How to Watch US Netflix in UAE
Updated: November 10, 2016
- Start with setting up a VPN account
- Next, install the VPN software onto your device(s) you want to watch US Netflix in UAE on
- Open VPN software and connect to US-based server
- Go to Netflix and either login to your existing account or signup if you have not already
- Enjoy US Netflix in UAE
How to watch US Netflix in UAE in more detail:
If you have been paying attention to the tech world lately, you will have seen the huge news that Netflix has finally gone global!
That's right, other than just a tiny handful of countries, users can now access the world's most popular on demand media streaming service from any location in the world.
I was personally super excited to hear this, as I travel a lot, and was always super disappointed when I arrived in a country that Netflix had not yet expanded their service into. I thought, "Finally! I will never miss my favourite TV shows or movies just because I'm in a country where Netflix is blocked."
Little did I know that this was not quite the end of my pain...
My first trip out of the US was to the UAE, and I was so excited to catch up on my favourite TV shows on Netflix the moment I arrive in UAE and got to my AirBnB. However, when I opened up my laptop to do just this, I could not find the TV show on Netflix... panic!
I quickly realised that, although Netflix was now accessible from the UAE -- the library of movies and TV shows offered to users in the UAE was very different than that offered to users in the US.
Rather than admitting defeat, I researched why and how Netflix was able to get my location and thus offer me the specific UAE version of their service.
I quickly found this out, and then figured out a 100% successful solution on how to watch US Netflix in UAE. I figured there would be other people like myself that faced this problem, so I decided to throw together this quick guide to show you the solution I figured out.
So here is my step-by-step guide on how to watch US Netflix in UAE!
Why is US Netflix not Available in UAE?
The first thing to understand is exactly why Netflix offer different versions of their service depending on whether you are access it from the US or the UAE.
Basically this comes down to the distribution agreements made between Netflix and the owners of each and every TV show/movie/documentary/etc they offer on the service.
For example, the owners of the TV show Californication will have agreed to let Netflix offer the TV show on their service on the agreement of never breaking certain conditions. One of these conditions will have been on Netflix agreeing to only offer the show to users located within certain countries.
So when every media owner makes these agreements with Netflix individually, the result is that the Netflix library you get when you access the service from inside the UAE is very different from what you get on the US version.
How is US Netflix Blocking Access in UAE?
OK, so why Netflix offers different versions of the service depending on your location when you access it makes sense. But what about how?
Understanding how Netflix knows which version of the service to offer each and every user based on their location is the most important part to understand, because understanding the process Netflix uses to achieve this will help you understand how my solution works so effectively.
The process Netflix uses to determine each user's location is called "geo-blocking". The way this process works is by looking at the IP address of each and every user, every time they access the service.
Your IP address tells Netflix your location, and they then offer you the according version of the service based on this. So basically, your IP address is the key to solving the question. "how to watch US Netflix in UAE".
If you can somehow change your UAE IP address to a US IP address, then access Netflix, you will be offered the full US version of the service instantly. So how do you best change your IP address?
It did not take me long to realise that although there are a few proven methods to change your IP address, the very best way to do it is by using a piece of software called a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
How to Use a VPN to Watch US Netflix in UAE
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
After researching as many of the most reputable VPN service providers around, I chose ExpressVPN, since they were the best value for my (modest) budget.
Thus, I will use this VPN as the example VPN while I walk you through this quick setup process on how to watch US Netflix in UAE with a VPN.
So go ahead and signup for the VPN of your choice. Head to their website, pick your plan, confirm account details, and you're ready for the next step. Here's how the sign up process looks with ExpressVPN:
After confirming payment and account details, next thing is to download the VPN software to your computer, which is super simple.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
Confirmation of your VPN account will automatically redirect you to the download area, wherein you just click on the download button for whatever device you're using. For example, I was on my Macbook, so I downloaded the OS X software.
What is especially great about using a VPN to watch US Netflix in UAE, is that VPNs are compatible with pretty much every device you would ever want to watch Netflix on. Here's ExpressVPN's list of devices:
Once you've downloaded the software, you will be asked to install it right away. Do this, which only takes a few seconds, and you will have your VPN fully ready to open and connect to.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
The connection process is so simple it's almost a joke. You just open up the VPN and you are asked to select which "location" you want to join the VPN through.
This is obviously where you want to choose a location based within the US, like New York (as I chose in the screenshot below) and hit "Connect".
Here's how the software looks on my Macbook:
To show how ExpressVPN looks on a mobile device, here's how the connection process looks on my Android smartphone:
Step 4: Watch US Netflix in UAE
Once you've connected to your VPN through a US-based server, your IP address will now show you as being located from within the US, rather than the UAE. All without you having to move from your comfortable UAE apartment!
Go to Netflix and you will have instant full access to the US version of the service for as long as you want. If you want to try out any other versions of Netflix, then simply disconnect you VPN and reconnect via a different location. It's that easy.
There you have it. My secure, simple and super fast solution for how to watch US Netflix in UAE.
As mentioned earlier in this guide, I personally researched and reviewed a whole bunch of VPNs to see which one would be the best value for my situation and budget. I found a few (there are literally hundreds of VPN service providers out there), so if you wanted to check out the best ones, here are the top five VPNs to use to watch US Netflix in UAE:
I hope you found this guide useful and are happily connected to the US version of Netflix as you read this.
If you have any feedback or questions with this guide and the steps laid out, then please go ahead and leave a comment below. I will do my best to answer any you might have.