Thailand is home to Khon dance dramas, spicy cuisine and Muay Thai kickboxing. However, if you’re looking for access to Netflix content from America, you’re out of luck. Ain’t that a kick in the head?
Internet penetration in Thailand stood at 47.5% of a population of 68.9 million as of 2017. There aren’t a lot of up-to-date figures as far as connection speeds in the country go, but Akamai’s Q3 2015 rankings showed Thailand had an average connection speed of 8.2 Mbps.
Thai film lovers have access to a Thailand-based Netflix collection, but they do not have access to the streaming provider’s U.S.-based library of content.
While I’m sure Netflix in the country is entertaining, if limited, it can’t match the number of films and television shows available in the United States.
The easy way to access US Netflix in Thailand...
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 Thailand
Your Netflix subscription will gain you entry to any Netflix gateway around the world. However, your content selection will be limited to whatever is licensed for the country you are residing in.
That means that, while you are visiting Thailand, you’re locked out of the U.S. version of the streaming service.
Netflix subscribers abroad who use the Netflix app or enter “https://netflix.com” into their browser are routed exclusively to the content licensed for viewing inside the country they’re residing in, not the country where they signed up.
This isn’t done merely out of an urge on Netflix’s part to be controlling, but is instead a controlling action on the part of their content production partners.
Why Is American Netflix Content Blocked in Thailand?
Netflix content is licensed from movie studios and television networks. A separate agreement is signed for each country Netflix serves. Each deal restricts access to the content to that specific country.
While there is undoubtedly a bit of crossover as to the content made available for each region, these contracts lead to a situation where much of the content isn’t available in all countries. Netflix is required to ensure that access to said content is limited to the contracted area.
If they fail to do so, entertainment industry lawyers come calling.
How Does Netflix Block Non-Residents From Viewing American Netflix Content?
When a device connects to the internet, it is assigned a unique IP address. The address acts as an identifier for the device, much like your home is identified by its mailing address. It helps determine where the information your device receives and sends should be routed.
All countries use a range of IP addresses that are assigned to them for use by connected devices inside their borders. Netflix uses a device’s IP address to determine its location and which version of Netflix it should have access to.
How a VPN Gets Around Netflix’s Barriers
What Is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides a number of helpful services to its users. A VPN encrypts a user’s internet connection, making it difficult for a third party, such as a hacker or a government agent, to monitor the user’s online activities and their related personal and business information.
The most important feature of a VPN, at least for Netflix access, is the service’s ability to “spoof” a user’s IP address, making it appear as if the user is located elsewhere. This “spoofing” capability is what allows a user to view Netflix content from another country.
How a VPN Enables Access to American Netflix Content
To access U.S. Netflix, a user loads their VPN app and selects a VPN server in the U.S. They then connect to Netflix via their browser or an app.
The streaming service sees the connection coming in from a U.S. IP address, so it connects it to the U.S. content trove and the user happily streams their favorite content. Easy peasy, right?
Yeah, it was – until Netflix figured out how to tell if a user was riding a VPN connection into their service.
The streaming giant eventually became quite good at detecting when a VPN was being used to connect to their servers. Then came the blocking of the IP addresses used by the VPN servers.
IP-blocking started happening so often that VPN providers with limited resources gave up trying to keep the lines open to Netflix. Some VPNs continued to work to keep access to Netflix open for their customers, but were slow to respond when IP addresses were blocked.
However, there is still a group of VPNs that are staying in the game, providing access to Netflix and responding quickly with new IP addresses when they discover older IPs have been blocked. The best of these remaining providers is ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN is currently the best way to maintain your access to American Netflix content when you’re in another country. The provider responds quickly when action is required to keep the show going.
In all my time using the VPN service, it has provided more than enough bandwidth, offered excellent customer support and privacy protection, and has made available an above-average number of global access points for my needs.
Connection speeds provided by ExpressVPN, on average, come in within 20% of my unprotected speeds. While Thailand’s average connection speeds aren’t the best around, ExpressVPN shouldn’t slow them by much, making them more than up to Netflix’s bandwidth requirements.
Fast connections are always important for streaming, but finding the fastest VPN server connection isn’t always easy. However, this provider makes it easier to pull off by including a speed test feature in their apps, which tests every available server farm, helping users find the fastest available connections.
No matter which device you use to access Netflix, ExpressVPN likely has you covered. The provider offers native app support for all of the popular device platforms.
An ExpressVPN subscription is cheaper than a night at the movies – even most bargain matinees! Their price of entry is a mere USD $8.32 per month (payable annually at $99.95). You can also opt for a $12.95 month-to-month option.
In both cases, you’re protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee (not that you’re going to need it).
If you ever have an issue with your VPN service, Netflix-related or otherwise, you can rest easy knowing the provider’s customer support folk are always available through convenient 24/7 live support chat.
You can also submit a trouble ticket or look up your own answer via a searchable support library.
Global Server Coverage
Netflix content can’t hide from ExpressVPN’s 1,500+ servers in 94 countries around the world.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, where the government does not require VPNs to keep logs of their users’ online antics. That means there will be no tracking of you while you’re using the service.
If you want to protect your subscription payment information, take advantage of the provider’s Bitcoin payment option.
ExpressVPN is, in my not-so-humble opinion, the best way to access American Netflix, no matter where you’re located.
The provider keeps their customers’ online activities undercover, opens up access to Netflix via their wide-ranging global server coverage, provides excellent customer support and keeps your video entertainment streaming smooth via their fast connections.