Would you like to be able to watch Twin Peaks, Frasier, Extras, or any number of other Netflix titles you can’t get on Netflix New Zealand? If so, you’re in the right place.
While improved immensely since launching in 2015, Netflix NZ is still missing hundreds of TV shows and movies you can find on its US counterpart.
And, because of its licensing agreements, Netflix probably won’t be bringing over many of those titles anytime soon.
So, if American Netflix isn’t coming to you, could you maybe go to it? Absolutely!
And that’s exactly what I’m going to explain in this article. I’ll show you how to get US Netflix in New Zealand in just a few easy steps. You won’t miss out on your favorites ever again.
How to Get US Netflix in NZ
The easiest and most reliable way to watch Netflix US from New Zealand – or any other country, for that matter – is to use a virtual private network (VPN). Later in the article, I’ll explain in detail how the “magic” behind this method works. But, to start with, here’s a quick rundown.
To access Netflix US, follow these simple step-by-step instructions:
- Select and sign up for a VPN provider that works with Netflix – not all can unblock it. My favorite these days is NordVPN.
- Download the app for the VPN you have picked and install it on your device.
- Turn off Netflix by killing its app or closing the browser where it’s running.
- Start the VPN app and sign in to your account.
- To unblock US Netflix, you have to make it look like you’re in the country – so connect to a US VPN server.
- Start Netflix in a browser or by launching its app.
That’s it. You’re in. You can now enjoy the full range of shows available only in the US – while thousands of miles away in New Zealand.
Switching Back to Netflix New Zealand
Once you’re done watching Netflix USA, switching back to the NZ version of the service is just as easy.
First, close the Netflix app or tab in your browser. Then disconnect from the VPN.
When you launch the service now, you will once again have full access to the New Zealand library.
Why VPNs Unblock Netflix in Other Countries
Netflix uses your device’s IP address to figure out where in the world you are. Yes, something as simple as an IP can give it that information.
Once it knows your location, Netflix grants you access only to the library local to your country – nothing else. That’s why in New Zealand, you can only watch the NZ version of the service.
When you use a VPN, your device’s normal IP address is replaced with one that belongs to the server you connect to. This does two things: it hides your real location and makes it look like you’re in a different country – one the server call home.
So, when you connect to a US server, regardless of where you actually are, the VPN makes it seem like your streaming device is in America.
And since you’re now in the States, Netflix will happily grant you access to its US library.
That’s how a VPN helps you unblock Netflix from a different country.
Best VPN to Watch US Netflix in New Zealand
Unfortunately, you can’t use any random VPN to stream US Netflix from New Zealand. Not anymore.
Netflix knows full well how easily VPNs can bypass their geographical restrictions and, as of 2016, tries to clamp down on VPN use as best as it can.
Luckily for us all, there is still more than one VPN service that let us watch American Netflix from other markets. Those are the providers that have the resources necessary to stay one step ahead of the streaming giant.
Other than not being blocked by Netflix, there are two more things you should keep in mind when selecting a VPN.
One is an abundance of US servers. You can’t fool Netflix into thinking you’re in America without those. And the more a VPN has, the better.
The other thing is good performance. Few things ruin movie night like constant stream buffering or a poor-quality image. Hence, only the fastest VPNs will do.
With that said, here are some of the best VPNs currently in the market for watching US Netflix.
Of all their servers, a very impressive 1861 call the United States home. Even if Netflix was to blacklist a few IPs – which, when it happens, NordVPN replaces quickly – you still have hundreds of servers to choose from.
Oh, and a 30-day money-back guarantee backs all of NordVPN’s plans. That’s an entire month you have to try the service out, absolutely risk-free.
- Excellent download and upload speeds
- Large ever-expanding server network
- Great privacy with independently verified no logging policy
- Specialty servers (including double VPN, obfuscated, and Tor over VPN)
- Clean, easy to use client
- Works with Netflix and other streaming services
- Allows torrenting and P2P
- Offers dedicated IP addresses
- No split tunneling feature
- A bit pricey on shorter-term plans
Though they haven’t been around as long as most other VPNs, Surfshark quickly became known as a go-to provider for bypassing geo-blocked content. And, when it comes to watching Netflix US, they do indeed deliver.
Surfshark also gives us something no other provider on this list offers: unlimited simultaneous connections – run as many devices on it as you want.
There are, of course, plenty of other features we get, too, including excellent security and privacy, as well as a helpful 24/7 customer support department.
But, perhaps the best Surfshark feature of them all is the provider’s low, low price – they’re by far the least expensive top-tier VPN in the market. Nowhere else can you get American Netflix for so little.
- Excellent privacy and security with no logging
- Great server performance
- Unblocks Netflix, BBC, and many others
- Easy to use client
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Torrenting support network-wide
- Very inexpensive
- Inconsistent speeds at a few locations
- Fairly slow customer support
CyberGhost’s is another excellent option to stream US Netflix in New Zealand.
In fact, with a server list that includes 113 locations, CyberGhost will let you access Netflix in pretty much any country – not only the United States.
Unblocking streaming services is one of CyberGhost’s biggest features. They’re one of only a few providers that run servers specifically configured for Netflix.
And the top-notch performance of those servers seals the deal.
Beyond streaming, CyberGhost has a strict no-logging policy that maximizes your online privacy. They also let you connect a generous seven devices at once.
The cherry on top is CyberGhost’s best in the industry 45-day money-back guarantee. You know the product is good when the risk-free refund period is that long.
