While Netflix is the most popular streaming service globally, it has limitations regarding content. For example, it is impossible to get some shows and movies in some parts of the world due to geo-blocking. This means that you may not be able to keep up with your favorite shows when traveling.
Or watch some awesome shows from other countries as you wish. Your only option is to change your Netflix region to circumvent these issues when you want to watch shows from a different country or if you are in a different country and want to watch your shows.
Keep reading to learn how to change your Netflix region without a VPN.
Why does Netflix use Regional Content Blocks?
Netflix uses Geo-Blocks because it’s the only way to respect the licensing agreements they signed with copyright holders. Netflix doesn’t own all the content on its platform. So it needs to license it from the companies that own it. However, they can’t always get global rights.
Because the copyright holders already sold the rights for other countries to different streaming sites and T.V. networks. So while Netflix has the right to stream Dexter in the U.S., it can’t do that in the U.K. since Sky G.O. owns the licensing rights there.
Additionally, Hollywood movie and television studios invest millions into each movie and show they make, and costs can vary widely. While independent studios churn out films for only tens of thousands of dollars, big blockbusters can cost hundreds of millions to produce and market.
With so much money at stake each time a film is created, the studios do their best to enforce copyright. And earn as much as possible for their investments.
Why change the Netflix region?
Netflix won’t buy rights for a certain show in a specific country if its data mining shows that users have no interest in it. It’s not a very profitable move for them, after all. And seeing how licensed content is a huge part of their budget, they can’t afford to make any mistakes.
Shows that came out before Netflix was available worldwide sold the licensing rights to third parties in the countries where their service wasn’t present. Despite having a global presence now, Netflix still can’t stream their Originals in countries where they don’t own the rights anymore.
Can I Change My Netflix Location Without Using a VPN?
Yes. You can. Below are some methods you can use to change your Netflix region;
Smart DNS Service
This is the easiest way to change the Netflix region without a VPN. However, it only works with specific websites and in a limited number of locations. And it is compatible with almost every device (including Smart T.V.s and games consoles). You will also need to provide your I.P. address to access the service.
Smart DNS is cheaper than most VPN services, and it provides fast connection speeds. However, it is also more difficult to configure than a VPN application. A Smart DNS service lets you change your device’s DNS settings to re-route your connection through DNS servers in a country of your choice.
Smart DNS is also faster than VPN, although this doesn’t always translate to better streaming resolution. It works by combining a DNS server with a proxy server to bypass geo-restrictions on content. Like with a VPN, Smart DNS tricks platforms like Netflix into thinking you’re physically located in that country, allowing you to access that region’s content.
For example, if you live in France and want to watch U.S. Netflix, you can re-route your DNS requests through a U.S. server and easily stream American Netflix from overseas.
Two popular standalone Smart DNS services optimized for streaming are Smart DNS Proxy and Unlocator.
Note: You don’t need to download software to use Smart DNS, which means you can use it to change Netflix regions on almost any device you stream on. This includes Apple T.V. and games consoles like Xbox, which don’t support native VPN applications.
This option is often free and easy to use, but it does not encrypt your traffic. Good proxy server providers offer a range of server locations. However, proxy I.P. addresses are easily blocked by Netflix.
Before connecting to Netflix, a proxy server can help you change the Netflix region by routing your traffic through a third-party server. Like a VPN, a proxy server hides your I.P. address and tricks Netflix into thinking you’re located in the country where the proxy server is based.
In other words, if you connect to a proxy server located in the U.K., you’ll get access to the U.K. Netflix library, regardless of where you are in the world. However, proxy servers don’t encrypt your internet traffic, unlike a VPN.
There are two main types of proxy servers:
These are accessed via a website and are usually free to use. Simply enter the URL you’re looking to unblock, choose your desired server location, and start browsing. Unfortunately, web proxy servers are extremely unreliable for unblocking Netflix because their I.P. addresses are widely-used and very easy for Netflix to block.
Browser Proxy Extensions
Higher-quality proxy servers tend to be available as web browser extensions. For example, many Chrome VPN extensions are proxy servers, not full VPN products. They route browser traffic through a remote server but don’t encrypt it. Some are free to use, but many charge a subscription fee.
Proxy servers are application-specific, meaning they only re-route traffic from the application they’re running on. So, for example, you can use a proxy server to change Netflix regions in your browser, but you won’t be able to do the same on an external Netflix app.
