How to watch US Netflix outside the US

If you’re outside the US, you might’ve realised that the Netflix library is different to the one in the US. For example, while you can enjoy “Better Call Saul” on US Netflix, it’s absent from the UK version.

This is due to copyright regulations. In simple terms, Netflix has the green light to stream “Better Call Saul” in the US, because it owns the rights to the show. In the UK however, it doesn’t and therefore it isn’t available.

This can be frustrating as research has shown, the US version of Netflix has a lot more content.

The good news is it’s easy to watch US Netflix outside the US. With a trustworthy VPN, you can convince Netflix that you’re in the US and access your usual shows regardless of your location.

How to watch US Netflix outside the US: Quick Guide

To watch US Netflix outside the US, you need a US-based IP address. To get one, all you need to do is follow these steps:

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Create a new account with ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

  3. Select a server in the US

  4. Watch US Netflix outside the US

Why is Netflix different in other countries?

When Netflix started, it was only available in the US. As time passed, the streaming service expanded its reach and by 2016, Netflix had undergone massive growth, becoming available in most parts of the world.

While Netflix as a platform is universally accessible, its content selection differs from one region to another. This is due to content licensing agreements and broadcasting rights ownership.

Content licensing agreements dictate the terms under which TV shows and movies can be distributed and accessed. They lay out conditions that often include restrictions based on geographical location. For example, content producers may stipulate that a movie or TV show can only be shown in a certain country.

Similarly, for Netflix to broadcast content in a location it needs to own the broadcasting rights for that location. If it does not, a different streaming service may own those rights and broadcast the show. If a movie or TV show is on US Netflix, Netflix owns the US broadcasting rights. That doesn’t mean it owns them in all countries though.

In essence, each country’s Netflix library varies because studios may or may not grant Netflix the rights to their content, or Netflix doesn’t own the rights to broadcast that content.

Can I watch US Netflix outside the US?

The good news is its easy to watch US Netflix outside the US. All you need is a reliable VPN.

For best results, opt for top-tier providers like ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) – some of the best VPNs for Netflix.

VPNs effectively fool Netflix into believing you’re accessing the platform from within the US, granting you the much larger US Netflix library access.

They do this by assigning your device a unique IP address that makes it look like you’re connecting from the US.

See when you connect to Netflix, it scans your IP address because your IP address contains information detailing where in the world you’re located. Once scanned Netflix determines where you are and gives you access to the appropriate content library. For instance, if you’re in the UK, knows you’re in the UK because of your UK IP address. It then provides you with the UK Netflix library.

VPNs like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access allow users to modify their IP address. Using these, you can swap to a US-based IP, which will trick Netflix into granting access to its US library.

How to watch US Netflix outside the US

Does Netflix block VPNs?

To maintain content licensing agreements, Netflix attempts to block VPNs. However, it’s challenging to blanket-block every VPN. Instead, Netflix tends to block the specific IP addresses that VPNs provide.

This blocking primarily affects free VPNs. Free VPNs often have a massive user base and only a limited pool of IP addresses. When this happens, customers are forced to share IP addresses.

Netflix detects these shared IPs by constantly scanning for an unusually high number of connections coming from a single IP address.

When hundreds or thousands of connections come through to Netflix’s servers from the same IP address it knows it has been supplied by a VPN.

Over time, if Netflix identifies all IPs from a particular VPN, you’ll run into VPN not working and more specifically Netflix not working with VPN problems. To get around this you need to use a good VPN for Netflix.

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The best VPNs for Netflix?

VPNs compatible with Netflix typically meet three criteria:

  1. They possess an extensive pool of IP addresses, reducing the likelihood of IP sharing.
  2. They maintain a reliable network of dedicated servers and virtual servers worldwide.
  3. They incorporate strategies to counter Netflix’s VPN blocking efforts.

On occasion, even the best VPN encounters IP blocking by Netflix. However, the best VPNs are able to respond to these blocks.

ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access engage in an ongoing game of cat and mouse with Netflix. If an IP provided by these VPNs gets blocked, they deactivate it and replace it with a fresh one. This ensures you’ll be able to watch US Netflix outside the US reliably without issues.

Patch Bowen is a VPN expert who has trialed, tested and used different VPNs all over the world. He loves the latest technology especially when it comes to gaming. Patch Bowen is also an experienced Tech Reviewer. Whether it's laptops, smartphones, earbuds or keyboards he's seen it all.