Netflix is the world’s most popular premium streaming service, but it’s not available in China. If you want to access your usual US Netflix library while visiting China, you will need a VPN.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, can change the IP address and location of your device. All you have to do is connect to a VPN server in another country to access your home content while abroad. The issue is that Netflix is smart and able to detect VPN users much better than other streaming services.
The Netflix ban paired with China’s Great Firewall and internet censorship can be difficult for most VPNs to overcome. That’s why you need one of the best in the business. In this guide, you will find detailed instructions on how to watch US Netflix in China, and we will recommend the best VPN for doing so.
Before we make a recommendation, know that no single VPN is a perfect tool. Both the Great Firewall and Netflix continue to block the IP addresses of VPN servers by the day and things can change very quickly.
Related: The best VPNs for China
Choosing a VPN that works with US Netflix from China
Two types of VPN providers can grant you access to US Netflix in China. There are those that are so small that they are considered insignificant, and those big enough to have the resources to continually adapt. We recommend the latter; a larger VPN company with a wealth of experience. These VPNs have more engineers and resources to quickly make the necessary changes so users can get back to streaming on Netflix.
With this in mind, we highly recommend NordVPN as a reliable VPN provider for US Netflix viewers visiting China. It has a wealth of servers in the United States and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Once signed up all you need to do is connect to your chosen US server. The servers are reliably fast, so you shouldn’t have any problem streaming high-definition video.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
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How to watch Netflix from China using a VPN
Once you’ve chosen a VPN (we recommend NordVPN), just sign up, download, and install it. The process is easy: Here’s how to watch Netflix from China using a VPN:
- Select a server in the United States for a US IP address (you might need to ask customer support which ones works best with Netflix)
- Connect to your chosen server
- Navigate to Netflix in your browser and watch as you normally would in the US!
If you want to watch US Netflix from China on a game console, smart TV streaming media box (Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, etc), then you’ll need to set up the VPN on a router instead of using the app. You can use a virtual router on your computer or the physical wifi router in your home or office.
Watch US Netflix from China using smart DNS
A smart DNS proxy is an alternative to a VPN. They work in a similar manner by rerouting traffic through a server in the US, but Smart DNS proxies do not encrypt traffic. This makes them faster, but less secure, than VPNs. Most devices also have built-in DNS settings, so you can easily set up smart DNS on your Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Fire TV without fiddling with your router.
The downside is that smart DNS services are easier for both Netflix and the Great Firewall to block. Netflix has weeded out many of the best and biggest providers. Changing DNS servers is also a pain compared to switching servers on a VPN. Smaller smart DNS proxy services don’t have much in the way of server selection at all and could leave you without much help in the customer service department.
Accessing US Netflix from China FAQs
Why Does Netflix Geo-Restrict Content?
Just like other streaming services, Netflix has licensing and publishing limitations. When they sign deals with content creators, they will agree to only stream it in particular countries. This means that some TV shows and movies will be exclusive for the US market, and have geo-restrictions in other parts of the world. This can be particularly frustrating if you have content on your home Netflix, but lose access to it when traveling.
Do Free VPNs work with US Netflix in China?
Free VPNs are much more limited than their premium counterparts. A free VPN will cap data and bandwidth, and sometimes even limit connection speeds. As well as this, free VPNs will only have a small selection of servers to connect to. Getting past the China Firewall or Netflix ban will likely be impossible with a free VPN. We recommend that you take a look at our list of VPNs that work with Netflix.