How to Watch American Netflix Abroad with a VPN in 2017

Summary: To access the American version of Netflix you need to unblock Netflix’s geo-blocking mechanisms by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Using a VPN changes your IP address (the address your computer uses to surf the internet) and makes Netflix think you’re in a different location, thereby allowing you access to the full content library.

The VPN we recommend to unblock US Netflix is ExpressVPN. It’s the simplest, fastest VPN for streaming Netflix and allows you to unblock Netflix from anywhere.


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Why Do You Need a Vpn for Netflix ?

Unfortunately if you want to get the full experience of Netflix and access all of its shows and movies, you can only do that if you live in the USA. If you live outside the USA, you need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to make Netflix think you are in the USA by using a VPN to change your IP address.

A recent report by the website UnblockUs shows that people with US Netflix have access to around 7000 movie and TV titles, while, for example, Australia has access to 1900.


So, Why Is This ?

Hollywood and other TV and movie creators have old, outdated content copyright laws that only allow TV and movies to be shown in the country they are created. And then if another country wants to show that content they have to pay huge amounts of money to buy those content rights from the original creator.

THIS is why a VPN is so great. It allows you to get past those restrictions and route your internet connection to a different country to access that country’s content. E.g. if you are in Sydney, Australia, you can turn your VPN on, select a location in Los Angeles, USA and then start watching all of the US shows that you couldn’t get access to in Sydney.


Thus you can pick and choose which country you want to watch the content library from.


Is Netflix Still Restricted Anywhere?

At this time Netflix is still restricted in China, North Korea, Syria and Crimea. You can, however, use a VPN in the same fashion to access Netflix. You just need to have an account that is not registered in any of those countries.


Can You Explain More About the Netflix Block Update?

Netflix announced they would try to block proxies and VPNs. It is our opinion that this is just a ploy to keep Hollywood and the people that make the TV shows and movies happy.  There is a lot of media like these articles here, here and here that talk in greater detail about the topic and the fact that it is impossible for Netflix to block all VPN users.

Netflix’s Chief Product officer even said, “Since the goal of the proxy guys is to hide the source, it’s not obvious how to stop VPN Users…It’s likely to always be a cat-and-mouse game.”


Here at Secure Thoughts we have a few theories. A large portion of Netflix users use a VPN to access their content. Netflix is a corporation that is publicly listed and has shareholders. I’m sure if they decided to say to 20% of their user base, ‘you can’t pay for our service anymore’ their shareholders would not be happy. Netflix, therefore, is in a balancing act. They must simultaneously appease Hollywood and keep their shareholders happy, with the shareholders and the growth of the company getting priority over old outdated content laws.

Netflix everywhere update 6th January 2016: It’s official. Netflix is now available all around the world! However, just because you can setup an account doesn’t mean that you can access all the shows and movies that come from the USA. This is why you still need a VPN to get a USA IP address and be able to get the full USA library. Case in point, there are 6,995 shows in the USA, only 4,362 in Canada, 2,475 in Australia, and 1425 in Italy. That’s a big difference.

Netflix block update 14th January 2016: Netflix announced they will make a concerted effort to block users of VPN’s and proxies accessing their content. We have seen some instances where Netflix has started to block users, however even Netflix says “it’s not obvious how we can block VPNs on a large scale” and when one solution starts to work there will be a new work-around to that block. As we have been seeing, in the long run it will not likely succeed and it’s a war they can’t win. So far a large scale block hasn’t been working and we believe this will continue. We are following this closely and are updating this article every time there is a new development.

So far our recommended solution, ExpressVPN, has been relatively unfazed. There have been a few instances where customers have been detected, however by contacting ExpressVPN’s support, they seem to have solved the problem. They also provide a 30-day money back policy if for whatever reason your IP address gets blocked and there is no workaround.


3 Best VPN Services for Unblocking Netflix

Get the best and forget the rest. Here are our top 3 VPN providers to get US Netflix and unlock all 7,000 titles to watch right now!

#1 ExpressVPN(9.6/10 – Best VPN for Watching Netflix Overseas)

ExpressVPN is by far and away the best VPN service to Unblock US Netflix and get the US library. We have been recommending it for the last 3 years and we have had no problems with it nor have the people that we recommend it too.

