How to Watch US Netflix in Canada

Online streaming services are fast becoming big business, and there are more being made available each year. A couple of the most popular of these are Netflix and Amazon Prime, but NowTV and Hulu are also growing in reputation as reliable services. Most of us have an account with at least one of these services, and we may even find ourselves using them more than we watch mainstream television. Those of us that travel a lot may find we are not getting the most from our streaming services as access is restricted due to the physical location we are in.

One option is to use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, another is to use a Smart DNS Proxy, both of which we will explain in more detail here. So, if you are wondering how to watch US Netflix in Canada, or any other country for that matter, read on, we have the solution.

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Why access US Netflix in Canada

There are a lot of people living in Canada and using the Canadian version of Netflix, who want to gain access to the US version of the streaming service. The main reason for this is that there are a lot of US shows that have not been made available to Canadian viewers. And this is why many people are looking for a way to bypass the restrictions and get access to US Netflix in Canada.

It could be something as simple as US Netflix offering more seasons of one of your favourite shows, or a movie is being streamed in the US a few months before its planned release in Canada. Even though Netflix has taken steps to expand the number of titles available to Canadian viewers, the catalog in Canada still lags far behind its southern neighbour. In fact, the differences often leave Canadians feeling as though they are not able to get their money’s worth from the service.
It does not matter where you are in the world, you will only be able to get access to the local Netflix service, so if you are travelling from the US to Canada or any other part of the world where Netflix is available, you may be disappointed if you cannot get your usual shows.

The restrictions come about because Netflix signs a contract with the studios and networks that provide them with the shows. The contracts will dictate which regions the movie or show can be streamed to. A studio may agree to US Netflix showing 6 seasons of a particular show, but the contract for Canada may only cover 3 seasons, or it may be that an agreement for streaming in Canada hasn’t been reached.

The good news is that there are ways in which you can watch USA Netflix in Canada.

What are VPN’s?

VPNs, or virtual private networks are a way to connect to a streaming service or access a website that may have geo-blocking enabled. They are also very popular with hackers because they offer an anonymous connection to sites worldwide. VPN services offer software that you have on your computer that will connect you to servers securely and give you anonymous access to a wide range of sites. They are more often used by people who live and work abroad but who want to access their home streaming services, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. It can even be used to Skype loved ones.
Countries like China and Venezuela that heavily censor what internet users can view, and block what sites can be accessed can be a nightmare for expats. There are many UK and US citizens in these countries, either holidaying, there on business or even for retirement, that would like to watch films and TV shows through their online streaming accounts. To get access to the full range of programs on offer, the best option is to connect via a VPN, otherwise they will be limited to only what these countries’ laws permit. Due to geo-location information from your computer, these sites will know where in the world you are, and your access will automatically be blocked.

The same is true if you want to watch US Netflix in Canada. While these two countries are not as strict with censorship, licensing laws are different, so while a certain TV programme may be available on the US Netflix, it might be unavailable on the Canadian Netflix (and vice-versa). Streaming through a Virtual Private Network is the ideal way to get around this.

Which VPN to use for US Netflix in Canada

The use of a VPN is one of the best ways to watch USA Netflix in Canada, but not all VPNs are suitable for providing you with access to the streaming service, so you need to do a little research before settling on the best provider for you. Here are a few of the most popular and reliable VPN providers. They are offered in a range to suit all budgets and needs, and depending on exactly what you want to use the VPN for, it might be worth paying a little extra for the added security.

ExpressVPN

Located in the British Virgin Islands, this is one of the leading names in VPN services. The British Virgin Islands do not fall under the jurisdiction of the UK, therefore there is no authority monitoring the activity of the company or its users and it is not subject to the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence sharing network. The level of encryption used by ExpressVPN is close to military standard and your use of its services is completely anonymous. The company is well-known for operating a no log policy, so there is no record of any of your online activity.

Included with your subscription to ExpressVPN is a feature known as MediaStreamer. This is a proprietary Smart DNS proxy service. This means it can be used with some devices and routers that are generally not compatible with a VPN service such as Xbox or Roku. The service has apps available so it can be used with a variety of operating systems including Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, among others. This service can be used to unblock a variety of streaming services including Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and Hulu, as well as US Netflix.

So, what does ExpressVPN offer? There is a 30-day money back guarantee, so you get to try the service and make a decision about how well it works for you before you commit to long-term use. It can also be used in a number of countries where censorship of online and streaming services is very heavy. There is unlimited bandwidth, so your use once you are connected is not restricted at all. It works extremely well with Netflix and there is an excellent standard of customer service. No matter what the problem you can contact the team at any time for assistance. Your account allows for up to 5 devices to be connected at any one time, so it is ideal for families and shared households.

