A massive 90 million people in the US are members of Amazon’s Prime service, which gives them access to Amazon benefits and discounts. One handy feature of a Prime subscription is that it also gives users the chance to access Amazon’s Instant Video Service which lets you stream movies or episodes of TV shows for free. Like Netflix and Hulu, Amazon Instant Video lets you stream content on demand, and also includes original programming like The Man in the High Castle, The Grand Tour, and Ripper Street. The Amazon Instant Video service actually has an even larger catalogue of content available than its competitors, and the fact that Prime members get free access makes it even more appealing.
However, there is one drawback to Amazon Prime: it only works in the US. If you are a Prime subscriber and you are travelling abroad, then you won’t be able to use the service to watch your shows or movies. But there is a way to get around this. Today we’ll show you how to watch Amazon Prime anywhere in the world.
Differences Between Amazon Prime And Amazon Instant Video
You might also have heard of Amazon Instant Video when talking about Amazon’s video streaming service. Confusing as it is, Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant Video are not actually the same product, although both are services which offer video streaming of movies and TV shows from Amazon. Amazon Prime is a service that you get access to when you purchase an Amazon Prime subscription, which also includes free two-day shipping in the US and other benefits. The idea is that Amazon Prime is a service for people who use Amazon a lot and want to get the most out of the site.
Amazon Instant Video, on the other hand, is a something that comes as part of a Prime membership, but can also be purchased separately. So if you’re not interested in discounts on shipping but you do want to use the video streaming platform, you can get yourself an Amazon Instant Video subscription without having to have an Amazon Prime subscription. With Instant Video, instead of a subscription you pay a fee to watch the particular episodes or movies that you are interested on. Both services can be used on a variety of devices like watching through a browser on your computer, watching through the app for iOS or Kindle devices, watching on a Blu-ray player or set-top box like a Roku or Fire Stick, some Smart TVs, and games consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox. A key difference, however, is in the library of titles available to watch for free: Amazon Instant Video gives you access to thousands of movies and TV shows, but Prime members only get access to a limited subset of these videos. Prime members have to pay extra to watch content that isn’t included in their membership fee.
Another difference between the two services is how you access the content. When you watch a video with Prime, you can only stream the video, not download it. With Instant Video, you can download a video for later watching if you’re going to be passing through an area with no internet – so it’s great for long train or subways journeys where your phone’s internet access won’t work. With Instant Video, you have the option to rent a movie which means that you can watch the movie at any time you want within the next 30 days – but you have to finish watching the video within 24 hours of when you start it.
Watching Amazon Prime Abroad
One important difference between the Prime and Instant Video services is regional availability. Amazon Prime is only available to US residents, and isn’t available in Alaska, Hawaii, or the rest of the world. Instant Video, on the other hand, is available from anywhere in the world although the catalogue of content may vary depending on your location.
This means that if you are an Amazon Prime user, you can only use the service from within the US. If you travel abroad and try to access the Amazon Prime service, the site will not let you play videos due to regional restrictions. This is because of licensing issues: Amazon has the right to stream a particular movie in the US because they have purchased the rights to that film for that country, however, they do not have the right to stream that movie in another country. Even if you live in the US and have paid for a Prime subscription within the US, when you are travelling outside of the country then you won’t be able to watch any of your Prime content.
How Regional Restrictions Work
If you go the the Amazon Prime Video page, at https://www.primevideo.com/, what you will see will depend on where you are accessing the site from. If you are travelling to Germany, for example, and you access this site, you’ll see that the text is in German. In the blue box you’ll see a link to the local version of Amazon – in this case, that’s amazon.de – and if you click it then you’ll find that you can’t use your Prime membership to watch content for free on this site. The problem is that the site checks which region you are in and serves you a different version of the site accordingly – and that means you’ll get a site you can’t use to watch with your Prime membership when you’re outside of the US.
This works by the site looking at your IP address. Whenever your device connects to the internet, whether it’s through a wired or wifi connection, and whether it’s your home connection or a public connection, your device is assigned an IP address. This is a string of numbers which is unique to your device and represents that device on the network. So, for example, when you type amazon.com into your browser, the network knows that it has to get the data from the Amazon site, and then serve that data to your device and not any other device. Each IP address is like a postal address that points to your particular device.
The problem with region locking comes up because IP addresses contain information about the country they are from. Particular ranges of IP address are assigned to particular countries – so, for example, it is public knowledge that an IP address that is in the range of 126.96.36.199 – 188.8.131.52 is from the US. When you are travelling abroad and you connect to a network in another country, you’ll be assigned an IP address from that country. Then, when you visit the Prime website, the site sees that your IP address is from another country and so it serves you the local version of the site – which means that you can’t use your Prime subscription to watch videos.
