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Is it illegal to stream Netflix US in the UK?

If you want to know whether or not it’s illegal to stream content from Netflix US to the UK, then just keep scrolling for all the key info’ you need.

For the longest time, anyone living in the British Isles has had to watch in envy as the latest and greatest bits of film and TV tend to hit Netflix US first. This has no doubt led many of you to ask this one simple question: how can I stream Netflix US in the UK?

While the practice can technically be done, the legality of streaming Netflix US to any territory outside of its intended destination has become a focal talking point in recent years. If you’re one such person who plans on diving into some of that US content from elsewhere, we highly recommend you read this article first – it could save your account from termination.

Related: Have a read of our full Netflix review

Is it illegal to stream US Netflix in the UK? – Has Netflix banned VPNs?

Let’s get this right out the way first: it is not illegal to stream Netflix US in the UK, but we do not recommend the practice as it violates Netflix’s terms of service. Within Netflix’s terms of service, there are two key paragraphs to pay attention to:

4.3. You may view the Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such content. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location and will change from time to time.”

4.6. In addition, you agree not to upload, post, e-mail or otherwise send or transmit any material designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment associated with the Netflix service, including any software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs. We may terminate or restrict your use of our service if you violate these Terms of Use or are engaged in illegal or fraudulent use of the service.”

So while it might not be illegal to stream Netflix US via the use of a VPN, Netflix does hold the right to refuse service to you completely if you decide to do so. In most cases however, the company simply blocks your access to the site while the VPN is switched on, but will revoke the block once it’s switched off.

Related: Have your say on the best streaming service

What does a VPN do?

For the uninitiated, a VPN (or Virtual Private Network) allows users to hide their unique IP address – which reveals their location – by utilising a different IP address from somewhere else in the world.

By concealing your location, VPNs have become extremely popular as a means of improving one’s cyber security while surfing online, preventing a whole host of potential threats and cyber attacks that can occur with an exposed IP address.

Of course, with the internet being fooled as to your exact whereabouts, you can potentially reap the benefits of being located in another country, namely by gaining access to a different streaming library on services like Netflix.

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