The Best VPNs for Netflix

The Best VPNs for Netflix

Most of us probably already know that Netflix US is not the same as Netflix UK is not the same as Netflix Canada.

I like to access them all. And, despite popular belief, a VPN is still the best way to do that.

That said, not just any VPN will do. These days, unfortunately, Netflix blocks most providers.

To save yourself a good amount of time and frustration in finding your own best VPN for Netflix, simply keep reading. The services that work and many that do not are listed just a bit further down.

I’m a bit of a Netflix addict, you see. And, because VPNs are what I do, it’s easy for me to stay on top of this information. So why not share the joy.

Overview of the Best VPNs for Netflix

In case all you care about are the names of the VPNs not currently blocked by Netflix, let me quickly summarize them here.

There is, of course, a lot more information later on about each provider and why they’re good choices for streaming Netflix. But, sometimes, time is money and fair enough.

  1. NordVPN

    Best VPN for Netflix. Works very reliably with every major Netflix library. Lightning-fast servers for high-definition streaming. 30-day money-back guarantee.

  2. Surfshark

    Super quick servers. Unblocks every Netflix catalog. Only provider to allow unlimited concurrent connections. Inexpensive and a great value.

  3. CyberGhost

    Specialized servers optimized for Netflix US, UK, Germany, and France. Industry-leading 45-day money-back guarantee. Another excellent choice for value.

  4. ExpressVPN

    Large network with reliable Netflix access. Excellent server performance. Helpful and knowledgeable 24/7 chat customer support.

  5. VyprVPN

    Great performance for problem-free streaming. Helpful in-house support staff. Quick to fix any servers blocked by Netflix.

How to Watch Netflix With a VPN

Streaming Netflix over a VPN is surprisingly easy when you have the right service, one that isn’t currently on Netflix’s blocked VPN list. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Pick a Good Netflix VPN

    Step one is, of course, to have access to a VPN that works with Netflix. I have already mentioned these providers just above, but for the sake of completeness they are:

    All of these VPNs have at least a 30-day money-back guarantee – and CyberGhost’s is even longer at 45 days – so you have plenty of time to try them out for free to make sure they’re what you’re looking for.

  2. Setup the VPN App

    Once you have access to a Netflix VPN, step two is to download and install the client.

    Each provider has a VPN apps section on their website – usually accessible from the main menu – where you’ll find software for all supported devices and operating systems.

    The list will always include Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. But, plenty of VPNs also offer apps for other Netflix compatible devices like Smart TVs, various TV boxes, and Amazon’s Fire TV.

    All five providers I list here also offer live chat support in case you need a bit of help getting set up.

  3. Pick and Connect to a VPN Server

    With the VPN app installed on your device, fire it up and pick the server you want to connect to.

    The server’s country must match the Netflix library you want to access. In other words, for Netflix US, pick a US server. For Netflix UK, choose one in the United Kingdom.

    Some providers, like CyberGhost, have specialized Netflix servers. If they’re available, use those.

    Once you have a server selected, connect to the VPN.

  4. Watch Your Favorites on Netflix

    Finally, startup Netflix – be it in a browser or through a dedicated app – pick something to watch, sit back, and enjoy.

    NordVPN unblocking Netflix

    Netflix should work as it does when you don’t use a VPN, the one exception being you can now access a different show library than at your current location.

How to Choose a VPN for Netflix

Anytime you’re looking for a VPN to stream Netflix, to get the best experience possible, the service should check all of the following boxes:

  1. VPN Not Blocked by Netflix

    Though this is probably obvious, I’ll say it anyway – mostly because it’s not as easy as it sounds.

    Since early 2016, Netflix has put vast resources into detecting and stopping VPN connections. Most providers have either given up fighting them or don’t publicly advertise their Netflix capabilities to avoid drawing attention.

    To find a VPN that works, you’ll have to do some digging around. You can also go with one of the services listed on this page – they’re verified as okay and always kept up to date.

  2. VPN Servers in the Country You Want to Unlock

    The VPN you choose must have servers in the country whose Netflix library you want to access. If you’re going to watch Netflix Canada, your VPN needs Canadian servers, etc.

    Most of us likely want to stream Netflix US since it has the most extensive library. If that’s you, you won’t need to look very hard – every half-decent provider will have servers there.

