Did you know that it’s possible to watch every season of Friends on Netflix in the US? Even though Friends officially left Netflix in January of 2020, it’s not completely gone. In a matter of 10 minutes or less, you can have access to ten seasons of Friends online free! Here’s how you can stream it.
Most people don’t realize that Netflix licenses different shows in different countries around the world.
So while Friends is no longer available to stream in the United States, it is available for viewing in more than 20 other countries across the world.
Because of this, all you need to do to watch Friends on Netflix is to trick the streaming service into thinking you’re located in a country where the show has been licensed. In this case, that would be:
Where to Stream Friends*
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
*Each country allows you to stream all 10 seasons of Friends on Netflix.
How can you watch a show when you’re not physically in one of those countries?
All you need is a paid subscription to Netflix and a Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short. Personally, I’m using either NordVPN or Surfshark to connect to a server in Thailand right now to watch Friends.
The 3-step process, which I’ll explain in more detail below, goes like this:
- Step 1: Purchase and install a VPN like NordVPN or Surfshark with servers in one of the countries listed above. (8 min) If you’re not tech-savvy, watch my video on how to install a VPN.
- Step 2: Connect to the appropriate VPN server. You may need to try more than one, but it usually works on the first connection for me. (2 min)
- Step 3: Log on to Netflix and search for “Friends”. Enjoy watching! (3 min)
That’s it! Sure you could try to stream on the new HBO Max platform, but unless you’re in the US, you’ll still need to use a VPN to spoof your location.
Just think…in a little over 10 minutes you can start binge-watching Friends today without signing up for a new service!
Note: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I may be compensated if you choose to use the services mentioned. I only recommend what I personally use, though, and I’m grateful for your support of this website!
Stream Friends Online Free with Netflix (3 Steps)
For those that don’t feel comfortable with the short description above, here’s a more detailed explanation of the 3 steps required to watch Friends on Netflix.
Step 1: Purchase and Install a VPN
It’s possible that you’ve never heard of a VPN before. Don’t worry, it’s nothing to be afraid of, I promise!
A VPN is simply a piece of software installed on your phone, tablet or computer that allows you to encrypt and route your internet traffic through a specific server in a specific country. (read more on my article What is a VPN?)
It may sound weird, but this means that you can literally choose on a map where in the world you want your computer to appear to be browsing from.
Netflix will read this “location” and then serve you the content licensed for that country.
Now, there are literally hundreds of VPN services on the market today, but there are only two that I would recommend for streaming Netflix:
- Surfshark (Recommended): This VPN has been incredibly reliable for streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. It’s even worked well as a means to stream Disney+ outside the US.
- NordVPN: I’ve used this VPN for years to stream Netflix all over the world and it’s always worked beautifully.
Keep in mind that both of these services carries a monthly or annual cost and there are many good VPN services available beyond what I share here.
I don’t mind paying this because not only do I get to watch Friends on Netflix, I also get a secure connection both at home and while I’m on public WiFi networks.
Step 2: Connect to the Appropriate VPN Server
Once you’ve purchased, downloaded and set up a VPN on your computer or device, the next step is to connect to the appropriate server.
In this case, let’s say that you decide to find a server in Thailand. In the screenshot below, you’ll see that I found the Thailand server on Surfshark and connected to it.
As you can see, there are quite a number of servers to choose from (and many more that you could scroll down to find).
All you have to do is click on one of them to connect, and you’re golden.
*If for some reason you find that Surfshark doesn’t work for you to stream Netflix, you have 30 days to try and get a full refund if you want.
Step 3: Log Into Netflix and Find Friends
Important! Before you log in to your Netflix account or open the app, make sure that you’ve closed the browser or the app if it’s already running on your computer or mobile device. This will allow the app to reset your location when it restarts.
After you’ve logged in to Netflix with the VPN connected, you won’t see any special notification or indication that you’re connected in a different country.
The only difference will be the TV shows and movies that are available.
Obviously, you’re looking for Friends on Netflix, which you can either browse or search for.
As long as you have a fast enough internet connection, you shouldn’t have a problem streaming the show through a VPN. It’s been great!
Why You Need a VPN to Stream Netflix
Netflix, like pretty much every other streaming service, licenses shows and movies and because of this they have to restrict viewing for specific countries.
To be honest, it’s ridiculous.
If I’m a paying customer, shouldn’t I get access to all content on a certain platform? It only makes sense – and I predict we’re moving to a world where geo-restricting is no longer an issue – but for now, it’s a big deal.
Amazon geo-restricts content.
Hulu geo-restricts content.
Pretty much any streaming service you can think of places limits on their content.
The only way around these restrictions is to spoof your location using a VPN or another technology known as SmartDNS. You can think of it like changing the license plate on a car. The car hasn’t actually changed locations, but the license plate reads a different country.
Continuing on with this analogy, Netflix only looks at your license plate to determine where you’re coming from.
Those VPNs that are the best VPNs for streaming content give you the ability to “change the license plate” so to speak, in addition to encrypting and securing your internet connection.
For a deeper look into how you can use a VPN to find and stream US Netflix anywhere in the world, watch this video:
Be sure to subscribe to the All Things Secured YouTube channel!
It’s simple, easy to use and it gives you access to loads of extra content on platforms like Netflix.
Final Thoughts | Streaming Friends in 2021
Contrary to what you may have believed, it is entirely possible to stream shows like Friends or even watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Netflix. It takes an extra piece of security software and a few minutes to set up, but in the end, it’s worth it.
Think about it: you can trade about 15 minutes of work for access to over 5,000 minutes of Friends episodes! It’s that easy to change your Netflix region!
I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty good trade. 🙂
Use Surfshark to Watch Friends!
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