How to watch US Netflix on Apple TV outside the US

There’s an incredibly easy way to watch US Netflix on Apple TV. All you need to do is trick Netflix into thinking you’re accessing it from within the US.

To do that you need to change your IP address to a US IP address.

It sounds complicated but its not, all you need is a VPN.

In this article we’ll explain how to watch US Netflix on Apple TV outside the US so you can gain access to even more content in your home country.

How to watch US Netflix on Apple TV outside the US: Guide

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Download ExpressVPN on Apple TV

    How to watch US Netflix on Apple TV outside the US

    Register for an account with ExpressVPN. If you want the very best, ExpressVPN has been setting the standard in the industry for years. It’s the best VPN on the market for reliably streaming content. However, it is the most expensive too. If this is a factor for you, NordVPN is the better choice.

    ExpressVPN is renowned for its reliable and fast connections, which is crucial for streaming high-quality content without buffering or interruptions. You can get 3 months of your subscription for free here.

  2. Create an Account or Sign In

    How to watch US Netflix on Apple TV outside the US

    If you’re new to ExpressVPN, create an account. You can get 3 months of a 12-month subscription for free here. If you already have one, just log in.

  3. Connect to a US Server

    How to watch US Netflix on Apple TV outside the US

    Within the ExpressVPN app on your Apple TV, you’ll find a list of server locations. Scroll through this list to find and select a server located in the United States. This will change your virtual location to the United States which enables your Apple TV to access the US Netflix library.

  4. Watch US Netflix on Apple TV

    How to watch US Netflix on Apple TV outside the US

    Once connected to a US server, open Netflix on your Apple TV and enjoy the US content library.

How to watch US Netflix on Apple TV outside the US: Video Guide

How does a VPN give me access to US Netflix?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, provides access to US Netflix by masking your actual IP address and replacing it with one from the US. Here’s how it works in detail:

  1. IP Address Masking: When you connect to a VPN, it hides your real IP address, which is a unique identifier that can reveal your geographical location.
  2. Connecting to a US Server: You then choose a server located in the United States from your VPN’s list of servers. This action assigns you a US IP address.
  3. Accessing US Netflix: With the US IP address, when you visit Netflix, the site sees your request as coming from within the United States. Netflix’s content varies from region to region due to licensing agreements. By appearing to be in the US, you gain access to the American library of shows and movies, which is often larger and different from what’s available in other countries.
  4. Data Encryption: Additionally, a VPN encrypts your internet traffic, which not only helps in bypassing geographical restrictions but also secures your online activities from being monitored or tracked.
  5. Potential Issues: It’s important to note that Netflix actively tries to block VPNs, so not all VPNs may work. You might need a reliable and regularly updated VPN service to consistently access US Netflix.

Why is Netflix different in each country?

Netflix varies in each country primarily due to licensing agreements. Here’s a detailed explanation:

  1. Licensing Agreements: The availability of TV shows and movies on Netflix is largely dictated by licensing agreements with content creators and distributors. These agreements are often specific to each country or region. For example, a show that Netflix has the rights to stream in the UK may not have the same rights in the US, due to existing contracts with other broadcasters or streaming platforms in that country.
  2. Local Laws and Regulations: Each country has its own set of laws and regulations regarding broadcasting and content streaming. This can affect the type of content that can be shown. For instance, some countries have strict regulations about the portrayal of violence, substance use, or sexual content, which might require Netflix to modify its library in those countries.
  3. Cultural Sensitivities: Netflix curates its content based on local cultural sensitivities and preferences. This means that the service might emphasise certain genres or types of content in one country that might not be as popular in another.
  4. Language and Subtitles: Different countries have different language requirements. Netflix needs to ensure that the content they provide in each country is either in the local language or has appropriate subtitles or dubbing available.
  5. Original Content: Netflix invests in creating original content that is tailored to specific markets. This localised content strategy not only adheres to regional tastes and cultural nuances but also helps in complying with local content regulations in some countries.
  6. Market Strategy: Netflix’s strategy might differ from one market to another. In some countries, Netflix might focus on acquiring more local content to attract subscribers, while in others, it might emphasise international or original content.

Will a free VPN work with Netflix on Apple TV?

Using a free VPN with Netflix on Apple TV might not be the most effective solution due to various reasons. Firstly, free VPNs often struggle to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions. Netflix actively blocks IP addresses associated with VPNs, and free VPNs, with their limited range of servers, are more likely to get blocked. Additionally, free VPNs usually have bandwidth limitations and slower speeds, which can significantly affect streaming quality.

In contrast, a service like ExpressVPN can be a much more reliable option. ExpressVPN is known for its effectiveness in bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming services like Netflix. One of the key advantages of using ExpressVPN, especially for Apple TV users, is its native app availability. Having a native app on Apple TV simplifies the setup process, making it more user-friendly and efficient.

Moreover, ExpressVPN typically offers faster and more stable connections, which is crucial for streaming high-definition content without buffering. While it’s not a free service, the investment in a premium VPN like ExpressVPN can enhance the overall streaming experience on platforms like Netflix, especially when used with devices like Apple TV.

Is using a VPN with Neflix legal?

In most countries, using a VPN is legal. There are only a handful of countries (spot the authoritarianism link) where using a VPN is illegal; these are: China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, North Korea, Iraq, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Eritrea, Seychelles, Suriname, Namibia, Slovenia, Nicaragua and Tajikistan.

If you’re outside these countries and are using a VPN, you’re legally allowed to do so. However, it’s important to know that using a VPN with some streaming services may breach that service’s terms of use.

If you subscribe to a streaming service, you automatically accept its terms of use. If we look at Netflix’s terms of use, it states, “You may access the Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such content.” And “You also agree not to circumvent, remove, alter, deactivate, degrade or thwart any of the content protections in the Netflix service; use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Netflix service… We may terminate or restrict your use of our service if you violate these Terms of Use or are engaged in illegal or fraudulent use of the service.”

This means, Netflix can stop your subscription and ban you from the streaming service if you try to access its content with a VPN turned on.

However, given the wide-spread use of VPNs, plus the many legitimate and legal use cases for VPNs, it’s fair to suggest that banning customers for using a VPN would be a heavy-handed and financially costly policy for Netflix (and other streaming services) to enforce.

If you’re trying to watch Netflix in a region where it does not traditionally operate or you’re trying to change the location of the Netflix library, you risk having your account banned. In theory. However, as the best VPNs for Netflix use military-grade encryption it is impossible for Netflix to trace where you’re physically accessing its content from.

There’s one final thing to note on the subject: Netflix has never banned anyone for using a VPN to access its service.

For more information you can check out our article answering Is streaming with a VPN legal?

Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

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