Are Netflix Originals Geo-Blocked?

Netflix Originals

Doesn’t matter you want to witness Theo James movies or something else Netflix is the hub of endless content. You can find a lot of awesome shows and movies on Netflix, but Netflix Originals are usually the highlight for most people. We’re talking about titles like The Witcher, Paradise PD, BoJack Horseman, Lucifer, Orange Is the New Black.  And that’s just barely scratching the surface!

Bottom line – Netflix offer excellent original programming, and lots of it. Before you binge any of it, though, you probably have one question – are they geo-blocked? As in, are they available everywhere Netflix is? Since some Netflix titles are only available in some countries.

We’ll answer that question in this quick article. Besides that, we’ll also tell you how to watch everything on Netflix no matter where you are in the world.

So Does Netflix Geo-Block Its Original Titles?

Normally, it doesn’t do that. Unlike regular titles, Netflix actually owns the copyright for this kind of content. So it doesn’t need to purchase licensing rights to stream it.

But there are some exceptions – like Orange Is the New Black, Lilyhammer, and Arrested Development. Netflix doesn’t currently own the global rights for those shows, so it can’t stream them worldwide. For example, Orange Is the New Black isn’t available in Indonesia even though Netflix is.

Why Does Netflix Geo-Block Some Original Shows?

Why don’t they own global rights for them? They own the titles, don’t they?

They do, but here’s the problem – when the shows launched, Netflix wasn’t available across in the globe like it is today. For example, Orange Is the New Black launched in 2013, but Netflix only became available in Indonesia in 2016.

To make sure they profit off of their titles even in countries where the service wasn’t available, Netflix sold the licensing rights for their content to other streaming sites and TV networks.

While that worked to their advantage then, it’s the opposite today. Even though Netflix is available in most countries, it can’t legally stream its own content in some of them because they don’t own the licensing rights for those regions. So they need to geo-block it, and wait until the rights expire and they can try to buy them back.

Of course, if Netflix’s data mining shows that interests in their original shows has decreased in those areas, they likely won’t buy back the rights. Licensing content is an enormous expense for them, so they can’t afford to make investments that don’t have a guaranteed ROI.

How Does Netflix Geo-Block Its Content?

It uses your IP address to do that. Your IP reveals important information about your geo-location to any site you visit – particularly what country and city you are from.

Basically, when you visit Netflix, your device sends connection requests through your web browser to the site. Those requests contain your IP address, and Netflix can see it. Once it does, it redirects your connection to your country’s library (the one that matches your IP’s geo-location).

How to Unblock Any Netflix Title You Want

Geo-blocks are annoying, but don’t worry – you can actually bypass them pretty easily. You just need to use one of these unblocking methods:

1. VPNs

A VPN is an online service that hides your geo-location by preventing sites from seeing your IP address. Here’s how it works:

  1. You use a VPN app to connect to a VPN server. When you do that, the two establish an encrypted connection.
  2. From then on, whenever you visit Netflix (or any other site), the VPN server will act as a middleman between it and your device. Basically, it will intercept your connection requests, and forward them for you.
  3. Because of that, Netflix thinks your requests are coming from the VPN server, not your device. Like we just said, requests contain your IP, so the site will only see the VPN’s IP address.

Netflix Geo Lock

As long as you connect to a VPN server that’s in a country where the Netflix title you want to watch is available, you should be able to unblock it.

And since VPNs encrypt your traffic, they can prevent bandwidth throttling. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when your ISP slows down your speeds for specific online activities – like when you binge Netflix for hours on end on the weekend. Since they can’t see what you do online, they can’t selectively throttle your speeds.

To find a good VPN that lets you watch everything on Netflix, follow that link. It’s an online tool called StreamCatcher that tells you where Netflix titles are available, and recommends the best Netflix VPNs using ProPrivacy’s data (one of the biggest VPN review sites on the web).

2. Proxy Servers

Proxies work just like VPNs – they hide your geo-location by routing your traffic through a server that sits between you and Netflix. However, they don’t offer strong encryption (or any at all), so your ISP can still throttle your bandwidth.

On the plus side, a proxy can save requested web pages on its local cache. If you then request them, the proxy can retrieve the without forwarding your requests to Netflix. That means you get faster load times.

3. Smart DNS Services

These are online tools that hide your geo-location by doing the following:

  • They tweak your DNS settings so you don’t use your ISP’s DNS server.
  • They route your traffic through proxy servers in countries where the content you want to unblock is available.
  • And finally, they intercept and change your DNS queries so they don’t leak your geo-location.

Smart DNS services don’t offer any encryption, so stopping bandwidth throttling is out of the question. However, that means your online speeds won’t suffer any slowdowns at all.

Keep in mind that many VPNs offer built-in Smart DNS functionality. So getting a stand-alone Smart DNS isn’t really worth it since you can get a two-in-one deal with a VPN.

Did You Ever Have to Unblock Netflix Originals?

If yes, which ones? And which unblocking methods did you use? We prefer VPNs, but we’d love to hear your thoughts about this too. Also, if you know other ways to unblock Netflix titles, please tell us about them in the comments.

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