Netflix is without a doubt the biggest online streaming service you can choose today. It has been turning heads for some time and now has exploded onto the online streaming scene with a bang. You can choose from hundreds and thousands of titles to watch online.
Netflix has also been creating its own original content and has been releasing popular TV shows one after another. So if you enjoy binge watching quality television series or movies, you cannot ignore Netflix.
However, Netflix is not short of problems as not everyone around the world can enjoy the same level of online streaming experience as others.
- The Netflix libraries are not the same throughout the world. Content licenses place restrictions on content that can be viewed in a particular regions and not in others.
- Content restrictions limit the number of titles available in different Netflix regions, and won’t allow you to stream the shows or movies of your choice.
- Netflix is still geo restricted and blocked in certain countries.
How to Watch Netflix from Anywhere
There are number of ways you can enjoy the same Netflix content and unblock Netflix in regions where it is restricted. One of these ways is to use a VPN for Netflix. It will allow you to switch your Netflix region and access content from different Netflix libraries. Similarly, you can unblock Netflix using a VPN in countries where it is blocked or censored. Here are some top VPN services for Netflix you can choose from:
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Limited Netflix Library in New Regions
Earlier in January 2016, the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, announced that the service has been launched in 130 new countries. This announcement arguably made Netflix the most popular streaming service in the world. So once a geo restricted streaming service became available for millions around the world overnight. Here is a map showing the global presence of Netflix around the world:
However, this expansion into new territories meant that the new regions contain limited Netflix library. Currently US Netflix offers the highest number of titles to stream online. When you compare it with other Netflix regions, you will find that the Netflix library of new countries only contains a handful of those titles found on US Netflix library.
According to a research done by Unotelly, the US Netflix contains around 7000+ unique titles, but the Australian Netflix only contains 1100+ titles. This shows that US Netflix has almost six times more content compared to Australian Netflix. One of the solutions to overcome this problem is to use a VPN and access the US Netflix library.
Before Netflix arrived in Malaysia, one of the solutions to bypass the geo restrictions was through the use of VPN software. However, the limited library of Netflix Malaysia is still a chronic problem as popular shows such as Breaking Bad and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are not available for streaming. Netflix Malaysia also gives much more streaming options as compared to local TV provider, Astro.
Netflix South Africa
The arrival of Netflix in South Africa meant severe competition for local cable providers. With Netflix South Africa, you could enjoy various content of your choice. However, when we speak of limited library, Netflix South Africa only contains 7 percent of titles that are available on US Netflix library. Therefore, using a VPN becomes warranted if you want to expand your viewing options.
Censorships & Geo Blocks Still Apply to Netflix
Netflix might have expanded its territories into new markets but there are regions where it is still geo restricted and blocked due to internet censorship. As you might have seen from the map given above, regions such as China, Syria and North Korea are yet to experience the illustrious streaming capabilities of Netflix.
Although Netflix has planned to launch its service in China, but according to their CEO, specific permissions are still required from the government. So for now, Netflix lovers can unblock the service using a VPN service and stream your favorite shows and movies online.
On the other hand, some regions like Indonesia have blocked Netflix due to inappropriate content. One Indonesian telecom provider, Telkom has blocked Netflix on grounds that it does not have proper permit to operate in Indonesia and that it offers shows and movies that contain intense violence and explicit content.
How to Overcome Netflix VPN Blockage
As you may have heard by now, Netflix has started a crackdown on VPN and other proxy users. One of the reasons for this crackdown is due to the intense pressure from content holders on Netflix. Although this war against VPN users is a battle that Netflix wouldn’t want to win but the VPN blockage is happening as we speak.
We got in contact with some of the VPN providers and inquired whether you could unblock Netflix or access US Netflix. Here is a response from PureVPN representative affirming their service works fine with Netflix:
Similarly, ExpressVPN also assured us that you can use their VPN service to watch Netflix from anywhere in the world:
On the other hand, VyprVPN reported that it is aware of the situation and is currently working towards finding a long term solution for its users. Although, it has not provided an estimated time as to when it will offer solution to this problem.
However, VPN services such as HideMyAss reported that it cannot guarantee access to geo restricted content such as Netflix amidst this VPN crackdown.
Similarly, Private Internet Access (PIA) also reported to us that their service may or may not be working with Netflix and other streming services.
Steps to Prevent Netflix VPN Block
Since many VPN providers are in the dark and are still looking for a permanent solution, here are some steps you could use to overcome the VPN blockage by Netflix. These steps are not prefect by any means and may require additional cost but they can help you prevent Netflix VPN block.
- Get a US dedicated (static) IP address: some VPN providers offer dedicated IP address for an additional cost. A dedicated IP is a unique address only assigned to you. This IP is solely under your control and minimizes the chances of Netflix blocking since no one else will be sharing the same IP address.
- Host Your VPN on Home Network: another way to overcome Netflix VPN block is by hosting your VPN service on home network. This way, when you connect to your home network, no matter where you are, you could access Netflix of your home country. This technique works well if you travel abroad and want to stay in touch with all the Netflix shows and movies.
- Use Hosting Services to Host Your VPN: you can also host your VPN service on web-hosting services and then connect to these services to access Netflix. However, this step is for advance users and if you know what you’re doing.
Devices to Stream Netflix
Netflix offers high flexibility and compatibility as it is supported by wide range of devices. You can use your Windows or Mac PC and laptops to stream away on Netflix.
In addition to PC, other Netflix devices that you can use include Smart TVs, streaming players such as Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast, gaming consoles such as PlayStation (PS3 & PS4) and Xbox (360 & One), set-top-boxes, blue ray players, and smartphones and tablets (Android, iOS & Windows Phone).
And, if you want to expand your viewing options by accessing US Netflix or run into the problem of geo restrictions, then you can use a VPN on any of these devices supported by Netflix. You can setup a VPN easily on PC and smartphones using their respective apps, or you can configure a VPN on your router and enable VPN connection on all your Netflix devices.
In a nutshell, Netflix is one of the best streaming services today and allows you to enjoy various shows and movies. You can stream Netflix original series such as DareDevil, House of Cards, Jessica Jones, Orange is the New Black, Sense8, and much more on Netflix.
Similarly, there are numerous movies such as The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather (I & II), Pulp Fiction and The Dark Knight that you can stream online on Netflix.
However, with limited library in numerous regions and geo restrictions with internet censorship could hinder your streaming experience on Netflix. To overcome this problem, you should use a VPN service. We have mentioned some of the best VPNs for Netflix that will help you access US Netflix library and also unblock Netflix from anywhere in the world.