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How to unblock and watch American Netflix in the UK

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We’ve found all the best VPNs for unblocking American Netflix from anywhere in the world, with impressive  deals on ExpressVPN, PureVPN, NordVPN, CyberGhost VPN, and more leading providers..

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ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers excellent customer service, security, and the ability to unblock every streaming service.

We all love settling down for a marathon streaming session, but after one of these binges it can feel like there’s nothing left to watch. When you’ve reached this point, you should consider a VPN

VPNs are really useful tools that provide data protection and online security. They can also be used to watch content that is not normally available in your location. This means that you can watch all the extra films and shows on American Netflix that are not accessible outside of the U.S.

This is especially useful at the moment, because everyone is hunting for more entertainment options during these testing times. Nobody knows how long the coronavirus pandemic will continue to affect daily life, so we’re all in need of something that can bypass geo-restrictions to unlock additional content.


Best VPN deals this week

  • ExpressVPN (Partner Exclusive) — 49% off a one-year plan with an extra three months for free

  • NordVPN — 68% off a two-year plan

  • CyberGhost — 79% off a one-year plan with an extra six months for free

  • ZenMate — 79% off a one-year plan with an extra six months for free


There are a few services or devices that could boost your content options, but nothing is as effective as a VPN.

How do you watch American Netflix in the UK?

If you think the process of accessing American Netflix might be difficult with a VPN, think again. It’s actually a really simple process that everyone can understand.

All you need to do is open up your preferred VPN, pick an American server in order to spoof your IP to a U.S. address, and then visit Netflix. This quick and easy action makes Netflix think you’re in the U.S. when you’re actually in the UK, so you can watch all that great content that is normally blocked. Not too difficult, right?

What is the best VPN for Netflix?

There are a lot of VPN services out there for you to consider, but we wouldn’t want you wasting your time checking everything out, so we have handpicked your best options for unblocking Netflix. Each service has a different set of features that will suit some users better than others, and it’s all about finding something that works for you.

It’s difficult to pick a favourite VPN for accessing American Netflix, but ExpressVPN does stand out from the competition for a number of reasons. Namely, its streaming-friendly interface, security focused features, and connection speed. All of this provides users with a straightforward and speedy streaming experience.

Speed is probably the most important feature to consider when it comes to picking a VPN for streaming. Using a VPN to connect to another country often affects your download speed, which can be devastating when you are trying to binge on your favourite show. We found that using ExpressVPN consistently results in the lowest buffering time when streaming Netflix in 4K.

ExpressVPN is at the top of this list because it combines a bunch of vital features with impressive results, but it isn’t the only strong option available to you. We have lined up five of the best VPNs for unblocking Netflix in 2020, with something for everyone.

These are the best VPNs for Netflix in 2020.


Simple and attractive interface • Strict no-logging policy • Large and geographically diverse server network • 24/7 live chat support • 30-day money-back guarantee • Up to five simultaneous connections
ExpressVPN is a solid all-round VPN for security, speed, and unblocking Netflix.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers excellent customer service, security, and the ability to unblock every streaming service.

  • Monthly plan:
    $12.95/month
  • 6-month plan:
    $9.99/month
  • 1-year plan:
    $8.32/month
ExpressVPN has a formidable number of servers, with more than 3,000 spread out across 94 countries worldwide. It also promises great security, offers unlimited bandwidth, and abides by a zero-logs policy. (The company is actually based in the British Virgin Islands, a country without mandatory data retention laws.)
But we know why you’re here: You want to know whether ExpressVPN plays well with Netflix. We’re happy to inform you that the answer is an enthusiastic “yes.” What’s more, ExpressVPN can be set up at the router level so you can stream your favorite shows and movies on all sorts of different devices without having to install separate apps.
As far as user-friendliness go, ExpressVPN is quite easy to setup: You just boot up the app and choose a location — that’s it. (The app will also recommend a location depending on your actual geolocation, ideally providing you with better speed.)
Click here to sign up for a plan starting at $8.32/month.

