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How to Change Netflix Region without a VPN

Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

Simon Migliano is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times and more. Read full bio

You can change your Netflix region without a VPN by using a Smart DNS service, connecting to a proxy server, or setting up remote desktop software. In this guide, we’ll describe exactly how each method works, their pros and cons, and how they compare with using a VPN to change Netflix regions.

How to change your Netflix region header image

Netflix offers a different selection of movies, documentaries and TV shows to subscribers in different countries. That means the content you can watch on Netflix changes depending on the country you’re in.

Netflix determines which content library to show you based on the geographic region associated with your IP address.

Some countries have better libraries than others, so by learning how to change your Netflix region you can get the most out of your Netflix subscription.

The easiest and most popular way to change your Netflix region is to use a reliable Netflix VPN, but it isn’t the only option. There are a number of alternative methods that will let you change your Netflix region without using a VPN.

Quick Summary: How to Change Your Netflix Region (without a VPN)
The best way to change your Netflix region without a VPN is to use a Smart DNS service. An effective Smart DNS reliably unblocks Netflix on most devices, delivering fast HD streaming speeds.

To change your Netflix region:

  1. Sign up for a Smart DNS service. We recommend Control D or ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer.
  2. Register your IP address by following the relevant instructions on the provider’s website. If they ask you to enter it manually, use our What Is My IP Address tool.
  3. Get the appropriate DNS server addresses. You can usually find these in the provider’s My Account section.
  4. Open the Network Settings on your device.
  5. Find the DNS Settings. They are usually under an “Advanced” or “Manual” tab.
  6. Input the DNS server addresses your provider has given you. Click confirm.
  7. Restart your device. The Smart DNS service will activate once you reconnect to the internet.

A Smart DNS proxy isn’t the only way to change regions on Netflix without using a VPN. You can also use proxy servers, the Tor browser, remote desktop software, and more.

These alternatives won’t unblock Netflix as effectively as a Smart DNS service or a VPN, but they do work under certain conditions and with certain limitations. In this guide, we’ll walk you through each alternative in detail so that you can assess which one is right for you.

EXPERT ADVICE: Using a VPN is still the most effective method for changing your Netflix region. Top-rated Netflix VPNs, like ExpressVPN, are fast, easy to use, and let you access dozens of Netflix regions.

To change Netflix region on any device, we recommend using a VPN service that also offers Smart DNS, like ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer.

A small handful of free VPNs also work with Netflix. However, they don’t perform as well as premium services, and don’t offer Smart DNS.

5 Ways to Change Netflix Region without a VPN

There are a number of ways to change your Netflix region without using a VPN.

By far the best option is to use a Smart DNS service, but you can also use a proxy server, remote desktop software, the Tor browser, or try setting up a home VPN server.

In section below, we’ll take you through each option one-by-one. First, here’s a table comparing each method:

  Free or Paid Reliability Multiple Regions Setup Difficulty Speed
Smart DNS Paid High Yes Easy Very Fast
Proxy Server Both Avaliable Low Yes Easy Fast
Remote Desktop Free Medium No Moderate Moderate
Tor Browser Free Low Yes Moderate Very Slow
Home VPN Server Both Available High No Hard Moderate
VPN Service Paid High Yes Easy Fast

NOTE: Each method requires you have an existing Netflix subscription, before you can change region and access geo-restricted content. None of these methods let you watch Netflix for free.

1. Smart DNS Service

Pros Cons
The easiest way to change Netflix region without a VPN Only works with specific websites and in a limited number of locations
Works on almost every device (including Smart TVs and games consoles) You need to provide your IP address in order to gain access
Cheaper than most VPN services Choice of VPN service is limited
Provides fast connection speeds Can be more difficult to configure than a VPN application

A Smart DNS service lets you change your device’s DNS settings to re-route your connection through DNS servers in a country of your choice.

How Smart DNS works

By combining a DNS server with a proxy server, you can use Smart DNS to bypass geo-restrictions on content.

Like with a VPN, Smart DNS tricks platforms like Netflix into thinking you’re physically located in that country, allowing you to access that region’s content.

For example, if you live in France and want to watch US Netflix, you can re-route your DNS requests through a US server and easily stream American Netflix from overseas.

