How to watch Netflix in China

Are you traveling to China and worried about accessing your Netflix? Although most of the world has access to Netflix, the service is still unavailable in China. So if you want access to your home Netflix library, you must use a VPN.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) will route your internet traffic through a secondary server in another country, so it will appear you’re somewhere other than China. With your location spoofed, you can access content from Netflix and other services you’d use back home, such as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and online banking services.

Unfortunately, finding a VPN that works in china can be tricky, so in this post, we reveal the best VPNs for the job and explain the step-by-step process for watching Netflix in China. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, here’s a quick list of the best VPNs for watching Netflix in China:

  1. NordVPN: Our top VPN pick for watching Netflix in China. Boasts a large server network, excellent cloaking technology, and the ability to securely access Netflix. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly.
  2. Surfshark: Our top choice for a budget-friendly VPN that works with Netflix in China. Servers in 100+ countries. Allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.
  3. ExpressVPN: Fast, reliable, and consistently works with Netflix in China. Strong security and privacy protocols. Wide network of servers.
  4. VyprVPN: Proprietary servers mean faster speeds. Works well with Netflix in China.
  5. Hotspot Shield: Has fast speeds, works in China, and works with Netflix and many other sites.
  6. PrivateVPN: A secure, private network with exceptional speed and versatility.
  7. Astrill: Offers port forwarding and a dedicated IP address. Works in China but can be costly.

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How to watch Netflix in China

New to using VPNs? don’t worry; getting set up is easier than you might think. Just follow the steps below to get started.

Here’s how to watch Netflix in China with a VPN:

  1. Choose a VPN provider from the list below and subscribe. We particularly recommend NordVPN for use in China.
  2. Download and install the native VPN app for your device.
  3. Connect to a server in your home country. For example, connect to a US VPN server to get an American IP address and watch US Netflix.
  4. Log in to your Netflix account and try playing a video. Enjoy!
  5. If you’re having issues, clear your browser’s cookies and cache and try again.

Note: Because most VPN websites are blocked in China, it’s best to get set up and gather troubleshooting information before traveling to the country.

At a glance – best VPNs for watching Netflix in China

We’ve compared the most important features of the top VPNs. prefer to read an in-depth review? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for watching Netflix in China.

Best VPNs to watch Netflix in China

China is notoriously difficult for VPNs, so each service has to be tested vigorously. Here are some of the criteria we used before recommending the services in this article:

  • Works with Netflix and other streaming sites
  • Works reliably in China
  • Provides fast connections suitable for streaming HD video
  • Offers plenty of server location options
  • Employs strong encryption and other security features
  • Doesn’t keep user-identifying logs
  • Provides knowledgeable customer support

You can read more about what we look for in the VPNs we recommend in the methodology section below. For now, let’s take a closer look at the ones that made the list.

Here’s our list of the best VPNs for Netflix in China:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN May 2024 works with NetflixTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our top choice VPN for watching Netflix in China. It has a huge network of more than 5,200 servers in 60+ countries. This provider is known for its ability to securely access multiple Netflix libraries, including the US and UK catalogs. If it can’t connect you to the library that corresponds to your chosen server, it will redirect you to the US Netflix site. This is handy since it means that every server works with Netflix.

NordVPN keeps no logs at all and employs strong encryption standards. Extras include automatic wifi protection and servers optimized for particular tasks such as P2P and double VPN. If you’re having trouble connecting in China, using a server that’s labeled Obfuscated will improve your chance of success.

NordVPN apps can be downloaded for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. Up to six simultaneous connections are allowed under each plan.

Pros:

  • Evades government blocking in China
  • Wide network of 5,200+ servers
  • Great for streaming
  • No-logs provider
  • Advanced security features
  • Has 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Some servers can be slow to connect

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR NETFLIX IN CHINA:NordVPN is our #1 choice. It has a large server network, works with Netflix, and lets you browse freely in China. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our in-depth NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark works with NetflixTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is the best budget choice for Netflix in China. It hasn’t been around for as long as most of its rivals, but the company burst onto the scene with a well-rounded package. It has over 3,200 servers in more than 100 countries and is adept at bypassing the restrictions set in place by the Chinese government. This VPN is fast and great for streaming. As with NordVPN, any Surfshark server will give you secure access to Netflix, defaulting to the US library when others are unavailable.

Security is in the form of strong encryption, along with essentials such as a kill switch and leak protection. Surfshark won’t log any of your data.

Native apps are available for Linux, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. There’s no limit on the number of devices you can connect.

Pros:

  • Apps work in China
  • Provides secure access to Netflix and other streaming sites
  • Unlimited number of connections
  • Apps for most devices
  • Customer support is available 24/7

Cons:

  • Some servers can be slow

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET CHOICE:Surfshark is a strong contender, especially when you consider it imposes no device limit and has servers in over 100 countries. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

See the full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN works with NetflixTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that work reliably in China. It has a ton of server location options with a network spanning 94 countries. Blazing fast speeds make it an ideal streaming VPN. It works well with Netflix US, as well as several other Netflix libraries, including the UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan versions. Looking to securely access other streaming services, like Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu? ExpressVPN can help with those too.

