It’s well known that there is a disparity of content on Netflix across the world, with the United States version of the service offering much more than its international alternatives. Fortunately, customers can maximize their investment by using a VPN that can unblock Netflix.
As an internationally recognized company, Netflix has to abide by local copyright laws and wade through the complex nature of licensing agreements in different territories. After all, the streaming service is trying to compete with traditional cable and satellite television, as well as its online rivals.
Of course, Netflix is slowly but surely remedying this issue with its ever-growing plethora of Original first-party content, but the end result is that there will always be some movies and television shows that are exclusive to the US and some only available in the UK.
Sometimes content providers simply don’t want to sell streaming rights to a piece of media. Other times local providers have already gained exclusive rights to the content. An example of the latter is CW’s Arrowverse. While Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl all appear on US Netflix, Sky UK’s licensing of the content ultimately prevents Netflix UK from streaming the same shows.
This isn’t an isolated incident. The US has access to a number of shows that aren’t available in the UK, including Grey’s Anatomy, The Walking Dead, Parks & Recreation, and even The Inbetweeners. Luckily, UK users aren’t left completely high and dry, as they instead get access to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rick & Morty, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Homeland, Doctor Who and many more.
The same experience can be found with Academy Award-winning movies. While UK customers can watch Martin Scorsese’s classic, Goodfellas (1990), the US receives the director’s 2006 Best Picture, Director, Editing and Screenplay, The Departed.
In fact, both regions are filled to the brim with Oscar-worthy films. Currently, Apocalypse Now (1979), Pulp Fiction (1994), No Country for Old Men (2008), The King’s Speech (2011) and Ex Machina (2015) are all exclusive to the US. Across the pond, the UK can instead indulge films such as Dead Man Walking (1996), The Social Network (2010), Gravity (2013), Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Whiplash (2014), The Big Short (2015), Birdman (2015) and The Revenant (2015).
So, how can you watch these acclaimed movies and television series if you’re not in the right country? As we mentioned above, you can use a virtual private network (VPN) to get around geo-blocking restrictions. There are many reasons to use a VPN since they help to bolster privacy and security, but in this instance, we are focusing on their ability to spoof a device’s location to unlock Netflix’s diverse content no matter where you are in the world.
Contrary to popular belief, using a VPN to unblock content on Netflix is perfectly legal, but it is against the company’s terms of service. Netflix retains the right to ban anyone caught using a VPN from its platform, which would be a scary deterrent if there had been any documented cases of enforcement.
To this date, Netflix has not been known to cut anyone off for using a VPN as it would be counterintuitive for business and is believed to have implemented the clause simply to appease partnered studios. Instead, Netflix targets VPN services themselves, rendering many services useless.
Unblocking Netflix has become a commodity as a result, with the feature primarily appearing in premium VPNs. Despite the added subscription, this does provide the ultimate value-for-money for Netflix customers and is incredibly easy to set-up thanks to ProPrivacy’s 5 Best VPNs for Netflix.