Proxy servers are less secure than VPNs and less reliable than Smart DNS for changing your Netflix region. However, they’re free and can sometimes unblock foreign Netflix libraries.
To use a web proxy server to change the Netflix region:
- Go to the proxy server’s website
- Enter www.netflix.com and choose a server based in the Netflix region you’re trying to unblock. Then, click “Agree & Connect.”
- Click “Continue to page” or wait for the timer to run down to zero. You may then have to click “Agree & Connect” once more.
- Sign in to your Netflix account. You should now be able to stream Netflix titles licensed in the location of your proxy server.
Note 1: Using a proxy server browser extension to change the Netflix region is similar to using a VPN browser extension. Read our guide to setting up a VPN on Chrome for instructions.
Note 2: A “transparent” or “anonymous” proxy server won’t help you change the Netflix region. That’s because an anonymous proxy hides your I.P. address but also tells Netflix you’re using a proxy, while a transparent proxy doesn’t even hide your I.P. address. Only “elite” proxy servers can unblock Netflix.
Remote Desktop Software
Remote Desktop Software (also known as Remote Access Software) lets you observe and control another computer from a distance. Businesses mostly use it for I.T. support, but you can use it to change your Netflix region if you meet the following three conditions:
You have a remote P.C. or laptop physically located in the country whose Netflix library you’re trying to access. For instance, to change to the Japanese Netflix region, you must have access to a computer physically located in Japan.
The remote computer is actively turned on and connected to the internet. The remote computer and the device you’re streaming Netflix on have RDS installed.
If you can meet these conditions, you can use RDS to stream Netflix content from a different region. Simply access and view the remote computer, navigate to Netflix, and start streaming.
You’ll be able to watch video content licensed in the region where the remote computer is located. You could also ask friends or family living abroad to set up RDS on their computers and let you connect to stream foreign Netflix content.
Remote Desktop Software is more complex than using Smart DNS or a proxy server. However, it can be useful to retain access to your home country’s Netflix library while traveling abroad.
It’s also more reliable than Smart DNS or proxy services because you’re not sharing the same I.P. address with hundreds of other users. Therefore, it’s unlikely Netflix will block your connection.
However, keeping a remote computer switched on while away can be costly, and there is often a slowdown in connection speeds due to transmitting the video stream between computers.
RDS is also susceptible to several security risks. Once the software is set up, cybercriminals are just one password away from being able to access and control your remote computer.
To mitigate security risks, use a strong password with multi-factor authentication. Also, be extremely cautious about who you share the password.
To use Remote Access Software to change your Netflix region:
- Download and install the Remote Access Software onto your home computer. TeamViewer lets individuals create “personal use” accounts for free.
- Open the application and note your Remote Access ID and password. You should also activate two-factor authentication and any other available security features.
- If your home computer is a Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility.
- Ensure the “TeamViewer” and “TeamViewer_Desktop” are checked. This is security permission that lets someone remotely control your computer.
- On your streaming device, download and install the Remote Access Software. Then, if prompted, log into the account you created in step 1.
- Enter the Remote Access ID and password for your home computer, which you noted in Step 2.
- You should now be able to view your home computer’s screen on your streaming device and control it.
- Navigate to Netflix. Your home computer will be the one visiting and streaming from Netflix, but you’ll be able to watch and control it from your streaming device.
Note 1: the video you stream on Netflix may be replaced by a black screen when using RDS. Try using a different web browser on your remote computer if you encounter this. For example, Firefox is less susceptible to the problem than Google Chrome.
Note 2: Do a test run of the above steps before traveling or leaving your home computer behind. Once you’re abroad, repeat steps five and six. Make sure your home computer remains on and active while away.
The Tor Browser
This option allows you to change your Netflix region for free. The Tor browser is a decentralized, open-source network that lets users achieve maximum anonymity online.
The service works by strongly encrypting your connection and routing it through at least three different servers worldwide before sending it to your desired website.
The Tor browser is free to use on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android devices, and there’s also an adapted Onion browser for iOS users.
While the browser is free to use, it is unreliable for bypassing Netflix’s geo-blockers. It is also extremely slow. If you stream Netflix using Tor, Netflix will think you’re streaming from the I.P. address of the final server that your connection goes through – known as the exit node. Therefore, you can change your Netflix region to wherever the exit node is located.