Security and privacy are important when traveling anywhere and especially in China. ExpressVPN has you covered with a strong suite of security features, including military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection. It keeps no logs of user-identifying data and allows you to sign up with bitcoin and a throwaway email address.

Apps are available for Linux, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Up to five connections are permitted at a time.

Pros:

  • Works reliably in China
  • Stream multiple Netflix libraries
  • Apps for all popular devices
  • Strong security and privacy features
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Price is a little higher than rivals
  • Streaming servers aren’t labeled

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR NETFLIX IN CHINA:ExpressVPN is our top pick for watching Netflix in China. It provides fast, reliable connections, works with a ton of streaming sites, and offers unrivaled customer support. A 30-day money-back guarantee makes it a risk-free option.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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4. VyprVPN

VyprVPN works with netflixTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.VyprVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

VyprVPN is another excellent option for a Netflix VPN in China. It offers 700+ servers in 64 countries and works with most streaming services, including US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max.

VyprVPN combines strong encryption with an impressive suite of features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, obfuscation masking your VPN usage from local networks, and an OpenVPN-exclusive Chameleon protocol. It also has its own zero-knowledge DNS service, so you can be sure your data is handled with extra security.

VyprVPN offers dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. This VPN allows the connection of up to five devices at a time. Each plan includes a zero logs policy and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Plenty of low-latency servers in high-traffic areas
  • Utilizes AES-256 encryption, kill switch, and DNS leak protection
  • Slick, easy-to-use apps with 24/7 support
  • Ideal for accessing your usual services while in China
  • Zero logs policy

Cons:

  • No anonymous payment options
  • Not as fast as our other recommendations

Our score:

4 out of 5

PROPRIETARY SERVERS:VyprVPN uses 256-bit encryption to evade China’s Great Firewall. It offers 24/7 support and decent speeds. Subscriptions include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our full review of VyprVPN here.

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5. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield works with NetflixTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.

Hotspot Shield has been improving its service in recent months, although it has always been renowned for its extremely fast speeds. It provides a selection of more than 1,800 servers in over 80 countries. Plus it works in China and can securely access Netflix and other streaming sites.

This provider utilizes top-notch security features, including strong encryption and perfect forward secrecy. Connections use the proprietary “Catapult Hydra” protocol that is also used by several top cybersecurity firms. Hotspot Shield doesn’t keep logs of any user-identifying information.

You can download software versions for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, and connect up to five devices at a time.

Pros:

  • Bypasses the Great Firewall of China
  • Has consistent speeds
  • Strong 256-bit encryption
  • User-friendly apps

Cons:

  • Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
  • Apps can be complicated

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

FAST CONNECTIONS:Hotspot Shield offers a fast, secure service and real day-to-day usage potential. It comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Check out the full review of Hotspot Shield.

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6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN works with NetflixTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN seems like a relatively meek competitor on the surface. It runs a network of just over 200 servers in 60+ countries. However, this service works in China with a special feature called “Stealth mode” enabled in the settings. This adds a layer of obfuscation to your connection to make the encrypted traffic look unencrypted, which in turn, makes the VPN more difficult for the Great Firewall to detect. Not only that, but it scores well above average in our speed tests and works well with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.

Data security is solid, and PrivateVPN doesn’t store any usage or metadata logs about users’ online activity. You can use PrivateVPN’s reliable connections to secure your devices on public wi-fi from third-party snoopers. Live chat support is available should you encounter any problems. Users get unlimited bandwidth and server switches.

Desktop clients are available for Windows and macOS, and mobile apps for iOS and Android. Ten simultaneous connections are permitted.

Pros:

  • Works in China
  • No issues with Netflix US
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever

Cons:

  • Small selection of servers
  • Customer support is not live 24/7

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SECURE AND RELIABLE:PrivateVPN is small yet powerful. It can help you watch Netflix in China while providing you with a fast, secure, and reliable connection. Subscriptions include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our in-depth PrivateVPN review.

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7. Astrill

Astrill VPN works with netflixTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.astrill.com

Money-back guarantee: no

Astrill is a reliable option for watching Netflix in China. It offers dedicated servers that are optimized for streaming to help you bypass the Great Firewall and watch US Netflix without any interruptions. You can access high-quality HD streams from HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more with strategic server locations.

Astrill also provides robust security and privacy measures such as AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and obfuscation to hide your VPN usage. It also includes port forwarding, a dedicated IP address option and supports WireGuard for ultrafast streaming and gaming. The provider keeps no logs of any online activity or user data. You can connect up to five devices at once with Astrill. It has servers in over 60 countries and is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, and Android. It also works with a selection of routers.

