Netflix has changed the game for TV and movie lovers around the world. Now, at the touch of a button or the tap of a screen, users can enjoy instant access to a veritable library of media content, from the latest big-budget blockbusters to little-known shows from around the world.
Speaking of the world, Netflix is a global sensation, becoming popular in many different countries from the United States and Canada to New Zealand and Japan, and it actually offers different content depending on the country in which the user is located.
Fortunately, one of the main abilities of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is to be able to make it seem like the user is in different countries around the world, even when they’re staying in the same place, and this ability can be used to access Netflix content from different countries, no matter where you are.
There are even countries that block Netflix entirely or limit access to the service, but with a VPN for Netflix installed on your devices, you can bypass these blocks. Read on to learn about how the best VPNs can be used to help you enjoy all the Netflix content you love.
How is Netflix Different from Country to Country?
Netflix is available in over 190 countries already, but depending on where you are when accessing the service, you’ll get totally different experiences. Over in France, for example, some of the shows and movies found on the US Netflix may not be available, but certain exclusive French shows and movies will appear in the list of content.
Why Does Netflix Have Regional Restrictions?
There’s only one word you need to know to understand why the content library differs on Netflix from country to country: copyright. It’s all down to copyright. The rights to distribute individual movies and shows can vary from country to country.
For example, Netflix has the rights to stream a show like House of Cards on its network in the US, but in another country, those same rights might have been bought by a local broadcasting network, so the show won’t be available on that country’s Netflix.
It all comes down to the rights, and this is why many Netflix users in certain countries can feel like they’re missing out, as some of the most popular shows and films available on Netflix in the US may not be available on their version of the service.
How Does a VPN Work for Netflix Streaming?
Geo-restriction is the only way for Netflix to protect the rights holders for each show and film and avoid getting into any messy copyright claims and legal disputes. It’s understandable on their side, but it’s also understandable that many people want to break through those geo-blocks and get to the good stuff!
This is where a VPN comes into play. VPNs are hugely popular with people who want to watch Netflix. In fact, one of the top reasons people say they get a VPN in the first place is purely to access Netflix in other countries.
A VPN works by masking the user’s IP address by rerouting their internet connection via secure servers located in different places around the world. When you connect to a site or service via one of these servers, the site thinks that you’re in that country, even if you’re actually on the other side of the world.
Basically, a VPN can make Netflix think that you’re in different places, thereby bypassing the geo-restrictions.
How Do You Use a VPN to Access American Netflix?
The exact numbers of movies and shows in each country are always changing, but in general, Netflix US has hundreds or even thousands more unique offerings than Netflix in other nations around Europe, Asia, and Africa, for example.
This makes American Netflix one of the most desirable versions of the service, and people from around the world want to be able to enjoy that same variety and quantity of content, no matter where they are.
Similarly, when Americans travel outside of the country on vacation or happen to move abroad, they want to be able to get access to the same shows and films they would be able to watch in their home nation.
So how do you access American Netflix with a VPN? Well, the exact process can vary from one VPN to the next, but in general, it’s as simple as choosing an American server to connect to and then loading up Netflix. Since your VPN is running through a US server, the Netflix system will give you access to its US content.
What About Using a VPN for Netflix in Other Nations?
Maybe you’re an American wanting to access Netflix Japan, maybe you’re Japanese wanting to access Netflix UK, maybe you’re British and want to get into Netflix Belgium. The list goes on and on, but the system is always the same.
If you want to access another country’s Netflix content without actually being in that country, you need to use a VPN. All you need to do to bypass Netflix geo-restrictions is to load up the VPN, choose a server in the corresponding country, and then head to Netflix.
Will My Netflix Account Work in Other Countries?
Yes! One of the best things about Netflix in its current state is that you only need one account to access every single version of the service. So if you wonder ‘Do I need to make a new Netflix account when using a VPN?’ the answer is no. You can log in with the same email address and password as usual.
How Does Netflix Feel about VPN Usage?
What does Netflix as a company think about all this? Well, in simple terms, they’re not too happy. They’re pretty lax about letting people share passwords and accounts, but they don’t like the idea of users breaking through their geo-restrictions. In fact, they’ve even started fighting back, gradually identifying and blacklisting IP addresses that are associated with VPN servers.
What Is the Netflix VPN Proxy Error
The Netflix VPN proxy error is an error message you may see when trying to access Netflix with a VPN. It basically blocks the user from getting into Netflix and gives them a message asking them to turn off their VPN or proxy service. You might think this is a cause for concern, but the best VPNs for Netflix have so many servers and so many unique IP addresses that it’s virtually impossible for Netflix to block them.
How to Bypass the Netflix Proxy Error with a VPN
The best VPNs have thousands of servers in 100+ countries worldwide. With so many different servers all masking the user IP address, it’s very easy to get to the Netflix service you need. In the unlikely event that you do encounter the proxy error with a Netflix VPN installed, all you need to do is just switch to another server in the same location until the message goes away.
Do All VPNs Work with Netflix?
Unfortunately, no. This is why it’s so important to read through reviews and check out all of your options before subscribing to a VPN for Netflix service. Some of the top VPNs offer unrestricted access to Netflix, but others will just give you the Netflix proxy error mentioned above.
Which Devices Can You Use to Watch Netflix with a VPN?
This depends on the VPN you get and what compatibility options it has. In general, the best VPNs for Netflix work on PCs, laptops, Macs, and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets too via their own mobile apps.
Will a VPN Affect Netflix Speed or Quality?
Your internet speeds can impact the quality of Netflix shows and movies, as well as how long you have to wait for the content to load and whether or not you need to endure any pauses, freezes, or buffering.
Netflix recommends download speeds of 3,000 kbps to watch content in standard quality (480p), 5,000 kbps for HD (720p), and 25,000 kbps for Ultra HD (1080p and 4K). The vast majority of households nowadays in countries like the US and UK have sufficient speeds for Ultra HD streaming, but how does a VPN affect this?
Many people fear that a VPN will slow down their internet connection. This can happen, but only with certain VPNs and certain servers. If you’re using a low-quality VPN and trying to connect to a server on the other side of the world, your speeds may drop and the quality of your streams may suffer. However, with the best Netflix VPNs, speed loss shouldn’t be an issue.
How to Find the Best VPN for Netflix
To find the best Netflix VPN, we recommend reading through our reviews and getting our expert advice on the top options. The top factors to consider are whether or not the VPN has been proven to offer unrestricted Netflix access, the location of its servers to ensure you can access the Netflix you need, and the download speeds it can offer, as reduced speeds will impact the quality of video streaming.
The best VPNs for Netflix tend to have lots of servers, great speeds, and proven Netflix access. It also helps to have strong security features, no-log policies, good customer service, and an affordable price plan too. You may even want to consider a VPN with a 30-day trial, letting you test out the Netflix access yourself and get your money back if you’re not totally satisfied.