So this message – “Programme Cannot Be Streamed Due to Rights Restrictions” and some very similar sounding ones are becoming more and more common in the online world. It’s normally preceded by an attempt to stream a video, or watch a TV show or listen to some sort of internet radio channel. It’s a message with no real upside and basically informs you that based on your physical location this particular piece of content is not available to you.
If you want to solve it quickly then simply subscribe to NordVPN then connect to a server in the matching country !
The last time I saw this was this afternoon when I was trying to catch a cool new show on RTE player the Irish version of the BBC. Most of the site appears to work fine but as soon as I try to watch a programme on rté player then I’m given this chastisement that it cannot be streamed due to rights restrictions. What it means exactly is difficult to know for sure, however these rights restrictions will only affect you if you’re outside Ireland.
However if you are in Ireland don’t worry it will affect you too ! Just about every single decent media station in the world restricts access based on location. You can visit their sites but as you are doing so your IP address is being checked and if you’re in the wrong place you’ll get a message that this programme cannot be streamed –
Here’s another one from the BBC that you’ll get if you’re based outside the United Kingdom. Which yes also includes inhabitants of Ireland, even if they’re a hundred yards from the border. There isn’t really a media site that doesn’t practice this to some extent and increasingly this filtering, controlling and blocking is becoming pervasive to our online experience.
It’s an increasing scourge on the online world, and it seems to be spreading. Most video and online broadcasts are restricted whether they’re on an online player like BBC iPlayer, RTE Player or even YouTube. The justification is normally claimed to be due to rights restrictions, presumably that the broadcasting rights to each programme are assigned on a per country basis.
If this is true then it’s pretty crazy that copyright for a global medium is being still assigned on such a restrictive basis. What’s more worrying that this is increasingly meaning that access to information on the internet is becoming segregated based on your physical location. In reality it’s probably more to do with maximising profits and being able to keep different markets separate in order to charge different prices.
Where You’ll Get – This Programme Cannot Be Streamed Due to Rights Restrictions
To be honest it’s likely to occur on any large media companies streaming sites, They all use a system called geo restrictions which will allow access based on your physical location when you visit the site. All the major UK TV channels operate these restrictions you can’t normally watch the BBC Player abroad for example. You can’t watch RTE Player without an Irish IP address either.
BBC iPlayer – UK only
RTE Player – Ireland Only
ITV Hub – UK Only
NBC – USA Only
M6 Player – France Only
Hulu – USA Only
Basically pick any country and you’ll find the same. If you’re outside the domestic market then you’ll normally be blocked by default as soon as you visit the site.
Simple Solution – Stop Getting Blocked/Controlled Use a VPN
For many of us using a VPN service has been something of a second nature for years. The realisation about how little privacy we all have online is becoming a major issue. You may think that everything you do online is ‘private’ and ‘anonymous’ but it really isn’t . Virtually every website we visit, tracks and monitors our behaviour. Plus your ISP has access to logs which contain a full and comprehensive of absolutely everything you do online. That includes every website, every video you watch, every file you download, every email or message you send. Imagine how much information that contains on each and every one of us, how much of this would you enjoy being in the public domain.
Using a VPN provider to both hide your location and encrypt all your data stops all this. As long as you pick a reputable VPN service who delete all your logs instantly then you’ll regain a large proportion of your privacy online. Your ISP will not have a full list of all your activity as it will be hidden by the VPN server – both the actual web pages and all your data too like emails, messages etc.
Yet for many these benefits aren’t even the main reason that they use VPN services ! It’s simply to try and bypass the geo restrictions we mentioned above. Using a VPN means that no-one knows your real IP address which is the primary tool that websites use to block people’s access.
Watch rté player outside Ireland
Watch the BBC from anywhere in the world
Access US entertainment sites like Hulu, NBC or Pandora from outside the US
Plus many, many more! A VPN is the ultimate tool to bypassing these geo restricted filters, you simply ensure that you connect to a VPN server in the right country before accessing the site. So for RTE player you’d need to choose one with servers in Ireland, for NBC servers in the USA and so on.
