If you want to watch American Netflix from outside the United States, you’ll 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.
The process for using a VPN is very similar in most countries, so you’ll be able to watch in American Netflix in places like the UK, Canada, Australia, and many more. Continue on to find out everything you need to know about how to watch American Netflix abroad.
Our top pick: Watch American Netflix with ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is our top choice for watching American Netflix abroad. 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.
The service also provides an extra three months free when you sign up, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
An overview of ExpressVPN
Before reading on, Check out this 5-minute condensed video guide about ExpressVPN:
Even if you’re not good with computers, you'll have no trouble using this VPN service, with its incredibly simpler interface and set up process. 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.
ExpressVPN participates in independent audits
ExpressVPN is one of several VPN brands that has promised to take part in regular independent tests. At the beginning of 2019, ExpressVPN published an audit that was conducted by the security firm Cure53. Cure53 determined that ExpressVPN had “no security issues which would allow [attackers] to influence the state of the VPN connection via a malicious web page.” The report went on to state that the issues that were identified, which were “minor mistakes in the WebExtension’s code,” were easily fixed.
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.
Alex Munkachy, a freelance writer at Flixed, had this to stay about their customer support:
“ExpressVPN's excellent customer support is one of its major perks. Other VPN services I've tried force you to use a self-service ticket system when something goes wrong. This is annoying because it requires you to wait for a response. You don't have to do that if you use ExpressVPN because they offer live chat support. More importantly: their technicians really seem to know what they're doing.”
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.
ExpressVPN offers apps or manually configuration for just about every device you can think of. You can use ExpressVPN on devices like: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, Amazon Fire tablet, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV/Stick, Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Apple TV, Playstation 3-5, Roku, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, LG TV, Samsung TV, Routers, and more.
Watch American Netflix with StrongVPN
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, 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.
Using scramble mode
To get around Netflix’s proxy ban, you can turn on StrongVPN‘s scramble mode. To switch on scramble mode, just click the “Advanced” button and then select the “Options” tab. Change the setting from disabled to enabled, then reload Netflix.
StrongVPN has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Fire TV, Chromebook. You can configure StrongVPN on your routers, Chromium OS / Chrome OS, Linux, Ubuntu Linux, Synology NAS, Amazon Kindle, and more.
Watch American Netflix with NordVPN
NordVPN also provides a quick and easy way to access the American Netflix catalog from outside the continental United States.
Before you read on, check out this 5-minute video guide all about NordVPN:
An overview of NordVPN
It offers a 30-day free trial, supports most devices, and has great discounts if you choose a long-term subscription plan. NordVPN’s interface is quick and responsive and its intuitive buttons and menus make it user-friendly. This is currently what the NordVPN interface looks like:
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.
NordVPN is available on devices like: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Android TV, Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, Chromebook, Kindle, Raspberry Pi, Meta Quest 2, Routers, Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo Switch.
Watch American Netflix with VyprVPN
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 interface 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.
VyprVPN is available on devices like: Windows, macOS, Android OS, iOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Amazon OS, Routers running firmware like Tomato Firmware, DD-WRT Firmware, OpenWRT, and AsusWRT/AsusWRT-Merlin, QNAP, and Synology NAS.
Watch American Netflix with VPN Chrome Extensions
If you use Google Chrome as a web browser or use a Chromebook, you can also access American Netflix by using VPN Chrome extensions. Chrome offers the following services as extensions:
Why use a VPN browser extension?
Adding a VPN to your Chrome browser as an extension offers some unique benefits.
A Chrome browser extension means you can use the VPN without having to install the app. It also means that if you’re using a Chromebook, you’ll still have access to a quality VPN. Most VPNs do not include freestanding apps for Chrome OS, making a Chrome browser plugin a good workaround. Additionally, a Chrome extension for your VPN allows you to use the VPN faster, with much less of a headache.
There are some downsides to a Chrome extension, however. Chrome extension VPNs are only designed to connect or disconnect from the VPN. As a result, you’ll have fewer options, limiting how much you can do with the extension. Still, a Chrome extension for your VPN provides a more streamlined use of your VPN without the hassle.
Watch American Netflix on gaming consoles with a VPN
Using a VPN, you can access American Netflix on gaming consoles like Playstation and Xbox. There are 2 ways to go about this:
- Using a router-based VPN
- Using a Mac or PC’s network connection
Using a router-based VPN
Using a router-based VPN is usually the best way to get a VPN service on gaming consoles and other such devices. A router-based VPN is different from a VPN that is only installed on one of your devices.
This is because, when you use a VPN on a router, you encrypt all of the web traffic that goes through your router. That means that every wired and wireless connection in your home is secure, and will be protected from ISP snooping.
Not all routers are VPN-compatible, though. ExpressVPN offers a number of different routers that are compatible with its VPN service. If you are thinking about getting a new router, this is the easiest way to set up a router-based VPN. You can even purchase a pre-configured router to ensure that all you have to do is log into your ExpressVPN account to get started.
If you already have a router that you want to use, you can set it up manually. However, the process can be quite difficult if you’re not technically-savvy. Don’t worry, though. If you run into any issues, you can contact the VPN service to get help.
Using a Mac or PC’s network connection
For this method, you’ll need the following things:
- An ExpressVPN subscription
- An ethernet cable
- A USB-ethernet adapter (for newer computers)
- A PC or laptop
- Your gaming console
You’ll need to log into the VPN app of your choice on your computer and connect to a server. Then you’ll plug in the ethernet cable to your computer and console. From here, the process differs depending on whether you have a PC or Mac.
- Navigate to “Network and Internet”, then “Network and Sharing Center” in your control panel.
