Do you think you’ve watched everything on Netflix? Well, think again. Netflix has grown considerably over the last couple of years and is now available in most countries. However, the content is different in every country. In this article we try to explain why this is the case and how you can bypass area restrictions. So if you want to gain access to the American Netflix offer, stick around!
Different content on Netflix
Netflix is a streaming service that offers a large amount of movies and series. As you might know, it differs how much of that content you can watch in your country. It is no surprise that the US Netflix offers the largest amount of content. Most other countries only offer access to a third of the total content. This is not Netflix trying to be mean. They have contracts with distributers in every country that they have to honor. These distributers push Netflix to control who can access certain content. Luckily, you can bypass these area restrictions. Netflix originals, such as, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Narcos are aired in all countries. In these cases Netflix own the rights and doesn’t have to deal with a middle man.
There are several ways of bypassing area restrictions for Netflix. However, some methods are now being attacked by Netflix and won’t work anymore. In our eyes a VPN is the best method. A VPN also provides the user with freedom, anonymity, and security. We have listed a top of the four best VPN provider. Finally, we also describe some alternatives like the use of a proxy, Tor, and a DNS service.
Using a VPN to bypass area restrictions
We tested several VPN providers on the following features and created a top 4 of the best VPN providers that will allow you to watch US Netflix content.
Access to Netflix
For the purpose of watching Netflix, a VPN provider has to meet several needs. As mentioned before, Netflix is closing in on these type of services. They are giving off error messages if they can detect that a VPN is used. Not all VPN providers are fighting back, so this is the most important feature we tested on. If we could not watch Netflix through a provider we did not include them in this list. Please note that we try to update as often as possible, but seeing as this is an ongoing fight between Netflix and VPN services, things are changing quickly.
Another feature that is important when bypassing area restrictions is speed. When you are watching Netflix, you don’t want to wait for you 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 rerouted through different countries. Understandably, the bigger the distance the slower the connection. With some providers you can hardly notice the different, but with others the speed can be quite frustrating. The same it true for the stability of the connection. Note that we tested all these providers from the Netherlands. Our experience with the speed and the stability of a connection can be slightly different from yours if you are in a different country. Luckily, most providers allow you to test their services for a certain amount of time before commiting to a subscription.
Because the VPN providers are in a constant battle with Netflix it can happen that Netflix will block certain servers a providers 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 discover by Netflix.
Dedicated IP address
Another service that some providers have, is a dedicated IP. Netflix can discover 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 not causing any suspicion with Netflix. However, this feature does often cost extra.
After testing several VPN providers on these features we have come up with the following top 4 of providers.
4 best VPN providers for watching Netflix
ExpressVPN works very well for watching Netflix, especially because of the high speed of the connection. This is a big plus if you are streaming because it means you won’t have to buffer constantly. Moreover, they have a great offer of servers and have built a strong reputation in the field op VPN provider. They also offer great customer support and user-friendly applications for all devices.
It is true that ExpressVPN is definitely not the cheapest option around, but there is a reason they are at the top of all the lists. In the fight against Netflix, ExpressVPN is constantly updating their servers, making sure there are always connection that allow you to access Netflix. If it happens that Netflix blocks your access, ExpressVPN’s customer service will help you find the right server. If you would like to read up on them take a look at our full review of ExpressVPN.
GOOSEVPN is a relatively new provider based in the Netherlands. They might have a lower number of servers than most big providers, but they make sure there is always at least one US server that can host Netflix. Their applications are user-friendly and their connection is fast enough to stream without much buffering.
If you are planning to use GOOSE to watch Netflix we would recommend their Unlimited plan. This provides you with unlimited data which is useful since Netflix uses up quite a lot of data. You can try it for free the first month. If it doesn’t work to your liking you can easily terminate your subscription.
PureVPN constantly creates new American IP addresses to outsmart the Netflix restrictions. It seems they are doing a good job at that. To use the special servers you have to select the ‘dedicated IP address’ mode and pick the following VPN server: abcgo.pointtoserver.com (with a L2TP protocol). This might sound difficult but it really isn’t. If you cannot get it to work yourself, PureVPN has a live chat customer service that will walk you through it.
During our test we were able to watch American Netflix content in full HD. We did not experience any hiccups or annoying buffering. For this reason PureVPN is definitely one of our favorite providers for watching Netflix.
NordVPN is a very popular VPN provider, especially because of their great offer of servers. Like the others we have mentioned, NordVPN actively works on the availability of Netflix through their servers. They have a special Smart Play feature that is exclusively focused on watching Netflix. A big plus is that NordVPN is extremely cheap for the quality it offers.
Their Smart play-technology (an encrypted SMART-dns feature) makes it look like you are in another county. 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. Apparently, it is fairly difficult for Netflix to detect this type of bypass. NordVPN also offers dedicated IP addresses that will ensure a bypass of area restrictions.
One downside we experienced in our test was that the connection speed was sometimes insufficient. We tested it from the Netherlands, so it might be different in another country. However, this is why NordVPN is only fourth in our list.
Free VPN to use Netflix
Although there are some free VPN providers that will allow you to bypass restrictions we wouldn’t recommend it. First of all, free VPN providers can use the information they gain on you to sell to other parties. Secondly, it is way more likely they will infect your PC with malware because their protection can be lacking. Moreover, most of them do not offer any customer service. This means that they won’t be able to help you if you need help getting access to US Netflix content.
Other benefits of using a VPN
Watching Netflix content in other countries 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 on 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 feature make it impossible for hackers, government, 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 completely anonymous online.
All in all, a VPN is useful for so much more than just watching US Netflix. It offers you freedom, security, and anonymity online. If you are interested in reading up on these other features you can read our article on the use of a VPN.
Other methods to bypass area restrictions
Proxy servers and Tor
Some will say you can use proxy servers or Tor to watch American Netflix. Our experience, however, is that Netflix blocks the use of a proxy. Moreover, the connection won’t be as strong 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 networks and servers, Tor can be slow as well. Moreover, you cannot make sure that one of the last servers is in the US, providing you access to the US Netflix content. 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.
Using a DNS to watch American Netflix
As an alternative to using VPN you could use a DNS (Domain Name System). A DNS is a server that acts like an address book that helps your computer navigate the internet. A service like this can also help to change your location online. We noticed in our tests that there are several Smart DNS providers that work well to gain access to the US Netflix. However, do keep in mind that these services don’t function as a replacement for a VPN. Most importantly, a DNS does not encrypt your data, neither does it reroute your traffic. Because of this you cannot surf the web anonymously like you can with a VPN. So if you are only interested in watching Netflix, DNS could be for you. But if you want more security, freedom, and anonymity, we recommend a high quality VPN service.
If you are interested in using a DNS we recommend ibDNS by the VPN provider Invisible Browsing VPN. They offer a DNS service as well as their regular VPN plans.
The ongoing quest of distributor in the movie industry to ban illegal downloading and streaming only causes us to be more creative. Our recommendation right now would be to use a VPN to bypass area restrictions. Hopefully this article has helped to find the VPN for you. We will keep testing these services for their effectiveness and keep you posted!