How to Change Netflix Region in 2020: Access Content From Abroad

If you want to change Netflix region, the best way is to use a VPN. Read this guide to change your online country to access any Netflix.

By Nicole BrooksWriter
— Last Updated:
2020-09-22T17:26:07+00:00

Netflix is almost a necessity these days. How else are you going to get the latest releases that everyone is talking about? However, the country you live in influences what’s streaming on your Netflix. What your friend can watch in Germany is different from what you can watch in the United States. We’ll walk you through how to change Netflix region to get around this.

The short answer to watching Netflix in a different country is to download a VPN. A VPN will hide where you are and instead provide a location of your choosing. Our top recommendation is ExpressVPN (see our review to find out why), but read on for some more options.

How to Change Netflix Region or Country

Your Netflix library is dependent on the region you live in. Most content is geographically locked, meaning that you can only access part of the full Netflix library of TV shows and movies. This is usually due to the contracts that Netflix has made with the owners of the content.

To access content that is not available in your region, you need to trick Netflix into thinking that you’re currently residing in a different country. Netflix determines your region based on your IP address, which is used to identify who you are and where you’re from online.

Netflix region unavailable
This is what you'll see if Netflix content is not available in your location.

To access Netflix content as if you’re in another location, you need to either switch out your IP address entirely or mask it somehow. To that end, you have a couple of options. You could use a DNS proxy to mask your IP or use a VPN to change it.

Both of them achieve the goal of accessing geoblocked content, but they have a few key differences, especially when it comes to privacy and security. We recommend using a VPN, as it’s the best way to protect your privacy online.

How to Change Your Location on Netflix Using a VPN

Getting access to Netflix from another location requires a bit of setup. However, once you’ve done that, the VPN is easy to use as a Netflix region changer or to protect your privacy.

  1. Open your VPN (we recommend ExpressVPN).
  2. Open the VPN’s server list and search for your preferred country, then connect to one of its servers.
  3. Open Netflix, which should now show content from the VPN’s location.
  4. You may encounter an error from some servers that are banned by Netflix. If you still can’t access the content from that server, try another one in the same geographic area.

Change Your Netflix Region: DNS Proxy vs VPN

Both a DNS proxy and a VPN will successfully change your region on Netflix. However, DNS proxies aren’t as robust or secure as VPNs. If you’re trying to watch Netflix from another location, the best and most secure way to do it is to use a VPN.

DNS stands for “domain name system.” Its job is to convert the IP addresses used across the internet into the readable addresses that you type into your browser. It stands as a middleman between your own computer and the website you’re trying to reach.

It also tells these websites which IP you’re using based on your location. This is what Netflix looks at when determining which country you’re in and what content it should display.

Although you are provided a DNS server by default, you can choose to connect to a different DNS proxy anywhere in the world. This will allow you to watch other countries’ shows and movies that are different from your own Netflix account.

why use VPN
A VPN like ExpressVPN acts like a website unblocker for Netflix regions.

A VPN — or virtual private network — changes your IP entirely. It also encrypts your traffic between the VPN and your computer, ensuring that no one can see the content you’re viewing. It’s a great way to mask your activities online as well as unlock netflix regions.

One of the reasons why we recommend a VPN is that a DNS proxy is not actually changing your IP address. Some companies — or malicious actors interested in your data — have ways of identifying your actual IP behind the proxy.

The only downside to using a VPN over a DNS proxy server is speed: VPNs are slower due to the encryption of your data.

The Best VPNs to Use to Change Your Region on Netflix

When it comes to using a VPN to change your Netflix region, there are a few qualities that we look for. The VPN needs to be fast and reliable, and your information has to be secure. Cost is also a factor that we take into account.

Most importantly, the provider has to beat the Netflix VPN ban. Netflix tends to ban swathes of IPs that it knows are connected to a VPN, which you may recognize as error M7111-5059.

netflix region error
This is what you'll see if Netflix can tell that you're using a proxy or VPN.

We have a detailed breakdown of the best VPN for Netflix, but we’ll recap them below. ExpressVPN is our top choice, especially because it’s the fastest of the bunch and has great customer support, but all three will help you watch Netflix internationally.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN-Logo

ExpressVPN tops our list of the best VPNs out there. It’s an especially good choice to access Netflix from another country due to its extensive server list. With thousands of servers in 94 different countries, you can change your Netflix library to almost any country, no matter how small.

The benefit of having so many servers is that if Netflix blocks one of the servers from that country, you can choose another one that will give you access to the same shows. If you want to watch content from a less popular country, ExpressVPN is a solid choice.

It’s also one of the fastest VPNs we’ve reviewed. This is especially important for watching Netflix. When you connect to a server far away from your current location, your internet speed will naturally drop a little bit, but ExpressVPN mitigates it as much as possible.

expressvpn Netflix access
ExpressVPN can access Netflix and many other streaming sites.

