Netflix is available almost everywhere in the world, but the content library changes based on your location. While there’s little to separate American Netflix and Netflix South Africa regarding the number of titles available for streaming, the actual TV shows and movies on offer can still vary due to licensing restrictions. Luckily for Americans traveling in South Africa, there is a way to access the same content you’d see back home — just use a VPN.
When you connect to an American VPN server, you’re given a temporary US IP address, which can help you regain access to your home Netflix library. VPNs have another major benefit: they greatly increase your online privacy. Once connected, all of your network traffic is encrypted, meaning it can’t be read by snoopers like your internet service provider (ISP), employer, or government. Further, as your data is routed through servers elsewhere in the world, VPNs enable you to easily bypass government-imposed blocks.
We’ll be examining each of the following services in greater detail later, but if you’re in a rush, take a look below to find our list of the best VPNs for watching Netflix USA content in South Africa.
Best VPNs to watch American Netflix in South Africa
- NordVPN: Our first choice for South Africa. With nearly 2,000 high-speed US servers and a strong focus on privacy and security, NordVPN is ideal for streaming US Netflix in South Africa. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for US Netflix.
- Surfshark: The best budget choice. A fast, security-conscious VPN that’s able to access Netflix US from South Africa securely. Allows you to connect as many devices as you like.
- ExpressVPN: A reliable VPN with over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. Works well with American Netflix in South Africa, includes powerful security features, and offers consistently high speeds.
- CyberGhost: Versatile yet simple enough for beginners to use. Offers excellent streaming and download speeds, one-click secure access for platforms like Netflix USA, and pre-configured security features.
- IPVanish: A fast VPN with a proprietary network of servers in 50+ countries, including South Africa. Kill-switch and obfuscation features. Allows torrenting and works to stream US platforms.
- PrivateVPN: Works with more than a dozen Netflix libraries and provides very fast connections for streaming American Netflix from South Africa. Boasts a no-logs policy and a strong commitment to your security.
- AtlasVPN: Reliable US servers with excellent speeds, making it a great VPN for uninterrupted streaming of US Netflix and other popular platforms.
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There are no hidden terms—just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
How to stream Netflix US in South Africa using a VPN
New to VPNs and not sure how to get started? Don’t worry, VPNs make it easy to securely access your usual Netflix library as you travel. Just follow the steps below:
Here’s how to get Netflix USA in South Africa:
- Start by signing up for one of the VPNs above (we recommend NordVPN).
- Download and install the software. All of our recommended services have dedicated apps for mobile and desktop platforms, so be sure to get the right version for your device.
- Connect to one of your VPN’s American servers. This will give you a US IP address for accessing American Netflix in South Africa.
- Log in to Netflix and play a video. It should start right away, but if you’re still getting a proxy error (“You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again”), try clearing your cache and cookies and then refreshing the page.
- Still can’t watch American Netflix? Try a different server or contact your VPN’s support team for further assistance. They should be able to direct you to a server that works with Netflix US.
How we select the top VPNs
Choosing a VPN doesn’t have to be an ordeal. While there are literally hundreds of VPNs to choose from (and new ones appearing all the time), we’ve narrowed the list to VPNs that meet all of the criteria below. This means they’re all highly versatile services, capable of handling just about anything you throw at them.
Criteria for selecting the best VPNs
- Has servers able to securely access Netflix US from South Africa
- Provides consistently high speeds
- Logs no personally identifiable information
- Offers apps for all of the most popular operating systems
- Uses effectively uncrackable encryption and includes various other security features
You can read more about how we test the VPNs we recommend in our methodology section below.
The best VPNs for US Netflix in South Africa: at a glance
We’ve compared the most important features of the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for US Netflix.
|Ranking for American Netflix
|Avg Speed (Mbps)
|Total number of servers
|Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime, Disney+, ITV Hub, BBC iPlayer, and more
|Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and others
|HBO, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and others
|Hulu, Disney+, ITV Hub, and others
|Disney+, HBO, and others
|Disney+, Hulu, and others
|Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux
|Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV
|Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers
|Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android
|Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android
|Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV
|Best deal (per month)
SAVE 67% on a 2 yr plan + gifts
Save 79% + Get 2 Months FREE
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan
SAVE 75% on the 2 yr plan
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free
Best VPNs for watching US Netflix in South Africa
Comparitech aims to give you the most accurate and helpful VPN recommendations possible. To do that, our team personally uses each VPN and puts them through rigorous tests. The following reviews are based on our expert analysis and real-world experience.
