A few years ago, only a select few could watch Netflix. Indeed for quite a while the list of countries which had access to Netflix was very small, including only the largest developed countries primarily across United States, North America and Europe. This has changed greatly and now you can access the media giant in most countries in the world. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Japan, Turkey or the USA then you should be able to subscribe and watch Netflix without problems.
However it’s important to realise that which Netflix region you’re in, completely changes what’s available to you. The US version for example has thousands more shows and movies than all the other locales. Fortunately it is possible to switch your version of Netflix to this US one simply by changing your DNS settings.
Below we’ll explain how you can switch your version of Netflix to the US one. However if you just want to test it out, click on the image below to go to the 14 day trial for free and unblock US Netflix in minutes (no credit card required).
Click for 14 day Free Trial and Unblock US Version of Netflix
The Netflix Library is Linked to Your Location – Some are Much Better than Others
This is not the complete story, as although you can access your Netflix account pretty much anywhere nowadays. What you’ll see is heavily dependent on where you happen to be located. This is because Netflix has to license all the shows on a per country basis, i.e. if it pays for rights in the USA it would then have to pay separately for all the other countries. Obviously this means that Netflix will invest much more heavily in the bigger markets than it will in the smaller countries. So the service ( shows and movies) you get in somewhere like Austria will be much different from what you’ll receive if you access Netflix from New York.
The problem many people have with this, especially those who travel a lot is that these differences are hugely significant. The actual figures vary quite a bit, but some estimates suggest that there are tens of thousands more films and TV shows in the biggest version of Netflix (the USA) than in the other countries. Even though the subscription costs are similar it means that an American Netflix subscriber gets way more content than a subscriber from any other country. You don’t get such big differences with other streaming services like Apple TV for example. What’s more if you travel you’ll switch between versions which can be extremely annoying when suddenly the box-set you’re half way through suddenly disappears. Don’t imagine you’ll get your money back on your credit card either just because you’ve moved across a national boundary!
Is it fair? Well obviously this largely depends on where you happen to be. You’re unlikely to hear many complaints from US residents about their Netflix content especially if they don’t travel much. The US version of Netflix is so much better than everyone else’s, not only in quantity but quality too. For example at the time of writing there’s only one version of Netflix streaming the latest blockbusters – The Last Jedi and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, yes of course it’s the US version. It’s hardly surprising that so many people want to unblock the US version when you’ve seen the difference.
Using a Free Trial to Unblock the US Netflix
Of course, it’s difficult to illustrate how much better the US version of Netflix is at any given point. The movies and shows change with time, however there’s a way to see for yourself and change your Netflix region. It involves hiding your location by disguising your real IP address so it works with Netflix region you prefer.
However don’t waste money on using a VPN from a basic company, these rarely works with Netflix anymore. Even many of the best VPNs now don’t support Netflix access and you’ll get a proxy error message if you try and access whilst connected. Maintaining access has become costly and time consuming, so most of the VPN provider companies don’t support this platform anymore.
However there are a couple of service provider who do, which you can see below.
Over the years there have been many methods and indeed thousands of different services which allowed you to access different versions of Netflix from the one you’re locked into. However this has changed greatly over the last year or so. Netflix doesn’t like it’s users doing this even though it at one point there were millions ‘unofficially’ accessing Netflix from countries where it wasn’t even available. For instance, there were estimated at nearly 1/2 million Australian subscribers of Netflix in the year before it became available there! It worked with pretty much all of the major VPN providers you used to access the streaming service.
Most of these were simply using straight forward proxies and VPNs routing through US servers to hide their current location. The concept was simple, if you relay your internet connection through a VPN server or proxy in the USA for example, Netflix would see the US IP address of the server not your true location. Which meant that a Netflix user in Mexico would get access to the US version instead of the Mexican version. So the bottom line was that you subscribed to your local version as normal then you could unblock Netflix from a different country when required.