Strong privacy policy • Up to seven simultaneous connecttions • Large server network • Extremely user-friendly • Long-term plans are cheap and include a 45-day money-back guarantee • Features dedicated streaming servers
Live support could use some work
Perfect for those who are new to VPNs, CyberGhost VPN is very user-friendly and packed with great features.

2. CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN is very user-friendly and packed with great features.

  • Monthly plan:
    $12.99/month
  • 6-month plan:
    $7.99/month
  • 18-month plan:
    $2.75/month
CyberGhost VPN has over 6,200 servers worldwide, offers unlimited bandwidth, and features AES 256-bit encryption, DNS and IP leak protection, and an automatic kill switch (among other stellar security tools).
This provider is of particular interest to us as it maintains dedicated streaming servers that are specially optimized for speed, reliability, and location — i.e., they play really nice with Netflix. (Click here for brief tutorial on how to connect to one.) These servers are also capable of unblocking other services like Disney+, ESPN, Crunchyroll, Hulu, Showtime, HBO Now, and BBC One, in case you’ve depleted your Netflix queue.
Click here to sign up for a plan starting at $2.95/month.

Great server coverage, with specialised unique servers across the globe • The most user friendly VPN for unblocking streaming services • One of the most inexpensive VPNs available on the market
Cannot purchase additional simultaneous connections
PureVPN is a great all-round Netflix VPN for security, speed, and unblocking.

3. PureVPN

PureVPN is a great all-round Netflix VPN with strong connection speeds.

  • One month:
    £8.32/month
  • Two years (exclusive plan):
    £2.24/month
PureVPN is offering a two-year subscription for around £2.24 per month (exclusive to Mashable readers):

  • One of the cheapest VPN subscriptions available with Netflix functionality
  • Only need to be committed to a two-year plan
  • One of the best user interfaces that has a separate tab for U.S. Netflix
  • Also compatible with unblocking US Amazon Prime Video
  • Over 2,000 servers in over 180 locations
  • 31-day money-back guarantee included
  • £26.88 billed annually (73% off)

30-day money-back guarantee • Strict no-logs policy • Extremely secure • Includes ad blocking • Up to six simultaneous connections • Huge server network
Monthly plans are expensive
NordVPN is one of the most secure and trusted VPNs on the market, boasting compatibility with every streaming service.

4. NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the most secure and trusted VPNs on the market, boasting compatibility with every streaming service.

  • Monthly plan:
    $11.95/month
  • 6-month plan:
    $9/month
  • 1-year plan:
    $4.08/month
One of the most reliable VPN services out there, NordVPN lays claim to over 5,200 servers in nearly 60 countries around the globe. But more importantly, watching Netflix with NordVPN works without a hitch. Using it to access content on U.S. Netflix was as simple as firing up the NordVPN app, clicking on a dot on its server map, and voilà — all of Netflix’s 5,000-plus TV shows and movies instantly became available upon login.
Even more importantly, streaming through NordVPN was fast and easy. (If you do run into trouble, the service has a dedicated help page for dealing with Netflix-related issues.)
Other NordVPN highlights include top-notch encryption, protection from dangerous websites and malware, and a guarantee to not log or retain your data. 
Click here to sign up for a plan for as low as $4.08/month. 

Multi-platform, multi-protocol support • Up to five simultaneous connections • 24/7 live chat support • 30-day money-back guarantee • Automatic kill switch • Audited no-log policy • Long-term plans are super cheap
Small server network (~700)
A fast, secure VPN that doesn’t affect ping.

5. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is pretty speedy, which means less buffer time for streaming.

  • Monthly plan:
    $12.95/month
  • 12-month plan:
    $3.75/month
  • 24-month plan:
    $2.50/month
VyprVPN is speedy and works quite well with Netflix, though you may have to try out a few servers before you find one that works. (Click here for a how-to guide.)
As far as its privacy offerings go, VyprVPN offers AES 256-bit encryption and an automatic kill switch to protect your data in case the connection fails. It’s worth mentioning that its network is a bit small at around 700 servers, but since it owns, builds, and manages all of them itself (as opposed to outsourcing to a third-party hosting company), they’re super secure; no one else is ever handling your data.
And just in case you ever run into an issue with VyprVPN’s client, you’ve got the option of contacting its support staff via live chat 24/7.
Click here to sign up for a plan starting at $2.50/month.

