Netflix is the top video streaming service in the majority of the developed world. However, much of its content is restricted to the American Netflix library, due to copyright and licensing restrictions. Further still, some countries block access to Netflix altogether for political and censorship-related reasons. An example of this would be China, where you can’t access Netflix due to the “Great Firewall”. Wondering how to unblock Netflix anywhere in the world?
In this article, we’ll discuss your top options. Whether you’re living somewhere like China where you can’t access Netflix, or you’re just looking to access American Netflix, this guide is sure to help.
Using A VPN Will Unblock Netflix Anywhere
The best way to unblock Netflix anywhere in the world is by using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. VPNs are online services that allow you to encrypt and protect your network traffic, and send it to a server in another country, thereby evading geographical bans on websites and streaming services like Netflix.
In the past, some people used Smart DNS services to do this. A Smart DNS service uses a server to assign you an IP address in a foreign country, allowing you to access blocked content. However, most governments and companies like Netflix have caught on to this.
Because Smart DNS services don’t encrypt your connection, it’s trivial for Netflix to see the country you’re connecting from and block your connection. That’s why a VPN is your best choice.
How do VPNs Work to unblock Netflix?
Essentially, A VPN makes it look as if you are actually connecting from another country. Your data is sent through an encrypted “tunnel” to a third-party service located in another geographical location. ISPs, government agencies, and third parties cannot access your browsing data, which is completely safe and encrypted.
For example, let’s say you’re living in China. As long as you have a VPN installed on your computer, you can access a server in America. Then, from that server, you’ll connect to Netflix, where it will look like you’re actually connecting from an American computer.
You won’t be blocked by the “Great Firewall”, because it will appear as if you are simply connecting to another computer in America. Netflix will not block your connection either, because it will appear to be a legitimate, US-based connection, and it’s encrypted to prevent them from viewing your true IP address.
ExpressVPN – The best choice for unblocking Netflix anywhere in the world
There are a lot of different VPN services you can choose from to unblock Netflix. ExpressVPN is our favorite. It is affordable, has top-grade security features, and allows you to purchase your subscription with anonymous currencies like Bitcoin.
ExpressVPN also has a huge number of servers all over the world, so you can access Netflix no matter where you are, and browse all of the different libraries of Netflix content in each country. ExpressVPN has thousands of servers in 90+ countries, spread across more than 145 distinct geographical locations. This ensures you’ll always find a server that works to unblock Netflix almost anywhere in the world.
Finally, ExpressVPN is really easy to set up and use. As long as you already have a Netflix account, you can start watching Netflix in just a few minutes.
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How To Unblock Netflix Anywhere in the World With ExpressVPN
Interested in watching Netflix abroad, but wondering how you can get started with a VPN like ExpressVPN? In this article, we’ll discuss each step of the process, and show you how to unblock Netflix anywhere in the world using ExpressVPN.
Step 1: Create an ExpressVPN account
First things first, you’ll need to create an ExpressVPN account. Head on over to the ExpressVPN website, and get yourself signed up.
You can try out the service with a 1-month subscription for $12.95. If you pay for 6 months of service, you’ll only pay $9.99, and you can get a 12-month subscription for $8.32 per month. If you opt for a longer contract, you can save some cash.
At checkout, you have the option of paying with PayPal, credit cards, and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Finish the checkout process, and then create your ExpressVPN login credentials. You’ll be emailed a confirmation link.
Step 2: Download the ExpressVPN software
Click the confirmation link sent to your email or log in with your new credentials at ExpressVPN.com. You’ll see the following screen:
This screen will have information about your ExpressVPN subscription. Note the “Activation Code” section in the upper-right (blanked out for privacy). You’ll want to copy this activation code, as it’s what you’ll use to authenticate yourself when you sign into ExpressVPN.
You’ll want to click the big green “Download for Mac” button – which will say Mac, Windows, or Linux, depending on the operating system you’re using. If you’re not given the right download link, you can click “Set Up on More Devices” to choose the right platform.
Download the ExpressVPN software and install it on your computer, according to the instructions provided.
Step 3: Install ExpressVPN
Once you’ve installed ExpressVPN, you’ll see the following screen:
You’ll be asked to sign into the ExpressVPN client after you have downloaded and installed it. Press “Sign In” to get started. You’ll need the activation code from Step 2, so go back to ExpressVPN.com and copy it onto your clipboard, if you haven’t already.
Then, simply paste the activation code into the ExpressVPN client. You’ll be authenticated, and then you’ll be ready to use your new VPN. After you finish signing in, you’ll see the following screen.
This is the ExpressVPN client. You can auto-connect to the VPN server nearest to you by simply pressing the large, central “power” button. On the top-left, there is a “hamburger” menu that lets you adjust your preferences, such as type of encryption, whether ExpressVPN connects automatically on system startup, and more.
Finally, “Choose Location” allows you to set the location of your preferred server. This is what we’ll be using the next step.