    But, if it’s Netflix Japan you’re after, that a VPN has Japanese servers should not be a given.

  3. Fast and Reliable Connection

    Just connecting to Netflix won’t do much good if the VPN connection is too slow to watch anything. A fast VPN with zero data caps is a must.

    It’s the only way to get high-definitely streaming without that annoying buffering screen coming up every 30 seconds.

  4. Multiple Concurrent Connection

    If you’re not going to be the only one using the VPN to watch Netflix, you need a provider that lets you connect several devices at once.

    That way, everyone at home – or wherever in the world they currently are – can watch what they want, when they want, without interrupting anyone else.

  5. Excellent Customer Support

    No matter how tech-savvy we may be, we all need a little help now and then. Problems can come up anytime, and 24/7 live chat support is a must.

    Trust me. Few things are more frustrating than a favorite Netflix show buffering endlessly and having to wait 24 hours for the VPN provider support team to respond.

Any VPN I suggest as a good option for Netflix will always satisfy all of the above five points.

How I Find VPNs for Netflix

To consider a VPN as a good choice for Netflix, it must first meet the five points I outlined above. If it doesn’t, it’s automatically out.

Next, I use each provider to try to access Netflix in eight popular: the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands.

If a VPN doesn’t have a dedicated streaming server for a specific location, I instead pick a random server in the country. The fewer tries it takes to find one that unblocks Netflix, the better.

The Best VPNs for Netflix

Of the dozens of VPNs I regularly test, the five below are the current best VPNs for Netflix.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN logo

Netflix catalogs confirmed working: US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands

NordVPN unblocks Netflix like it’s 2014 – long before the VPN ban came about. I was able to find a working server on the first try in each of the eight countries I tested.

With 81 locations in 59 countries, NordVPN has a substantial server network. In other words, you can connect to any Netflix library you want.

Server speeds are excellent. With a 69.1 Mbps average across all tested locations, streaming even Netflix’s Ultra HD quality is not a problem.

NordVPN allows up to six connected devices at the same time. Their client supports Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux and comes with browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox (the latter two also unblock Netflix).

Offering excellent value – especially if you take advantage of their deep discounts – all NordVPN subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee for a bit of extra peace of mind.

And then there’s NordVPN’s friendly customer support, available 24/7 via live chat or email, that is more than happy to help you get up and running with Netflix – or anything else you want to use a VPN for.

Pros
  • Excellent privacy with zero logging
  • Large (and ever growing) server network
  • Good connection performance
  • Specialty servers (including double VPN, obfuscated, and Tor over VPN)
  • Clean, easy to use client
  • Works with Netflix and most other streaming services
  • Allows Torrenting and P2P
  • Offers dedicated IP addresses
Cons
  • No split tunneling feature
  • A bit pricey on shorter-term plans


2. Surfshark

Surfshark logo


Netflix catalogs confirmed working: US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands

Runner up for the best VPN for Netflix is Surfshark. It unblocks the streaming service just as well as NordVPN but ends up in second place simply because of a slightly smaller server list.

Surfshark currently offers over 1000 servers in 61 countries. That said, every location with a Netflix library worth accessing is available.

Performance is much better than needed for high-definition streaming, with an average speed of 64.3 Mbps across the eight locations I tested.

One thing that sets Surfshark apart from every other Netflix VPN is that it allows unlimited concurrent connections. So even if you have a family of 12, everyone can be doing their own thing at the same time.

As detailed in my Surfshark review, the client software is clean and dead simple to use. All subscriptions also come with a long 30-day full refund policy.

Best of all, with Surfshark’s current deals, the service cost per month comes in at about a fifth of even the cheapest Netflix plan. It’s the least expensive provider on this list and the best value around.

Pros
  • Excellent privacy and security with no logging
  • Great server performance
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC, and many others
  • Easy to use client
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Torrenting support
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Inconsistent speed at a few locations
  • Fairly slow customer support


3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost logo


Netflix catalogs confirmed working: US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands

Some VPNs treat Netflix access as a throw-in. Not the good folks at CyberGhost. They go out of their way to keep the feature front and center.

CyberGhost’s server list includes 90 countries and features special Netflix optimized servers from the US, the UK, Germany, and France. All four are clearly marked in the client.

