We suspected it was going to happen. And, on January 1st, 2021, it finally did – Netflix US has removed The Office from its library.
Rumor has it, Netflix offered NBC a whopping $90 million to keep the show. But, not that surprisingly, NBC refused and chose instead to bring the series over to its own streaming service Peacock.
So, does that mean we now need to get yet another subscription to watch Michael Scott et al do their thing? Not on my watch.
There is still a way to watch The Office on Netflix. Let me show you how!
Is The Office on Netflix?
Yes, The Office is available on Netflix – just not in the US.
Since Netflix didn’t produce The Office, they must buy a license from the show’s owner NBC to stream it. Unfortunately for Netflix, 2020 saw the birth of NBC’s own (and competing) streaming service called Peacock.
With Peacock up and running, it only made sense to include one of NBC’s most popular programs. Hence, NBC did not renew Netflix’s The Office license.
But there’s a catch. Peacock is a US-only streaming platform. While it made sense for NBC to pull The Office from Netflix in America, that wasn’t the case in other countries. While it made sense for NBC to pull The Office from Netflix America, that wasn’t the case in other countries.
And indeed, The Office is currently available on Netflix in Canada, UK, Australia, Iceland, Japan, South Africa, and Sweden.
So, while fans around the world can continue to enjoy the show without switching from Netflix, those of us in the United States have to take on yet another streaming service.
Or do we?
How to Watch The Office on Netflix?
The only way to stream The Office off Netflix is to visit a country where it’s still available. That means Canada, Australia, Iceland, Japan, South Africa, Sweden, or the UK.
Thankfully, you don’t have to go there physically. Instead, you can use a simple software solution call a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Tech details aside, a VPN lets your devices virtually travel to anywhere in the world where the VPN provider runs servers. For most VPNs, that means dozens upon dozens of countries – and certainly those where The Office is still available.
Here, in a nutshell, is how to watch The Office on Netflix when it’s not available locally:
- Choose a provider – pick a VPN that works with Netflix with servers in your target streaming country (more on that in a bit, but I like use NordVPN)
- Set up the VPN app – download and install the app, desktop program, or browser extension on your device.
- Close Netflix – no need to log out, just close the browser tab or the app.
- Connect to a VPN server – pick a server in one of The Office friendly countries and connect.
- Open Netflix, find the show, and start watching!
As a bonus, other than letting you stream The Office, there are plenty of other reasons to use a VPN with Netflix, too:
Other Benefits of Using VPNs with Netflix
VPNs are fantastic unblocking tools for geographically-restricted content. You can use them to access any Netflix library in the world.
As long as the VPN provider has servers in the country, you’re set.
Netflix decides which of its libraries to show you based on your IP address. Connecting to a VPN covers up your original IP and replaces it with that of the VPN server.
Suppose the server is in a different country. Netflix will now think that’s where your device is and lets you access that location’s library – just like a local.
So, not only can you watch The Office. All programming that’s not on Netflix US but available elsewhere is now also up for grabs:
- The Indiana Jones movies – not on American Netflix, but try the Netherlands.
- The Harry Potter movies – again, no longer on Netflix US, but head over to Turkey.
- Pride & Prejudice is even closer – Netflix Mexico, here you come!
All programming is available in its original English format no matter where you connect. But you can also get subtitles (and sometimes audio) in most languages by accessing another country’s Netflix library too.
Are you trying to learn French? Off to Netflix France, you go. Watching Friends with French audio counts as practice, right?
And you can sometimes even get access to new releases before they make it stateside. For example, if you like anime, Netflix Japan is a treasure trove of new movies and series that don’t usually make it to Netflix US until months later (if ever at all).
Best VPNs for Streaming The Office
So, there you have it – a VPN is all you need to watch The Office with your existing Netflix subscription. That said, there is one catch to be aware of:
Not all VPN providers are Netflix-friendly.
What I mean is that because of technical shortcomings, not every VPN can unblock every Netflix library. Some also suffer from performance issues, making streaming higher quality video an exercise in frustration.
To help you choose a provider that works well, here is a tried and tested list of VPNs for streaming The Office. You can use it as a starting point for your research.
Each listed VPN works perfectly with Netflix, and each will give you a buffering and pixelation free streaming experience.
Easily my number one pick for streaming The Office, NordVPN is my daily go-to provider – both for Netflix and much more.
NordVPN has servers in 59 different countries, so you can unlock practically every Netflix library in existence.
Remember that The Office is currently available in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Iceland, Japan, South Africa, and Sweden. Those are all locations NordVPN gets you access to.
