The number of movies and shows available on Netflix differs from country to country. Over here in the Netherlands about 1800 titles are available, which of course is quite a big number, but when you compare it to what the American version of Netflix offers, which is about 5000 titles, it pales in comparison. Of course that difference has many reasons, but one has to do with the licensing and the other how long Netflix has been operating somewhere. Which such a big difference though I was curious to find out what the American Netflix offered. It turned out to be quite easy to get access.
Which content you are shown when logging into Netflix is decided by looking at your IP address. Through it Netflix can see in which country you are located. When you are on Holiday in America and you log in this means you can suddenly see the American version. But as this is a very pricey solution to the issue and there are other, cheaper ways in order to get the same result.
If you Google for free VPNs you will find several, but in general these really don’t work very well. My experience is that with some you are able to log in and look at the titles, but as soon as you want to play you’ll notice that Netflix is blocking that ability.
So it’s a good idea to search for a payed option. It’s a small investment which will result in access to much more content. There are a lot of companies which offer VPN. I was contacted by Overplay, who asked me if I was willing to look at their service. I didn’t mind trying this out to see if they offered a solution which allowed me to watch American Netflix.
Something which I immediately noticed about this provider is that their site offers a lot of well written manuals on how to set it up on all different kinds of platforms. So whether you have an iOS/Android device, a Mac, Pc or Linux, there is a step by step guide available on how to configure it (but also for Playstation, Xbox, Apple TV etc). On PC and Mac there are even apps available which do this for you.
I decided to configure it manually with one of their guides and did so within a minute: You create a new connection, select a VPN server in the country you want to connect from (in this America) and make the connection. If you choose to only get the DNS service Overplay offers a possibility through their site to configure for each service (so not only Netflix, but also Hulu and many more) what the country of origin should be, which is quick and easy to configure with a drop down box. After logging in I was able to see the American content.
Something which stood out for me is how much titles are available in some sections. It’s always a shame that Netflix doesn’t offer many classic movies and usually the titles available are ones I’ve already seen. The American version shows many more and lots of them which are new to me. There are also differences in the amount of TV shows. Over here Friends is not available, but American Netflix has ten season ready to stream.
The question remained though would I also be able to actually watch these movies and is the speed sufficient? I decided to start watching one of my favourite documentaires, Dear Zachary. It started playing without any issues and forwarding through the movie was just as smooth as it is normally. So there really is no difference, expect in the amount of content available. So based on this I would recommend Overplay, which currently works great and offers plans for shorter periods of time if you want to try this out. I’ve signed up for their affiliate program based on my experience, so if you use the link in this article you would not only get more content, but also would help me keep My Filmviews running. Thanks!