How to Watch US Netflix in UK
Updated: November 10, 2016
Follow these steps to watch US Netflix in the UK:
- Start by getting a VPN account setup
- Install VPN software onto device(s) you want to watch US Netflix in UK on
- Open VPN software and connect to US-based server
- Go to Netflix and sign in to your existing account or signup for new account if you haven't already
- Enjoy US Netflix in UK
How to watch US Netflix in UK in more detail:
There I was -- I had just arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland and had settled into my friend's apartment for my first night of my UK trip.
I was ready to settle in for an evening in front of my laptop and my US Netflix on, to catch up on my favourite TV series. However, as soon as I logged into my Netflix account, I was surprised and annoyed to see that the library of media offered to me was different!
Many of the TV shows and movies that I was able to watch back in the US on my Netflix were suddenly not even offered to me, just because I was accessing my Netflix account from the UK. I was being offered the "UK" version of Netflix.
I quickly researched and figured out the reason why Netflix was doing this and then how they were achieving this "version" change on my account.
It didn't take me long to find the best solution on how to watch US Netflix in UK locations, so I wanted to put together this quick guide to show you how to do this!
Why is US Netflix not Available in the UK?
The first thing you need to understand is why exactly Netflix do not offer the exact same service and library of media to users in the UK as they do to users in the US.
Essentially, Netflix is different between the US and UK because of copyright and distribution agreements made. In order for Netflix to offer US users all the specific media they do, they make agreements with the owners of each and every movie/TV show/etc.
Same goes for all the media offered through Netflix to UK users -- agreements have also been made to only offer the UK library and all media therein to users within the UK and nowhere else.
How is US Netflix Blocking Access in the UK?
When I was figuring out why I couldn't access my US Netflix library from the UK, I realised exactly how Netflix was giving me the "UK" version when I attempted to access it in Scotland.
The way that Netflix is knowing to offer the UK version to UK users is because of a process called "geo-blocking". When you are accessing Netflix in the UK, Netflix checks your IP address and determines through it where you are physically located at the moment you are accessing the service.
So whether you are offered the US or UK version of Netflix comes down to your IP address. Therefore, if you can change your IP address from showing you as located in the UK, to instead showing you located in the US (without having to actually go to the US, of course!) then that will allow you to watch US Netflix from UK.
This was when I researched the best way to change your IP address. It did not take me long to find out that the best way to change your IP address to any location securely, privately and legally, is by using what's called a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
I researched all the highest-rated VPN service providers on the market and chose to go with ExpressVPN, so for the purpose of the walkthrough step-by-step guide below I'll use ExpressVPN as the example.
How to Use a VPN to Watch US Netflix in UK
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
Go to ExpressVPN.com and sign up for the plan that best suits your situation and budget (they offer three plans of differing commitment length and price) then confirm your account details:
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
With your VPN account setup and confirmed, you then want to go ahead and download the software onto whichever device(s) you plan to watch Netflix on and install it. This process is super quick and requires almost zero technical knowledge.
Also, ExpressVPN (like most VPN service providers nowadays) in compatible with basically every device you could want to use it on:
Once you've gone through the installation process, open up the VPN software and then your next step will be to connect.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
Connecting to the VPN is incredibly simple. As you can see in the screenshot below, it is literally just a case of choosing a US-based location (which will change your IP address to "appear" within the US.)
Here's a quick snapshot of how ExpressVPN's software looks on both my Macbook and then my Android smartphone:
Step 4: Watch US Netflix in UK
With your VPN connected to a US-based server, your IP address is ready to give you access to the US Netflix version.
So go ahead and login to your Netflix account, and you will now have full access to the largest (and arguably best) Netflix library from the comfort of your UK location!
If you wish to change back to the UK Netflix, or check out any other national Netflix library, then simply disconnect from the US server and select any server you want. You now have complete control over where you want your "online location" to appear to Netflix and all other online services/websites.
You can now watch US Netflix in UK as much as you like! This is the exact process I went through in order to get access to my US Netflix while lying in bed in my friend's Scottish apartment -- and it works perfectly.
The entire process will take you no longer than 5 minutes max, and an added bonus with using a VPN is that your online data is privacy protected on a whole new level, which is really great in today's "surveillance Internet" state.
I mentioned that I had researched many VPN service providers before settling on ExpressVPN, so to give you some more options that may suit your circumstance and/or budget better, here are the top five best VPNs to watch US Netflix in UK locations, personally reviewed by myself:
If you have any questions at all or just want to give feedback on this quick guide, do not hesitate to let me know. I'm always happy to hear from readers and help you out however I can.