- Click “Change Adapter Settings” and find the network connection with the name of your VPN.
- Right-click, select “Properties”, then click the “Sharing” tab and make sure that the “Allow other network users to connect through your computer’s internet connection” box is checked.
- After this, select “Local Area Network” form the “Home Networking Connection” drop-down menu located below. This will enable you to share your connection over Ethernet.
- Open “System Preferences”, then click the “Sharing” menu.
- Next, select “Internet Sharing” from the list that appears on the left of the window.
- From the drop-down menu, select “Share your connection from”, and choose “Wi-Fi”.
- In the “To computers using” section, select “Apple USB Ethernet Adapter”, or “Ethernet”, depending on whether or not you are using an adapter.
Watch American Netflix with DNS servers
Another way to access American Netflix abroad is by using Domain Name Server (DNS) codes to configure your IP address before logging into Netflix. Here is a list of free and public DNS servers to use:
|Provider||Primary DNS||Secondary DNS|
|Google Public DNS||18.104.22.168||22.214.171.124|
|Comodo Secure DNS||126.96.36.199||188.8.131.52|
Just go into your device’s network or Wi-Fi settings and enter one of the above set of codes to configure your IP address. The process of setting this up varies across devices, so be sure to check instructions for your specific device.
Why use DNS codes?
DNS codes are nothing more than the IP address names assigned to different DNS servers around the world. Each ISP will use two different addresses for their DNS servers: a primary address, and a secondary address. These numbers align to the primary and the backup server that the ISP uses in case the first one goes down. American DNS codes are essentially IP addresses that are assigned to American DNS servers, such that Netflix will read the address and assume it is an American requesting access to its servers.
Consider the risks
While using DNS codes is a possible way to watch American Netflix, the method comes with two high-level risks.
DNS codes can expose you and your information to hackers. The codes connect you to servers elsewhere, and in many cases, those codes are a ruse posted by hackers themselves. Once connected, they can snoop through your browsing activity and possibly steal private information.
DNS codes are constantly getting blocked by Netflix. Netflix increased its efforts to block the use of DNS proxies. They can do this rather easily, in fact, by running software that detects when users are using IP addresses that are none for anonymizing and circumventing geographically-blocked content. They can also detect how many requests are coming through certain DNS servers and block those servers when an irregular increase in requests start appearing. As more DNS servers get used, more get added to a somewhat growing list of blacklisted sites.
Can Smart DNS unblock American Netflix?
SmartDNS was a very popular and and effective service for unblocking geo-restricted content, and watching American Netflix. Using SmartDNS, it was possible to “spoof” your IP address and make it look like you were in America, allowing you to watch the full library of American Netflix content. However, Netflix and other content providers have caught onto this. Because SmartDNS traffic is not encrypted, they have begun blocking users of SmartDNS and other services.
Can I use IPVanish to stream American Netflix?
IP Vanish is another fast and reliable VPN service, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work with American Netflix.
After reaching out to IPVanish to see whether or not a Netflix workaround is available, an IPVanish customer support agent explained that IPVanish no longer works with Netflix:
“We apologize for the inconvenience and for not addressing this in a more convenient way but despite our best technical efforts, IPVanish can no longer support access to BBC / SkyGo / Amazon / Netflix / Hulu etc. Our hope is to make IPVanish work with as many websites as possible, but it is more important for us to remain transparent with you about this restriction. The BBC / SkyGo / Amazon / Netflix / Hulu etc. has taken measures to block all VPN connections from IPVanish. Though we have implored the network not to target those protecting their online privacy with our service, these pleas have fallen on deaf ears.” - IPVanish customer support
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?
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.
Alex Munkachy also tested NordVPN for himself and mentioned this about streaming Netflix abroad:
“Without a VPN, I can only watch 171 TV shows and 548 movies when I’m in Budapest. With a VPN, though, I can get nearly ten times more content. Many other countries have even smaller Netflix libraries. Netflix subscribers in Thailand, for example, can only access 94 TV shows and 210 movies.
When I’m connected to a VPN server that works with American Netflix, I can watch AMC’s The Walking Dead without any problem. But as soon as I disconnect from my VPN, Netflix blocks me from watching The Walking Dead and suggests that I watch Night of the Living Dead instead.”
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.
Related: Why Netflix Japan Now Has More Titles Than The US
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 can personally 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.
Can you use ExpressVPN to access other American streaming services?
Yes. The same technology that ExpressVPN uses to help its customers override Netflix’s geographic blocks can be used to circumvent other streaming services’ virtual barriers. We’ve been able to successfully use ExpressVPN to reach Hulu from outside the United States, for example. The best way to find out which streaming services that ExpressVPN supports is to open a chat window with ExpressVPN’s technical team. They’ll give you the most up-to-date information about the streaming services that work with ExpressVPN.
Eric Liston • Author
Eric Liston is a content writer based in Columbus, Ohio. Since 2015, he’s been writing about technology, cord-cutting, and helping everyday people save money. He also has expertise writing about medicine, dentistry, insurance, and a variety of other industries. No matter what he’s writing, his focus is always on simplifying complex concepts and making them approachable for everyone. When he’s not slamming away on his keyboard at his home office, you’ll find Eric reading sci-fi novels, improving his disc golf game (he just hit his first 400-foot drive) and playing video games on his gaming PC.
Kelsey Reynolds • Editor
Kelsey Reynolds is Flixed’s content lead. She is based in Minneapolis. Kelsey holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota, and has spent her career writing and editing content about marketing, education, emergency preparedness, science, cannabis, and entertainment. When she’s not at her computer, Kelsey can usually be found working in her garden or walking her two dogs in the park.