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Internet video streaming has become one of the most popular methods for watching TV shows and movies. Yet the rise of this technology has also resulted in occasional encounters with a strange and confusing error message: “Content not available in your location. What does this message mean and what can you do about it?
The good news is that it's not a problem with your computer, internet connection, or streaming service. This message indicates that things are working as they are supposed to. But why does the error message appear? Unavailability of a stream is usually determined by location rights, although there are other possibilities as well.
How to Fix Netflix Stream Not Available in My Location (Netflix Error Code 22004)
Unavailable content almost always comes down to one thing: the content license. When a movie studio or production house creates a movie or TV show, they own the rights to that content. Most studios rarely sell all of these rights at once to the same buyer. Instead, they prefer sell these licenses country by country or region by region. The reason is simple; they usually get more money for their content if they share licensing rights with multiple media providers.
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Content distributors like TV channels or streaming services like Netflix would prefer to license at a significant discount. In contrast, studios prefer to sell lots of smaller ones to vendors and make more revenue. You will see an error when you try to stream an unlicensed show in your region.
The licensing issues are not the fault of Netflix, Amazon, Google, Disney or Hulu. Netflix wants to show you "Avengers: Infinity Wars" in New Zealand. Yet they are not legally allowed to offer the video there. Much of the world has moved on and embraced globalization, but not the creative industries.
Networks and movie studios are keen to control their content, forcing streaming platforms to adhere to geo-restrictions. Additionally, a particular country may choose to block specific media in that location for various reasons, resulting in inaccessible streams.
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The studios negotiate licensing rights with each territory rather than selling a worldwide license to Netflix's other streaming providers. There is considerable variation in the types of content available in each region outside of the United States. For example, the US version of Netflix can have over 6 titles in its library, while the UK version can only hold around 000.
To bypass your location so you can watch restricted content on Netflix, you need to change your IP address so that Netflix thinks you are in an approved region. Although technology is advancing, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a surefire way to do this, but Netflix can detect your VPN and block it. You can also use a proxy, but most are discovered and blocked, although proxy providers regularly change their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. A popular VPN to use is Express VPN. It is known to work very well with Netflix.
How to Fix the Show Not Available on Hulu
If you use a streaming service like Hulu, how does it know what titles you can watch? At present, this is a relatively easy task. Hulu is primarily an American service, but it has expanded a bit in Japan.
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Anyway, when you log into Hulu, it checks your account to see what level of service you have, and it will check your IP address to identify where you are.
IP address ranges are geographically related, so an IP address range in the US will be different from any available in the EU, UK or Australia. These countries do not have native access to Hulu – you must use a VPN or proxy for a US server. Hulu then compares your location to the licensing database which tells the service what content to display. Geolocation control is a relatively unsophisticated system, but it works. As usual, it is the consumer who loses.
The only way to view restricted content in Hulu is to trick Hulu into thinking you're in an approved country. This maneuver is where a VPN or proxy is needed. You can use a free VPN or get a paid VPN to increase performance without limits. In our examples, we will use Express VPN. More details are below.
How to Hide Your Region Online
If a streaming service checks your IP address to see where you are, you need to acquire an IP address that makes it look like you're in some territory for the content you want to see, as briefly mentioned for Hulu and Netflix above. . The United States has the widest range of titles, simply because most licensees are based here and also start their licensing efforts here. Europe comes next. Australia and the Pacific countries are generally lagging behind, and the rest of the world is waiting patiently, or not so patiently in some situations. There are two ways to hide your location and change your IP address.
Change IP address using a proxy
Proxies are dedicated servers that trick programs into thinking the IP address is different than it really is., which makes it possible to avoid regimes that do not allow creative freedom. It is also beneficial for security and file sharing purposes. However, they are not very convenient for video streaming, as streaming media providers are aware of proxies and actively block most. Also, proxies are slow and insecure. New proxies appear regularly, but the lifespan of a new video streaming proxy is quite short. For the most part, streaming providers have the upper hand in this contest.
Change IP address using a VPN
The other option is to use a VPN. VPNs are a beneficial technology, not only because they allow you to watch Pride and Prejudice from the UK to the US, but also because they allow you to protect the privacy of your internet activity. Even if you're blameless and have nothing to hide, that doesn't mean third parties should be able to track everything you do online, and a good VPN helps maintain your privacy.
