How to Watch US Netflix in UK on iPad
Updated: February 25, 2016
- Start with getting a VPN account setup
- Download and install the VPN app onto your iPad
- Open VPN app and connect to US-based server
- Then open Netflix and sign into your account or create an account if you don't have one yet
- Enjoy US Netflix in UK on iPad
How to watch US Netflix in UK on iPad in more detail:
The whole point of getting an iPad is so you don’t have to carry around a bulky laptop. That’s certainly why I got mine. I travel a lot for my job as a fashion journalist, and having an iPad allows me get through airport security more easily, and to travel light and move fast.
My iPad can do pretty much everything I need to do on the road, using the internet, emails, I even use it to take the odd photo if time is of the essence. When I signed up for Netflix during an extended spell working in New York, I was looking forward to taking this on the road with me as well.
So you can imagine my annoyance when I arrived in London only to find I could no longer access US Netflix. There were two or three shows I was really looking forward to watching, and much as I love London, I have spent a lot of time here. I don’t want to watch the Changing of the Guard in my spare time again.
So I scoured the internet for a solution, and it turned out to be remarkable quick to find one. For anyone else in the same predicament, here’s how to do it.
Why is US Netflix not Available in UK on iPad?
The reason Netflix is not available in the UK on an iPad is the same as it not being available on any other device. Rights.
Netflix buys the rights to its programs and they are sold by country. This means that to show a program in the US and the UK, Netflix has to own both sets of rights. With some shows it does, but with many it doesn’t, and being a US-based company it is not surprising that it has the rights to stream more shows in the US than anywhere else.
This means that even if you have a US Netflix subscription, when you leave the USA you can no longer view all the programs available on the US Netflix service. To stop this, Netflix employs a technology known as geo-blocking.
How is US Netflix Blocking Access in UK on iPad?
Geo-blocking works like a gatekeeper. It looks at your security pass when you arrive to see if you are allowed in. In this case, your IP Address acts as your pass.
Your IP Address is data which every internet user transmits to every site and service they connect with online. It contains various information including your geographic location. If this information tells US Netflix you are not in the USA, the geo-blocking software, like the gatekeeper, won’t let you in.
The only way to convince US Netflix to let you use their service is to show an IP Address which does show you being in the USA. And the only way to achieve this is with a VPN.
A VPN is a tool which reroutes your internet traffic via an external server. When you connect to a site, it receives the IP Address of that server, so if the server is located in the USA, the site believes that you are as well.
Netflix claims to be clamping down on VPNs at the moment, but experts have questioned how they can do this. The only known way is to blacklist known VPN IP Addresses, but it is relatively simple for VPN’s to change these. So for now, VPN are still the best way to access US Netflix from overseas.
How to Use a VPN to Watch US Netflix in UK on iPad
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
Firstly, you will need to sign up for a VPN. As I noted at the top, I am illustrating this article with the example of ExpressVPN which in my experience is the best VPN on the market for streaming US Netflix.
So start by heading over to the ExpressVPN website, following one of the links on this page. Once there you will be invited to choose one of a range of subscription packages. After choosing, you will then be sent to a payment processing page, where you will be able to follow simple instructions to pay for your package using a variety of internationally approved payment methods.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
You will then be invited to download the ExpressVPN software onto your device. ExpressVPN offers its service on a range of devices, so be sure to pick the iOS (iPhone, iPad, & iPod) option from the menu (see below).
Once the software has downloaded it should install automatically. All you have to do is sit back and wait a few moments. Then, when the install has completed, open up the software.
Step 3: Connect to a US Server
One the app has downloaded, and you have opened it, you will need to change the server location. Open up the server location page and select one of the various US-base servers they offer. It doesn’t matter which one you choose. Then click “connect” and in just a few seconds, you will be connected to that server.
You can see below an example of how clean and simple the user interface is on mobile devices such as the iPad, below.
Step 4: Setup US Netflix Account
And that is essentially it if you already have an existing US Netflix account. Simply log-in and you are good to go.
If you do not have a US Netflix account, head over to their website to follow the simple instructions to set one up. Having a US credit card will help, but you can work around the system pretty easily if you don’t, using a US Zip Code (which Netflix do not check).
By following these few simple steps, I was able to use my US Netflix account in London and indeed everywhere else I have been posted too since. And there is no reason why you can’t as well.
I chose ExpressVPN because I believe it is the best VPN for this purpose. But if you don’t fancy it there are of course plenty of others on market. Below you will find my pick of the Top 5 for watching US Netflix on an iPad in the UK.
Do feel free to post any comments or questions on this guide below. I am always interested to hear about other users’ experiences, or if you have encountered any problems or changes to this process.