Netflix is available in over 190 countries around the world. Each country has a completely different catalog of TV shows and movies. This means that some users get to stream much more content - despite paying the same monthly subscription fees.
This might seem depressing at first, but don’t despair, because by changing your Netflix region you can unlock all that extra content - from inside your existing Netflix account. To achieve this, all you need is a cheap online service known as a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
How to change Netflix region to access more content
Changing your Netflix region to unblock more content is actually extremely easy. All you need to do is follow the steps below:
- Select a VPN that works with Netflix from this list (remember that few VPNs actually work with Netflix, so you need to be extremely picky).
- Subscribe to the VPN and download the VPN software. We recommend ExpressVPN as they provide users with fast servers in 94 countries, fantastic customer support, and they reliably unblock Netflix. There are several Netflix VPN alternatives that are fantastic all-round VPNs.
- Install the VPN and log in using your credentials
- Connect to a VPN server in the country you want to access Netflix in, for example, the USA (which has more content than anywhere else) - (the VPN will have specific servers set aside for Netflix)
- Log in to your Netflix account and enjoy all the extra content!
Not all VPNs work with Netflix
It's important that you know only a hand full of VPN providers work with Netflix. See our VPN for Netflix guide for a list of the services guaranteed to work with Netflix.
Because Netflix operates all over the world, you don't have to cancel Netflix and register an account elsewhere. By simply connecting to a VPN server in a country you want to access, you are able to unblock Netflix from any location.
VPNs will also enable you to watch Netflix on WiFi networks that block it. A lot of schools, colleges, universities, and workplaces block access to Netflix in order to stop employees or students from becoming distracted. See our guide on how to get Netflix unblocked in school or work for more information.
Can I watch Netflix abroad?
Yes. When you go on vacation, you can log in and watch Netflix as usual. Since Netflix operates in over 190 countries, you can simply log into your account and watch movies and TV shows like normal. If the country you are visiting does not have Netflix or has a very limited catalog of titles, you can use a VPN to pretend to be back home. This will permit you to log in to your Netflix as usual and watch all the shows that are available back home.
How does a VPN work?
A VPN works by encrypting your internet traffic and routing it the VPN server. VPNs provide a choice of servers in locations all around the globe. This permits users to ‘spoof’ their location to wherever they choose. As soon as you connect to a VPN server in another country - you appear to actually be there. This is how the VPN allows you to unlock another region’s Netflix catalog.
Why does Netflix lock content to regions?
Netflix originals are owned outright by Netflix, which means that it can broadcast that content all over the world. The rest of the content on Netflix, however, is purchased and licensed from third party content producers. It is those copyright holders that enforce licensing restrictions, forcing Netflix not to show certain shows or movies in particular regions.
Depending on where you live and where you travel to, it is possible that you will be able to access the full catalog you are used to back home for a limited period. This is what Netflix says on its website:
US citizens, on the other hand, are told that:
Of course, with a reliable VPN, the above statements become mute because you can access all the content from back home (or any large Netflix library of your choice) whenever you want.
Which Netflix library is the best?
Just a couple of years ago, the answer to this question was always the US library. However, in the last few years, Netflix has spent a lot of money on licensing agreements that have allowed it to really boost its catalogs elsewhere.
The US is still one of the best catalogs in the world, and most people do tend to unblock this Netflix. However, as you can see in the list below, Canada and Japan now also have massive catalogs.
One thing worth bearing in mind is that while the top three Netflix libraries all have nearly the same number of titles, those movies and TV shows actually change a fair amount from country to country. This means that by using a VPN to flick around those catalogs, you can unlock quite a few nice surprises! The price of a Netflix account also changes from country to country.
|Library||# of Titles||Diff with Netflix US||Price|
If you are a US resident - and you think you already have it all - below is a list of popular TV shows you could be unblocking with a VPN!
|Show||Countries it's available in|
|Family Guy||This hilarious animated series is available on Netflix in Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, Poland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand.|
|Doctor Who||This popular British sci-fi is available on Netflix in Australia, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Switzerland.|
|Prison Break||This fast-paced action TV show by FOX is available on Netflix in Canada, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, France, Greece, Hungary, Sweden.|
|Broken||This cult British TV show is available on Netflix in the UK only.|
|Jack Irish||This action-packed thriller is available on Netflix Australia only.|
|Sons of Anarchy||This thriller TV show is available on Netflix in Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom.|
|Titans||This DC universe super-hero show is available on Netflix in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom.|
As you can see from the shortlist of examples above, even US Netflix subscribers can get more out of their subscription with a VPN. It is important to note that you are able to change the language of Netflix content if you want to unblock a show in a foreign country.
Using a VPN if you are a US Netflix user can give you some fantastic benefits. But, it remains true that users in most places around the world will get much more content by pretending to be in the USA or Canada.
Will a free VPN work?
The answer to this question is largely a no. Netflix spends a lot of time and money blocking IP addresses that belong to VPNs. This makes it very tough for VPN providers to keep unblocking Netflix. In 2020, 95% of VPNs no longer unblock Netflix (and they don't even try to unblock it anymore).
The VPNs that we recommend all work hard to keep providing access to a choice of Netflix catalogs - they do this using a collection of secret methods to stop Netflix catching on. Providing access to Netflix has become tricky, and it costs these VPNs a lot of money to keep providing access.
Free services simply cannot afford to spend the time, money, and effort it takes to unblock Netflix and for this reason, there are no free services that we know of that are capable of the job.
Of course, there are some free VPNs on the market that are excellent services, and you can use them if you want to (and can test them to see if they work with Netflix). However, from our experience, you will not be able to unblock Netflix with these free VPNs.
Will I get in trouble for changing my Netflix region
No. You are a paying subscriber and you are a massively valued customer to Netflix. It is for this reason that Netflix never penalizes its subscribers for using a VPN. Netflix would prefer to show all TV shows and movies in every country, but due to the licensing restrictions imposed on it by third party content producers, it is unable to do so.
Netflix must be seen to be making an effort to stop people bypassing these geo-restrictions, and that is why Netflix works hard to block the VPNs themselves. However, no user has ever had their account canceled or been fined for using a VPN to watch Netflix. And, it is not illegal to unblock Netflix to watch more shows, because you are a paying subscriber.
If you are trying to unblock a Netflix catalog with a VPN and you are having problems, it is likely that the VPN you are using is simply not capable of unblocking Netflix. Most VPNs do not unblock Netflix. We recommend sticking to one of our recommended VPN providers for Netflix.
If you have already subscribed to a recommended VPN, then there are a few things you can do to get it working:
- Connect to a different server in the same country. The VPNs that we have recommended only unblock Netflix on specific servers. For this reason, you must communicate with the VPN to find out exactly which servers are currently unblocking Netflix. As soon as you connect to the right server; Netflix will work.
- Disconnect your VPN and reconnect it. Refreshing your VPN IP address on the server in question can resolve the issue.
- Contact customer support. The VPN will always help to troubleshoot your problems so be sure to talk to them if you can’t fix the problem yourself.
- Clear your cookies, cache, and temporary files. Cookies can give away your real location, so either login using incognito mode - or clear your cookies to refresh your browser.
- Disable location services on your browser or device. Most people who use Chrome and Firefox do not find that they need to do this to unblock Netflix with a VPN. We find it unlikely that you will need to do this, but it is an option.
- Disable IPv6 in your Wi-Fi properties and flush your DNS cache in Windows by entering the command “ipconfig /flushdns” (without the quotation marks) in Command Prompt.
Again, most people should not need to do this, so communicate with your VPN to find a simpler solution before trying this as well.