Use A VPN To Watch Amazon Prime From Anywhere
The good news is that there is a way to get around these regional restrictions. You can use a VPN to get around these restrictions by getting a new IP address. A VPN works by installing a piece of software onto your device which encrypts all of the data that you send over the internet. This encryption means that the data is bundled up and protected so that other people can’t see what the data is or track it. This encrypted data is sent to a server which is run by your VPN provider and which is located elsewhere in the world, then once the data arrives at the server it is decrypted. The decrypted data is then sent on to its original destination, just like any other internet traffic.
The advantage of this is that because the data rejoins the other internet traffic at the server location, instead of the location where you actually are, it is assigned an IP address from the country of the server, not the country you are in. If you’re in Germany and you use your VPN to connect to a server in the US, it will appear to any websites as if your traffic is coming from the US. This means that sites like Amazon Prime will work as if you were in the US, even when you are actually located abroad. Wherever you are located, you simply open up your VPN software and connect to a server in the US, then you’ll be able to use Amazon Prime or any other region locked service as if you were at home.
As an additional advantage, encrypting your data preserves your privacy by not revealing your IP address, so your internet activities cannot be tracked to you. The encryption also means that outsiders cannot hack or trace your internet activity, so no one else can see what sites you visit, intercept your communications, or eavesdrop on your conversations.
Our Recommended VPNs For Amazon Prime
If you’re wanting a VPN to watch Amazon Prime from abroad but you aren’t sure which VPN will meet your needs, we have recommendations for you. We base these recommendations on key factors such as their security, the number of servers they offer and whether that includes servers in the US, the speed of their connections, and the ease of use and number of platforms supported by their software.
Here are our top recommendations for a VPN for Amazon Prime users:
For a VPN that has it all, including top notch security, super fast connections, and easy to use software, we recommend that you try ExpressVPN. It offers excellent security in the form of strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, and it has an absolutely massive server network. Covering more than 1000 servers in 145 different locations in 94 countries, including many in the US, you’ll have no problem finding a server to let you watch Amazon Prime.
The software is one of the easiest to use we’ve ever seen, so it’s perfect for new users but also offers features for advanced users like a speed test to help you find the fastest server and DNS leak protection for maximum security. The software is available for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, and there is a guide to using to it watch Amazon Prime on the company’s website.
- SPECIAL OFFER: 3 months free (49% off - link below)
- Superfast servers (minimal speed loss)
- Govt-level AES-256 encryption
- Strict no-logs policy for personal information
- Customer Service (24/7 Chat).
- Slightly more expensive than some other options.
Users who are looking for an outstanding level of security as well as a way to watch Amazon Prime abroad will appreciate NordVPN. This service offers the essential security features like 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, but that’s not all. In addition, there are extra security features like dedicated servers for anti DDoS, dedicated IP, onion over VPN, or double VPN. Double VPN works by encrypting your data not once but twice, at two different servers, and these two layers of encryption mean that it is practically impossible for anyone to crack, even with the latest software. This means it’s a great choice for the security conscious. The software can be installed on devices running iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows, Mac OS, Chrome OS, or Linux.
The network of servers available is massive, with more than 3000 servers in 60 different countries open for your use, including many servers in the US so you can watch your shows from abroad. In fact, if you need more guidance then there’s a specific page on the NordVPN website about using the service with Amazon Prime. You can also find information on which specific servers to use in order to watch Amazon Prime video seamlessly.
- Highly affordable plans
- GooglePlay users rating: 4.3/5.0
- Allows up to 6 devices to be connected at once
- No logs and encrypted connections for total privacy
- Live Chat Support.
- Sometimes slow in procesing refunds (but always do).
When you want a VPN that is super easy to use and requires no technical expertise at all, but still has all the essential security and useability features you need, then we recommend CyberGhost. The service offers good security with 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, plus extra security features like an automatically enabled kill switch. The software is incredibly easy to ise, with a graphical interface which lets you choose from options like browsing anonymously, torrenting anonymously, or unblocking websites. To use Amazon Prime, you just need to click on Unblock Websites and you’ll be able to select a server in the US from their big range of more than 1300 servers in 59 countries including the US.
To find out more about accessing region blocked sites like Amazon Prime, check out their help page. One more thing you should know: the software is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS.
- Unblocks US Netflix in web browser
- 3,600+ servers in 55+ countries
- Robust encryption standards
- Private: Strong no logs policy
- 24/7 Live Support.
- Can’t unblock some popular streaming sites.
Amazon Prime is a very useful service which gives you access to lots of Amazon Instant Video content as well as other benefits like free shipping from Amazon. Many people in the US have Amazon Prime and use it for watching videos, however, if you are a Prime user who is travelling outside of the US then you’ll find that your Prime subscription doesn’t work in other countries.
We’ve shown you how to get around these regional restrictions using a VPN so that you can watch Amazon Prime from anywhere in the world, and we’ve recommended VPNs that we’ve tested and found to work with Prime. Try these out next time you’re travelling so that you can have full access to your Prime video catalogue.
Have you had issues using Amazon Prime abroad? Which VPN have you found to be best for accessing this content from anywhere? Let us know in the comments below.