- Zero logging for maximum privacy
- Excellent server distribution with over 7100 servers in 91 countries
- Very fast connection speeds
- Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Allows P2P torrenting
- Long 45-day money-back guarantee
- Parent company with a questionable reputation
- Convoluted manual OpenVPN setup
- Doesn't work from China
And their dedicated US Netflix streaming servers work very well indeed.
In fact, PureVPN will let you unblock practically any American video-on-demand service. Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime – they’re all but a few clicks away.
PureVPN’s client excels at compatibility. It will work on just about any device or operating system you throw at it. If you’re running Android TV, for example, this is the VPN you want.
With some of the most affordable plans around and a long 31-day refund policy, PureVPN is well worth considering for all your Netflix US binge-watching needs.
- Fast speeds
- Big server network (73 countries)
- Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, and over 70 other streaming services
- Compatible with over 50 devices and platforms
- Independently verified zero log VPN provider
- Dedicated IP option
- Great value
- Apps could use a bit more polish
- Some intermittent connection problems
While ExpressVPN is best known for being a security and privacy champ, they boast impressive streaming service access as well.
With their network of 3000+ servers in 149 locations, you can easily unblock Netflix libraries from the US, UK, France, Australia, Brazil, Japan, and multiple other countries.
ExpressVPN offers excellent speeds. It won’t even break a sweat when you crank up your video quality to Ultra HD.
Beyond video, the VPN service uses impossible to crack 256-bit AES encryption, the latest security protocols and is a proven zero-log provider. Split tunneling and other useful features are also available.
ExpressVPN isn’t the cheapest VPN on the list but is well worth it – especially if you manage to take advantage of one of their time-limited deals.
- A feature-rich and intuitive client
- Strong back-end technology
- Plenty of servers and server locations
- Fast and consistent connection speeds
- Works with US Netflix
- Top-notch customer support
- Some aggregated logging
- Not the cheapest
Netflix US vs. Netflix NZ
Unfortunately, Netflix New Zealand lacks hundreds of shows that viewers of the US version can enjoy. For example, popular TV shows like Breaking Bad, Scandal, and The 100 are nowhere to be found.
Out of 5819 titles on American Netflix, only a fraction is available in NZ.
Other popular shows you won’t find (on top of the ones I already mentioned above) are:
- Twin Peaks
- Dad’s Army
- Danger Mouse
- The Third Man
- The Graduate
The point is, to get the most out of your Netflix subscription, setting up access to Netflix US is well worth it – especially considering how little effort it takes.
Why Netflix Geo-blocks Some Content in New Zealand
When content on the internet is blocked based on our location, that is known as geo-blocking. Netflix heavily relies on the practice to avoid copyright issues.
A lot of the Netflix content is licensed.
Because the company may not always get the rights to a show or a movie in every country, they have to resort to geo restrictions to keep the license holders happy – and themselves out of legal trouble.
It’s nothing personal.
How Netflix Geo-blocks Content
Netflix relies on your location to decide what content you can or cannot see. As explained earlier, it can tell whether you are in France, India, or New Zealand by looking at your IP address.
IP addresses are to the internet what mailing addresses are in real life. And since every IP is tied to a geographical location (with an accuracy to within a few kilometers), it’s easy for Netflix to find out where you are.
A VPN hides your IP and can replace it with one from a different country. That’s why using one can fool Netflix into thinking you are in the US when you are nowhere near, and lets you watch American library all the way from NZ.
Is It Legal to Watch Netflix With a VPN in New Zealand?
So, we know that changing Netflix NZ to the US version of the service is not at all difficult. All you need is a good VPN.
But, will you be breaking the law when you do it?
Are VPNs Legal in New Zealand?
Anyone in New Zealand is legally allowed to use VPNs. And using a VPN to get around content geo-blocking isn’t explicitly against the law either.
So, from that perspective, streaming US Netflix from NZ is not an issue.
Streaming Netflix Over a VPN – Legal or Not?
Netflix frowns upon VPN use. As I mentioned earlier, they have been actively clamping down on them since 2016.
But, over that time, out of the thousands (if not millions) of subscribers using VPN with Netflix, guess how many have been told to stop?
Zero. Zilch. Not one.
You see, while Netflix has to enforce their licensing agreements with content owners, they do not want to lose all those subscribers either – it’s a nice chunk of their revenue.
Netflix will always officially try to restrict VPNs. They have to. But, the odds of any of us getting into trouble for using them are slim to none.
Can Free VPNs Unblock American Netflix?
Using a free VPN to unblock Netflix US is tricky. And even if you manage to do it, chances are it won’t last for very long.
As part of their effort to stomp out VPNs, Netflix blacklists server IPs routinely. You need a provider with multiple servers to quickly replace what gets blocked.
A handful of paid VPN services have the resources to do just that. Free VPN providers, however, do not.
So, for an optimal streaming experience on Netflix, I recommend staying away from free VPNs. It’ll likely be an exercise in frustration. Even if you find one that works, poor streaming speeds, overloaded servers, and bandwidth restrictions are what you can expect.
Free VPNs also come with a host of privacy and security concerns, yet another reason to stay clear.
Unfortunately, there is no reliable free way to get Netflix US in New Zealand. But, when most premium VPNs cost less per month than a single cup of coffee (especially when you take advantage of some of their great discounts, I don’t think that’s not necessarily a big deal.
New Zealand Netflix has a great collection of programming. But the selection still significantly lags what’s available on the American version of the service.
You’re already paying for a Netflix subscription, so why miss out?
With a reliable provider like NordVPN (or any others mentioned above), you can watch Netflix US from New Zealand in no time flat. Give yourself the ability to stream everything the streaming giant offers. Then kick up your feet and enjoy the show!