Netflix is by far the best and most well-known direct streaming service out there for films and TV shows, and is used by over 40 million people in over 72 regions around the world. However, the version of Netflix that you have access to isn’t the same as the version of Netflix that is available to people in other countries or regions. For example, if you want to watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead on Netflix, then unless you live in the US, you’re out of luck. To get around this though is actually pretty simple and can be done in seconds using a decent VPN service. The other huge benefit of using a VPN service such as the ones I will mention below is that you can also access other geographically restricted sites such as Hulu, the BBC’s iPlayer, ABC plus many more as well as bypassing other sites that may be blocked by your ISP’s such as torrent sites.
Accessing different Netflix content via a VPN
The easiest way to get access to other regions of Netflix would be to use a VPN service such as CactusVPN or Private Internet Access. I have used both of these VPN’s quite a bit as well as writing a review for each of them including speed tests for various servers. They are also very cheap to get hold of and easy to use. However, for the purposes of the demonstration below I will be using CactusVPN as I prefer the UI that it has, plus it gives me quick access to the US and NL (Netherlands) servers. Note that both CactusVPN and PIA allow users to access their VPN on multiple devices.
The other main benefit for some US users who access Netflix via a VPN , is that it will improve the quality of their streams due to some of the ISP’s, like Comcast and Verizon, who have now started to throttle people’s connections when connected to Netflix. There is an interesting thread over on reddit that is currently discussing the reasons as to why the quality of Netflix has gotten worse over the past few months and how to bypass any Netflix throttling by ISP’s.
Let’s say that I want to be able to watch The Walking Dead online and in HD. When I log into my Netflix account (I live in the UK) and search for it, I will get the error stating that it is not available to stream in my country. However, if I access my VPN and connect via a US server then refresh the page, Netflix will then give me access to US content instead of UK content.
Connecting to a US server using CactusVPN
Now just refresh the page and the content is now available to you.
The differences between Netflix is various regions is quite surprising, so I checked for some of my top TV shows to see what was available and in which country. In the examples listed below you can see that Star Trek fans in the US have access to a lot of episodes, unlike the UK or Netherlands. The Netherlands don’t have any episodes of Star Trek available to them, and the UK only have 5 seasons of ST: TNG compared the 7 seasons available to US users. I actually have every season of the various Star Trek shows on DVD (some also on bluray) but being able to stream them is easier. Other content such as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is available in the UK, but not in the US or NL which is surprising.
|Star Trek: TNG||YES||YES||X|
|Star Trek: DS9||X||YES||X|
|Star Trek: Voyager||X||YES||X|
|Star Trek: Enterprise||X||YES||X|
|Dr Who (not classic)||YES||YES||YES|
|The Wonder Years||X||YES||X|
|Star Trek Films||X||YES||X|
|Marvel: Avengers Assemble||X||YES||YES|
|Pirates of the Caribbean: The Black Pearl||YES||YES||YES|
|Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides||YES||X||X|
Note that I have only checked a tiny fraction of the available content for UK/US/NL users and Netflix subscribers from other countries like South America will again have very different content available to them. For example, you can watch Batman: The Dark Knight via the Argentinian version of Netflix, but there are no Batman films available in the UK/US or Netherlands. Having access to a decent VPN can expand what you have access to by quite a bit. A VPN will also bypass any censoring of sites by certain governments, like The Pirate Bay, EZTV or Kickass Torrents which are (among many others) blocked in the UK. It will also give you a decent boost in security especially when using unsecured wi-fi connections on your mobile device.
If you would like to checkout my review for either of the VPN services listed above, then please find them below:
Well, I hope this has helped you out a bit and given more bang for your bucks on your Netflix subscription.