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How to Unblock Netflix

By Vinith R | 17 October 2011 at 9:57 am CET | 8 Comments

In this article we’ll show you how to unblock Netflix. First some background story. Netflix is an American movie streaming service with a huge collection of over 20,000 movies and TV shows.

Unfortunately, Netflix is only available in it’s full version in United States. Surely, Netflix is available in a limited number of region specific version such as Netflix Canada, Latin America and Europe. However in reality, only the US version of Netflix offers the entire range of movies and TV shows on demand.

This has forced Netflix subscribers and enthusiasts around the globe to find the best methods to unblock Netflix outside US. In our findings, the best way to unblock Netflix is by connecting through a Virtual Private Network like HideMyAss Pro VPN.

In this article we’ll go through all options. So let get started!

How to Unblock Netflix

Photo: jps / Shutterstock

In this article:

Overview: 3 Methods for Accessing Netflix Outside US
Method 1: Using Virtual Private Networks
Method 2: Using Proxy Servers Or Hide IP Software
Method 3: Using Browser Add-ons
Best VPN To Unblock Netflix Outside US
Choosing The Best Method For Unblocking Netflix
Signing Up For A US Netflix Account Outside US

3 Methods for Accessing Netflix Outside US

There are multiple methods available to unblock Netflix and stream videos from a different location (other than the US). The basic concept is quite simple. Netflix has content and regional filters that will determine the physical location of a visitor before granting them access to their video database. This is done by checking the IP address of the visitor. If the IP address denotes a location outside the US, the visitor will quite simply receive a message saying “Sorry, Netflix is not available in your country yet.”

The only possible way to bypass this filter is to access the Netflix website using an American IP address. There are different ways to obtain a US IP address. You can choose either a free or a paid service to change your IP, and outlined below are a few popular methods that will help you unblock Netflix.


Method 1: Using Virtual Private Networks

Virtual Private Networks (VPN), were initially designed to encrypt data being sent over public networks. However, due to the functionalities of a VPN, it quickly found applications in a wide range of industries, even to access entertainment media channels such as Netflix.

A VPN works by rerouting internet traffic through servers located in different parts of the world. By subscribing for a VPN service, a user has the flexibility and the option to choose a server location and an IP address of their choice. By choosing an IP address or a server in the US, anybody can unblock Netflix from anywhere in the world.

Pros: There are several benefits of using VPN to unblock Netflix. First and foremost, you get to choose the server location and IP address, so that you have total control over selecting the virtual location for fooling the Netflix servers into thinking that you are actually from the US.

The large number of servers on offer from top VPN service providers such as HideMyAss!, IPVanish and VyprVPN guarantees respectable browsing speed, which will enable you to stream Netflix videos without any buffering issues.

It is also close to impossible for Netflix to penalize or block servers or IPs hosted by VPN service providers, mainly due to the encrypted nature of the traffic, which brings us to another benefit of using a VPN – Online Security. Using a VPN for all internet browsing purposes ensures online security due to the usage of security protocols and 128 or 256 bit encryption.

Using a VPN will also allow users to bypass censorship laws and remain anonymous to prying Government eyes. This will also help citizens of countries where internet censorship is prominent to exercise their right for freedom of speech both securely as well as anonymously.

Aside from Netflix, VPN can also be used for other entertainment channels such as Hulu Plus, BBC iPlayer and Amazon. With a VPN you also have the flexibility to watch Netflix and Hulu on your television through a Roku, PS3, etc.

Cons: VPN is only available as a subscription based service, which will cost you anywhere between $5 and $25 per month. There are free VPN services available, but they are not suitable for online video streaming due to bandwidth and speed restrictions.

A VPN connection also requires you to install a dialer terminal or VPN software, which will use up system resources. You will also be required to update the software once in a while. We recently asked our readers for their favorite VPN providers. Here are the most popular VPN services:


Best VPN To Unblock Netflix Outside US


best vpn hidemyass

HideMyAss! Pro VPN

HideMyAss! offers both a VPN service as all as a free proxy service. They do have an excellent free proxy service; therefore, you can try it out before deciding whether you want to subscribe to a VPN service or not for unblocking Netflix. Their VPN service is also top-notch, and is perhaps the best VPN in the industry at present. Subscription starts at $6.55 per month for unlimited VPN. Read our HideMyAss! review.


ipvanish

IPVanish VPN

IPVanish is another VPN service provider that works well with Netflix streaming. Currently offering a subscription priced at $6.49 per month, IPVanish offers unlimited VPN access for streaming Netflix videos without buffering issues. IPVanish is a relatively new VPN provider, but the are improving and expanding constantly, and will soon be on-pair with the ‘old boys’ on the market. Read our IPVanish review.


vyprvpn

VyprVPN

VyprVPN is another great VPN service provider. VyprVPN’s VPN subscription starts at $9.99. They do offer great speeds for Netflix streaming, and even provide unlimited bandwidth to support unlimited Netflix buffering. Their server configuration is slightly different from other VPN providers. Their proprietary infrastructure gives in result a blazing fast connection with military-grade encryption. Read our VyprVPN review.



