The Netherlands offers a wealth of television streaming options. Dutch networks include AT5, NPO Start, NOS, SBS 6 and many others, including a Dutch version of Netflix.
Unfortunately, many Dutch streaming services are geographically restricted to allow viewing only to residents inside of the Netherlands.
This means that Dutch citizens who are traveling abroad, or Dutch expats who are living abroad, may not have access to their favorite shows and movies. Plus, Netflix and other international streaming services vary their content according to the location of their viewers.
Luckily, there is a way for Dutch TV fans to get their fix, no matter where they might currently be located. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) service can make it appear as if you and your favorite streaming device are both located inside Dutch borders. This will allow you to view Dutch TV content.
Keep in mind that not all VPN providers will have servers located in the Netherlands, and not all have a good track record of unblocking Dutch streaming television content.
All VPNs are also not created equal when it comes to such important considerations as privacy and security, connection speeds, native app offerings and customer support, so it’s important to pick a VPN you can trust to provide good service.
The Best Way to View Dutch Television From Abroad
Dutch streaming services usually restrict their viewing audience to those viewers living in the Netherlands.
This is common among streaming services, as most national services restrict their viewing to their own country, while international streamers, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, vary their content according to the viewer’s geographic location.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can bust through geographical roadblocks, delivering access to Dutch television streaming services, allowing Dutch TV fans to view their favorite television shows and movies.
After extensive testing, I’ve found that ExpressVPN is the best VPN available today for unblocking geo-protected content from nearly any country around the globe, the Netherlands included.
ExpressVPN offers a wide-ranging global server network, fast connection speeds, excellent device compatibility, and top-notch online security and privacy protections.
ExpressVPN offers a risk-free, 30-day money-back guarantee.
Why Do Dutch Streaming Services Ban International Viewers?
Even though you may pay your subscription fee for your favorite streaming services, you may find that when you’re outside of Dutch borders, you don’t have access to those services.
This isn’t because the people who run the streaming services are jerks – it’s because they are forced to do so due to the contracts they sign with television and movie studios. Those contracts restrict viewing of the contracted content to certain geographic areas.
So, streaming services must either block access from outside their contracted viewing area, or must only make certain content available outside of that area.
The benefits to the television and movie studios are two-fold.
First, it allows the studios to sell the rights to their content more than once, increasing their revenue many times.
Second, it prevents any issues from arising in countries where the government or local religious groups are heavy with the censor’s hand. (It’s mostly the first reason, though.)
How Do Geo-Restrictions Work?
To understand how geographical content restrictions are enforced, you must first understand what an IP address is.
Every internet-connected device you own has a unique IP address. This is how it is identified. An IP address, much like your home’s postal address, identifies it so that other devices on the internet can know where an information request was sent from, and where the reply should be sent to.
Each country has been assigned a specific range of IP addresses for use by devices in that country. This means an IP address can be used to identify a device’s geographical location.
This allows online sites and services (such as your favorite Dutch streaming service) to detect your location and determine if you should be allowed to access the desired content.
How Can I View Dutch Television If It’s Blocked?
If you’re currently outside of the Netherlands and you want to catch up on your favorite Dutch shows, you will need to make it appear as if you are still inside Dutch borders. You’ll need to do this by “spoofing” a Dutch IP address by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
As mentioned above, by using a VPN app, you can route your internet connection through a VPN server located in another country (for our purposes, that’s the Netherlands), which will assign your device a Dutch IP address and make the rest of the internet believe you are in the Netherlands.
Once you’ve obtained an IP address in the Netherlands, Dutch streaming services will happily “treat” you to their content.
While we’re discussing what a VPN can do for you, let’s take a quick look at the other features and advantages a VPN has to offer.
A VPN also provides online security and privacy protection by encasing your internet connection in a tunnel of encryption. This prevents nosy nellies – like the guy at the next table over at Starbucks, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or even the government – from monitoring your online travels.
That same encrypted coating also prevents your friendly ISP from throttling or blocking your connection when you’re sharing files via BitTorrent or streaming video from “unapproved” services.
Which VPN Should I Use to Unblock Dutch Television?
A few years ago, I could have recommended nearly any reputable VPN provider, and there was a good chance you could use it to gain reliable access to Dutch TV streams. Sadly, that is no longer true.
Streaming services – including AT5, NPO Start, NOS, SBS 6, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others – have all become quite adept at detecting and blocking VPN access to their servers.
When this happens, a VPN provider must quickly respond by setting up new VPN servers, with new, unblocked IP addresses, which should restore their users’ access to the blocked streaming service.
Keep in mind that it is extremely likely that the streaming service will again notice and block the IP addresses from the most recent servers, which will be blocked again. The next move belongs to the VPN provider.
This means you’ll want to subscribe to a VPN provider that has the resources and willingness to compete in this virtual chess match with the streaming companies.
I have found one VPN provider that offers reliable access to streaming services in the Netherlands and most other countries. It also does an excellent job of protecting and enhancing all of your online activities.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN service I have ever tested to provide reliable access to blocked content in the Netherlands and just about any other country around the globe.
The VPN offers top-notch online security, a comprehensive global server network, speedy downloads, and excellent app and customer support.
Read the full ExpressVPN review here.
1. Connection Speed
When considering a VPN for unblocking a streaming service, you’ll want to pay close attention to how much they slow down your connection speeds.
In my most recent round of download speed testing, I found that ExpressVPN offered the best download speeds of any provider tested.
Depending on your usual download speeds, ExpressVPN’s connections will be able to handle the HD and 4K video streams that today’s streaming services offer. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about any daily or monthly data caps spoiling your viewing binges.
2. Multi-Platform Support
Most popular streaming services are available on a wide variety of devices – desktop, laptop, mobile or gaming. Your favorite streaming network is probably available for it. This makes comprehensive multi-platform app support an important feature of any VPN service you might consider.
ExpressVPN has all of the major device platforms covered, and then goes a few steps further.
In addition to apps for the Android, Amazon Fire, iOS, Windows, macOS, Chromebook and Linux device platforms, the service offers VPN browser extensions for use with the Chrome and Firefox platforms. Plus, it offers compatibility with numerous router makes and models.
The provider’s MultiStreamer DNS service enables set-top devices, gaming consoles, smart TVs and other streaming-capable devices to access blocked content. (However, MediaStreamer does not encrypt your connection like the full-blown VPN does, so keep that in mind.)
Up to 5 devices can connect to the VPN service at once while using the same set of login user credentials.
3. Customer Support
While ExpressVPN has proven to be uber reliable over the few years I’ve used it as my main VPN service, I have had the occasional support question.
When I couldn’t find an answer by searching the provider’s easy-to-use support library, I had my questions answered immediately by making use of the 24/7 live support chat feature. Email support and a support ticket tracking system are also available.
4. Global Server Coverage
While this article has focused on accessing streaming content from the Netherlands, it should also be mentioned that this provider’s excellent global server coverage will provide access to geo-blocked content in nearly any other country around the globe.
ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers located in 94 countries around the globe, including servers stationed in The Hague, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
There’s no question that ExpressVPN is more expensive than many of its fellow VPN providers. However, the provider’s top-notch features and performance make it well worth the money.
ExpressVPN offers a no-risk, 30-day money-back guarantee.