netflix trash
Netflix subscribers living abroad who used proxies to watch the US catalog of TV shows and movies got the raw end of the deal. Earlier this year, Netflix started banning VPN and smart DNS proxy users shortly after the streaming entertainment service’s global rollout. Despite paying the same amount and possibly more than their American counterparts, Netflix users outside the US are now saddled with a smaller selection of shows.

Many VPN and smart DNS providers are fighting back against the ban. They are engaged in a game of cat and mouse with Netflix, adding proxy servers that can bypass the firewall just as fast as Netflix can extinguish them. But if the constant hassle of changing your settings, switching servers, and contacting customer support is wearing you down, check out these Netflix alternatives.

They are organized into three categories: general Netflix replacements, studio-specific streaming services, and streaming channels that focus on a single genre.

Best Netflix alternatives

Hulu Plus

hulu
Fox, NBC, and ABC combined forces to create Hulu and Hulu Plus. Hulu Plus is the premium version of Hulu, but it won’t save you from having to watch ads; you just get more shows to choose from. Not all the episodes for every show on these networks and their affiliates are there, though, so check to make sure you can find all of what you want to watch first. Most shows appear the day after they air, much faster than Netflix. SyFy, Style, FX, and PBS are all included on Hulu Plus.

To watch Hulu outside of the US see our guide to the best VPNs for Hulu as many have been blocked.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV
  • Exclusives: The Mindy Project, South Park, CSI
  • Availability without VPN: US, Japan
  • Price: $7.99 per month

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime members not only get discounted prices and shipping on the products they buy on Amazon, they also get unlimited access to a number of TV shows and movies with Amazon’s on-demand streaming service. Amazon also offers a separate “instant video” service for a la carte buying and rental. Prime offers some Amazon exclusives and older TV content, while instant video is better for brand new releases. Renting usually costs between $2 and $3, allowing you to watch the video in the next 24 hours. Amazon Prime video is limited to the US, but unlike Netflix it does not block VPN connections yet.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii U, Roku, Fire TV
  • Exclusives: Man in the High Castle, Mr. Robot, Downton Abbey
  • Availability without VPN: US, UK
  • Price: $79 per year + instant video purchases

Youtube Red

Youtube Red allows you to watch Youtube videos and listen to music without ads. You can also download videos for offline viewing. Youtube Red makes a handful of original shows.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Firefox OS, Wii U, XBox, PlayStation, Nintendo 3DS, Roku, Chromecast, Boxee
  • Exclusives: Fight of the Living Dead, Single by 30, Bad Internet
  • Availability without VPN: Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States
  • Price: $10 per month

Sling TV

sling tv
Sling TV is a subsidiary of satellite TV service Dish Network. Sling TV is meant to be a replacement for traditional cable subscriptions. Several tiers and additional channels are available. Sling TV also broadcasts several live shows and sporting events.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV, Xbox
  • Exclusives: NFL games and some other live sporting events
  • Availability without VPN: US
  • Price: $20 per month for base package

Shomi

Shomi is Canada’s answer to Netflix. It claims to have a library of 1,200 films and 340 TV series. It includes several exclusives from Starz and Canadian TV channels. Shomi also signed a deal with Amazon to get some of the original Prime series, since Amazon Prime video isn’t officially available in Canada yet. Shows are organized into collections, which are hand-curated instead of algorithm-driven to recommend other content you may like.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Chromecast
  • Exclusives: Spartacus and some Amazon Prime titles like Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle
  • Availability without a VPN: Canada
  • Price: $8.99 per month

Crave TV

Crave TV is another Canadian competitor owned by Bell Media. The service focuses more on TV shows than movies. Whereas Shomi gets exclusive streaming rights to Starz and Amazon content, Crave gets HBO and Showtime, which arguably have the better shows.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV
  • Exclusives: *Game of Thrones, Billions”
  • Availability without a VPN: Canada
  • Price: $7.99 per month

iFlix

iflix
iFlix aimed to get a head start on Netflix in Southeast Asia, but it failed to put enough distance between itself and the global juggernaut before Netlix went global. Still, it managed to partner with MGM, Disney, Warner Bros, Paramount, NBC Universal, Fox, CBS, BBC and Media Prima, so the available selection of TV shows and movies shouldn’t be written off just yet. It has a few exclusive shows not available on Netflix in the region.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Chromecast
  • Exclusives: Mr. Robot, Fargo, The Magicians
  • Availability without a VPN: Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka
  • Price: $24 per year or $2.50 per month

Hooq

Hooq is a Singapore-based streaming service that started as a joint venture between Sony, Warner Bros, and Singtel. It boasts 30,000 hours of both Hollywood and local content.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Chromecast
  • Exclusives: Community, Supergirl, The Flash
  • Availability without a VPN: India, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand
  • Price: $4 per month

iTunes

Apple pioneered pay-per-song online music, but it’s not as far ahead of the curve when it comes to TV and movies. iTunes doesn’t operate on a subscription model; everything is a la carte. It’s expensive, but it’s also comprehensive. Purchases and viewing all takes place within the same app you used to hoard music 10 years ago.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Apple TV
  • Exclusives: N/A
  • Availability without VPN: Everywhere
  • Price: Pay-per-view

Google Play

Google Play isn’t just an app store for Android users. Like iTunes, it’s also a buy-or-rent service for TV shows, movies, and books. Also like iTunes, it has a large selection but can quickly get expensive.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android
  • Exclusives: N/A
  • Availability without VPN: Everywhere except China
  • Price: Pay-per-view

Vudu

Vudu is Wal-Mart’s foray into the video streaming market. Whereas Netflix takes a month to add movies after they come out on DVD, Vudu gets them next day. Vudu’s primary focus is on movies but several TV shows are available, too. Content is available for rent or purchase; there’s no unlimited subscription available.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Chromecast
  • Exclusives: N/A
  • Availability without a VPN: US and Mexico
  • Price: Pay-per-view

Note: You will  need a VPN to watch Vudu ouside the US.