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for watching American Netflix in South Africa:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our top recommendation for watching US Netflix in South Africa. It’s a particularly fast VPN and has a huge network, with over 5,500 servers in 60+ countries (and roughly 2,000 in the US alone). This VPN is great for securely streaming Netflix USA as well as the likes of BBC iPlayer, and with reliable connections, you’ll be able to watch without any noticeable buffering or lag. Better still, NordVPN allows up to six simultaneous connections.
This service enables you to create your ideal security setup. There’s 256-bit encryption, protection against IPv6, WebRTC, DNS, and port forwarding leaks, an app-specific kill switch, a malware scanner, and an ad-blocker. This VPN even has specific servers for use in countries with strict internet censorship. NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy, so your privacy is guaranteed. If you need help, support is available over live chat 24/7.
NordVPN provides Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV apps. It also has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. While NordVPN works with network routers, this must be configured manually.
- Very impressive speeds
- No issues with Netflix US
- Excellent security and encryption standards
- Huge network of servers
- Keeps no logs whatsoever
- 24/7 support via live chat and email
- Desktop app takes a little getting used to
BEST VPN FOR US NETFLIX:NordVPN is our top choice. This powerful VPN has several advanced security features, works well with American Netflix, and has over 5,500 high-speed servers to choose from. What’s more, it includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, making it a risk-free option.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a budget-friendly provider with over 3,200 servers across 100+ countries, including the US. This service not only lets you watch American Netflix in South Africa, but it also works with platforms like Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. A key attraction of this VPN is that it has no connection limit, offering excellent value and making it particularly suitable for households with lots of devices.
This service takes your privacy seriously. It has a zero-logs policy, so details of your activities can’t be revealed, even if requested. Users can also pay with Bitcoin for added anonymity. Surfshark uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection to secure your data. Live chat-based support is on hand 24/7 in case you run into any problems.
Surfshark has Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV apps. You’ll also find browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. It works on routers, too, although it must be installed manually.
- Allows unlimited devices
- Great for securely accessing American Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Strong encryption
- No logs at all
- Solid customer support
- Sometimes slow to connect when switching servers
BEST VALUE VPN:Surfshark is a fast, security-conscious VPN that works well with Netflix US. With no connection limit and a no-logs policy, you can stream safely on as many devices as you like. This service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has a network of over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, including the US. It provides consistently high speeds and can securely access a wide range of streaming services, including Netflix USA, Hulu, and Sling TV from abroad. With five connections permitted on a monthly plan and eight on a longer subscription, you can protect all of your most commonly used devices simultaneously.
This VPN keeps your traffic safe from prying eyes using DNS and IPv6 leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption, and a kill switch that automatically stops all data transferal whenever your connection drops suddenly. There’s also the option to pay with Bitcoin, but ExpressVPN doesn’t log any personally identifiable information, so your activities can’t be traced back to you either way. Need help? You can reach customer support 24/7 via live chat.
ExpressVPN has apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. It also has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Last but not least, there’s custom firmware designed to make it easier to install ExpressVPN on select internet routers.
- Fast speeds for streaming and torrenting
- Lets you securely access Netflix US in South Africa
- Solid privacy and security
- Pay anonymously with Bitcoin
- 24/7 live chat customer support
- More expensive than other providers on this list
- Streaming servers aren’t labeled
SECURE AND RELIABLE:ExpressVPN is a great choice for watching American Netflix in South Africa. It’s fast, reliable, and secure, plus it offers access to more than 3,000 servers worldwide. ExpressVPN also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost has the most extensive server network on our list, with over 9,000 servers in 90+ countries, more than 1,400 of which are in the US. This service is ideal for streaming American Netflix in South Africa or overseas as it’s fast and offers unlimited bandwidth. It allows you to search for the best server by latency, load, or the service it’s best suited for. With CyberGhost, you can stream safely on up to seven devices simultaneously.
There’s no need to configure anything because all of CyberGhost’s security features are enabled by default. These include 256-bit encryption, an always-on kill switch (in every version), DNS and IPv6 leak protection, an ad-blocker, and a malware scanner. Best of all, this service doesn’t log any information that could identify you. In case of any issues, 24/7 customer support is available over live chat.
CyberGhost offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux (command line). It also has a free Chrome extension but must be manually installed on wireless routers.
