Are you German and traveling to or living in the United States? Or, maybe you’re learning the language and want to get a bit of practice?
If so, then access to Netflix Germany should be high on your wish list.
Sadly, anyone outside the country’s borders is locked out of the service. In America, we get to stream the local version of Netflix, but that’s it. By default, it’s just how the streaming service works.
That said, there is a sneaky (and oh so easy) way to get around these restrictions. It involves using something called a virtual private network (VPN).
And today, I’ll cover exactly that. You’ll learn how to watch Netflix Germany in the US using a VPN – and, at the same time, get a few useful perks like online privacy and data protection, too.
How To Watch Netflix Germany in the US
If you travel often (or enjoy foreign programming), you’ve probably noticed that Netflix libraries are different around the world.
When you’re in Germany, Netflix Deutschland is what you get. Go to the US, and you have access to American Netflix instead.
Even if you set up your Netflix account in Germany, you still can’t access Netflix Germany outside the country.
How do you trick the system? You make Netflix believe Germany is where you’re watching from – even when you’re thousands of miles away. To do that, you need a German IP address.
That is where VPNs come in. Once you connect to a VPN, your traffic is sent through one of the many servers in its network. Doing so has several benefits, including masking your original IP address and replacing it with the server’s IP address.
Pick a German VPN server, and all of a sudden, your device looks like you’re in the country. And since Netflix now sees you as a local, its Germany library is unlocked.
Here’s a step-by-step summary of how to use a VPN to watch German Netflix:
- Choose a reliable Netflix-friendly provider (NordVPN is my go-to).
- Install the VPN app on your computer or device.
- Log in with your credentials.
- Close Netflix on your browser or the app – there’s no need to log out.
- Go to the VPN and connect to a German server.
- Open Netflix – the German version is what you should now see.
- Sit back and enjoy the show!
It really is that simple – get a VPN, connect to a server, and stream away. And this method works for unblocking other Netflix countries, too.
Switching Back To Netflix US
Netflix Germany is excellent. But, at some point, you’ll probably want to go back to the American version. Well, doing that is even easier.
First, close Netflix in your web browser or app. Then, disconnect from the VPN server and open Netflix again.
And that’s it – you are back to American Netflix.
Why VPNs Unblock Netflix in Other Countries
How does Netflix know if you’re in Germany? As you may have guessed from the last section, they use your device’s IP address.
IPs are assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and tied to the region you’re in. To change the IP, you need to access the internet at a different location using something other than your default ISP, for example, a VPN.
VPNs are controlled networks that your traffic travels through before it reaches the internet at large. By the time your data does make it onto the internet, your original IP address is hidden and replaced by one assigned by the VPN – specifically the IP of the VPN server you connect to.
If the server happens to be in another country, so will its IP address.
Some VPN server lists include thousands of servers in dozens of countries across the world. As a user, you choose where you connect through – the US, Germany, Italy, wherever.
If you pick a German server, you will look like a German internet user. And just like that, you have access to the Netflix library of movies and tv shows available in Germany.
There is, however, a catch. Netflix knows about the VPN workaround many of us use.
To prevent it, they try to identify and block all traffic coming from VPNs. They do so by blacklisting server IP addresses.
In response, VPN services come up with new IPs, replacing those that no longer work. This practice takes time and significant resources, which is not something all VPNs have.
As such, not every VPN provider unblocks Netflix. Many have decided that the constant tug of war with the streaming giant is simply not worth it – they instead focus on other features.
With that in mind, of VPNs that have continued to reliably work with Netflix over the years, the best of the best are listed below.
Best VPNs To Watch Netflix Germany in the US
Before I get into what I consider the top VPNs for Netflix Germany, let’s quickly cover what really matters when you’re choosing a provider.
Since the goal is to watch German Netflix, VPN servers in Germany are a must. The more, the better, too – this prevents network overload and gives you plenty of connection options should Netflix blacklist an IP or two.
Performance is crucial. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of constant buffering and choppy video – and I assume neither are you. To enjoy Netflix without slowdowns and at the best video quality settings, only a high-speed VPN with no bandwidth limits will do.