Step 4: Connect to your preferred server
To unblock Netflix, you’ll need to connect to a server that allows Netflix service. Let’s use America as an example. Open up the location browser with the “Choose Location” button.
As you can see, the servers available are broken down by region. Select “United States”, and you’ll see the following.
Double-click your preferred server to connect to it. In this case, we’ve picked USA – New York. The location interface will close, and you will connect to a VPN server. Once connected, you’ll see the following screen:
The green shield around the power button indicates that you have successfully connected to the VPN service. You’re all set!
Step 5: Start watching Netflix
Head to Netflix now, and start watching your favorite content! You’ll be able to watch Netflix from any country once you’ve set up a VPN connection.
I’m Still Being Blocked From Netflix – What’s Happening?
Netflix has taken steps to try to prevent people from watching Netflix in countries where it’s unavailable, or to prevent them from watching American Netflix while abroad. You may get an error message that says Netflix is unavailable because you’re using a proxy or unblocker service.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty easy for most websites to block VPN connections. If a certain IP address has a lot of different people connecting from it, it might get “blacklisted” and blocked from viewing Netflix until the IP address is changed.
This can happen to ExpressVPN, too. If you find out that Netflix is blocked, and you’ve tried several different servers, you’ll need to contact ExpressVPN customer support. Support is available 24/7, and they would be happy to tell you which servers are still working with Netflix so that you can enjoy your favorite content.
Is Unblocking Netflix with a VPN Legal?
Absolutely. There is nothing illegal about using a VPN to evade geographic detection by Netflix, or to get around firewalls or data blocking in most countries.
Streaming services like Netflix employ geographic content blocking due to licensing restrictions for the TV shows and movies that require a specialized license. Most content providers can make more money if they license their content separately to different countries.
Let’s take watching Netflix in China as an example. Using a VPN is not illegal, and helps you get around the “Great Firewall of China”. You’re perfectly within your rights to do so.
In addition, if you’re a paying US Netflix subscriber, you also have the right to access the content you are already paying to receive. There is nothing wrong with using ExpressVPN to unblock Netflix from anywhere in the world.
So whether you need to evade a government block of a service like Netflix, or you’re looking to access American Netflix while traveling, there is nothing illegal about using a VPN to do so.
Are There Any Alternatives to ExpressVPN?
Yep! If you’re not interested in ExpressVPN, there are a few other great options you can use to unblock Netflix in your country. Here are two of our other top picks.
VyprVPN is one of the most consistent, high-quality VPNs that you can use to unblock Netflix anywhere in the world. Mostly, this is because of the unique “Chameleon” obfuscation algorithm that’s offered by this VPN service.
Chameleon is a proprietary algorithm that scrambles the metadata and connection information of your VPN connection. Essentially, it makes it impossible for any website to perform Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) on your connection, which can be used to identify VPNs, and detect your country of origin in some cases.
This means that VyprVPN always works for unblocking Netflix anywhere in the world. There is simply no way for Netflix to know which country you’re connecting from.
VyprVPN isn’t short on servers or features, either. You can access a total of 700 servers in 70 countries. This is fewer than ExpressVPN, but still gives you plenty of server options. You’ll never have trouble finding a high-bandwidth server to watch Netflix.
VyprVPN also offers apps for most modern devices, like iOS and Android phones and tablets, as well as Windows, Mac, and Linux.
You’ll pay $9.95/month for a monthly subscription, or $5.00/month for a year-long subscription for VyprVPN. However, the service isn’t as cheap if you want the Chameleon protocol, which only comes with VyprVPN Premium. VyprVPN Premium will cost you $12.95 per month or $6.67 annually — which is still cheaper than ExpressVPN.
You can see if you like the service with a short, 3-day trial.
If you’re on a budget and willing to commit to a long-term VPN contract, NordVPN is the right service for you. The highlight of this service is its affordability. You’ll pay $11.95 per month for a monthly subscription, which is comparable to ExpressVPN or VyprVPN.
But if you pay for a year-long subscription, that price drops to $5.99 per month. Commit for 2 years, and you’ll pay $3.99 per month. The company occasionally even offers 3-year plans for just $2.99 per month, which is an absurdly low price. All purchases are refundable with a money-back guarantee for 30 days.
NordVPN doesn’t skimp on features, either. It includes dedicated servers for things like Anti-DDoS protection and P2P file sharing, and has a total of nearly 4,500 servers spread across 62 countries, including more than 2,000 servers in the Americas alone.
This service also allows you to connect on up to 6 devices at once, which beats both ExpressVPN and VyprVPN. In addition, it supports Mac OS, Linux, Windows, iOS and Android, and even has a web extension for Chrome and Firefox, which encrypts your browsing habits and block ads and malicious web threats.
If you’re willing to pay up-front for long-term VPN service, NordVPN is definitely the way to go. And if you don’t like it, you can still get a full refund within 30 days of creating your account.