American IP address — since it’s actually located in the country. Then, once you connect to Netflix, it will think that you’re in America, and you’ll be able to watch your favorite content on Netflix.
Why would I want to watch American Netflix abroad?
Because American Netflix has some shows and movies that are not available in other countries. For example, if you’re on a business trip to Ireland and you try to connect to Netflix on your laptop or phone, you’ll be given the Irish Netflix library, which may not have all of your favorite shows or movies.
If you have a VPN like ExpressVPN, you can connect to an American VPN server and then watch your favorite content without any issues. It will be just like you’re back in the United States!
Why does my VPN keep getting blocked from Netflix?
The short answer is that Netflix knows that people use VPNs to get around its content “geo-blocks.” And they don’t like it. If too many people connect from the same VPN server, Netflix may “blacklist” it, and keep it from connecting to the service.
This happens pretty frequently, since lots of people use VPNs to access Netflix. But don’t worry. You can just try a different VPN server until you find one that works. Or, if you contact your VPN’s customer support team, they may be able to point you in the right direction, and help you choose a VPN that will unblock American Netflix abroad.
Why aren’t all Netflix regions the same?
The answer boils down to licensing and distribution issues. Simply put, just because Netflix has distribution rights to a movie or a show in the United States doesn’t mean that it also has those rights in other countries like the UK, Japan, France, South Korea, or any of the other countries it serves.
For example, Rick and Morty is available on Netflix in 32 different countries including Australia, Israel, Italy, and Singapore. However, it’s not available on American Netflix because in the United States, HBO Max and Hulu have the broadcast rights for Rick and Morty.
So if you are living or traveling abroad, you can use a VPN to watch shows that are only available on American Netflix. The opposite is true, too. If you live in the United States, you can use a VPN to watch shows that are not normally available in America.
What’s the best way to watch American Netflix abroad?
The answer, of course, depends on what you’re looking for in a VPN service. Here’s a quick breakdown.
The most reliable VPN for Netflix…
I personally can vouch for ExpressVPN because it’s the one I use the most. In my experience, the other services are spotty and don’t always work like they should.
The most inexpensive VPN for Netflix…
When it comes to monthly subscription plans, all VPNs are about equal. If you subscribe to a long-term plan, most VPNs have similar monthly pricing.
However, we must warn you against using “free” VPNs. Free VPNS are very dangerous. They may track your browsing to serve up ads, and they can even infect your computer with malware. You can learn more about the risks of using free VPNs in this TechRadar article.
The most full-featured Netflix VPN…
When it comes to dodging Netflix’s VPN block, VPN services have all kinds of tools at their disposal. For example, VyprVPN has “Chameleon mode,” which is designed to help Chinese VPN users access the free world.
NordVPN comes with a bunch of cool advanced features including Double VPN, link to Onion Over VPN, and more. Best of all: You don’t have to pay extra to use them.
Nevertheless, extra features are not always necessary or effective at unblocking streaming content, meaning your choice will ultimately come to which services provide the best access to Netflix without much hassle.