Note: If you use Tor for streaming, or any other activity, be aware that Tor presents some security risks and vulnerabilities. If you decide to use it, follow the best practices for configuring and using it safely.
To use Tor to change your Netflix region:
- Download the Tor browser from the Tor Project website.
- Click the .exe file, select your language, and confirm the settings you’d like.
- Tor will set itself up automatically.
- Open the Tor browser and click “Connect.” The actual browser is based on Mozilla Firefox, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to use.
- Visit check.torproject to confirm the browser is working. If you’re successfully connected, it says, “Congratulations. This browser is configured to use Tor”. If not, it says, “Sorry. You are not using Tor.”
- Go to Netflix.com. You should see a different selection of T.V. shows and movies compared to your home country.
Will a VPN Beat Netflix Content Block?
Yes, you can access Netflix libraries from countries other than the U.S. with a VPN. By replacing your device’s I.P. address with that of a foreign server, you can trick Netflix into thinking you’re somewhere else and unblock Netflix content.
VPNs are online tools that hide your I.P. address and encrypt your traffic. First, you use a VPN app to connect to a VPN server. And then, the two establish an encrypted connection.
The VPN server will act as a middleman between it and your device when you visit Netflix. It will intercept your connection requests and forward them to Netflix.
Due to that, Netflix believes your requests are coming from the VPN server. Since requests contain I.P.s, Netflix only sees the VPN server’s I.P. address. Your device’s I.P. remains “hidden.”
You just need to use a VPN server in the same country as the content you want to unblock (so a U.K. server for UK-only titles). Additionally, your ISP can’t throttle your bandwidth by encrypting your traffic. They won’t know you’re binging Netflix, just that you’re using a VPN.
To use a VPN with Netflix, here is what you do:
- Find a compatible VPN.
- Go to the VPN’s website.
- Make an account.
- Pay for a subscription.
- Download the VPN app on the device you want to watch Netflix on.
- Sign in to the VPN app.
- Connect to a server.
- Watch Netflix.
How to use a Media Streamer to change Netflix Region
Media Streamer works with U.S. Netflix more often than any VPN server. While Smart DNS tools allow streaming on a wide range of devices, they do not encrypt your traffic or hide your I.P. address.
In other words, your ISP will be able to see what you’re doing, and you won’t be protected from cybercriminals while connected to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. Some VPNs for streaming also offer their Smart DNS tools. Based on our latest round of testing, the two that works most reliably with Netflix are:
The setup process for changing your Netflix region with Smart DNS will vary slightly depending on your provider and your device. Still, the general process is roughly the same.
Here’s how to use Media Streamer to change the U.S. Netflix region on macOS:
- Sign in to your VPN account and go to the DNS Settings page.
- Find “I.P. address registration” and click “Register my I.P. address.” You can skip this step if it already says “registered” next to your I.P. address.
- Turn on “Automatically register my I.P. address.” This ensures your I.P. address is tracked, so you don’t need to re-register your I.P. address every time you move location.
- Be sure to sign in to your VPN account regularly so it can update.
- Find “Configure Media Streamer” on the VPN setup page. You’ll see two DNS server I.P. addresses – note them or keep the browser window open for later.
- Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your Mac screen and select “System Preferences.” Alternatively, you can press Cmd+Space and type in “System Preferences.”
- Select the “Network” icon. Then, make sure your current network connection is selected on the left-hand side.
- Click “Advanced” in the bottom right.
- Go to the “DNS” tab. If there are any existing DNS server addresses under “DNS Servers,” note them down and remove them by selecting them and clicking the “-” button.
- Press the “+” button and enter the first Media Streamer DNS server I.P. address. From Step 4.
- Press the “+” button again and input the second Media Streamer DNS server I.P. address. Click OK.
- Restart the computer. Your connection will be routed through Media Streamer’s DNS servers when it boots back up.
- Navigate to Netflix. The U.S. Netflix library should appear.
Note 1: Media Streamers only stream U.S. Netflix. However, some Smart DNS providers let you unblock multiple Netflix regions. Open your Smart DNS account settings and switch countries there to choose a region. Then, restart the device, load Netflix again, and you should see the new region’s content library.
Note 2: Some Smart DNS providers email you these DNS server addresses when you first sign up. If they offer you a list of DNS addresses, pick the two located closest to you.
Is Using a VPN When Running Netflix Allowed?
