While Netflix is a great streaming platform that’s chock-full of awesome content, you have to wonder – is it possible to switch from your country’s library to another region’s library?
Well, you can do that – but not by changing some settings in your Netflix account. We’ll show you how to easily do that in this article.
Why Change Netflix Libraries in the First Place?
Because some regions have more content than others. For example, Australia, the US, the UK, and Canada have way more titles (5,000+) compared to other countries.
What’s more, some shows are only available in some countries. If you use StreamCatcher’s Netflix library checker, you can look up shows and movies to see for yourself. For instance, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is only available in the UK, The Office only in the US, and Road House only in Canada.
So if you switch Netflix libraries, you can get access to new shows and movies.
Why Don’t All Netflix Libraries Have the Same Content?
It’s mostly due to copyright and licensing agreements.
Like Netflix says in their FAQ, they don’t own all the content on their platform. In most cases, they buy the distribution rights from the copyright holder. But if they already sold the rights to a certain region to another streaming site or TV network, Netflix can’t do anything about it.
That’s why Netflix is able to broadcast Shameless (U.S.) in the US – they bought the rights for that region. But they can’t stream it anywhere else because other competitors have the licensing rights.
Besides that, some shows and movies aren’t available in some countries because:
- Netflix wasn’t able to buy the licensing rights for those regions because they weren’t for sale.
- Based on user data, Netflix doesn’t think the content would be popular in those regions. So buying licensing rights for those countries wouldn’t be a smart investment.
What about Netflix Originals?
Netflix owns the shows, so they’re usually available in every region library. There are some exceptions, though – like Lilyhammer or Orange Is the New Black. In their cases, Netflix wasn’t able to secure global rights.
Because Netflix likely sold them to third parties since the service wasn’t available yet in some countries. Now that Netflix is available there, they can’t stream those shows because they don’t own the licensing rights.
Basically, Netflix has to wait for the rights to expire and try to buy them back. Of course, the current site or TV network that owns them could ask for an absurd price.
How Does Netflix Control Which Content You Can & Can’t View?
They use geo-blocking to redirect you to your country’s library when you sign in. And Netflix knows where you are from because it sees your IP address when you connect to the site.
Why does that matter?
Because your IP address reveals a lot of information about your current location:
- What country and city you are from.
- What your ZIP code is.
- Who your ISP is.
How to Switch Netflix Libraries
The answer is obvious – you need to hide your geo-location.
But that’s easier said than done, right?
Not if you use a VPN – an online tool that hides your IP address from any site you visit. Here’s how it does that:
- You use a VPN app to connect to a VPN server.
- The two establish an encrypted connection.
- When you visit Netflix, your connection requests are routed through the VPN server. Essentially, it acts as a middleman between you and Netflix.
- Because of that, Netflix thinks your requests are coming from the VPN server, not your device.
- Consequently, Netflix will only see the VPN server’s IP address.
If that sounds a bit complicated, take a look at this image. It should make things easier.
You just have to use a VPN server in the same country as the Netflix library – so a UK server to unblock the UK library.
Finding a good Netflix VPN can be tough, but it’s much easier if you use StreamCatcher’s Netflix library tool. Besides telling you what countries a certain show or movie is available in, it also recommends the best three Netflix VPNs.
Can You Switch Netflix Libraries with Free VPNs?
Not really. Maybe some free VPNs can unblock Netflix, but only for a limited time.
Here’s the thing – Netflix is really good at detecting VPN IP addresses. If the site sees you connecting from one, it will redirect you to the Netflix proxy error page.
The only way to avoid that error message is for the VPN to refresh their IPs to evade Netflix’s detection algorithms. And to do that, they need money since leasing new IPs isn’t cheap.
See the problem?
The VPNs are free, so they don’t exactly have the financial resources to constantly refresh their IPs.
Can You Switch Netflix Libraries with Tor?
In our experience, no. We were never able to unblock different regions with it. It’s not very surprising since Tor’s devs made it clear that Netflix can detect and block Tor.
But let’s say you somehow manage to unblock Netflix with Tor. You’ll still have one problem standing in the way of your entertainment – very slow speeds. We’re talking huge slowdowns – in our speed tests, we barely get 1-2 Mbps with Tor. Netflix requires at least 25 Mbps for ultra HD streaming, so those results are really bad.
Why are Tor speeds so slow, though?
It’s mainly because:
- Tor encrypts and decrypts your traffic multiple times (the standard is at least three times).
- There are around 6,000 Tor servers and over two million Tor users. So definitely not enough bandwidth to go around.
What’s Your Favorite Netflix Library?
We usually stick to the US and UK libraries, but we’d love to hear more about your preferences. Also, don’t forget to mention how you unblock those libraries – do you use a VPN, or do you rely on other unblocking methods? Please let us know in the comments.