The alternative to this method was the already mentioned technology called Smart DNS which simply involved changing your DNS servers. It was developed because many devices now being used to access Netflix like Smart TV units, Games consoles etc couldn’t install the client software to enable VPN use. To install Smart DNS you just need access to the network settings on the device. It works in a similar way but only routed traffic for specific websites which were geo-restricted. It’s also faster but provides no online privacy, DNS leak protection or traffic encryption like VPN traffic does.
Netflix Stops Tools that Stream Netflix from Different Regions
Netflix started blocking and filtering these connections in a variety of ways in their bid to stop people trying to unblock Netflix regions. They had some success stopping all the free VPN services and some of the Smart DNS solutions However the real game-changer was when they started blocking access to commercial IPs.
This suddenly stopped 99% of VPNs and Smart DNS solution to unblock US login methods virtually overnight. Just about every one would receive proxy error messages when connecting. The reason that you received a streaming error was that all of these services used ‘commercially’ registered IP addresses simply because they are very easy to obtain. Getting hold of ‘residential addresses’ is much, much harder simply because they’re normally reserved for ISPs who release them to home customers.
The effect was almost instantaneous, social media and forums were filled with cries as suddenly even the best VPN services stopped working and you had to be in the United States to watch Netflix US ! There was little point contacting support, as in most cases there was nothing they could do. The problems was the IP addresses not the services themselves which affected VPNs and even the DNS options were not working too.
So is Unblock US Support for Netflix Still Possible?
Yes it is, but on a much less widespread scale. The method illustrated in the video above is working perfectly in the Summer of 2020 using a company called Smart DNS Proxy, well after Netflix’s initial purge. The current state of play is that you must have access to a residential IP address based in the country you require in order to access that version of Netflix. Most of the VPN service providers and many of the Smart DNS ones too have pretty much given up on Unblock US solutions for this reason.
Unfortunately residential IP addresses are difficult to obtain and extremely expensive even if you can access them. The companies who do have access to them, for the most part have focused on addresses based in the USA. There is a much greater demand for a US Netflix unblock solution than for any other country which is why they are still supported by some companies. It’s important to check for yourself though, forget about reputation and fancy websites – pick a trial account and try it for yourself. Netflix have indeed reduced the options and put lots of the disable unblock US companies out of business, but there are still some that remain.
IS it Really Worth the Effort to Unblock US Netflix?
It’s true that many national versions of Netflix are pretty similar, indeed some are virtually identical apart from language variants. Depending on where you travel and to what extent you use Netflix it might not be worth the trouble or additional expense. However for those of us who live in smaller countries, travel a lot or simply use our Netflix account very often getting access to the US version of Netflix is definitely worth it.
It’s not just the thousands of extra programmes and movies, but the quality as well. Netflix makes a great effort to get blockbusters onto the American Netflix in order to boost sales and support expensive advertising campaigns. They simply won’t spend the same on a smaller market with less rewards.
A classic example is the film – The Last Jedi, which currently is only licensed on US Netflix. You won’t find it on any other version currently and there are loads of the latest blockbusters which are only found on the American version which makes it well worth unblock US download to your computer. The same situation happens with TV series, you might be happy to find the first series of a popular show on the French or UK version of Netflix. However this is often because the older releases are cheaper, you’ll normally find that there most of the later series will be on the US version too.
Over the years I’ve tried loads of methods for unlocking US Netflix primarily so I can keep up with the latest releases. Proxies no longer work at all, so you can forget them. There are about two VPN services which still work in 2020 including Identity Cloaker. However you have to use the software and it won’t work on tablets and smartphones at the moment.
There is no doubt the best solution at the moment to unblock US Netflix and that’s to use a Smart DNS service which has the requisite residential IP addresses. There’s only one which I have used which is both reliable and quick enough to stream video and that’s the service from Smart DNS Proxy. They also include a VPN service but I suggest you leave that unless you need the security as the Smart DNS version works better.
It’s not just for Netflix though, you can use it to get access to any content under geo restrictions in any country from the BBC iPlayer, Sky Go in the United Kingdom to HBO Go, Hulu and NBC in the US. In fact there’s server locations all over the world to enable the world’s best media sites.
