Netflix has stormed our computers, tablets and smartphone screens since it’s launch in 1999. In just ten short years it now offers over 100,000 titles and has over 69 million in over 60 countries around the world. It has revolutionized the way we watch TV and has been so successful in its format that it now funds and produces it’s own highly popular series.
Not only has Netflix become a household name and a key feature in living rooms all round the world, it’s also changed the way we travel; no longer do we have to fear those dreaded long waiting times without any form of entertainment. However, some people have been disappointed when they’ve settled down to catch up on their favourite TV programmes in another country and found they are unable to access the site.
So What’s the Problem?
This unfortunate flaw in the global Netflix system is due to something called geo-blocking. Geo-blocking uses each personal devices IP address to identify its location and determine which sites should be blocked. This can be done for a number of reasons: either due to the censorship in certain countries being extended to restrictions on the internet or because of companies, such as Netflix, offering different packages to people living in different areas.
This means that if you are subscribed to American Netflix, for example, then you will only be able to access the site in America, forcing you to buy a new subscription everywhere you go. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be easily overcome.
The best way to get around this problem is by using a VPN. There are many different providers that offer VPN services and all you have to do to bypass geo-blocking restrictions is to sign up for a package and install the app onto your device. Then, whenever you want to watch Netflix overseas, you simply switch on the VPN and you’re free to access websites as if you were sat in your own home. The use of this system has massively increased over recent years all over the world as more and more people look to move past their countries restrictions and access the internet in it’s full, uncensored glory.
How Does it Work?
A VPN (standing for Virtual Private Network) works by creating a private point-to-point connection between your device and the VPN server before connecting you to the rest of the internet. This initial connection creates an encrypted tunnel so all of your data and sensitive information is protected, including your IP address! Once connected, you adopt the IP address of The VPN server meaning you can be anywhere in the world, whilst the internet still thinks you’re in America.
This means that you can travel overseas and, so long as you’re connected to your VPN, you can watch and access Netflix as if you were at home. It also allows people from other countries to access different Netflix subscriptions, which may have many more and much newer titles available.
Not only is a VPN great for bypassing geo-blocking and leaving you able to access Netflix all over the world, there are also many other great benefits that installing this app brings. One of the greatest of these, and perhaps that most primary reason why VPN’s are used, is that they significantly increase you online security when using public WiFi.
We live in an age where much of our life relies on logging onto public networks—on trains, in coffee shops or at the airport—but, unfortunately, using these connections leaves our data very vulnerable to malicious hackers. However, when using a VPN, all of your information and activity becomes encrypted, leaving you free to browse without running the risk of infiltration.
Choose Your VPN
When choosing a VPN there are a few important factors to consider: first, you’re going to need to know that your assigned IP address will give you access to the content you want. So if you’re aiming to watch American Netflix abroad, be sure that you’re signing up to an American VPN provider.
Next, you’re going to have to think about your payment plan. Although downloading a free VPN may seem like an attractive option, there are many reasons why it may not be the best way to go.
Free VPNs are usually far less reliable and their connection regularly drops out. This means that your viewing will be constantly interrupted and you data will be easily accessible if you’re on a public network. Alongside this, paid servers usually offer in-depth customer service which is a great feature to have if you’re a new user who needs a bit of help getting set up.
As frustrating as it is that Netflix insists on implementing geo-blocking, it’s something that doesn’t look like it’s going to be going away anytime soon. So for those looking to watch their favourite films and shows outside of their home country, it’s definitely worth investing in a good VPN. If you have any recommendations about the best VPN’s out there, then be sure to comment below and share your experiences!