Performance-wise, few providers can top NordVPN. Even when connecting to a country thousands of miles away, streaming Netflix (or any other service, for that matter) is as smooth as can be.
And with six simultaneous connections, everyone in your family can enjoy the show on their own device.
NordVPN tops it all off with excellent 24/7 live chat customer support and an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee. That’s a whole month you can try NordVPN 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
Another excellent VPN for streaming Netflix is relative newcomer Surfshark. Though don’t let their newness scare you off – Surfshark is one of the best-reviewed VPNs in the market.
They run 3200+ servers in 63 countries – including every location where The Office is currently available on Netflix.
I’ve used Surfshark for Netflix around the world and never had the slightest issue. Connection speeds are great, too.
Surfshark is also the only provider that gives you unlimited simultaneous connections. Talk about a good deal.
And speaking of good deals, Surfshark prices are the lowest of any top-tier VPN. No other provider lets you stream every Netflix library 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 has the largest network of my three VPN picks. You get to choose from a whooping 7032 servers in 91 countries. Of course, every location where The Office is available on Netflix makes the list.
Quality-wise, I’m happy to report good speeds with no buffering or pixelation in sight.
Unblocking different Netflix libraries also works very, very well. In fact, CyberGhost runs several servers optimized specifically for that purpose.
And the provider’s newly re-designed client is easier to use than ever.
CyberGhost has the most generous money-back policy in the business, too. Other VPNs give you 30 days – here you get 45. To me, that shows the company’s belief in the quality of their product. Try them – you won’t be disappointed.
- Zero logging for maximum privacy
- Excellent server distribution with over 7000 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
Not All VPN Providers Work with Netflix
As I eluded to earlier, not every VPN unlocks Netflix.
Netflix uses territorial licensing for all shows they don’t make, and those licensing agreements must be enforced. If Netflix didn’t, few content producers would be willing to work with them.
So, to keep copyright owners happy, Netflix cracks down on VPNs and proxies. That’s what the infamous m7111-5059 error code is all about that.
Netflix crawls the internet for known VPN IPs and bans them from accessing their platform. If we try to stream a show with a blocked IP, access is denied.
So why do some VPNs still work with Netflix?
Because they choose to dedicate significant resources to keep their IPs clean. Whenever Netflix bans one, the VPN quickly replaces it. That lets us, their customers, enjoy uninterrupted streaming – no matter what Netflix does.
However, not all VPNs can afford to or are willing to do the above. Some providers simply lack the resources. Others don’t make Netflix a priority.
There are many excellent security and privacy-focused VPNs, like Private Internet Access , that don’t unlock Netflix (at least not reliably). They prefer to focus on and invest in security and privacy.
That’s why a bit of research before choosing a VPN for streaming The Office on Netflix is so important. You don’t want to end up with a dud.
Will Free VPNs Unblock The Office on Netflix?
Free VPNs are tempting. And, in theory, yes, they might unlock The Office.
In practice, however, these providers don’t have the means to stay ahead of the Netflix VPN ban. So, 90%+ of the time, they will be blocked.
And what if you’re lucky enough to find one that works?
Well, your bandwidth is still metered. Just about all free VPNs cap your data use, which means you may only be able to watch a handful of episodes per month. For serious The Office binges, that simply won’t do.
Is It Legal to Use a VPN to Watch Netflix?
Netflix clearly doesn’t like VPNs. So, is using one to watch it legal?
Yes, it is.
In the US, VPN use is perfectly fine. The same is true in most other countries.
Only a handful of locations put restrictions on VPN use. North Korea and Iraq have completely outlawed them. Other countries like China, Russia, and Turkey only allow government-approved providers.
And what about those territorial agreements?
These are contracts between Netflix and content owners. It’s not your responsibility to uphold them – it’s Netflix’s. So, while the streaming platform can block VPN traffic, they can’t penalize you for using one.
So, stream away. Using a VPN to watch The Office (or any other show) on Netflix is definitely not against the law.
The Office and Netflix Final Thoughts
Don’t be down about losing The Office on Netflix US. And don’t worry about having to get Peacock. Get a VPN and stream the show (and many others) from Netflix Canada (or the UK, or Sweden…) instead!
To watch The Office simply:
- Pick a good VPN provider. I recommend NordVPN – bang for buck, it’s the best option around.
- Connect to a server abroad. Pick a country where Netflix still has The Office – like Canada.
- Fire up Netflix and start watching.
Yup, it’s really that easy. Enjoy the show!