How to watch Netflix from other countries in 2024

Illustration of a woman sitting on a yellow couch and watching a tablet
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite the fact that more streaming services crop up every year, Netflix is still the top dog—and constantly causes a buzz across social media with its original content.

However, the Netflix shows and movies you see might not be the same as the Netflix I see in the UK. Why? Well, Netflix is under licensing obligations to broadcast different content in different countries. Geo-restrictions keep me from checking out what's new in the US, for example, which can be seriously annoying.

There's a way to get around these pesky restrictions, however, and all it takes is a virtual private network (VPN). These handy security tools let you connect to a server somewhere else in the world to access that location's Netflix library. So, whether you want to check out Netflix's US, UK, Canada, Australia, or Japan content, it'll be a breeze (if you're using one of the best VPNs around).

Keep reading, and I'll show you how to access Netflix shows from overseas with a VPN—and which service I'd recommend for the job.

How to unblock Netflix content with a VPN

Using a VPN to unblock Netflix might seem like a daunting task, but it's deceptively simple. Plus, most of today's top VPNs have easy-to-use apps designed to be as newbie-friendly as possible.

Here's what you'll need to do:

  1. Make sure you have an active Netflix account and subscription.
  2. Pick a reliable VPN—you'll want a speedy service that has plenty of servers, and apps for all your gadgets. Our Netflix VPN guide can help you find your perfect match.
  3. Once you've decided on a VPN, download the relevant app for your device and log in.
  4. Here's the fun part—connecting to a server. Take a look through the VPN's server list and select the server in the same location as the Netflix library you'd like to unblock. So, if you want UK shows, you'll need to pick a server in a British city.
  5. Hit the 'Connect' button, wait a moment, and then you'll be connected to the VPN server.
  6. Head on over to Netflix and you should see a whole new world of content—just remember to turn off your VPN when you're done with your movie marathon.

How does a VPN change your location?

Okay, so —how does the magic happen? It all boils down to your IP address. Your internet service provider (ISP) assigns one to every internet-enabled device when you connect to its servers—basically, when you go about your everyday browsing. The ISP's servers will be based in the same country as the place where you're accessing the internet.

A VPN, on the other hand, routes your internet traffic through its own shiny servers, and a good VPN will have servers dotted all over the world. Essentially, you can pick and choose where you want your traffic to come from.

Connect to a VPN server and you'll be using the IP address of that server, not your ISP, which means that the sites you visit (like Netflix) will assume you're in the same place as the server. Netflix sees this IP address, takes note of its location, and serves up content based in that same place.

Netflix homepage on laptop screen

(Image credit: Future)

Why does Netflix content vary from country to country?

One or the other

Generally speaking, if a show is available in a particular country on another streaming service, it won't be available on Netflix in that same place. 

Your next question might be: why? Why does Netflix go to the trouble of providing different content to people in different countries? Ultimately, it's not up to Netflix, and the site has to abide by licensing agreements that dictate where it can and can't broadcast specific content. Some shows are only licensed to be displayed in a handful of countries—which means that you'll miss out if you’re overseas.

A VPN lets you digitally relocate yourself to whichever country you like, however, so you can place yourself somewhere where Netflix does have the license to broadcast that one show you've been dying to watch.

What if your VPN doesn't work with Netflix?

Netflix has gotten wise to the fact that people use VPNs to circumvent geo-restrictions—and has gotten even better at recognizing VPN IP addresses and blacklisting them. This makes your VPN's job harder, and there's a chance that you might not be able to unblock content even after connecting to a VPN server.

If you're having trouble, I'd recommend trying these handy hacks:

  • Connect to a different server in the country of your choice. Most VPNs offer multiple servers in the same location—though you may have to hop to a different city.
  • Clear your cookies and reload the page.
  • Try accessing Netflix via a different browser.
  • Use a different device—like a phone, tablet, or even a smart TV. This prevents GPS data from being cross-referenced with your IP address.
  • Enable your VPN's leak protection feature to prevent your original IP address from leaking data.
  • Get in touch with your VPN's customer support team and ask which server they'd recommend for accessing Netflix.

If none of these fixes work, your VPN might not be up to the task of unblocking Netflix. I'd suggest sticking to one of our top streaming VPNs if you want a reliable pick (and one that our team is always testing). 

Which VPN is the best for unblocking Netflix?

NordVPN: the best Netflix VPN in 2024

NordVPN: the best Netflix VPN in 2024
NordVPN is my #1 pick when it comes to Netflix—and just about every streaming service out there. It's wickedly fast, has servers in more than 60 countries, and apps for all your devices. It's the total package, and the perfect companion for your HD and 4k movie marathons.

Try NordVPN today with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Illustration of a mobile phone displaying streaming content, with a hand about to tap the screen

(Image credit: Getty Images)


Can I unblock Netflix without a VPN?

It's possible to use smart DNS to change your Netflix region—but it's not as reliable as a VPN. VPNs are better equipped to evade Netflix’s geo-restrictions and VPN blocks and, ultimately, help you access content from overseas. 

Is it illegal to unblock Netflix with a VPN?

No, there's no law that prohibits you from using a VPN while streaming Netflix—but it is against the site's terms and conditions. This means that Netflix can block your account if it discovers that you’re using a VPN (though I've never heard of this happening—Netflix has bigger fish to fry). 

Can I use a free VPN to unblock Netflix?

Is it possible? Yes. Is it a good idea? No.

Netflix doesn't want people to use VPNs to access overseas content, and the majority of free VPNs have a hard time getting around Netflix's innovative VPN blocks. Plus, a lot of free VPNs limit the amount of bandwidth you can enjoy per month—and streaming Netflix is a great way to use it all up.

If you want to unblock Netflix without spending a penny, the best way is to make good use of a VPN’s money-back guarantee. You'll have to purchase a subscription but, at the end of the month, you can cancel your subscription and reclaim your money.

Will Netflix block my VPN if I use it to unblock content?

Netflix can, and will, block any IP address it associates with a VPN—and it does so to comply with licensing agreements that prevent it from displaying content in certain countries. Netflix has gotten good at picking out VPN IP addresses, too, and even cracked down on VPN usage in 2021.

It can feel like a cat-and-mouse game; VPNs are keen to stay ahead of these blocks, adding new servers as IP addresses are sniffed out and blacklisted. A server that unblocked Netflix today may not tomorrow—which is why me and the TechRadar team are constantly putting VPN unblocking power to the test.


We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

River Hart
Tech Software Editor

River is a Tech Software Editor and VPN expert at TechRadar. They’re on-hand to keep VPN and cybersecurity content up-to-date and accurate. When they’re not helping readers find the best VPNs around (and the best deals), River can be found in close proximity to their PS5 or being pushed about the countryside by the lovely Welsh weather. 

With contributions from