How to Access American Netflix from Anywhere on iPad, iPhone or Mac

Tips • August 14, 2023

netflix anywhere

The U.S. version of Netflix boasts an extensive collection of movies and TV shows that are often unavailable in other regions. Fortunately, there’s a way to access U.S. Netflix content from locations like the U.K. and beyond.

This guide will walk you through the steps to achieve this, utilizing a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to alter your virtual location and gain access to the U.S. Netflix library on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

RELATED: The Best Fast VPN Service for Netflix

Understanding VPNs

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, acts as a protective intermediary between your device and the broader internet. It creates a secure connection that shields your online activities and location. A standout feature of VPNs is their ability to manipulate servers, making it appear as if you’re in one country while physically located in another. This technique allows VPNs to trick Netflix into delivering content from the American version of the service, even if you’re abroad.

The advantages of using a VPN for Netflix access include:

  • Bypassing Geographic Restrictions: VPNs enable you to access Netflix libraries exclusive to certain countries, expanding your content options.
  • Privacy Protection: VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, safeguarding your online behavior when accessing restricted content.
  • Reliable Access: Some VPN services are adept at bypassing Netflix’s blocks, ensuring consistent access to foreign libraries.
  • Enhanced Streaming Speeds: VPNs can potentially provide smoother streaming experiences by routing traffic through optimized servers.

While free VPNs exist, for greater privacy protection, it’s recommended to opt for paid options, which you can find in our guide to the best VPN services.

Accessing U.S. Netflix on Mac

Utilizing a VPN to access U.S. Netflix content is straightforward, even when you’re outside of the United States. Let’s take NordVPN as an example, although alternatives like ExpressVPN are equally effective.

netflix vpn mac

  1. Visit NordVPN’s Website: Open your browser and navigate to NordVPN’s official website.
  2. Choose Your Plan: Click “Get NordVPN” and select the plan that suits you.
  3. Sign Up: Create your account and complete the registration by making a payment.
  4. Install NordVPN: Download and install NordVPN on your Mac.
  5. Open the App: Launch the NordVPN app and log in. Click “List.”
  6. Connect to America: Scroll to “America” on the list and click to connect.
  7. Verification: Once connected, you’ll see a green pin on the map, and the power icon at the top should also be green.
  8. Access U.S. Netflix: Open, log in with your usual credentials, and enjoy U.S. Netflix content as usual.

Watching U.S. Netflix on iPad or iPhone

The process for accessing American Netflix on iOS devices is similar. If you’ve set up a VPN on your Mac, it should cover your mobile devices as well. Here’s a general outline of the steps:

netflix vpn ipad

  1. Download VPN App: Download and install your chosen VPN’s app on your iOS device.
  2. Set Up Account: Create an account within the app.
  3. Enable VPN: Launch the app and use “Quick Connect” to activate the VPN.
  4. Choose a U.S. Server: Tap on an icon displayed in the U.S. on the map.
  5. Select Server: Pick a server from the options provided.
  6. Access Netflix: Open the Netflix app or navigate to the site on Safari. Log in with your regular Netflix credentials, and you should now have access to U.S. content.

Legal considerations

It’s important to note that using a VPN to access U.S. Netflix content from abroad violates Netflix’s terms and conditions. The terms explicitly state that content should be viewed primarily within the country where the account is established.

While using a VPN might be considered a gray area in terms of legality, Netflix reserves the right to suspend your service for violating these rules.

Furthermore, Netflix has been increasingly effective in blocking VPN services, making paid VPN options more advisable for continued U.S. Netflix access.

Frequent challenges and solutions

  • Netflix Detection: Netflix actively identifies VPN usage and blocks known VPN servers. To counter this, premium VPN services consistently update their servers and IP addresses to evade detection.
  • Intermittent Access: Due to Netflix’s ongoing efforts to block VPNs, intermittent access can occur. If you encounter difficulties, try switching servers within the same country or reconnecting to a different server.
  • Mobile Data Usage: Streaming content through a VPN might consume more data. Ensure you have a sufficient data allowance, especially when using mobile data.

Alternative methods for streaming

  • Smart DNS: Smart DNS services offer an alternative to VPNs for accessing geo-restricted content. By modifying your device’s DNS settings, they route specific traffic through servers in the desired country. However, they lack the encryption and privacy advantages of VPNs.
  • Browser Extensions: Some VPN providers offer browser extensions that channel only your browser traffic through a VPN, leaving other applications unaffected. This option can be useful for streaming content through web browsers.

Tips for smooth streaming

  • Server Testing: Before streaming, test various VPN servers to find the one with optimal performance.
  • Clear Cache: If encountering errors, clearing your browser’s cache and cookies might resolve issues.
  • Regular Updates: Ensure your VPN client is up to date to stay ahead of Netflix’s VPN detection efforts.

Accessing Netflix libraries from various countries

Indeed, you can use a VPN to access Netflix libraries from different countries, although this approach comes with limitations. VPNs can bypass geographic restrictions to access foreign Netflix libraries.

However, Netflix actively identifies and blocks VPN usage, leading to intermittent access as servers are blocked. Dependable VPNs for streaming Netflix maintain multiple servers in target countries and quickly adapt to Netflix’s blocks. Switching servers or reconnecting often restores access.

While speed matters less than compatibility, even basic speeds can support HD Netflix streaming. The legality of using VPNs to access foreign Netflix libraries depends on local laws and copyright concerns.