Netflix is available in most countries, but the site will display a different catalog of shows and movies depending on where you are in the world. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help you spoof your location and trick Netflix into showing you whichever catalog you want to see.
The VPN encrypts your internet traffic and sends it through an intermediary VPN server that’s situated in whatever location you choose. Netflix is aware that people use VPNs to do this and actively tries to block VPN traffic. It takes lots of resources for a VPN to bypass these blocks, which is one of the major reasons that you’ll rarely find a free VPN that works with Netflix. The following Netflix proxy error is common with free VPNs:
“Whoops, something went wrong. Streaming error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”
Even if a free VPN does work, there’s no guarantee it will continue to do so. Other issues with free Netflix VPNs include slow, unreliable connections, a small selection of servers, low data caps, and poor privacy policies.
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Steps to get a free VPN for Netflix
Here’s how to get a free VPN for Netflix:
- Sign up with your chosen provider. We recommend NordVPN but ExpressVPN and Surfshark are excellent alternate options.
- Download the appropriate app for your device.
- Connect to a server in the streaming source region. For example, for Netflix US, select a US server, or for Netflix UK, choose a UK server.
- Go to the Netflix website. You will automatically be directed to the Home page for the region your VPN server is in (there are a couple of exceptions to this as noted earlier).
- Select the show or movie you want to watch and enjoy!
- If you don’t want to keep the VPN cancel before the end of the money-back guarantee, smug in the knowledge you have had a period of free access!
We’ve put together a list of VPN’s that offer money-back guarantees, free trials, or very low monthly rates. There are more details below but here’s an at-a-glance look at that list:
VPNs that offer free trials, money-back guarantees, or very low monthly rates:
- NordVPN: Our top pick! An extremely fast VPN option with a 30-day money-back guarantee, NordVPN operates a large network of secure servers that can unblock plenty of popular streaming sites.
- Surfshark: A budget option with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Unblocks Netflix and allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.
- ExpressVPN: Offers a no-fuss 30-day money-back guarantee on a service that’s fast, secure, and great for unblocking streaming sites.
- CyberGhost: Provides blazing fast speeds and unblocks many streaming platforms, all for a low monthly fee. 45 day money-back guarantee.
- PrivateVPN: Easily bypasses geo-restriction measures and provides a fast, secure service for just a few bucks per month.
To make our list, VPNs have to meet the following criteria:
- Reliably unblocks Netflix
- Offers a free trial, money-back guarantee, or very low monthly rates
- Has fast, reliable connections
- Provides strong security
- Keeps no logs
- Offers prompt and knowledgeable customer support
Best VPNs free trial or low cost VPNs for Netflix
Here are our best VPNs for watching Netflix free or on a budget:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN reliably unblocks Netflix from almost every server in its vast network (currently more than 5,000 servers in 63 countries). Note that while it unblocks several local catalogs, including US, UK, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, and Italy, it will redirect to the US Netflix library in other cases.
NordVPN pegged some great speeds in our latest round of tests and can handle streaming HD video with no issues. It comes with tight security, including strong encryption, leak protection, a kill switch, and perfect forward secrecy, as well as additional features like automatic wifi protection, which is great for on-the-go streaming. NordVPN keeps no logs.
Desktop clients are available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, and apps for iOS and Android can be found in their respective app stores. Each plan allows for six simultaneous connections.
- Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more
- Offers a free trial and a low monthly rate
- Extremely high speeds
- Strong encryption and additional security features
- Maintains no logs
- Connecting to some servers can be a bit slow
BEST VPN FOR NETFLIX:NordVPN is our top choice. Fast speeds make it ideal for streaming. It offers low monthly rates and a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our in-depth NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is great for unblocking a variety of Netflix libraries, including US, UK, France, India, Netherlands, and more. Like NordVPN, if you connect to a server in a region for which the library can’t be unblocked, you’ll automatically be redirected to US Netflix. So, no matter what, you’ll at least always have access to the most popular library.
Surfshark offers low prices and is one of the few decent VPN providers that allows an unlimited number of devices to be connected at one time. Speeds are fast enough for streaming so you can expect a stress-free experience.
Security and privacy features are up to par, and include strong encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and a true zero-logs policy. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Unblocks Netflix with every server tested
- Privacy-first provider
- Uses strong encryption
- Allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections
- Operates a relatively small server network
- Records some slower speeds
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark enables you to stream Netflix on as many devices as you like at a low monthly rate. Plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Delve into our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN offers a no-fuss 30-day money-back guarantee, making it a great choice for streaming Netflix for free for a short period. It unblocks multiple Netflix libraries, including Netflix US, UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, and France, as well as many other streaming sites, such as BBC iPlayer and Hulu. All servers are optimized for speed, making streaming a breeze.
More than 3,000 servers are available in 94 countries. Not all servers will unblock Netflix, so you may have to contact customer support to find out which one to use. Knowledgeable representatives are available around the clock to help, so this should only take a minute or two.
