How to Watch US Netflix in Russia
Updated: February 25, 2016
- Start with getting a VPN account
- Then install the VPN software onto the device(s) you want to watch US Netflix in Russia on
- Open VPN software and connect to US-based server
- Next, go to Netflix and sign into your existing account or signup for one if you don't have one yet
- Enjoy US Netflix in Russia
How to watch US Netflix in Russia in more detail:
It was never really a goal of mine to move to Russia, but when the boss tells you how important you are, and Russia is where your skills are most needed, what can you say? I was ready to deal with a new language, and a very different culture, but what I wasn’t expecting was the cold. I’m from California. And a Moscow winter is like nothing I have ever experienced before.
So I have been spending a lot of time indoors and planned to use the time to catch up on all those ‘must-see’ TV series you never get round to watching. You can imagine my language when I tried to log into my Netflix account, only to find that it wasn’t accessible here. Aaargh! What am I going to do until Spring?
Fortunately, it turns out to be far easier to access US Netflix here in Russia than I feared, and I am writing this now, warm and comfortable having just watched the latest episode of House of Cards.
Why is US Netflix not Available in Russia?
It turns out that there is a pretty simple reason why US Netflix is not available in Russia. The majority of the programs they show are produced by other companies and Netflix buys up the rights to them. These are sold by countries, so Netflix will usually only buy the rights for the show in certain countries, primarily the USA.
This means they are not permitted to make these shows available outside the countries which they own the rights for, as they would be breaking the rights agreement of another broadcaster. Here in Russia, I could view some of the shows on Russian TV, but they are either subtitled or dubbed into Russian and are often months behind the US run, so for me it’s not a viable solution.
How is US Netflix Blocking Access in Russia?
When you log onto a website, you automatically communicate your IP Address to that site. This contains various information about you, including, crucially, where you are located.
US Netflix employs a technology known as geo-blocking to read your IP Address. If it indicates that you are located outside the USA, you will receive an error message and be unable to watch any of their programs.
Geo-blocking is a common technology used by many online subscription services around the world, and the only way to get around it, is to provide the site with an IP Address which indicates that you are within the USA.
Fortunately, that is quite easy to do by using a VPN. And I will show how to do it below.
How to Use a VPN to Watch US Netflix in Russia
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
As I noted at the start of this piece, my VPN of choice in ExpressVPN. I have road-tested a lot over the years and it is the one provider that I always go back to.
To sign up with ExpressVPN you will first need to visit their website. Once their you will be presented with a choice of packages to sign up for. Choose the one which best suits you needs and your budget, and you will then be directed through to their payment process.
As with most VPN’s they accept a wide variety of payment methods so make your choice and then follow the simple instructions. You will see a few screenshots below of me signed up to illustrate exactly how the process works.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
Once you have completed payment, you will be invited to download and install the ExpressVPN software. To do this, you will need to know what type of device you are using. Be sure to pick the right option on their menu, which you can see below.
You will also be given the option to download the software onto other devices, depending on which package you have subscribed to.
Once you have selected the right device, follow the straight-forward instructions to download the software onto your machine.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
OK, once you have finished downloaded and installing, you will be presented with a screen something like the one below. This one is taken from my Android phone. You will be given the option to choose which of the scores of Express VPN servers you want to connect to.
To access US Netflix we obviously need to connect to a US-based server, so choose any server located in the USA that takes your fancy and then wait for a few seconds while you connect to it.
Once you are connected, that’s it. You can head over to the Netflix site and as far as they are concerned you are visiting them from the USA.
Step 4: Setup US Netflix Account
Now you have a US-based IP Address, you can sign up to Netflix in the same way as any US person does. If you have a US credit card this process is pretty straight-forward. If you don’t, you might need to work around their Zip Code check in order to be able to make a payment. Netflix do not, to my knowledge, check zip codes, so using any valid US Zip Code should work.
And there you have it. It’s worked for me and there is no reason why it shouldn’t work for you. If you have any comments or feedback, feel free to post them below. I am acutely aware that these process can change at a moment’s notice and I am keen to keep this guide up to date.
I have used ExpressVPN to illustrate this process as in my view it is the best VPN for this purpose currently on the market. If you don’t feel it is the right VPN for you, there are of course others available which offer a similar service. Below we have highlighted our pick of the Top 5 VPNs for watching US Netflix in Russia.