One of the biggest downsides for Astrill is its pricing, coming in at a higher cost than other VPNs on this list and lacking any form of money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Dedicated IP address available
  • Servers in 60 countries
  • Supports WireGuard for ultrafast streaming

Cons:

  • Pricier than competitors
  • No money-back guarantee

Our score:

5 out of 5

SUPPORTS WIREGUARD:Astrill includes port forwarding support, offers servers in 60 countries, including China, and offers a dedicated IP address.

Check out our full review of Astrill here.

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Finding the best VPNs for Netflix in China: Methodology

To ensure consumers select the right VPN for their requirements and enjoy a VPN experience that’s nothing less than excellent, we put VPNs through rigorous testing. During testing, several factors are considered, detailed within our VPN testing methodology guide. Some of the most significant testing factors are included below:

  1. Servers in China – Whether China is your home country or you’re visiting from abroad, you might want to access region-locked content in other locations. A VPN with servers in China will prevent surveillance and logging even when using local Chinese services.
  2. Robust encryption – The effectiveness of a VPN is determined by the encryption it uses. Unfortunately, many VPNs use substandard encryption that doesn’t adhere to modern standards. The VPNs we recommend for China use military-grade encryption above to ensure watertight privacy.
  3. Servers spanning the globe – If you want to access the content you already pay for at home from anywhere globally, a VPN with a global server network will make it possible.
  4. A zero logs policy – What you get up to online is your business. Selecting a VPN that doesn’t collect logs ensures your data remains private and anonymous from the likes of ISPs who can see your data and share it with local authorities.
  5. Excellent customer support – Getting support when you’re using a VPN in a heavily-censored country like China is vital, so we always recommend VPNs with live chat or ticketing support that’s available 24/7.

Watching Netflix in China with a VPN: FAQs

Can I watch Netflix in China with a free VPN?

The chances of you being able to use a free VPN to watch Netflix in China are very slim. In fact, finding one that will work in China or securely access Netflix is unlikely, so discovering one that can do both would take a small miracle.

Netflix has cracked down on VPN usage, and free VPNs simply don’t have the resources to spend on finding workarounds. Similarly, they’re unable to develop superior cloaking technology to evade China’s Great Firewall.

Even if you do find a suitable free VPN, you’ll probably be unsatisfied with the service. These VPNs provide slow, unreliable connections and often bombard users with ads. They are also unsuitable for keeping your data secure and private. Many use weak encryption standards and some track your online activity and sell the data to the highest bidder.

These services also offer next to no support. You could find yourself in China with no access to geo-restricted content and no one to help you.

Opting to pay a nominal fee for a reputable provider is your best bet.

Why can’t I access Netflix in China?

Contrary to some reports, Netflix isn’t actually blocked in China, but rather the streaming platform has never been launched there. It’s possible to access the Netflix website in China, but there will be no library of content for you to view.

Netflix is available in more than 200 countries. However, the Chinese market is extremely difficult to crack, mainly due to strict regulations imposed by the government. Netflix did have a deal with iQiyi (owned by Chinese search engine giant Baidu), whereby some of its content was shown, but that has since ended.

For now, Netflix is producing a growing number of Mandarin titles. While this is reportedly intended to appease the global Chinese population, it may signal that the company is poised for another attempt to enter the Chinese market. However, with iQiyi pursuing aggressive growth, it could still be a long time before we see a Netflix China.

Meanwhile, travelers in China who want to watch Netflix have no choice but to use a VPN to regain access to their home country’s Netflix library.

Why don't all VPNs work in China?

As mentioned, the Chinese government makes efforts to block VPN traffic within the country. They use sophisticated methods to detect VPN connections, such as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). Even many VPNs that attempt to hide their traffic can’t avoid these restrictions. As such, you need a VPN with advanced cloaking technology (such as those listed above) that successfully disguises your traffic as a regular internet connection.

A more primitive method used to stop VPN usage is the forcing of ISPs to blacklist the websites of VPN providers. In addition, companies like Apple have agreed not to include VPN apps in their Chinese app stores. This means that once you’re in China, it’s challenging to download and install a VPN app. If you plan to use a VPN in China, you should download the software before entering the country.

With VPN websites blocked, locating tutorials and guides for VPN setup and troubleshooting is tricky. To get around this, it’s a good idea to download and save any relevant setup and troubleshooting guides so you can view them offline if needed.

Note that although VPNs are banned in China, their use is not illegal. However, there have been reports of the government cracking down on VPN providers, including a nine-month jail sentence in a 2017 case.

What is China's Great Firewall?

China’s Great Firewall is a censorship and surveillance system that blocks access to specific websites and online services like Google, Facebook, and Skype. It was first implemented in 2003 by the Chinese government to control Internet usage within the country. The firewall works by blocking or filtering content deemed “inappropriate” according to the Chinese government’s standards, such as sites it considers politically sensitive. This includes sites related to such issues as democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech, as well as foreign websites that are considered a threat to the Chinese Communist Party’s power.