It’s well-known by now that Netflix geo-blocks most of its content. But what about its original programming? Are those shows available only in a few countries too?
Yes and no.
Some Netflix Originals are geo-restricted to specific regions, while others are available worldwide. We’ll tell you all you need to know in this quick five-minute guide.
So Does Netflix Geo-Block Its Original Programming Too?
Most of the time, no. Since Netflix owns the copyright, they don’t need to license the content to legally stream it worldwide. As long as Netflix is available in a country, its original shows will be too.
However, there are a few exceptions. For example, Orange Is the New Black and Lilyhammer are not available worldwide.
Why Are Some Netflix Originals Geo-Blocked?
It’s simple – because Netflix no longer owns the licensing rights. They sold them to other streaming sites and TV networks in various countries. So, the company can’t legally stream their own content there anymore.
Why would they do that?
Well, Netflix didn’t do it recently. They did it before their service was available worldwide (like it is now). For instance, they sold the rights to Orange Is the New Black in Indonesia when the show launched because Netflix wasn’t available there. Even though the service is available there now, Netflix doesn’t own the licensing rights for that show. So, they need to geo-block it to avoid lawsuits.
Netflix can try to buy back those rights, sure. But that’s easier said than done. The current right holders might just decide to renew them. Or they could ask for absurd prices Netflix couldn’t afford. Even though it’s a multi-billion dollar company, Netflix has to be careful with its investments since licensed titles are a huge part of its content assets.
And, sometimes, politics and local laws can force Netflix to geo-block its original programming. For example, back in 2019, the company had to block an episode of Patriot Act in Saudi Arabia because it heavily criticized the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which is apparently against the country’s cybercrime laws.
How to Unblock & Watch Netflix Originals Anywhere in the World
Just because Netflix has to geo-block its own shows doesn’t mean you have to put up with that. There’s actually a very simple way to unblock Netflix Originals in any country – using a VPN!
If you’re not familiar with VPNs, don’t worry – we’ll keep things simple so that you can easily understand how these unblocking tools help you.
Alright, so a VPN is basically an online service you use to stop Netflix from seeing your IP address. It intercepts your traffic and forwards it to Netflix on your behalf. So, the site will think your connection is coming from the VPN, not your device.
Because of that, Netflix will only see the IP of the VPN server you’re connected to. As long as the server is in a country where the Netflix Original is available, you’ll be able to watch it.
Here’s an example of us using a VPN with success: our tester who is from Romania wasn’t able to watch Lilyhammer in their country since it’s not available there. But by connecting to a US VPN server from ExpressVPN, he was able to watch the entire series without any problems.
Make Sure You Use the Right VPN, Though!
While VPNs are good unblockers, not all VPNs are good Netflix unblockers. The site can detect many of them. If that happens, Netflix blacklists the VPN’s IP addresses, and redirects all users connected to their servers to the Netflix proxy error page.
To avoid that issue, VPNs have to constantly refresh their servers’ IPs. That pretty much means leasing new IPs from data centers and ISPs. That gets expensive, so not all VPN providers can afford to do it regularly.
That’s why you only get intermittent access to Netflix with some VPNs.
Instead of checking each VPN on the market to see how well they unblock Netflix, you could just use ExpressVPN. It’s one of the biggest VPNs on the market, and it worked very well for us.
But if you’d like to learn how to watch everything on Netflix with some alternatives first, please follow that link. It’s an online tool from ProPrivacy called StreamCatcher that shows you where Netflix titles are available (very useful), and tells you which Netflix VPNs you should use (even more useful).
The suggestions are based on ProPrivacy’s data, one of the biggest VPN review sites on the Internet that regularly tests VPNs to make sure they can really unblock Netflix without any issues. So, it’s safe to say you can fully trust them.
Another Good Reason to Use a Netflix VPN – No More Bandwidth Throttling
Ever noticed random slowdowns when watching Netflix – particularly at night or on the weekend?
If you have, you probably thought it was just your Internet “acting up.” Well, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, your ISP is to blame because they’re selectively throttling your Netflix traffic.
Probably because other customers are binging Netflix at the same time as you. So your ISP is slowing down Netflix speeds to prevent network congestion.
Understandable, but hardly fair.
The good news is that a VPN can prevent bandwidth throttling. It encrypts your traffic end-to-end, meaning your ISP can’t spy on your data packets anymore. The tool also stops your ISP from seeing what site you’re using. They won’t see you’re communicating with Netflix’s IP, but the VPN server’s IP.
If your ISP can’t do that anymore, they won’t be able to selectively slow down your Netflix speeds. They won’t know you’re using the site to begin with.
What’s Your Experience with Netflix Originals?
Were you able to watch any original show or movie from Netflix, or did you encounter issues (geo-blocks)? If you did, what unblocking method did you use – a VPN like us, or something else?
Please let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found this article helpful, we’d really appreciate it if you could share it with other people on social media.