This provider offers military-grade encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and perfect forward secrecy. It doesn’t log any personally identifiable information.
Apps are available for MacOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can configure the VPN to certain routers, and ExpressVPN even provides its own custom firmware. Connect up to five devices at a time, with a router counting as just one.
- Unblocks multiple Netflix libraries
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Fast speeds for streaming
- Strong security suite
- Logs no personal information
- The monthly rate is slightly higher than some rivals
- Few advanced configuration options
TRY IT FREE:ExpressVPN works great with Netflix. You can enjoy a month of its fast, secure service for free by taking advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee. It offers a seamless viewing experience for many popular streaming sites, so you may just want to keep it.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost is an excellent budget option and its apps are designed with a clear focus on users looking to stream. Servers are labeled according to which servers they can unblock, so there’s rarely a need to contact customer support for help. CyberGhost unblocks multiple Netflix regions, including UK, US, France, Australia, Spain, and Italy. What’s more, it performed better than any other VPN in our latest speed tests.
Note that CyberGhost does offer free browser extensions, but these don’t unblock Netflix.
Just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it scrimps on its service. CyberGhost has excellent security, including 256-bit encryption, a kill switch on all platforms, and leak protection. It keeps no logs whatsoever.
CyberGhost apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android, and you can connect up to seven devices at a time.
- Unblocks US Netflix and lots of European libraries
- Excellent speeds
- Performs well on the security front
- Keep no logs of user data
- Apps aren’t as user-friendly as they were
- Few advanced features
IDEAL FOR STREAMING:CyberGhost has fast speeds and apps tailored for streaming, making this low-cost provider worth considering. Plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is a small provider that still manages to hold its own, having made a name for itself in the industry. Even though it only operates fewer than 100 servers, it is well known for its ability to circumvent some of the toughest blocks from the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. Some of the Netflix libraries it unblocks are UK, US, Australia, Japan, Spain, and Germany. Fast speeds and reliable connections make for worry-free streaming.
PrivateVPN scores well when it comes to security and privacy too. It uses 256-bit encryption, includes a kill switch in the Windows app, and maintains a no-logs policy. Apps can be downloaded for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Easily unblocks Netflix and other services
- Great speeds
- Secure and private
- Small server network
- Doesn’t offer 24/7 live chat
UNBLOCK MULTIPLE REGIONS:PrivateVPN unblocks lots of Netflix regions and offers competitive monthly rates. A 30-day money-back guarantee helps, too.
Read our in-depth review of PrivateVPN.
What is so bad about free VPNs for Netflix?
We mentioned that truly free VPNs are not a good choice for Netflix, and here we’ll explain more about why this is the case. Free VPNs are run on a tiny budget but are still designed to make money. The lack of resources means that there is little chance a free VPN can reliably unblock any Netflix library, let alone the one you want to access. The lack of funds also means you’ll have to endure a frustratingly slow, unreliable connection, which makes free VPNs highly unsuitable for streaming.
You might wonder how these VPNs make money if they don’t charge you. Some inject ads into the sites you visit, while others track your online activity and sell the gathered data to third parties. Aside from the inherent privacy issues, free VPNs typically won’t give you the security you expect from a VPN. Many don’t encrypt your data and some VPN apps have been found to carry malware or sell your bandwidth.
While you’ll find many free VPNs claiming to work with Netflix, there’s usually a lot more to consider. With so many reputable providers offering free trials, money-back guarantees, or super-low monthly rates, it’s not worth wasting your time with subpar services.
Whichever VPN provider you end up going with, the steps to get started are generally the same.
Video: How to watch Netflix with a VPN
If you get an error while attempting to watch a show, there could be several reasons for this. The most common one is that your VPN simply can’t unblock that region for Netflix. Although some VPNs unblock multiple regions, we are yet to come across one that can unblock them all. Most VPNs focus on unblocking the most popular libraries, such Netflix US and Netflix UK.
Another possible reason for an error is that you are connected to a server that doesn’t work with Netflix. For either of these issues, you can try contacting your VPN provider’s customer support team for guidance. Providers of Netflix VPNs monitor which servers are working with Netflix, so should be able to help you out quickly.
Can I use a proxy to unblock Netflix?
In the past, smart DNS proxies, many of which can be found for free, have been used to unblock Netflix. A smart DNS proxy server monitors DNS requests (domain name lookups) and routes traffic for Netflix requests through a special server.
However, Netflix has caught on to smart DNS proxies and they will rarely work to unblock the streaming service. One that does work reliably is the ExpressVPN MediaStreamer that comes with every ExpressVPN plan.
Note that even if you can unblock Netflix with a smart DNS proxy, these come with other issues. First, most don’t encrypt your traffic, and those that do will only encrypt your browser traffic, so there’s no protection for other apps on your device. Additionally, many free proxies suffer from similar disadvantages to free VPNs, such as a small number of locations to choose from and poor privacy policies.