Netflix is the perfect service for users who want to watch movies and TV shows without paying the hefty fees associated with cable or satellite subscriptions. Instead, you can just open up your laptop or mobile phone, navigate to the Netflix site or launch a dedicated app, and stream a massive array of content options, all completely on demand.
However, there are limitations to Netflix. The catalogue of material that is available to watch varies by country, so not every show or movie will be available in every region. For example, the Australian Netflix features Oz-only indie flicks and soaps that can’t be accessed outside the country. Luckily, there is a way to bypass these restrictions! Today, we’ll discuss how to use a VPN to beat geographical content restrictions, then give you our recommendations for the best VPN for Netflix Australia.
- 1 What Are The Regional Limitations Of Netflix?
- 2 How To Use A VPN To Bypass Netflix Geo-Restrictions
- 3 How Netflix’s VPN Blocking Works And How To Beat It
- 4 Best VPNs Confirmed To Unblock Netflix Australia
- 5 Conclusion
What Are The Regional Limitations Of Netflix?
If you want to watch content from Australia on your device but you live somewhere else in the world, you’ll find that there are some shows and movies that aren’t available to you. Similarly, if you are an Australian subscriber traveling outside of the country and you try to use your Netflix account, you’ll find that the content available to you changes. It is a pain if you’re hooked on a show back home but you can’t keep watching it while you travel. To solve both of these problems, you can use a VPN.
Conversely, there are some shows and movies which are available on Netflix US or elsewhere in the world but aren’t available in Australia. This means that you only have access to a limited catalogue of content, which can feel unfairly limiting.
In short: the Netflix content that you can access is dependent on where in the world you are currently based.
How To Use A VPN To Bypass Netflix Geo-Restrictions
A VPN lets you get around regional restrictions on websites, including Netflix. Here’s how it works: you install VPN software onto the device that you’re going to use to access Netflix, whether it’s your phone, tablet or computer. Then you use it to connect to a server which is run by your VPN provider and which is located elsewhere in the world. From then on, all of the data that your device sends over the internet will be encrypted and routed via that server.
The advantage of this is not only that the encryption keeps your data safe, but also that you can get around region blocks. Because your data is routed via a server which is located in another country, it appears to websites as if you are browsing from the country that the server is located in rather than the country that you are actually located in. This means that you can access content that is supposed to be US only, for example, by connecting to a server in the US. You can use this technique to access the Netflix website and catalogue from other countries – so you can also access Netflix Australia and then watch all of the content from that site.
How Netflix’s VPN Blocking Works And How To Beat It
A few years ago, it was no problem to use a VPN to access Netflix. You just had to connect to your VPN, navigate to the Netflix website, and you could access the Netflix catalogue with no problems. In the last few years, however, Netflix has cracked down hard on VPN use. They are trying to discourage people by blocking connections which appear to be from a VPN. So now if you use most VPNs and try to access Netflix, you’ll get an error when you try to play a video that says:
“Whoops, something went wrong. Streaming error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”
Netflix employs a variety of techniques, including blocking ranges of IP addresses which are known to be used by VPNs, as well as blocking connections from multiple users on the same IP address (which is indicative of VPN use). So now Netflix is able to detect when you are using a VPN to access the site, and serve you the error message instead of the video when you try to watch.
But the good news is that there are some VPNs that do still work with Netflix, and we’ve tested out a number of them. It’s important to note that in most cases you can use a VPN to unblock Netflix in your web browser but not when watching through the Netflix app. This shouldn’t pose a major problem, however, since both their desktop and mobile sites provide a well optimised viewing experience.
Best VPNs Confirmed To Unblock Netflix Australia
In order to select a VPN for recommendation, we look at the following factors that are most important for users who are trying to unblock Netflix Australia:
- VPN confirmed to work with Netflix. As we explained above, lots of VPNs don’t work with Netflix so we’re looking for one that does.
- Lots of servers, including servers in the US. You need to connect to a server of your VPN provider, so it helps to have plenty of servers to choose from. For Netflix users, having servers in the US is most important as Netflix US has the largest catalogue of content and is the country you’ll want to connect to the most.
