I, much like millions of other Canadians, enjoy a good Netflix binge. However, I don’t always feel that I’m getting my money’s worth out of my Netflix subscription.
As of mid-2018, Netflix Canada offered a grand total of 5,480 titles (movies and TV shows). Meanwhile, Netflix in the United States offered 5,655 titles. While I am aware that 175 titles isn’t a big difference, keep in mind that the U.S. library has numerous titles that are not available in Canada.
Geez, just a few miles south is all of that tantalizing American Netflix content. Why can’t we view it?
We can. In this article, I’m going to show you how to use a VPN to unlock all of that sweet American Netflix content, and also tell you which VPN is the best one for the job.
The easy way to access US Netflix in Canada...
You don’t need to relocate to access the US Netflix library, all you need is a VPN, but not all VPNs will work.
I’ve tested a lot of VPNs and I find ExpressVPN to be the most reliable for access to Netflix USA and many other countries.
It’s really fast as well so you can binge in HD without the buffering.
ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
Why American Netflix Can’t Be Accessed in Canada
No matter where you travel, your Netflix login will gain entry to the local flavor of Netflix. But, if you’re looking to access your favorite shows and movies from stateside, you are going to be sorely disappointed.
If you fire up your Netflix app or type “https://netflix.com” into your browser, you will be automatically routed to the local version of the service. You’ll likely notice the available content doesn’t quite match the selection back home.
Netflix isn’t being a jerk when they do this – they’re simply keeping in line with the commitments they made when they signed their content licensing agreements.
Why Is American Netflix Content Blocked in Canada?
The movies and TV series you enjoy on Netflix (as well as those you don’t) are all supplied by movie studios, television networks and other providers.
Netflix signs contracts with each provider, which allow the service to stream the content to their subscribers. Those contracts designate exactly which regions the content is allowed to be viewed.
Those agreements are the reason why the shows and movies you watch in the U.S. aren’t available just a few short miles away in Canada. If Netflix doesn’t enforce these viewing restrictions, they’ll get unwelcome correspondence from entertainment industry lawyers. And that’s never good.
How Does Netflix Block Non-Residents From Viewing American Netflix Content?
When your computer or other type of connected device logs onto the internet, it’s assigned an IP address. The address acts as a point of reference for the information sent and received by the device. (Much like your home’s mailing address helps the post office know where to deliver the mail.)
All countries are assigned a range of IP addresses to identify connected devices inside their borders.
Netflix knows the IP addresses used by each country. It uses that information to identify the originating point of each viewer’s connection and to route that connection to the properly-licensed content for that country.
How a VPN Gets Around Netflix’s Barriers
What Is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an excellent tool for protecting a user’s privacy, keeping their online antics and the associated personal and business-related information undercover from third parties who would love to get their greedy paws on such info.
A VPN can also “spoof” a user’s location, making it appear that the user’s connection is originating from a country other than the one they are physically located in. This feature makes a VPN the perfect tool for opening up access to Netflix content, no matter where it’s stored.
How a VPN Enables Access to American Netflix Content
As I mentioned in the previous section, a VPN can be used to open up access to Netflix in other countries due to its ability to “spoof” a user’s IP address.
When a user is looking to access the American Netflix library, they do the following.
They load a VPN app on their device, connect to a VPN server located in the U.S. and then either visit the Netflix website or load the Netflix app.
Netflix sees that the viewer’s connection appears to be coming from the U.S. and therefore routes the user’s connection to their U.S.-based servers.
For an all-too-short period of time, this was an almost foolproof method for accessing Netflix from outside the U.S. However, Netflix finally caught on to what was happening. The streaming provider then quickly became adept at detecting when a VPN was being used to access their servers.
If Netflix sees a large number of users coming into their servers via the same IP address, the streaming service detects this as VPN activity and blocks that IP address from accessing their service.
Netflix has gotten so good at doing this that VPN providers with limited resources have given up on offering access to Netflix. Luckily, some continue to fight the good fight. The best of this group of VPN providers is ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is the best VPN provider around if you’re looking to access American Netflix content from outside of the U.S. The provider makes use of their impressive resources to keep access to Netflix open for its users.
The provider offers fast connections, top-notch privacy protections and comprehensive customer support. Its above-average global server coverage ensures that its customers can access Netflix content, no matter where it’s located.
With average protected connection speeds coming in at 80% of my unprotected ISP speeds, ExpressVPN’s connections should be more than up to matching Netflix’s recommended connection speeds.
ExpressVPN makes it easy to find the fastest connection thanks to its app’s built-in speed test, which tests the connection quality of all of the company’s VPN servers.
No matter which connected device you use, it’s a good bet that you can view Netflix on it. ExpressVPN has you covered, with excellent multi-platform support.
You can get a month of ExpressVPN service for less than you’ll pay for your favorite flavor of Netflix. USD $8.32 per month (payable annually at $99.95) is a reasonable rate for what you get for your hard-earned money. A $12.95 monthly payment plan is also available.
The provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you ever have an issue with ExpressVPN’s servers, you can get support any time of day via the provider’s handy 24/7 support chat option. A trouble ticket tracking system and a searchable support library are also available.
Global Server Coverage
Canadian Netflix viewers can access their favorite movies almost anywhere around the globe thanks to ExpressVPN’s global server coverage of 1,500+ servers in 94 countries.
Privacy is valued in the British Virgin Islands, and that’s where ExpressVPN makes its home. Thanks to the local government’s lack of data retention laws, the company keeps no logs of any kind tracking their customers’ online travels.
A Bitcoin subscription payment option protects your payment information.
When the hockey season is over, and you’re down to your last cheese curd, it’s time for a Netflix binge. And if your favorite movies and TV shows are based outside of Canadian borders, ExpressVPN will come to the rescue.
The provider offers speedy connections, excellent global server coverage, optimal privacy protection, top-level customer support and extensive multi-platform support.