Is getting a VPN for Netflix worth it?

If you’re worried that this whole thing sounds a bit illegal, then maybe we can reassure you. It’s currently legal to watch Netflix while using a VPN, although we should point out that Netflix states in its terms of service that it may restrict your account without compensation or notice if you are engaged in “improper” use. We’re not entirely sure what that means, but consider yourself warned.

The risk may be worth the reward, but it’s really up to you to decide. If you do go for it then you’ll get a lot of extra content for a small fee. Tempting, right?

Editors note: These VPN services worked with Netflix at the time we tested them. Netflix functionality is subject to change at a moment’s notice. If Netflix functionality changes for any of the VPNs listed, they’ll be removed.

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The Trump campaign celebrated a growth record that Democrats downplayed.

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The White House celebrated economic growth numbers for the third quarter released on Thursday, even as Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign sought to throw cold water on the report — the last major data release leading up to the Nov. 3 election — and warned that the economic recovery was losing steam.

The economy grew at a record pace last quarter, but the upswing was a partial bounce-back after an enormous decline and left the economy smaller than it was before the pandemic. The White House took no notice of those glum caveats.

“This record economic growth is absolute validation of President Trump’s policies, which create jobs and opportunities for Americans in every corner of the country,” Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign said in a statement, highlighting a rebound of 33.1 percent at an annualized rate. Mr. Trump heralded the data on Twitter, posting that he was “so glad” that the number had come out before Election Day.

The annualized rate that the White House emphasized extrapolates growth numbers as if the current pace held up for a year, and risks overstating big swings. Because the economy’s growth has been so volatile amid the pandemic, economists have urged focusing on quarterly numbers.

Those showed a 7.4 percent gain in the third quarter. That rebound, by far the biggest since reliable statistics began after World War II, still leaves the economy short of its pre-pandemic levels. The pace of recovery has also slowed, and now coronavirus cases are rising again across much of the United States, raising the prospect of further pullback.

“The recovery is stalling out, thanks to Trump’s refusal to have a serious plan to deal with Covid or to pass a new economic relief plan for workers, small businesses and communities,” Mr. Biden’s campaign said in a release ahead of Thursday’s report. The rebound was widely expected, and the campaign characterized it as “a partial return from a catastrophic hit.”

Economists have warned that the recovery could face serious roadblocks ahead. Temporary measures meant to shore up households and businesses — including unemployment insurance supplements and forgivable loans — have run dry. Swaths of the service sector remain shut down as the virus continues to spread, and job losses that were temporary are increasingly turning permanent.

“With coronavirus infections hitting a record high in recent days and any additional fiscal stimulus unlikely to arrive until, at the earliest, the start of next year, further progress will be much slower,” Paul Ashworth, chief United States economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note following the report.

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Black and Hispanic workers, especially women, lag in the U.S. economic recovery.

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The surge in economic output in the third quarter set a record, but the recovery isn’t reaching everyone.

Economists have long warned that aggregate statistics like gross domestic product can obscure important differences beneath the surface. In the aftermath of the last recession, for example, G.D.P. returned to its previous level in early 2011, even as poverty rates remained high and the unemployment rate for Black Americans was above 15 percent.

Aggregate statistics could be even more misleading during the current crisis. The job losses in the initial months of the pandemic disproportionately struck low-wage service workers, many of them Black and Hispanic women. Service-sector jobs have been slow to return, while school closings are keeping many parents, especially mothers, from returning to work. Nearly half a million Hispanic women have left the labor force over the last three months.

“If we’re thinking that the economy is recovering completely and uniformly, that is simply not the case,” said Michelle Holder, an economist at John Jay College in New York. “This rebound is unevenly distributed along racial and gender lines.”

