Access worldwide catalogs from everywhere you are with ease. Changing your Netflix region to watch Netflix internationally or when you’re in another country is possible. We show you how.
Netflix has different movies and TV shows available for streaming in different countries. The Netflix library can differ greatly, depending on where you are. But there are a few tricks to get access to other libraries. For example, if you’d like to watch Netflix USA while you’re in the UK or vice versa.
With over 220 million subscribers across the world, there’s no doubting Netflix’s global streaming popularity. From original shows like Ozark and Stranger Things to movies and documentaries, everyone can find something interesting to watch. Similar post: What Netflix shows are only available in the US, UK, France, etc.
What you can stream, however, varies depending on which country you are connected from. That’s because, like other online streaming platforms, Netflix applies geo-restrictions to its content. This means that if you live in New York, you will see only what’s available in the US catalog. And, when you are traveling abroad, you might not be able to keep up with your favorite show if it’s exclusive to the US market.
In this article, we explore why Netflix content differs from country to country and how you can watch everything on Netflix regardless of where you live.
- Sign up for a suitable VPN service.
- Download and install the VPN app: Make sure to choose the correct version according to your device.
- Connect to the server of your choice: Browse the list of servers available and take your pick. So if you know of a show or movie that’s only available on Netflix’s Canada catalog, choose a server in a Canadian city.
- Log in to your Netflix account: You’ll need to create one and choose a subscription plan if you haven’t done so yet.
- Press play and enjoy your favorite show!
Can I watch Netflix from another country without a VPN?
You can, but you will be able to access only the local library. Even the content you have already downloaded might not be available while in a different country. How To Change Your Netflix Account Region Without A VPN.
While some shows figure across several different foreign catalogs (those Originals we mentioned above, for example), others are exclusive to select regions. On top of that, some libraries are way lower in fresh material compared to the likes of what US and UK Netflix offer.
The only alternative to change your Netflix region without a VPN is using a smart DNS. However, this method is way less reliable. In fact, as unlocking foreign catalogs is actually against Netflix’s terms and conditions, the giant streaming service is trying hard to prevent its subscribers from doing so.
On the contrary, virtual private network providers are always finding new ways to bypass VPN blocks. This is why using a good streaming VPN is the best bet you have to evade geo-restrictions and successfully access all libraries – no matter where you are in the world.
Why Does the Netflix Library Differ Internationally?
According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the Netflix library or catalog differs in each country because of territorial licensing. Here’s how it works.
The producers of any movie or TV show want to maximize profits from their product. So, they license their creation to different content distributors in different parts of the world. Naturally, the highest bidder wins the rights. For the sake of an example, let’s talk about Star Wars.
As a distributor (yes, streaming content counts as “distributing”), Netflix has to decide if enough people in the US, the UK, India, and other regions will watch Star Wars recover the expense of buying the rights.
If Netflix’s research shows an interest in Star Wars in the US but not in India, then it will buy the Star Wars territorial license for the US but not for India. So, US Netflix users will be able to watch Star Wars, but Indian Netflix users will not.
If Netflix’s research shows an interest in Star Wars in both the US and India, it will then bid for the territorial license for both regions. However, some other distributors might offer a higher price for the Indian territorial license or perhaps already have the license. Then, once again, US Netflix users will be able to watch Star Wars, but Indian users will not.
In short, audience interest and territorial licensing determine why the Netflix library varies from region to region.
Netflix is trying hard to secure international availability of all the content on Netflix so that geographic restrictions go away. But that will take some time. So, at least for now, different countries will have access to different Netflix libraries.
How to Watch Netflix From a Different Country
Not all virtual private networks (VPNs) can fool Netflix. According to Netflix Help Center, “using a VPN to access Netflix will hide your region and only allow you to see TV shows and movies available to all regions globally.” In other words, Netflix suggests that your library will shrink.
With the right VPN, however, it’s actually pretty easy to watch the Netflix library from a different country (more on that below). There’s also another technology called DNS tunneling or Smart DNS. Both routes serve the same end purpose: they make Netflix think your device is in a different region than the one you are in.
These methods have some limitations, though. For instance, you won’t be able to use a Chromecast to relay Netflix from your phone to your TV. These methods might also adversely affect the speed of buffering and streaming. However, on the flip side, you’ll have a larger video library than ever before.
Can You Access Another Country’s Netflix Library Using a VPN?
