India is home to the Taj Mahal, Bollywood, and the Kati Roll. But not American Netflix content.
As of late-2020, internet penetration stood at 58.1% of the country’s total population (over 718.74 million of a total 1.37 billion people). The average internet speed in the country as of March 2021 measured at 34.13 Mbit/s.
The folks that have internet access in India can access the India-centric version of Netflix, which came to the country in 2016. However, the content offered on Netflix in India is different than that offered in other countries.
At the time of its debut, Netflix India offered only 7% of the same content offered by its United States counterpart and continues to lag behind U.S. offerings.
This lack of content can be especially disappointing to ex-pats, folks visiting India on business or leisure, and even Indian citizens who want access to movies and TV shows from outside Indian borders.
The easy way to access US Netflix in India...
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 NordVPN 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.
NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
Why American Netflix Can’t Be Accessed in India
Sadly, a Netflix subscriber located in India cannot access the streaming service’s content in other countries, such as the United States or the United Kingdom. While a Netflix subscription is good worldwide, access to the service is restricted to the local flavor of the service.
When you type “https://netflix.com” into your browser or use the Netflix app, you will automatically be routed to the version of the streaming service for whichever country you are currently in.
But why? Is Netflix just being a corporate jerk for not allowing access to other countries’ content?
Why Is American Netflix Content Blocked in India?
Netflix licenses all of its movie and television content from film studios and television networks.
The licensing contracts contain clauses restricting the viewing of the content in certain countries. Netflix is required to negotiate a separate licensing agreement for each country it serves.
The geographical licensing restrictions are why Netflix blocks any attempt to access a country’s content from outside of that country. They are legally required to do so. If they don’t restrict access on a country-by-country basis, they would face legal and financial penalties.
How Does Netflix Block Non-Residents From Viewing American Netflix Content?
When your connected device accesses the internet, it’s assigned an IP address, which works much like a street address for a physical home or business. The IP address is used to specify where information requests came from and where that information should be sent. (Much like your home postal address in the real world.)
All countries are assigned a range of IP addresses to be used by their citizens. Netflix uses your IP address to decide which version of the service you should see. By monitoring IP addresses and routing traffic in this manner, the streaming provider can restrict your Netflix access to your country of origin.
How a VPN Gets Around Netflix’s Barriers
What Is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) offers a number of capabilities to its users, not the least of which is the ability to make it appear as if the user is located in a different country by changing their IP address.
A VPN also offers added security to a user’s internet activities by encasing the connection in a layer of encryption.
This encrypted tunnel prevents any third parties – like the government, an Internet Service Provider or even that shifty guy down at the coffee shop – from monitoring a user’s online activities and possibly stealing personal or business-related information.
How a VPN Enables Access to American Netflix Content
It is a VPN’s ability to make it appear as if a user’s connection is coming from a different location that allows it to open up access to Netflix content in another country. This makes it easy-peasy for VPN users in India to access Netflix content in the United States.
When a user selects a VPN server in the United States, that user’s internet connection is routed through that server and uses that server’s IP address, which is a U.S. IP address. This makes it appear that the user is located stateside, not in India.
When the user connects to Netflix, the streaming service sees that the connection has an IP address originating in the U.S., so it routes their connection to that country’s version of the service, where the user can then binge to their heart’s content on U.S. Netflix content.
However, over the years, Netflix has gotten good at detecting when a viewer is using a VPN to access the streaming service from outside of the country.
Thanks to constant pressure from their content providers, when they do detect a VPN connection, they block that particular IP address from accessing their service.
Netflix’s banning skills have frustrated many VPN providers, leading them to give up on providing access to the streaming service; this is especially true for smaller VPN services, which may have limited resources.
Thankfully, there are still VPN providers who are hanging in there, striving to provide reliable Netflix access to their subscribers. Arguably, the best of these providers is NordVPN.
Methodology for Assessing a VPN for American Netflix in India
No VPN service provider offers the exact same features and advantages, so it’s important to choose a VPN that offers exactly what you need for gaining reliable access to American Netflix while in India.
The factors listed below are the most critical features that I paid attention to while choosing which VPN (NordVPN) to recommend for streaming U.S. Netflix while in India:
- Speed: Fast connection speeds are an important factor for any online activity, but especially for streaming video. Slow connections lead to long buffering times and low-resolution streams. NordVPN provided some of the most impressive download speeds in my most recent rounds of connection speed tests.
