Sick of Netflix's available shows? Use a VPN to change your country and see more

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Netflix has a great roster of TV shows, but its movie catalog sucks, to put it bluntly. Sure, there are a few gems now and then, but for the most part it's a weak selection.

There's a way to counter the ho-hum selection, however: If you're tired of what Netflix USA has available, just pick-up and move to another country where Netflix offers its service. That may sound extreme, but the best part is you never have to pack a box or hire a moving company. You only need to fire up a VPN.

I'll give you an example.

The other day someone I know was in the mood for a baseball movie, but have you seen Netflix’s baseball movie selection right now? It's not great. The best choices were either The Bad News Bears or The Perfect Game. Fine movies, but not he wanted.

So he fired up a virtual private network provider, took a (virtual) trip over to Canada and lo and behold Netflix Canada was streaming Major League. Excellent.

The great thing about Netflix is that it lets you use your account in any country where its service is active, and each country has a different catalog of streaming titles. So all you have to do to try and find a better movie selection is tunnel in to Netflix from another country.

If you'd like to peruse the differences between Netflix's various national catalogs, here's how it works.

First, a warning

There's nothing in Netflix's terms of use expressly forbidding the use of a virtual private network to view catalogs outside of your home location. And contrary to reports from January Netflix is not actively blocking VPNs.

What Netflix does say is that it wants you to use the service "primarily within the country in which you have established your account," which for most of you reading this will be the United States. The terms of use also allow you to view Netflix within other geographic locations where Netflix is offered.

Netflix's terms of use are pretty vague and don't explicitly stop you from switching locations digitally.

Things get a little more specific in Netflix's end user license agreement, where it says you may not "view any movies & TV shows provided by Netflix or its suppliers anywhere other than within the country or location authorized by Netflix (“Territory”); and instantly watch movies & TV shows outside of the Territory, and Netflix may use technologies to verify your compliance."

That's a little clearer, but it's pretty hard for Netflix to tell the difference between someone who's actually in Canada versus someone in Minnesota using a VPN based in Toronto or Montreal. That said, there's always some risk with these kinds of workarounds and it could result in having your account canceled.

Getting virtual

Before you can be a Netflix globetrotter you need to start paying for a virtual private network service. The one you choose is very important since you need a VPN that offers exit nodes in multiple Netflix countries around the world. You also want a VPN that offers its own desktop client so you don't have to mess around with setting it up. Some good choices are Private Internet Access, TorGuard, and TunnelBear.

Once you've got your VPN set-up it's as simple as choosing your Netflix country in the VPN, connecting to the VPN, and signing in to your Netflix account. That's it. Welcome to the wonderful world of Netflix jet-setting.

The only challenge now is figuring out which country has the selection you're looking for.

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