Beat Netflix region restrictions to watch whatever you want

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Watching a UK-only  movie on Netflix from the US.
Watching a UK-only movie on Netflix from the US.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you live in the United States and use Netflix, you might be disappointed to find out that some shows, like Kajaki: The True Story, are unavailable due to region restrictions.

These are based on licensing agreements that Netflix has with content providers. Many shows and movies are region-locked, which means that you can’t watch a show in the U.S. if it’s only available in the U.K., and vice versa.

There is a way around it, however. Here’s how to beat Netflix region restrictions to watch whatever you want, whenever you want, from wherever you want.

You’ll need Chrome installed on your Mac to make this work. While using a VPN to access something like Netflix from outside a specific region isn’t illegal, it is against Netflix’s Terms of Use, so use this tip with caution.

In addition, this will only work on streaming-only plans; if you have a hybrid DVD/streaming Netflix account, this extension will not help you.

Start your adventure here.
Start your adventure here.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

First up, you’re going to want to install a Chrome extension called Hola VPN. Head over to the website and click on the big blue button that says Start.

Click Add Extension in Chrome.
Click Add Extension in Chrome.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

A drop-down dialog box will appear. Click on Add Extension; Hola will install and send you a little message about it being installed. Once that’s all done with, click on the little Hola icon (the little face-flame) and then click on the Netflix icon.

It's easy to know which region is set.
It’s easy to know which region is set.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Hola will tell you where you’re browsing from (the U.S. in my case) – simply click on the little triangle next to the flag of the region you’re browsing from to choose a different region. I chose U.K. and Hola took me to the Netflix site and made me sign in again. Once that was done, the Hola icon changed to a British flag icon and I was ostensibly browsing from the U.K.

Change region settings here.
Change region settings here.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

To test the VPN efficacy, I went and checked out the Netflix UK vs USA site and loaded a few movies from each region when the Hola icon showed the right icon. In some cases, U.K. movies and shows will show up when I’m browsing from the U.S., but won’t show a play icon overlay as it will when I’m attempting to watch when I’m browsing from the U.K. via Hola’s VPN.

There are a ton of other regions in Hola’s list, so you’ll have to check the ones you’re most interested in to make sure it works for you. It will also work on a variety of other streaming media sites, like BBC, iTV, CBC, NHL, NFL, and more.

At least we all now have a way to catch up on any videos despite any Netflix region restrictions in place.

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  • Frank

    Oh god, never ever use Hola! You share your internet connection with it and have no control over what others are doing with it!

  • Andy McHardy

    Never heard of Smartflix?

  • Andy Brooks

    Netflix notices I’m using a Proxy and will not let me stream in chrome.. Any work arounds?

  • dereckbreuning

    Netflix actively blocks services like this now. Some may still work some not. I used Unblock Us and that doesn’t work anymore (Country Netherlands).