Connection performance is not even close to being an issue. CyberGhost is one of the fastest VPN providers around with download speeds as high as 103.1 Mbps – significantly better than Netflix’s recommendations.

The seven concurrent connections CyberGhost allows mean you can make full use of Netflix’s limit of streaming on four screens at once – the cap on the most expensive subscription plan.

And for peace of mind, CyberGhost gives you a full 45 days to request a refund – that applies to all their sales and promotions too. It’s the longest guarantee of any VPN provider and goes to show how firmly the company believes in the quality of their service.

Pros
  • Zero logging for maximum privacy
  • Excellent server distribution with over 5600 servers in 90 countries
  • Very fast connection speeds
  • Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Allows P2P torrenting
  • Long 45-day money-back guarantee
Cons
  • Parent company with questionable reputation
  • Convoluted manual OpenVPN setup
  • Doesn't work from China


4. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN logo


Netflix catalogs confirmed working: US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands

Though not always on the first try, I had no issues finding ExpressVPN servers that unblock Netflix at any of the locations I have tested, making this provider another great choice.

With ExpressVPN’s impressive network of 158 locations in 95 countries, you watch shows from just about anywhere in the world.

The servers are consistently fast and let you stream at high-definition quality without even a hint of a buffering screen.

Though ExpressVPN allows only three concurrent connections, for the vast majority of us, that should be plenty – if you need more, all other VPNs on this page have at least five.

In my ExpressVPN review, I call their customer support best in business, and it’s true. If you ever find yourself unable to get Netflix going, be sure to reach out. They’ll tell you exactly which servers to use.

And, because ExpressVPN is a bit on the pricey side (though does come with an iron-clad 30-day refund policy), definitely take advantage of one of their discount coupons.

Pros
  • A feature rich and intuitive client
  • Strong back-end technology
  • Plenty of servers and server locations
  • Fast and consistent connection speeds
  • Works with US Netflix
  • Top-notch customer support
Cons
  • Some aggregated logging
  • Not the cheapest

ExpressVPN Coupon
(Coupon applied automatically)

5. VyprVPN

VyprVPN logo


Netflix catalogs confirmed working: US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan

Unlike all other providers listed here, VyprVPN runs all its own hardware. That makes fixing accesses to any Netflix library they support much easier if it is ever blocked.

With servers in 64 countries, VyprVPN’s network is right up there in terms of size and will let you connect to all popular locations.

Server speed is also not a concern, with average download performance of 47.1 Mbps – nearly twice what’s needed for 4K streaming.

As detailed in the VyprVPN review, the company offers two subscription plans, and, depending on which you choose, you can use either three or five simultaneous connections.

Like all top-tier providers, VyprVPN gives you a full 30 days to test their service – a guarantee that comes with no strings attached.

And, VyprVPN’s newly re-vamped customer support department will also be more than happy help should you run into any issues getting Netflix running.

Pros
  • Verified no logging for complete privacy
  • Excellent selection of protocols and encryption settings
  • Hundreds of servers with great location diversity
  • Intuitive, easy to use multi-platform client
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and others
  • Allows P2P and torrent traffic
  • Hosts own servers (no 3rd parties)
Cons
  • No way to pay anonymously
  • VPN obfuscation not available on Basic plan


Which VPNs Can’t Unblock Netflix

The vast majority of providers are, unfortunately, not a good choice for watching Netflix. These days, only the best VPNs will do.

Some VPNs are blocked completely, others will only let you access one or two countries (and never US Netflix), and others still are too slow to stream with any reasonable quality.

If it’s a good Netflix over VPN experience you’re looking for, based on my latest data, avoid the following services.

AstrillAvast SecurelineBetternet
CactusVPNCelo VPNF-Secure Freedome
Hide.meHideMyAss!Hola
Hotspot ShieldHoxx VPNIPVanish
IvacyiVPNOpera VPN
Private Internet AccessPrivate TunnelSecureVPN
SpeedifyTunnelBearTurbo VPN
VPN 360VPN UnlimitedVPN.ac
ZenMate

Why Netflix Blocks VPNs

The reason why Netflix tries to make it so difficult for us to access their service with a VPN is simple – licensing. Netflix’s terms of service somewhat indirectly say so in section 4.3:

You may view the Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such content. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location and will change from time to time.

