How To Watch American Netflix
Summary: When you think of something as simple as watching Netflix, it may never occur to you that your location information might be shared. However, when you stream Netflix, your IP address can give away your location.
Not only is this just a little unsettling, but it also means your content access changes based on your location. Fortunately, a VPN hides your IP address, protecting your privacy and allowing you to access regional content in seconds.
If you want privacy and fast streaming anywhere in the world, check out Buffered VPN.
Why Is My Location Being Shared?
The Netflix addiction has taken the world by storm, and this past year the online streaming service became available all over the world. As users on every continent tune in, though, Netflix’s use of our location information is becoming more apparent.
It’s only natural that a service like this would condition content depending on your location. If you’re in Spain, you see Spanish content. If you’re in the U.S., you get American content, and so on.
These geo-restrictions make sense from a user standpoint, but for the traveling Netflix user, or those concerned with their privacy, it can cause problems.
When you travel, regardless of where you signed up for an account, your content is based entirely on your location and IP address. That’s right; even if you’re one season finale away from finishing a series, travel plans can put the kibosh on that.
The best way to watch what you want, no matter where you are, and also conceal your location, is to use a VPN.
What is a VPN?
It’s nothing super technical. A VPN just stands for Virtual Private Network. This is a type of software you can download online to protect your location information, but it has a few other tricks up its sleeve.
Not only does a VPN hide your location information, it also gives you access to a worldwide network of servers, so you can actually access any content you want, and appear as though you’re somewhere else.
It’s perfectly legal and is a simple way to protect your privacy online while still accessing all of your favorite shows and movies on Netflix.
Not only does a VPN manipulate your location data, but it also encrypts your connection, so it’s great for use on public WiFi networks too.
VPN Software Testing Methodology
The first step was to test VPN software was simple. We created a list of every service, nine to be exact, that had previous success getting around Netflix geo-restrictions.
Unfortunately, Netflix recently announced efforts to begin blocking VPNs, so we also cross-referenced several expert cybersecurity websites to eliminate those reporting attacks by Netflix.
This left three VPN services who were capable of accessing Netflix’s full catalog of titles outside the USA. The next step was to determine which software performed best.
How We Judged Their Performance
We used eight criteria to evaluate the performance of these three VPN services. They were as follows:
Criteria 1: Number of Connections
Most people have at least two devices these days…sometimes more. So the first criteria we evaluated the VPN provider on was how many devices could be connected to each account.
Obviously the more connections, the better, so my top recommendations include plenty of devices so you can watch American Netflix on whichever devices you want.
Criteria 2: Money-back Guarantee
Next we evaluated the VPN providers on their money-back guarantee. Since VPN uses vary greatly, it’s nice to know that you’re able to get your money back if things don’t work out for some reason.
We looked for at least a seven-day, money-back guarantee that included customer service issues, as well as technical problems.
Criteria 3: Data Logging
Occasionally, internet service providers and VPN providers will log data about your user experience, such as information you provide through order forms, your IP address, times when you connect, and the amount of data transferred daily.
This data can then be subpoenaed by the courts if users are ever suspected of criminal activity.
It’s pointless to increase your cyber security with a VPN if the provider is just going to turn your data over to the authorities when requested.
Fortunately, some VPN providers don’t keep logs of your browsing data, so we looked for services that didn’t log activity of any kind.
Criteria 4: Bandwidth
The data transfer rate allowed by a VPN service means that some services may run faster than others, and running out of bandwidth half way through a new series is beyond frustrating.
For our review, we sought out VPN providers that offered unlimited bandwidth, so users never have to worry about running out!
Criteria 5: Customer Support
Every program has its bugs, so it’s important to have a reliable customer support service.
To ensure these services could talk you through any challenges you encountered trying to unblock Netflix, we contacted each VPN two times during the test.
The three VPN providers were scored on the average time it took them to respond.
Criteria 6: Speed
Connection speed is vital when streaming Netflix so we tested the ping time, download speed and upload speed when using the VPN and when not for each provider and evaluated them on that.
