How to watch American Netflix in South Africa



A connoisseur of 80's action films like 300, Predator, and Terminator, Lee blends his extensive movie knowledge with adeptness at streaming shows worldwide. His love for cinema permeates his lifestyle, from attending Comic Con to sporting Star Wars socks.

Are you one of the 56 million people living in South Africa?

Maybe you live in the dense city of Johannesburg or the busy port Cape Town and wish that you could have unrestricted access to other countries’ TV shows and Netflix libraries such as the hundreds of shows and movies that the US Netflix has to offer?

Since 2016 Netflix has been available in South Africa, however even though it has a large selection of TV shows and movies, it pales in comparison with what the US Netflix library has to offer.

In fact, a MASSIVE 93% of the titles available on the US Netflix are not available on the South African counterpart.

This will leave you missing on some quality movie and TV show content.

But don’t worry. No one has singled out South Africa, this is the case around the world but in this article, I’ll be showing you how to put that right and access US Netflix from the comfort of your home.

Steps to watch US Netflix in South Africa

To be able to enjoy the full extent of what Netflix has to offer, you will want to have unrestricted access to the US Netflix library.

To do so, you will need to use a VPN app.

A VPN masks your location and lets you appear like you’re in another country, e.g. the United States.

Doing so will trick Netflix into thinking that you are living in America and you will have access to the American Netflix selection with the click of a button.

We recommend that you use ExpressVPN. There are others, but I’ll discuss more on that later.

To get ExpressVPN, visit their website and click the “Get ExpressVPN” or “Get the #1 Rated VPN” button which will lead you to the payment plan selection page.

ExpressVPN sign up button

From there, select what payment plan suits your needs and then choose your payment method followed by entering your details.

After this, download the VPN app from the Products area of the ExpressVPN website from your devices app store. Open the app and log in using your username and password.

Choose what location you want to connect to (United States) and then click “Connect“. Now you will have access to the US Netflix Library.

ExpressVPN desktop app showing United States

Unlock US Netflix with ExpressVPN.

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Which VPN apps work with Netflix?

When it comes to selecting a VPN service, you will need to be careful.

Some VPNs are blocked by Netflix and will leave you disappointed as you won’t be able to use them for accessing other Netflix libraries.

Only a select few work, this is one of the main factors behind why we recommend ExpressVPN.

Express VPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, so streaming high definition content won’t be a problem.

With over 3000 servers for you to connect to and 42+ Locations within the US, you will have access to a fast, reliable and secure connection. Giving you everything you need to access what the US Netflix library has to offer.

Other options to consider are CyberGhost VPN or Surfshark if you want to shop around.

How does American Netflix compare to South Africa’s?

When comparing what each Netflix library has to offer, the US Netflix comes out on top.

With over 1,600 more titles, it’s easy to see why you would want to access the region’s library for yourself.

A lot of Netflix exclusives are currently unavailable in South Africa, mainly due to licensing issues between the producers and Netflix.

In fact, as I mentioned earlier, you will find that 93% of the US Netflix library is currently not available in South Africa due to these issues.

That is a massive chunk of TV/movie gold that you are missing out on.

Many popular shows such as The Walking Dead and House Of Cards are not available to you if you are a user of South African Netflix.

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Why does South Africa have a different catalogue?

The main reason behind the massive difference in what is available on South African Netflix and US Netflix is down to licensing issues.

Many of the TV Shows and movies that seem to be missing from the South African library have fallen victim to the red tape, keeping them from being released elsewhere.

This is the case with every country.

For example, some TV shows that are available on the UK Netflix will be available in South Africa, but not available in Spain. It all comes down to what agreements/contracts are in place by the Netflix management.

Are VPN apps illegal?

No, VPNs are perfectly legal in South Africa.

Originally they were used to keep your data safe and secure while surfing the web. VPNs mask your IP address and prevent any unwanted snooping going on, keeping your internet activity mostly anonymous.

This is extremely useful if you are using a public Wi-Fi hotspot, as these types of connections tend to be very insecure and leave you vulnerable to unsavoury characters stealing your data.

A VPN will help prevent this.

I heard VPN apps are blocked?

Back in 2016/2017, most VPNs were blocked in South Africa and in fact across the world by Netflix.

While they were still legal, Netflix blocked access to the VPN services, meaning that you couldn’t access any shows or movies when connected to one.

Luckily for you, this changed.

Nowadays many VPNs work well with Netflix, but as I said earlier, not all do so it pays to check first.

In Summary

When looking to unlock the US Netflix while you are residing in South Africa, you will need to make use of a VPN service.

Our number 1 recommendation is ExpressVPN due to its compatibility with Netflix.

It offers fast connection speeds that make it perfect for streaming video content, and also its reliability, protecting your data from any unwanted intrusions.

Using a VPN will give you access to over 1600 extra titles that you won’t find on South African Netflix. Plus many others that are unavailable due to them being regionally blocked.

Don’t wait around, go and enjoy what the US Netflix has to offer. You won’t be disappointed.

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