Netflix uses an array of geographical filters to keep subscribers pigeonholed into their local content regions. If your VPN provider isn’t equipped to deal with Netflix’s filters, you’ll run into the dreaded proxy error message when you try to avoid them.
Fortunately, Netflix’s location filters are easy to sidestep if you know what you’re doing. Read on to find out how to unblock American Netflix in the UK.
Proxy Error Fix
In recent months, Netflix has improved its ability to detect VPN usage. As a result, more and more VPN users are running into the proxy error message.
If you already have a VPN and you’ve run into this error message, you can use ExpressVPN to get around it:
Sometimes, you can fix the Netflix proxy error by adjusting your VPNs settings. Other times, there’s nothing much you can do on your side. Your VPN service has to be willing to make changes on their end.
If your VPN’s support team is unable or unwilling to tango with Netflix, the only thing you can do is switch your VPN provider.
How to Unblock American Netflix in the UK with ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is the best way to unlock American Netflix in the UK. Now that ExpressVPN is offering three free months of service, anyone can try it out risk-free.
Here’s everything you need to do to get started with ExpressVPN.
Step 1: Sign Up for ExpressVPN
Visit the ExpresssVPN website to get three free months of VPN service. The site looks like this:
Step 2: Download and Install the ExpressVPN Client
- ExpressVPN’s client is super easy to install. Just log into ExpressVPN, then download the installer to your hard drive.
- Select the installer file and double click to begin the installation process.
- After installation has completed, you’ll be prompted to run the ExpressVPN client on your PC or Mac computer. Once loaded up, your client should look like the following:
Step 3: Login to ExpressVPN and connect to the San Francisco server
- Before you can use ExpressVPN, you’ll need to login with your credentials. Once logged in, ExpressVPN will keep your client logged in automatically as long as it has an internet connection
- To log into San Francisco, select Change Location on the lower left-hand side of the window.
- A window will pop up providing you a list of countries to choose from. Find and select the United States, or use the search bar at the top and type in “United States”:
- Now, select San Francisco. (The San Francisco server is ideal for logging into restricted streaming services outside of the US.)
- After making your choice, double click the location name. ExpressVPN will automatically begin to connect:
- Once connected, your ExpressVPN client will tell you that the VPN is “On”:
Congratulations! Setup is complete.
American Netflix Still Has the Most (and Best) Content
If you’re an American living or traveling in the UK, you might be disappointed when you pull up Netflix.
According to Allflicks, American Netflix has about 5,575 shows and movies. The UK version of Netflix has around 4,800.
In addition to paying the same monthly fee for less content, Netflix subscribers in the UK also have to wait longer to get the most popular movies.
When we compared the British Netflix catalog to American Netflix in October, we found that American Netflix had 7 of the top 10 movies of 2016. The UK version of Netflix didn’t have any of 2016’s top movies at all.
Why is Netflix Blocking Brits?
In order to understand why Netflix is blocking UK residents from accessing the American version of Netflix, you have to first understand how licensing works.
When a new TV show or movie comes out, the studio that produced it sells broadcast licenses to anyone who wants to buy them.
Movies usually debut first in the theaters. A few weeks later, most movies make their way to pay-per-view services. Then, the DVD comes out. Finally, Netflix and other streaming services are allowed to buy up the rights.
The trouble is that ever country has their own licensing players. In the UK, for example, Sky and ITV compete for movie rights. In other countries, there are different players.
Because different countries have different broadcasters, licensing timetables move at different speeds. It takes time for the executives involved to sort out the details of who gets to broadcast what.
Streaming technology offered by companies like Hulu and Netflix are disruptive. They make it harder to control who gets to watch what. So in order to preserve the old business model, executives have forced Netflix to implement content filters.
The ExpressVPN Advantage
Because ExpressVPN is equipped specialized servers, it’s more reliable than other VPN providers. configurable ports and built-in obfuscation, its very hard to beat. In addition, ExpressVPN is faster and their customer support is always on top things when Netflix changes its anti-VPN defenses.
Because ExpressVPN incorporates obfuscation and other advanced VPN technologies, it is much harder for Hulu and other streaming services to block.
In my experience, ExpressVPN is the fastest option for accessing the American version of Netflix abroad. This is probably because its servers are optimized for streaming. Most competing VPN services don’t offer optimized streaming servers.
