Netflix offers a wide range of streaming movies and online media, available for viewing to people living in the United States. Although Netflix is also available in some countries, there are restrictions on some latest movies, American documentaries and some popular American TV shows in those parts.
The American Netflix is exclusively available for US viewers. This is due to some complex international licensing laws. So American Netflix locks out subscribers from gaining access into its website outside the US.
How Netflix Denies Access outside the US
Netflix is able to decide your location by reading the IP address of the device you are using. An IP address is a unique 11-digit code which is assigned to every device on the internet. It is your internet connection address.
Since every device used online has its unique IP address, Netflix is able to determine where you are requesting access to its site and can restrict such access if you are not within the licensed locations. This is technically known as geo-blocking – blocking access to web content based on geographical location – country, state or even city.
That means you may not be able to watch your favorite videos and TV shows, and your only offense is that you happened not to be in a certain part of the world at the time. The picture isn’t entirely gloomy anyway if you know how to get around it. Yes, you can bypass this restriction. You can watch Netflix outside the US and there are a few ways to do that:
Virtual Private Network
A Virtual Private Network, VPN is a network of computer servers that can be accessed anywhere around the world. If you were to access a website via a VPN located in the US, it would appear to the site as though you were accessing it from the US, even if you may be anywhere else in the world.
This is possible because you would be browsing the net using the server’s IP address. VPNs also allow sensitive files to be shared across the network, and also offer upgrades in browser security.
A number of VPNs are available for watching Netflix outside the US. HideMyAss Pro proves the be the best among them, offering top-rated security and over 43,000 IP addresses for use, as well as speedy signup and software download.
The best part is, you can get all these at an inexpensive rate. HideMyAss provides top level security, easy download and installation of software and is relatively fast, though not as fast as ExpressVPN. You may also want to pick ExpressVPN over HideMyASS if you are particular about customer service.
Using a DNS proxy is perhaps the best way to watch Netflix outside the USA. The DNS proxy hides or changes your IP address, making it appear like you actually stay in the US. A proxy only re-routes your traffic and geographical information. This produces greater internet speeds and higher quality video streams, but your normal internet usage is not affected.
Another way to go around the limitation posed by Netflix is to change your connection DNS. This way, you can access restricted sites and watch Netflix videos. You must, however, note that this method is meant to watch videos; changing DNS usually reduces browsing speed.
Media Hint is an extension which you can download for Firefox and Chrome to permit you watch Netflix outside the US. This extension uses a proxy when Netflix attempts to determine your geographical area.
You can get Media Hint homepage on your Chrome of Firefox browser by clicking Start Using. Then you will be redirected to where you may download the extension. The good thing with Media Hint is that you can eat your cake and have it: your browsing speed will not be affected.
Now you know how to get Netflix outside the US. The choice is yours. From anywhere around the world, you can bypass geo-blocking and watch your streaming movies and shows on Netflix. Through VPN, DNS or Media Hint, you can access Netflix without giving away your IP address and by extension, your geographical location. Watch Netflix, anywhere you go.
Featured Image by Yvonne Esperanza via Flickr