The best thing is that this company actually provides a free trial if you access from the correct link. Which means you can test it out and see if it’s worth the money before committing. Honestly I’ll think you’ll be impressed, with both the speed an reliability and also the amazing amount of content on the US version of Netflix compared you your own locale. What’s more you can try before you buy with this US Netflix Free Trial.
It was in 2015 that Netflix expanded it’s network onto a truly global platform, adding over 150 countries to it’s reach. Your Netflix account could be used in just about every developed country in the world with only a few exceptions like North Korea and Iran. However although it could be argued that a Netflix account was global that didn’t mean you had complete control over the programmes that you were able to watch.
The main problem people who travel a lot have with their Netflix accounts is that what they can see is largely determined by their physical location. For example if you take out a Netflix subscription in the US and then travel to France, when you sign on to your account you will see the French version of Netflix not the US one. Of course, the French version of Netflix is very different to the US version and obviously contains more French and European content. If you’re a fluent French speaker this might not be a problem, but if you’re half way through a US only boxed set only available in the USA then it might just be.
The reality is that the US version of Netflix has far and away the largest range of content available. In fact compared to some smaller countries you’ll find literally thousands more movies, TV series and documentaries. All this disappears as soon as you travel outside the geographical borders of the United States. Cross over to Canada for example and the same thing will happen, when you log onto Netflix you’ll be redirected to the Canadian version of the site.
So Can I Watch US Netflix in Canada in 2017?
Actually there is a way to control which version of Netflix you see as you can see in the following video:
Simply by using a VPN server to hide your real location, you can actually access the US version of Netflix from Canada or anywhere else for that matter. In fact many people will open a Netflix account in Europe and then only ever watch the US version. You can’t blame them, when you see the amount of movies on the US version of Netflix compared to other countries you’ll be amazed.
For instance, I love the Zombie apocalypse program Z Nation which is available on Netflix. However whenever I check in most European countries there’s only a single series. Whereas on the US version of Netflix you can find four series available for streaming or downloading. This is quite common, you’ll often find that the non-US versions of Netflix are several series behind on many popular shows.
The only time these restrictions are lifted is with content produced directly by Netflix because they own the copyright and distribution rights. So as their model switches more towards Netflix produced movies and shows then this will be slightly less of an issue. However until then if you want to watch the best version and access US Netflix in Canada or any other country in 2017 then you should check out a VPN service.
We’ve covered a lot about the Netflix ban on VPNs and proxies on this site and how slowly it’s being circumvented. There are now a couple of VPNs that allow you to switch between the different version of Netflix irrespective of your location. Which for expats or people who travel a lot is incredibly useful, and means you can choose Netflix region free without being forceably routed to your local version. However there has been one thing missing, up until now no-one has released a Smart DNS system which will work with the new Netflix blocks.
Smart DNS is a relatively new technology which instead of routing your entire internet connection simply routes specific parts when you try and access region locked sites by using specially configured DNS server. For instance if you are in the US and tried to access the BBC iPlayer, the Smart DNS server would route part of your connection through a UK server in order to bypass the UK only region locks. It works very well and because all you need to do is change your DNS server settings is simpler to use on different devices than a VPN.
Here’s what you do on a Windows client, simply change your DNS servers to the Smart DNS server and if you have an active subscription you’ll be able to bypass most region blocks. That’s all you need to do and you could implement in the same way on any media device, smart TV, games console or phone as long as you could specify the DNS servers.
So Which Smart DNS Still Works with Netflix ?
Except unfortunately Smart DNS Netflix was another casualty of the Netflix purge on region locking bypasses and so not only did most Netflix VPN not working the same happened to proxies and DNS servers . If you used one of these Smart DNS servers you would receive exactly the same error message as you would with a proxy as soon as you tried streaming anything. Most of the providers have given up trying to support Netflix, however finally I have found one provider who has fixed the problem and released a Smart DNS solution that works with Netflix!
It’s from a company who I haven’t used for a while but I know has been a Smart DNS/VPN solution provider for many years. The company is called Unblock-US and after a tip off that they were the first to create a DNS based solution that allows you to bypass the Netflix blocks I checked it out this week.
