How to watch US Netflix while travelling abroad
US Netflix is, without a doubt, the most complete library of video entertainment of all Netflix country collections. The majority of VPN users around the world purchase VPN in order to access entertainment content. Entertainment includes not just movies and TV, but also games and audio content – but accessing Netflix from a foreign country is one of the best reasons to use a virtual private network.
Netflix content is geo-blocked – that is, depending on the country your IP is in, Netflix will offer you a slightly different collection of movies and series. At first glance, this might seem counterintuitive: why would a streaming platform limit your access to content just based on your location? Would it not be a significant competitive advantage to just give you unrestricted access to every Netflix film and show out there?
“This content is not available in your country” is not so much a message from Netflix, but from the distributors that hold the rights to a particular piece of content in each country. Before Netflix began producing its own films and series, it was relying on deals with local license holders to stream shows and movies on its platform. The US, where Netflix originates, has the most extensive library of movies, TV shows, documentaries and pretty much everything. Few countries can compare to the US in content availability: only in Puerto Rico, Equatorial Guinea and American Samoa, you would get a more or less similar collection. Equatorial Guinea is a strange outlier (it has about 92.5% of content that you’d get in the US), as its internet connection is among the slowest in the world. In Europe, countries with highest percentage of accessible US Netflix content are Ireland and Lithuania that offer around 52% of TV and movie titles available in the US. In most European countries, however, the most streamed Netflix show of all times, The Office (US) is not available.
Netflix & VPN
Netflix, quite successfully, opposes access to its services through VPN both ideologically and technologically. Netflix has installed a set of detection mechanisms preventing users from spoofing their location with a VPN and accessing Netflix library as if they were in another country. Attempting to access Netflix with VPN will not result in account ban or any penalties, but you would simply be redirected to your own Netflix homepage: nice try buddy, but no. Netflix has measures in place against most common VPNs, however, some providers are fast enough to catch up on the game of cat and mouse with Netflix and keep their functionality. After all, offering unfettered access to Netflix is a distinctive competitive advantage for VPN providers who put their mind to it. Surfshark VPN is a good example of such provider. This Surfshark review explains in detail what other unique perks you will get from Surfshark in addition to basic expectations and access to Netflix streaming through a foreign IP.
VPN providers allow you to choose from a number of countries where you want to establish your spoofed IP address – and a vast amount of options are US-based IPs. This means that even if you are in another hemisphere you can always make Netflix think that you are accessing your profile from the US – and get access to the US library. When your new VPN prompts you to choose a location of your new IP, go for one of the servers based in the United States. Once the virtual private network is set up, open Netflix and log in to your account. As a bonus, US-based connections normally offer the highest speeds, so there should be no buffering or annoying hang-ups.
Today, Netflix produces its own content, both movies and series, among which are amazing hits like Black Mirror, Stranger Things, House of Cards, or Marvel franchise (Jessica Jones, Daredevil, The Punisher, Luke Cage, Iron Fist). Netflix originals should be available worldwide, but even this is not always the case. Only on US Netflix, you will always get the earliest release dates, while other countries may have to wait days or even weeks.
So what are you to do when you are on a trip to Europe and cannot stream The Office? One may argue that on a trip abroad you need to get out of that hotel room and explore the beautiful wide world instead of submitting yourself to the cringefest of Michael Scott’s jokes. But with a quality VPN provider like Surfshark (that offers a million other advantages) it is easy to set up your virtual private network and open a gateway to the biggest Netflix library of TV series, documentaries and movies, catch early releases, and spend the evening as if you were at home.