The American Netflix catalogue is infamously difficult to access outside the US, but ExpressVPN allows you to do it in style. While there is some configuration involved, it’s actually surprisingly easy to reliably bypass Netflix’s geo-blocks, and without excess buffering. It all starts with ExpressVPN, so stay tuned to learn how to unblock Netflix US anywhere in the world.
Netflix is the world’s most desirable TV- and movie-streaming service by a wide margin (unless you’re into anime, then it’s Netflix Japan). The company offers customized access to over 190 countries–nearly everywhere except Crimea, North Korea, China, and Syria. This means users from around the world have instant access to some of the best movies from the past and present, all in high quality, and all completely legally.
One downside to the Netflix experience has to do with region locked content. International content laws often prevent some movies and shows from being made available in certain countries. The biggest discrepancy in this regard is what’s available on American Netflix versus Netflix around the world. A huge percentage of worldwide content is produced in the U.S., which means Netflix inside the country often offers superior access to shows than elsewhere.
The good news is you can often unlock American Netflix by using a good VPN. ExpressVPN is one of the best, as it maintains high speeds, great security practices, and a smooth user experience across most devices. Below we discuss the process in more detail so you can unblock American Netflix with ExpressVPN and watch all the U.S. movies and TV shows you like.
Netflix content blocking – How it works
Netflix uses a few different methods to detect user locations and determine which country they’re from. One is easy to get around, while the other is practically impossible. No matter their methods, chances are you’re using a proxy or VPN service to change your virtual location. Netflix has a strict ban on VPNs and similar technology, though it’s not always effective.
Netflix app blocking
Netflix is available to stream from your PC web browser, but there’s also a variety of apps you can download for streaming on other devices. If you access Netflix on an iPhone, Android device, gaming console, Fire TV Stick, or TV box device, you’re most likely using the dedicated app as it provides a smoother experience overall.
Unfortunately, Netflix uses DNS-level blocking to prevent out-of-country access to its apps. This means even if you’re using the best VPN in the world you won’t be able to switch countries to unlock American Netflix on the app. The method is just too sophisticated. Your best bet is to switch to a browser, as users have a lot more success streaming in this manner.
READ MORE: Safest Browsers for PC and Mobile
Blocking Netflix website streams
Netflix uses simple IP matching to determine location on its website streaming service. This is great news for VPN users, as it’s surprisingly easy to gain access to movies and TV shows from around the world. As long as you have a VPN that’s capable of accessing content, such as ExpressVPN, you’re good to go.
What you’ll need to unblock American Netflix
It’s surprisingly easy to unblock American Netflix. All you need is the right tools and a few moments of your time.
1 – An active Netflix subscription
Netflix is a subscription service, meaning you have to sign up on their website and pay a small monthly fee to access their content. If you don’t have an account, go to the website and set one up. You can create one in your own country; there’s no need to attempt to make an American Netflix account, as streaming is handled separately from subscriptions.
2 – PC with a web browser
Since Netflix blocks out-of-country access to its apps without fail, the only way you can stream content from other regions is to use the web version of the service. You can often access some movies by using a browser on a tablet or smartphone, but the performance tends to be choppy. For the best results, use a laptop or desktop PC with an up-to-date browser. Go to netflix.com, sign into your account, and get ready to stream.
3 – A good VPN (ExpressVPN)
This is the crucial step. Netflix actively blocks all proxy services and almost all VPNs. It does this by keeping a master list of the IP addresses associated with those companies, checking each user’s assigned IP as they start a stream, then allowing or denying access based on this list. The only way to get around this restriction is to use a VPN that keeps actively changing their IP lists so that Netflix can’t block every server.
We recommend ExpressVPN for unblocking American Netflix, as it’s one of the fastest services on the market and offers the most reliable Netflix streams around. It’s easy to sign up and use, too. Below we’ll walk you through the signup and installation process so you can start watching Netflix from the U.S. as fast as possible.
Best for Netflix – ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN has fast speeds, strong security, and a great reputation, making it an amazing all-around VPN to use for just about any activity. The company’s dedication to providing worldwide Netflix access makes it the perfect solution for unblocking American Netflix, as well. ExpressVPN also has dozens of servers (out of 3,000+ total servers in 90 countries worldwide) in the United States, everywhere from New York to Los Angeles, Miami to Chicago. All of them are fast and lag-free, and you can connect and disconnect as many times as you like.
ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption on all data to keep your activity safe and secure. The company also employs a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses, in addition to DNS leak protection and automatic kill switch features on every device.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
- Works with US Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu and other services
- Fast serves with minimal speed loss
- OpenVPN, IPSec & IKEv2 Encryption
- No logging policy well enforced
- 24/7 Live Chat.
- Power-users configuration options.
How to set up ExpressVPN to unblock American Netflix
With your Netflix account set up, you’re ready to dive in and get yourself an American IP address. Follow the steps below to set up and use ExpressVPN to unblock Netflix for fast, region-free HD streaming any time.
