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Recently, Netflix announced that it would be expanding its availability around the world. Now you can set up an account in every country except China, Crimea, North Korea and Syria.
That’s a pain though. Netflix is an awesome service, and nobody should have to go without it. If you live in or will be moving to one of those countries and you want to watch Netflix, what are you going to do?
Why can’t I watch Netflix in those countries?
The governments of these countries block lots of Western inventions, including Netflix and Twitter, for censorship purposes.
For example, China has very strict laws about what media content is allowed in the country. Any TV show or movie has to be viewed and censored by government regulators before it can be seen by any Chinese citizens. Violence, sex and nudity are all banned, as well as anything with political or religious themes.
That makes it hard for Netflix to compete with similar services that have the government on its side, especially because they’re often free.
However, not everybody thinks this kind of censorship is right, and therefore they have developed ways to watch uncensored video, and this can benefit anybody who wants to watch Netflix in countries where it isn’t available or the selection is limited.
How to Watch Netflix
To watch Netflix from anywhere, you need a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a program that will help you disguise your location and dodge geo-blocking, allowing you to connect to Netflix as if you were in the country you purchased it from.
Even when you have access to Netflix, your selection might not be as good as some other countries due to licensing complications. With over 7,000 movies and shows available on American Netflix, most of the best shows and movies won’t be available to you if you live overseas. But using a VPN can help you there too!
What is a VPN?
A VPN was first invented to help people sign into work networks remotely and securely.
It creates a secure tunnel between the source of data and its destination, and then encrypts that data. So even if someone did intercept your packets (or a unit of data), they wouldn’t be able to interpret them.
It can also mask your IP address, which is how it helps you watch Netflix from anywhere in the world. If you disguise your IP address as one in another place, you can watch Netflix as if you were actually in that location.
How To Get a VPN
Lucky for you, installing a VPN is super easy! The ability is hard-wired into almost every operating system, including mobile ones. Once you choose a VPN provider, you can just download their app and follow the instructions.
If you have trouble, the best VPN providers will have a reliable help service, sometimes conveniently over chat. This includes my favorite, ExpressVPN.
What else can a VPN do?
VPNs have been put to a lot of uses since their invention. Masking your IP address can also help you torrent anonymously, avoid the government tracking your internet activity and dodge general geo-blocking.
Using a VPN will also improve your internet security across the board, making it less likely that your accounts will be hacked, your computer will get infected, or your identity stolen. They can also make it safe to use public, unsecured WiFi, which should never be used otherwise.
What’s the best VPN to use?
ExpressVPN is pretty widely regarded as the best choice of VPN services, especially for beginners. It has a helpful chat for any technical difficulties and is compatible with all sorts of operating systems, including iOS, Android and Linux. They also have servers in 78 different counties, just in case you get bored with American Netflix!
Some free VPNs may seem tempting, but it’s important to know that many of them will run ads, slow down your connectivity, or log your information for third parties– or all three. It’s best to go with a paid service so that you’re guaranteed quality.
Has Netflix come to your country? What is the selection like? Let us know in the comments below!