If you live in the United States, chances are you can watch just about any movie that has been made and put online, at least in English. And practically all notable movies have been put online by this point. Of all the streaming services available there is an option, and everything else is available for digital rental. And while you might need to make a quick search to find the right site, it isn’t too terrible a chore.
Yet if you live outside the United States, things might get a bit more difficult. The movie selection isn’t so great, and if you want to watch the latest and greatest from Hollywood you might have to wait or be subject to some odd restrictions or timetables. Instead, why not just watch it like someone in another country? That’s what we’re here to help you with. While companies might not want you to look, the process to do so is quite easy to implement. And whether you’re someone in a content-deprived country or someone who is on vacation wanting a slice of home, we’re here to help.
The fine details might vary based on your particular setup and situation, but here are the general steps you need to take to watch movies outside of your region:
First off, where do you live? Sure, you probably know your address offhand, but when it comes to the internet where do streaming companies place you? What TV market do you live in, if there is the desire to watch sports? Chances are you are grouped by the country you are in and that will be most relevant, but there might be further divisions depending on licensing agreements beyond your control. It might not always be relevant if you’re considering this issue on a global scale, but it's handy knowledge to have for reasons we’ll go into later.
A quick internet search will likely give you the answer. When all else fails or you don’t care about it too much at first, just assume your region is your country. This is especially the case if you live in a smaller country, or one without strong internal divisions. Then look to see what services are available and if there might be any restrictions for streaming media you could run into.
Also coming into this step is determining your setup, available tools, and your intentions. Do you want to watch one movie in particular or do you want a more permanent setup? Is the movie harder to find even in another country? Some of these questions might not seem immediately relevant, but overall, they can be important to the process and optimizing your experience.
Searching all over the globe to find a movie can be difficult to do yourself, so we recommend that you look up in advance where your movie is available. Is it available in the United States? If so, on which services is it available? What is available on Netflix in one country will be vastly different in another, and that’s only considering one service. Licensing and rights issues are profoundly complicated, and it’s the best we can hope for to keep up with the information.
Getting the language you want might also be a factor to consider. If you want to get a specific dub, is that available on the service? Is it available on the service in the region you want to use? While the original language will likely always be available, such special features might be more limited.
If you are having an especially difficult time, don’t worry about this step right this minute. You can wait to turn on your VPN, set your area to the United States (or the logical choice), and then make a Google search for your movie. You’ll likely get an answer to your inquiry.
Next comes perhaps the most important part: finding a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a tool you use to connect your device with a remote server. It uses an encrypted connection to hide your IP address and effectively gives your device a new IP address while you are using it. Given that your IP address effectively determines your region online, a VPN can make it appear as though you’re somewhere else. This is key to watching movies outside your region. Think of it not as bringing the movies to you but as bringing yourself to that region.
Yet not all VPNs are alike, and getting the best experience is reliant upon getting a good connection to your server of choice, and a connection that reliably fools everyone that you are actually somewhere else.
Some things to look for in a VPN include:
We would not recommend most free VPNs, as in most cases you are the product instead of the customer. They also may contain troublesome ads and are not as secure as possible. You get what you pay for, and a few dollars a month is worth the access and security a premium VPN provides. If a VPN is provided in another service you are already subscribed to or a product you have, however, you may want to try that first.
There might be other tools similar to a VPN that can help you. Effectively the key point is making sure your IP address is different than your “home” one.
So how exactly should you use a VPN to watch movies? Go by the following steps:
There may be variations on how to do so from VPN to VPN. Therefore, read any instructions carefully and look into the UI and settings available to you if you ever get confused.
All the above is great on a smartphone or a computer, but what if you want to watch movies on your television? In such cases, you have a few options:
Last, of all, check to see how well the movie stream is working. Not all VPNs are alike in terms of their quality, and depending on your server selection, location, and other factors, the stream quality might not be the best.
To check most of these things, you can use an internet speed test. With it, you can detect your ping, upload speed, and download, among various other statistics. For the most part, the things you will care about most are speed and connection stability, to keep the movie playing at a good resolution without waiting. If with a VPN you have a download speed faster than 3 Mbps, you should have absolutely no issues. If it's just a bit slower, you might occasionally need to buffer depending on your intended resolution.
Also, your speed might be partially dependent on your server. If you have a choice in the matter, choose a server that is closer to your actual location to improve speeds. If the knowledge is available to you directly or indirectly, also try to use a less-congested server.
Start the movie (or any content) and see how well it holds up after five to ten minutes. If all seems well, then enjoy as you would anything else!
As mentioned, the process may vary depending on the specifics of your situation. Here are some tips and notes to keep in mind, and some other facts that are worth mentioning regarding this process:
Depending on where you live, it can be frustrating if you want to watch a certain movie, or even just have a decent selection to pick from for a night in. You might not even think of getting a streaming subscription with what you have in your area. However, we hope that the above instructions give you the precise guidance you need to watch what you want, when you want and exactly when you want it. Don’t let borders (virtual or others) define what you experience and enjoy.
Remember to fine-tune your methods and to keep notes if you know you’re going to want to access the same region a few times. It’s an easy process for sure, but we want you to make it like clockwork. We wish you the best of fortune and may you be enjoying your new favorite show or movie within the hour.