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The hackneyed saying goes that “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” and it very much applies to the difference between British and US Netflix. However, not only is the grass greener on the US side, but there’s a whole funfair built on top of it, with bottomless chocolate fountains, fireworks, monster trucks and a solid gold statue of Jerry Seinfeld.
So how can we denizens of grey old Blighty enter the streaming promised land? And is it legal to do so? Here’s how you can watch US Netflix in the UK.
Watching Netflix in the UK: Is it legal?
Before we begin, the thorny issue of legality needs to be addressed. After all, you don’t want your marathon of The Walking Dead interrupted by a SWAT team crashing through your window (although it might be a blessing in disguise).
But there’s good news: as long as you have a Netflix subscription here in the UK, there’s nothing technically illegal about streaming American Netflix because you’ve already paid for it. Unfairly, you can even stream UK Netflix in the States without any rigmarole.
That said, the company still isn’t very happy about you using a virtual private network (VPN) to access content that’s not available in Britain. Netflix has put a pretty bone-chilling warning in the terms of service that says it can “terminate or restrict your use of our service, without compensation or notice” if you violate the rules.
If you still want to take the (albeit small) risk, read on.
How to watch American Netflix in the UK
If you’re only going to occasionally use US Netflix (something we’d recommend), your best bet is to download and install CyberGhost VPN on your device for free. Handily, there are apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux.
Once you’ve set up CyberGhost, open up the app and click on the Simulated Country dropdown box in the bottom-left of the window. This will bring you to a list of available servers around the world (note that most of them aren’t available to free users). Scroll down to USA and click OK.
You will be taken back to the homepage, where you should press the big yellow power button at the bottom to connect. Unfortunately, as you’re using the free version of the software, there will be quite a few pop-ups begging you to upgrade to a paid plan, but just click through these. CyberGhost will then “fetch your server” – a process that may take a few minutes.
You’ll be given a specific IP address, which could be anywhere in the US – from sea to shining sea. For example, we were given an address in sunny Los Angeles.
When CyberGhost says that you’re “protected”, open up a new browser window (this is important) and fire up Netflix as usual. Hey presto, the streaming service will think that you’re viewing from America.
Nevertheless, always keep in mind that the company doesn’t want you to use a VPN so the coverage may suddenly drop or, if you’re very unlucky, your subscription may be limited or even cancelled – so use the tool wisely.
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