Two popular standalone Smart DNS services optimized for streaming are Smart DNS Proxy and Unlocator.

You don’t need to download software to use Smart DNS, which means you can use it to change Netflix regions on almost any device you stream on. This includes Apple TV and games consoles like Xbox, which don’t support native VPN applications.

In fact, this is one area in which Smart DNS is better than a VPN for changing your Netflix region.

Smart DNS is also faster than VPN, although this doesn’t always translate to better streaming resolution.

Streaming US Netflix with MediaStreamer

MediaStreamer worked with US Netflix more often than any VPN server.

While Smart DNS tools allow streaming on a wide range of devices, they do not encrypt your traffic or hide your IP address.

In other words, your ISP will be able to see what you’re doing and you won’t be protected from cybercriminals while connected to unsecured public WiFi networks.

Some VPNs for streaming also offer their own Smart DNS tools. Based on our latest round of testing, the two that work most reliably with Netflix are:

  1. ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer: ExpressVPN unblocks 10 Netflix regions, and its Smart DNS tool lets you stream US Netflix on any device.
  2. Windscribe’s Control D: Windscribe is the best free VPN we’ve tested. The company also offers a standalone Smart DNS service for $40 per year ($20 for existing Windscribe customers). Unlike MediaStreamer, Control D covers over 100 locations and works with several Netflix regions.

NOTE: Our tests found that Surfshark and NordVPN’s Smart DNS features do not work reliably with Netflix, while CyberGhost and PIA’s do not let you change Netflix regions.

How to Use Smart DNS to Change Netflix Region

How to use MediaStreamer to change Netflix region.

The setup process for changing your Netflix region with Smart DNS will vary slightly depending on your provider and the device you’re using, but the general process is roughly the same.

Here’s how to use MediaStreamer to change the US Netflix region on macOS:

    Sign into your ExpressVPN account and go to the DNS Settings page. If you don’t yet have a subscription, sign up to ExpressVPN here.

  1. Find “IP address registration” and click “Register my IP address”. If it already says “registered” next to your IP address, you can skip this step.
  2. Turn on “Automatically register my IP address”. This ensures your IP address is tracked, so you don’t need to re-register your IP address every time you move location. Be sure to sign in to your ExpressVPN account regularly so it can update.
  3. Find “Configure MediaStreamer” on the ExpressVPN setup page. You’ll see two DNS server IP addresses – take a note of them or keep the browser window open for later.

    Some Smart DNS providers email you these DNS server addresses when you first sign up. If they offer you a list of DNS addresses to pick from, pick the two located closest to you.

  4. Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your Mac screen and select “System Preferences”. Alternatively, you can press Cmd+Space and type in “System Preferences”.
  5. Select the “Network” icon. On the left-hand side, make sure your current network connection is selected.
  6. Click “Advanced” in the bottom right.
  7. Go to the “DNS” tab. If there are any existing DNS server addresses under “DNS Servers”, note them down and then remove them by selecting them and clicking the “-” button.
  8. Press the “+” button and enter the first MediaStreamer DNS server IP address. From Step 4.
  9. Press the “+” button again and input the second MediaStreamer DNS server IP address. Click OK.
  10. Restart the computer. When it boots back up, your connection will be routed through MediaStreamer’s DNS servers.
  11. Navigate to Netflix. The US Netflix library should appear. If it doesn’t, contact ExpressVPN’s customer support.

EXPERT TIP: MediaStreamer only streams US Netflix. However, some Smart DNS providers let you unblock multiple Netflix regions. To choose a region, open your Smart DNS account settings and switch country in there. Then, restart the device, load Netflix again, and you should see the new region’s content library.

2. Proxy Server

Pros Cons
Often free and easy to use Does not encrypt your traffic
Good proxy server providers offer a range of server locations Proxy IP addresses are easily blocked by Netflix
Generally delivers fast connection speeds Overcrowded servers can occasionally cause slow speeds
  Only works when accessing Netflix from within your browser
  Less reliable than VPN services and Smart DNS

A proxy server can help you change Netflix region by routing your traffic through a third-party server before connecting to Netflix.

Like with a VPN, a proxy server hides your IP address and tricks Netflix into thinking you’re located in the country where the proxy server is based.

