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How to watch American Netflix in the UK or abroad


American Netflix has around 6,000 titles, whereas other countries are lagging behind. We'll show you how to access US Netflix from anywhere

Netflix recently became the first streaming service to cross over 200 million subscribers worldwide, which is not surprising given that most people around the world 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, 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, not only because it's the home of Netflix but also because it consistently has one of - if not, the most - Netflix titles available to watch at any given time.

It's not surprising that Netflix gained over eight million subscribers in Q4 of 2020 alone. After all, it has provided hours of entertainment as most parts of the world are still in some form of lockdown waiting for things to return to normal. Netflix' biggest achievement during this time is undoubtedly its ability to deliver hit after hit when it comes to original content, especially TV shows.

Last year, itself, saw multiple Netflix successes in the form of Tiger King, The Last Dance, The Witcher, Cobra Kai, The Queen's Gambit and more recently Bridgerton and Behind Her Eyes. 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?

Contrary to what you may think, this is not because Netflix is trying to shortchange you. The main reason your country may not have the same content - or as much content - as the American Netflix library is primarily because of broadcast rights that tend to work in favour of US-based companies, which is home to the majority of the big broadcast studios and of course 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 VPN service (short for "virtual private network"). These services work by letting you access servers in almost any country that 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.

READ NEXT: Best VPN services 2021

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.

Once you have a good VPN subscription (like ExpressVPN or NordVPN), simply follow the below steps to access American Netflix anywhere in the world:

  1. Close all your browsers and any open programs on your device.
  2. Open the VPN service on your device.
  3. Log in to the VPN if you need to, choose the US as your location from the main section, then connect the VPN.
  4. After that's done, open Netflix on your browser or app and log in to your Netflix account if prompted.
  5. You should now see the American titles on Netflix.
  6. All of the VPN services mentioned below have 24/7 customer support, so contact them if you still can't access Netflix.
  7. All of the VPN services mentioned below have at least a 30-day moneyback guarantee, so 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

READ: ExpressVPN review

ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN we've used. Its speeds to the US, in particular, are worth noting because they're twice as fast as the other VPNs we tested. 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?

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2. NordVPN

READ: NordVPN review

The other VPN that gave us unrestricted access to US Netflix is NordVPN. Even though it's cheaper than ExpressVPN, it's not as fast connecting to the US, so unless you have a fast broadband connection, we recommend ExpressVPN. Otherwise, NordVPN is perfectly fine. Its PC program has a nice map-based interface, so you can quickly choose and connect to the US servers to access its Netflix content. ExpressVPN and NordVPN 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.

Buy NordVPN now

3. CyberGhost VPN

READ: CyberGhost VPN review

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 - based on what you want to watch - CyberGhost will automatically choose the fastest server for you. 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.

Buy CyberGhost VPN now

4. Surfshark VPN

READ: Surfshark VPN review

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 mentioned above, 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.

Buy Surfshark VPN now

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