Netflix works in almost all countries, but it differs from country to country. By that, we mean the content is different. You won’t see the same titles in Italy as you do in the US.
And that’s a harsh lesson many expats learn too late – when they already move into their new place in a new country. They open Netflix, search for their favorite show or movie, and quickly see it doesn’t show up in the search results.
If you’re in that situation, is there anything you can do at that point? Or do you have to live with a different Netflix library you probably don’t like that much?
Don’t worry – you don’t have to settle for anything less than the Netflix content you want to watch. We’ll tell you the best way to unblock Netflix (and also mention some alternative unblocking methods too).
Here’s the Quickest & Easiest Way to Unblock Netflix
Netflix uses geo-blocks to control which titles you can watch. And geo-blocks rely on your IP address to work – it tells them what country you’re from, after all.
Obviously, you need to prevent Netflix from seeing your IP address to solve this problem. And the best way to do that is with a VPN. It’s an online tool that stops sites from seeing your IP address. On top of that, a VPN also encrypts your traffic (makes it completely unreadable).
VPNs hide your IP by sending your traffic through a server that sits between you and Netflix. Basically, Netflix will think it’s communicating with the VPN server, not your device. Due to that, it will only see the VPN server’s IP address. Instead of this:
Your Device Netflix
Netflix will see this:
VPN Server Netflix
To unblock content on Netflix, you need to use a VPN in the same country as the titles you want to watch. If you want to watch a few episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you’ll need to use a VPN server in the US (since only Netflix UK has that show).
And here’s something really cool about VPNs – since they encrypt your traffic, they can stop bandwidth throttling (your ISP can’t slow down your Netflix speeds when you use too much data anymore).
You can use a VPN to access different Netflix catalogues by following that link. It will take you to ExpatTech – a privacy block written by a US expat who lives in Hungary (Budapest, to be precise). He writes a lot of helpful guides about VPNs – the one we linked tell you which VPNs can unblock the most Netflix libraries. That’s very helpful if you want to get tons of variety.
Alternative Netflix Unblocking Tools
Not 100% sure you want to use a VPN?
No problem – there are other unblocking tools out there. Here are the ones we recommend:
A proxy is pretty much a VPN, but without the encryption. It hides your IP address, so it can help you unblock Netflix. But since it can’t encrypt your traffic, you won’t be able to secure your data and prevent bandwidth throttling.
On the plus side, no encryption means you’ll get very fast speeds. Also, proxies have a local caching feature – they can save requested web pages to their local cache and retrieve them without forwarding your requests to the Internet. That might deliver faster load times, but there’s also a risk the proxy will retrieve outdated content.
A Smart DNS hides your geo-location by changing your DNS settings instead of hiding your IP address. It changes enough metadata to trick Netflix into thinking you’re from a different country. To be 100% sure it works, it also routes your traffic through different proxies around the world.
Like proxies, Smart DNS tools don’t have encryption. So bandwidth throttling will be an issue, but at least you’ll enjoy your original ISP speeds while watching Netflix.
However, since Smart DNS services don’t hide your IP address, they can’t unblock Netflix in restrictive countries or on company or school networks.
Overall, Smart DNS tools are useful, but we don’t recommend them that much – many top VPNs actually offer Smart DNS services alongside their main VPN services at no extra cost. You get a much better deal by subscribing to such a VPN than paying for a stand-alone Smart DNS.
Is Tor an Option?
Tor is a free privacy network that hides your IP address. Logic dictates that it should be able to unblock Netflix.
Well, we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but Tor doesn’t work with Netflix. We tried unblocking it over 20 times, and were never able to do it – we either saw the proxy error, got redirected to our country’s library, or just weren’t able to log in (it’s a lesser-known way Netflix blacklists unblockers).
Still, we have seen people on Reddit say they managed to unblock Netflix with Tor. So you can definitely give it a try. But just remember – your speeds will be very, very slow. With proxies and Smart DNS tools, we don’t experience slowdowns. With VPNs, our speeds slow down by 20-40% on average. Well, with Tor, our speeds usually slow down by about 90-95%!
Why does that happen?
Because Tor’s network is very small – there are only around 6,000 servers. And more than two million people use this tool, so you can see the problem.
What’s Your Favorite Way to Unblock Netflix?
Please let us know which unblocking method you like to use the most. If we didn’t mention it, don’t forget to tell us how it works. Oh, and if you us a VPN, please tell us which one – we’d love to hear which VPN providers unblock Netflix very well.
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