How to Watch US Netflix in Ireland

Updated: February 1, 2017

  1. Start with getting a VPN account setup
  2. Next, download and install VPN software to your device(s)
  3. Open VPN software and connect to US-based server
  4. Go to Netflix and sign into your account or signup to service if you have not already
  5. Enjoy US Netflix in Ireland

How to watch US Netflix in Ireland in more detail:

NOTE: For this guide I have used the example of ExpressVPN to illustrate how to watch US Netflix in Ireland. You can use any VPN, but ExpressVPN is, in my considered opinion, the best for this purpose. You can find out more here:


Like the other thirty-four and a half million Irish-American’s I have always been fiercely proud of my heritage, and unlike most of the others, I can point to genuine relatively living in Ireland to back up my case. My maternal grandparents and two Uncles are all native Irish and live in Cork, in the south of the country, and around a year and a half ago, shortly after graduating, I had the opportunity to visit them for a family wedding.

Being at something of a loose end, I decided to make it an extended holiday and explore as much of the Emerald Isle as I could. My time in Cork was predictably busy with family business, but once my parents had flown back to the US, I made my way north-east to Dublin.

And in Dublin, it rained. Relentlessly. Stuck in my hostel, it was only then that I tried to resort to my Netflix account to amuse me. I was horrified to realize that in Ireland I was not able to access my US Netflix account. What on earth was I going to do.

A fellow traveler came to my rescue by showing me how she was using ExpressVPN to stream basketball (the Lakers since you ask!) on her laptop. ‘It would let me watch Netflix too’ she assured me. And she was right.


Why is US Netflix not Available in Ireland?

So why wouldn’t US Netflix let me use my account in Ireland? After all, I had paid for it.

Well the answer is that they are not allowed to. Netflix buys the rights to stream the programs it shows, and these are almost always sold regionally, by country. So whilst Netflix has acquired the rights to all the US shows that I can watch at home, they do not hold the Irish rights to stream all of the same programs in Ireland.

There is a Netflix Ireland service, but it doesn’t have half the stuff they show in the US on it, including a few shows I love, plus I would have had to have taken out a fresh subscription as well. It wasn’t an option for me, and I believe it isn’t for many Irish people either.


How is US Netflix Blocking Access in Ireland?

To stop users from accessing US Netflix, the company using a relatively common technique known as geo-blocking. Geo-blocking assesses a user’s IP Address (a piece of data every internet user transmits to every website they visit, and online service they use, which includes information on where their device is located) to work out where they are.

If it determines that they are not in the USA, they are automatically barred from using the service. The only way to get around this is to access the service with a different IP Address, which tells Netflix that you are in fact in the USA.

This is what a VPN does, because it routes your traffic through an external server which can be based anywhere in the world, and it is the IP Address of that server which the site sees. If this IP Address tells US Netflix you are in the USA, you can use the service, regardless of where you are.

Netflix has recently announced it plans to block the use of VPN’s, but having spent a lot of time since this trip researching them, I can say with some confidence that this isn’t possible other than by blocking known VPN IP Addresses, and the VPN providers then simply change them, so for the time being at least, using a VPN is a failsafe way to watch US Netflix in Ireland.

And if you read on I will explain exactly how to do this.


How to Use a VPN to Watch US Netflix in Ireland

Step 1: Sign up for VPN

Firstly, you will need to visit the ExpressVPN website. There are several links in this article that will take you straight there

Once there you will see a variety of different subscription packages from which you can choose the one with the price and duration to best suit your needs. You will then be directed to a payment page, which will walk you through the ways to pay with simple and clear instructions.

ExpressVPN offers a free 30-day money back guarantee, so if you are not completely satisfied with their service, you won’t lose a cent.

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Step 2: Download & Install VPN

Firstly, you will need to visit the ExpressVPN website. There are several links in this article that will take you straight there

Once there you will see a variety of different subscription packages from which you can choose the one with the price and duration to best suit your needs. You will then be directed to a payment page, which will walk you through the ways to pay with simple and clear instructions.

ExpressVPN offers a free 30-day money back guarantee, so if you are not completely satisfied with their service, you won’t lose a penny.

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Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN

Once the software has successfully downloaded and installed, you will be greeted with a home screen which offers you a variety of different servers to connect to. These are located in numerous different countries, but you will need to choose one of the US-based ones. It doesn’t matter which you go for.

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Once you have chosen your server, the software should only take a few moments to connect to it. If it takes significantly longer, you may want to go back and choose another one (although this has never happened to me with ExpressVPN).

Once the server is connected, all of your internet traffic should be directed through it and you are ready to use your US Netflix account.

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Step 4: Setup US Netflix Account

So this was me finished, as all I had to do was log into my Netflix account and I was away. If you don’t already have a US Netflix account (perhaps because you are not from the US) you will of course need to set up a US Netflix account.

Again this is a relatively simple process and the instructions on the site make it very easy. It certainly helps to have a US credit card to do this, but if you haven’t got one of these, I am told it is easy enough to work around the system using a US Zip Code (any will do as Netflix don’t check these).

The whole process should again only take a few minutes, and then you too can use US Netflix however you see fit.

Conclusion

And it really is that straightforward. This method proved a godsend to me during my rainy days in Dublin, and (and Galway, and Limerick) and I know I am certainly not the only US traveler to have benefited. And there are at least 34.5 million other potential beneficiaries in the US alone!

Do feel free to comment on your experiences, and if any of this process has changed, which I know sites do from time to time.

I have used ExpressVPN to highlight how to do this, as it was the first VPN I used. Despite reviewing countless others since, it is still my VPN of choice. But there are others out there, so if for any reason you are not so keen on it, see above my recommendations for the five best VPN services to watch US Netflix in Ireland.

David Spencer
 

Freelance Writer working on tech, ICT, finance, politics, and sports articles for sites in the US, Europe, and Asia.

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