How to Watch American Netflix in Russia

Since registering its presence in Russia three years ago (2016), Netflix has gone on to win a huge audience in the country, beating off competition from local streaming sites. What is even more amazing is that this growth has been happening against the backdrop of immense pressure from the Russian government. The truth of the matter, however, is that millions of expats and citizens in Russia have fallen in love with Netflix content and would love to enjoy excess of it, so to speak. But with Russian Netflix offering far much less than its American counterpart, content consumers in Russia prefer the latter, which is actually restricted in the country. So, does this mean it’s impossible to watch American Netflix in Russia? Not at all. There are several different ways to find a way around this restriction, with the use of a VPN obviously being the best one. But before we get to that, let’s take a peek at a few things first.
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Privacy Laws in Russia

While Russia is one of the biggest economies in the world, it is on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to online privacy. The country is known for extensive online surveillance, blocking, and censorship, which cut across various business and social websites. Besides Netflix, other giant affected platforms include Telegram and LinkedIn. In fact, these two sites have been banned and blacklisted for users in the country. The internet service providers in the country are also required by law to comprehensively retain personal data, including sensitive information.

The Russian government also has a habit of shutting down websites over petty content issues. For instance, Reddit and Wikipedia have taken the hit of this practice. Thus, a VPN is mandatory if you need to freely and safely explore the online world from Russian soil. Connecting to a foreign server will enable you to bypass virtually every online restriction without the worry of being caught by law enforcers in the country. But there is one more problem you will need to contend with: Russia’s war against VPNs.

Russia’s war against VPN service providers is not a new phenomenon. Neither is it a secret. In 2017, the country enacted a law to have all VPN providers in the country comply with its censorship regulations. Hence, the providers have no choice but to comply. But what are the implications of this compliance? Any VPN that operates in compliance to the law allows the Russian government to monitor the internet activities and even access the data of the users if it so wishes. With this law in full swing, some top VPNs have decided to shut down their Russian servers in a bid to protect the data of their Russian and international patrons. In fact, it is feared that the government of Russia will be fully controlling the internet in the country in a few years to come.

What is the bottom line then? You need a reliable, non-government sanctioned VPN to access not just Netflix US, but any other geo-restricted site, from Russia. However, if you are found using such a VPN in the country, you will pay a huge fine and may even face imprisonment. So, take precautions while streaming American Netflix in Russia.

Why American and Russian Netflix Are Different

The difference between these two sister platforms boils down to the obvious: content rights. Selling the rights to content streaming is a responsibility of the country. With the rights being so competitive, you don’t expect Netflix to win every bid. That is why Netflix platforms in different countries show different content. Since Netflix started in the United States, the American version boasts more content than what Netflix in other countries offer.

How to Stream Netflix US in Russia

As we saw earlier, anyone would be foolish to imagine that they can access Netflix US in Russia without a VPN. While there are other services, such as proxy servers, browser extensions, and DNS services, to enable you stream American Netflix on Russian soil, the VPN option stands head and shoulders above the rest.

How Does a VPN Work?

A VPN refers to online privacy and security software, which encrypts user data to prevent online spies and hackers from gaining access to the data. Once the tool has encrypted the user data, it redirects it via an external server, which masks the user’s actual IP address, for purposes of privacy. It is this masking which enables the user to unblock Netflix US in Russia. Once the user connects their VPN to a server in America, Netflix America will think that the user is located in America. As a result, the user will automatically be directed to Netflix US, instead of Netflix Russia. The icing on the cake is that most VPN service providers have servers in America; thus, getting an American IP address is more of a walkover.

Does Netflix Block VPNs?

Just like the protectionist Russian government, Netflix tries to block VPN users. However, there is so much to achieve given that the technology used to create VPNs is so sophisticated that the software is difficult to disrupt. If the blockage is to be successful, then Netflix has to embark on a long, tedious, and time-consuming process. Netflix has to block all the IP addresses linked to a VPN, one by one. The IP addresses are in the millions, and obviously, the company is not prepared to go through that kind of process. Besides, the process would shake the company’s bankroll. And of course, VPNs have ways to easily get around any blocks and restrictions. For instance, they can switch servers and change IP addresses, reducing all the blockage efforts to futility, in seconds. This means that there are lots of VPNs for Russia, with a good number of them having what it takes to stream American Netflix from the country.

A Quick Guide to Streaming American Netflix in Russia

Can’t wait to watch American Netflix in Russia? In about 10 minutes, you can be all set to actualize your desire by following a few simple steps:

  • Search for a reliable VPN service that can unblock American Netflix and sign up with it
  • Download and install the VPN software on your device
  • Connect the software to a server based in the United States
  • Log into your Netflix account and watch Netflix US from Russia

The first step is perhaps the only one that is a bit challenging, but with prior research, getting a solid VPN should be easier than you imagine. Keep reading this guide for top recommendations.

How to Choose the Best VPN for Streaming Netflix US in Russia

The online world presents you with so many VPN options to choose from, and this may leave you a bit mixed up. With the following criteria, you will be able to get a secure tool without hassle.

Look for an anti-censorship VPN: While China is known for implementing what is perhaps the most potent censorship in the world (think the Great Firewall of China), Russia follows closely with its blacklist. That means you will need a VPN with powerful anti-censorship features, including solid encryption, to access American Netflix in Russia.