Method 2: Using Proxy Servers Or Hide IP Software

proxy server

There are different types of proxy servers online. There are free proxy websites and then there are paid proxy options such as Hide IP software for changing your IP address.

Free proxy websites offer a dynamic list of working proxy servers in the US and are usually supported by advertisements for revenue. Paid proxy service providers provide a list of static or dynamic US IP addresses for their subscribers according to their subscription package and cost.

To unblock Netflix, you have to choose a working proxy server and choose an IP address based in the US, before accessing the Netflix US website. This will help you bypass the content or regional filters and stream videos without any hindrance from Netflix’s part.

Pros: Most proxy servers are either free or noticeably cheap. Proxy websites allow you to browse through the Netflix database from within their browser itself. In case of paid proxy packages, you will also get access to dedicated IP changing software that will make the process of adopting an US IP address fast and easy.

Cons: Proxy servers are extremely slow. Free proxy servers are the worst of the lot. Apart from the usual distractions and annoyances of the advertisements, free proxy servers are easily clogged up by a large number of users vying for the same set of resources at the same time. Paid IP changing software isn’t terribly great either.

IP changing software usually hosts a large number of users and doesn’t possess the required number of servers to be able to offer good browsing speed. All of this leads to a bitter streaming experience, and buffering issues will be highly prominent. On top of the speed issue, Netflix is also quietly weeding out proxy services, and are known to block users trying to unblock Netflix databases using a proxy IP address.


Method 3: Using Browser Add-ons

hola unblocker

There are different browser add-ons available for a number of internet browsers, including Firefox and Chrome. These add-ons are similar to free proxy servers, which will help the user to choose an American IP address to unblock Netflix. Hola is one such browser add-on for Mozilla which will help you to unblock Netflix and a whole list of other geo-blocked channels.

Pros: Browser add-ons are fantastically simple to install and works without any significant impact on system resources. Most of these add-ons are free, making it one of the most economical options for accessing Netflix outside the US.

Cons: Some browser add-ons require extensive technical knowledge, especially for those add-ons available for Firefox and IE. The streaming experience is also questionable, and it is not possible to stream videos from Netflix without any buffering issues. Netflix might also block add-ons if they find them to violate their terms and conditions. Using a browser add-on won’t help during the sign-up process, especially for a Netflix account, as a US IP address is a must for signing up for a US based Netflix subscription.



Choosing The Best Method For Unblocking Netflix

The best method to unblock Netflix would be to subscribe to a VPN service provider. Of course, this will mean that you have to part with the subscription cost every month. However, the added benefits of online security and anonymity will be very much appreciable, especially during these times when hackers and information phishing agents are on the prowl looking to steal sensitive information from the unsuspecting user.

However, if you don’t want to spend any money on VPN and would like a free option, either free proxy servers or browser add-ons can get the job done. But keep in mind that there will be considerable buffering and streaming issues, and you would be pestered with advertisements and pop-ups throughout your usage duration.

If you would like to tell us about any other method to unblock Netflix, apart from the ones mentioned above, please let us know about it by sending us an email or listing it in the comments section below.


Signing Up For A US Netflix Account Outside US

You can sign up for a US based Netflix account outside the US by using your existing credit card. All you have to do is present a fake US address, followed by a valid zip code. Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to open a US Netflix account.

  • Subscribe to a VPN service provider to change your virtual IP location to the US
  • Access the Netflix website and choose the US as the default location (if it isn’t automatically chosen)
  • Sign up using a fake US address. You can make up any address, but while entering the PIN code, please use a valid PIN code. You can find one here
  • Enter your credit card details to make the payment. In most cases, a Visa or MasterCard should work
  • If the card is declined due to an address mismatch, you will have to choose alternate means to make the payment. This can be done by visiting a Netflix gift cards vendor. This should help you to receive payment details that can be entered at the signup/payment page at Netflix
  • You can now access your Netflix account using the login parameters that you have chosen
 
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