For more detailed background information on VPNs, see 'What is a VPN tunnel and how does it protect your data?'
Top 5 Features a VPN Should Have for Streaming Services
A high-quality VPN has several non-negotiable features, especially when using the service for Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, etc.
Feature #1: Ensure no logging occurs
No logging means that the VPN provider will not keep activity logs for users. Even if they receive a court order or subpoena, they have no way of telling a court what you are doing online because there will be no record of what you have done. This scenario refers to activity logging. Another type of log, "connectivity logging", is usually enabled, but only to aid in troubleshooting and quality. No identifiable data is contained in the connectivity logs.
Feature #2: Find Multiple Destination VPN Servers
To bypass geoblocking, you will need a destination VPN server in the territory you need. For example, to access the full range of Netflix titles from Europe or Australia, you would want a service with multiple US IP addresses to access the widest range of content possible.
Feature #3: The VPN Should Have Good Encryption Levels
Encryption is not particularly crucial for accessing streaming content for which you pay subscription fees, but is an added benefit for all browsing activities. Anyone looking at your connection won't be able to see what you're doing or where you're going. Acceptable encryption protocols include OpenVPN and WPA-2, but other options are available.
Feature #4: VPN should work with Netflix or other streaming apps
Netflix and other streaming services are fighting hard against VPNs. They are forced to do so by their license holders. Even if you don't use Netflix, it's a good idea to select a VPN provider that works well with the app. The VPN service is aware of potential issues with Netflix. Therefore, it actively changes IP addresses so that they cannot be blocked. Some VPNs specifically mention working with streaming apps, which fits better.
Feature #5: A Good VPN Should Include Regular Updates
As mentioned above, regular updates refer to the VPN client, protocols, encryption methods, and IP address ranges. As bugs and weaknesses are found, a good VPN provider will immediately fix them to keep users safe. Not all providers do this, so look for those that do. The update frequency indicates how the provider values its users, and this is also reflected elsewhere in the product.
Our recommendation: ExpressVPN
How to Use ExpressVPN on a Firestick to Watch Restricted Streaming Content
Le The ExpressVPN app is compatible with all versions of Fire TV and 2nd generation or newer Firesticks. The app allows Netflix and other streaming sources to use a VPN to mask your real location, solving "content not available" issues.
You also need to make sure your Amazon Prime account is set to the country you specify in your VPN. Here's how to install Express VPN on Fire TV devices.
- Download ExpressVPN using the Amazon Appstore.
- On your Fire TV device, go to the search option, type “expressvpn”, then select it from the list.
- Select "Download".
- Once the installation is complete, select "Open".
- Select the "Sign in" button and enter your ExpressVPN login details, or sign up for a new account.
- Choose "Login" if you entered the login information.
- A window appears to share anonymous information. It's best to select "OK" so they can improve services and identify bugs. The data is only used for crash reports, speed tests, diagnostics and connection states.
- In the new window, select "OK" to continue. This window only informs you that your device will ask you for permission to configure the application.
- Select "OK" when you get the Firestick "Connection Request" window which configures the VPN connection.
- Click the "Power" button in the app to launch the VPN.
- Select the "three dots" icon to the right of the default country to change your VPN server location.
- Choose the appropriate location to allow streaming media content to be played, such as a US server if you are currently located in the UK.
- ExpressVPN will automatically connect and display a connected message.
- Launch Netflix or any other streaming platform and you should get the version of the app from the new location.
- To disconnect from ExpressVPN, simply return to the app and click the “Power” button again. Your Firestick's server configuration will return to normal.
How to Set Up ExpressVPN on a Roku to Avoid Unavailable Content Issues
Unfortunately, Roku devices do not support VPNs natively. If you can use another device, it is highly recommended due to the complexity required to install ExpressVPN on Roku.
You basically have to add VPN functionality using the ExpressVPN firmware on the router, which can potentially cause problems for your network or certain devices. It is recommended to use a secondary router if you have one and keep the original intact.
Either way, you should use the ExpressVPN app for Asus, Linksys, or Netgear routers.
If you don't have one of the devices listed in the link above, you need to use ExpressVPN manual configurations. Find the brand of your router, check the list of models, then configure the router according to the instructions.
Finally, if the...