In other words, if you connect to a proxy server located in the UK, you’ll get access to the UK Netflix library, regardless of where you actually are in the world.

Unlike a VPN, ​​proxy servers don’t encrypt your internet traffic.

Diagram of how a proxy server works

How a Proxy Server works.

There are two main types of proxy server:

  1. Web Proxy: These are accessed via a website and are usually free to use. Simply enter the URL you’re looking to unblock, choose your desired server location, and start browsing.

    Though free, web proxy servers are extremely unreliable for unblocking Netflix because their IP addresses are widely-used and very easy for Netflix to block.
  2. Browser Proxy Extensions: Higher-quality proxy servers tend to be available as web browser extensions. Some are free to use, but many charge a subscription fee.

Many Chrome VPN extensions are actually proxy servers, and not full VPN products. They route browser traffic through a remote server, but don’t encrypt it.

Examples of browser-based proxies that work with Netflix include Hide.me’s Chrome extension and Windscribe’s Firefox extension.

Proxy servers are application-specific, meaning they only re-route traffic from the application they’re running on. You can use a proxy server to change Netflix regions in your browser, but you won’t be able to do the same on an external Netflix app.

In general, proxy servers are less secure than VPNs, and less reliable than Smart DNS for changing your Netflix region. However, they’re free and can sometimes unblock foreign Netflix libraries.

EXPERT ADVICE: A “transparent” or “anonymous” proxy server won’t help you change Netflix region. That’s because an anonymous proxy hides your IP address but also tells Netflix you’re using a proxy, while a transparent proxy doesn’t even hide your IP address. Only “elite” proxy servers can unblock Netflix.

How to Use a Proxy Server to Change Netflix Region

HideMyAss proxy working with US Netflix

Web Proxies such as HideMyAss can sometimes work to unblock Netflix.

To use a web proxy server to change Netflix region:

  1. Go to the proxy server’s website. In this example, we’re using HideMyAss.
  2. Enter www.netflix.com and choose a server based in the Netflix region you’re trying to unblock. Click “Agree & Connect”.
  3. Click “Continue to page” or wait for the timer to run down to zero. You may then have to click “Agree & Connect” once more.
  4. Sign in to your Netflix account. You should now be able to stream Netflix titles licensed in the location of your proxy server.

NOTE: Using a proxy server browser extension to change Netflix region is very similar to using a VPN browser extension. Read our guide to setting up a VPN on Chrome for instructions.

3. Remote Desktop Software

Pros Cons
Free for personal use Requires access to a computer in your desired Netflix region
Very difficult for Netflix to block The remote computer must be turned on and connected to the internet
  Only viable for one or two Netflix locations
  Wide access permissions create a security risk

Remote Desktop Software (also known as Remote Access Software) lets you observe and control another computer from a distance.

In effect, it lets access and interact with a remote PC or laptop as though you were sitting in front of it.

Remote Desktop Software (RDS) is mostly used by businesses for IT support, but you can use it to change your Netflix region, if you meet the following three conditions:

  1. You have a remote PC or laptop physically located in the country whose Netflix library you’re trying to access. For instance, to change to the Japanese Netflix region, you must have access to a computer physically located in Japan.
  2. The remote computer is actively turned on and connected to the internet.
  3. Both the remote computer and the device you’re streaming Netflix on have RDS installed.

If you can meet these conditions, then you can use RDS to stream Netflix content from a different region. Simply access and view the remote computer, navigate to Netflix, and start streaming.

You’ll be able to watch video content licensed in the region where the remote computer is located.

TeamViewer Remote Desktop Software

TeamViewer allows you to change your location on Netflix.

Using Remote Desktop Software is more complex than using Smart DNS or a proxy server. However, it can be useful to retain access to your home country’s Netflix library while traveling abroad.

Under these circumstances, it’s also more reliable than Smart DNS or proxy services because you’re not sharing the same IP address with hundreds of other users. Therefore, it’s unlikely Netflix will block your connection.

You could also ask friends or family living abroad to set up RDS on their computer and let you connect, in order to stream foreign Netflix content.

