Singapore has many things going for it: an excellent education system, an efficient healthcare system and four of the World’s 50 most delicious foods. Sadly, one of the things they don’t have is access to the American version of Netflix.
Singapore’s internet penetration stands at 81%, with a Q1 2017 average connection speed of 20.3 Mbps and average peak connection speeds of 184.5 Mbps.
Singapore denizens do have access to a Singaporean version of Netflix, but no access to the United States version of the service. While there is a goodly amount of content on the Singapore service, it’s missing much of the content available in the U.S.
A Sampling of Netflix’s American Content Offerings
I’ve taken a look at the Singapore edition of the streaming service, and while the content looks entertaining, there are plenty of shows missing from my usual U.S. binge candidates.
The easy way to access US Netflix in Singapore...
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 Singapore
Although a Netflix subscriber’s login will gain them access to any of Netflix’s regional versions, the content they can access is limited to that which is available from inside the country they are in. So, if you’re visiting Singapore, no U.S. Netflix content for you!
When you enter “https://netflix.com” into your browser, or when you open the Netflix app, you are automatically routed to the content that is licensed for viewing inside the country you’re in, not the country where you signed up.
Netflix doesn’t arbitrarily place these restrictions on what you watch. Life would actually be easier for the streaming giant if they could allow global access to their entire catalog. However, Netflix’s content providers have their own prerogatives.
Why Is American Netflix Content Blocked in Singapore?
The content you view while using Netflix is licensed from movie studios and television networks. The streaming service signs licensing agreements for each region where the service is available. That agreement limits access to the content to that specific region.
While there is some crossover in what is available in each country, these contracts lead to much of the content that’s available in one country not being available in other countries. This means Netflix is required to ensure access is limited to the designated areas. Otherwise, they get visits from the studio and network lawyers. (EW!)
How Does Netflix Block Non-Residents From Viewing American Netflix Content?
When your computer, mobile device or other connected device connects to the internet, it’s assigned a unique IP address. The IP address works much like your home’s postal address. That’s how the internet knows what information your device is sending and receiving.
All countries are assigned a range of IP addresses that are to be used by devices inside their borders. Netflix can tell where a viewer’s connection originates merely by checking their IP address. The viewer can then be directed to the correct content for their country.
How a VPN Gets Around Netflix’s Barriers
What Is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) offers a suite of helpful tools that allow their customers to protect their online activities from prying eyes.
A VPN encrypts a user’s connection, making it nearly impossible for third parties to monitor your online travels, keeping your personal and business-related information safe from theft.
More importantly (at least for the usage scenarios we’ll discuss in this article), a VPN has the ability to make it appear as if a customer’s connection is originating somewhere other than their actual physical location.
This location “spoofing” ability makes a VPN a perfect tool to use for accessing Netflix content in other countries.
How a VPN Enables Access to American Netflix Content
A VPN’s “spoofing” ability opens up access to U.S. Netflix movies and TV shows in the following manner.
A user loads his VPN app and selects a server in the U.S. This makes it appear as if the user is inside the U.S. He connects to Netflix, and the streaming service, seeing a U.S. IP address, directs the user to that country’s movies and shows.
Sounds easy, right? And for a good long while, it was. Then Netflix got hip to the VPN action and started blocking VPN access to its service.
Netflix became quite proficient at detecting when a VPN was being used to access their content. They then began blocking the IP addresses used by the VPN servers. They became so good at this that smaller VPN services, those with limited resources, opted to drop support for accessing Netflix.
Some VPN providers still hang in there even today, although they can sometimes be slow to react when Netflix blocks their servers.
Luckily, there are still VPN services that offer access to Netflix and react quickly when they find out the streamer has blocked their IP addresses. The best of these remaining VPN services is ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN provides, arguably, the best way to access Netflix content from other countries. The provider does an optimal job of keeping the lines open to Netflix, no matter where you’re currently located.
During the time I’ve used the provider, I have consistently received fast connection speeds and excellent customer support from ExpressVPN. Also, the provider offers a large number of global server options and excellent privacy protections, as well as apps for all of the devices I use.
I also like ExpressVPN’s treasure trove of Netflix-related content, which includes an informative FAQ, helpful tips and tricks, and links to browser plugins and extensions, all intended to optimize your streaming experience.
I have, on average, seen protected connections from ExpressVPN that clock in at around 80% as fast as my usual internet speeds. Using ExpressVPN with a Singaporean connection should result in speeds that are more than up to matching Netflix’s bandwidth requirements.
While a fast connection is always important no matter what your online activity, speed is king when you’re streaming video.
ExpressVPN provides a speed test that is built into its apps. The test quickly checks the performance of all available VPN servers, making it simple to find the server with the best performance.
ExpressVPN provides optimal multi-platform support, with apps for all major connected device platforms.
An ExpressVPN subscription will cost you less than your Netflix subscription. The provider asks USD $8.32 per month (payable annually at $99.95) in return for their substantial services. A $12.95 monthly subscription plan is also available.
A 30-day money-back guarantee is available for all subscription plans.
If an ExpressVPN customer has an issue with their service, they can contact a customer support agent any time, night or day, via the provider’s 24/7 live support chat option.
A trouble ticket submission system and a searchable support library are available to lend aid in non-critical situations.
Global Server Coverage
1,500+ servers, strategically positioned in 94 countries around the globe, adds up to some pretty sweet global content-unlocking power.
ExpressVPN makes the most of being based in the privacy-copacetic British Virgin Islands. The provider is not required to keep any logs connected with its customers’ online activities, so it doesn’t. It’s that simple.
A Bitcoin option is available for privacy-minded customers looking to protect their payment information.
When you’re ready to settle into your favorite Singapore Sling (be it a drink or a hammock) and binge a bit on your favorite shows, ExpressVPN makes it possible.
ExpressVPN provides the best access to Netflix thanks to its speedy connections, optimal global server coverage and top-notch device support. In addition, the provider offers some of the best customer support and privacy protections in the VPN industry.