Netflix is an awesome streaming platform, but you can only enjoy it to the max if you're from the US, the UK, or Canada.
Because those countries have the most Netflix titles (over 5,690). Other countries like Portugal and Norway only have around 3,000 titles. Pretty unfair, if you ask us. If you'd like a more in-depth look, use StreamCatcher to closely analyze Netflix's full library. Just look up a title and the tool will tell you what countries it's available in.
If you happen to live in a country with a low number of Netflix titles, is there anything you can do to unblock other libraries? You're also probably wondering the same thing if you live in a country like the US or Canada, but are currently abroad.
Well, we're happy to say that yes, you can do that. And don't worry - you won't need to physically visit those countries to unblock the shows and movies you want.
How to Switch Netflix Libraries - Just Use a VPN
This is by far the simplest way to do this. If you're not familiar with VPNs, here's a quick intro: they're online tools that hide your IP address and encrypt your traffic. By stopping Netflix from seeing your IP, VPNs prevent it from knowing your geo-location. Without that information, Netflix can't redirect you to your country's content library.
If you'd like to know how a VPN hides your IP, it's really simple - you use a VPN app to connect to a VPN server, and the server routes your connection requests (which contain your IP) to Netflix. That leads Netflix to believe your traffic is coming from the VPN, not your device. So it only sees the VPN's IP address.
If you're having trouble picturing how that works, here's a helpful image:
We know that still might sound confusing, but don't worry - using a VPN to unblock Netflix is extremely simple. Here's what you have to do:
Download and install the provider's app.
Run the app, and use it to connect to a VPN server. NOTE: The server has to be in the same country as the Netflix library you want to unblock (so the US for the US library).
That's it! Log into your Netflix account, and start binging as many shows and movies as you want.
WARNING - Not All VPNs Can Unblock Netflix
Unfortunately, you can't just pick any VPN off the web, and use it to unblock Netflix. The site is pretty good at detecting VPN IP addresses. When it does that, it redirects users to the Netflix proxy error page.
You won't get in trouble, so don't worry. Contrary to what many people say, Netflix won't ban you for using a VPN. But you won't be able to bypass that landing page unless you disconnect from the VPN (which means no more access to different Netflix libraries).
While there are some things you can try to avoid the Netflix proxy error, the most efficient solution is to use a VPN that can actually unblock Netflix. That basically means using a VPN that regularly refreshes its IPs, so that Netflix doesn't detect them.
The problem is that VPN providers normally don't mention how often they do that. You could ask their support reps, sure, but why waste time with that when we can tell you which VPNs are able to fully unblock Netflix 24/7?
We tested over 50 providers, and came to the conclusion that ExpressVPN and NordVPN are the best Netflix VPNs on the market right now. We were always able to unblock the Netflix content we wanted while using those providers.
How Does Netflix Geo-Block Its Libraries?
It uses your IP address to see what your geo-location is, and it then redirects you to the Netflix library associated with that IP address.
Here's how the process would look like if you were from Germany:
When you visit Netflix, your device sends connection requests to the site. Those requests contain your IP address.
Netflix checks the requests - particularly your IP to see what country and city you are from.
Once Netflix sees you're from Germany, it redirects your traffic to the German content library (which might be missing some titles).
Why Does Netflix Use Geo-Blocks?
They don't have a choice, really. They have to geo-block content to comply with licensing agreements. Since they don't own most of the content they broadcast, they have to license it from the copyright holders. And those third parties often sell licensing rights for one show to multiple streaming sites and TV networks across the globe.
For example, while Netflix might have the rights to Dexter in the US, they don't own them in the UK. Sky seems to own them there since the show is available on Sky Go and NOW TV. So Netflix geo-blocks Dexter in the UK. Otherwise, it might seem like they're illegally streaming it there.
Besides that, another reason why Netflix often doesn't have global rights for a title is because their analytics showed that people in certain countries wouldn't be interested in it. Since licensing content is a huge expense for them, they can't afford to make investments that don't have a positive ROI. For Netflix, that might mean:
Reduced customer churn;
If a show or movie can't offer them that, there's not much reason for Netflix to waste money on it. It sounds harsh, we know, but the company could end up in the red if they were to get global rights for every piece of content it comes across.
How Do You Like to Switch Netflix Libraries?
Do you use a VPN like us, or do you rely on other unblocking methods? If you do use a VPN, could you let us know which provider it is? Also, if you know other reasons why Netflix uses geo-blocks, please mention them in the comments below.