Being an immigrant student is hard. You are a stranger in an even stranger land, half questioning your decision why you ever took the burden of managing your studies and life in an unfamiliar place, away from your family and childhood friends.
I learned this the hard way when I moved to Sweden for my bachelors. The opportunity to experience life and learning in a new country was too good to pass on.
But much to my dismay, not only is it much harder to find your tribe of like-minded friends to hang out with in a foreign country (especially if you are an introvert like me), you can’t even have the same Internet that you have grown accustomed to back home.
I’m of course talking about the geo-restrictions that limit the sites you can access beyond the border. This includes Netflix, which has a considerably smaller selection of content in European countries.
You can only imagine the relief I got when I figured out how to watch US Netflix in Europe and gain access to all the shows that you can’t get in Europe.
So today, I’m going to share this knowledge with you and save you the trouble of getting bored out of your wits and being deprived of Netflix shows simply because you happen to be located in some different part of the world.
Watching US Netflix in the EU
To start watching US Netflix while you’re on your stay/trip to Europe, you need something called a VPN service.
A VPN changes your IP address by routing your traffic through a remote server located in a different country. This allows you to access those websites that only permit visitors from a certain country.
Netflix automatically presents a version tailored for the region a user is accessing the service from, based on your IP address.
So, if you’re accessing Netflix from Sweden, it will know that and offer titles that it has the rights to distribute in Sweden.
Therefore, the IP-changing action of a VPN comes in real handy when you want to fool Netflix into thinking you are located somewhere that you really aren’t in order to unlock content that you can only get by hoodwinking it.
But there are a lot of VPN software available out there, so much that you can easily get overwhelmed choosing one for your needs.
Let me make this difficult decision easy for you now.
The Best VPN Service
There are two important requirements that a decent VPN service for accessing US Netflix from Europe must meet:
- It should have servers in the US capable of unblocking Netflix
- It should deliver fast speeds consistently
One of the most reasonably priced VPN services that meets these requirements comfortably is Surfshark.
Surfshark is one of the most cheapest VPN services that gives the most expensive VPNs a run for their money in terms of performance. It has dozens of servers that are capable of unblocking Netflix from different regions, and the US servers are especially powerful when it comes to gaining access to your favorite shows and movies.
The provider is one of the few services that manages to escape Netflix’s detection features every time.
In addition, Surfshark is also one of the fastest services in the market and you need all the speed you can get to ensure high quality streaming on Netflix.
For these reasons, you can’t go wrong with Surfshark as one of the best VPN services for Netflix.
The setup process for installing Surfshark on your computer or mobile device and using it for Netflix is fairly simple. Follow the steps below to complete this setup:
Step 1: Visit official Surfshark website and sign up for a subscription suited to your needs
Step 2: Download the VPN app for your device
Step 3: Once the downloading is finished, install and launch the app
Step 4: Connect to a US server
Step 5: Now open Netflix app/website and you can now access US content library with all its exclusive shows and movies!
Most VPNs including Surfshark offer dedicated apps for iPhone/iPad devices. To watch US Netflix using Surfshark on an Apple device, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Open iOS app store on your iPhone/iPad
Step 2: Search for the VPN app you want to download
Step 3: In the search results, tap “Get” on the app icon
Step 4: Launch the VPN app and enter your credentials to activate it
Step 5: Connect to a US server
Step 6: Now search for Netflix in the iOS app store (if you don’t already have the app) and download/install it
Step 7: Launch Netflix app and enjoy the complete US content library on it while in Europe
Android, being the most popular mobile OS, easily has a large number of VPN apps available and the setup process of Surfshark is fairly easy:
Step 1: Open the PlayStore on your Android device
Step 2: Search for and download Netflix app on your device
Step 3: In the same way, search and download your preferred VPN app
Step 4: Launch the VPN app on your device
Step 5: Sign in with your credentials (or sign up for a subscription first if you haven’t already)
Step 6: Connect to a US server
Step 7: Launch the Netflix app and make sure you have enough snack to last you for the whole bingeing session
Netflix offers an app for PlayStation users. You can download it from the PlayStation Store by following these instructions:
Step 1: Select the PlayStation Store
Step 2: Click on Apps
Step 3: Choose Movies/TV
Step 4: Click on Netflix
Step 5: Select Download
Configuring the VPN
Now, for the trickier part: configuring a VPN on your PS4 since you can’t directly install a VPN app on your PS4.
Instead, you will need to share an Internet connection with your PC to enable a VPN PS4. This how to do it:
Step 1: Turn on your PC, right-click the Internet Access icon in the system tray and click “Open Network Internet Settings” > Change adapter options
Step 2: Right-click on the connection associated with your VPN and click on Properties
Step 3: Now, click on the Sharing tab and check the box against “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection
Step 4: Turn on your PS4. On the home screen, select the Settings menu
Step 5: Select Set up Internet Connection
Step 6: Choose Use a LAN Cable
Step 7: You might now see a range of prompts for Internet settings. If you choose Easy Setup option, the PS4 should be able to detect all the necessary settings automatically.
Step 8: When the setup is successfully finished, test your connection to make sure everything is in working order.
Step 9: You will have to keep the VPN on your PC running (connected to a US server) to passthrough the connection to your PS4.
Step 10: Launch the downloaded Netflix app now and begin watching your favorite shows on your PS4
Are Some VPNs Really Banned by Netflix?
In short, yes.
The truth is, Netflix would ban all VPN services if they had the ability. But for technical reasons, Netflix cannot do that. When Netflix announced in 2016 that it would start denying access to users that are using a VPN to watch Netflix, a good number of VPN services took a hit and their ability to work with Netflix was affected.
This led to the appearance of an error screen if Netflix detected you using a VPN to access the website.
Netflix detects VPNs and proxies by their IP addresses, which the service then blacklists to prevent future access.
However, the proactive providers in the VPN industry were quick to counteract the effects of this ban with the help of some backend techno-magic on their servers, and these providers are once again able to open Netflix from all regions without a hitch.
Surfshark is one of the services that has managed to deal with the VPN ban and is still able to grant users access to Netflix like a breeze.
So, you have to be sure that you use a VPN that isn’t under Netflix’s detection radar. You can find a list of VPNs that aren’t affected by the ban in our article on best VPN services for Netflix.
American vs European Netflix
The difference between American Netflix and European version of Netflix is greater than what most people realize. Here’s how some European countries fare in terms of number of titles on Netflix:
Source: Finder (Yes, Vietnam is not an EU country. You can ignore that one)
But if you’re living in the US, you’ll have the privilege to enjoy a lot more than this. The number of titles in US Netflix is considerably greater with around 5,632 shows and movies.
This is why a VPN can be so valuable for Netflix fans in Europe, even though they might cause the grades of us immigrant students to suffer. Such is the power of Netflix addiction which is so easy to develop with the huge variety of awesome shows available on it.
The life of a student isn’t easy by any means; certainly not when you’re studying abroad.
Although it was devastating for me to find that the content library of Netflix is smaller than it is for our American friends, it was a relief to discover the wonder known as VPN services, which is how I ultimately managed to watch US Netflix in Europe, and blow off steam in the simple pleasure of some quality Netflix time.
So, there’s no need to fret, guys. There is hope for us all in Europe yet.