While Netflix says you can’t, you can actually watch a different country’s Netflix library with your existing Netflix account. If you believe in Netflix, you might think that using a VPN would primarily help you enjoy your own country’s Netflix movie and TV show selection while you’re traveling. But this wasn’t the case for us.
We set up a new Netflix account in Canada while using a US VPN. We couldn’t use our Canadian credit card since the ZIP code format didn’t match. However, when we used that same credit card via PayPal, the payment went through, and we could access the US Netflix library, which we verified by trying to access various shows available in the US, but not Canada, or vice versa.
When we turned the VPN off, US-only options, such as Blade Runner – The Final Cut, disappeared. To our surprise, however, we now had access to the Canadian Netflix library, which includes films not available in the US at the time of writing, such as Terminator 2 – Judgement Day. The same happened when we switched our VPN to access the UK and German Netflix libraries. Suddenly, we had access to The Lives of Others, which is available in Germany only, and Amélie (UK, France, Japan, and South Korea).
Changing Your Country by Using Netflix With a VPN
While you can use a proxy DNS to access region-blocked content, it also opens you up to some security risks. Moreover, using the right VPN for Netflix is more reliable. But the biggest point in favor of VPNs is how easy it is to get started.
Netflix is available on all platforms, which gives you some freedom in choosing a reputable VPN that works for you. (Netflix is vigilant about VPN usage and blocks most free VPNs, but many paid VPN services still work.) The process is the same for all of them:
- Install and switch on your VPN.
- In the VPN, choose the country whose Netflix library you want to browse.
- Open the Netflix app or go to the Netflix website.
- Enjoy that country’s Netflix catalog.
Watching Netflix From Another Country With Smart DNS
With things like YouTube, it’s better to use Smart DNS services to watch region-blocked videos, but Netflix has made it harder than ever to use Smart DNS to access another country’s catalog.
The advantage of using this technology is that Smart DNS does not route data through an intermediary server between you and Netflix, so it’s faster. This is especially evident with high-quality streams like 4K videos.
Unlike VPNs, your options are severely limited if you want to use a Smart DNS for Netflix. At the time of this writing, the only one that still works is Smart DNS Proxy, which also supports mainly the US and Canadian Netflix catalogs.
Right now, unless you have some specific other reasons apart from Netflix to pay for Smart DNS Proxy, we recommend paying for a good VPN instead.
How to install your VPN on different devices for Netflix
If you want to set up your chosen VPN service on a smartphone or laptop, you will find this task as easy as downloading and installing a new app.
When it comes to streaming devices, it may be a bit more complicated. While Amazon Fire Stick VPNs have dedicated apps to use, others like Apple TV and Roku do not.
if you have Apple TV, check out our guide on how to use VPNs on Apple TV to learn how to manually configure your DNS IP address with the one you find on your VPN website. Alternatively, from A3 Techworld you can also connect your security software to a router. The latter is actually the only way to set up your VPN on Roku.
With an Android TV, simply open the Google Play Store and look for your VPN’s provider app. For all the other operating systems, the easiest way is probably installing a Smart TV VPN on your router as you would do with an Apple TV or Roku streaming device.
Can I watch Netflix from different countries with a free VPN?
With Netflix continually trying to prevent its users from accessing the platform via VPNs, finding a good free VPN able to successfully unlock foreign catalogs is quite a challenge. These services simply cannot manage to keep up with the new blocking tactics that the giant streaming platform employs.
While limited data and potential safety risks are the greatest downsides, there are even some providers like Proton VPN that deliberately allow streaming only for its paid subscribers.
However, there is a way to enjoy the power of premium VPNs without spending any money. All our favorite VPN providers offer risk-free trials, usually in the form of a 30-day money-back guarantee. Even though you will have to invest the money upfront, you will get those back if you decide to cancel your subscription before the end of your trial period.
What to do if your VPN does not work with Netflix
As mentioned before, Netflix is constantly trying to prevent users from accessing foreign catalogs so that it can make your VPN’s job challenging at times. Try out these hacks in case you’ll have any issues:
- Try a different server in your chosen country. If you’re trying to get American Netflix, for example, the biggest VPN providers tend to have multiple server locations in the US.
- Clear your cookies and then reload the page.
- Try with a different browser.
- Report the issue to your VPN customer support team, asking for a recommendation on the best server to use – many providers even have 24/7 support.
- Sometimes your real IP address can leak information. Enable the leak protection option in your VPN’s settings menu to stop this from happening.
- Switch to another device. Doing that prevents GPS data from being cross-referenced with your IP address.