The setup screen is very simple to use – here it is
You basically sign up for an account, change your DNS servers and then select the version of Netflix you require. That’s all there is to it and then you visit Netflix you’ll be redirected to the region you selected. Of course most people will choose the US version which has more content than any other. However it’s useful to have access to the other locations as well because there are certain titles only available on certain regions. Netflix Canada for example has some great documentaries which are not available on any other regions.
I tried the US, Canadian and UK versions and all streamed perfectly. There is also a setting to disable which means you will go to the Netflix locale that you’re actually located in – which is useful for people who just want to use it when they are travelling. So if you’re still wondering which Smart DNS still works with Netflix then look no further….
If you’re quick Unblock-Us even has a free trial at the moment so you can test it out a real Free Smart DNS Netflix solution. You can access the trial through the link below.
In the battle to circumvent blocks, filtering and censorship – Smart DNS technology was like a breath of fresh air. It catered for people who didn’t care about security and encryption – they were just concerned that the USA version of Netflix was much better than theirs or they desperately wanted to watch the latest version of Dr Who on the BBC online. Both situations were restricted depending on your location, to watch the vastly superior US version of Netflix you had to physically be in the US and to use the BBC iPlayer you needed to be in the United Kingdom.
Clearly all couldn’t be true, and slowly we’ve all got used to being blocked and redirected depending on our location. Of course, we could all use VPNs and sometimes even proxies worked but these are expensive to run especially fast ones. Imagine the costs of thousands of people streaming video all across the world – the hardware and bandwidth requirements are substantial. Decent VPN servers cost a lot to run and hence the subscriptions had to reflect this, people tried to piggyback free servers across the world but these are generally hacked or illegal servers which carried substantial risk to your personal data.
Smart DNS threatened to change this, instead of relaying your entire connection through a server in the required country it merely redirected a few packets to fool the geotargeting of the target server. When you connected to Netflix – Smart DNS could fool the server into thinking you were in the UK, US, Australia or Japan with only a few misdirected packets of location data. This meant it was fast, and secondly it was also much cheaper as the bandwidth costs of the Smart DNS supplier were much smaller.
All looked great but, the warnings have been there for some time that Smart DNS might not be so future proof. Firstly it stopped working on many different media devices like the Chromecast or Roku where mysteriously the applications started to enforce public DNS servers. This meant that you could no longer specify your own DNS settings which effectively stopped you using Smart DNS. This caused problems however, particularly with speed where millions of devices where suddenly using public DNS servers like Google’s 126.96.36.199 server presumably without financial compensation, this issue slowly disappeared.
There’s no doubt though particularly for media companies like Netflix and Hulu, Smart DNS are in their targets. Yesterday I tried my two Smart DNS accounts to try and get access to the Japanese version of Netflix (which has some great movies on it), all my attempts failed with the simple message – ‘blocked’ despite having worked fine the day before. Specific IP addresses are simply being blocked from accessing the Netflix and Hulu services, it’s blunt and unsophisticated but it works.
The reality is that these global media providers are coming under increased pressure from the movies companies to block the use of circumvention particularly Smart DNS. The reality is that it costs them money if they receive a fee for licensing the movie in a particular country and then millions of people end up watch it all over the world.
Of course they can do this with VPN and proxy servers, simply block access from specific IP addresses. Which is why it looks like staying low key and using a more discrete service is a sensible option. Some of these bigger VPN companies market very aggressively and directly promote specific TV stations, sporting events and TV channels in their advertising. This makes them instant and high profile target for IP blocking, it’s probably best to avoid these companies – particularly for long subscriptions.
Identity Cloaker, is certainly worth a look – marketed only as a security product it’s been working for many years by deliberately keeping a low profile. Is it the end of Smart DNS? Well in some ways it’s more vulnerable than VPNs but only time will tell if it lives on.
So why would you want to do this? Well the simple answer is that the US Version of Netflix is much better than any other one. It has thousands more shows and films, plus much more recent releases – some of it only just out of European cinemas for example.