The G.D.P. report released Thursday doesn’t break down the data by race, sex or income. But other sources make the disparities clear. A pair of studies by researchers at the Urban Institute released this week found that Black and Hispanic adults were more likely to have lost jobs or income since March, and were twice as likely as white adults to experience food insecurity in September.

The financial impact of the pandemic hit many of the families that were least able to afford it, even as white-collar workers were largely spared, said Michael Karpman, an Urban Institute researcher and one of the studies’ authors.

“A lot of people who were already in a precarious position before the pandemic are now in worse shape, whereas people who were better off have generally been faring better financially,” he said.

Federal relief programs, such as expanded unemployment benefits, helped offset the damage for many families in the first months of the pandemic. But those programs have mostly ended, and talks to revive them have stalled in Washington. With virus cases surging in much of the country, Mr. Karpman warned, the economic toll could increase.

“There could be a lot more hardship coming up this winter if there’s not more relief from Congress, with the impact falling disproportionately on Black and Hispanic workers and their families,” he said.

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Ant Challenged Beijing and Prospered. Now It Toes the Line.

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As Jack Ma of Alibaba helped turn China into the world’s biggest e-commerce market over the past two decades, he was also vowing to pull off a more audacious transformation.

“If the banks don’t change, we’ll change the banks,” he said in 2008, decrying how hard it was for small businesses in China to borrow from government-run lenders.

“The financial industry needs disrupters,” he told People’s Daily, the official Communist Party newspaper, a few years later. His goal, he said, was to make banks and other state-owned enterprises “feel unwell.”

The scope of Mr. Ma’s success is becoming clearer. The vehicle for his financial-technology ambitions, an Alibaba spinoff called Ant Group, is preparing for the largest initial public offering on record. Ant is set to raise $34 billion by selling its shares to the public in Hong Kong and Shanghai, according to stock exchange documents released on Monday. After the listing, Ant would be worth around $310 billion, much more than many global banks.

The company is going public not as a scrappy upstart, but as a leviathan deeply dependent on the good will of the government Mr. Ma once relished prodding.

More than 730 million people use Ant’s Alipay app every month to pay for lunch, invest their savings and shop on credit. Yet Alipay’s size and importance have made it an inevitable target for China’s regulators, which have already brought its business to heel in certain areas.

These days, Ant talks mostly about creating partnerships with big banks, not disrupting or supplanting them. Several government-owned funds and institutions are Ant shareholders and stand to profit handsomely from the public offering.

The question now is how much higher Ant can fly without provoking the Chinese authorities into clipping its wings further.

Excitable investors see Ant as a buzzy internet innovator. The risk is that it becomes more like a heavily regulated “financial digital utility,” said Fraser Howie, the co-author of “Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China’s Extraordinary Rise.”

“Utility stocks, as far as I remember, were not the ones to be seen as the most exciting,” Mr. Howie said.

Ant declined to comment, citing the quiet period demanded by regulators before its share sale.

The company has played give-and-take with Beijing for years. As smartphone payments became ubiquitous in China, Ant found itself managing huge piles of money in Alipay users’ virtual wallets. The central bank made it park those funds in special accounts where they would earn minimal interest.

After people piled into an easy-to-use investment fund inside Alipay, the government forced the fund to shed risk and lower returns. Regulators curbed a plan to use Alipay data as the basis for a credit-scoring system akin to Americans’ FICO scores.

China’s Supreme Court this summer capped interest rates for consumer loans, though it was unclear how the ceiling would apply to Ant. The central bank is preparing a new virtual currency that could compete against Alipay and another digital wallet, the messaging app WeChat, as an everyday payment tool.

Ant has learned ways of keeping the authorities on its side. Mr. Ma once boasted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, about never taking money from the Chinese government. Today, funds associated with China’s social security system, its sovereign wealth fund, a state-owned life insurance company and the national postal carrier hold stakes in Ant. The I.P.O. is likely to increase the value of their holdings considerably.

“That’s how the state gets its payoff,” Mr. Howie said. With Ant, he said, “the line between state-owned enterprise and private enterprise is highly, highly blurred.”

