Many people are looking for a way to access the American version of Netflix because of its huge collection of films and series. Usually, the amount of content Netflix USA has to offer is way larger than the local Netflix databases of most users. These people have found a solution to be able to watch the American Netflix outside the US: a VPN.
In order to get access to American Netflix, people usually take the following steps:
- They get a subscription with a good VPN provider. The four best for Netflix currently are: ExpressVPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost and NordVPN;
- They download the VPN software on a smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop;
- They use the software to connect to an American VPN server;
- They log in to Netflix to access all content on Netflix USA.
According to us and our readers, the best VPN provider for Netflix is ExpressVPN. It automatically connects you to the American version of Netflix and reaches very high streaming speeds.
Do you think you’ve seen every show and movie on Netflix? Think again! Netflix is a service available in many countries that has grown considerably over the last couple of years. However, every country has a different version of Netflix with its own library of movies and shows. In this article we’ll explain why these libraries aren’t all the same and how you can access different Netflix databases.
It’s quite easy to get access to the movies and series that Netflix offers in a different country. Do you want to watch the American version of Netflix (which has one of the biggest number of films and series) even when you aren’t in the USA? Stick around. We’ve got a few solutions for you.
The Best Ways to Watch American Netflix Abroad
There are several ways to bypass Netflix’s area restrictions and watch more series and movies. Do you want to get the most out of Netflix and access its biggest library? Here are the three best way to watch Netflix USA:
- Use a VPN: with the right VPN you can quickly access the American Netflix from anywhere in the world by changing your IP address to an American IP address. ExpressVPN works especially well with Netflix and also has many fast servers in the US.
- Use Smart DNS: with Smart DNS you can change the virtual location of your computer and bypass online geographic restrictions so you can access Netflix USA. Please note that your internet traffic is not encrypted when you use Smart DNS.
- Use an American proxy server: a proxy server will redirect your internet traffic, allowing you to access the content of the American Netflix. However, proxy servers are often slow and Netflix is often quick to block them.
A VPN is the best and easiest method to watch Netflix freely and comfortably. A VPN also provides its user with freedom, anonymity, and security. In this article, we’ll list the four best VPN’s for watching Netflix. We’ll also tell you how we decided on these four and why it’s better not to use a free VPN. Finally, we’ll also describe some alternatives to a VPN, such as the use of a proxy or the Tor browser.
The 4 Best VPN Providers for Netflix
With a VPN you can easily circumvent online geographic restrictions. Netflix is one of many websites that is different depending on the country you are in. Simply use a VPN server that’s located in a different country, and you’ll get to watch that country’s version of Netflix. However, not all VPN providers are capable of getting you access to all of your favorite shows. You need a good VPN that actively tries to get around the Netflix blocks. After all, Netflix, like many other streaming services, tries to prevent VPN users from accessing Netflix by blocking VPN server IP addresses. Nevertheless, there are still VPNs that can circumvent the restrictions enforced by Netflix.
If you want to use a VPN to watch the American version of Netflix, you need a VPN server located in the USA that isn’t blocked by Netflix. On top of that, the server has to be fast enough, so you won’t have to wait for videos to buffer. We tested a lot of VPN providers on several features necessary for watching Netflix comfortably without restrictions. This is our top 4 of the best providers for Netflix. Here they are:
1. Stream Netflix quickly with ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is a great VPN for watching Netflix, especially because of the high speed of its servers and connections. This is especially useful for streaming, because it means your videos won’t have to buffer constantly. Moreover, ExpressVPN offers a large number of servers in many different countries and has built a strong reputation over the years. They also offer great customer support and user-friendly applications for all devices.
ExpressVPN isn’t the cheapest option, but there’s a reason it’s at the top of our list regardless. In their efforts to bypass Netflix’s geo-blocks, ExpressVPN is constantly updating their servers. This way they make sure that they always have servers available that allow you to access Netflix anywhere in the world. If Netflix does end up blocking you (which happens very rarely with ExpressVPN servers), ExpressVPN’s customer service will help you find the right server as quickly as possible. In other words, watching Netflix with this VPN won’t be a problem. If you’d like to read more about this provider, you can take a look at our ExpressVPN review.