Fortunately most of the top VPN providers have facilitated this function and you’ll find they provide servers all across the planet under their basic subscriptions. You should always check though if you want to be able to watch a programme from a specific country as only the biggest VPN providers will cover every major country. Especially if they can be expensive to locate in like New Zealand and Australia. Ensure they have either a trial or a proper money back guarantee just in case you find your chosen programme cannot be viewed.
Most of the VPN services will cover North America and the majority of European countries though, so you should be ok with the majority if the channels you want to watch are in one of these locations. If you want a recommendation for a quality VPN provider then NordVPN is worth checking out. It has one of the biggest global networks with VPN servers in more countries than most which means you’re able to stream most content you’ll find blocked.
Update October 2020 – So the Question remains can you get Identity Cloaker for Mac computers and Apple Devices? Well yes, sort of ! The MAC version of Identity Cloaker was released in 2011 in beta. You can download the demo version for OS X here – IdentityCloaker com free download. This is fully functional but only allows you access specific sites, so it’s great for testing functionality. In truth I’m not sure how well it works, there has been little news on updates and developments on this version over the least few years. I have always used the manual VPN connection method on my devices which is detailed below.
Identity Cloaker for Mac
There is no doubt that Identity Cloaker is a great piece of software – I’ve been using it on my laptop for nearly thirteen years now. This small company from the Czech Republic was actually one of the very first companies to sell an affordable internet privacy protection service. It has an extensive server infrastructure and operates much lower contention levels (less connections per server) than most of it’s competitors. This means you get almost minimal speed loss and there are very few problems with the proxy servers and IP addresses being blocked by large media sites like BBC iPlayer.
However in truth there’s been very little development on the OS X versions since it’s initial release and very few updates. I would suggest that if you want to use the Identity Cloaker servers on a Mac or any other Apple device then you should use the manual connection method illustrated below (it’s virtually identical on the Mac/iPhone as the iPad). If you do it’s best to set up multiple connections, for example a UK VPN, US VPN connection and so on. You can just enable these individually.
However although this method works perfectly well, you do lose all the other functionality of the software itself in this case. Your internet privacy is still protected by the VPN but if you want to use SSH tunnelling or modify the ports for the data transmission path then you’re out of luck. If you just want to bypass geo targeting to watch something like BBC iPlayer on your iPad it works just fine and in fact better than the vast majority of overcrowded VPN services. However without the software it’s not really a fully featured anonymity protection service.
If you want an alternative, I can definitely recommend NordVPN who are one of the biggest VPN providers in the world. It’s all on a much larger scale than Identity Cloaker but with that you get a larger infrastructure with more servers and 24/7 support teams. Their client application is easy to use and just involves clicking on the map to select a country, easy enough for even the biggest computer newbie. The VPN servers are fast and secured with the same military grade encryption as Identity Cloaker.
Importantly they have fully supported versions for virtually every device you can think of including iPads and Macs.
Here’s the link to their latest discount pages –
Watching BBC iPlayer on my iPad
I’ve started to leave my laptop at home nowadays in preference to the wonderful iPad I bought last year. After I got used to the fear of dropping it, it’s become an essential companion – much easier to carry than a laptop, starts up immediately and is basically just a joy for a traveller.
Of course there are limitations, including the well documented Flash problem. However one of my main issues was the fact when I travelled to the USA, lots of my UK sites like BBC Iplayer and ITV just wouldn’t work. Now this isn’t a problem with the iPad specifically but it’s due to the fact that most of the UK media sites block access to anyone outside Great Britain. So I had to figure out how to change my IP address to a UK one by using proxies or VPNs to bypass these blocks.
Watching BBC iPlayer using an IPad VPN
Now I work in IT Security and one of my favorite tools is Identity Cloaker which I also use to bypass all these location blocks. It works great on my laptop and PC but the software wasn’t currently available for the Mac OS or iPpad. However fortunately all of their servers including the US ones are VPN enabled – so all I needed to do was connect to one of those.
Anyway here’s the steps I followed to watch BBC Iplayer from the US –
All being well – you’ll be at this screen
So in this screen you can already see one VPN already set up – this one is for the US. But I need to add a UK one so –
Click – Add VPN Configuration
You should then find yourself in this screen –
Looks a little confusing but it’s not actually that difficult. Now two pieces of information are not published by Identity Cloaker for security reasons – but these are in the members area when you log in or email and ask for help if needed.
