US VS Australian Netflix
By now we’ve all heard of Netflix and we know that it’s great. Your favourite TV shows and movies whenever you want? Sign me up! No more ads or infomercials. It sounds heavenly. But Netflix is a complicated beast. Unfortunately, Netflix isn’t the same for all and some countries get a very different level of service. Let’s get into it: US vs Australia Netflix battles.
So, What’s Netflix?
Netflix started off in the before-times. Times when streaming wasn’t possible and Blockbuster was more than a joke. They were originally a DVD-by-mail service that started out in 1998. By 2007, they saw the future coming and began streaming content online to their subscribers. As internet speeds became faster and streaming services became viable for more people, Netflix exploded in popularity. It first expanded outside of the US in 2010 when it officially set up shop in Canada. By 2011, they were streaming in Latin America and in 2012 they were operating in the UK and parts of Europe. Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries were a bit behind the rest of the world and they didn’t officially get access until 2015.
Most of the world now has access to Netflix, but this isn’t without its problems. Before it was officially launched overseas, many international users were already accessing the American content. When they finally got their own country-specific version, they were disappointed at the rather limited range of programs that they had access to in comparison to the US version.
This isn’t necessarily Netflix’s fault. Sure, they would love to be the sole provider of content to their users, giving them everything that they want. Unfortunately, Netflix was late to the party and by the time they rocked up to the scene, there was already a complicated web of international distribution contracts, with cable TV and free-to-air channels already claiming some content. With the rise of online streaming competitors like Hulu, it made the state of things even more complex.
Who has access to which content in what location is all essentially a legal and business matter. Netflix might be able to secure the rights to a particular show in the US, but internationally, a competitor might have the rights. The result of this is that Netflix has different content available in different regions.
The way the pieces have fallen, US Netflix reigns as the king. As of January, it had access to 5760 shows and movies, while Canada had 3606, the UK had 2990, Australia had 2092 and New Zealand had 2043. South Korea had the worst deal, with only 664 programs available. In the US, people can watch Breaking Bad, Sherlock and Pulp Fiction. Australian’s can’t. In the US vs Australian Netflix war, Americans are winning. Technically.
Now, Netflix doesn’t like its users accessing a different region’s content. That’s why it’s geo-restricted in the first place. They have even made some pretty poor attempts to block users from getting around these restrictions. Don’t worry, we have a way that still works.
How Can I Access US Netflix?
It’s called a VPN. A Virtual Private Network. We personally recommend ExpressVPN, because we find it to be one of the more reliable and trustworthy providers on the market. It is a bit more expensive than some others, but their service is worth it because they take matters of security and privacy seriously. They are also pretty far ahead of the game technologically, which means they are a safer bet for accessing US Netflix well into the future.
Netflix has already tried to block some VPNs from accessing geo-restricted content, but these tended to be the lower hanging fruit. ExpressVPN are a bit more savvy when it comes to running their business and their technical operations.
So, what exactly is a VPN and how will it help you get access to US Netflix? Virtual Private Networks are essentially encrypted networks that help to boost your security and privacy when you use them. They allow you to access US Netflix, because you can set them up so that it appears as though your web traffic is actually coming from the US, no matter where you are in the world. This tricks Netflix, as they think you are based in the US, so they will let you straight through.
ExpressVPN is simple to set up and we have many guides for it on this site, no matter what your device. All you need is a monthly subscription and you’re ready to go. If you take this route, you’ll be back on the same playing field in the US vs Australian Netflix war.
Be warned, if you get US Netflix, you’ll spend even more nights watching through a whole series until you realise that you have to be up for work in forty minutes. Access it at your own peril.