Yes, we’re aware the question sounds a bit weird and repetitive. But, in our defense, this is the exact phrasing we saw when we looked up keywords. Also, this is the same question many of our readers sent us. People on Reddit and Quora also posted it like this – word for word.
In the end, we decided to keep it this way to make sure it grabs the attention of anyone looking for an answer.
Speaking of answers, you’ll find all of them in this article. We’ll see whether or not Netflix content varies from country to country, why that might happen, and what you can do to watch shows and movies that are technically not available in your area.
So, Is Netflix Different in Different Countries?
Short answer – yes, it is.
Long answer – yes, what shows and movies you can watch depend on what country you’re currently in. That’s because Netflix uses geo-blocks to split its site into different regional libraries.
You can actually use StreamCatcher from ProPrivacy to check what content you could watch on Netflix from other countries. Just look up the title that’s not available in your area and the service will tell you what countries have it.
Here’s an example of what we saw when we looked up Friends:
As you can see, the availability of the series if pretty lacking – considering that Netflix is works in over 190 countries.
Why Isn’t Netflix Content the Same Worldwide?
In a perfect world, that’s exactly how Netflix would work. But we don’t live in one. Instead, we live in a world where licensing agreements decide what you can and can’t watch in your country.
Here’s the thing – Netflix doesn’t own all the titles you see on their platform. They license most of them from copyright holders so that they can legally stream them on their platform.
Unfortunately, Netflix often can’t get global rights, just licensing rights for certain countries. So, they need to use geo-blocks to make sure only people in those regions can watch them on their site. Otherwise, they’d breach the contracts they signed.
Is That Also True for Netflix Originals?
Not for all of them – at least not the recent ones. Since Netflix owns the copyright, they can freely stream their original programming everywhere their service is available.
But there are a few exceptions – like Orange Is the New Black and Lilyhammer. Those series aren’t available worldwide because Netflix doesn’t own the licensing rights for some countries.
Because they sold them when the shows first launched because their service wasn’t available there back then. Now that it is, Netflix first has to buy back those licensing rights if they want to start streaming their Originals in those regions.
Can You Watch Netflix Titles That Aren’t Available in Your Area?
Yes, you can – just use a VPN. It’s an online service that stops Netflix from seeing what country you are from. It does that by routing your traffic through a VPN server that acts as a middleman between you and Netflix.
Basically, your connection will look like this:
You à VPN Server à Netflix
Netflix will think your traffic is coming from the VPN, not your device. Due to that, the site will associate your connection request with the VPN’s IP.
What we’re trying to say is that Netflix will think you’re physically located where the VPN server is. That means you’ll end up on the regional content library that matches the VPN’s geo-location.
So if you use a US VPN server, you can watch shows and movies that are available on Netflix US.
Finding a good Netflix VPN can be tough, but we’ll make it easy for you. We already tested over 40 VPNs to see which ones work best with Netflix. According to our results, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost VPN are great picks.
Can You Also Unblock Netflix Content with Tor?
Maybe. We can’t vouch for how good of an unblocker Tor is since we were never able to unblock Netflix with it. Every time we tried signing in, Netflix would keep saying our login credentials were wrong – even though we had no problem signing in on a different browser with a VPN, using the same credentials.
And yes, we made sure we used the correct email and password. We checked so many times we lost count.
Is that Netflix’s way of blocking Tor?
Who knows? While Tor hides your IP like a VPN, the service was designed for privacy, not unblocking content. So it’s not like Tor servers change their IPs very often. And it’s not hard for Netflix to block them seeing as how you can easily find them online.
But let’s say that you manage to unblock Netflix with Tor. If you continue using this unblocking method, you won’t have a fun streaming experience.
Because Tor has very slow speeds. In our tests, we usually averaged around 2-3 Mbps. That might be enough for SD quality, but it’s not enough for HD streaming. And definitely nowhere near enough for Ultra HD quality (over 25 Mbps).
Why Is Tor So Slow?
We think it’s because:
- Tor encrypts and decrypts your traffic at least three times. That takes its toll on your CPU.
- Tor bounces your traffic through at least three servers. It takes longer for data packets to travel between your device and Netflix.
- Finally, there are far too few Tor servers (around 6,000-6,500) for how many Tor users there are (a little over two million). There’s simply not enough bandwidth to go around.
Anything You’d Like to Add?
If you know other reasons why Netflix uses geo-blocks, or are aware of other unblocking methods that work with Netflix, please let us know in the comments below. Also, we’d appreciate any feedback you can give, so please tell us what you thought about our article too.