- Very easy to use VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
2. Watch Netflix with CyberGhost’s specialized servers
CyberGhost is a great VPN provider for watching Netflix. They offer a large number of servers spread over 90 countries. This way you can choose yourself which version of Netflix you wish to access. Moreover, their servers have excellent speeds and won’t slow down your connection too much. Due to the special streaming options of CyberGhost’s VPN software, you can easily connect to a working Netflix server. The CyberGhost app offers a list of special servers that are optimized for all kinds of streaming services across the world. This means you’ll be able to use CyberGhost to watch Netflix easily and quickly. You won’t have to search for a working server yourself, as is the case with most other VPNs.
The CyberGhost app is easy to use and has a specific mode for streaming. It’s a great app for everyone who’s only just starting to use a VPN. If you run into problems while streaming, you can always contact CyberGhost’s customer service, who will help you out quickly and efficiently. All in all, CyberGhost is definitely one of the best VPN providers if you want to watch the American version of Netflix. Find out more about this provider in our extended review of CyberGhost.
- Very user-friendly
- High quality for a low price
- Torrents and Netflix possible
3. Easily stream Netflix with NordVPN
NordVPN is a very popular VPN provider that is a great choice for everyone who wants to watch American Netflix. NordVPN is constantly working on its service to ensure it never fails to provide access to Netflix. They have a special Smart Play feature, which makes it very easy to visit the American version of Netflix. Their Smart Play-technology (consisting of an encrypted SMART-DNS feature) automatically makes it appear as if you’re in the USA when surfing to the Netflix website. After the connection with the American Netflix has been established, the servers won’t be rerouted anymore. This feature reduces the loss of speed that usually happens when you use a VPN. Moreover, it’s fairly difficult for Netflix to detect this type of bypass, so you’ll be able to watch your favorite shows and movies without any problems.
A big advantage of NordVPN is that it’s a very affordable provider for the quality they offer. NordVPN also offers dedicated IP addresses and obfuscated servers, both of which provide extra “camouflaging” for your VPN connection. This could be useful in the long run, as the servers used with these methods are less likely to be blocked by Netflix. Even so, a normal NordVPN connection will already provide you with access to the American Netflix in most cases. If Netflix doesn’t work, simply refresh the page or select another server in de app. Are you curious about this provider? Read all about NordVPN’s safe and convenient extra options in our NordVPN review.
- Excellent protection and a large network of servers
- Nice and pleasing application
- No logs
4. Access to different Netflix libraries with Surfshark
Surfshark is a relatively new provider that quickly rose to the top of the VPN market. Their software is extremely user-friendly and their speeds are excellent as well. The chances you’ll experience any lag due to this provider are very small. If you use Surfshark to watch Netflix, you’ll be able to get access to a lot of different versions of Netflix. Surfshark is able to unblock fifteen different Netflix libaries. Using a Japanese server, for example, will give you access to the Japanese version of the platform, whereas an American server will send you on to Netflix USA. If you visit Netflix with a server that isn’t able to unblock the local version of the platform, you’ll automatically be sent on to the American version.
Besides access to Netflix, Surfshark has many extra options that will enhance your online experience. Surfshark uses extremely safe protocols and allows you to anonymously download torrents. They offer all of these services for an incredibly affordable price, making it a very worthwhile VPN. There’s something else that makes Surfshark a great VPN for watching Netflix: with just one affordable subscription you can connect an unlimited number of devices. In other words, if you use Surfshark, you and your entire family will be able to watch (American) Netflix on any device you want! Read our full Surfshark review to learn more about this provider.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30 days money back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
How to Watch American Netflix via a VPN
A VPN connection does three things: it encrypts your internet traffic, redirects all data via a remote server, and hides your location by changing your IP address. When you connect to an American VPN server, your data traffic is redirected through the United States. This makes Netflix believe you are on American soil, meaning you get access to the American Netflix.
You might be wondering how exactly you can do this once you’ve got a VPN at your service. Do you want to know how to watch Netflix step-by-step with a VPN? Click the button below for an easy and quick guide!
How Many Movies and Series Does Netflix Have?