In the U.S, it is legal to use a VPN with Netflix, although the company doesn’t allow it, technically. However, some countries ban VPNs, so make sure that you’re following the law wherever you may be.
While Netflix has a ban against VPNs and proxy servers, it’s perfectly legal to use VPNs on Netflix; it may not work. This is because Netflix has specific licensing agreements with T.V. shows and movies, meaning that they’re only allowed to offer them to certain audiences, divided by country.
As VPNs replace I.P. addresses, making users seem like they’re elsewhere, you can see where this becomes a licensing issue. However, don’t worry about being carted off to jail if you use a VPN on Netflix. Unless you’re in a country where VPNs are illegal, you should be safe and sound.
How to change the Netflix region on a smart T.V.
Changing your smart T.V.’s region will give you access to additional apps and content from streaming services such as Netflix. In addition, a VPN can overcome geographical restrictions on apps and content by allowing you to connect to servers in different regions.
However, some smart T.V.s don’t support native VPN apps, but other ways are to change the Netflix region on smart T.V.
How to Change your Smart T.V. Region;
- Choose a premium VPN compatible with various devices and some routers.
- Install the VPN and connect to a server in your target country.
- Head to your smart T.V.’s settings, switch the region, and enjoy the new available apps and content.
Note: You can only access apps and content from one region at a time. For example, you cannot load the U.S. Netflix app and BBC iPlayer simultaneously.
How to Use VPN With Your Smart T.V.
You can use a VPN in a few ways to change the region on your smart T.V., depending on the make and model of your T.V.
Smart T.V.s that use an Android operating system allows you to install VPN apps directly from the Google Play Store.
- Download the VPN software and install the Android client (.APK file) onto your smart T.V.
- Run the app, connect to a server in your desired location, and change the region of your smart T.V.
Note: If your T.V. doesn’t have an Android operating system but has access to the Google Play Store, you should still be able to install the VPN app onto your smart T.V.
If your smart T.V. doesn’t have an Android operating system, another way to pair it with a VPN is by installing the VPN onto your router. The added advantage of this is that it connects every device connected to your router to the VPN.
Several pre-flashed routers come equipped with a VPN already installed. However, these VPN routers often come with a hefty price tag. Instead, you can flash compatible routers with your VPN software yourself.
Be aware if you choose this method, you are at risk of ‘bricking’ your router, making it unusable. Minimize risk by selecting a VPN that is compatible with your router and carefully following your provider’s installation instructions.
Once the VPN is installed on your router, your smart T.V. will share the VPN connection, and you will be able to connect to a server in a different location and then change the region of your smart T.V.
Network Connection Sharing
Another option for pairing your VPN with your smart T.V. is connecting it to your P.C. or laptop with an ethernet cable. This allows your smart T.V. to share your computer’s internet connection and its connection to your VPN.
Once you have restarted your T.V. and computer, you can use your VPN through your computer to connect to a server in your desired country. Then change the region on your smart T.V. and enjoy unrestricted global content.
How to unblock Netflix on iOS, iPhone, and iPad
Keep reading to learn how to change your Netflix region on an iPhone, iPad, or other iOS devices.
How to view geo-blocked Netflix content on iOS
You may need to use a VPN when watching Netflix due to Netflix’s various licensing agreements for shows on a per-country basis. For example, the classic British comedy Only Fools and Horses is only available on Netflix in the UK, Ireland, and the Isle of Man. So, if you want to view it in the U.S., you’ll have to connect to a VPN server in the U.K.
With a quality VPN like Nord VPN, you can choose from a long list of locations to connect through to view Netflix content from any country around the world.
How to install a VPN on iOS
- Every VPN has a slightly different installation process.
- Visit a VPN website to sign up for an account.
- Once you receive a welcome email, open this email on the iOS device you intend to use the VPN on, and click on the link inside.
- Enter the user credentials you signed up with, and scroll down to find the download links.
- Choose the iOS one, and you’ll be taken to the VPN’s iOS app on the App Store.
- Install it like you would any iOS app.
How to Unblock Netflix content on iOS
- Now that the VPN is installed on your device, open the app and log in.
- The app will ask you for permission to install VPN settings on the first installation.
- After you’ve agreed, you can now choose from the list of VPN locations worldwide.
- Choose an appropriate VPN location from the list, and press the big on/off button to connect to the VPN.
- Once the VPN is connected, open up the Netflix app on your iOS device and stream your desired content.