American Netflix has around 6,000 titles, while other countries lag behind. We'll show you how to access US Netflix from anywhere
Netflix has over 200 million subscribers worldwide, which isn’t surprising given that most people either have a Netflix subscription or are sharing one. However, when it comes to content, the US Netflix library has more films and TV shows than any other region. We’ll explain why and then tell you how you can access American Netflix, regardless of whether you live in the UK or anywhere else abroad.
At present, there are four countries that have around or just over 6,000 Netflix titles (films and TV shows combined): America, Canada, the UK and Australia. Although these four countries are neck-and-neck with regard to how much content is available at any given time, American Netflix is still considered to be the apex.
In recent years, Netflix has had huge successes in the form of Squid Game, Red Notice, Tiger King, Don’t Look Up, Bridgerton, Money Heist, The Witcher, Cobra Kai and The Queen’s Gambit. While these Netflix-exclusive titles are generally available instantly worldwide on Netflix, the availability of other movies and TV shows differ from country to country, with the US and UK generally getting the best Netflix content. But why does Netflix have this disparity between the content available in the US and UK and the rest of the world?
It isn’t because Netflix is trying to shortchange you. The main reason your country may not have the same, or as much, content as the American Netflix library is primarily because broadcast rights tend to work in favour of companies based in the US, which is home to the majority of the big broadcast studios and Netflix itself.
Now there’s both good news and bad news when it comes to watching American Netflix in the UK or any other country abroad.
The good news is that the process is very easy. In order to access American Netflix from anywhere outside the US, you simply need to use a good virtual private network (VPN) service. These services work by letting you access servers in almost any country you want, including the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Even better, you can just use your existing Netflix account to start watching the content broadcast in any of the countries mentioned above.
The bad news is that because it’s so easy to now access Netflix using a VPN, Netflix and VPN companies often find themselves in a game of cat and mouse, where Netflix is trying to block VPN services, while VPN services are trying their best to circumvent Netflix’s blocks and give their subscribers access to the world’s leading streaming service from anywhere. In the end, only the best VPN services manage to give you access to the US Netflix libraries regardless of whether you live in the UK or abroad.
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How to watch American Netflix in the UK or abroad: Step-by-step guide
To watch American Netflix in the UK or abroad, you’ll need an existing Netflix account and an existing VPN subscription. Don’t bother with free VPNs because they won’t give you access to Netflix, or might give you access for a short while and then revoke access without informing you.
- Close all your browsers and any open programs on your device.
- Open the VPN service on your device.
- Log into the VPN if you need to, choose the US as your location from the main section and connect the VPN.
- After that’s done, open Netflix on your browser or app and log into your Netflix account, if prompted.
- You should now see the American titles on Netflix.
- All of the VPN services mentioned below have 24/7 customer support, so contact them if you still can’t access Netflix. They also have at least a 30-day moneyback guarantee, meaning you can cancel at any time and get a full refund in case you’re not happy.
Best VPNs to access American Netflix in the UK or abroad
1. ExpressVPN: The best VPN for streaming
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve used, particularly via US servers. The service also has a strict no-logs policy and is based in the British Virgin Islands, so you can be sure that your data will never be misused. For its part, ExpressVPN doesn’t store any identifiable user data, only the important bits it needs to ensure that its connection is fast, secure and reliable.
ExpressVPN has software and apps for almost every device and you can use it on any five devices at the same time. There are tons of useful guides online and it even has 24/7 customer support. You can also ask customer support the name of a movie or TV show that you want to watch and it will tell you which Netflix library has it. How’s that for customer service?
Read our full ExpressVPN review
2. NordVPN: The best all-round VPN
The other VPN that gave us unrestricted access to US Netflix is NordVPN, which is our favourite all-round choice. It can deliver screamingly fast speeds via its VPN servers, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite programmes and films in glorious 4K, while its Panama base provides the peace of mind that the authorities aren’t monitoring your streaming habits.
Its PC software has a nice map-based interface, so you can quickly choose and connect to the US servers to access its Netflix content. NordVPN and ExpressVPN have been our top two VPN services for the last few years and we can’t recommend them highly enough, especially if you want to access Netflix libraries in the US and other countries.
Read our full NordVPN review
3. CyberGhost VPN: The most user-friendly VPN
CyberGhost VPN has a separate streaming section that gives you access to multiple streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and HBO. This means that you don’t need to select a country first because CyberGhost will automatically choose the fastest server for you based on what you want to watch.
It has a strict no-logs policy and can be used on seven devices simultaneously. Even though it only has a 24-hour trial period, every user can avail of its generous 45-day money-back guarantee. We tested its PC program, Android and iOS app and all three look the same and have similar features, meaning you can seamlessly switch from one device to another.
Read our full CyberGhost VPN review
4. Surfshark VPN: The best-value VPN
When it comes to price, Surfshark VPN is hard to beat. A single VPN subscription also works on unlimited devices unlike the other three VPNs mentioned above. Surfshark is a solid VPN that works across all platforms and lets you access American Netflix with just a few clicks.
Compared to the other three VPNs here, Surfshark is a newer entrant in the VPN space but it works and performs on par with the bigger and established names. Surfshark has recently added seven Netflix libraries including the US and UK, so you can view and compare cross-Atlantic content and stream whatever you want.
Read our full Surfshark VPN review