Here’s how you fill the fields in –
Description – Give it a descriptive name – usually country name is best.
Server – This is in the member area for Identity Cloaker users- UK VPN server names
Account Name – Your Identity Cloaker Username
RSA SecurID – Ignore this
Password – Your IDC password.
Secret – This is in members area for Identity Cloaker users under – VPN Secret Name
That’s all there is to it – just remember to Save the VPN configuration before you exit. It is there ready for you to use, whenever you need a UK address then you just enable the VPN as follows.
So to enable the VPN just turn it on from this screen, switch the slider to on. In this situation we would turn the British one on so we can watch BBC Iplayer outside the UK. Remember when you enable the VPN all data is routed through that server down an encrypted tunnel. You may want to disconnect to do your normal browsing after – although you should use it for secure browsing – online banking etc. It’s great for switching between versions of Netflix to personally I always change to the US version of Netflix.
When the VPN is enabled properly then you should see this in the top left corner of your Ipad.
This method will probably work with other proxy/VPN subscription services as long as their servers are set up for VPN access – just ask them for the information you need. To get access on a laptop or PC then check out this other post – BBC Iplayer outside UK.
Why do people look for USA Proxy and VPN servers? Well there’s a variety of reasons and now many people use technology like this just to hide their identity and their IP online. Sometimes specifically for privacy reasons or quite often they simply need US IP addresses to bypass internet blocks which are based on geographic location.
For example if you are having a holiday in South Africa, don’t presume you can access all the same web sites that you do from the United States. This simply isn’t the case, in fact the internet is increasingly becoming divided up and filtered usually based on your physical location.
Many sites particularly some of the major media sites restrict access to US visitors only, blocking any IP server addresses from outside the country. In addition you’ll also find that countries like Turkey heavily filter the internet too, often restricting sites like Twitter and Facebook to anyone inside the country. Where you are physically located when using the internet is way more important that which passport you hold. Even if you’re a United States citizen, if you’re outside the borders then you’re likely to be blocked from many of it’s best websites.
So on the whole privacy and freedom issue – this is why many of us use either a US proxy or VPN everyday. However in reality the reason millions of us looks for an anonymous proxy is not to protect our anonymity but more to unlock websites which are restricted to us. As this filtering continues the demand is rising for methods to bypass these blocks.
Don’t Use a Free American Proxy Server
It used to be possible to use free servers from a proxy list to hide your real address but it’s not advisable to use these anymore. The problem with these free web proxy setups is that the vast majority are merely badly configured servers accidentally left open. They are very rarely even datacenter proxies just privately owned ones that have been effectively hijacked. Unfortunately cyber criminals and hackers also use them, primarily to distribute malware and to steal valuable personal information – e.g. passwords, emails etc. Indeed there are thousands located in the United States designed to lure in visitors from all over the world to harvest their details.
So what’s the difference between these two technologies and which one should I use. Both perform basically the same function and can give you a US IP address but in very different ways, which ultimately will define which is best for you.
A proxy is a computer that acts as an intermediary between you an the websites you visit. When you use a proxy, the traffic will appear to come from it’s IP address not yours. This is why people will use a US proxy to access US only resources, a UK proxy to access the BBC and so on.
The two main types of proxies are as follows:
HTTP proxies – designed to work for web pages i.e. HTTP
Socks Proxies – no specific protocol, handles all traffic.
A few years ago, proxies were pretty much all you needed to access most sites and you could find free ones all over the internet. Nowadays though most media sites can detect and block the use of proxies and there are many security issues with them too. They can still work for a few sites, a proxy based in the UK will still allow you to access the majority of the BBC iPlayer application for example (need a VPN to download from the site though).
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and in some ways they perform a similar function to proxies. A VPN creates a secure, encrypted tunnel between your client and a host VPN server. This allows a new level of privacy as even your ISP cannot see what you do online other than your connected to a secure VPN server. The main advantages are that the VPN provides a much higher level of privacy masking pretty much everything you do online from everyone. They are more resource intensive though and quite costly to run and support, which is why you won’t find any free ones online.
The encryption layer does involve a slight overhead which can slow your connection down slightly. However the better ones like Identity Cloaker compress the data as it’s being transported so can actually slightly speed up your browsing through some VPN servers.