Some of the best Remote Access Software is free to use, too. Popular providers such as TeamViewer don’t charge for “personal use” of their service.

However, keeping a remote computer switched on while you’re away can be costly and there is often a slowdown in connection speeds due to transmitting the video stream between computers.

RDS is also susceptible to a number of security risks. Once the software is set up, cybercriminals are just one password away from being able to access and control your remote computer.

To mitigate security risks, use a strong password with multi-factor authentication. Also, be extremely cautious about who you share the password with.

EXPERT ADVICE: One common problem users experience when using RDS to stream Netflix is the video being replaced with a black screen. If you encounter this, try using a different web browser on your remote computer. Firefox is less susceptible to the problem than Google Chrome.

How to Use Remote Desktop Software to Change Netflix Region

How to use Remote Desktop Software to change Netflix region.

To use Remote Access Software to change your Netflix region:

  1. Download and install the Remote Access Software onto your home computer. TeamViewer lets individuals create “personal use” accounts for free.
  2. Open the application and take a note of your Remote Access ID and password. You should also activate two-factor authentication and any other security features that are available.
  3. If your home computer is a Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility, and make sure the “TeamViewer” and “TeamViewer_Desktop” are checked. This is a security permission that lets someone remotely control your computer.
  4. On your streaming device, download and install the Remote Access Software. If prompted, log into the account you created in step 1.
  5. Enter the Remote Access ID and password for your home computer, which you noted down in Step 2. You should now be able to view your home computer’s screen on your streaming device, and control it.
  6. Navigate to Netflix. Your home computer will be the one visiting and streaming from Netflix, but you’ll be able to watch and control it from your streaming device.

EXPERT ADVICE: Do a test run of the above steps before you go traveling or leave your home computer behind. Once you’re abroad, repeat steps five and six. Just make sure your home computer remains on and active while you’re away.

4. The Tor Browser

Pros Cons
Free to use Unreliable for bypassing Netflix’s geo-blockers
Strongly encrypts your traffic Extremely slow
  Very little control over server locations
  Against the spirit of the TOR community

Tor is a decentralized, open source network that lets users achieve maximum anonymity online.

The service works by strongly encrypting your connection and routing it through at least three different servers located around the world, before sending it on to your desired website.

The Tor browser is free to use on Windows, macOS, Linux and Android devices, and there’s also an adapted Onion browser for iOS users.

Data passing through the Tor network

How your data passes through the Tor network.

If you stream Netflix using Tor, Netflix will think you’re streaming from the IP address of the final server that your connection goes through – known as the exit node. You can therefore change your Netflix region to wherever the exit node is located.

However, there are three big issues for using Tor to change your Netflix region:

  1. You cannot control the location of the exit node. The exit node determines which Netflix region you access, which makes it very difficult to stream movies or TV shows from a specific Netflix region.
  2. Tor is extremely slow. Tor’s primary goal is to safeguard the anonymity of its users, so it uses strong encryption and re-routes your connection through multiple different servers. This means Tor is much slower than a VPN, and i’s very unlikely you’ll be able to stream in HD video quality.
  3. Streaming is against the community ethos. The Tor network has limited bandwidth. By using it for high-bandwidth activities like streaming Netflix, you’re rapidly using up this bandwidth which could be used to protect the safety and anonymity of users in highly-censored countries.

In short, you can technically use Tor to change your Netflix region. However, for the three reasons outlined above, we don’t recommend it. There are simply better options available.

NOTE: If you do use Tor for streaming, or any other activity, be aware that Tor presents some security risks and vulnerabilities. If you decide to use it, follow the best practices for configuring and using it safely.

How to Use Tor to Change Netflix Region

How to connect to the Tor Browser using NordVPN's Onion over VPN feature.

To use Tor to change your Netflix region:

  1. Download the Tor browser from the Tor Project website. Tor is available on Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android. There’s also an adapted, less anonymous version available for iOS called the Onion browser.
  2. Click the .exe file, select your language, and confirm the settings you’d like. Tor will set itself up automatically.
  3. Open the Tor browser and click “Connect”. The actual browser is based on Mozilla Firefox, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to use.
  4. Visit check.torproject to confirm the browser is working. If you’re successfully connected, it says “Congratulations. This browser is configured to use Tor”. If not, it says “Sorry. You are not using Tor.”
  5. Go to Netflix.com. You should see a different selection of TV shows and movies compared to your home country.