There are many examples but here is just one brief explanation of why you may want to change Netflix to US version. It started for me when I became rather hooked on a Sci-Fi series called Lost which you might have heard of. My partner and I had both managed to miss the hysteria about this show the first time round, but got well and truly hooked after a few series. This is one of the great advantages of Netflix, you can find a show you like and then watch the whole thing over a few weeks, with no huge gaps between series.
Just look at this – six years and six seasons of one the best Sci-Fi shows ever made, all for a few dollars a month subscription.
I think it happened about half way through, when we were up to season 3 – we’d been watching for a few weeks an episode a night. Then disaster struck, it just disappeared, gone with no warning or anything – boy were we mad! We were not alone, loads of people were online complaining about this sudden withdrawal and the only help was a vague promise that it might return to the UK Netflix at some point. This was the trigger, up to then I didn’t realise there was such a thing as a UK Netflix but if you search online you’ll find lots of information on this. The best estimates I’ve seen suggest that there are around 4000 items on UK Netflix, but about 9000 plus if you change Netflix to US version.
It is surprisingly easy to do, and after a few weeks of investigating plus trial and error – I think I have found the best solution. First of all forget about using American proxies, VPNs and security programs for this – you don’t need them. Sure they all work, but are difficult to install on anything other than a PC and also can really slow your connection down.
What you need is something called Smart DNS – which is basically a very clever way of accessing any of the world’s country restricted websites by hiding your real location. The best Smart DNS service can hide your location by just rerouting a small part of your initial connection with a server, allowing you to stream directly from the media site after that. Your internet speed will remain pretty much untouched but a whole new world of internet media sites will be opened up to you – from BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Pandora to the US version of Netflix it doesn’t matter where you live.
The last point is important, although you might want to watch the US version of Netflix the majority of the time – there are some things only found on your home version. For example French and German Netflix have lots of content in French and German, which won’t be on the US version. So you want to be able to switch between the versions –
Netflix Locale Selector
Instead of switching everyone automatically to the American version of Netflix, this Smart DNS service allows you to switch version using this web page. This is incredibly useful and makes it a doddle to switch between different versions when ever you need. Without this method you’d have to remove the Smart DNS settings from your devices to go back to the original version of Netflix. Anyway here’s how you install it on a computer, but as you can see it’s just as simple to utilize on a Smart Phone, Mac, tablet or any network enabled device.
Basically after you have subscribed to use the Smart DNS servers, you just need to change the default DNS server in network settings. It’s usually accessible on most network devices – I personally use it on a WiiU, Playstation, iPhone, iPad and Smart TV.
For anyone who spends a lot of time online, Smart DNS is one of the most useful applications you can have. It basically is a special DNS server which can filter requests to specific websites and hide your true location. So for example you can use it to watch US only TV stations like Hulu and NBC from Europe, or stream BBC iPlayer or ITV player onto a device outside the UK.
Previously people used proxies and VPNs to bypass these restrictions but these had two main drawbacks –
Could be difficult to configure outside a PC/Mac environment.
Involved streaming all traffic through the proxy/VPN server.
For example a proxy server might need a username and password to access, which is fine if you’re using a PC application, but not so easy to get working on a Smart TV or games console. Smart DNS provided pretty much the same functionality (as far as accessing media sites) by simply changing one setting in your network configuration – here’s how it works on a PC.
Pretty neat eh? It can be set up on most devices, once you have enabled Smart DNS for your account, then you just need to find how to change the network settings on the device.
Here’s where to find it on a Samsung Smart Hub TV
The settings and screens can vary from model to model, but hopefully these will point you in the right direction.
You’re looking for the network settings information either in the Wired or Wireless connection settings. If you’re using a wireless connection most of the Network configuration will be assigned automatically by your access point, but don’t worry if you look for manually set the settings you can override the DNS setting (which is the only one you’re interested in).
Simply change the Primary DNS setting to the Smart DNS proxy address then change your country region within the Smart Hub. On most of the current TVs you do this by pressing the following keys – fast forward, 2, 8, 9, rewind keys on your TV remote. Please note if you have a F (2013) or H (2014) model of Samsung TV there is a new key sequence. This will bring up your Internet Service Location where you can change to the country you require, for example American Netflix will require you select the USA.