Everything about Streaming Geo-Restricted Content on Netflix

October 6, 2021

It may come as a surprise to some amongst us, but the content libraries on Netflix aren’t the same everywhere. Netflix content is segregated based on location. This means the titles available in the United States aren’t necessarily available in other parts of the world. The only content that’s available to you for streaming, is one for which broadcasting rights have been sold in your regions.

These restrictions on content can be bypassed by using a VPN service. We’ll be discussing why Netflix blocks VPNs and what can be done about it.

Why is Netflix Content Different in Different Locations?

As we’ve already mentioned, Netflix content libraries change depending on where you’re accessing them from. The differences between certain libraries are huge, for example, the US library has almost 4500 movies while the UK library just houses 2400 titles. Comparing this to the Hungarian library, they have only 570 movies for viewers in the movie library.

Understandably, this fact can annoy Netflix subscribers since they all pay the same subscription fee. The reason for this is the copyright agreements between production houses and content distributors. If the producers haven’t sold rights to a certain region’s distributors, the content can’t be broadcasted in that region. However, Netflix goes beyond borders and hence has to apply geo-blocking to its libraries to honor its agreement with the producers.

These geo-restrictions can be bypassed by using a VPN service. However, keep in mind that any VPN service, especially free ones, won’t be able to bypass these restrictions. If you’re using a substandard VPN, you will receive a proxy error from Netflix.

So How Does a VPN Work?

Whenever we are connected to the internet using any of our devices, we are allocated an IP address based on our location. For example, all devices connecting from New York will have the same initial numbers in an IP address, but very different from the devices connecting from San Francisco. Just looking at the IP addresses, the location of the device can easily be tracked.

So, it’s very easy for any service on the internet to identify exactly where someone who’s using the internet is located. And this is where a VPN helps you. VPNs route your internet traffic via an encryption tunnel. This tunnel changes your IP address to that of the server you’ve chosen. The process is also known as IP masking, and it virtually changes your location for prying eyes on the internet.

A VPN isn’t just used for changing your IP address, but if you’re looking to change your location and bypass streaming platforms’ geo-restrictions, a VPN is the most reliable method out there. With a VPN, you’ll get server options to choose from. Choosing a specific server masks your IP to the location where the server is placed. In simple words, this means you can choose a location of your choice and unlock the Netflix library you’re trying to watch.

However, it must be taken with a pinch of salt, but your IP isn’t the only way to track your location on the internet. Your location can also be identified by using cookies, browser settings, your Netflix billing address, and sometimes even your connection speed. So, it might be that you’ll have to try more than once to access the restricted content.

A VPN Helps You Stream Your Favorite Content from Anywhere

As mentioned earlier, a VPN will mask your online identity, making it seem like you’re accessing the internet from a location thousands of miles away from your actual location. For the cinema enthusiasts among us, it means tons and tons of new content that was previously locked for you.

Another nuisance that comes with Netflix is if you’re traveling. Say you’re an American citizen, traveling to Europe for some reason. The problem here is that the shows you had been watching in the US will no longer be available in Europe. A VPN solves this problem for you as well. You can watch any content, from anywhere, with just a few clicks.

Is Using VPNs Illegal?

Since Netflix is trying very hard to block VPN use, so isn’t it illegal?

It’s not illegal to use a VPN with Netflix. People sometimes consider it to be a form of piracy, but it’s not. You’re paying for the content, and accessing what’s already available in another location.

The answer to its legality can be found in the consequences ‘offenders’ face when caught by Netflix using a VPN. You’ll just get an error message and nothing else. You’re not banned from the service; you don’t get a penalty or any serious punishments.

Things to Keep in Mind When Using a VPN

Whenever you use a VPN, keep a few things in mind for a smooth streaming experience.

Firstly, you have to be persistent when trying to connect to the internet using a VPN. You may not find the perfect server on the first try, and you may even have to change locations more than once before you get access to geo-blocked content. The time of day when you’re trying to connect can also impact how quickly you will find a server.

It’s always great to know what options your VPN provider offers; will they provide static or dynamic IPs? Will they encrypt DNS data as well? What’s their privacy policy, and how many servers do they have? All of these will help you identify which is the best VPN for you.

Final Thoughts

It is no secret that a VPN service is an internet junky’s best friend. And more so if you’re a cinema enthusiast. So, signing up for a VPN will add such flavor to your streaming experience as never before.

Carefully choose a VPN for yourself, and thank us later!


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