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They have a great server network in the US with multiple servers on both the East and the West Coast. Here is a map of their server locations. Wherever you are in the world, you just pick one of these locations when you turn on ExpressVPN, and that will then give you full access to the 7000 titles that Netflix has.


Pros: As soon as the signup was complete, I got my login details, downloaded and set up the software, and because their program is so simple to use, I was logged in to Netflix in less than 10 minutes.

But what I love more than the easy setup is the customer service. The one time I forgot my email address and couldn’t log in, their support staff responded to my ticket in less than 11 minutes. That’s really fast!

Along with the easy use and the great support, you get everything else you’d want from your VPN:

  • Over 43,000 IP addresses to choose from, meaning that you don’t have to share and won’t be slowed down
  • Incredibly affordable ($8.32 a month for a 12-month package)
  • Top-rated security

And most importantly, no issues connecting to or watching my favorite shows on Netflix.

Cons: Nothing really to report.

Summary: If you’re outside the US and still want to enjoy your favorite shows and movies and unblock Netflix, do yourself a favor and get ExpressVPN. It will allow you to circumvent the geo-blocking restrictions that Netflix has so you can watch any show you like.

9.5 Total Score
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To unblock US Netflix and start watching it now get: ExpressVPN


#2 IPVanish (7.6/10 – Your best option after ExpressVPN)

If you’re in a place where you can’t access an ExpressVPN server to unblock Netflix, give IPVanish a look. While they don’t quite have all of the perks, you still get a pretty good deal for the money.

Pros: IPVanish has a very fast connection. Though the speed may not be quite as good as your connection with ExpressVPN, it’s still plenty fast enough to make it suitable for streaming services.

If you’re worried about protecting your privacy, IPVanish has great security, with 256-bit encryption that comes standard with all of their service plans.

If you’re new to VPN software, and a little intimidated by the concept, IPVanish is great because it’s easy to install and use, no matter what your experience level.

Cons:  The main differences you’ll notice between ExpressVPN and IPVanish is with their customer service. Though IPVanish offers the same 24/7 service through their live chat feature or by emailed support ticket, you’ll probably experience longer wait times.

They do offer a money-back guarantee, but there is no referral program with this company.

Summary: IPVanish is a good option if you can’t access ExpressVPN, but for a faster connection and better customer service, go with ExpressVPN if you want to unblock Netflix overseas.


#3 HideMyAss  (5.3/10)

I was pretty excited to give HideMyAss a try – the features listed on their website sounded top notch, and I was hoping their connection would be as fast and reliable as they said. However, it just didn’t compare to ExpressVPN – very disappointing for unblocking Netflix.

Pros:  One thing HideMyAss really touts is their speed, and I was looking forward to seeing just what it could do. However, it definitely isn’t the fastest connection on the market. It was fast, but somewhat unreliable, cutting in and out at times, forcing me to restart TV shows and movies I was in the middle of watching.

HideMyAss is a really great option if you’re having a hard time connecting to an ExpressVPN server, because they have servers in 151 countries all over the world – a truly massive network.

Cons: That being said, there were some fundamental problems with HideMyAss’s service.

Software installation and setup is pretty complicated, making HideMyAss a poor choice for people who are new to the concept of VPNs.

One downside to HideMyAss is their customer service. Though they claim to have support staff available 24/7, wait times are often excessive. You can reach them through live chat, phone, or email, but service often takes a long time to respond, and can be pretty abrupt and unhelpful.

Their connection is fast, but spotty, often going in and out at the most inopportune moments. If you plan to use your VPN to access Netflix, make sure you stick with one with a more reliable connection.

Summary:  HideMyAss covers the bases in terms of features and security, but their connections are periodically unreliable, and their customer service is slow and ineffective. For the best experience and value, and the smoothest Netflix streaming, sign up with a more reliable VPN like ExpressVPN.


Watch Netflix Anywhere in the World 

If you’re looking for full access to the Netflix library from anywhere in the world, ExpressVPN currently appears to be the way to go. The pricing is solid, it’s easy to use, and it does not seem to be vulnerable to Netflix’s blocking attempts.


Is Your VPN Working with Netflix?