Consider features: Does the VPN have anti-leak protection features? What about a kill switch and encryption? These features are essential for your data privacy and security. Encryption, for instance, encodes all your online data to ensure no one understands what you are sending or receiving. Kill switches protect users from accidental exposure. Don’t forget to look for other features, such as anti-DDoS and adblocking software. Your VPN should also have an excellent protocol, such as L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and of course OpenVPN, which is touted as the best.

Choose a VPN with a solid US-based server network: You cannot stream American Netflix in Russia if the VPN you use does not have servers in the United States. Remember, Russia-based VPN providers operate in compliance with the Russian government. This means they are open to monitoring, investigation, seize, and even data decryption; so, you should give them a snub they deserve. If you want the best VPN for Russia, choose a provider located in a foreign country where user anonymity and privacy are protected.

In summary, finding a suitable VPN for streaming American Netflix in Russia could be an easy task if you follow the above criteria. However, with this guide, you will not need to go through the process. This guide has handpicked some of the best VPN services you can use to access Netflix US in Russia. They include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, and CyberGhost. Let’s now take a comprehensive look at each one of them.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is widely regarded as the best VPN for those who want to watch Netflix US in Russia. And this claim is informed by several reasons as shown below:

US-based servers: A VPN without US-based servers cannot unblock Netflix US from any other country, let alone Russia. With ExpressVPN, you will have more than enough opportunities to access American Netflix in Russia thanks to the fact that the tool comes with plenty of servers based in the United States. Remember, the more the US-based servers a VPN has, the more the opportunities to access the American Netflix from another country.

Fast speeds: By its very nature, content streaming is data intensive. This means you will not enjoy a smooth experience if you’re using a VPN with slow connection speeds. With ExpressVPN, you won’t have to deal with any connection and buffering issues. Very few VPNs offer latency-free content streaming.

Cost effectiveness: While there are cheaper options than ExpressVPN, the tool is definitely not the most expensive one. But money is not a big issue so long as you get value for it. When it comes to offering value for your money, very few tools come close to ExpressVPN. Not only does this tool unblock American Netflix in Russia; it also provides top-notch data privacy and security. With its 30-day money back guarantee, users have more than enough time to test the tool and determine if it suits them.

Powerful encryption: As we saw earlier, the Russian government does not like VPNs and so is Netflix. As such, it is advisable, if not a must, to keep your online behavior anonymous, secure, and private when trying to access Netflix US in Russia. ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption and no-logs policy to keep users private, secure, and anonymous. With this level of protection, both the Russian government and Netflix have no chance to know what you do online.

CyberGhost

CyberGhost comes with servers optimized for Netflix to help bypass geo-restrictions and deliver smooth streaming, free of latency. The best part of this software is that it automatically chooses the best server from its long list of US servers and connects to it. As of 2019, CyberGhost has at least 1000 US-based servers, which means you can switch between 1000-plus IP addresses. It comes with unlimited data, which ensures limitless streaming. Its connection speed is also super fast, and there is round-the-clock live support on standby just in case you experience any issues (issues are rare though).

With CyberGhost, you will be able to watch American Netflix in Russia on up to seven devices simultaneously, without having to register for an extra account. Its military-grade AES 256-bit encryption is an impossible nut to crack for those looking to break into your privacy. Not sure whether the tool is a good fit for you? You can take advantage of its 45-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN

This Panama-based tool possesses virtually everything there is to find in a VPN. To begin with, its base is a safe haven for users as the country is a zero-logs nation, free of any internet surveillance laws; it is simply the opposite of the likes of Russia and China. NordVPN boasts one of the biggest global server networks you can find out there, thanks to its 4,000+ servers distributed in well at least 60 nations, including USA and the neighbors of Russia, such as Poland, Finland, and Latvia. Besides supporting Netflix US streaming from Russia, most of these servers also allow P2P file sharing. So, if torrenting is your thing, then you don’t need to look elsewhere.

Talking of security, NordVPN comes with all the essentials: port forwarding, DNS leak protection, a kill switch – name them. Users on CyberSec package get to enjoy advanced protection against such things as pop-ups, botnets, and malware. Russian users can enjoy a fully translated NordVPN client for ease of use. And you could give it a short for 30 days and submit a refund request in case the tool is not fit for you.

PrivateVPN

Looking for the highest possible encryption standard in the market? PrivateVPN provides just that in the name of AES 256-bit encryption. This protection ensures that every bit of data packets transmitted to and from your computer or mobile device is completely safe from external eyes. The software is based in Sweden, a jurisdiction which upholds a no-logs policy. This means that user log files cannot be stored by the software, let alone being released to the Swedish government or any other authority that may be in need of it.

A secure VPN should seal all the loopholes of data leakage. PrivateVPN does that using its DNS leak protection and IPv6 leak protection. There is also a kill switch, which “kills” your internet connection if the VPN accidentally stops working. While this is a very rare occurrence, you’d better stay safe.

Conclusion

From reliability to value for money to more content and everything in between, there are tons of reasons why you may want to access Netflix US on Russian soil. To do this, a powerful VPN is a must. You could give a try to any of the VPNs recommended in this guide and see which one works best for you. Good luck!