VPNs are much safer to use and if you have access to a VPN in the right country you should be able to access any restricted site. So to be clear you’ll need to use a US VPN or proxy for sites like ABC, HBO and Hulu, but a UK one for BBC, ITV and UK TV sites. Most of the major providers will provide a network of servers across the globe but you should check if you have a specific requirement.
For most people it makes sense to go for a supplier who has a large proxy server network not just located in the United States. Indeed most of the leading VPN companies have a proxy list which will allow you access to servers all over the world. It gives you the flexibility to access sites in all these countries. For example I watched an interesting News report on one of my interested from a TV station in Wellington, it was only accessible using a New Zealand based proxy server.
Here’s my two recommendations – both offer full VPNs, fast servers and access to many different countries in the basic subscription. Although both supply software to connect, you can set up the VPNs manually on most other devices like tablets, smart phones and even routers.
Identity Cloaker is definitely, primarily a security product but offers both proxy and VPN modes for accessing BBC Iplayer, Hulu and all media sites. They have loads of US proxy servers and even more UK based ones so if you want to watch the BBC iPplayer service then it’s probably your best option. They do have lots of servers in the France, Germany, Australia, Canada and throughout Europe as well though. They also don’t automatically renew your subscription either which I like.
NordVPN is probably the market leader in VPN services, they’re certainly one of the biggest in the world and have literally hundreds of servers in the United States. I do like their connection software which is easy to use and they have applications for most devices including Android and iOS phones/tablets. Lots of United States based servers included in the standard subscription. They also have the widest selection of servers across the world although perhaps many won’t use most of them. If you need a server in somewhere unusual they are most likely to have them. The support staff know their stuff and are very helpful. If there is any criticism it’s normally related to their scale, sometimes too many are loaded onto UK servers so access gets blocked from some servers to the BBC. I’ve not experienced it with any United States sites but it’s definitely possible that this will happen. They do have plenty to move to but it can be inconvenient if you’re watching something live for example. They’re very cheap but only if you subscribe to their longer subscription deals.
UPDATE July 2020
Netflix have implemented a new system for blocking VPNs and unfortunately it’s worked very well. Just using any United States based proxy or VPN is no longer enough to access Netflix with. If you want to connect back to watch the United States version of Netflix then you need to check current status with your chosen provider. The vast majority of VPNs no longer work because they detect certain IP classifications. Both Identity Cloaker and NordVPN do have some servers which currently work.
What Netflix started doing was to block all IP addresses from commercially registered ranges which included 99% of all VPN addresses which are generally installed in commercial datacenters. This was extremely effective initially and stopped just about all access to the United States version of Netflix (which is awesome by the way!). They seemed to have pulled back from this slightly, as commercial address ranges have started to work again. However if switching your version of Netflix to the United States one is important to you then you should double check with any provider you select.
It’s finally happened, after years of apparent indifference to the millions of ‘unofficial’ viewers, BBC iPlayer is now blocking VPN services that are being used to watch the BBC iPlayer from outside the UK. To recap, since the demise of the BBC International service the only way to watch the BBC from non-UK locations is to use a proxy or VPN to hide your real location. Therefore using a VPN became a common way for people to keep up with UK based TV when travelling or indeed for ex-pats living outside the United Kingdom.
Great Deal 2 Year Deal on a VPN that You Can Still Stream BBC iPlayer Abroad in 2020
What happens is that when you access the BBC website it looks up the location of your IP address, if it’s in the UK then everything works – if not then you get another version of the site with no live programmes and no BBC iPlayer. Fortunately it’s not that difficult to bypass these blocks, all you need (or needed) to do was to connect using an intermediate server which was based in the UK. This would make it appear that you were in the UK and hence everything would work fine. The BBC would assume that the IP address of the VPN server was yours and then allow you access, as long as the VPN server was in the UK.
So a simple VPN program was all you needed to watch BBC programmes online irrespective of your actual location. There were lots of them around and most were pretty simple to use, indeed thousands of pensioners on the Costa Del Sol were some of the first to embrace this new technology. As long as the VPN had a UK server you would be able to access BBC programs through it.
Here’s how it’s done – with my trusty VPN which I’ve been using for well over a decade.