5. Set Up a Home VPN Server

Pros Cons
It’s free Only one VPN server location
Very unlikely Netflix will block the IP address Slow speeds
  Technically complex

You can change your Netflix region without using a third-party VPN service by setting up your own VPN server at home.

This can be done for free if you’re technically competent and have spare time. If you’re happy to pay, you can make the process much simpler by purchasing a VPN router.

You can use a home VPN server to create an encrypted tunnel between your device and your home WiFi network. You can then connect to your home network wherever you are in the world, and gain access to your native Netflix region.

You can set up a home VPN server directly on your router or on a separate computer. In both cases, one device acts as a VPN server, and the device you want to stream on acts as a VPN client.

ExpressVPN app for routers

ExpressVPN’s app for routers allows you to unblock Netflix on all of your devices.

Your home internet connection will determine the bandwidth you can stream with.

If your upload speeds are slow or capped, use a VPN or Smart DNS, instead. You’ll struggle to stream Netflix without upload speeds of at least 10Mbps.

Also, with a home VPN server you can only change to your home country’s Netflix region. It won’t unblock new Netflix regions, like a Smart DNS or a VPN service does.

Despite its limitations, creating a home VPN server is a reliable way to unblock your home Netflix library from abroad without purchasing a commercial VPN subscription.

How to Use a Home VPN Server to Change Netflix Region

NOTE: Before starting, you need to find out whether your home internet has a static or dynamic IP address. If it’s dynamic, you must set up a Dynamic Domain Name System before continuing. Read more about this in our guide to creating a home VPN server.

The easiest way to use a home VPN Server to change your Netflix region is to buy a router with VPN server capabilities built-in. To do this:

  1. Purchase a wireless router that supports the OpenVPN protocol and set it up in your home. Look for routers that advertise VPN support, and confirm with the seller before buying. It will typically cost at least $100.
  2. Open the browser on your streaming device and enter your new router’s LAN IP address into the search bar. In most cases, this will be either 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. (Note: You must still be using your home network for this part).
  3. Input the router’s username and password into the box that appears. Again, in most cases, these will both be ‘admin’, if you haven’t changed them yourself.
  4. Go to “Settings”. Sometimes listed as “Advanced Settings”.
  5. Turn on “VPN Service”. Make sure the option that allows clients using the VPN connection to have unrestricted access to the internet is enabled.
  6. Select “Confirm” and “Apply”.
  7. Find the VPN client configuration file for your chosen streaming device (e.g. Windows, macOS, iPhone etc.) and download it onto the device. You could also download the configuration file for other devices you may wish to stream on, and then transfer them to that device at a later date.
  8. When away from your home network, you should now be able to connect to the home VPN server (i.e., the router). Run a VPN leak test and troubleshoot any problems before going abroad.
  9. Navigate to Netflix on your streaming device while connected to the VPN server. You should see the regional catalog of the country where your home VPN server is located.

EXPERT ADVICE: If you don’t want to buy a new router, you can ‘flash’ your existing router with DD-WRT, Tomato or OpenWRT firmware for free. If done correctly, the router will then support the creation of a VPN server via steps 2 to 9 above.

Alternatively, configure one of your home computers to host a VPN server, then connect it with your streaming device.

You can do this for free, and our home VPN server guide explains how to do it on Windows, macOS, and Raspberry Pi devices.

The drawback to this option is that you will need to ensure the computer remains on and active while you’re traveling.

Changing Netflix Region On Different Devices

Regardless of your device, the best way to change your Netflix region is to use either a VPN or a Smart DNS proxy.

However, the best option depends on the device(s) you’ll be using to stream.

A VPN is the best way to change Netflix regions on devices that support native VPN applications including desktop PCs, laptops, and phones.

Smart DNS works better on devices without native VPN support, such as Xbox and PlayStation, Smart TVs, and certain streaming devices like Apple TV.

Some devices, like Roku, don’t support native VPN apps and don’t let you change the default DNS settings. In this scenario, you can set up a VPN on your router.

