You already have Netflix in the UK, sure, but you’re still missing out on some awesome shows by not being able to use the US content library – Parks and Recreation, The King’s Speech, The Office, New Girl, The Walking Dead. The list goes on and on. Buzzfeed actually has a pretty recent list of 19 titles that are available on Netflix US, but not Netflix UK.
Is there anything you can do to unblock that content?
As luck would have it, yes – we’ll show you exactly how you can do that in this article. If you’re in a hurry, the tl;dr is that you should use one of these UK VPNs to get the job done.
The Easiest Way to Unblock Netflix US in the UK – Use a VPN
Don’t know what that is?
To keep it simple, a VPN is an online service that hides your IP address and encrypts your traffic. The “hides your IP address” part will be of interest to you because that also means it hides your geo-location.
So, Netflix won’t be able to tell you’re sending connection requests from the UK. As long as you use a US VPN server, the site will think you’re connecting from that region.
It’s pretty simple – the server acts as a middleman between you and Netflix. It will intercept your connection requests, and forward them to Netflix for you. Because of that, Netflix thinks the VPN is the source of your requests, so it only sees the server’s IP address.
To unblock Netflix US with a VPN, you just need to do four things:
- Subscribe to one of these UK VPNs.
- Download and install the appropriate app.
- Use the app to connect to a US server.
- Start binging Netflix as much as you want!
Make sure to use a VPN from the ProPrivacy guide we linked above, though. Not all VPNs can unblock Netflix. With many services, you’ll just get this error message:
General Tips for a Smooth VPN Connection
VPN speeds depend on your original speeds, so you might experience some slowdowns. They’re usually not huge, but they can get annoying sometimes. So here are some tips to help you optimize your VPN speeds:
- Use servers in locations that are closer to the UK. Stick to the East Coast and avoid the West Coast. Otherwise, it’ll take longer for data packets to travel between your device and the server, so your speeds will be lower.
- If you’re using OpenVPN, make it run over UDP instead of TCP. It’ll be faster that way. Alternatively, use more lightweight protocols like WireGuard, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec. Avoid PPTP, though, since its encryption is easily cracked.
- If possible, use wired connections instead of WiFi. That way, a weak signal can’t lower your speeds.
- If the VPN offers split tunneling, use it. You can force the VPN to only encrypt traffic from the Netflix app or the browser you’re using to watch Netflix. If it ignores other apps, there’s less data to encrypt and decrypt, so you get smoother speeds.
- Turn off background apps you’re not using – especially if you have an older device or slow ISP speeds.
- Make sure your firewall and antivirus aren’t interfering with the VPN connection. Set them to whitelist the VPN app.
Are There Any VPN Alternatives?
While VPNs are excellent unblocking tools, we understand they’re not for everyone. So let’s take a look at two alternative services you can use to unblock Netflix US in the UK: proxy servers and Smart DNS services.
1. Proxy Servers
They’re pretty similar to VPNs, really. A proxy routes your connections to Netflix through a server just like a VPN. So you just need to use a proxy in the US to unblock the site.
But keep in mind proxies won’t offer you privacy. They either don’t offer encryption, or provide weak security. On the plus side, that means you get better speeds.
Oh, and avoid free proxies at all costs. They won’t be able to keep up with Netflix’s IP detection and blocking since they don’t have the financial resources to keep refreshing their IPs. Also, their servers are often overcrowded and have capped bandwidth.
2. Smart DNS Services
A Smart DNS is an online service that hides your geo-location by tweaking your DNS settings, and routing your traffic through different DNS servers around the world (the US, in this case).
Also, the service will intercept your connection requests. When it does that, it replaces any data that leaks your geo-location with new information that points to a whitelisted region (the US).
Like proxies, Smart DNS services don’t offer privacy since they don’t use encryption. Also, they can’t hide your IP address. However, that also means you get very smooth online speeds.
And here is some pretty great news – most popular VPNs offer built-in Smart DNS services. So you get both security and lightning-fast unblocking with one deal.
Can You Unblock Netflix US in the UK with Tor?
Tor also hides your IP address, so it should be able to help you unblock Netflix, right?
Not really – Netflix is actually able to detect and block Tor connections. It says so right here. If you use Tor, you’ll get this error:
“Proxy error (code S7111-1331-5059)”.
Even if you’re somehow able to unblock Netflix with Tor, your speeds will be really, really slow. Tor has only around 6,000 servers and well over two million users. In our tests, we were able to get decent speeds with a VPN (70-90 Mbps). But with Tor, we got really bad results (1-2 Mbps).
What’s Your Experience with Unblocking Netflix US in the UK?
Have you tried using a VPN to do that? And were you successful? Or did you try the alternatives we mentioned?
Please let us know in the comments. And if you used unblocking methods we didn’t cover, don’t forget to tell us about them.