How to Watch Netflix in Europe
Updated: August 4, 2016
- Sign up for a VPN provider of your choice (I recommend a bunch I checked out below)
- Step 2: Download and install the VPN software onto the device(s) you plan to watch Netflix in Europe from.
- Open the software then choose a US based IP address and connect.
- Once connected, open up Netflix and enjoy watching Netflix in Europe.
↓ How to Watch Netflix in Europe in more detail ↓
The problem first struck me when I was sat in my hotel room overlooking a fjord in Norway. The scene couldn’t have been more picturesque. The sun was setting, spreading reds and purples across the horizon and up towards the full moon overhead. There was a large sailing boat at anchor on the water, it’s bright blue hull and white sails complimenting the perfectly blue water and the snow caps on the mountains all around. The word idyllic doesn’t even come close.
And yet all I was thinking of was “what’s happening in the latest edition of ‘House of Cards’?”
I’m not such a philistine as not to appreciate the scenery, but I visit this hotel once a month as the company I work for has offices nearby, and, let’s be fair here, House of Cards is really good!
This is the curse of Netflix. It is both brilliant and dangerous. And once you bite it hooks you in and there is so much good stuff there it’s impossible to get away. This is why so many people want to use the service, and this is why people like me who travel a lot, want to take the service with them. Unfortunately, that is impossible to watch Netflix in Europe, or indeed anywhere else. You can only watch the US Netflix in the USA.
I didn’t know that time in Norway how to watch Netflix in Europe. Fortunately, I do now. If you want to watch Netflix in Europe, the solution is called a VPN.
Why is US Netflix not Available in Europe?
The answer to this is more obvious than it may seem. TV and film rights are sold by country to different broadcasters and streaming services. If Netflix wants to stream a show in different countries, it has to buy different sets of rights.
As a US business, it is therefore not very surprising that it holds the rights to more shows in the US than Europe. And this in turn sadly means that they are not able to broadcast all the shows they hold the US rights to in Europe. Now I know Netflix has recently ‘gone global’ but what this means is they will offer some kind of Netflix service in almost every country in the world. This service will still vary from country to country as it does now.
So what this means is that Netflix has to be seen to be making an effort to stop users in Europe accessing US Netflix.
How is US Netflix Blocking Access in Europe?
The answer is that they use a technology known as geo-blocking. How does geo-blocking work? It’s really quite a simple technology. Whenever anyone uses the internet they send something called their IP Address when they visit a website, or use any type of online service.
This IP address includes different information, including the geographic location of the individual. Your IP Address is how Netflix tells where you are and thus which of their services you are entitled to use. They then stop you accessing any of their others.
Fortunately, the solution to this restriction is a simple one. A VPN. A VPN works by re-routing all of your internet traffic via an external server, which can be located anywhere in the world. And if you use a VPN, it is the IP Address of this external server, not your own internet connection and device, which the website receives. Therefore, if the server is located in the USA, US Netflix has no reason not to let you use it!
If that sounds complicated, let me break it down into nice easy steps for you and explain with the use of ExpressVPN (the best in my view) how to watch Netflix in Europe.
How to Use a VPN to Watch Netflix in Europe
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
Firstly, you will need to visit the ExpressVPN website which you can do by clicking any of the links on this page. Once there, you can choose from a variety of different packages. Simply pick the right one for you. If you are a little nervous about committing, there’s nothing to fret about. Express VPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee so if you are not completely happy, you will be refunded in full.
Once you have made you choice, all you have to do is follow the easy payment instructions.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
Once your payment has been accepted, you can download and install the ExpressVPN software.
Again this is a very simple step-by-step process with clear instructions. All you need to be aware of is what type of operating system you are using to choose the right download.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
When you have finished installing ExpressVPN, you will be invited to choose a server to connect to. ExpressVPN have servers in numerous server locations all over the world, but if you are looking to wach the original Netflix, you will need to pick a US-based one.
Choose whichever one you like, but I would suggest opting for the one geographically closest to your current location as this tends to mean they are slightly faster.
Step 4: Setup US Netflix Account
If you already have an account with US Netflix, all you have to do is log in as usual. But, if you do not have an account, setting one up is also a quick and easy process. Having a US credit card will make the process simple, but if you don’t it’s still quite easy to work around the problem by using a random US Zip Code. (I don’t believe Netflix check the Zip codes, so it doesn’t matter where exactly it is).
The registration process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes and with that you will be ready to go.
And it’s just as simple as that to watch Netflix in Europe. With that you can watch US Netflix wherever in Europe you might be, whether that is overlooking the Fjords in Norway or anywhere else. Still enjoy the scenery if you are somewhere nice… Fjords are beautiful I should stress. But with a VPN you can also retire to watch House of Cards, or whichever other shows float your boat, too.
As I said at the top of this article, I have tried many VPNs during my time with Fried.com, and none have come close to matching ExpressVPN for speed and consistency, when it comes to streaming video.
Nevertheless, if it isn’t the one for you, there are others out there and below you see my pick of the top VPNs to solve the dilemma of how to watch Netflix in Europe.