Finally, the VPN needs to unblock Netflix – remember that not all providers can.
The VPNs listed below all check these boxes. They are also affordable, safe, and trusted by hundreds of thousands of users worldwide (myself included). So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the list of best VPN providers for streaming shows and movies.
Arguably the best provider in the industry, NordVPN runs 246 servers in Germany and unblocks German Netflix like no other.
NordVPN’s extensive server network gives you plenty of connection options and makes it easy for the provider to add new IPs should Netflix ever block a few.
Excellent server speeds and no bandwidth limits translate to a smooth streaming experience, even at Ultra HD video settings – no mid-scene freezes here.
Plus, NordVPN has plenty of additional perks – a sleek easy to use app, top-notch security and privacy features, and a knowledgeable 24/7 live chat customer support team.
To top it all off, Nord comes with an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee. That’s an entire month you can try the service risk-free.
It’s easy to understand why NordVPN is the favorite of so many for watching German Netflix.
- Excellent download and upload speeds
- Large ever-expanding server network
- Great privacy with independently verified no logging policy
- Specialty servers (including double VPN, obfuscated, and Tor over VPN)
- Clean, easy to use client
- Works with Netflix and other streaming services
- Allows torrenting and P2P
- Offers dedicated IP addresses
- No split tunneling feature
- A bit pricey on shorter-term plans
Surfshark might be newer to the VPN market than most. But the provider has quickly become known as a stellar Netflix-unblocking service.
With a big server network and fast connection speeds, Surfshark lets you access every one of Netflix’s 34 country-specific libraries – including, of course, Netflix Germany.
Besides offering a reliable, buffering-free Netflix viewing experience, ease of use, and excellent privacy and security, Surfshark stands out by allowing unlimited device connections – no other provider does this.
If you have a large household or a lot of devices, this is the provider for you.
Something else that helps Surfshark stand out is their price – specifically how low it is. They’re consistently the least expensive top-rated VPN provider around. Access to German Netflix has never been cheaper.
- 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 network-wide
- Very inexpensive
- Inconsistent speeds at a few locations
- Fairly slow customer support
Well-established as a torrenting VPN, CyberGhost is also a solid choice for unblocking Netflix.
Their network spans an impressive 91 countries. Of all those servers, 1381 call the cities of Berlin, Dusseldorf, and Frankfurt home.
CyberGhost optimizes many of their servers specifically for watching Netflix. This means excellent performance, even if you simultaneously use all seven devices that you’re allowed to connect at the same time.
As should be expected of any premium VPN, you also get plenty of online privacy and security features for a more anonymous and safer internet experience.
And of all the providers mentioned here, CyberGhost comes with the longest money-back guarantee. You get a full 45 days to try out the service. Now that’s believing in the quality of your product!
- Zero logging for maximum privacy
- Excellent server distribution with over 9100 servers in 91 countries
- Very fast connection speeds
- Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Allows P2P torrenting
- Long 45-day money-back guarantee
- Parent company with a questionable reputation
- Convoluted manual OpenVPN setup
- Doesn't work from China
PureVPN boasts top-notch speeds, a ton of servers in Germany, and reliable Netflix-unblocking powers. All those things combine for one great German Netflix viewing experience.
PureVPN’s server list includes a sizeable 93 locations in 74 countries. That makes them an excellent choice for watching all kinds of foreign content, not only from Germany.
The provider has native apps for most devices, so unlocking Netflix on your Android TV, for example, is easier than ever. And a recent independent audit of PureVPN’s no-logging policy makes them a good choice for the more privacy-minded among us.
With inexpensive plans and a 31-day refund guarantee, PureVPN makes a fine choice for all your Netflix streaming needs.
- Fast speeds
- Big server network (74 countries)
- Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, and over 70 other streaming services
- Compatible with over 50 devices and platforms
- Independently verified zero log VPN provider
- Dedicated IP option
- Great value
- Apps could use a bit more polish
- Some intermittent connection problems
Last but certainly not least is ExpressVPN. Known for its excellent security, they’re yet another provider that does a great job of unblocking Netflix.
