This post describes the cheapest way to get American Netflix from other countries by using a VPN, specifically:
- Cost is $2 USD per month (about $2.83 Aussie dollars)
- Pay per month plan – no commitment!
- Unlimited data
The best thing about this plan is that you pay by the month – no need to sign up for an annual contract just to get a decent monthly rate. And if you’re not 100% satisfied, you can easily cancel and the most you’ll lose is $2, so it’s pretty low risk to give it a try. If you’ve been researching VPN providers, you’ll notice that 1, 2, and 3 year (and even “lifetime”) plans are pretty normal these days, and usually the only way to get a reasonable cost-per-month.
Although this post refers to US Netflix (which has a lot more content than any other country) you can also follow this same procedure to access UK, Canadian and Japanese Netflix content.
Note: This post includes an affiliate link. If you follow this link to the VPN company and then choose to sign up, I get paid a small* commission by the VPN company for referring you.
In short, this is how you can access the American Netflix catalogue for $2 USD/month:
- You need a Netflix subscription in your (or any) country
- Create a Windscribe VPN free account
- Select “Build a Plan”
- Select Windflix US, UK, Canada or Japan
- Select “Unlimited Data + R.O.B.E.R.T”
- Install the VPN software on your computer, browser or device and connect to your preferred Windflix country
- Watch Netflix in the usual way
How does this VPN thing work?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) lets you connect your computer to another computer somewhere else in the world (via a secure, encrypted channel) and then access the internet as if you’re on that other computer. If that computer happens to be in the US, then you can access the US Netflix catalogue via your Netflix account, regardless of where you signed up for Netflix. Lots of people do this and it’s legal (in Australia, at least).
Content providers on Netflix have different licensing agreements in different countries. In order to keep the content providers happy, Netflix prevents you from accessing content from other countries – this is known as “geo-blocking”. Netflix also know that people use VPNs to appear to be in another country, so they identify and block IP addresses that are known to be VPNs. VPN companies can avoid this anti-VPN technology in a number of ways, but it requires a lot of effort, so a lot of VPN providers no longer give you Netflix access in other countries as part of their service.
What if I don’t have a Netflix subscription already?
This post assumes that you already have a Netflix account. This can include a family account, as Netflix doesn’t care where the members of your family are located – so you can use a VPN to access American content while the rest of your (now jealous) family access the much-smaller Australian Netflix library.
If you don’t already have a Netflix account, you should know that you can subscribe to Netflix from any country, and the content you get is based on the country you’re in (or pretending to be in, if you’re using a VPN).
You should also know that Netflix subscription costs are different for every country, so if you subscribed to Netflix in Turkey (for example) it’s a lot cheaper than Australia, or in fact, any other country. To do that, you’ll either need to be in Turkey (if you are, check out the Blue Mosque, it’s pretty amazing)… or use a VPN that lets you connect to Turkey – more about that here if you’re interested.
How to get American Netflix for $2 per month
- You need a Netflix account from any country.
- Create a Windscribe VPN free account.
- Entering in your email address is optional, and is the only identifying information they will ask. They won’t ask you for your name, address, or favourite colour.
- Under “Pricing” go to “Build a Plan” – here you get to choose the countries for your VPN servers to be located in, at a cost of $1 per country (Windflix servers are listed as their own “countries”).
- As your first country, choose Windflix US, UK, Canada or Japan for access to Netflix in those countries.
- As your second “country”, select “Unlimited Data + R.O.B.E.R.T” at the bottom.
- Pay by credit card, PayPal, or crypto currency. You can also decide if you want to renew automatically or not.
- Now go to “Download” and download the VPN software for your computer or device. If you access Netflix via a web browser like Google Chrome or Firefox, then just download that extension. There’s no need to direct all the network traffic to/from your computer via a VPN encrypted channel if you only use Netflix via your browser.
- Done? Awesome. Now open the Windscribe VPN app or browser extension, and connect to your Windflix server of choice.
- Open Netflix the normal way and check out your new catalogue. “The Office (US)” (with Steve Carell… the better version!) is available in the US but not Australia, UK or a bunch of other countries, so you can try searching for that to test that it’s working.
Why so cheap?
As described above, you’re not getting access to a full service VPN with countries all around the world. Instead, you’re using Windscribe’s unique “Build your own plan” feature to only access their Windflix service. This is normally an extra bonus for other VPN users, but if you only care about Netflix, then you only need to subscribe to Windflix servers with a minimum cost of $2 USD. Windscribe are hoping that you’ll upgrade to Pro one day, but it’s totally up to you.
Does it work?
I’ve tested Windflix via the Chrome browser extension, Android device and Android TV (Xiaomi Mi Box). On Chrome and Android, it works fine. Sometimes you may have to wait a few seconds for the Netflix video to load, which is noticeably slower than without the VPN. But once the video has loaded, I didn’t notice any picture degradation after watching the rest of the show.
Strangely Windflix did not work on my Mi Box running Android TV. After lodging a support ticket with Windscribe, I received a reply the next morning that said their current version of the Android TV app does not work with their new-ish build-your-own plans, however they did provide me with a workaround (temporary upgrade to a Pro plan) until the new version of their Android TV app is released, likely later this year. If you have the same issue, send them a support ticket and hopefully you’ll get a quick response like I did.
Other VPN options
As discussed above, there are many VPN services but most no longer support Netflix in other countries – or they may work now, but may not work tomorrow.
There are a few VPN services that primarily exist to provide Netflix from other countries – those are generally the VPN companies with “…flix” in their name. Getflix is probably the most well known (in Australia) but costs $4.95 USD per month. You can also sign up for a year at a cost of $39.95 USD, but who knows what will happen in a year? Their VPN servers may become over-subscribed, making them slow and unusable; or they may no longer be suitable for you.
There are also a few top-tier companies that actively work to avoid Netflix’s VPN detection systems, the most well known VPNs that currently work with Netflix are ExpressVPN and NordVPN. But being full service, top-tier VPN services, you’ll be paying around $12-13 USD per month, or about half that if you sign up for 12-15 months. Again not great if you’re looking for a no-commitment solution.
Is Windscribe VPN a legit company?
There are a lot of VPN-review websites out there, and for someone who knows nothing about VPNs, it’s not really clear which review websites are legit or simply exist to promote the VPN services with the highest affiliate payouts. However, there are also well known technology websites like Tech Radar and Tom’s Guide that have reviewed Windscribe and give it a decent rating. Windscribe are also active on Reddit, which is a very public forum where you can generally tell which products are well supported by a real company that cares about their customers.
What if it stops working 6 months from now?
Since you’re only paying month-to-month, you can drop Windflix at any time. Cancelling your account is easy – under My Account, select Delete Account. You can also just drop back to the free, 10GB, no Windflix service.
If you’re keen to see what movies and TV shows you’ve been missing out on from the US Netflix catalogue (or “catalog”, for all you Americans) then this is a pretty easy**, cheap and decent solution, especially if there’s just a couple of shows that you’re missing and really wish you could watch from overseas. It’s the cheapest way to get American Netflix that I know of, with just a monthly commitment (which is really important given how many VPNs have stopped supporting overseas Netflix since 2016). But if you have any other ideas on accessing American Netflix on the cheap, please let us know in the comments below!
* Since I’m telling you the cheapest way to get American Netflix, I don’t expect to be rolling in cash from this affiliate link. I’ll probably make more money recommending an annual plan from ExpressVPN or NordVPN hmmm….
** Yes you can create your own private VPN server in a cloud service like AWS and it could be cheaper. That won’t be a problem if you’re that guy from Mr Robot, but it’s not a simple solution for your average user.