Criteria 7: Price
Assuming two services are neck and neck on the other criteria, the cheaper the service, the better, right? Therefore, price was used as a tiebreaker for providers that had similar bandwidth, customer service and speed options
Criteria 8: Number of Servers
When trying to unblock Netflix, you really just need to be able to access a server in the U.S, but the number of servers in a VPN provider’s network can impact the quality of the connection.
So we evaluated the VPNs on the number of server locations offered.
Top 3 VPNs for Streaming Netflix
Like anything else, how good a VPN is will depend on a few factors. Some are easy to use. Some have a fast connection; others not so much. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the popular ones out there, and how to shop around.
#1 Choice: Buffered VPN – 9/10 – Fastest, most reliable connection
When the issue is streaming movies and TV shows online, your number one priority when selecting a VPN needs to be connection speed. Otherwise, you could wind up with a shoddy connection that doesn’t do you any good.
So first things first, check out their bandwidth and connection speed. we had a great experience with Buffered VPN. When we ran our speed tests, this one performed much better than the average VPN.
If you’re not sure how fast a VPN’s going to be, check out their network size. The bigger, the better. The more servers they have, the more bandwidth there is to go around, and the better everyone’s connection will be.
Of course, aside from connection speed, unlimited bandwidth is crucial too. Most VPNs come standard with this, so don’t settle for anything less.
Other things to keep an eye out for are money-back guarantees, military-grade encryption and great customer support. Buffered VPN performed well in all of the above.
In these categories, look for at least a two-week guarantee, 256-bit encryption and 24/7 customer service. There are too many crooks out there trying to take your money to buy anything without a return policy.
Buffered VPN is a particularly nice service, because not only is the interface really easy to find your way around, but their encryption works with your standards for speed versus privacy and their support team is highly responsive.
For the best VPN protection to ensure your privacy while streaming Netflix, get Buffered VPN now.
#2 Choice: IPVanish – 7.7/10 – Fast connection, customer service is hit or miss
IPVanish was a strong runner-up, but fell well short of Buffered VPN in terms of customer service and responsiveness.
Their claims of 24/7 service are pretty misleading. Not only did their e-mail responses take hours, the live chat feature never worked.
However, like with Buffered VPN, IPVanish gives you unlimited bandwidth on any device and military-grade, 256-bit encryption. You get access to their easy-to-use software and can connect two devices at once on the same account.
They also have really fast connection and affordable service plans that anyone can live with. With that being said this one just isn’t on the same level as Buffered VPN as far as customer service goes.
#3: HideMyAss – 5/10 – Slow support & connection
HideMyAss is another popular VPN with some of the same bells and whistles as Buffered VPN IPVanish. You get access to a large worldwide network of servers, unlimited bandwidth and can stream Netflix on just about any device you may be packing.
The catch with HideMyAss is that their customer service is just painfully slow. Despite being available 24/7, we waited days to hear back from them before, and often times their live chat feature is offline. It was definitely frustrating.
The speed was much slower than Buffered VPN and we had a few issues with getting randomly disconnected. Although its performance was passable, it just doesn’t stack up with Buffered VPN or IPVanish.
HideMyAss is okay for occasional use, but if you need to stream something for longer than five minutes, it might not be your best bet. Buffered VPN is just way more reliable.
Conclusion: Use Buffered VPN for Fast, Unlimited Access
Even if you registered for your Netflix account in the good old US of A, when you travel, your IP address is what dictates your content, not your origin.
As such, when you spend time overseas, you won’t have access to your usual favorites, and the local flavor of content will be your only option.
Aside from that, it’s just a bit unnerving how many different apps take your location information these days. A VPN is the best way to make sure you have not only access but privacy.
When you connect to a server on a VPN, your real IP address will be hidden, and you’ll be given the one associated with the server you’re on. Your data will also be encrypted, so you can fly under the radar, protect your privacy, and still access your favorite shows.
Just make sure you snag a VPN that’s up to the task of streaming three seasons of “House of Cards” though, otherwise it will be an unpleasant night of watching that loading disc go round and round at 25 percent.
For the fastest connection on any continent, you can’t go wrong with Buffered VPN.