How To Watch Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video When You’re Outside The USBy Lyn Atwood / December 10, 2015 / Tags: How-To, Unblock Content
When traveling abroad, here’s how to get access to your favorite video streaming services.
When in Rome… you might still want to relax with some TV comforts from home.
But many travelers are surprised to find that access to video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video is blocked outside the US. These services, along with many popular TV websites–like HBO, Showtime, AMC, and ESPN to name a few–block content based on users’ location. It’s called geo-restricting, and it can be a real hassle for travelers.
But there is a simple way to unblock geo-restricted content and watch US video streaming services from foreign countries. All it takes is a VPN. (I personally use ExpressVPN, and it works great — fast, easy, unlimited access to all my favorite TV from anywhere.)
If you don’t have a clue what a VPN is, you have lots of company. Here’s the simple version. A VPN, which stands for virtual private network, makes a public network like the internet into a private network.
It hides your device’s identity and effectively reroutes your connection through a secure server located in the country the website you want to access is based in. For users who want to stream video content from the US while abroad, a VPN can channel their connection through a server located in the US. Streaming services then “see” the user’s location as being inside the country, and unblock restricted content.
A VPN actually does a lot more than just restore access to geo-restricted content. For that reason, people who just want to watch Netflix while outside the US often find a VPN to be overkill.
Smart DNS is similar to a VPN — but unfortunately don’t work anymore to unblock Netflix and other services. (Read more about what does and doesn’t work to unblock US Netflix from abroad.)
For reliability and performance, one of the top VPNs for streaming is your best bet to get Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and other services while abroad. The cost of a VPN varies a little, but can be as low as $5 a month. For an increasing number of Americans, it’s a small price to pay to be able to watch their favorite shows from anywhere in the world.
Plus, it’s not only US residents who find the service handy while traveling. TV fans living in other countries are using VPNs to get US Netflix or Amazon Video when it’s not available in their country.
Like many other things, the internet is making access to entertainment available across the globe. So the next time you head abroad, you don’t have to miss out on the world of streaming TV that services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon put in the palm of your hand.