We try a variety of VPNs every month, as well as read user feedback to assess what is working and what isn’t. At the time of writing this (November 16th, 2016), we have found the following VPNs are not working with Netflix.

  • (Paid) – Working
  • – some locations, mainly not working
  • Buffered (Paid) — Not working
  • SurfEasy (Paid) — Not working
  • Betternet VPN – Not Working
  • PrivateInternetAcess – Not Working
  • Hola Unblocker (Free) — Not working
  • TunnelBear (Free+Paid) — Not working
  • TorGuard (Paid) — Not working
  • CyberGhost (Free+Paid) — Not working

Lyndon Seitz News maker and gatherer. Editor-in-Chief of Secure Thoughts.

Show all Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. Reply'
    November 3, 2016 at 4:56 am

    Good post! We will be linking to this great content on our site.

    Keeep up the great writing.

  2. Reply'
    November 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    After Netflix vpn crackdown most vpn services can no longer Access Netflix, For now express vpn is the only vpn service that is reportedly working for Netflix. so we will advice you to stick to them, thanks

  3. Reply'
    v rendz
    November 15, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Express vpn does not work, currently i have also tested nordvpn and private internet access and none work to access netflix, hulu, cbs just to name a few.

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      November 19, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Hey V Rendz,

      Thanks for the information! Unfortunately we often see the situation go back and forth in which streaming companies and VPN companies are constantly finding workarounds to each other’s workarounds. It’s an ongoing situation.


  4. Reply'
    November 23, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Looks like to me that media streaming companies or just media companies don’t want people to be able to use legal means of viewing media. The solution? Use a vpn and use a torrent streamer. More selection, free, and best of all you don’t have to deal with this BS.

  5. Reply'
    November 25, 2016 at 3:19 am

    I would suggest a credit card based in the usa as well. or getting a walmart refillable card with a usa address.

  6. Reply'
    stacy Desouza
    November 26, 2016 at 6:01 am

    I have been using PureVPN to stream videos on Netflix and it works. I spoke to their support staff when i read this article. They told me that purevpn is working for all locations with neflix.
    If anyone is interested, they can contact their support staff to find out the same news

  7. Reply'
    ed chapman
    November 27, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I live in US. Is there a way for me to access Netflix New Zealand.

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      November 28, 2016 at 5:55 am

      Hey Ed,

      To do so, you’ll likely just want to select a VPN server that’s based in New Zealand. That should place your IP address in New Zealand and solve your issue.


  8. Reply'
    December 27, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    BufferedVPN not working anymore

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      January 30, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Hello Nasthy,

      we’ll look into this. It’s often a constant back and forth between Netflix and VPN providers. Hopefully the situation will resolve soon.

  9. Reply'
    Netflix user
    January 8, 2017 at 4:57 am


    I live in San Francisco, USA but I am in india right now for vacation. I tried accessing netflix from India and I could able to access movies and seasons. Is it okay to watch these shows outside USA ?

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      January 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm


      Just for the sake of clarification, do want to access American Netflix from India or are you asking if you can access Indian Netflix with an American account in India?

      Thank you

  10. Reply'
    Nicole Cartledge
    January 15, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Thanks for the list of VPN’s and set up information. I have express VPN and Netflix continues to give a blocked Proxy notification so I can’t get my USA content. It’s frustrating paying for both the VPN and Netflix and not being able to use it. Any ideas?

  11. Reply'
    January 20, 2017 at 2:13 am


    Would ExpressVPN only give me access to US Netflix or will other countries be available as well? Eg Canada, UK, Etc

  12. Reply'
    March 1, 2017 at 2:45 am

    With VPN you could access any countries/continent content.

  13. Reply'
    Le toubab
    April 3, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Is ExpressVPN working with Netflix as of April 2017?

    • Reply'
      April 5, 2017 at 7:51 am

      Yes it is. They have been the most consistent at keeping it up and running.

  14. Reply'
    Phil Moore
    May 19, 2017 at 10:17 am

    The entertainment industry wants to squeeze every dollar they can out of you, and that’s one reason you cannot freely watch Netflix anywhere in the world. The good news is that you can use a VPN to get around georestrictions and access all that Netflix has to offer.

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