Express VPN is not one of the cheapest services but it is considered to be good value for money by industry experts.

NordVPN

One of the larger VPN services, NordVPN has more than 5000 servers located all over the world. Those who have an account with NordVPN can choose which of the servers they want to connect to based on what they want to do. As well as the usual encryptions and security measures, NordVPN offers something known as double VPN, which means that your connection will go through two servers, giving you additional security for your online activity.

NordVPN can be used to unblock a variety of online streaming services besides US Netflix, including BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime and there are apps for Mac, Windows and Linux users, among others. A handy kill switch will cut off your connection if the VPN crashes so that your online viewing cannot be seen and a no log policy means that there is no record kept of anything you view online.

It has servers located in 60 countries around the world and the service comes with a Cyber Security feature that will protect the user against malicious software and malware. You are able to contact the customer services team around the clock and if there is a problem when you first sign up you can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee. With this account you can have up to five devices connected to the service at any one time, so everyone in the house can have their own connection. The service is considered to be good value for money.

BulletVPN

This is an Estonia-based organisation, which offers a very fast VPN service. This service can be used to unblock geographical restrictions such as those found with Netflix or to bypass control filters such as those found in heavily censored countries like China. The service can also be used for gaming and torrenting.

There are servers located in 30 countries around the world and it also offers a Smart DNS feature. A whole range of protocols are supported including OpenVPN, L2TP and IKEv2. Unlimited bandwidth is another feature of BulletVPN so there are no restrictions on how much streaming you can do and there are no activity logs kept of your time online.

Customer support is available around the clock using email or live chat services and you can use 5 devices on each account, making it a great option for the whole family.

Surfshark

This is one of the younger companies in the VPN market but it still offers good connection speeds and high levels of security. One thing that sets Surfshark apart from its competitors is that there is no limit to the number of devices that can be used on one account. This means that you can open your account up to friends and family as much as you wish and the unlimited bandwidth makes this even easier too.

The protections in place include secure protocols such as IKEv2. For streaming you can choose from around 800 different servers that are located all over the world.

There is live chat support in place around the clock and Surfshark can be used to unblock US Netflix services no matter where you are in the world, even in some of the most censored countries. There is a no log policy so none of your online activity is recorded and therefore cannot be accessed by the authorities.

CyberGhost

With apps that make this a good choice for those who use operating systems such as Windows, iOS and Android, CyberGhost has managed to outdo a number of its rivals by giving customers a long money-back guarantee period of 45 days. You can use CyberGhost both on your PC and your mobile device and it is very easy to unblock US Netflix. You don’t need to check which servers will work with the website that you want to access, because all you have to do is find the streaming option. Then you select the streaming service that you want to use.

Most reviewers consider CyberGhost to be one of the fastest VPN services so buffering when you are watching Netflix should not be a problem. Up to five devices can be connected via one account and users will find this system very easy to use – this is considered to be a great VPN for those who have never used one before. In reviews it always scores highly for reliability and value for money.

IPVanish

The speed of IPVanish makes this a popular choice with VPN users as it reduces the buffering when streaming film and TV services. Apps are available that are compatible with Android, Windows, Mack and iOS. However, not all of its servers will assist in unblocking US Netflix but using the live chat feature to contact the customer service staff will help you find a server that will.

You can add up to 10 devices on one account which is great news for those who have several devices themselves and family members too. There is a high level of encryption and security including the kill switch, which ends your connection to the internet if the VPN connection is suddenly broken. IPVanish also has a no log policy so there is no danger of Netflix finding out from them that you are using this service to watch USA Netflix in Canada.

One of the downsides of the service is that the money-back guarantee is only 7 days. This is far shorter than most of its competitors – many of them offer at least a month, but 7 days is long enough to establish if this service is what you need.

PrivateVPN

A money-back guarantee of 30 days is just one of the top features of PrivateVPN, one of the newer VPN providers. It offers apps so that you can use its services on devices that use iOS, Mac, Android and Windows operating systems. It currently does not have the vast network of servers that some of its rivals have but experts are very impressed with its ability to unblock the streaming services. There is no need for the user to contact customer service to find out which of the servers can be used to access US Netflix, as these are marked in the app.

There is a strong no log policy, therefore no written record of your activity online means that nobody can find out which services you have accessed and when. The standard of encryption is high with protection against leaks and a kill switch that will end your connection so your location is not revealed if the VPN stops working.

PrivateVPN allows up to six devices per account and it is rapidly gaining a strong reputation for being a go-to provider for accessing streaming services. However, the low number of servers could put some users off. It can also be used by Linux users but this is not a straightforward process as there is some manual configuration required. Users also need to be aware that live chat is not available around the clock, with downtime of up to 2 hours each day.