There’s a site called uNoGS that maintains an up-to-date database of the Netflix library in specific countries. Using this data we made a graph that shows just how much content Netflix USA has compared to other countries:
As you can see Netflix UK tops the list, followed closely by other countries with a lot of English speakers (Canada and the US). Not surprisingly, countries with a lot of inhabitants tend to have more movies and shows available than those with less inhabitants. For example, Mexico (a Spanish speaking country) and Brazil (a Portuguese speaking country) have a larger Netflix library of shows and movies than Spain and Portugal respectively. Many Anglo-Saxon countries defy this rule when compared to their non-English speaking counterparts, however, as can be seen above. Australians have way more content available to them than Germans, even though there are more than three times as many people living in Germany.
Keep in mind that the films and series Netflix offers to different countries are constantly changing. Content is added and removed every day, so the numbers will be constantly fluctuating. Even so, the differences will remain. In general, the UK version of Netflix comes out on top as having the biggest library with the most content.
Series and Movies Only Available on Netflix USA
Although the UK has recently taken over the top spot of country with the most amounts of shows and movies, Netflix USA is still enormously popular. It’s therefore not a surprise that Netflix USA is still the most popular Netflix version to people living outside of the us. This difference in number of shows and movies is not because Netflix is trying to be mean to its customers. The company actually has contracts with distributors in every country that they have to honor. These distributors push Netflix to control where customers can access certain content. Luckily, you can bypass these restrictions with a VPN.
Netflix originals, such as 13 Reasons Why, Orange is the New Black, and The Crown are aired all over the world. In these cases, Netflix owns the rights and doesn’t have to deal with a middle man. The same, unfortunately, isn’t true for other series and movies. We’ve listed some Netflix content that’s currently available on the American version of Netflix, but not everywhere else in the world. Firstly, here are some series:
- All American
- American Horror Story
- Attack on Titan
- Grey’s Anatomy
- New Girl
- Parks and Recreation
- Private Practice
- The Office (US)
- The Twilight Zone
- The West Wing
- Twin Peaks
Netflix US also has a lot of movies that aren’t available worldwide:
- A Serious Man
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Avengers : Infinity War
- Blue Valentine
- Dallas Buyer’s Club
- Frances Ha
- God’s Own Country
- Inglorious Basterds
- Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Documentary)
- Kill Bill (vol. 1 + 2)
- Mary Poppins Returns
- Pan’s Labyrinth
- Rosemary’s Baby
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- The Hundred-Foot Journey
- The Lobster
- The Princess and the Frog
If you aren’t in the US right now, or would simply like to access your usual Netflix content while staying safe online, we recommend using one of the VPN providers mentioned in our list of best Netflix VPNs above.
Why Doesn’t Netflix Work With Every VPN?
Netflix doesn’t always work when you’re using a VPN. This is because the company is actively trying to stop people from trying to circumvent their geographical restrictions. As we’ve mentioned, Netflix has legal contracts with producers and film distributors all over the world, meaning a huge part of their content can only be shown in specific countries. You won’t find all American series and films on the UK version of Netflix, nor the other way around.
In order to enforce these ‘rules’, Netflix uses the location attached to your IP address to determine whether you should get access to certain content. If you, for example, use a German IP address to go online, you’ll get to see the German version of Netflix when you log into your account. A VPN can change this, because it changes the IP address you use to access the internet.
However, Netflix knows this happens. That’s why they try to figure out the IP addresses used by VPNs, by looking at traffic numbers, and subsequently block these IP addresses. Instead of being able to watch any movie or series on Netflix, many VPN users therefore get to see an error message, stating that they have to turn off their proxy connection/unblocking tool in order to be able to use the platform.
Fortunately, Netflix is trying to make its shows and movies accessible anywhere in the world. This would mean that all Netflix users would have access to exactly the same films and series in time. It’ll take a while before we’ll reach that point, however. For now, a good VPN that isn’t blocked by Netflix will give you the biggest chance of reaching foreign Netflix content with your account.
Using a VPN to Bypass Geographic Restrictions
We tested several VPN providers on the following features and created a top 4 of the best VPN providers for watching (American) Netflix. You’ve already read about our top 4 earlier on in this article, but perhaps you’re curious about how we picked these services. Why these ones, and not others?
Below are five different factors we took into consideration while creating our top 4. The VPN providers above excel on all of these fronts, earning them a spot on our list.
