How to watch Netflix from other countries

Netflix logo on a smartphone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

With over 220 million subscribers across the world, there's no doubting Netflix's global streaming popularity. From original shows like Ozark and Stranger Things to movies and documentaries, everyone can find something interesting to watch.

What you can stream however, varies depending which country you are connected from. 

That's because, like other online streaming platforms, Netflix applies geo-restrictions to its content. This means that if you live in New York, you will see only what's available for the US catalog. And, when you are traveling abroad, you might not be able to keep up with your favorite show if it's an exclusive for the US market. 

The good news is that there is a way around this problem. With a VPN, you will be able to hide your real location and trick your ISP to think you are somewhere else. As all the best VPN services offer a wide range of servers dotted across the globe, you will also be able to browse foreign catalogs from the comfort of your sofa with ease. 

Read on to discover how to watch Netflix from other countries from different devices and today's best Netflix VPN providers. 

Can I watch Netflix from another country without a VPN?

You can, but you will be able to access only the local library. Even the content you have already downloaded might not be available while in a different country.

While some shows figure across several different foreign catalogs (those Originals we mentioned above, for example), others are exclusive to select regions. On top of that, some libraries are way lower in fresh material compared to the likes of what US and UK Netflix offer.

Netflix homepage on laptop screen

(Image credit: Future)
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The only alternative to change your Netflix region without a VPN is using a smart DNS. However, this method is way less reliable. In fact, as unlocking foreign catalogs is actually against Netflix's terms and conditions, the giant streaming service is trying hard to prevent its subscribers from doing so. 

On the contrary, virtual private network's providers are always finding new ways to bypass VPN blocks. This is why using a good streaming VPN is the best bet you have to evade geo-restrictions and successfully access all libraries - no matter where you are in the world. 

Is watching Netflix with a VPN illegal? 

It's not against the law accessing your Netflix account via a VPN service. So, if you do so, you will not be liable for a criminal or civil lawsuit.

However, using a Netflix VPN is actually against the platform's terms and conditions. This means that Netflix has the right to block your account if a VPN connection has been detected (although, we've never heard of this actually happening).

How to watch Netflix from other countries in 5 steps

As mentioned before, a VPN will allow you to reroute your IP address and make you appear as if you are connecting from a totally different location. 

This might sound like a demanding task, but it actually requires just a few clicks. On top of that, the most popular VPNs all have user-friendly interfaces that will make the process as easy as downloading and logging in into a new app on your phone or laptop.

  1. Sign up for a suitable VPN service: NordVPN is our go-to choice - we explain why below.
  2. Download and install the VPN app: Make sure to choose the correct version according to your device.
  3. Connect to the server of your choice: Browse the list of servers available and take your pick. So if you know of a show or movie that's only available on Netflix's Canada catalog, choose a server in a Canadian city.
  4. Log in to your Netflix account: You'll need to create one and choose a subscription plan if you haven't done so yet.
  5. Press play and enjoy your favorite show!
Today's top VPN for Netflix is NordVPN (opens in new tab)

Today's top VPN for Netflix is NordVPN (opens in new tab)
NordVPN has claimed the #1 spot thanks to its consistently great performance in unblocking Netflix libraries around the globe. That's in part thanks to its 5,400+ servers and its super fast speeds. Customers can also make use of its amazing 24/7 live chat in the unlikely even you run into an issue.

How to install your VPN on different devices 

If you want to set up your chosen VPN service on a smartphone or laptop, you will find this task as easy as downloading and installing a new app. 

When it comes to streaming devices, it may be a bit more complicated. While Amazon Fire Stick VPNs have dedicated apps to use, others like Apple TV and Roku do not.

if you have Apple TV, check out our guide on how to use VPNs on Apple TV to learn how to manually configure your DNS IP address with one you find on your VPN website. Alternatively, you can also connect your security software on a router. The latter is actually the only way to set up your VPN on Roku.  

With an Android TV, simply open the Google Play Store and look for your VPN's provider app. For all the other operating systems, the easiest way is probably installing a Smart TV VPN on your router as you would do with an Apple TV or Roku streaming device.

Can I watch Netflix from different countries with a free VPN?

With Netflix continually trying to prevent its users from accessing the platform via VPNs, finding a good free VPN able to successfully unlock foreign catalogs is quite a challenge. These services simply cannot manage to keep up with new blocking tactics that the giant streaming platform employs.

While limited data and potential safety risks are the greatest downsides, there are even some providers like Proton VPN that deliberately allow streaming only for its paid subscribers. 

However, there is a way to enjoy the power of premium VPNs without spending any money. All our favorite VPN providers offer risk-free trials, usually in the form of a 30-day money-back guarantee. Even though you will have to invest the money upfront, you will get those back if you decide to cancel your subscription before the end of your trial period. 

Silhouette of a hand holding a padlock in front of the Netflix logo

(Image credit: Shutterstock / rafapress)

What to do if your VPN does not work with Netflix

As mentioned before, Netflix is constantly trying to prevent users from accessing foreign catalogs so that it can make your VPN’s job challenging at times. Try out these hacks in case you'll have any issues: 

  • Try a different server in your chosen country. If you're trying to get American Netflix, for example, the biggest VPN providers tend to have multiple server locations in the US.
  • Clear your cookies and then reload the page.
  • Try with a different browser.
  • Report the issue to your VPN customer support team, asking for a recommendation to the best server to use - many providers even have 24/7 support. 
  • Sometimes your real IP address can leak information. Enable the leak protection option in your VPN’s settings menu to stop this from happening.
  • Switch to another device. Doing that prevents GPS data from being cross-referenced with your IP address.

If none of these steps is working, your VPN may simply not be suitable for Netflix. So the final suggestion is to check our list of the top Netflix VPNs to ensure that you're getting fully functioning software.  

Chiara Castro
Staff Writer

Chiara is a multimedia journalist, with a special eye for latest trends and issues in cybersecurity. She is a Staff Writer at Future with a focus on VPNs. She mainly writes news and features about data privacy, online censorship and digital rights for TechRadar, Tom's Guide and T3. With a passion for digital storytelling in all its forms, she also loves photography, video making and podcasting. Originally from Milan in Italy, she has been based in Bristol, UK, since 2018.