The Nvidia Shield is often hailed as one of the best streaming devices around. Combining pure power with ease of use, many users turn to the Nvidia Shield when they want quality gaming, web browsing, and of course, video streaming.
But if you’re using your Nvidia Shield outside of the US, streaming everything you want, including American Netflix, might take a few extra steps.
If you want to ensure you get American Netflix on Nvidia Shield anywhere in the world, this guide will help. Below, we’ll walk through how to unblock American Netflix on your Nvidia Shield so that you can access US-based Netflix shows and movies wherever you are.
Use a VPN to Get American Netflix on Nvidia Shield
To put it simply, if you try to connect to American Netflix while outside of the US, you’ll only be served the Netflix library for your current geographic location.
That means you’ll get UK Netflix in the UK, German Netflix in Germany, etc. This is because, outside of Netflix Originals, content rights holders who work out deals with Netflix restrict access to different regions.
If Netflix wants to broadcast certain TV shows and movies to different regions, they often need to pay separately (and, often, more) to obtain the licensing rights for each region. In order to please the content rights holders, Netflix employs geographic content blocks on its service so that users can only access content available to their region.
You can bypass these content blocks Netflix puts up if you utilize what’s known as a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. VPNs are proxy services that allow you to spoof your geographic location and watch the American Netflix library, just as if you were in the US.
Not all VPN services work, however. Most are blocked by Netflix and lack the resources or technology to bypass those blocks. Of the small number of VPN services that still do work to unblock American Netflix, we’ve found ExpressVPN to be the best option.
You can easily install ExpressVPN on your Nvidia Shield. ExpressVPN has an intuitive, easy-to-use Android app which you can find and easily install on your Android-powered Nvidia Shield.
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We’ll walk you through how to get everything set up so you can effectively unblock American Netflix on your Nvidia Shield.
Step 1: Create Your ExpressVPN Account
The first step is to create your ExpressVPN account. You can do this using any device, including your PC, phone, or even your Nvidia Shield. However, the installation process will require either a Mac, Linux, or PC computer or laptop.
Choose a subscription package
Head over to ExpressVPN’s sign-up page. There, you’ll need to follow three simple steps:
- Choose your subscription type
- Enter your email address
- Choose your payment option
ExpressVPN has three different subscription options. If you only need the service for a short time, the 1-month plan is a good choice. You’ll be able to sign up for $12.95 and you can choose whether you want to have the service auto-renew or not in the settings. If you’re outside of the US for a longer term, the 6-month or 12-month options are much better deals and will save you quite a bit of money.
ExpressVPN offers deep discounts for longer-term subscriptions. Undoubtedly, the 1-year subscription plan is the best as it’s nearly half the price of signing up for 1 month.
All of ExpressVPN’s packages come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can cancel the service for a full refund if you don’t like it. We’ve found that ExpressVPN always honors those service cancellations and its refund policy.
This is a concern for us and many other product testers. A failure to actually make the cancellation and refund policy clear, or fulfill the promise of a money-back guarantee, is a bad sign. ExpressVPN passes with flying colors here.
Enter your email address
The next step is simple. Use whichever email address you want to be associated with your ExpressVPN account. You can use a temporary email service like 10minutemail, but keep in mind that if you have a problem accessing your account later and need a password reset, you won’t have an email for ExpressVPN to send information to.
If you’re particularly security conscious, you may just want to create a separate email account., specifically for use with ExpressVPN. Otherwise, just use your regular email address. ExpressVPN has a strict policy about securing user data and information. To date, they have never given away user data.
Select your payment method
ExpressVPN can receive payment from a very large number of payment methods. If you’re concerned about a payment trail while online, Bitcoin and Paypal are secure methods that don’t require you to share your credit card details.
Otherwise, you can use your credit card to sign up. Additionally, you don’t need an American credit card to get access to their American VPN servers. ExpressVPN lets you connect to any server anywhere, regardless of your payment method, and its country of origin.
Step 2: Access your account for the first time
With your account created, ExpressVPN will send you a confirmation email. That email will have a link you can click to open your account settings for the first time through the ExpressVPN website.
Once there, you can peruse your account options (and do things such as adjust auto-renewal settings). Importantly, this is where you can find a link to download your ExpressVPN app.
Although you are installing the app onto your Nvidia Shield, it’s a good idea to download and install the app on your primary computer or laptop first. You will be asked for an activation code during the regular installation process, which you will find in your ExpressVPN account settings.
Step 3: Download and Install the ExpressVPN APK
Although the Nvidia Shield uses a modified version of Android, it does not natively have access to the full Google Play Store. As such, you won’t find the ExpressVPN app on the Nvidia version of the play store, but you can still install the APK.
To do this, you’ll need to:
- Change your Nvidia Shield settings to allow app installations from unknown sources
- Download the ExpressVPN APK onto a flash drive
- Download and install ES File Explorer from your Nvidia Shield Google Play Store
- Connect your flash drive to your Nvidia Shield and Install the ExpressVPN APK from the flash drive using ES File Explorer
If those steps already make sense, feel free to do that now and then skip ahead to step 5 to finish your setup process. Otherwise, here’s a visual walkthrough for those who need it.