Netflix’s show catalog is subject to some of the most complicated streaming rights agreements you can imagine. Certain shows are licensed only for a handful of the 190 or so countries where Netflix is available.

Let’s say you want to watch the gorgeous BBC documentary Blue Planet 2. The show is on Netflix, but only in the US, UK, and Canada. In most of Asia, for example, the rights belong to Chinese streaming giant Tencent.

The difference in what you can watch in various parts of the world is so big that it even inspired an unofficial Netflix catalog site – a fantastic resource, by the way – to let you find which country streams what content.

Buckling under pressure from copyright holders to who it was clear how easy it was to access the different libraries, Netflix had to get serious about detecting and blocking VPNs. And in January 2016, they did.

But, despite their best effects, armed with the right VPN, there’s still no stopping us.

What to Do If Netflix Blocks Your VPN

If you’re trying to use a VPN to stream Netflix from another part of the world and see the dreaded proxy error m7111-5059 (sometimes also shown as m7111-1331-5059), the first thing to do is not lose hope.

These days, the “Whoops, something went wrong…” message shows up with most VPNs. Here it is when I tried to use Netflix with Private Internet Access.

Netflix US proxy error when using PIA

One of two things can help you unblock Netflix.

  1. You need to use the right VPN. Every provider listed on this page does an excellent job of staying one step ahead of the Netflix VPN ban and quickly fixing problems when they come up.
  2. If you are using a VPN that should stream Netflix but are still blocked, reach out to the VPN’s customer support. They will give you an exact server to connect to.

That’s all there is. To get Netflix working with a VPN, use the right service, and use the right server.

Though no VPN will ever guarantee Netflix access, many unofficially support it and will do whatever they can to help you resolve your “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy” error.

The above statement goes double for providers listed on this page. If there’s a way to fix, you can be sure they’ll tell you about it.

Can You Use a Free VPN for Netflix

In theory, you could use a free VPN to stream Netflix. In practice, the answer is almost always no.

It’s not that you’ll never find a free VPN that can connect to Netflix. It’s just that no free service is going to be reliable enough to make it worthwhile.

Ignoring any privacy and security risks free VPNs come with – of which there are plenty – you may also face data caps, speed restrictions, and a host of other issues that make watching Netflix next to impossible.

When it comes to Netflix, a free VPN, unfortunately, gives you what you’ve paid for, and that’s nothing.

VPN Speed Requirements for Watching Netflix

One feature I mentioned as a must when picking a VPN for Netflix is excellent server speeds.

To elaborate a little further, here are the internet connection speeds recommended by Netflix for their different video quality options. Any VPN you choose needs to be able to hit these numbers.

  • 25.0 Mbps: Ultra HD
  • 5.0 Mbps: HD (720p or 1080p)
  • 3.0 Mbps: SD (480p)
  • 1.5 Mbps: Less than SD quality
  • 0.5 Mbps: Needed to work at all

All providers listed on this page also made my fastest VPN list, so performance should not be an issue with any of them.

That said, if you would like to test how quick your connection is to Netflix’s servers, connect to the VPN server you would like to use and go to Fast.com.

It’s a website run by Netflix, so whatever speed you see there will match the performance you’ll get while watching.

If the numbers are low – which could happen due to temporary high server load or network congestion – pick a different VPN server, ideally one as close to your physical locations as possible. Contacting the VPN’s customer support is also always an option.

How to Watch US Netflix in Another Country

By far, the most popular Netflix library is that of the US. The amount of content available there is second to none.

It’s not surprising then that, whether you permanently live outside the United States or are a resident traveling abroad, access to US Netflix is what you’re after.

As is the case with any other country, the best way to stream shows from the American library is to use a VPN to change your Netflix region to the US. And all the providers recommended on this page are excellent options to use.

With the right VPN installed on your device, simply connect to a US-based VPN server, fire up Netflix, pick your show, and stream away.

Conclusion

Though Netflix is working hard to detect and block VPN access to their service – and has even found success – it’s far from mission accomplished.

Yes, most VPNs no longer work with Netflix. But, many still do.

As long as you’re using the right one, you should have little trouble unlocking and streaming your favorite show – no matter where in the world you are and which Netflix library that show is a part of.

And any of the providers I cover on this page will do the job beautifully.

Sign up, connect, and start streaming. Using a VPN to unblock Netflix still works.

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