Netflix U.S. is a very different beast than what is shown in other countries. Though the rest of the world has been catching up the past few years, the original version of the site offers a lot more in the way of shows and movies. However, as you may have guessed, it’s region-locked. In this article, we’ll show you how to get around that geoblock and watch American Netflix.
We have a full guide below, but if you’re in a tl;dr kinda mood, we recommend you check out ExpressVPN, which is the best VPN out there for, well, any reason, really. It offers great speeds, fantastic ease of use and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can take it for a spin.
Why Watch American Netflix?
Let’s start our guide by going over why you’d even want to access Netflix U.S. As with all things American, it’s simply bigger than anything else. Estimates vary, and we’re not going to waste editorial hour scouting them by hand, but Netflix U.S. has roughly 6,000 titles available right now. Note that we say titles: the number of individual episodes would likely boggle the mind.
Most other countries will offer between 1,000 and 4,000 titles, so you see the issue already: there are plenty of shows out there on Netflix that you simply can’t see because you’re not in the States. Which leads us to our next part.
How to Get US Netflix From Other Countries
Stating problems without solutions is something only crummy politicians do, so we’ve got the perfect way for you to access American Netflix, namely by using a virtual private network. A VPN is an app that lets you access the internet through a server provided by the company and encrypts your connection at the same time.
The cool thing is that this server can be anywhere and can thus show you to be anywhere, as well. This is great if you want to watch Netflix from anywhere, as well as — on a more serious note — circumvent censorship restrictions. So the trick is to find a VPN that can get you a U.S. IP address. However, that’s not as easy as it sounds.
Meet the Netflix Proxy Error
The reason American Netflix has such a radically different library from other countries is due to licensing issues. The company simply has better deals in place with distributors than it does in other countries. However, those deals also make it so that those same distributors don’t like it when people from different countries can visit each others’ Netflix offerings.
So was born the Netflix VPN ban. The linked piece has a lot more detail, but in short, many users will find themselves locked out of Netflix when accessing it with most VPNs. This is because Netflix has learned to detect VPNs, and very little seems to work against the ban.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to circumvent, though. In fact, several services have perfected their VPN protocols to make a mockery of the Netflix proxy error. Below, we’ll go over three of our favorites.
The Best VPNs to Unlock Netflix for America
We have three favorite VPN providers that will not only beat the Netflix VPN ban, but also offer consistent speeds to enjoy it.
ExpressVPN is our favorite VPN out there, period. It’s secure and easy to use, has friendly live chat and is the fastest VPN, as well. In fact, the only real downside to the VPN is that it’s a bit more expensive than our other two entries. It costs $100 per year, but when you sign up for the first time, you get three months for free, which should remove the sting a bit.
That Benjamin gets you a lot of VPN, though. Not only is it the best VPN for Netflix, it’s also one of the most secure VPNs, meaning you can use it for torrenting, bypassing censorship or whatever you can imagine. Read our separate guide on how to watch Netflix with ExpressVPN.
If that price tag is just too high for you, though, check out NordVPN, which offers three years of service for just $125. The trade-off is that it’s a bit slower than ExpressVPN overall, while also having a slightly less impressive record at breaking the ban, but only by a smidge and still a damn sight better than most of the competition.
On top of that, NordVPN is our best VPN for torrenting, as well as ranking high in any article about bypassing censorship thanks to its excellent security and privacy. It also has one of the best interfaces on the market, with a big graphical representation of the world, making finding the right server very easy.
We’ll close the list with CyberGhost, which is almost as good as our first two contenders, but just misses the mark in most regards. It’s fast, just not as fast; it’s easy to use, just not as easy; the list goes on. Still, it gets past the proxy error and will let you watch U.S. Netflix without too much trouble, so we definitely recommend it.
One way it beats out the other two, though, is its excellent pricing, costing just $100 for three years. That’s a whole lot of VPN for such a low price, so we definitely recommend that you read our full review for all the details on this great service.
Change Your Netflix Region or Country to the United States
Of course, once you’ve chosen the right VPN for you, you’ll need to know how to use it and how to change your Netflix region. Below, we’ll go over the steps you’ll need to take to get started using ExpressVPN. First up, you’ll need to go to the website and sign up.
With the clerical tasks out of the way, download the ExpressVPN client, install it (the wizard will guide you) and then, once it’s all done, open the VPN.
In the interface, hit the server selection bar below the big, green button, pick a server in the States and you’re good to go. If, for some reason, you’re still getting an error message, simply pick another server until you get through to Netflix.
Step-by-Step: How to Watch American Netflix
- Sign up for your VPN of choice
- Download and install the client
- Open the client
- Pick a U.S. server
- Watch Netflix
There you have it, the easiest way to watch American Netflix. As you can tell, we really like ExpressVPN for breaking past any barriers put up, but NordVPN and CyberGhost do a fine job as well for getting Netflix in the States.
Do you have any recommendations or hot tips we neglected to mention? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thank you for reading.
Why Get a VPN to Watch Netflix US?
Because Netflix U.S. is often a lot better than whatever is offered in your own country. Though a VPN is a bit of an investment, if you’re in a bingeing mood, it’s worth every penny.
Is It Safe to Use a Free VPN to Access Netflix USA?
If you want to know if there are free VPNs that work with Netflix, the answer is a resounding “no.” In fact, any VPN that says its free tier can get past the ban is lying to you, most likely so it can peddle your personal data. Don’t believe it.