The demand for VPNs that work with the American version of Netflix is higher than any other country, but that doesn’t mean US Netflix is the only catalog worth mentioning. Other countries like France have their own content, much of which can’t be found in other countries, even the US.
This poses a real problem for international travelers, since they might not be able to continue streaming their favorite shows while on a trip abroad. Luckily, it’s possible to securely access your home country’s Netflix catalog with a French IP address. The best way to get a French IP address is to connect to a VPN. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and routes it through an intermediary server in a location of your choosing. By connecting to a VPN server in France, for example, your real IP address will be masked by the server’s French IP address, allowing you to access French content.
Unfortunately, Netflix blocked most VPN servers from accessing its library in 2016 when the service went global. If you attempt to watch French Netflix while connected to a blacklisted VPN server, you’ll either only see globally-available content or will receive the following error message:
Oups, un problème est survenu… Erreur de streaming. Il semble que vous utilisiez un proxy ou un débloqueur. Veuillez désactiver ces services et réessayer.
Or, in English:
“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.”
We’ll cover the VPNs that still work in more detail below, but if you don’t want to read the full article, here are our top picks:
- NordVPN Our top choice for Netflix France. A super fast VPN with a large network and no privacy or security compromises. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark Best budget option. Lets users connect any number of devices. Speeds are fast enough for uninterrupted streaming. Follows a no-logs policy and includes powerful security features.
- ExpressVPN Solid speeds. Works well with French Netflix and most other streaming services. Leading privacy and security features.
- PrivateVPN Small network yet able to securely access Netflix France at good streaming speeds.
- CyberGhost Makes it easy to watch Netflix France with clearly labeled streaming servers right in the app.
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Best VPNs for Netflix France
Only a handful of VPNs are able to securely access Netflix France. We curated the following list of the best VPNs for Netflix France based on the following criteria:
- Operates servers in France that work with Netflix
- Fast and reliable speeds for HD streaming without interruptions
- Quick and competent customer support
- Supports multiple types of devices
Here are our picks for the best French Netflix VPNs:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our top choice for streaming Netflix France. It was the fastest VPN in our comprehensive testing and operates more than 5,000 servers worldwide. NordVPN also works with many other streaming platforms. A single subscription allows you to connect up to six devices at the same time.
The Panama-based company retains no information about how you use the VPN or your online activity, as laid out in its zero-logs policy. Encryption standards are up to date and strong enough to keep out hackers and your ISP.
Apps are available for Linux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Works well with Netflix France
- Fastest speeds for HD streaming
- Low price point
- Offers secure, encrypted connections at all times
- 24/7 live chat support on offer
- Desktop app is a little cumbersome
BEST VPN FOR FRENCH NETFLIX:NordVPN is our top pick. It’s a great all-rounder that’s super fast and works well with French Netflix. Strong security features and allows up to 6 devices to be used simultaneously from one account. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee for a risk-free deal.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a budget VPN with a mid-sized network, with roughly 3,200 servers in 63 countries. As you might expect, this makes it a popular option for streaming Netflix while traveling abroad. In fact, this VPN doesn’t even struggle with stubborn platforms like Amazon Prime Video, or BBC iPlayer. Best of all, you can have unlimited simultaneous connections, which means you can protect every device in your household with one subscription.
This service keeps you safe using cutting-edge security features. For instance, it includes a NoBorders mode (for browsing safely in countries with strict online restrictions), a kill switch (for ensuring your traffic is hidden at all times), and 256-bit AES encryption, plus protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Most importantly, Surfshark follows a no-logging policy, meaning it can’t divulge details of your activities. Support staff can be reached 24/7 over live chat.
Surfshark offers easy-to-use apps (or browser extensions) for iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux systems. It also works with certain home routers but you’ll have to configure it manually.
