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Netflix and Hulu Abroad

I recently found out Netflix and Hulu won't work abroad. Has anyone used Unlocator in order to use your accounts in Europe and did they work okay?

Posted by
4661 posts

Netflix has cracked down on the use of VPN's and other location hiders and the software will recognise when one is in use. Netflix will work abroad (I don't know about Hulu) but you won't see the same films and shows that you'll see in your home country due to licensing isues.

I've been able to log into my account wherever I've been (and where Netflix operates) but I've only been able to view what has been licensed for that particular country.

Posted by
122 posts

Are there any VPNs you know of that Netflix hasn't discovered?

Posted by
10053 posts

I've been able to log into my account wherever I've been (and where Netflix operates) but I've only been able to view what has been licensed for that particular country.

I had this same experience last year, but while we lived in Italy, Unblock-US worked. I also found that with any VPN (usually I use HideMyAss on my laptop and hook up to a TV using an HDMI cable) I could stream CBS and PBS.

Posted by
4930 posts

If you have internet service at home, you can always set up a VPN at home (hire someone or have a tech-savvy friend do it). This is something I did myself and know how to do - I'm assuming you wouldn't. Yes, it would cost you a one-time fee if you have to pay someone, but there would be no monthly fee, and when you connect to it from anywhere you are connecting to your own home network. Netflix and Hulu aren't going to block you on that.

Posted by
122 posts

Thanks Andrew. Didn't know something like that existed as a 1 time thing!

I figured out how to do the VPN thing but not a permanent fixture. I'm flying in 2 days so this was poor planning on my part!

Posted by
8984 posts

I have been able to use Netflix (via their mobile app) in every country I have visited, even third-world countries; never been blocked. They only catch is that you are limited to Netflix's own shows. The Hollywood studio movies don't show up in the choices.

Posted by
32 posts

As the others stated Netflix has limits but works. I was able to use Hulu without issue everywhere I went. I could not use my HBO Now account.

Posted by
10053 posts

Did you have Hulu?

I had Hulu in Rome until they started blocking anyone using a VPN. :-(

It seems the status changes a lot. I know the VPN companies work to keep the streaming services from blocking them. You might contact Hide My Ass or Unblock-US to see what the current status is.

Posted by
2560 posts

Here is the grumpy old man reply: in over a dozen trips to Europe I think I’ve watched TV a total of an hour. I suppose if I had the flu and it was pouring rain, it would have been more. But, man, you’re in Europe! You spent a lot of time and money to get there and you’re streaming a movie? Get outside and wander instead!

Posted by
10053 posts

Alan, For those of us who travel for many weeks, it can be a great pleasure to spend an evening in with a home cooked dinner and a movie. We rent apartments often and cook in about half the time. After an 8-to-10 hour day of exploring and discovery in a foreign language, having my feet up with a glass of wine and a movie hits the spot!

Posted by
122 posts

It's so interesting to me how people have so many different experiences with this!

I usually keep my mouth shut when I hear the "You shouldn't be in your hotel room anyway!" thing. I'm not a night owl. When traveling I like to have dinner in or out, maybe go for a walk, and then relax in a hotel watching a movie or a couple TV shows I like.

I give kudos to those that don't mind a cheap room who use it strictly to sleep, are out all day, and out all night drinking/music/whatever. That's not me.

Posted by
4930 posts

Don't feel bad. I watch TV shows and movies while traveling abroad as well. If I'm on a train with beautiful scenery, I'll usually look out the window, but often the scenery is nothing special, so I'll sometimes watch something on my phone. If I get back to my hotel early enough in the evening I'll also watch something but usually I am getting back late enough that I just want to get to bed.

Posted by
21710 posts

I was kind of with Alan. Will get in trouble --- But who goes to Europe to watch Netflix and Hulu?

Posted by
32 posts

I think it should be "to each his/her own" in what they do during their down time. In my most recent trip, I was traveling for 7 months. I spent a total of 4 months in the U.K., Scotland, and Ireland, and 90 days spread between Germany, Hungary, Poland, Belgium and France. I rented apartments as my stays were generally a week or more with a few 2 or 3 nighters. I enjoyed having entertainment in the evenings after long days of being out or on the few occasions I was in "sight-see" overload mode. I did not have any fancy vpn or back door things, just used my travel laptop and my existing Netflix and Hulu accounts. As previously noted I was unable to use HBO Now.

Posted by
8984 posts

Most people traveling to Europe aren’t there to get a phd in anthropology. It’s a vacation. One of purposes of a vacation is to sit back and relax. Its not a travel crime to watch 30 minutes of a sit com before going to bed. In any event Mr. Rick always says to be a “temporary local”. Guess what most of the locals are doing at 9pm on a weeknight.

Posted by
4661 posts

With young children in tow my wife and I have little choice but to spend the evenings in whilst they're asleep. During such times we often do what the locals do (much advocated here on RS) and watch Netflix/browse the internet.

