Since Netflix first launched in South Korea back in 2016, it has made slow but steady progress. There are currently an estimated 1.5 million subscribers, but in a country of more than 51 million people, there is scope for much more growth. This is especially true within South Korea’s sizable ex-pat population.
This slow progress may be in part down to a limited offering of local content. But Netflix is known as a western streaming service, and the blunt fact is that their offering for the Korean market is far less impressive than many other countries.
Overall, South Korean Netflix offers around 2,500 movies and slightly fewer than 1,000 TV shows. This compares to more than 4,000 movies and 1,500 TV shows for US Netflix subscribers. It is a big difference, especially when monthly subscriptions costs are broadly the same.
So, if Korean Netflix users or ex-pats want western content, they can get much more by accessing American Netflix. This is quite easy to do with the help of a VPN, and in this article, we will show you how to do that and which VPN is the best to use.
Quick Start Guide: How to Watch American Netflix in South Korea
For those who just want to get watching, we’ll begin with our Quick Start Guide. Just follow these few simple steps and you can be enjoying American Netflix in South Korea in no more than a few minutes.
Quick Step-By-Step Guide:
- Sign up with a VPN service that can unblock US Netflix in South Korea.
- Download and install the VPN’s app onto your device.
- Open the VPN app and sign in to your VPN account.
- Connect to a US-based server.
- Open the Netflix website or launch the Netflix app.
- Watch American Netflix in South Korea.
That’s really all there is to it. The only thing you need to think about is which VPN to use. If you want to know which one we recommend, keep on reading.
Why Is American Netflix Different From South Korean Netflix?
There is a good reason why American Netflix can offer so much more content than South Korean Netflix. It comes down to an issue of rights.
Netflix has to buy up the rights to any content it doesn’t produce itself. These rights are always sold off by country, and there is plenty of competition for them.
Netflix will win some auctions and lose others. The result is that they end up holding different rights in every country they operate.
Because Netflix started out in American, it is no surprise that they hold more content right there than anywhere else. One day that might change, but now American Netflix offers substantially more TV shows and movies than almost every other Netflix service.
To find out more about which TV shows and movies are available on different Netflix platforms, take a look at unogs.com.
Why Can’t I Access American Netflix in South Korea?
Because rights are sold by country, rights holders do everything they can to ensure that streaming services like Netflix don’t make their shows available in other countries. Netflix wants to keep these rights holders happy, so they do everything they can to stop people unblocking content from other countries.
To do this, they use a technique known as geo-blocking. Geo-blocking works by analyzing every user’s IP Address when they visit the Netflix website. An IP Address is like your computer’s home address. It tells Netflix where you are located when connecting to the internet.
If your IP Address reveals that you are in South Korea, Netflix will only let you connect to their South Korean service. Even if you enter the URL of another country’s Netflix, you will be automatically redirected.
It is a clever technique. But there is a way to bypass it. To do that, all you need is a VPN.
How Can I Get Around Netflix Geo-Blocking?
A Virtual Private Network or VPN is primarily an online security and privacy tool. It protects users’ online data by redirecting it through an encrypted tunnel.
It then passes it through an external server to protect your privacy too. This is the important bit for Netflix fans because when your data passes through this server, the IP Address it is tagged with is changed to the IP Address of the VPN server.
This is mainly for privacy protection, but a beneficial side effect is that it can be used to unblock services like Netflix.
VPNs operate servers all over the world, and users can choose which of these servers to use. If you want to unblock American Netflix in South Korea, all you have to do is choose a US-based server.
This will tag your data with an American IP Address, and when Netflix sees this, it will automatically redirect you to the American Netflix service.
All you have to do is sign in and start watching.
Doesn’t Netflix Block VPN Users?
This is one of the questions we get asked all the time. Netflix certainly likes people to think that it blocks all VPN users. The truth is that it tries, but its success rate is far from 100%.
The only real way that Netflix can block VPN users is by manually identifying and then blocking every IP Address used by every VPN provider. This is time and resource-intensive, and also extremely difficult.
It is made even more difficult by the fact that quite a few VPNs have battled back. They use different techniques to either change their IP Address or hide them from Netflix. It is like a game of cat and mouse and one that Netflix can never totally win.
As a result, there are a number of VPNs that can still unblock American Netflix in South Korea, and many other countries around the world too.
What Is the Best VPN to Watch American Netflix in South Korea?
So, that’s how it works. The question is, which VPN is the best one to use. We have been testing all the top VPNs over the past few weeks to see which the best is at unblocking American Netflix in South Korea.
Our Busan-based staffer has been putting them all through their paces and her results are now in.
Our recommendation for the best VPN to watch American Netflix in South Korea is ExpressVPN.
There are several reasons why ExpressVPN stood out in those tests:
- Fast Connection Speeds: ExpressVPN is by far the fastest VPN we tested. Streaming TV shows and movies is data intensive, and long-distance VPN connections can cause a lag. We experienced no such issues with ExpressVPN, unlike other VPNs we tested.
- US Servers: The more American servers available, the higher the chance of a VPN working with American Netflix. ExpressVPN has one of the largest networks of American servers around, making it ideal for US Netflix fans.
- Unblocks US Netflix: ExpressVPN has worked hard to keep their service working with Netflix. There are a few servers that are blocked, but the majority are not, which is a testament to the commitment ExpressVPN has shown to its users.
- Strong Encryption and Privacy Protection: Because Netflix doesn’t like VPN users unblocking their service, it is well worth keeping your connection private and secure when watching. ExpressVPN does that superbly. They offer 256-bit AES encryption as standard and a terrific no user logs guarantee meaning there is no way Netflix can spot that you are logging in from overseas.
- Cost Effective: ExpressVPN does cost a little more than some other providers. But we still contend that the level of service they offer makes them excellent value for money. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you have plenty of time to try before you buy too.
If you want to stream western TV shows or movies in South Korea, the truth is that you get much more bang for your buck with American Netflix than their Korean service. This is why so many Koreans and ex-pats are looking for ways to unblock US Netflix.