If you start crossing borders, you may quickly find that your favorite shows on Netflix are unavailable. It’s like they never existed! This happens because Netflix content varies from country to country (more on that later). However, with a VPN and a bit of persistence, you can stream whatever content you want to, from wherever in the world.
Netflix Content Isn’t The Same Everywhere
Streaming TV and movies on Netflix is pretty easy for those of us in the United States. But when you’re traveling outside of the US, your service options will vary drastically.
This happens because media companies and streaming platforms such as Netflix have deals and agreements that only allow certain content in certain locations or countries. For example, watching the Peaky Blinders in the US is pretty straightforward, but not so easy to watch the same in South Korea or Japan – because of the copyrights.
Netflix subscribers might feel slightly shortchanged. The knowledge that you can only stream the shows available in the country where you first made your Netflix account can leave viewers feeling a bit helpless, and it’s not an issue of paying for Netflix – you’re already doing that! But with a VPN service, most international TV fans should be able to see their favorite content from anywhere in the world!
However, it must be kept in mind that just any VPN won’t be able to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions on content. If you’re using a VPN that isn’t good at bypassing geo-restrictions, you’ll get an error message from Netflix that reads: “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again. For more help, visit netflix.com/proxy”.
The good news is, it’s fairly easy to fix the Netflix proxy error and get back to streaming!
It seems the focus of this article is only upon those travelling abroad, however, it’s often a case that most people aren’t actually travelling, but are looking to stream content that isn’t available in their home country.
VPNs – The Easiest Way To Spoof Your Location Online
All devices connected to the internet have unique IP addresses, which are assigned based on geographical location. Nearly all devices in Florida share similar IP addresses, but they are different from those found in Manchester. Simply looking at an IP’s geographic location it’s relatively easy to find out exactly where a device is in the world.
Here is when VPNs come into play. A VPN encrypts your data on the internet so that it cannot be inspected by outsiders and prevents you from being tracked online through the use of remote servers managed by the VPN service provider. If your IP address changes to show you are accessing the internet from another country, websites will assume that this is where your computer is physically located.
When using a VPN service and connecting to a remote server in another country, your location is spoofed and it seems as if you’re actually living in another country. This makes those pesky region locks less of an issue.
You may require a VPN for a variety of reasons, however, if you need to spoof your location and show that you’re in a different locality than where you really are, a VPN is the only way to go about it. If you sign up for a VPN, you won’t have to worry about getting an IP address in a different country.
Your VPN provider will already have enough servers along with a very large number of IP addresses available. They will assign an IP address to you so you can mask your own IP, and your identity and your location will be hidden on the internet.
Having said that, it must be kept in mind that IP addresses are still the easiest way to track someone’s location over the internet because they are easily available and require no permissions to be accessed.
Using A VPN Allows You To Stream Your Favorite Content, Anywhere
Using a VPN in order to safeguard your privacy over the internet sure is great, but that’s not all a VPN can do for you. A VPN will make it seem like you are in a different country, and will allow you to access content that’s otherwise restricted in your location. This means tons of new content you never even knew existed!
If you’re not familiar with streaming video on Netflix, chances are it’s playing in the background while you work. But if you were to hop across the border and cross over into a different country—say France or Germany instead of Italy—you might not be able to access your US-based Netflix account without some help.
Keep in mind that if you’re outside of the US and are looking to stream something available only on Netflix in the States, you’ll simply have to connect to a VPN, choose the locality of your choice and voila! You get all the content you had while in your home country!
However, it’s easier said than done.
Why Is Netflix Always Looking To Block VPNs?
The popular TV and movie streaming site, Netflix, has a feature built into the system that blocks users if they attempt to log on from outside of their country. This may be frustrating for people who are trying just to find content available in other regions. I have sometimes found myself blocked by Netflix even when using a VPN from my home country.
Netflix works overtime in order to block VPNs. This is because of their licensing deals with studios. Studios have copyrights and separately sell content to every country. Therefore, if a studio hasn’t sold the rights of viewership of a certain show in a certain country, Netflix can’t allow that show to stream in said country. Hence, to prevent content from being available where it’s not overtly sold, Netflix tries its best to prevent VPN users from streaming.
But the VPN providers too, have their own customers, and are dedicated enough to keeping their customers connected that they often find ways around content restrictions – either through legal and technological means.
It’s much similar to a game of cat-and-mouse between Netflix and its opponents, with each side trying to find ways around each other’s restrictions.
Is Using A VPN Illegal?
From a legal standpoint, no. It is not illegal to use a VPN Netflix service because users can’t access the provider’s catalogs without permission. If you do not have permission to watch Netflix in another country, then you would be breaking the company’s Terms of Service but it won’t result in any legal retribution anywhere in the world.
Netflix has every right to cut off access for users that are using a VPN to access content at any time. It hasn’t enforced this rule in the past, although it retains the rights to do so. Maybe, there’s a hint in there somewhere.
The maximum Netflix does if you’re using a VPN, is show you a message. And following this message, Netflix doesn’t play any titles. Point being, if using a VPN was illegal, Netflix would take much harsher actions in penalizing the use of VPNs.
The Nuances Of Using A VPN
When trying to stream Netflix via VPN, there are a few things you can do to help make a connection. Most important is to be persistent: try different servers and types of connections. Don’t give up if one doesn’t work- I’ve had the most success with late nights but it may vary depending on your location.
There are a few things that you can try when trying to stream Netflix over VPN: First, be persistent. Try using different servers and protocol settings. You may find better results by changing the time of day too.
Most importantly, know which tools your VPN company offers! There might be specific servers for streaming content or helpful settings to help with getting
Some VPN providers offer static IP addresses, meaning your VPN connection will always end up with the same IP address. This is a good option for individuals who want to have Netflix unblocked in other countries.
However, it is not recommended if you only care about accessing streaming services since there might be some traceability if a streaming platform traces and blocks your static IP.
As for cost, we recommend using a short-term subscription to get a sense of which VPN service will work well in your situation before committing long-term. Long-term subscriptions are just about always on sale and many VPN companies offer sizable discounts. Just make sure the VPN provider you’re choosing actually works.
If you are interested in even more entertainment-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.