How to Watch US Netflix on PS4
Updated: February 25, 2016
- Start with setting up a VPN-enabled router
- Next, get a VPN account setup
- Then install the VPN software onto your device
- Open the VPN software and connect to a US-based server
- Connect the VPN to your VPN-enabled router
- Go to Netflix on your PS4 and sign into account or signup for new one if you have not already
- Enjoy US Netflix on PS4
How to watch US Netflix on PS4 in more detail:
I was so happy when I finally realised I could watch Netflix through my PS4. It made switching between gaming my face off to watching my favourite Netflix shows super easy.
When I went to visit a friend of mine in the United Kingdom, I was equally as happy to see that he had both Netflix and a PS4 -- my two favourite things! Yey!
However, when I was finished kicking his ass at Fifa for a good couple hours, I was not-so-pleasantly surprised to discover that the Netflix library I was presented with did not include my favourite TV show. What the hell?!
That's right, I was sad to find out that even though I could access my own personally Netflix account on my friend's PS4 in his UK apartment, I was offered a version of Netflix that is different from the US version.
So I took it upon myself to find out why this happens and find a solution that would get around this, allowing to figure out how to watch US Netflix on PS4 consoles, regardless of whether I'm outside the US or not.
Here's is how I did it. Hope you find it useful!
Why is US Netflix not Available on all PS4s?
First thing to understand is WHY? Why does Netflix not just offer the exact same library to every single user, regardless of location?
Well, it actually does make sense. You see, in order for Netflix to offer the TV shows and movies they do -- they obviously have to work out agreements with each and every owner of each and every media they want to offer on the service, right?
Therefore, one of the most important factors of each agreement is the distribution. So for example, Netflix had to agree with the owners of the TV show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia to only offer the show to users in agreed-upon locations around the world. Thus, this show is not offered to every single user, but instead only to users located inside the US and perhaps a couple other locations.
These individual agreements result in Netflix basically having customised versions of the service for each and every country. Hence why I was not offered the same TV shows on my friend's PS4 in the UK, than I am on my PS4 in the US.
How is US Netflix Blocking Access on PS4s?
In order to understand how the solution I lay out below manages to let you watch US Netflix on PS4s around the world, you first need to understand exactly how Netflix knows which version of the service to offer each user.
Netflix uses a process named "geo-blocking", which is basically a checkpoint at the front of the service that checks the IP address of each and every user that accesses the service.
By checking your IP address, Netflix will determine your location and thus offer you the version of their service specific to where you are. This means that all you need to do is somehow change your PlayStation's IP address from your real one to a US-based one.
This is usually a very straight forward process on laptops, smartphones, etc. However, PS4s do not actually support VPN clients. But! You can get a VPN enabled router, which I highly recommend. Why? Because not only will it allow you to change your IP address on your PS4, but also on every single device you connect to your router from.
How to Use a VPN to Watch US Netflix on PS4
Step 1: Get VPN Enabled Router
NOTE: As mentioned at the start of this guide, I researched and checked out a whole bunch of VPN service providers before deciding to go with ExpressVPN. This was simply because I found them to offer the best service for the price. So I'll be using them as the example VPN for this step-by-step setup walkthrough.
So, step one is to get yourself a VPN-enabled router. You can buy one of these very easily online. For reference, check out this list of viable options for you.
You need to do this because, as mentioned earlier, PS4s are not VPN enabled. This is how the connection will work in this setup:
PS4 >>> VPN >>> Router
Obviously it will take a few days to get your router delivered. However, setting up your VPN to your router is by far the best way to have a VPN connection, because it means that every single device you connect to your home router will be automatically connected through the VPN -- giving you whatever IP address you choose, and an incredibly sophisticated private connection.
Step 2: Sign up for VPN
While you're waiting for your router to arrive, you can go ahead and sign up for the VPN to get your account setup.
This process is very simple. You just go to the VPN website, pick your subscription plan, confirm payment and account details, then you're ready for the next step.
Here's how the purchase process looks with ExpressVPN:
Once you confirm payment, that's you ready to use the VPN on your router.
Step 3: Setup ExpressVPN connection on Router
ExpressVPN are incredibly helpful with this setup process. They make it very easy for you to find the instructions for this, and then walk you through exactly what you need to do to setup the VPN connection on your router.
As you can see in the screenshot below, you can setup a VPN on practically any device, including a direct SmartDNS connection to your PS4, should you want to do it that way:
Here is a quick link that guides your through the VPN router setup. You will only have to enter and setup all the settings for this one time. Afterwards, should you want to change your location (and thus IP address) to another location, you just change that one field in your router settings accordingly.
Step 4: Connect to US Server on VPN Router
As you will see in the above link walking you through the specific router setup steps, it is here that you define a US-based connection on your VPN, which is what will change your IP address to make your location "appear" within the US.
This is the most important thing to specify, this this is what will allow you to watch US Netflix on your PS4 outside the US.
Once you have your router configured and your US-based VPN connection setup and running, go ahead and turn your PS4 back on and navigate to Netflix. You will now have access to the full US version of Netflix!
So this concludes the fool-proof solution on how to watch US Netflix in PS4 consoles while located outside the US. I hope you found my guide useful.
I mentioned that I personally reviewed a lot of VPN service providers before settling on ExpressVPN as my choice. So to give you more selection (in case your budget or needs are different to mine), here are my recommendations of the best VPNs for watching US Netflix on PS4 consoles:
Thanks for checking out my guide. If you have any questions or feedback on this, let me know in the comments section below. I will be happy to help and chat with you.
Happy US Netflix'ing!