Recently Netflix shocked the tech world with an unprecedented global expansion into 130 countries. So now this video streaming service is available in 190 countries including India, but not in China, North Korea, Syria or the Crimea.
Netflix’s original content is available worldwide, but the exact catalog for users varies based on their country. That’s because licensing deals are different from market to market, and Netflix also curates its content based on what it thinks locals will like.
That can be really frustrating, particularly since Netflix regularly pulls popular programming to keep its content fresh. But, in actual fact, the global expansion has literally opened a whole new world of opportunity for Netflix users — if you’re prepared to invest a little money on some special software.
If you buy in a VPN — software that allows you to access the Internet while appearing to be in another country — then Netflix’s differing global catalog is an invitation to sample a range of programming beyond what is available where you live.
For example, in Thailand, the local catalog doesn’t include some blockbuster content from the U.S. and UK. Having a VPN allows to jump that barrier. That gives an access to content that nobody in Thailand can view on the service.
But it works two ways. There are many classic films or shows that have long been removed in the U.S. and other Western markets, but are accessible in these new Netflix launch countries. Or perhaps you specifically like Korean dramas or other country-specific content.
You just need to know where to look. Given the number of Netflix content tracking sites online, it won’t be long until someone begins compiling a master list of what is available where.