If you’re a US citizen travelling overseas and you load up your Netflix account, did you know that you will be presented with the local version? This means that you will likely miss out on some of the best TV shows and movies, as the American version of Netflix often benefits from the largest and most recent suite of content.
Similarly, you might be a non-US citizen and wish to access the American version of Netflix from your country of residence. Either way, you will need to make use of a VPN that is able to connect to a US IP address.
Don’t worry, the process is super-easy and takes just minutes to set-up. In this article, we show you how to watch the American version of Netflix regardless of where you are based.
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Quickfire Guide on How to Watch the American Netflix
If you’re strapped for time and don’t want to read through our comprehensive guide in full, we’ve outlined a quick step-by-step guide below on how to watch the American Netflix in 5 minutes!
- Step 1: Find a Reliable VPN Provider: To watch the American version of Netflix you will need to connect to a US IP address. To do this, you’ll need to find a reliable VPN provider that offers fast bandwidth speeds.
- Step 2: Connect to a US IP Address: Once you’ve paid for your VPN subscription you will then need to connect to a US-based IP address. This will make Netflix think you are based in the US, regardless of where you are.
- Step 3: Open Netflix and Watch American Content: As soon as you are connected to a US IP address through your VPN provider, you can then load up Netflix on the respective device. Like magic, you’ll now be watching the American version of Netflix!
Understanding IP Addresses
Although you can simply follow the step-by-step guide that we have outlined further down on this page, it is well worth learning how IP addresses and VPNs work. In doing so, you’ll be able to use the same process to activate other geographical-specific or restricted content. For example, you can connect to a UK IP address to watch the BBC iPlayer, or access forex trading websites in countries that ordinarily prohibit it.
In its most basic form, an IP address lets websites know where you are based and what device you are using. For example, let’s say that you are based in London and reading this page via your iOS mobile device. The server backing this website would be able to view this information based on the IP address that you are connected to. This is the case with all websites, including Netflix.
As such, whether it’s through your desktop, mobile, or TV device, Netflix will know where you are based at the time of the connection. So, if you’re an American with a US Netflix subscription, but you’re currently on vacation in Germany, you’ll be presented with the German version of Netflix. This is why you need to trick Netflix into thinking you are based in the US. The only way to do this is to connect to Netflix via a US IP address.
Now that you know how an IP address works, and why your location will determine what version of Netflix you are able to access, we are now going to explain the importance of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The overarching concept of using a VPN provider is to connect to an IP address of your choosing. In this case, it will be a US IP address that allows you to watch the American version of Netflix.
Let’s look at a quick example of how you might use a VPN.
- You are currently on vacation in London, so when you connect to websites you will have a UK IP address.
- You want to watch the American Netflix, so you log in to your VPN provider via your desktop device.
- At the click of a button, you are now connected to a US IP address.
- This means that your “real” UK IP address cannot be viewed by any websites. Instead, they will only see the US IP address that you are connected to via the VPN provider.
- You load up Netflix and you now have access to the American version, as the platform thinks you are based in the US, as per your IP address.
As you can see from the above example, you were able to go from a UK IP address over to that of a US address in a matter of seconds. All you need to do is select which country you want to appear to be accessing the website from, and you’re good to go!
Which VPN is Best to Watch the American Netflix?
So now that you understand the importance of both IP address and VPNs, you now need to find a provider that meets your needs. At the forefront of this is a VPN provider that offers fast bandwidth speeds at competitive pricing.
Although there are a number of free VPN providers active in the market, you will be sharing bandwidth with thousands of other users. This means that the connection is going to be far too slow to watch the American Netflix, so you’re best advised to choose a paid-for plan.
Below we have listed the main factors that you need to look out for when choosing a VPN provider to watch Netflix.
You will be streaming content online, so you will need to ensure that the VPN you are connected to offers good speeds. This is especially the case if you plan to watch Netflix content in HD or Ultra HD. Similarly, if you have multiple family members that each wish to watch their own content via the same VPN connection, bandwidth speed is crucial.
- Netflix recommends that you have a bandwidth speed of at least 3 Mbps to watch content in SD (standard quality).
- If you want to watch content in HD, then you will need at least 5 Mbps.
- Those of you looking to maximize your viewing experience by watching Netflix in 4k will need a bandwidth speed of 25 Mbps or more.
VPN providers typically publish their average connection speeds. This won’t be universal across all of its location-based servers, so check specifically what US speeds are like. In an ideal world, you’ll be able to sign-up for a trial before paying for a subscription, which will then allow you to test the connection speed prior to making a financial commitment.
Number of Servers
Without getting too technical, VPN providers are required to install servers in the countries that they wish to offer IP addresses. For example, if you’re connecting to an American IP address, this means that the VPN provider will have a server based in the US, but what happens if the server goes down?
Well, this is why you will want to use a VPN provider that offers multiple servers in the US. This will then allow you to automatically connect to a new US IP address if the current server goes down. Ultimately, the more independent servers the provider offers, the better.
Pricing and Plans
As we briefly noted above, you will want to avoid a free VPN provider. Sure, you can give it a go, but it’s all-but-certain that you won’t be able to get a fast enough connection to watch Netflix. Even if you are able to connect, the slow connection speeds will ensure that your content buffers continuously.
As such, the fastest and most reliable VPN providers will charge you a monthly subscription. The minimum plan normally starts at 1 month, although some providers will allow you to test their service out first via a free trial.
If you want to reduce your costs further, then you will need to sign up for a longer plan. This can range from 3 months all the way up to 3 years. You will need to pay for the plan in full to get the lower price, so make sure you have a need for the VPN for the duration of the term.
Best VPN Providers to Watch the American Netflix
Although we would suggest spending the required time finding a VPN provider that meets your needs, some of you might want to get up and running right now. As such, below we’ve listed our top three VPN providers that allow you to watch the American Netflix.
1. Nord VPN: Best All-Round VPN Provider
We would suggest checking out Nord VPN if you’re looking for an all-rounder that covers fast speeds, competitive pricing, and top-notch security. Most importantly, the provider offers a 7-day free trial, so this allows you to test the connection prior to making a commitment. If you want to subscribe after the trial concludes, you can do so at a monthly cost of $11.95. If you pay for an annual subscription in one-hit, you’ll get this down to $6.99 per month.
In terms of the fundamentals, NordVPN has servers in 62 countries, which consists of over 5,000 unique IP addresses. This ensures that you will always have a number of back-up US IP addresses in the event a server goes down. You can use your Nord VPN subscription to watch the American Netflix on multiple devices, including desktops, mobiles, and TVs.
- Super-fast connection speeds
- More than 5,000 unique IP addresses
- Servers in over 62 countries
- Access the VPN via desktop, mobile and Chrome extension
- Lowest price of $6.99 when opting for an annual subscription