Though streaming service Netflix is available in many countries, you won’t get the same content everywhere due to regional restrictions. American Netflix is one of the largest Netflix libraries in the world and has a diverse selection of content. If you’re going to be traveling outside the U.S., read on to find out how to watch American Netflix from anywhere in the world.
- Netflix uses geoblocks, so the content differs depending on your location. To access the U.S. Netflix library from overseas, you can use a VPN.
- ExpressVPN is the best VPN for watching American Netflix. It’s lightning fast, consistent with streaming services and secure.
- Our second and third recommendations for streaming American Netflix are NordVPN and CyberGhost. Both have decent speeds and are great VPNs for Netflix.
To access U.S. Netflix, our top VPN recommendation is ExpressVPN. If you’re new to virtual private networks, stay tuned, and we’ll show you how to use a VPN to access American Netflix from other regions.
Updated to include a step-by-step picture tutorial and to include updated information on VPN providers that can unlock Netflix U.S. We’ve added in a section about free VPNs, too.
Netflix libraries have different content depending on the location. American Netflix has a vast library and some movies and shows are only available there. That said, some content is available in Netflix libraries around the world. It just depends on the licensing agreement.
You can use a quality VPN like ExpressVPN to unlock American Netflix. A VPN changes your IP address to make it appear as though you are in another country.
Shows exclusive to U.S. Netflix include The Borgias, Pokémon Master Journeys: The Series and Surviving R. Kelly.
You need to pay for a Netflix subscription wherever you are in the world. On the bright side, you can use the money-back guarantees offered by VPN providers to try the VPNs with Netflix for free. Check out our guides for ways you can watch free movies online.
Quick Guide: How to Watch American Netflix with a VPN
In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through how to start streaming TV shows and movies on American Netflix in four simple steps. Assuming you have a Netflix account, let’s get started.
- Sign up for ExpressVPN
- Download ExpressVPN
Download the ExpressVPN app for your device and follow the instructions in the installation wizard.
- Connect to a US Server
Open the ExpressVPN app, then select a U.S. server and tap the “connect” button. To see all servers or search for one, tap the three horizontal dots in the location box.
- Open Netflix and Start Streaming
Open Netflix, pick the movie or show you want to watch, put your feet up and enjoy streaming.
Why Can’t I Watch Netflix America from Abroad?
Netflix uses geoblocks, which is why content in Netflix libraries differs by country. Basically, this is due to copyright and licensing issues. To give you an example, if you search for The Borgias on U.S. Netflix, you’ll find it, but if you search for it on Netflix U.K., you won’t.
Geoblocking affects many popular services besides Netflix. Hulu’s content, for example, is off limits outside the U.S. and BBC iPlayer outside the U.K (read our how to watch BBC iPlayer in the U.S.A guide. This is why many people use VPNs to get around the restrictions and unlock these services’ full potential. If you’re not interested in the U.S. library, you can use your VPN to access another Netflix region.
The 3 Best VPNs to Access U.S. Netflix
If you’re unsure of which VPN to choose to watch Netflix U.S., the VPNs below are our top recommendations. These three services are great VPNs for streaming, but they each have their own thing going for them. Read on to find out more.
- Lightning fast
- Consistently unblocks major streaming services
- 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN is our top recommendation for gaining access to the U.S. Netflix library. One of this VPN’s standout features is its protocol called LightWay. ExpressVPN has always been known for its top-notch speeds, but since implementing LightWay, the service is even faster. This means you can watch movies and TV shows on U.S. Netflix uninterrupted without being thwarted by buffering.
ExpressVPN has also proven itself adept at getting into a range of streaming sites in addition to Netflix. If you’d like to mix it up, ExpressVPN is by far the most reliable and consistent. On the downside, it is quite expensive, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee you can use to try it.
- Gets into many streaming services
- NordLynx gives better speed
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- OpenVPN protocol is inconsistent
NordVPN is another great streaming VPN. Like ExpressVPN, it gets into major streaming services, including Netflix, and has solid speeds. It’s not quite as fast as ExpressVPN, but it isn’t far behind. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee to give you peace of mind if you want to give it a try.
When we tested NordVPN using OpenVPN, we had connection and speed issues. Luckily, you can use the NordLynx protocol for better speeds and consistency. It contributed to NordVPN being one of the fastest VPNs on the market. We also like NordVPN’s user-friendly interface and that you can switch servers without opening a location list.
- Decent speeds
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Inconsistent with some streaming services
CyberGhost is a budget-friendly alternative to our top two recommendations. It works well with Netflix, and though it isn’t quite as fast as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, its speeds are decent. It’s also a little less skillful at accessing some streaming services — particularly Hulu, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video. You shouldn’t have any major issues accessing Netflix, though.
At Cloudwards, we’re big fans of how easy on the wallet CyberGhost is and its generous money-back guarantees. While its one-month plan only offers a 14-day money-back guarantee, its other plans offer 45 days. That extra time to decide if you want to continue with the service is a real bonus. Check out our CyberGhost review for more information.
Can I Use a Free VPN to Get American Netflix?
Yes, but you need to be careful with free VPNs. Some aren’t reputable and may lack important privacy features like no-logging policies. If you’re going with a free VPN, we recommend Windscribe — the best free VPN for Netflix. It’s secure and has a 10GB free plan that provides as much protection as its paid plans. It also does a great job of smashing through Netflix’s geoblocks.
That said, 10GB won’t get far if you’re a regular streamer. If you want more than a few episodes or a movie, we recommend subscribing to a paid plan with unlimited data. To learn more about what the service offers, check out our Windscribe review.
What if I Can’t Access American Netflix?
Streaming sites are always trying to get better at detecting and blocking VPNs. At the same time, VPN services are always working to overcome these blocks. Sometimes, if you get that meddling proxy error message, it might be because Netflix is doing a particularly grand job that day at blocking VPNs. Don’t worry, though. Netflix won’t block your account for using a VPN.
There are a few ways around the dreaded error message. Most of the time, trying different U.S. servers until you find one that works should fix it. Refresh Netflix each time you switch servers. You can also try clearing your cache. This depends on which device you’re using, but on Windows, you press Ctrl and F5 simultaneously.
You can also clear your cookies on Netflix. To do this, go to netflix.com/clearcookies. This will clear any cookies, log you out of your Netflix account and ask you to sign back in.
As you can see, getting around Netflix’s geoblocks to watch American Netflix is nothing to worry about. With a decent VPN, it should take you but a few seconds to connect and stream your favorite shows and movies. If you run into difficulties, your first port of call is to switch servers until you find one that works. This usually solves the problem.
Remember: With a VPN and Netflix account you can unlock infinite entertainment options. Besides watching Netflix U.S., you can unblock Netflix France to watch Bourne movies and other TV shows that’re unavailable in the U.S. library.
Learn how you can get the most out of your subscription in our Netflix hacks guide. Plus, if you like your movies on the big screen, be sure to read our guide on how to watch Netflix on TV.
Do you use a VPN to unblock American Netflix? Which VPN works best for you? Leave us a comment below, and thanks for reading.