CinemaNow

cinemanow
CinemaNow has a smattering of TV shows from HBO, AMC, and FX, but nothing exclusive or original that makes it a must-buy for anyone. The company is now owned by BestBuy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer a subscription model, so buying TV shows and movies piecemeal can add up fast.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Xbox, PS3
  • Exclusives: N/A
  • Availability without a VPN: US
  • Price: Pay-per-view

Tubi TV

Tubi TV is an ad-supported free option boasting 40,000 titles mostly from Viacom-owned studios like Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate. It also has some indie flicks and TV shows from Starz Digital.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Xbox, Amazon Fire TV, Roku
  • Exclusives: After.Life, Mad Money, Head Case
  • Availability without a VPN: US
  • Price: Free

Blockbuster on Demand

Blockbuster’s on-demand streaming video service is now just an add-on for Sling TV. The streaming video is a separate subscription from the DVD by mail service. It only offers movies, no TV shows, and the range of devices is limited.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV, Xbox
  • Exclusives: N/A
  • Availability without a VPN: US
  • Price: Pay-per-view

Studio-specific streaming video services

HBO Go / HBO Now

hbo now
HBO is notoriously possessive of its roster of popular shows. They can be difficult to find anywhere, even on US Netflix. HBO Go requires a cable subscription with the premium channel, while HBO Now is a standalone streaming service.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Xbox, PS3, Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV
  • Exclusives: Game of Thrones, Last Week Tonight, Silicon Valley
  • Availability without a VPN: US
  • Price: $14.99 per month (HBO Now)

BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer offers both live streams and pre-recorded content from Britain’s biggest TV company. Some of it requires a UK IP address to watch, and some doesn’t. It houses a fair number of exclusives and most of it is free, but beware that some shows are only available for a specified period of time after release. To unblock iPlayer and watch any shows outside of the UK see our guide to the best VPN for BBC iPlayer.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Wii U, Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku
  • Exclusives: Ripper Street, Robot Wars, Casualty
  • Availability without a VPN: Content-dependent
  • Price: Free

Crackle

Crackle is a free option owned by Sony. While it depends pretty heavily on Sony titles, it does have some content from other studios as well as some originals. Be prepared to sit through a lot of advertisements; that’s the price of free.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Chromecast, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Windows Phone
  • Exclusives: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Chosen, StartUp
  • Availability without a VPN: US, Canada, Australia and 18 countries in Latin America
  • Price: Free

Genre-specific streaming video services

Acorn.tv

acorntv
Fans of British TV who don’t live in the UK can get their fix from Acorn.tv. It includes “dozens” of exclusive shows. Amazon Prime members can order it as part of the streaming partners program.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV
  • Exclusives: Jane Eyre, Emma, Slings and Arrows
  • Availability without a VPN: US and Canada
  • Price: $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year

Mubi

For indie film buffs, there’s Mubi. Cult and classic independent films abound at Mubi. Mubi doesn’t give you a huge library of movies to choose from. Instead, it curates a monthly rotation of at least 30 films. The 30 films aren’t the same in every country due to licensing rights, so each country gets a custom playlist.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Apple TV, PlayStation
  • Exclusives: N/A
  • Availability without a VPN: Everywhere
  • Price: $5.99 per month

Fandor

Fandor is for up-and-coming indie and documentary filmmakers and fans. 50 percent of revenue from the site goes to copyright holders. More than 8,000 films are available along with a bustling community to discuss them with.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast
  • Exclusives: Several de facto exclusives of films that aren’t streamed elsewhere
  • Availability without a VPN: US and Canada
  • Price: $10 per month or $90 per year, 14-day free trial

CrunchyRoll

crunchyroll
If you love animation, then there’s no better subscription to buy than CrunchyRoll. The site offers a huge selection of anime and cartoons, many of which are exclusive or at least come out first on CrunchyRoll. The catalog, like Netflix, varies by country. You can see what’s available before signing up by visiting the site.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Windows Phone, Wii U, Playstation, Xbox
  • Exclusives: Naruto, One Piece, Bleach
  • Availability without a VPN: Click here to see what’s available.
  • Price: $6.95 per month, 14-day free trial

Shudder

Shudder streams scary stuff. It’s a hub for horror fans where you can browse by title or by a specific horror theme such as zombies or slashers. Shudder was launched by AMC. Like Netflix, the catalog you get depends on where you live.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Roku
  • Exclusives: Demons 2, A Cat in the Brain, Willow Creek
  • Availability without a VPN: US
  • Price: $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year

Spuul

spuul
Spuul is the Netflix of Bollywood. Over 10,000 hours of Bollywood movies can be streamed, much of it for free (ad supported). A premium accounts grants access to a larger catalog, downloading movies for offline viewing, and no ads. Some movies might not be available due to geographic licensing restrictions*.

  • Devices: Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV
  • Exclusives: Tons of Bollywood content you won’t find elsewhere
  • Availability without a VPN: Everywhere*
  • Price: Free with ads, $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year for premium

Vidsee

Vidsee is a hub for Asian short films and TV series. Nearly 1,000 videos are available to watch for free.

  • Devices: PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android
  • Exclusives: Tons of first-runs from all over Asia
  • Availability without a VPN: Everywhere
  • Price: Free

Something we missed? Let us know in the comments and we’ll consider adding it!

IMG_0416” by Austen Squarepants licensed under CC BY  2.0