The table below details which method you should use to change your Netflix region based on the device you use. For detailed installation instructions, read our VPN setup guides.

Device How to Change Netflix Region
Amazon Firestick VPN Service
Android VPN Service
Apple TV Smart DNS
Chromecast with Google TV VPN Service
Google Chromecast (Older Version) VPN Router
iPhone VPN Service
MacOS VPN Service
PS4/PS5 Smart DNS
Roku VPN Router
Samsung Smart TV Smart DNS
Xbox One/Series X Smart DNS
Windows VPN Service

EXPERT ADVICE: If you can’t unblock Netflix with the above methods, read our Netflix VPN troubleshooting guide. The workarounds are tailored specifically to VPN users, but most of them work for Smart DNS users too.

What Is the Best Netflix Region?

Netflix is available everywhere in the world apart from China, Crimea, North Korea, and Syria.

Every Netflix region has a different content library because of licensing and copyright agreements.

So, which Netflix region should you use your VPN, Smart DNS or proxy server to switch to?

Based on a recent Uswitch study on the quality of Netflix’s different regions, Japan is the best region for Netflix. The Czech Republic is the second-best, followed by South Korea.

For TV shows specifically, the United Kingdom currently has the best Netflix library. For movies, the Czech Republic was ranked top. The US is also a very popular location for movies and TV content.

Ultimately, it comes down to what you want to watch. Visit uNoGS or FlixWatch to see which region features your favorite content. Then, use your VPN or Smart DNS proxy to change your Netflix region to that location.

Which Netflix Region Has the Most Titles?

The table below shows the countries with the most content currently available.

Currently, the United States is the country with the most titles, followed by Canada and the United Kingdom.

Is It Illegal to Change Netflix Region?

It is not illegal to change your Netflix region, but it does violate Netflix’s Terms Of Use.

In theory, Netflix could suspend or even terminate your account for attempting to change regions. However, this is very unlikely to happen in practice.

If Netflix detects that you’re using a VPN or a proxy server, it simply displays an error code – usually code M7111-5059 – and limits access to content until you switch the VPN off.

Screenshot of the image that Netflix displays when it detects a VPN or proxy service.

Netflix displays an error message when it detects a VPN.

Even though changing your Netflix region is legal, the method you use may not be. VPNs are illegal in Belarus, Iraq, North Korea and Turkmenistan, and heavily restricted in other highly-censored countries.

Some authoritarian states have outlawed or banned the use of proxy servers and the Tor network, too.

Smart DNS services and Remote Desktop Software are not illegal anywhere in the world, though.

How to Change the Billing Country On Your Netflix Account

There is currently no way to change the payment region of an existing Netflix account.

To change the billing country on your Netflix account, you must close your current account and create a new account associated with the new country. To do this:

  1. Go to Netflix.com in your browser.
  2. Click the dropdown menu in the top right and select account.
  3. Under Membership and Billing, click Cancel Membership.
  4. Netflix will tell you the final date of your billing cycle, which is the final date you’ll have access to the service.
  5. Click Finish Cancellation and give feedback on why you’re canceling, if you wish.
  6. At the end of the billing cycle, change your Netflix region using the methods listed above and create a new Netflix account. The billing currency, monthly price and available payment options for this new account will be determined by the country Netflix perceives you to be located in at the time of creation.

You do not need to change your billing country if you’re trying to stream movies and TV shows unavailable in your geographic region. Instead, a VPN service or a Smart DNS proxy.

Can I Keep Subtitles In My Own Language?

Netflix presents you with five to seven language options for subtitles based on your geographic location and your preferred “Display Language”.

When you change Netflix regions using one of the methods above, you can also inadvertently change your subtitles and audio options.

To keep Netflix subtitles in your own language:

  1. Go to your “Account” or “Manage Profiles” in the Android app.
  2. Under “Profile & parental controls”, select your profile.
  3. Select “Language” or “Display Language”.
  4. Ensure the appropriate language is selected.
  5. Under “Programmes & Films Languages”, tick all your preferred languages for subtitles and alternative audio.
  6. Sign out and sign in again. If your desired subtitle language is still not available for a given title, it simply may not be available for that movie or TV show.

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon Migliano is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times and more. Read full bio