If you’re assigned or deployed outside the US (Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Korea, etc) and want to access Netflix streaming movies or Hulu, you will likely get the message:
“Watching Instantly is Not Available Outside the US”
Follow these steps to fix it:
1. Sign up for Hide My Ass! VPN service. A virtual private network (VPN) gives you a US IP address, which makes web sites assume you are in the US.
2. Install the software and select a server in the USA
3. Visit Netflix or Hulu. It works!
In this video I demonstrate how I successfully stream Netflix and Hulu while connected through HideMyAss!:
Every Sunday I verify that this solution still works:
Date last verified as working: 3 Sept 2012.
Why does this work?
Every computer is assigned an IP address before connecting to the internet. When you move or deploy overseas, the IP address given to your computer shows that you are in that country. If you are in Germany, your internet shows that.
Netflix and Hulu do not have agreements in place to stream content abroad. Most of their movies and TV shows are only streamed to the US.
When you use a virtual private network, your IP address is hidden from web sites. So a web site like Netflix can no longer determine your physical location. Some sites will block you if using an anonymous connection abroad. That’s why a quality VPN provider gives you a new IP address, in this case one that appears to come from the USA.
With a VPN you can physically reside in Afghanistan, but virtually reside in Florida. So any sites that are normally blocked will work while outside the US.
Is there a free way to do this?
You may have noticed that there’s a cost to using a VPN service. When I deployed to Qatar I tried to find a free proxy service that would work with Netflix.
But Netflix and Hulu block the free providers because they use very few IP addresses. This solution uses hundreds of IP addresses in the US to ensure that you can connect to pretty much any site.
I found Hide My Ass towards the end of my deployment, and was able to enjoy Netflix movies and Hulu the rest of my time there. I hear from friends that it also works in Germany, Japan, Korea, and Afghanistan. I recommend it because they have a 30 day refund. If you try to access Netflix or Hulu from your location and it doesn’t work, then get your money back!
I believe this would be rare because I personally test the service every Sunday to ensure it’s still working.
Note: If you do not have a US-based Netflix account, you need to install the VPN service first, and sign up with a US IP address. You also need to use a US zip code. But that should be easy since an APO zip code counts as US.