Is a free VPN useful to access US Netflix?

Those who want to get access to US Netflix in Canada will be considering using a VPN service. Most of the services we have looked at here are paid-for services, but there are some free VPN providers out there. However, these are not ideal and experts do not recommend that you use them to bypass the geographical restrictions put into place by Netflix.

One of the reasons for this is that they do not have the resources or levels of security in place that they need to get past the firewalls. Experts have tested their systems but each of them triggers the proxy error message that shows Netflix that you are not in the right geographical location. It does not take Netflix long to recognise new free VPN providers either, so even if you do find one that does not trigger the error message the first time around, you may find that is blocked in a matter of days.

You should also be aware that free Virtual Private Networks also attract a lot of users. This will slow the speed down considerably so the quality of the streaming that you get will be poor, with frequent periods of buffering. Some of them also have bandwidth limits in place, which will also restrict what you can watch.

The levels of security are poor with free VPNs. Remember that they need to earn money somehow and one of the main ways that they do this is to use your data, even information about your usage history and sell it on to third parties. There are some free VPNs that have been known to add malware to your device.

For this reason it is recommended that you avoid using a free VPN service. Most of the other providers only charge a few dollars a month so it is worth opting for a paid-for service as it will not leave you too much out of pocket.

The Netflix VPN Block

All of the streaming services have different programmes available to watch depending on where you live, including Netflix. You probably won’t even notice it, as you are more than likely to only be accessing the streaming service at home. But if you choose to travel abroad and still wish to watch your favourite TV shows and movies through the streaming service, you will find it a bit of a nightmare. You may be half-way through binge watching a tv series boxset that you wish to continue while abroad but the country you are in does not have access to that particular title, so you won’t be able to watch it again until you get home.

There is a way around this however, but Netflix doesn’t like it. You can use a VPN service to access Netflix from abroad, and there are several that will by-pass Netflix’s VPN block. Maybe you have discovered that a programme you love can be streamed in the US but not in your country, even if you are a near neighbour like Canada? Well now it is possible. If you want to watch USA Netflix in Canada it can be as simple as getting a subscription to a virtual private network and accessing all the great shows your country doesn’t have streaming rights to. A word of warning, the VPN services don’t always work, you might have to swap and change occasionally to find one that will work with Netflix. If this occurs, you will be unable to access your account and you will get proxy server error messages.

Smart DNS Proxy

Why not just use a Smart DNS Proxy? Well, it is an alternative to a VPN and can work perfectly well doing a very similar job to the virtual private network, but the DNS (Domain Name System) does not offer the same level of anonymity as a VPN does, which means if you are wishing to access sites of a more disreputable nature (of an adult nature, or for hacking) then your IP address will not be hidden and your data will not be encrypted, it is simply a way of unblocking geo-location tags so that you can access the streaming services and other sites that are restricted in this way. If you simply want to watch USA Netflix in Canada, this might be an option for you.

How to connect to a VPN

Connecting to a VPN is relatively simple. Once you have chosen a VPN provider, you simply download their app or software to your device, usually you can download to a laptop, or even a smartphone, there are many available that will connect to tablets and the kindle too. Once downloaded you have to log in with the username and password you created when you set up the account. This ideally should be different to any information contained in your billing information to help with your security and anonymity.

Once logged in the app should do the rest and you will soon be ready to watch US Netflix in Canada. The app will usually connect to the nearest server (many VPN providers have thousands of servers worldwide) which helps to keep speeds high. If you would rather connect to a different server, you will need to do this manually through the app (The NordVPN app is arguably the most straightforward to use – it has an easy to follow interactive map of server locations). If you would rather not download the app, you can go through your devices network settings and connect to the VPN that way. This will help to avoid any potential ‘surveillance’ or logging of app data.

Conclusions

A good quality VPN service is definitely the right way to go if you want to watch US Netflix in Canada. It does seem so unfair that the service is blocked by Netflix, even if you live just a couple of miles away from the border but the contractual arrangements in place mean that Netflix often has no choice. While a Smart DNS Proxy may also be an option, by choosing a Virtual Private Network provider that also offers the DNS within the package gets you the best of both worlds.

All you have to do is a little research and you will be able to find the right VPN provider for you. Some have more security features than others and some are easier to use than others. Are you a beginner? Are you prepared to pay for more features? The answers to these questions and more will help you to find the right service, particularly if you take into consideration the information that we have provided here. You will find that you are soon watching all those films and TV shows that Netflix has only made available to its customers in the US.