- Vest network of over 9,000 servers
- All security features enabled by default
- Fast, reliable service for streaming American Netflix or Netflix South Africa
- Apps are easy to install and use – a good option for beginners
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Less suitable for power users
- No option for local networking
COMPREHENSIVE SECURITY:CyberGhost provides fast, reliable connections, advanced security and privacy features, and the ability to stream US Netflix from almost anywhere. This VPN has over 1,400 US servers and includes a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is a US-based VPN with servers in over 60 countries, including South Africa. It works well to access streaming platforms such as Netflix US, Netflix South Africa, and Amazon Prime Video. Having implemented the very fast WireGuard protocol, IPVanish has recorded much-improved speeds, making it one of the fastest VPNs on the market today. It also allows unlimited simultaneous connections per account.
This secure and private VPN service uses strong AES 256-bit encryption and reliable privacy-protecting features, including obfuscation, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. A no-logs policy means IPVanish does not store any of your online activities. Note that split tunneling is available, albeit only for Android and Fire TV apps. Should you require any assistance, 24/7 live chat and email support are included.
- Fast, reliable connections
- Servers in 60+ countries, including South Africa
- Works to access US streaming platforms such as American Netflix
- Allows torrenting on all of its servers
- Based in the US, which is a Five Eyes member
- Doesn’t offer any browser extensions
SUPER FAST:IPVanish has a proprietary network of servers that make it secure and fast. Works to access US streaming services such as American Netflix from South Africa. Allows unlimited connections. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN might not have the largest network (around 200 servers in 60+ countries), but it does offer some of the fastest speeds we’ve seen. Additionally, this service has no problems securely accessing multiple Netflix libraries from abroad, Netflix USA included. This makes it perfect for international travelers. With up to 10 simultaneous connections allowed, you can stream on whichever device you prefer.
This VPN uses a combination of 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks to keep your data secure. PrivateVPN has a strict no-logs policy, although you can sign up anonymously by paying with Bitcoin and using a throwaway email address. If you need help, you can contact support via live chat up to 22 hours per day. Free remote help and installation is also available.
PrivateVPN apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. This VPN can be manually configured to work with Linux systems and home routers.
- Fast and reliable servers provide consistent connections
- Zero-logs provider
- Works with popular streaming sites, including US Netflix
- Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
- Small number of servers to choose from
FLAWLESS STREAMING:PrivateVPN boasts exceptionally high speeds and access to servers in multiple US cities. A no-logs policy and strong focus on security keep you safe at all times. PrivateVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Take a look at our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
AtlasVPN is a popular choice for streaming. It has plenty of servers located in the US, giving you plenty of options for accessing Netflix from South Africa. Plus, its servers offer fast, consistent connections. It also works with other popular streaming platforms, such as Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. With unlimited bandwidth, you won’t need to worry about lag or buffering while streaming in high definition, and no connection limit means you can also protect all your devices at once.
Atlas VPN comes with all the basic security features, including 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. Plus, it also offers a number of extras such as an ad, malware, and tracker blocker. MultiHop servers route internet traffic through two locations for an extra layer of security. Last but not least, Atlas VPN doesn’t keep identifying logs of users.
Atlas VPN apps are available to download for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux Ubuntu, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. As yet, Atlas VPN doesn’t offer any browser extensions. It also doesn’t provide support for routers.
- Works reliably with US Netflix and a choice of other catalogs
- Allows unlimited device connections
- Strong security and privacy features
- Smaller server network than other providers
- Based in the US – a 5 Eyes member
RELIABLE STREAMING ABILITIES:AtlasVPN consistently accesses US Netflix and a host of other streaming platforms. Has no device limits, abundant security features, multihop servers and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Want to know more? Check out our full Atlas VPN review.
Methodology: how we found the best VPNs for Netflix USA in South Africa
Not every VPN with US servers will let you watch Netflix USA in South Africa. Some VPNs won’t be capable of unblocking the geo-restrictions, while others lack the speed to stream in 1080p HD or 4K without performance issues. To help us develop a list of the best VPNs for the job, we’ve collated a list of what we look for to separate the best from the rest.
- Server availability: To stream US Netflix from South Africa, the VPN you choose must have servers in the United States. Some VPNs only have a small number of server locations per country, which isn’t beneficial if one of the servers goes down and there’s no backup. To ensure you’re not in this position, the VPNs on our list have a decent range of servers for each location.
- Performance: Streaming content online is resource-heavy, so choosing a VPN that offers impeccable speeds is vital. Fortunately, we keep up with the latest VPN speeds by running several speed tests. It’s no coincidence that most of these VPNs use the WireGuard protocol and offer unlimited bandwidth.
- Streaming capability: Streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Disney Plus have restrictions in place to block VPN usage, so it’s important each VPN can bypass detection. We test VPNs on various streaming platforms to ensure they can evade restrictions when you’re streaming from abroad.
- Security: To ensure your connection remains private to you and out of sight of prying eyes like your ISP, it’s crucial to select VPNs with a clear no-logs policy, and those that use 256-bit encryption offer a kill switch and DNS leak protection. Although we never shy away from added privacy tools!
- Usability: When you’re looking to stream a TV show, there’s nothing more frustrating than having a screen full of confusing settings. The VPNs we choose have apps for all major platforms and will have you set up in a couple of clicks.
- Value: We compare the VPNs on our lists to ensure they offer pricing that reflects the range of features included with a subscription. They stay off our lists if they overcharge for basic features without adding anything extra. We also include providers with a money-back guarantee, with most consisting of at least 30 days (45 days in the case of CyberGhost) to cancel for a full refund.
Check out our VPN testing methodology if you’d like to learn more about how we test each VPN.
Watch US Netflix in South Africa: FAQs
Is it illegal to watch USA Netflix in South Africa?
Can I watch American Netflix abroad with a free VPN?
Free VPNs might seem like an easy to watch US Netflix abroad, but in reality, they have several major disadvantages. For instance, these services tend to have huge user bases and fairly small networks. This leads to very slow speeds and long periods of buffering when streaming. Additionally, major streaming platforms usually blacklist free VPNs first. As such, even if you’re lucky enough to find a fast, free VPN, you still might not be able to watch anything on Netflix US.
Also, there’s no guarantee you’re actually using a legitimate free VPN. A recent study of over 280 free VPN apps found that almost 40% were infected with malware. Further, the virus-free services weren’t necessarily safe, with over 80% leaking data over IPv6 and 18% using no encryption at all. Unfortunately, even well-known services pose a risk to your security, as we discovered when Hola VPN was caught selling idle user bandwidth to help run a botnet.
Why else should I use a VPN in South Africa?
Although South Africa does not currently censor the internet, there is growing concern surrounding the Films and Publications Amendment Bill, also known as the Internet Censorship Bill. Despite having good intentions, this bill effectively treats internet users as broadcasters and requires them to follow rules set by the Films and Publications Board. Privacy advocates are concerned that the government could censor citizens by simply claiming unflattering content is hate speech and having it taken down (or restricting access, if the website is based outside of South Africa). Should this law pass, only VPN users could prevent themselves from being tracked across the web. They’d also be able to bypass the government’s web-filtering and use the internet freely.
If you’re on vacation in a foreign country, you’ll almost certainly use public wifi at some point. However, these networks usually aren’t very secure, meaning they’re a prime target for hackers. Further, the hotspot owner almost always keeps records of user activity. When you connect to a VPN, though, your traffic is encrypted. This prevents anyone from seeing personal information like the sites you visit, login credentials, or online banking details.
What can I watch on Netflix US?
With more content than any other regional library, Netflix US is a significant step up from the South African content library. Below, we’ve listed some of the titles you can expect to watch on American Netflix:
- Black Mirror
- Terrace House
- When They See Us
- Always Be My Maybe
- The Chef Show
- Russian Doll
- Dead to Me
- The Good Place
- The Society
Will using a VPN in South Africa slow down my streaming experience?
A VPN does slow your connection to an extent due to the encryption and data re-routing that takes place. Despite this, you’re unlikely to notice any significant slowdown in your streaming experience when connected to a VPN.
A VPN can help to reduce bandwidth throttling when your ISP detects high bandwidth usage, so you could notice a speedier connection to boot!
Is Netflix South Africa different than American Netflix?
Yes, Netflix South Africa is different than American Netflix when it comes to their content libraries. Due to licensing restrictions, content between the two can vary. While the number of titles can differ between countries, the most recent regional library size statistics show that South Africa’s Netflix and American Netflix are of a similar size (around 6,000 titles each).
The other key difference between American Netflix and Netflix South Africa is cost. Despite the fact that they share a similar number of TV shows and movies, American Netflix is more expensive with subscription prices as follows: Basic ($9.99), Standard ($15.49), and Premium ($19.99). In contrast, Netflix South Africa’s plans cost the equivalent of $5.43, $8.73, and $10.92 — some 50 percent cheaper.