Posted by
122 posts

I go to Europe to watch TV....I'm not someone who will be outside my room from 8am-1am. I enjoy coming in after a long day out and relax with a movie or some TV shows.

Posted by
1 posts

I use PureVPN to access both, Netflix and Hulu, on chrome browser extension. Bought its 3 year subscription on anniversary deal for $ 1.92 a month with 7-day money back guarantee.

Here's a screen shot of my hulu account on PureVPN chrome extension

Posted by
4661 posts

The point is that you don't need a VPN to access Netflix, possibly Hulu as well. If you're in a country served by Netflix you can use the service without relying on a VPN. You can log into your account but you won't be able to see or access those films and TV shows that are not licensed for broadcast in the country you're in. I've been able to use Netflix in all the countries I've been to recently, with or without my VPN being on (I use HMA). What I can't do is set my VPN to a UK address and then try to view the Netflix offerings that are available in the UK.

Posted by
122 posts

I'm saying I want a VPN so I can access my regular stuff.

Posted by
4661 posts

I'm saying I want a VPN so I can access my regular stuff.

You can't.

Posted by
1223 posts

Of course, no one goes to Europe just to watch Netflix or Hulu. Jet lag can do weird things, and being awake at 3 am with nothing on TV in English except for BBC news is certainly a good reason to use Netflix and/or Hulu. Plus, if you've got a child or teen, sometimes a familiar movie or TV show can be a perfect way to keep the peace after they've been dragged through cathedrals or art galleries all day.

As far as secret VPNS, I think the OP might want to try a tech forum, I"m sure they're out there. My friend in Canada finally gave up as Netflix blocked all the VPNS he was trying to use to get the USA content.

Posted by
4930 posts

Again, the best solution (not always cheapest for some of you if you have to pay someone) is setting up a VPN on your home network. Netflix can't block you if they think you are on your home network. Yes, I know some of you don't want to mess with it personally. Find a tech friend or relative who can.

I just picked up a cheap Netgear wireless router at Goodwill for $3.99 (a relatively new one, which is why I bought it). I was surprised that it has an OpenVPN server built in. All you'd need to do is generate the certificates (find a how-to online) and hook it up on your home network. (Don't even need to replace your existing router if you wish not to - just forward a port through your home firewall to the router. Again, ask your tech friend to set it up if this sounds intimidating to you.)

Posted by
122 posts

I ended up buying a month of ExpressVPN for $12.95.

It has worked out well. Been able to go to NBC.com Netflix (everything you can get in the USA seems to be okay with the VPN) and Hulu.

Posted by
3 posts

I tested PIA and some of their IP is working with Netflix. Also, I tried PureVPN, ExpressVPN and VyprVPN, only PureVPN is working with good speed.

Posted by
11286 posts

I saw a great tip on one of Rick's videos about technology (I forget who was speaking, but it wasn't Rick).

You can now download lots of content from Hulu, Netflix, etc. But sometimes you still can't watch it abroad, as it's blocked. So, put your device in Airplane Mode and make sure the Wi-Fi is shut off. Your device will then think you are genuinely in an airplane, and you can watch the downloaded shows/movies, even if they're blocked in the country you're watching them in.

I have not tried this personally, so I can't vouch for it, but it makes sense.

Posted by
122 posts

UPDATE:

I used VPN Express during my trip abroad. It allowed me to stream all my regular stuff on Hulu and Netflix, as well as NBC and ABC.

Once in awhile on Hulu I would see some pop up like "Oh. Looks like you are using a VPN" blah blah blah. I contacted VPN Express and they told me to just change the VPN location from CA to NJ (I think), and it worked.

Again I love traveling, but I'm probably in the minority of people on this forum with how I like to travel. I enjoy spending most of the day out, and then relax in a comfortable room with my favorite shows and watch a movie. I also travel with a CHECKED IN (yeah I said it!) suitcase, wear makeup, and don't wear "crossbody" bags.

It's okay to go against the grain.

Posted by
638 posts

I love traveling, but I'm probably in the minority of people on this
forum with how I like to travel. I enjoy spending most of the day out,
and then relax in a comfortable room with my favorite shows and watch
a movie. I also travel with a CHECKED IN (yeah I said it!) suitcase,
wear makeup, and don't wear "crossbody" bags.

It's okay to go against the grain.

Yep. You be you. It's cool.

Thanks for the info on the VPN which I'm going to save for future reference, though I generally just take potluck as to what's on TV in my hotel room. I have a Slingbox on my home TV, and sometimes access it over wifi to view my local TV news if the timing works out. That worked when I was in London last year.

I'm also rather contrarian around here: I check a suitcase, travel with my curated group of electronic devices, wear makeup, use a hairdryer to style my hair every day, rarely do laundry by hand, enjoy relaxing in my hotel room after a day out and about. And - oh the horror! - I wear JEANS, and even worse, I've been known to Buy. A. Britrail. Pass.