As you can see it’s relatively simple, using NordVPN for example means you can change your location with a click of a button. Most of the decent VPN systems are like this, you install the software on your computer which is basically a VPN client. This then should allow you access to the VPN providers network. Most of the best VPN services will have plenty of servers all over the world. However if you’re main priority is watching iPlayer with a VPN then it’s only the servers in the UK that you should be interested in. Remember you’re using the IP address of the Virtual Private Network server to watch BBC iPlayer not your real one.
When picking a VPN to access the BBC iPlayer it’s important you focus on these UK servers to access streaming services. There’s little point paying for a huge global network of servers across the world if you mainly just want your VPN app to watch the BBC News. The other side to this is that any VPN service which intends to allows it’s VPN users to access BBC iPlayer needs lots of UK servers to work properly. If too many people are using the same servers then performance will be terrible and you’ll find they’ll become useless to unblock BBC iPlayer. When you find people complaining – BBC iPlayer not working then this is normally the reason.
This technique is not restricted to accessing BBC iPlayer either – certainly all the other UK sites like ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 streaming services are unblocked in exactly the same way. Again the common denominator is that you have to use UK VPN servers when using your connection. Although these services aren’t free, it’s easy and they’re not expensive either. A few Euros will effectively get you access to more UK television programmes than any expensive cable system will. A few minutes and you can watch BBC News from any sunny clime from around the world.
Over the years many different media services have waged war on these services. Proxies were the first to fall, almost all the big online media companies now block access through a proxy server automatically – although they still worked with the BBC iPlayer until this last update. Companies like Netflix and Hulu were particularly aggressive in blocking VPNs – also their legal departments were targeting the companies who openly marketed these services. The BBC however didn’t really seem that concerned occasionally closing down the odd provider but doing little technically to block these services.
How is BBC iPlayer Able to Block VPN Services ?
At the moment it’s fairly simplistic, but you might have discovered very effective -simply blocking the IP addresses of these services. All they need to do is to identify which IP addresses are being used by multiple users and block them from accessing the content. It’s not difficult to do, although it also will block legitimate UK users who use a VPN for security too.
It’s quite straight forward really and not very sophisticated but it makes perfect sense and explains why iPlayer not working for so many people. If the BBC support team detect thousands and thousands of connections on the same IP address then they can be pretty sure it’s a proxy or VPN. So all they need to do is to block access to that single address and suddenly the thousands lose access. There is a caveat to this method, sometimes people legitimately share the same address when connecting through businesses, shared internet connections, colleges etc so they don’t want to block these. Which is why as long as a VPN service is careful about distributing people across it’s UK addresses then it should be ok.
Basically it’s why the more UK addresses that a VPN has – the more likely that it will work fine with the BBC iPlayer. It generally means that the really low costs services which put too many people on each server don’t work anymore.
Once the IP address of a VPN provider is blocked it becomes useless for accessing any of the BBC iPlayer or live streaming programmes. Most of the biggest and widely marketed VPN services have been affected – my IpVanish account suffered the block although apparently they are working on a fix. Ultimately it can turn into a game of ‘Whack a Mole’ with the the UK server addresses being continually changed and then blocked by the BBC – usually someone gives up in the end. Fortunately there are some like Identity Cloaker which still work perfectly for streaming BBC which is probably largely due to the fact that the number of users per IP address is very limited and the company is very low key in advertising the TV watching functionality.
Ultimately the best advice is to avoid any VPN company who openly markets themselves as a BBC iPlayer VPN service, these will definitely be prioritized and worse may be closed down completely. It has happened in the past and is relatively easy to achieve – usually a legal threat against the hosting companies does the trick. It is unlikely that the BBC would be able to block complete access, simply because they would have to be constantly updating it’s firewall tables with new IP addresses to keep up. Other companies have pretty much given up to – for example Amazon Prime.
Is it Safe to Access the BBC iPlayer from Abroad Like This
When you connect to the BBC iPlayer site then before you are able to watch any TV programme either live or from the archive you are asked if you have a UK TV License. This question will determine whether you get any further irrespective of your VPN access. Of course to watch you simply have to say yes, there’s no further checks or questions to validate your answer.
Understandably this worries some people and I get lots of questions on this site about the legality of using a VPN to use the iPlayer app like this. Well, here’s a quick rundown of the answers to these question that I receive regularly.