- Server Network: A VPN with servers stationed in the U.S. is an absolutely necessity when selecting a VPN to gain access to American Netflix from inside of India. But a large server network can also provide access to other video streaming providers around the globe. Plus, a large server count in each country means better performance, with no single server overloaded with a load of users all trying to connect at once.
- Value: When considering the value of any VPN’s offerings, always make sure the features offered are of an equal to or better value than its asking price. In this case, that will include reliable access to American Netflix streams. That’s why I ensured that I only recommended VPNs that offer an excellent return on investment.
- Ease of Use: It would also be awful to decide on a particular VPN, only to find that you can’t understand how to use its app. All VPNs I recommend in these articles are simple enough for even rookie users to get the hang of. Also, I try to ensure the provider offers comprehensive app support for as many popular device platforms as possible. Netflix is available on most popular device platforms, so your VPN’s apps should also support those platforms. NordVPN offers easy-to-use apps for a large number of devices.
- Security and Privacy: Comprehensive online security and privacy are important, no matter what you do online. Banking-level encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS/IP leak protection are the minimum level of protection you should settle for, and a VPN should actually offer more. Also, a strict no-server-logs=ever policy means no one can review your online antics while using a VPN. NordVPN offers comprehensive all-around digital security protections.
- Streaming: If you enjoy viewing American Netflix, you’re also likely to be a fan of the content offered on other streaming sites and services. NordVPN offers reliable access to not only Netflix, but also Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and other popular streamers.
Check out more information about my VPN testing methodology.
Over the last few years, I have found NordVPN to offer the most reliable access to Netflix out of any of the many VPN providers that I’ve tested. The provider makes a point of directing its resources toward maintaining access to my favorite streaming service when I’m away from the U.S.
The provider offers excellent connection speeds, customer support, and privacy protections; supports all of my devices; and provides above-average global server coverage.
In addition to the features listed above, NordVPN also offers a good bit of information on how to optimize your Netflix experience.
In my experience, NordVPN’s connection speeds are always more than up to Netflix’s recommended connection speeds. Performance like that is important in a country like India, where the connection speeds are slower than average.
Netflix seems to be available on just about every connected device available today, which makes multi-platform support particularly important. NordVPN offers native app support for most popular device platforms, including the Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Linux, and Android TV platforms. Browser extensions are available to protect your Chrome and Firefox viewing sessions. Plus, you can use the service with various routers. (Pre-configured routers are also available.)
NordVPN is an excellent value. The provider’s one-year and two-year subscription plans come out to pennies a day for excellent VPN protection. A more expensive month-to-month option is also available. All payment options offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you find yourself requiring customer support in the middle of the night, you can take advantage of this provider’s 24/7 chat option. A trouble ticket system and a support library are also available.
Global Server Coverage
Netflix lovers in India won’t experience any issues accessing Netflix from the U.S. (or any other country, for that matter). With 5,400+ servers in nearly 60 countries, NordVPN has your international access needs covered.
This provider keeps no logs of any kind that are related to their customers’ online antics.
Additional privacy protections can be had for users who opt to pay for their subscription with Bitcoin.
American Netflix In India FAQs
How Much Content is Available on American Netflix Compared to Indian Netflix?
At the time of this article, American Netflix boasts just over 5,600 films and shows in its library. Meanwhile, the Indian Netflix library is far behind, with more than 4,700 movies and shows present and accounted for.
Why Is Netflix Content in India Different From Other Countries?
Netflix's content deals with television and movie studios is on a country-by-country basis. This means that a movie you might enjoy while in the United States is not available in another country, such as India.
When visiting or residing in India, and you’re homesick for a little U.S. Netflix action, I highly suggest using NordVPN to open access to the streaming service.
NordVPN offers reliable access to Netflix, speedy connections, wide-ranging global server coverage, and top-notch multi-platform support, as well as optimal customer support and privacy protections.
- The easy way to access US Netflix in India...
- Why American Netflix Can’t Be Accessed in India
- How a VPN Gets Around Netflix’s Barriers
- Methodology for Assessing a VPN for American Netflix in India
- Best VPN to Use in India: NordVPN
- American Netflix In India FAQs
- How Much Content is Available on American Netflix Compared to Indian Netflix?
- Why Is Netflix Content in India Different From Other Countries?