The number of titles available of Netflix movies and shows you can access depends on your location. This means if you’re in Europe or Asia, you’ll not be able to access all the titles available to audiences in the US – even though you’re paying the same monthly subscription.
The best way to work around these geo-restrictions is to use a VPN in order to bypass these geo-blocks on content. In this article, we’ll be discussing the ins and outs of how to use a VPN and the nuances associated with using one. Read on!
Why isn’t Netflix Content the Same Everywhere?
Even though all Netflix users pay the same subscription fee, they don’t all get the same content.
Imagine living in the UK and finding out that there are almost 1300 TV shows and almost 4400 movies found in Netflix’s US version. While the UK version has almost 2400 movies, almost half of the content available in the States, at the same price!
It would be absolutely justified if this leaves the English binge-watcher amongst us slightly resentful, however, if this is any consolation, Netflix’s Hungarian content library has just 570 titles in the movie catalog!
This is what geo-blocking does to content libraries on Netflix – it shrinks them. But the solution precedes the problem. Every. Single. Time.
In order to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions, you can just sign up for a VPN service. A VPN service hides your location on the internet and allows you to access content for any location of your choice. Though there’s a slight catch, Netflix is pretty good at identifying low-quality VPNs and serving a Netflix proxy error to anyone trying to bypass geo-restrictions on content. The proxy error on Netflix can, however, be easily fixed by choosing a VPN that’s reliable and known to work.
This is because big studios and movie companies have agreements for viewership rights with different countries, and this either allows or prevents them from broadcasting their content in certain regions.
This is because Netflix has agreements with studios and production houses, and they sometimes don’t have licenses for streaming in specific countries. The content is then geo-restricted, meaning it’s only available in certain countries. This can be frustrating especially if you’re a movie buff.
Netflix hates VPNs, but why?
Netflix has geo-restrictions on its content as we’ve already discussed. So, what’s a VPN got to do with that? A VPN basically helps spoof your location and bypass the geo-restrictions on content provided by Netflix. Since a VPN is allowing users to access content that would normally be inaccessible, Netflix works overtime to prevent VPN usage on its platform.
It must be mentioned here that using a VPN is by no means illegal, and in ways is a necessity for personal safety over the internet. Sure, a VPN does violate Netflix’s Terms of Service, but that doesn’t make it illegal in any which way. But this violation has more to do with Netflix’s rights of broadcasting than anything else.
It’s the production studios (such as Marvel, Paramount, etc.) who basically own the rights to viewership of the content they produce. And if they haven’t sold rights in a certain region, their content won’t be broadcasted in the said region, because it makes the studios lose money. Hence, Netflix has partnered with these studios, it has to comply with these restrictions and therefore, has geo-blocking in place.
However, with all the hatred, the only action Netflix takes against a confirmed VPN user is to simply show them a proxy error, and prevent them from using Netflix until the VPN is disabled. This clearly speaks volumes about the seriousness of the ‘offense’ of using a VPN for streaming on Netflix.
How Does a VPN work?
Whenever any device is connected to the internet, it is allocated a special, unique IP address. An IP address, short for Internet Protocol address, is a number that signifies the location of the device. All devices in London will have a very similar IP address which is different from those in New York.
Changing these IP addresses will spoof one’s location over the internet. And this is what a VPN does. A VPN encrypts the IP address, changes it to that of another location, and hence ‘hides’ your device. This makes you much more secure from online scammers, security breaches, identity theft attempts, and being tracked online.
A VPN achieves this by routing your internet traffic via a virtual server. For the laymen here, this simply means that you first connect to a server placed in a different location, and then from that server you connect to the world wide web. So, your location is now that of the server, instead of your own real location – and voila, you’re now safe from online threats, and you’re also able to access the content of your choice!
If you’re looking to stream geo-restricted content on Netflix, the best way to go about it is to get a reliable VPN.
In order to choose the perfect VPN for yourself, make sure to check the following. The number of servers – this will allow you to find a connection even in peak hours when most VPN subscribers are online. Also check if your VPN provider has static or dynamic IP addresses. Always go for a dynamic IP address since Netflix can detect a static IP address very easily. The speed is also a factor, but bear in mind that whenever you use a VPN, your connection speed will definitely be hampered.
With that, I guess it’s time you actually stop reading and start streaming!