Are VPNs Legal ? Absolutely completely legal in all developed countries. Even in China where the Government actively try to block them they’re not currently illegal. Remember a VPN is a secure way to access the internet and most businesses who have people working remotely will always use VPNs all the time.
Am I Breaking the Law watching the BBC without a license? There’s no criminal law involved at all. At most you are breaking the terms and conditions of the BBC iPlayer site. It’s simply nothing to do with criminal law. Remember literally millions of people do this everyday.
Can I get Detected ? Although you do have to register a BBC iPlayer account now to watch BBC iPlayer – your actual location cannot be determined when using a VPN. It’s completely hidden and no trace can be made back to your real address.
How Can use on my Smart TV ? Well you can use a VPN on a Smart TV to access iPlayer but it’s not straightforward. If you want to install a workaround on any device with internet access like this then you’re better offer using an alternative technology called Smart DNS. Here you just modify your DNS servers to hide your location – it’s simple and as quick as the fastest VPN and works with Amazon Prime too.
Here’s the best value VPN that actually works with the BBC in 2020
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.
There are of course few sources of entertainment quite as popular as the media company – Netflix. It’s name has become synonymous with streaming video and entertainment, in fact in some demographics Netflix is becoming a verb. To Netflix, or ‘I just Netflix’d all night’ means that you simply chilled in front of the TV (or PC, laptop or phone) and relaxed. You’re never alone with a Netflix account although if you’ve ever travelled and tried to use it you’ve probably been somewhat shocked.
The reason is that although your Netflix account is meant to be a global one, what you can access is very dependent on your location. So if you’re an American travelling in say Japan and you login to your Netflix account – you’ll be greeted by the Japanese version of the media site. For some people it’s a pleasant surprise and you may find yourself with lots of new movies and TV shows, but generally for a US account holder it’s invariably a disappointment. Simply put, the American version of Netflix is way better than any other and it’s likely you’ll end up missing a lot of your favorite shows when logging in to another country’s variant.
How to Change Netflix Country 2020
So what do you do if you’re stranded away from your preferred version of Netflix? Can you switch back to your favorite or are you stranded? Well fortunately there is a solution to change netflix country although it’s not quite as straight forward as it used to be.
Up until last year, you could easily just use something like a proxy or VPN server to switch to whatever version of Netflix you wanted. Literally millions of people did this and it basically meant you bounced you internet connection off a server in the country you wanted to pretend to be in. So if I sat in Japan and connected to a US based VPN server before I logged into Netflix, it would think I was in the US and I’d get the American version again.
Netflix’s Dastardly Plan
Here’s the problem though, last year Netflix decided that it wouldn’t allow this and came up with a fairly dastardly plan to block people doing this. Suddenly many people found their Netflix VPN not working and received only an error message. What the company did basically decimated all the VPN/TV watching services over night – they blocked access to anyone who didn’t have a residential IP address. This unfortunately included 99% of all the addresses allocated to the servers and virtually all Netflix VPN 2017 servers stopped working with Netflix.
A huge industry of bypassing the Netflix blocks and filters almost vanished overnight. It even blocked people who lived in countries where Netflix wasn’t deployed yet which was even worse because they lost access completely not just locked into their countries version.
Here’s the message you then got when you after the Netflix VPN ban started –
So can I use my Netflix account overseas?
Yes, fortunately the internet normally provides workarounds fairly quickly and now there are a few VPN services which will allow access to US Netflix again. Here’s how to watch Netflix from other countries – just look for a specialist VPN service.
What they have had to do is buy up residential IP addresses to fool Netflix which will only allow these addresses through their filters. There are only a couple of companies how have managed to do this, simply because these addresses are normally only assigned by Internet service providers and can be difficult to find. So if you’re looking for a way to change Netflix country make sure you check or test this works before buying any long term subscription. Lots of companies have conveniently forgot to update their websites and many still claim they work with Netflix still but they don’t
Our friends at Identity Cloaker have upgraded their Network to include residential IP addresses but currently only support US and UK Netflix access – however it’s recently been rather unreliable in this context. So to change Netflix country to the US I’d say your better off with another product. It’s not on the same level security wise but it allows access to all major TV stations online including switching Netflix to the US version.
You can even try out their free trial for 14 days to see how it works.