December 21, 2020
6 min read
Six (easy!) steps to change your Netflix region
1. Choose a VPN plan if you don’t already have one. We’ll use Surfshark as an example.
3. Install Surfshark VPN on your streaming device. You can use one Surfshark subscription on as many devices as you want at the same time.
4. Open your VPN app and go to the “Locations” tab.
5. Pick a region you want to access Netflix in. For example, let’s say you’re in Australia and you want to stream US Netflix, then choose a US server closest to you.
6. Refresh your Netflix page, and you’re good to go! If, for any reason, you’re experiencing technical issues, check out our support page regarding Netflix errors.
Can I watch Netflix abroad?
Yes, you can use the same method as explained above to stream content from your original region when traveling or visiting other countries. Simply connect to a server located in your home area and enjoy your favorite content from anywhere in the world!
Why content is different across Netflix regions
Netflix offers thousands of movies, shows as well as its rapidly growing library of Netflix originals to its users around the globe. But being the biggest streaming service provider in the world does not allow Netflix to ignore legislation when it comes to streaming content.
Every country purchases rights to movie and show titles separately. Netflix has to adhere to the copyright legislation for every individual country. That’s why every single region has different streaming libraries.
Doesn’t that make changing your Netflix region illegal?
In short – no, it doesn’t. But streaming service providers often create an illusion that it is.
Netflix is an international business and a big one at that. The company adheres to legislation and public performance licenses for each individual country because it has to. Since a VPN can bypass these rules, Netflix has to show that it’s doing something to fight it.
As an online streaming platform that makes money off of subscriptions, Netflix is not in any way inclined to pool its resources into stopping VPN users from accessing its services. After all, if someone’s accessing Netflix through a VPN, it still means that they’re paying.
Which Netflix regions does Surfshark unlock?
As of now, Surfshark can unlock 15 different Netflix regions. Much of the content in these regional libraries does overlap, e.g., Netflix originals and other popular shows and movies, but each of them holds some exclusive titles as well.
For example, Japanese Netflix users can stream 5,000 shows and movies in total, out of which 1,200 are inaccessible in any other region. The closest to that is South Korea with just over 500 exclusive titles, followed by the US in third place with 300. Adding all the top 10 countries with the most exclusives, you’d get nearly 3,000 extra shows and movies to choose from.
Can you use a free VPN to change your Netflix region?
While it might be tempting to just pop “free VPN” into Google Search and use it as a quick solution to try and satisfy that urge to binge-watch something, it is a bad idea on many levels. And I’m not just saying that to promote Surfshark – any paid VPN service will be by default better than a free one. Here’s why:
- Awful streaming speeds. For smooth operation, VPN services require a good server infrastructure, which free VPN providers usually can’t afford. Physical servers not only cost incredible amounts of money to set up but also to maintain. If you want to stream content at no less than acceptable speeds, you will have to pay for a VPN.
- Personal data sharing. If a VPN provider is both decent quality and free, they’re getting their money elsewhere. Aside from servers, a VPN service requires staff to develop and sustain. Be it government funding or selling your personal information to online marketers and retailers, free VPNs make money somehow.
- Problems unlocking Netflix regions. Bypassing Netflix geo-restrictions regularly requires resources and manpower. If you try to watch something on Netflix using a free VPN, nine times out of ten, you will encounter proxy errors.
Get additional streaming and security benefits
Aside from streaming, Surfshark VPN can also help you improve your online quality of life by:
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