How to Watch US Netflix in Germany
Updated: December 12, 2016
- Start with setting up a VPN account
- Next download and install VPN software to device(s) you want to watch US Netflix in Germany on
- Then open the VPN software and connect to a US-based server location
- Go to Netflix and sign into your account or signup if you have not already
- Enjoy US Netflix in Germany
How to watch US Netflix in Germany in more detail:
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My dad has always had a ‘stein’; a large German beer glass, which he uses to drink beer when watching football on TV. It’s a large and beautiful glass with a tin lid and is decorated with characters in traditional German dress. I have no idea where he got it, but as a child it always captivated me.
As I grew up and developed a taste for beer myself, it was always in the back of my mind. Then a friend at university showed me a video of ‘Oktoberfest’, the Bavarian beer festival which takes place annually in Munich. Wow! Everyone had these glasses. And everyone was drinking a lot of beer. And it was settled. Next Fall, we were off to Germany.
Oktoberfest didn’t disappoint, but German beer is way stronger than US beer and I have never had hangovers like it. All I wanted to do was curl up in bed, watch trash TV, and wait until it was time to drink again. I had presumed my Netflix account would work there just fine, so you can imagine my dismay when through the hangover haze I read the error message which said US Netflix was not available overseas. That was a long day.
Fortunately, the following night we got talking to a group of US students living in Munich, who told us the solution. A VPN. ‘It’s well easy’, they said. ‘You can install one even with a hangover.’
Why is US Netflix not Available in Germany?
I was pretty annoyed not to be able to use my Netflix account that morning, but once I worked out why, it sort of made sense.
To stream shows on their site, Netflix has to own the broadcasting rights, which they purchase from the Production Company. These are almost always sold by country, meaning that to put a show on US Netflix, they have to buy the US rights to that show. But to put the same show on German Netflix, they also have to own the German rights.
Although Netflix made a big deal of the fact that they are hoovering up these rights at a rate of knots, they do not yet have the rights for all their shows in every country.
Being a US company, they have more US-rights than anywhere else. However, as they cannot show all these programs outside the US, they have to stop their users from accessing the sit overseas.
And to do this they use a technology known as geo-blocking.
How is US Netflix Blocking Access in Germany?
Having looked into it, I realized that geo-blocking is a relatively common technique used by most online streaming services.
It works by looking at each users IP Address. An IP Address is a piece of data which you send to every website and online service you use. It includes various pieces of information about you, including where in the world you are located.
US Netflix geo-blocking technology reads that data in your IP Address and if you are not located within the USA, it blocks you from using their service.
It is as simple as that, and the only way to get around it is to convince US Netflix that you are located within the USA. To do this, you have to use a VPN.
A VPN is a service which reroutes your internet activity via an external server, and it is the IP Address of that server which the end site receives. If this server is located in the US, US Netflix will assume that you are as well, even if that isn’t the case.
US Netflix are aware of this problem, and have pledged to act to stop it. However, there is currently no known technology to identify VPNs other than blocking known VPN IP Addresses, but these can be easily changed, so at present they are unable to do this.
A VPN worked like a charm for me in Munich and I will now show you how, even with a hangover, you can use one to watch US Netflix in Germany too.
How to Use a VPN to Watch US Netflix in Germany
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
The first thing to do is sign up for a VPN. I found ExpressVPN worked well for me in Munich, and having looked at a lot of VPNs since, I have seen nothing to persuade me otherwise since.
So to start with you need to visit the ExpressVPN website. You can do this by following one of the links on this page. Then you will need to choose which subscription package you want. Whichever you choose, there is a 30-day money back guarantee, so don’t worry if you are not sure, because you will not lose a cent if you decide you want to back out of the deal.
Choose your package and you will be directed to the payment page, which you can follow the simple instructions to make payment using one of a number of internationally recognized payment methods.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
When you have completed the payment process, ExpressVPN will invite you to download and install their VPN software. This can be done on a variety of different devices and platforms so make sure you pick the right download option for your machine. (Some packages allow you to use the service on more than one device).
Once the software has downloaded it should open automatically and you will given some more simple instructions on how to install it onto your device.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
When your install has completed, open the ExpressVPN software (if it hasn’t opened automatically) and you will be presented with a home screen which invites you to choose which of the many ExpressVPN servers you would like to connect to.
Obviously to use US Netflix in Germany, you will need to choose one of the US-based servers (it doesn’t matter which).
After you have selected a server, you should only have to wait a few moments for it to connect.
Once the connection has been made, all of your internet traffic should be directed through ExpressVPN and you are ready to use your US Netflix account in Germany.
Step 4: Setup US Netflix Account
And if you have a US Netflix account already, that’s you done. I could relapse back into my hungover state and stay in bed until the beer was flowing again.
If you haven’t, perhaps because you live in Germany, you will then have to visit the US Netflix site and setup a new account. This is a pretty easy process again, especially if you already have a US Credit card. If not, you may need to use a US Zip Code (search for one online, Netflix don’t check them so it doesn’t matter where it is) to work around this.
Then follow the instructions and before you know it the world of US Netflix will be open to you.
This is a simple, legal methods that works and allows you to watch US Netflix in Germany, and indeed any other country in the world. It has been used by countless people in Germany and beyond, and will continue to be for some time yet
Please do feel free to comment on your experiences of using ExpressVPN, or any other VPN’s, to watch US Netflix in Germany in the comment section below. If you find anything different to this method, do let me know so I can keep the article up-to-date.
I have explained why I recommend ExpressVPN for watching US Netflix in Germany, but of course there are other VPN’s on the market. If you want to try something different, you see above my pick of the top 5 VPN’s for watching Netflix overseas.