- Decent speeds, no bandwidth limits
- Works with all of the most popular streaming services
- Prioritizes your security
- 24/7 live chat support
- Still has the odd slow server
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark isn’t just a fast VPN, it’s also extremely secure. With a no-logs policy and a wealth of advanced security features, it allows you to securely access Netflix from anywhere in the world. Better still, this service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN makes it easy to watch Netflix France. The premium provider also provides secure access to the US and UK libraries, among others. All servers are optimized to bring you maximum connection speed and stability. In fact, you should be able to stream Netflix in HD or even 4K without any noticeable buffering.
Encryption standards are among the strongest on the market, featuring 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy. The company records no logs of user activity nor your real IP address. Live customer support is available 24/7. A single subscription gets you up to five simultaneous devices.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
- Lets users stream Netflix France safely
- Servers in Paris are great for streaming in HD quality
- High-grade security features and no logs policy protects your privacy
- Apps are intuitive and the simple interface is easy to use
- Priced a bit higher than rivals
- Could offer more customizable features
FLAWLESS STREAMING:ExpressVPN is another solid choice. It works reliably with Netflix and most other French streaming services. Solid speeds for buffer-free HD viewing. Total security and privacy. Includes a 30-day money back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is a relative newcomer to the VPN industry, but this rising star is already proving to be very capable. It works well with Netflix France and offers some of the fastest download speeds in the business. While it has fewer servers to choose from, PrivateVPN offers greater peace of mind as it has full control over its network.
Security is strong too. You’ll get uncrackable encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection all built into the apps. No logs of user activity are stored on company servers. You can connect up to 10 devices at the same time on a single subscription.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Provides very high speeds
- Helps users stream Netflix France securely
- Great security and privacy credentials
- Fewer servers to choose from than other providers higher on this list
- Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
- Needs manual tweaking to work in China
GREAT SPEED:PrivateVPN is a good family choice. Works with French Netflix. Good for browsing and torrenting. Could do with having more servers and lacks 24/7 support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost provides secure access to a wide range of streaming services including Netflix France, as well as Disney Plus, TF1, and many more. The app clearly shows which servers work with which streaming services, so there’s no guesswork involved. Speeds are fast enough to stream in high definition.
CyberGhost doesn’t store any logs that could identify a user. It employs strong encryption and leak protection and offers users a kill switch for added security. Live chat support is available 24/7.
You can have a VPN connection on up to seven devices at once on a single account. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Fire TV.
- Works perfectly with Netflix
- Easy-to-use apps
- Fast speeds for high-quality streaming
- 24/7 live chat support
- Doesn’t work in China or the UAE
- Few advanced features
GREAT FOR NETFLIX FRANCE:CyberGhost is a value option for Netflix. CyberGhost’s user-friendly apps and fast speeds make it a great choice for watching Netflix on vacation. It comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
How to stream Netflix France from abroad with a VPN
You can securely access Netflix France in a matter of minutes with the right VPN:
- Download and install your VPN provider’s app for your device.
- Open the app and select a server location in France.
- Hit the Connect button.
- Once the connection is established, open Netflix and start streaming!
If you encounter any issues, try changing VPN servers, clearing your cookies, and clearing the browser cache. Consult your VPN’s customer service if issues persist.
VPN not working with Netflix? Try this
If you purchased a subscription from one of the VPN providers we’ve recommended above but still get the Netflix proxy error, try the following steps.
- Log out of all your Google accounts on the device, including Chrome if you use it. Google caches IP addresses, which can reveal your actual location.
- Disable all location services in your browser and on your device (GPS, etc). If you’ve allowed Netflix to know your location in the past, you’ll need to disallow this in your browser settings.
- Clear your browser’s cookies, cache, and temp files. Learn how to clear your cache here, and how to clear your cookies here.
- Turn off IPv6 on your device. This option can usually be found somewhere in your network settings. You may need to restart your device after.
- Disconnect and reconnect to the selected server location to obtain a new IP address.
- Change your device’s time zone to the provider’s service area and adjust the time to local time. For France, the time zone is UTC+1.