Access to Netflix
For the purpose of watching Netflix, a VPN provider has to meet several requirements. As mentioned before, Netflix is closing in on these types of services. Netflix will display an error message if they detect the use of a VPN. Not all VPN providers are trying (and succeeding) to bypass this restriction, so this is the most important feature we test on. If we could not watch Netflix with a provider, we didn’t include them in this list. Please note that we try to update as often as possible, but seeing as this is an ongoing back and forth between Netflix and VPN services, availability of Netflix through specific servers and even providers can change quickly.
Another feature that is important when watching Netflix with a VPN is speed. When you are watching Netflix, you don’t want to wait for your movie or episode to load. Thus, speed is very important for this ranking. Using a VPN can make your connection slower because your internet traffic is often rerouted through different countries.
Understandably, the larger the distance between servers, the slower the connection. But between different providers there are also large speed differences. With some providers you can hardly notice the difference, but with others the slow speeds can be quite frustrating.
The same is true for the stability of the connection. Our experience with the speed and the stability of a connection can be slightly different from yours if you live outside of Europe. Luckily, most providers allow you to test their services for a certain amount of time before committing to a subscription.
Because the VPN providers are constantly having to find ways around geo-blocks, it can happen that Netflix will block certain servers a provider uses. This is the moment that customer service becomes important. If the provider has a good customer service they will be able to guide you to a server that is not yet blocked by Netflix.
Dedicated IP address
Another service that some providers have, is a dedicated IP. Netflix mainly discovers VPN IP addresses when they see that lots of people are using Netflix from the same IP address at the same time. With the service of a dedicated IP the VPN providers will give you a personal IP in, for instance, the USA. You will be the only person using that IP address, thus likely not causing any suspicion with Netflix. However, this feature does often cost extra and slightly reduces your level of privacy.
If you use Netflix about as much as we do (which is a lot), you probably like to watch movies on different devices as well. Your smart TV, laptop, tablet and smartphone all could play Netflix content. But can you also reach a foreign country’s Netflix content on there? The answer is yes: most of the top VPNs also work on all those devices.
All VPNs we recommend for Netflix have useful apps that can easily be downloaded and installed on your smartphone as well as your tablet and smart TV. In other words, you can enjoy a larger offer of movies and series on whatever device you own: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows PC, Chromecast, Android TV and other Android devices.
Free VPN to Use With Netflix
Although there are some free VPN providers that will allow you to bypass geo-restrictions, we don’t recommend using those. First of all, free VPN providers can use the information they gain about you to sell to other parties. They will likely be more inclined to do this than paid services, because of the stronger financial incentive.
Secondly, most of them do not offer the highest standard of protection. Often free services won’t have any customer service. This means that they won’t be able to help you if you need help getting access to US Netflix content or encounter any other issues.
Most importantly, most free services don’t have the resources to constantly one-up Netflix. The chances that Netflix will work with a free VPN are slim. Even if it works, you’ll probably encounter extreme loading times because you have to share a server with many other users. If you want to watch Netflix comfortably a free VPN simply isn’t an option.
Pay Less For Your Netflix Subscription With a VPN
If you don’t have a Netflix subscription yet, you could also use a VPN to get a nice discount. We did extensive research on the different prices of a Netflix subscription in different countries. By choosing a VPN server in a specific country, you’ll be able to subscribe to Netflix as if you were in that country.
This doesn’t affect the content you’ll be able to see on the platform. After all, you always get to see the version of Netflix that corresponds with your location. It doesn’t matter whether you subscribed to Netflix from Argentina or Turkey: if you use an American IP address to access Netflix, you’ll still get to see all movies and films that are part of the American catalog.
Currently, it’s cheapest to subscribe to Netflix with a Turkish IP address. In case you’re wondering how to get this done, you can have a look at our research: Save Money on Netflix. There, you’ll find everything you need to know in order to get a cheap Netflix subscription using a VPN.
Other Benefits of Using a VPN
Unblocking country-specific Netflix content is not the only benefit a VPN service has to offer. It provides you with almost complete freedom on the internet. Area restrictions are imposed by streaming services but there are also countries that limit the internet access of their citizens. This type of censorship can also be bypassed with a VPN.
A VPN encrypts all of you internet traffic. It also reroutes all of the traffic through their servers. These features make it much harder for hackers, governments, or other parties to gain access to any of your personal data. This way, a VPN offers the security that you can move around safely on the internet.
Another important feature of a VPN is the anonymity it can offer you. Because the VPN reroutes your traffic through a different IP address no one will see your own IP address. Your IP address is linked to your location and ultimately to you identity. By hiding you IP address with a VPN you are much more anonymous online.