Unlike new startup VPN services, ExpressVPN has the resources to offer live support.
Because ExpressVPN can quickly identify problems with Netflix geo-hopping by collecting and monitoring trouble tickets, it can adapt as soon as Netflix makes a move.
If you encounter an issue, just hop over to the ExpressVPN site and open up a live chat.
Hopping Across the Pond
Netflix and other streaming services use so-called “geo-blocks” (virtual walls that prevent users living in certain locations from accessing content in other areas) to divvy up their user base into separate licensing regions.
Netflix uses your IP address to decide which regional box to put you in.
IP addresses are just like the physical mailing addresses that help postal workers figure out where to go when they deliver mail. Each time a computer sends and receives information on the web, they use IP addresses to sort out who is sending what to whom.
The key to getting into American Netflix is changing your IP address from a British one to an American one. You can do this easily by using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. All you have to do is sign up with a VPN service and log into one of its US-based servers.
Here’s the Catch
A few years ago, nearly any VPN would let you access different Netflix territories. Now, only a few VPNs still work with Netflix.
Because millions of people around the world started using VPNs a few years ago, Netflix had to react. In 2015, Netflix decided to try to block all VPNs.
VPN companies fought back with Netflix workarounds. Then Netflix blocked the workarounds. Some VPNs gave up, but others kept at it and found new workarounds. Then Netflix blocked those workarounds, too.
The cat-and-mouse game continues – and noone is exactly sure how it will end.
The problem for Netflix and other companies that implement IP address blocks is that the internet is inherently difficult to contain.
IP addresses are by no means set in stone. In fact, they’re easy to change.
Additionally, new technologies allow VPN services to camouflage their users, letting them blend in with ordinary Netflix customers that don’t use VPNs.
The battle between VPN services and Netflix rages on, but many VPN services have packed it in. Maintaining a Netflix-compatible VPN system likely takes a tremendous amount of work and not all VPN services have the resources to keep up the fight.
After following the back-and-forth VPN war for several months, we were able to identify one VPN service that almost always works with Netflix: ExpressVPN.
Why ExpressVPN Is the Best VPN for Unblocking American Netflix
Unlike other VPN services that gave up on helping their subscribers get to American Netflix, ExpressVPN seems to be dedicated to helping their users geo-hop.
Just as a zebra’s stripes make it difficult for predators to identify and hone in on an individual zebra, ExpressVPN’s obfuscation technologies allow you to blend in with Netflix users that aren’t using VPNs.
ExpressVPN does this by setting up special servers that are specifically designed for high performance streaming. Once you’ve logged into the server, you can access American Netflix from anywhere in the world.
There are many different VPN services that claim to help their subscribers get access to American Netflix. However, not all of them are safe– and some of them don’t even work at all. ExpressVPN is faster, more reliable and has a better trial period than the competition.
Like most VPN services, ExpressVPN has apps for Android and iOS. The apps let you get American Netflix on your Apple TV and Android TV boxes as well as your computer.
Still Encountering Issues? Try This Proxy Error Fix
Here’s a quick summary of what to do if you run into problems accessing American Netflix while connected to ExpressVPN.
Clear your cache
Every app / web browser has a different method for clearing cache, but generally all you have to do is open up settings and look for a “clear cache,” “clear browsing data” or “delete temporary files” option.
Change your timezone
In addition to cache, your time zone also provides a clue about your location. Changing your system time to an American time zone is a second workaround you can try if you run into any errors.
Netflix has been attempting to block VPNs since 2016 and has shown no sign of changing its anti-VPN policies anytime soon. So if you are an American that travels frequently or if you live in the UK, you need a good VPN to help you access American Netflix.
After reviewing several of the available VPN services, we’ve decided to make ExpressVPN our go-to VPN service. ExpressVPN has excellent prices, great customer support and speedy service. Whenever you want to get American Netflix in the UK or wherever on the planet that you’re located, you can always use ExpressVPN to get the most out of your Netflix subscription.
Perhaps the biggest advantage that ExpressVPN has over the competition is its excellent customer service. Customer service is key when it comes to VPN services because Netflix and other streaming services are constantly updating their anti-VPN blocks. Keeping up with the constant changes requires a resources that smaller VPN companies can’t afford. ExpressVPN, however, have made customer service a priority. As soon as Netflix makes a change, ExpressVPN adapts to it almost immediately.