Just two weeks before The Office was scheduled to “go off the air” in the US, Netflix announced the show’s triumphant return on its UK and Ireland catalogs. Fortunately, viewers outside these areas can easily watch the smash sitcom as well.
Just visit this site: how to watch the US Office on Netflix. You can check all the latest information about the show:
- Where to stream it (e.g. UK, Ireland, etc.) – as you’ve seen, shows can pretty much switch regions overnight. You might want to bookmark the site above to keep up with such changes.
- Which seasons are currently available in each location – some countries only have a few seasons instead of the full collection. Why? Your guess is as good as ours, but it most likely has to do with companies signing exclusivity deals for specific regions.
- Whether the show can be found in a different language (audio), or with subtitles (Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, etc.)
- Which Virtual Private Network (VPN) currently works with Netflix, and whether they can unblock the particular Netflix libraries you need.
More details on that last part down below.
Why Do I Need a VPN to Watch The Office?
Well, if you’re currently in the UK or Ireland, you don’t. You can just fire up Netflix and watch the lovable goofballs right now. However, people outside these regions need a VPN so they can change their IP address to reflect one of those two countries. You’re essentially tricking streaming platforms into believing you’re in the “correct” region to stream The Office (or any show of your choice).
What’s more, VPNs can help you out on those weekend binge sessions by preventing your ISP from throttling your bandwidth. Researchers have discovered that major Internet providers slow down streaming speeds even when there’s no need for it. Like say, in March 2023 when the Internet was bogged down by the huge influx of people working from home.
As a bonus, using a VPN lets you watch shows on streaming platforms from abroad – such as BBC iPlayer if you connect to the UK. You don’t have to worry about any legal issues here either. Over 60 million people were watching the BBC outside the UK for free in 2015 alone, and that number has only grown since then. Needless to say, there have been no reports of people getting in trouble over this.
What you do need to worry about is your choice of VPN, both in terms of functionality and the security it offers. Here’s what you should know.
Free VPNs = Poor Performance
Due to the way VPNs work, it’s inevitable that you’ll experience slower network speeds. That’s because your traffic is basically rerouted through a server in a different country. The greater the distance it has to cover, the slower the speeds.
Free VPNs have it much worse than paid ones, as they can’t provide fast speeds without some powerful servers to go with it. Constantly upgrading your service to keep up with a growing user base is expensive, after all. The providers are likely to throttle your bandwidth even if you have a great Internet. You know, just to ensure everyone gets to see the dreaded buffering wheel in action. That, or they’ll cap your monthly data to get you to upgrade to a premium plan.
What’s worse about all this is that most free VPN providers make a living off selling your data and injecting intrusive ads into your browser. Either that or they could outright infect your device(s) with malware, according to a CSIRO study.
Nearly 40% of free Android VPNs were embedded with malicious code designed to extract sensitive data off your phone. Things aren’t much different on the App Store, despite Apple’s fabled security measures. Most of the popular iOS VPNs were found violating newly introduced guidelines on data collection, and Apple doesn’t seem to care.
Then again, most of these warnings don’t matter if you’re just looking to watch The Office on Netflix. Why? Well, most free VPNs simply don’t work on the platform.
Why Don’t Free VPNs Work on Netflix?
It’s no secret that the company doesn’t look favorably upon VPN usage. They buy information about VPN IP ranges from specialized services (such as MaxMind) and block them from their platform.
Yes, that includes premium VPNs as well. However, as opposed to free VPNs, such providers can afford to get fresh IP addresses for their subscribers. Not only that, but they can further invest in creating and updating obfuscation techniques to get around Netflix’s advanced VPN filters.
Where Else Can I Watch The Office?
Don’t feel like getting a VPN? Well, if you’re in the US, you could always try out NBC’s new streaming platform, Peacock. That’s where The Office, Parks and Rec, and many other NBC shows went after Netflix’s streaming agreements expired. You can get the first two seasons of the show for free (with ads), or get one of the two “Premium” plans for the full collection:
- Peacock Premium at $5 per month – includes cut content, bloopers, and more goodies for fans of the show. Also includes ads, unfortunately.
- Peacock Premium Plus at $10 per month – same as above, but without ads.
Another alternative is to buy the entire show digitally through services like iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, and so on. Expect to pay anywhere between $156 and $245 for the full series, though. Be advised that services like Amazon can always remove the show from your library if NBCUniversal decides they no longer want to license the show in your area.
Getting the physical release might not be a bad idea if you don’t mind a little inconvenience. The DVDs are around $50, while the Blu-ray set is just a little over $100 on Amazon. And hey, at least NBC can’t take those away from you on a whim.
If none of these options sound appealing, users outside the US are pretty much stuck using VPNs. Thankfully, every top-grade provider out there has robust 30 day money-back guarantees in place. You can try out their service at your own pace, risk-free.