All in all, a VPN is useful for so much more than just watching the U.S. Netflix content. It offers you more freedom, security, and anonymity online. If you are interested in reading up on these other advantages you can read our article on the advantages of a VPN.
Other Methods to Bypass Area Restrictions: Proxy Servers and Tor
Some will say you can use a proxy server or the Tor browser to watch the American Netflix. Our experience, however, is that Netflix blocks the use of most proxies. Moreover, the connection won’t be as stable and fast as with other methods which means loading can be very tiring.
Tor functions as a browser and works by sending your internet traffic through different servers all over the world. Each server will offer another layer of anonymity. Because the traffic has to travel through so many different “nodes”, Tor can be slow as well.
Moreover, you cannot make sure with the Tor browser that the exit server (last rerouting node) is located in the US. This means trying to access U.S. Netflix through Tor is not much more than a gamble with low odds. Streaming videos on Netflix requires a fair amount of data speed. For this reason we would recommend the use of a good VPN instead. Moreover, a VPN can provide you with a lot more perks than just watching American Netflix, as covered in the previous section.
Watch Netflix Using Smart DNS
All computers have a unique IP address. This IP address is linked to a name. The Domain Name Servers (DNS) keep track of which website name belongs to which IP address. You can see DNS as Internet’s phonebook. A Smart DNS allows you to change the location of your computer. Via Smart DNS, you make contact with an American server and are assigned an American IP address. This is a good way to unblock the American Netflix and access the full US Netflix library anywhere in the world.
Keep in mind that a Smart DNS does not encrypt and redirect your internet traffic. For more secure and private internet, we recommend the use of a VPN.
Final Thoughts: Watching US Netflix Abroad
The ongoing quest of distributors in the movie industry to ban illegal downloading and streaming means that sometimes even people with a valid Netflix or other streaming subscription are targeted with restrictions. Our recommendation right now would be to use a VPN to bypass area restrictions and to watch the American Netflix, or any other version of Netflix you enjoy watching. Hopefully this article has helped to find the right VPN for you. We will keep testing these services on their effectiveness and keep you posted!
You’ll find a quick answer to all your questions about watching Netflix with a VPN below. Simply click on a question to see the answer. Do you still run into a problem or have a specific query? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, so we can help you out.
There are several VPNs that work well with Netflix. We recommend ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, NordVPN, and SurfShark. These providers have plenty of servers that will help you stream any content you want on Netflix. Moreover, they offer the speed you need to stream a movie or series without waiting for it to buffer all the time.
Some VPN servers are known to Netflix. If you are using one of these servers, Netflix will recognise the server’s IP-address and block your access. However, there are several good VPN providers that make sure there’s always a server available that Netflix hasn’t detected yet.
Unless you’re in a country where using a VPN is prohibited, watching Netflix with a VPN is completely legal. Netflix doesn’t encourage the use of VPNs with their service, but even so using a VPN is legal in many parts of the world.
The movies and series available on Netflix differ per country. The American version of Netflix has the biggest content library. If you’re currently not in the US but want to watch a movie that’s only available on the American version of the streaming service, you need a VPN. This way you can connect to a VPN server in the United States and gain access to Netflix USA.
Many free VPNs don’t work with Netflix, because Netflix has blocked the IP addresses of those servers. In other words, you won’t get access to the series and films on the streaming service while the VPN is activated. Occasionally, a free VPN server might work for a while, but this typically doesn’t last long. Instead, if you wish to use Netflix with a VPN, it’s better to choose a cheap, premium VPN, such as Surfshark.
Watching Netflix with a VPN is simple. You simply get a subscription with your provider of choice, connect to the right VPN server (for instance a US server if you want to watch Netflix USA) and go to the Netflix website or app. If you need a more detailed, step-by-step guide, check out this article.
Netflix may recognize that you are trying to access their site while you have a VPN or proxy turned on. They have a list of known IP addresses of Proxies and VPNs they deny access to. If you try to watch Netflix whilst having such a proxy or VPN turned on, you will not be able to watch movies or series until you turn the proxy or VPN off.
If you still want to watch Netflix via a VPN or Proxy, for safety reasons for example, you can try to choose a different VPN/Proxy server and reconnect.