Allow installations from unknown sources
To allow installations from unknown sources on Nvidia Shield, go to your “Settings” and then go to “Security & restrictions”. From there, select the slide bar for “Unknown sources” to enable installs from outside of the Google Play Store.
Download ExpressVPN APK on a flash drive
Now, insert your flash drive into your computer and then head over to your ExpressVPN accounts settings page. To the right of the green installation link, you’ll see a link that says “Set Up on More Devices”.
Click that link, then locate the link for “Android”. From there, locate the link that says “Download APK”. Click to download the APK file and make sure to choose your flash drive as the download location.
Install ES File Explorer on your Nvidia Shield
Before inserting your flash drive into your Nvidia Shield, make sure you have the ES File Explorer installed.
To install it, go to your Google Play Store from your Nvidia Shield and search for ES File Explorer. Download and install this app.
Insert flash drive and install ExpressVPN APK
Now, insert your flash drive into your Nvidia Shield’s USB slot. You should get a message that asks you to “Open ES File Explorer when this USB device is connected?” Click on “OK” to proceed. This will open ES File Explorer.
Click on the word “Local” in the ES File Explorer interface, and then on the name of your USB flash drive on the bottom right.
Locate the APK file, click on it, and click to install. Once the installation is complete, you can open the ExpressVPN app.
Step 4: Setup your ExpressVPN App
With your ExpressVPN app installed, it’s time to do the last part: setup!
Open your ExpressVPN app, and then enter your login information (username and password). If you’re unsure of your password, ExpressVPN should have emailed this to you in the initial sign-up email. You can change your password in your account settings, or reset it on the ExpressVPN website.
Once logged in, go to the bottom right where you see “Choose Location”. From there, look for and select a United States server and click on it. ExpressVPN will automatically connect to the server of your choice.
The big button in the middle will show become illuminated with a green shield when you’re successfully connected, as seen in the above picture. You can now access American Netflix to your heart’s content! Just be sure to disconnect from ExpressVPN if you want to access your local Netflix library again.
Troubleshooting: Netflix Is Still Blocking Me. What Do I Do?
There’s a chance that you will still get a proxy blocking message from Netflix, even after connecting to one of ExpressVPN’s US-based servers. This is because ExpressVPN occasionally gets blocked by Netflix. When that happens, the service will shift IP addresses and servers to keep things going.
If you’re getting blocked by Netflix while connected to ExpressVPN, head to the ExpressVPN website and then hit live chat on the bottom right of the screen, where you see “Need help? Chat with us!”
You will be connected to an ExpressVPN customer service agent (they’re available 24/7) who can help you determine which server currently works to access American Netflix. You’ll just need to provide the email address you used to create your account. Your customer service representative should be able to point you to the correct server.
This is also where ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee comes in handy. If for some reason the service still won’t work to bypass Netflix, you can easily get a refund and close down your account, in favor of an alternative service.
ExpressVPN will usually get the job done, although there are some others we can recommend as well, including NordVPN (cheaper option), StrongVPN (quality features), and VyprVPN (proprietary obfuscation technology).
Why Can’t I Easily Get American Netflix on Nvidia Shield?
Whether you bought and are using your Nvidia Shield outside of the US, or you’re traveling with your precious gaming/streaming device in tow, once you’re outside of the US, your device will be registered to your new location once you take it online. Any Nvidia Shield connected to the internet in the UK, for example, will be assigned a UK-based IP address and be registered through a UK-based DNS server.
If you try to log onto American Netflix while abroad, you’ll only get the library for where you’re currently located. Due to geographic content restrictions on some content, each country where Netflix is located has sometimes very different libraries of content.
You could try to use a DNS proxy service, such as Smart DNS or DNS codes, but these will be easily blocked by Netflix. Instead of seeing the Netflix library, you’ll see the following message:
Netflix employs software to detect and block proxy services. As DNS proxies are not encrypted, they’re easily detected and blocked by Netflix.
This is why a VPN is necessary. VPNs like ExpressVPN encrypt your data through private tunnels between you and a server located in a different country. In this case, you’re connecting to a VPN server in the US, which is getting internet access through an American-based ISP.
Not VPN services will work, however. Some are too slow to properly provide you with effective video streaming. More importantly, however, many others lack the requisite number of IP addresses to effectively bypass Netflix proxy bans.
Others may have a large number of IP addresses to utilize, but may then lack the necessary encryption to help evade the Deep Packet Inspection, or DPI, that Netflix employs to detect VPN connections.
This is why your best option is to use a VPN service such as ExpressVPN that has a proven track record of being both safe and effective against the Netflix proxy ban, and also has an Android app, to get American Netflix on Nvidia Shield.
Tech, video games, and a good book. I love all of them, and I'd write about all of them if I had the chance! I've been a teacher in the past, now a writer for tech-related news, guides, and information.