Its customer support is also top-notch. If you need an answer immediately, its live chat is available to help you. However, live chat may not know the technical details, so you can send an email to the support team to get more information.

The biggest downside to ExpressVPN is its price. It’s significantly more expensive than the other two options on this list. However, considering the large number of servers and Netflix regions that are available, it’s worth the cost. You can also take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee to ensure it’s what you’re looking for.

Pros:

  • Lightning fast
  • Many servers around the world
  • Responsive support

Cons:

  • Expensive

2. NordVPN

NordVPN-Logo

NordVPN is a great VPN alternative and even outstrips ExpressVPN in a few categories. It has the most servers available, allowing you to access Netflix libraries from almost anywhere in the world.

It’s also much more affordable, making it a great choice if you’re limited on funds. This is especially true if you’re subscribing for an extended period instead of month to month. 

We did find that its servers had inconsistent speeds. Although some of the servers are more than fast enough to watch streaming media like Netflix, some of them were so slow that they were unusable. Its support isn’t nearly as responsive as ExpressVPN’s, either.

Check out our full NordVPN review for all the details on where it shines and where it falters. Although it’s our second choice, you can’t go wrong, especially with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Most server options
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Inconsistent servers
  • So-so support

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost-logo

Rounding out our top three VPNs to change your Netflix region is CyberGhost. Its claim to fame is its dedicated servers for streaming. Its servers are separated by function, so you can use them whether you’re torrenting, streaming or just trying to spoof your IP address.

CyberGhost is also the cheapest option on this list. Just like NordVPN, to get the best deal you’ll have to subscribe for a long time, but with prices as low as $2.75 per month, it’s worth it. CyberGhost also has a free trial and a money-back guarantee.

If you’re using this VPN to spoof your country, though, some of the servers located farther away might be too slow to use for a streaming service like Netflix. Once you find the right server, your content will be available with no problem.

Pros:

  • Made specifically for streaming
  • Cheap
  • Solid customer service

Cons:

  • Some servers are too slow for streaming

Runners Up: VPNs That Will Change Netflix Location

Of course, the three VPNs above aren’t your only options. One of the runners up is Private Internet Access, which is a cheap and solid option, but it struggles with some of the other streaming services. You may be able to watch Netflix content, but not much else.

If your focus is more on privacy, ProtonVPN is a great choice due to its Swiss servers. We’ve tested its servers for reliability and had no problem accessing streaming services, although they were a little slow.

VyprVPN is a similarly good choice, as all the servers we tested worked fine with Netflix. This is especially true if you’re looking to stream content from Europe. Its speed isn’t great, though, making it harder to stream videos.

The Best Free VPN to Change Netflix Region

Choosing a free VPN can be a risky endeavor. A lot of VPNs suffer in the privacy area, which can be a problem depending on how you use it. If you don’t pay a VPN with money, you may be paying with your information.

If your free VPN isn’t tracking and selling your browsing habits, it may even include malware. It may also tend to have a limit to the amount of data that you can stream, which becomes an issue when you’re watching high-definition videos on Netflix.

None of them are quite as good as a paid VPN, and unfortunately not many of even the best free VPNs can bypass the Netflix proxy ban. We can recommend a couple that don’t leak your private information, but both VPNs are limited in their abilities.

windscribe cost
Windscribe is free, but it also offers affordable plans, including a build-a-plan option.

Windscribe is one of the few VPNs that has a good free version that can access Netflix. If you take advantage of its offers to increase your data cap per month, you can get up to 15GB free per month with little to no work at all. See our Windscribe review for more details on its data cap system.

Although the free version of Windscribe does work for Netflix, if you’re streaming an HD video, you’re probably using around 3GB of data per hour. With a 15GB cap per month, you won’t be getting much Netflix time. However, if you’re looking to use a VPN to access just one movie or show, this is a solid option.

Another VPN with a robust free plan is Hide.me, with 10GB of data per month. However, we don’t recommend it for changing Netflix regions. You may get a lot of data to use for the cost, but the servers are often blocked by Netflix and other streaming services.

Still Getting a Netflix Proxy Error After Changing Your Region?

Not all servers on these VPNs will make new Netflix content available, though. If you’re trying to access a show from another country and are still receiving the Netflix proxy error, try these steps to resolve it.

  1. Restart your VPN.
  2. Try a different server in the same country. Netflix often bans servers based on their IP addresses, which means a different server with another IP address will work.
  3. If that server is also blocked, you may need to continue to try different servers. You may also be able to use your VPN’s built-in tools to find the best server for your needs.

Final Thoughts

Although Netflix doesn’t want you to watch its shows and movies in another country, its geoblocks are not difficult at all to bypass using a VPN. Doing this is especially easy and fast if you use our recommended service, ExpressVPN, although we’ve provided you with a host of choices.

Have you ever had to use a VPN to get around geoblocks on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video? Was it simple, or did you have to do a bit of work? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading.