Did you know that Netflix changes its content depending on which country you’re in? For instance, Netflix Japan has more anime than most other regional libraries. If you’re traveling in Japan and want to securely access the American catalog, you can, but you’ll have to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) server in your home country. This will give you an American IP address and allow you to watch Netflix USA abroad.
VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, preventing your activities from being monitored by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), employer, or government. Further, as your data is being routed through servers in another country, VPNs bypass network or country-wide filtering, allowing you to browse the web freely.
We have in-depth reviews for each of our recommended VPNs further down but if you’re short on time, you’ll find brief summaries of the best VPNs for watching Netflix USA in Japan below:
Best VPNs for watching Netflix USA in Japan:
- NordVPN: Our #1 choice for Netflix in Japan. This no-logs VPN works well with Netflix, provides customizable security features, and has a network of 5,000+ high-speed servers in 60 countries.
- Surfshark: This service is great for streaming Netflix in Japan thanks to its 800+ high-speed US servers, strong security features, and very high speeds.
- ExpressVPN: A fast, reliable VPN with more than 3,000 servers globally. Includes powerful security features, a no-logging policy, and the ability to securely access Netflix USA in Japan.
- CyberGhost: With pre-configured security features, a no-logs policy, fast connections, and extreme versatility this beginner-friendly VPN makes it easy to safely stream Netflix USA abroad.
- IPVanish: A US-based provider that is fast and secure. Servers in the US work to access Netflix. Apps for all platforms. Allows unlimited connections.
- PrivateVPN: PrivateVPN is a security-conscious, zero-logs service with very high speeds. Works with more than 10 regional Netflix libraries, including Netflix USA.
- Hotspot Shield: A fast and reliable VPN that keeps no usage logs. Servers in 80 countries, including the USA to access Netflix.
How to get American Netflix in Japan using a VPN
Secure streaming is easy with the right VPN, even if you’re a complete beginner. Just follow the steps below to watch Netflix USA in Japan or anywhere outside of the US.
Here’s how to get American Netflix in Japan:
- First, register with one of the VPN providers mentioned above (we recommend NordVPN).
- Download and install the app, taking care to get the correct version for your device and operating system.
- Connect to one of your VPN’s American servers.
- Try playing a video on Netflix. It should begin right away but if you’re still seeing an error (“You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again”), clearing your cache and cookies then reloading the page should fix the issue. If you still can’t watch anything, contact your VPN’s support team for further assistance.
Finding the best VPNs for Netflix USA in Japan
Choosing a VPN that works with Netflix doesn’t have to be difficult. There are dozens of services available, all with different strengths, but you’re actually better off choosing a versatile VPN that works in several different situations instead of one specifically designed to work with Netflix USA. That’s why we’ve decided to only recommend VPNs meeting all of the criteria below:
Criteria for selecting the best VPNs
- Can securely access Netflix US from outside of America
- Provides fast, reliable connections to servers in over 60 countries
- Includes powerful security features and uses effectively uncrackable encryption
- Logs no personally identifiable information (preferably keeps no logs at all)
- Has apps for the most popular devices and operating systems
You can find out more about our specific VPN testing methodology in our dedicated article.
Best VPNs to watch American Netflix in Japan
Below, we’ll cover each of the best VPNs for Netflix USA in greater detail:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries, with around 1,600 in the US. This service is known for its exceptional versatility: it can securely access Netflix US from anywhere, but also lets you use services like Hulu and HBO Max. With very high speeds and up to six simultaneous connections permitted, you’ll be able to stream without lag or buffering, wherever you are.
This VPN comes with numerous advanced security features. There’s 256-bit encryption, protection against port forwarding, WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks, a customizable kill switch, a malware-scanner, and an ad-blocker. NordVPN even offers specialized servers for browsing safely in countries with strict online censorship. This service doesn’t keep any logs and offers 24/7 support over live chat in case of any issues.
NordVPN has apps for MacOS, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux. It works on home routers too, but must be installed manually.
- Excellent security and encryption standards
- Fast enough speeds to stream HD content without interruptions
- Works well with Netflix
- No-logs policy
- The desktop app takes some getting used to
BEST LOW-COST VPN:NordVPN provides 5,000+ high-speed servers, customizable security, and a no-logs policy, at a very affordable price. All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read the complete NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a fast, reliable VPN with more than 3,200 servers in 65 countries. It lets users securely access streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video in Japan. This service allows you to have as many connections as you’d like, in stark contrast to its rivals who usually allow six at most. As such, Surfshark is a strong choice for families.
This VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption, DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection, and a kill switch (available in all versions) to keep your online activities private. You can register anonymously with Bitcoin and a throwaway email address, but this service has a strict zero-logs policy, so your activities can’t be traced back to you either way. Need help? You can contact customer support 24/7 over live chat.
Surfshark offers Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV/ Fire Stick apps. It can be manually installed on network routers and Linux systems.
- No limit on the number of devices connected
- Offers a fast, reliable service
- No issues with Netflix
- Some slow speeds
- A relatively small server network
UNLIMITED CONNECTIONS:Surfshark is fast enough for HD streaming and great for watching Netflix as you travel, plus it allows you to connect as many devices as you’d like. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included.
Read our full review of Surfshark.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for streaming. It has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries worldwide and provides consistently high speeds, as well as unlimited bandwidth. Further, ExpressVPN is great for streaming; it works not just with Netflix but also other platforms like Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. ExpressVPN lets you connect up to five devices at once.
This service keeps your activities private at all times using a combination of 256-bit AES encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch which automatically stops all data transferal should you lose your connection unexpectedly. If you’d like extra anonymity, you can pay with Bitcoin, although as ExpressVPN doesn’t log any personally identifiable information, you can’t be tracked either way. Support is available over live chat, 24/7.
ExpressVPN apps are available for Windows, Android, Linux, MacOS, and iOS. There’s also custom firmware which makes it easy to install ExpressVPN on a router.
- Optimized for high-speed connections
- Works with Netflix US, UK, and others
- Pay anonymously with Bitcoin
- Best in class security and privacy
- More expensive than other providers
GREAT VPN FOR NETFLIX USA:ExpressVPN is a great choice for streaming Netflix USA in Japan. It’s fast and secure and has over 3,000 servers in 90+ countries. Best of all, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
Check out our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost is one of the most user-friendly VPNs available. It currently has over 7,000 servers in 90+ countries, and as you can search for the ideal server by latency, load, or the service it’s designed to access (for instance, Netflix US), getting a high-speed connection for streaming couldn’t be easier. CyberGhost permits up to seven simultaneous connections so it’s perfect for people looking to protect lots of devices.
One of the best things about CyberGhost is that it just works. There’s no need to configure anything as 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, ad-blocking, and malware-scanning are all enabled by default. If you do need help, you can contact customer support via live chat, 24/7. This VPN does not log any information that could identify you.
CyberGhost provides Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS apps. It can be manually configured to work with Linux systems and wireless routers.
- Streaming-optimized servers
- Apps are easy to use and great for new users
- Very good speeds
- Less suitable for power users
STRESS-FREE STREAMING:CyberGhost is a user-friendly VPN with 4,500+ servers worldwide. It includes strong security features, one-click access to streaming platforms, and fast connections, so you can safely watch Netflix US abroad. There’s also a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Take a look at our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is a VPN service based in the USA. This isn’t ideal because of the presence of the NSA. However, IPVanish makes up for this with its watertight no-logs policy. This ensures that the VPN will have no details to hand over to the authorities even if it is served a warrant.
The VPN is fast thanks to its proprietary network of around 1800 servers in 50+ countries. That Tier-1 network belongs to its parent company J2 Global, which means that it retains full control over all its servers – which is also great in terms of security and privacy.
Apps are available for all popular platforms, and they have advanced features like a kill-switch, obfuscation, DNS leak protection, and a SOCKS5 proxy. Best of all, you can install those apps on an unlimited number of devices, which makes it great for larger families.
When it comes to streaming, the service works to securely access Netflix US without issues. However, it does not work with Hulu, or the UK’s Player. Thus, this isn’t as good when it comes to streaming international services. That said, it is a good option for Kodi users and you can test it yourself with any streaming platform thanks to its money back guarantee.
- Servers in 50+ countries
- Fast US servers work to access Netflix
- No logs policy
- Robust encryption and a kill-switch
- Unlimited connections
- Based in America
UNLIMITED CONNECTIONS:Large proprietary network of servers. Outstanding speeds for streaming. Connect all your devices with one account. Strong privacy protections. No logs. 30-day money-back guarantee. Easy to use. SOCKS5 proxy. Great for KODI users.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN has fewer servers to choose from than some of its competitors (around 200 in 60+ countries), but it’s much faster than many competitors. In fact, this VPN allows you to stream HD video without any noticeable buffering or lag, and better still, it works exceptionally well with Netflix. PrivateVPN lets you connect up to six devices at once.
