If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of being unable to watch your TV shows due to location-specific restrictions. Streaming service such as Netflix and Amazon offers different content in different geographic regions based on what shows and movies have the highest expected demand, which means that your favorite American TV shows may not be available to stream in other countries. Luckily, there are a couple of different ways to get around location-specific restrictions, making it possible to stream U.S. TV shows from just about anywhere in the world.
Method 1: Use a Proxy
Proxyservers work by redirecting your web traffic through anonymous services around the world. In order to use a proxy server to watch region-specific content; however, you’ll need a proxy that allows you to select which country you want an IP address from. One recommended program is IP Hider, a proxy program for PC users that allows you to select any country from a world map. You can download a free trial of IP Hider, but will need to pay to continue using the service after the trial ends.
Method 2: Use a VPN
VPNs, or virtual private networks, are networks that encrypt your traffic between your device and your server, allowing for a connection that is more private and more secure. VPNs aren’t just for security; they can also be used to get around geographic content restrictions by granting you a new IP address. However, you usually need to pay to get a VPN that will work at a decent speed.
Method 3: Smart DNS
Unlike VPNs, Smart DNS won’t route your connection through an intermediary server before reaching Netflix, which makes them generally faster and better-suited for watching U.S. TV while abroad. Many Smart DNS services are now available as paid apps, including Netflix-specific DNS that makes it easy to view Netflix’s complete library regardless of geographic restrictions.
Method 4: Unlocking Programs
One final method for watching U.S. TV shows while abroad is to use a Netflix “unblocking” program, varieties of which are now available for both computers and smart phones. Smartflix is the most popular computer program for unblocking Netflix’s regional content and is available on both Mac and PC computers, while Getflix offers the same services to Android or iOS smart phone users. Both services cost a one-time payment of $7.99, but free trials are available if you’d like to try the service out before purchasing.
Regional streaming restrictions can be annoying, but using any of these methods can allow you to watch TV shows from any country, anywhere in the world. Most of the more reliable options cost money, but the small payments are worth it, and none of these methods require an extensive knowledge of computers. So next time you’re on a vacation or business trip and want to watch an episode of your favorite US TV show, use one of these four methods to get around regional restrictions.