Connection speeds are high, and bandwidth is unlimited. In other words, expect buffering-free streaming in high-definition across all your devices.
ExpressVPN’s network includes plenty of German servers. Most are located in Frankfurt but connecting through Nuremberg is an option, too.
The provider also does a commendable job of staying one step ahead of Netflix ban efforts. Those annoying proxy error messages are few and far between.
While ExpressVPN is not the cheapest option, they often run excellent sales – especially on multi-month commitments. But even without a discount, this VPN is well worth the price of entry.
- 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
- Some aggregated logging
- Not the cheapest
Netflix Germany vs. Netflix US
The amount of programming on Netflix Germany and Netflix US is similar, with 6130 titles available on the former and 5819 on the latter.
But that doesn’t mean the movies and series you can stream on both services mostly overlap – far from it.
German Netflix has plenty of local-only content that is not available anywhere else outside the country. And if it’s German audio and subtitles of American programming that you’re after, American Netflix rarely has these available.
So, whether you’re a German citizen abroad, a language enthusiast, or a German TV aficionado, it’s rather nice that Netflix Germany is just a good VPN away.
Why Netflix Geoblocks Some Content in the US
Anytime Netflix wants to add a show to their library, they talk to the content owners and purchase streaming rights for it. But licensing agreements are restricted to a specific region.
For example, a German content producer might decide to sell the US license to Amazon Prime and only allow Netflix to stream it in Germany. Or, they might not want their content to go outside of Germany at all.
It’s not fun for us end-users, but restrictions like that exist to protect content owner rights over their intellectual property. The process is known as geoblocking or geofencing.
If Netflix didn’t enforce licensing agreements, their inaction might threaten future content deals. It would make them look like an unreliable partner. This is why the company geo-blocks (and attempts to block VPN use) – it’s in their business interest.
Is It Legal To Watch Netflix With a VPN in the US?
Since streaming services actively work against VPN unblocking, you might wonder if it’s even legal to use this little workaround. The answer is yes.
First, VPNs are completely legal in both the US and Germany.
Second, it’s Netflix’s responsibility to hold up their part of the deal with copyright holders. They block VPN IPs to protect the licensing agreement. That said, they won’t penalize you for using one, either.
As an end-user (and paying customer), you are free to stream from anywhere in the world. Your subscription covers access to all of Netflix’s libraries – using a VPN is like virtually “traveling” to these locations.
Just like it’s not illegal to watch German Netflix if you go to Germany, it’s not illegal to watch it via a German VPN server.
Can Free VPNs Unblock German Netflix?
Free VPNs are tempting. After all, why pay if you don’t have to?
But, unfortunately, no free VPN reliably unblocks Netflix – or any other streaming service for that matter.
Remember how Netflix likes to block VPN traffic? Top providers like NordVPN or Surfshark have the technology and large server networks to stay one step ahead of the streaming giant.
Free VPNs, on the other hand, lack those resources. With fewer servers and what is often a shoestring budget, they’re no match for Netflix.
Besides, there are several other reasons to avoid free VPNs, too:
- They limit your bandwidth, which significantly reduces video quality.
- You’re in for an avalanche of ads.
- They don’t protect your data – in fact, many outright sell it.
- A large number of free VPNs are infested with malware.
So, not only are free VPNs not very useful for unblocking Netflix, they are generally unsafe and somewhat annoying to use. Considering how inexpensive services like Surfshark are, the risks are not worth it.
VPNs are hands down the most reliable way to watch Netflix Germany in the US to access local German programming, subtitles, and audio.
Of the handful of providers that continue to work with Netflix, I use NordVPN for all my foreign content binging. Their uncanny ability to unblock Netflix, blazing-fast speeds and thousands of servers are hard to beat.
And NordVPN’s no questions asked 30-day money-back guarantee means you can test it out risk-free, too.
So, get set up (it’s very easy), kick back, and get ready to enjoy everything Netflix Deutschland has to offer.