China, in less than two generations, went from having a state-planned financial system to being at the global vanguard of internet finance, with trillions of dollars in transactions being made on mobile devices each year. Alipay had a lot to do with it.

Alibaba created the service in the early 2000s to hold payments for online purchases in escrow. Its broader usefulness quickly became clear in a country that mostly missed out on the credit card era. Features were added and users piled in. It became impossible for regulators and banks not to see the app as a threat.

ImageAnt Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
Credit…Alex Plavevski/EPA, via Shutterstock

A big test came when Ant began making an offer to Alipay users: Park your money in a section of the app called Yu’ebao, which means “leftover treasure,” and we will pay you more than the low rates fixed by the government at banks.

People could invest as much or as little as they wanted, making them feel like they were putting their pocket change to use. Yu’ebao was a hit, becoming one of the world’s largest money market funds.

The banks were terrified. One commentator for a state broadcaster called the fund a “vampire” and a “parasite.”

Still, “all the main regulators remained unanimous in saying that this was a positive thing for the Chinese financial system,” said Martin Chorzempa, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

“If you can’t actually reform the banks,” Mr. Chorzempa said, “you can inject more competition.”

But then came worries about shadowy, unregulated corners of finance and the dangers they posed to the wider economy. Today, Chinese regulators are tightening supervision of financial holding companies, Ant included. Beijing has kept close watch on the financial instruments that small lenders create out of their consumer loans and sell to investors. Such securities help Ant fund some of its lending. But they also amplify the blowup if too many of those loans aren’t repaid.

“Those kinds of derivative products are something the government is really concerned about,” said Tian X. Hou, founder of the research firm TH Data Capital. Given Ant’s size, she said, “the government should be concerned.”

The broader worry for China is about growing levels of household debt. Beijing wants to cultivate a consumer economy, but excessive borrowing could eventually weigh on people’s spending power. The names of two of Alipay’s popular credit functions, Huabei and Jiebei, are jaunty invitations to spend and borrow.

Huang Ling, 22, started using Huabei when she was in high school. At the time, she didn’t qualify for a credit card. With Huabei’s help, she bought a drone, a scooter, a laptop and more.

The credit line made her feel rich. It also made her realize that if she actually wanted to be rich, she had to get busy.

“Living beyond my means forced me to work harder,” Ms. Huang said.

First, she opened a clothing shop in her hometown, Nanchang, in southeastern China. Then she started an advertising company in the inland metropolis of Chongqing. When the business needed cash, she borrowed from Jiebei.

Online shopping became a way to soothe daily anxieties, and Ms. Huang sometimes racked up thousands of dollars in Huabei bills, which only made her even more anxious. When the pandemic slammed her business, she started falling behind on her payments. That cast her into a deep depression.

Finally, early this month, with her parents’ help, she paid off her debts and closed her Huabei and Jiebei accounts. She felt “elated,” she said.

China’s recent troubles with freewheeling online loan platforms have put the government under pressure to protect ordinary borrowers.

Ant is helped by the fact that its business lines up with many of the Chinese leadership’s priorities: encouraging entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, and expanding the middle class. This year, the company helped the eastern city of Hangzhou, where it is based, set up an early version of the government’s app-based system for dictating coronavirus quarantines.

Such coziness is bound to raise hackles overseas. In Washington, Chinese tech companies that are seen as close to the government are radioactive.

In January 2017, Eric Jing, then Ant’s chief executive, said the company aimed to be serving two billion users worldwide within a decade. Shortly after, Ant announced that it was acquiring the money transfer company MoneyGram to increase its U.S. footprint. By the following January, the deal was dead, thwarted by data security concerns.

More recently, top officials in the Trump administration have discussed whether to place Ant Group on the so-called entity list, which prohibits foreign companies from purchasing American products. Officials from the State Department have suggested that an interagency committee, which also includes officials from the departments of defense, commerce and energy, review Ant for the potential entity listing, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Ant does not talk much anymore about expanding in the United States.

Ana Swanson contributed reporting.

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