Step 1 – Get ExpressVPN
This is the easy part. Start by clicking this link to gain access to our exclusive deal. Then, go through the checkout process and pay with your favorite method, including PayPal, credit card, and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Once your account is set, ExpressVPN will direct you to the main download page as seen above. It will look slightly different if you’re on a Mac or Linux PC, as the site automatically displays links based on your operating system. Click the green download button to get the ExpressVPN file. Also note the activation key on the right. Go ahead and copy it to your clipboard now, you’ll need it in just a second. When the installer is finished downloading, open it to add it to your system.
Step 2 – Setting up ExpressVPN
Once ExpressVPN is installed, launch it and you should see a small login screen like the image above. Click Sign In and you’ll see a second page asking for an activation code. Use the code you copied in the previous step, then click Sign In once again.
ExpressVPN will verify the code, then ask if you want to allow the program to launch when you start your computer. Click Allow for maximum safety. You can also allow or deny sending anonymous crash reports and other diagnostic data back to ExpressVPN.
Once you move through these screens, ExpressVPN is set up and ready to keep you safe.
Step 3 – Find an American server
With the ExpressVPN app open you’ll be able to quickly gain access to servers around the world. For U.S.-based Netflix content, you’ll naturally want to pick a server located within the United States.
Click the round Choose Location button on the right. A separate window will open displaying a master list of all of ExpressVPN’s servers. You can type “USA” or a specific city into the filter box at the top, or simply scroll until you see USA on the list. Click the entry for a full display of all the servers in America.
Now you’ll want to find the fastest server to unblock American Netflix with. In general, the closer a server is to your physical location, the better the connection. Pick a server and double click to connect. This may take a few moments to complete. Once it does, try loading Netflix in your browser. It should stream any content without hesitation.
If the video you want is still blocked due to Netflix’s VPN ban, simply disconnect from your current server by clicking the green power button on ExpressVPN’s software. Use the server navigator to select a different server in the U.S., then connect, reload Netflix, and try again.
Step 4 – Adjust for faster service
If you’re not happy with your speeds, don’t worry, ExpressVPN can help. Start by opening the app and disconnecting from any server. Click the hamburger icon at the top, then choose Speed Test. You’ll see a list of servers in the window that opens. Click Run Speed Test at the bottom and ExpressVPN will start collecting latency, speed index, and download speed scores for its entire network.
Once the test is complete, ExpressVPN will sort everything by speed. Scroll to the top of the list and choose the server in the U.S. with the highest speed index score. Double click to connect, then enjoy your new, faster VPN service.
READ MORE: Is ExpressVPN really as fast as they say?
Note that the speed test option may not be available on all versions of ExpressVPN’s apps, including some mobile devices.
ExpressVPN and Netflix on mobile devices
The guidelines above walk you through the setup and installation process for ExpressVPN on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Things are a little different for mobile devices such as iOS and Android, however.
Important note: Remember Netflix successfully blocks almost all access through VPNs to its mobile app. In order to watch American Netflix on your smartphone or tablet, you’ll need to use it in a web browser with your VPN active in the background.
Step 1 – Get ExpressVPN
Sign up for ExpressVPN using this custom link to gain access to an exclusive deal. Complete the checkout process, pay with your favorite method, then ExpressVPN will direct you to the download page.
To install the VPN on your mobile device, click the Set Up on More Devices button next to the download option. You’ll be taken to a screen like the one above with a master list of all the platforms ExpressVPN supports.
Look for your device on the list and click it. The options to the right will shift to show you two different solutions: e-mailing an install link to yourself, or redirecting to the appropriate marketplace to complete the transaction. The fastest option is usually via the marketplace, so click that link and you’ll be redirected.
Now simply install ExpressVPN from the app store. Once it’s ready, launch the software and sign in using your credentials.
Step 2 – Find an American server
With the ExpressVPN app open you’ll be able to access to servers around the world. For U.S.-based Netflix content, you’ll naturally want to pick a server located within the United States.
With the app running on your smartphone, click the Choose Location button to see a master list of all of ExpressVPN’s servers. Scroll until you see USA on the list, then click the entry for a full display of all the servers in America. Select the one that’s closest to your physical location for the fastest streaming speeds.
Step 3 – Load Netflix in a browser
Since the Netflix app won’t work with a VPN on your Android or iOS device, open up your web browser and visit netflix.com. Sign into your account, then double check to make sure your VPN is running in the background and still connected to a U.S. server.
Pick a movie to watch on Netflix and try loading it. If it succeeds, you’re ready for all the American content you like. If it doesn’t, simply switch to a different U.S. server, refresh the video, and try again.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
American Netflix offers a surprisingly large selection of TV shows and movies, many of which simply aren’t available in other countries. With ExpressVPN installed on your device, you can quickly access this content from anywhere in the world.
What are you going to watch with your newfound Netflix access? Did you have any trouble using our methods? Got one of your own? Let us know in the comments below.
If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. ExpressVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.