- If you are connected to a wifi network and have access to the router, rename your wifi network name (SSID). Append “_nomap” at the end (without quotes). For example, “comparitech_nomap”. This will opt your network out of Google’s geolocation services. You will need to reconnect your device to the new network in order to regain internet access.
Methodology: How we found the best VPNs for Netflix France
Surprisingly few VPNs are able to reliably access Netflix France abroad. Fewer still deliver the speeds required for 4K video, or the security needed to keep your activities hidden from prying eyes. To ensure we only recommend the best of the best, we looked for VPNs that stood out in all of the categories below:
- Server choice: Netflix checks your IP address to find your location, so we’ll need French servers to access Netflix France. Ideally, these would be plentiful and spread across a few different cities so that those of us far away from Paris could still count on a low-latency connection.
- Performance: Our team regularly runs hundreds of tests to see which VPNs are fastest. In other words, we’re uniquely well-suited to say whether a service is fast enough for Netflix or not. Note that we also consider the connection’s reliability, to ensure that you’ll always be able to watch in the highest-available quality.
- Streaming ability: Part of our process involves seeing whether a VPN works with other Netflix libraries, as well as popular services like TF1, Canal+, and Amazon Prime Video. This way, you’ll know exactly which of your usual services will be available during your travels abroad.
- Security: We require all of our top VPNs to follow a privacy-first logging policy. Additionally, they must include 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks, though we prefer providers that go even further than this.
- User-friendliness: We only recommend providers with beginner-friendly apps and live chat-based customer support. However, if there’s no connection limit, specific servers for streaming, or anything else that streamlines the experience, that’s a huge bonus.
We actually run several more tests than this. To find out more, read our detailed testing methodology post.
VPNs that don’t work with Netflix France
We’ve listed all of the VPNs that we know work with French Netflix. The vast majority of others won’t work. Here are a few that you might come across in your search, but despite what other sites might tell you, they don’t work with Netflix France as of the time of writing.
- Private Internet Access (PIA)
- HideMyAss (HMA)
Best VPN for Netflix France FAQ
Why does Netflix have regional restrictions?
Netflix negotiates licensing agreements with copyright holders for the right to stream TV shows and movies that it did not have a hand in making. Those agreements are often made on a country-by-country basis, so Netflix might buy the rights to stream a show in one country but not another. Perhaps the show is not popular enough in a given country for Netflix to bid on it, or perhaps another TV channel or streaming service already owns the rights.
In order to enforce those licensing agreements, Netflix must restrict viewers according to where they live. This is typically done by checking the IP address of the viewer’s device, which can be masked by a VPN. Netflix is aware of this tactic, however, and blocks connections from most known VPN servers.
Can I watch French shows on regional Netflix?
Yes, Netflix has plenty of French content in its regional libraries. You can also take advantage of French subtitles and audio on most Netflix Original shows.
Is Netflix France different to Netflix US?
Yes. Netflix France is missing many of the titles available to subscribers in other countries, particularly the USA. Conversely, Netflix France has a few shows and movies unavailable in other countries, plus French subtitles.
According to uNoGs, Netflix France has 5,400 titles, while Netflix USA has closer to 5,800 at the time of writing.
Can I use a free VPN to watch Netflix France?
The chances of finding a free VPN service that is able to access Netflix France are very slim. Plus we recommend avoiding free VPNs altogether due to security issues. Many of them exploit users by mining their browsing data, injecting tracking cookies into their browsers, and inserting ads onto web pages. They often sell users' data to third parties, typically advertising companies.
Free VPNs also tend to cap your data, restrict bandwidth, and have a much smaller server selection. Too frequently, they carry malware that can steal data or damage your device.
Is it legal watch Netflix France from outside the country with a VPN?
It is legal to watch Netflix France with a VPN, although this might violate the terms of service set by Netflix. Using VPNs to watch your home streaming services from abroad is legal in most countries, but VPNs are banned in places like China that impose heavy internet controls, so it'd be worth checking the laws in your country before using Netflix France or other services with a VPN.