- Fast connection speeds. Some VPNs have slow connections which means that you get buffering or stuttering when you try to stream high definition video. We looked for VPNs with super fast connections that won’t slow you down.
- Good security. A helpful extra feature of a VPN is that it will improve your security through features like the use of strong 256-bit encryption and protect your privacy with a no logging policy.
- Works with different operating systems. With one VPN account you can protect all of your devices, so we look for VPNs that have software available for lots of different platforms.
Looking at all of these factors, here are the VPNs that we selected as best for unblocking Netflix Australia:
1 – ExpressVPN – Best Overall
ExpressVPN is one the most used and most promoted VPNs among heavy internet users thanks to its speed, ease of use, and excellent record with Netflix. They boast an impressive number of servers that work with Netflix, and are especially vigilant in keeping a step ahead of the game when Netflix updates their VPN detection and other VPNs stop working. If you need more specific advice, you can contact their support and they will tell you which servers to use with Netflix. There’s even a guide on how to use ExpressVPN with Netflix.
In addition to this, ExpressVPN has super fast connections that let you easily stream high definition videos. They have good security too with 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy. The server network is one of the biggest with a massive 1500 servers in 145 different locations in 94 countries including the US. That means that you can watch Netflix US content even from Australia. And finally, the software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Linux, plus some games consoles and modems.
Read our full ExpressVPN review here.
2 – NordVPN – Most Flexible
NordVPN is a service that offers exceptional security and flexibility as well as the ability to reliably unblock Netflix from several regions. They’ve even compiled a handy list of all the servers that work with Netflix, which is regularly updated.
NordVPN offers outstanding security features as well, like the nigh-unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption and a strict no logging policy. If that’s not enough, there is a double VPN feature which passes your traffic through the encryption-proxy process a second time, making your data all but entirely impenetrable. This likely won’t provide the smoothest streaming experience, but it is a valuable option to have when you need it. Standard connections are optimised for streaming high definition video, however.
The network of servers is absolutely huge, meaning that you have plenty of options for wherever you need to connect to. In total there are more than 3300 servers in 59 countries including the US. You can install the software on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, and Windows Phone, and extensions are available for the Chrome and Firefox web browsers.
Read our full NordVPN review here.
3 – CyberGhost – Most User Friendly
CyberGhost is ideal if you are new to VPNs and you aren’t sure what all of the technical terms mean. If you just want to click a button and start watching Netflix, then CyberGhost is ideal! When you start the software you can choose from a range of options including Unblock Streaming, which takes you to a page where you can connect to a server for Netflix. You just click the button and your connection will be set up and configured for you. Then you’re ready to watch the hug Netflix US catalogue from anywhere in the world.
As well as this, there are also security benefits to using 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, so you can torrent or download safely too. The number of servers available for manual connection is large if you need it, with a network covering 1300 servers in nearly 60 countries. The connections are fast and the software is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS.
Read our full CyberGhost review here.
4 – PureVPN – Best Extras
PureVPN is more than just a VPN service. With the VPN you’ll be able to watch Netflix, as detailed on their website here. There’s also advice on troubleshooting your Netflix connection if you’re having problems.
As well as the ability to use Netflix, the VPN offers fast connections and good security with industry-standard 256-bit encryption and a substantial no content logging policy. There are lots of servers, with a network covering 750 servers in 140 different countries in total including the US. But what is unique about PureVPN are the number of extras that you’ll get included in a subscription, like anti malware and anti virus protection, an anti spam filter for your email inbox, DDoS protection, app filtering, a kill switch, a dedicated IP address, and a NAT firewall. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Android TV devices, plus there are browser extensions available for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.
If you’re frustrated with the limited catalogue available on Netflix, then you can use a VPN to unblock the service and to watch content from other regions. If you want to watch movies and shows from Australia then you can use a VPN to connect to a server in Australia and then access Netflix Australia content. But remember that not every VPN works with Netflix, so use one of the ones that we recommend for the best experience.
Have you tried unblocking Netflix with a VPN? How was your experience? Tell us about it in the comments below.