This service keeps your activities hidden using 256-bit encryption, protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks, and a kill switch. Although PrivateVPN has a strict no-logs policy, you can pay with Bitcoin if you’d prefer to sign up anonymously. Live chat support is available between 3 PM–1 PM PST and the staff can even remotely install or configure the software for you, with your permission.
PrivateVPN has apps for Android, Windows, iOS, and MacOS devices. Manual installation is required for use with Linux-based platforms and internet routers.
- Faster than many other providers
- Stream Netflix securely
- Privacy and security are top notch
- Apps for all platforms
- Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
- A small number of servers to choose from
WATCH NETFLIX ANYWHERE:PrivateVPN offers better-than-average speeds, the ability to securely access more than 10 Netflix libraries abroad, and a zero-logs policy, making it ideal for streaming. It even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our in-depth PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.
Hotspot Shield is a service based in America that provides exceptionally fast speeds thanks to its proprietary VPN protocol, Catapult Hydra. It has servers in over 80 countries, including the USA to access services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max securely.
The apps can be installed on up to 5 devices simultaneously, which while fewer than our other recommendations should still be enough for most people. Setup guides are available for various different devices, including DD-WRT and TomatoFresh routers.
Being based in the US is not the best, but the VPN keeps no usage logs that track what users do while connected. That said, the VPN does harvest connections logs so those looking for watertight privacy may prefer to shop elsewhere.
That caveat aside, the VPN has secure apps with robust AES encryption and a kill-switch. This means that your ISP and local network admins will not be able to track what you do online while connected. It also means that you won’t have to worry about hacking on public Wi-Fi.
- Super-fast VPN protocol
- Servers in 80 countries, including the US for Netflix
- Easy to use
- Generous 45-day money back guarantee
- Based in the US
- Some connections logs
FAST FOR STREAMING:Hotspot Shield has fast servers in 80+ countries. Super-fast proprietary VPN protocol. Military-grade AES-256 encryption. Kill switch. No usage logs. Works with Netflix, iPlayer, and more. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Hotspot Shield review.
Can I watch American Netflix with a free VPN?
Free VPNs can be tempting at first glance, but scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find that they often come with several significant disadvantages. Take performance, for example: with more users and fewer servers than paid VPNs, free services usually provide far slower speeds which makes streaming almost impossible. Further, free VPNs are normally the first to be blocked by services like Netflix, so even if you found a free VPN with reasonable speeds, you still might not be able to watch anything.
It’s often difficult to tell if you’re using a legitimate free VPN or not. In fact, one study found that more than 37% of free VPNs tested contained malware. Even the ones that were virus-free weren’t safe, as over 80% leaked personal information over IPv6 and 18% didn’t use encryption at all, meaning users were no safer than browsing normally. These problems aren’t limited to little-known services either; we’ve seen VPNs like Hola sell user bandwidth to help run botnets.
Why else should I use a VPN in Japan?
The Japanese government doesn’t actively censor the internet (except to take down illegal or copyright-infringing content). However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need a VPN. When you’re visiting another country, you’re more likely to rely on public wifi networks. Unfortunately, though, these are rarely as secure as they should be, which makes public hotspots a prime target for hackers. As if this wasn’t enough, hotspot owners often monitor user activity too.
When connected to a VPN, all of your traffic is encrypted, meaning it’s unreadable to anyone without the correct decryption key. As such, you can keep your login credentials, online banking information, and internet history private at all times.
Another benefit is that VPNs can route your traffic through servers in another country. This enables you to bypass any web filtering imposed by the hotspot owner or government and access whatever websites you like. Additionally, if you connect to a server in your home country before logging into your accounts (Uber, for instance, or your online banking service), you can avoid automated fraud prevention alerts and ensure you don’t get locked out of your account.
See also: Best VPNs for Japan
What shows can I watch on Netflix US?
There are thousands of titles available on Netflix USA and with the right VPN, you’ll be able to stream them all from anywhere in the world. Below are some of the most popular TV shows on American Netflix right now:
- The Chef Show
- When They See Us
- Black Mirror
- Russian Doll
- Parks and Recreation
- Twin Peaks
- Arrested Development
- Killer Ratings
- Dead to Me
- The Society