But I try to mind my manners around here, and so far I've enjoyed participating in this forum and appreciate the knowledge I've gained.

Happy trails!

Posted by
3620 posts

Boba and Suz

Nothing wrong with traveling to the beat of a different drummer. Rock on!

Posted by
638 posts

Thanks, TC!

BTW, I hope I didn't give the impression that I travel with a huge steamer trunk or something, lol! My checked bag on a foreign trip is a 22" bag, or when I'm really feeling hedonistic, a 25" bag. I'm not that much of a contrarian.

Posted by
66 posts

We also like to unwind with a bit of TV. We go out early and by the late afternoon, I am ready to take it easy and be brain-dead for a while, even if we do go out again. Many nights we watch movies or read. Whatever works for you is what is best and the right thing to do!

Posted by
638 posts

What's wrong about a britrail pass??

Nothing, really. It's the cost of the pass that's the issue. You definitely pay for the convenience.

Advantages are of course that for people unfamiliar with the British train ticketing system, you don't waste time and lose brain cells faffing around with all that nonsense. And that if your schedule isn't set in stone, you can change your plans at the last minute, and take a different train, without losing the money you'd have paid for an advance fare ticket.

Disadvantages: cost. It would be silly to use a day of your Britrail pass if all you're going to do that day is travel a regular short commuter route such as Glasgow to Edinburgh, which is a cheap walk-up ticket. It's not so obviously silly for a lot, if not most, other types of rail journeys, especially when you factor in the convenience and flexibility you get.

I've had it stated to me by one forum member, that even when someone has decided to buy a BritRail pass and just wants help finding where to buy the flexible version, they should provide all the details of their planned itinerary so the experts here can slice and dice it and render a verdict on whether the BritRail pass is indeed a good value for money. Ahem, for the original poster's money, that is. [I have edited this post to remove a phrase that someone deemed "offensively sexist." I do not agree that it was but I do not wish to debate the issue here.]

When one is on vacation in a foreign country, there may be room in one's budget for a rail pass that's convenient to use and doesn't tie one down to catching, say, the 10:45 train from Edinburgh to York on the Tuesday, instead of an earlier or later train. I don't doubt that you might be able do the train trips more cheaply, but finding the absolutely cheapest fare is not the point for every. single. tourist. Especially when those cheap fares tie you down to a rigid schedule. Some people thrive on that stuff. I think it's a PITA when on a blooming vacation, and if I can afford the pass and am comfortable that I'm paying something for the convenience, it's not a bad deal.

Posted by
122 posts

Oh lol it's the whole "Why would you spend all that extra $$$ when you could just_____________" thing. I think it's just one of those things which do you value more...saving $ or convenience.

That's like me with airfare. Last summer I flew LAX to ZRH with a short stopover in LHR. I got a good deal on the airfare.

Looking back on it now, I would rather spend extra $ to break up transatlantic flights. I hate long flights, was jet lagged, and honestly it took me a day or two to really get settled. I'm hoping to go back to Europe in the summer of 2019. I would most likely do LAX to either NYC, DC, Boston, Toronto, or Philadelphia...spend a night or two there (I like all those cities anyway and I've never been to Toronto), and then fly to Europe.I've had people (On reddit though) think I'm stupid for wanting to spend extra $ for simply saving a few hours, as well as to cut my trip shorter by a few days due to wanting to stretch my legs for a day or two. Pros and cons to everything.

I get updates for Scott's Cheap Flights and similar sites where they find cheap deals. The savings are great, but then I think about the reality of it for me. I just cannot do a 10hr flight anymore. For me there is a difference between 7 hours in the air and 10 hours.

Posted by
4661 posts

I've had it condescendingly mansplained to me

The irony of using that phrase is that is as offensively sexist as the context of your point.

Posted by
638 posts

JC, I have deleted the phrase that you found so offensive, and edited the post.

As to the forum post that I characterized with that phrase? I read it several times and as I read it, it begins with a direct personal put-down to me. And the overall tone didn't redeem that. I do not, however, wish to get into a debate about mansplaining here.

Posted by
4661 posts

I have edited this post to remove a phrase that someone deemed "offensively sexist." I do not agree that it was but I do not wish to debate the issue here.

If you don't find a derogatory, gender based insult specifically for men as not offensively sexist then that speaks volumes, as much as the attempt to shut down the debate.

Posted by
607 posts

It has been a few years since I used a free VPN to get US netflix in Canada. I used to use betternet on my tablet. When I tested it today, it has changed from a free VPN to a temporary 7 day trial. When I tried to test the 7 day trial, it asked for a credit card so I deleted the app. I then uploaded Free VPN Master. When I tested it, it gave me a US ip address and I was able to access US netflix content. So it worked. For now. The problem with the free version is that there is a 30 minute (daily?) limit.