It might surprise you to know that Netflix’s content varies from one location to another. This means that at any given time, you’re only seeing a small portion of Netflix’s available shows. The reason for this is simple: the service only has the rights to broadcast particular titles in specific countries. There is a workaround, though: by connecting to a VPN, you can spoof your location and trick Netflix into believing you’re actually in another country.
The problem is that Netflix is extremely good at detecting whether or not you’re using a VPN. In fact, there are only a handful of major services that can still reliably unblock Netflix, and often, they’ll only provide access to one or two libraries. We’ve tested NordVPN extensively with Netflix and below, we’ll explain how well it works, whether you can use the service with Netflix mobile apps, and which libraries you can unblock.
NordVPN is ideal for streaming. For a start, it has one of the largest networks of any popular service, with more than 5,000 servers covering 62 countries. It’s capable of unblocking numerous popular streaming platforms including BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Further, NordVPN lets you choose a specific city to connect to, which enables you to bypass regional blackouts such as those imposed by the NHL, UFC, and MLB networks.
This VPN cares about your security. It keeps your activities private at all times using a combination of 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and perfect forward secrecy, as well as IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection. There’s even a customizable, app-specific kill switch for desktop versions.
WORKS WITH NETFLIX: NordVPN is a great choice for Netflix users. It Unblocks US Netlfix along with many other country versions of Netflix. It’s good value, easy to use and works with all popular devices and operating systems.
How to unblock Netflix using NordVPN
Never used a VPN before? It’s actually pretty straightforward to unblock geo-restricted services like Netflix with NordVPN:
- Begin by registering for NordVPN, if you haven’t already.
- Download the relevant app for your device’s operating system (NordVPN currently has apps for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android).
- Choose which Netflix library you’d like to access.
- Connect to a NordVPN server in your chosen country.
- Try watching something on Netflix. It should begin playing almost instantly, although you may have to clear the cache and reload the page first.
Does NordVPN unblock Netflix from abroad?
We recently tested 59 popular VPNs to see how well they performed against Netflix’s regional blocking. Of the 30 countries tested, NordVPN was able to access five: Netflix US, UK, Japan, Australia, and Canada. Better still, using NordVPN, we were able to access each country’s library both in a browser and using the iOS and Android apps. Of course, as Netflix continuously updates their VPN-detection measures, these results may change in the future.
Interestingly, NordVPN can actually unblock Netflix regardless of which country you’re connected to. However, if you’re not using a server in one of the countries listed above, NordVPN uses a DNS proxy to return the US version of Netflix. For example, if you try to watch Netflix while connected to an Italian NordVPN server, you will likely be redirected to the US Netflix library. The rest of your traffic will appear to be from your chosen location, however.
So why has NordVPN prioritized these locations? According to eMarketer, five of NordVPN’s six supported countries are in the top ten countries with the highest Netflix market penetration. The sixth, Japan, offers a larger than average selection of exclusive content. This means that even though NordVPN only unblocks six different Netflix catalogs, it provides access to as many region-exclusives as possible.
Can I access other country’s Netflix libraries with a free VPN?
Free VPNs come with several disadvantages that their premium rivals don’t. For instance, due to limited server networks, they often provide slow connections. This is a particular problem for people trying to stream as it results in stuttering, low-resolution video, if you’re able to watch at all. Additionally, most free VPNs are incapable of bypassing Netflix’s advanced VPN-detection measures. If you’d like to access foreign Netflix libraries consistently, free VPNs, with their monthly data caps, unreliable speeds, and queuing systems, are a poor choice.
Despite their claims, these services aren’t completely free. Some offer higher speeds in exchange for a fee, but usually, you’ll pay in personal data instead (or as well). Free VPNs can tell a lot about you just by observing your behaviour: which of their ads you click on, which you close, and how often you visit a particular site, for instance. This information is valuable, and can be sold without your knowledge once enough has been collected — hardly the level of privacy you expect a VPN to provide.
Choosing a VPN is difficult enough already, before you even consider the myriad of malware-carrying apps looking to take advantage of your desire to protect yourself. Even assuming you find a free VPN app that doesn’t infect your system with malware, it may not protect against DNS leaks or encrypt your traffic in any way. There’s no guarantee of safety with larger free VPNs either, as we found out during the Hola botnet incident in 2016. The best way to protect yourself online is to use a reputable VPN which logs no personally identifiable information.
Using a VPN with Netflix: FAQs
Why does Netflix show an error when I use a VPN?
The vast majority of VPNs can’t actually unblock Netflix from abroad. Attempting to do so will cause the following error to appear: “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”
Netflix is the world’s largest over-the-top streaming platform, and as such, has invested huge amounts of time and money into preventing VPN users from watching whatever they want on the service. However, at the time of writing, NordVPN still works. Should any subsequent updates prevent you from accessing Netflix, you can contact the customer support team via 24/7 live chat to find out which servers still work.
Netflix isn’t available in my country. Can I still sign up?
Netflix is currently available in over 190 different countries. However, if you live in a location where the service isn’t available, you can still register using a VPN.
First of all, you’ll have to obtain a Netflix gift card. You can buy these on any number of online marketplaces, but be sure to verify the seller’s integrity first. It’s all too easy to purchase a “card” with a code that’s invalid, expired, or already used.
Next, connect to one of your VPN’s servers in a country where Netflix is available. Register as normal and opt to pay with a gift card. Then, simply enter the code from the gift card, and you should be able to stream freely. Note that you’ll have to connect to the VPN every time you want to watch anything.
Do VPNs negatively affect my connection speed?
Unfortunately, whichever VPN you use, there will likely be some degree of slowdown. Some services are faster than others, but it’s difficult to quantify this precisely as your connection speed is influenced by factors like the current server load, how far away you are from the VPN server, your encryption settings, and which connection protocol you’re using.
In any case, most major VPNs only have a minor impact on your speeds. As a general rule, you can expect your connection to be about one-third slower. This means that with an 8Mbps download speed, you’ll be able to stream flawlessly on most platforms.
Netflix’s own guidelines recommend a download speed of at least 3Mbps to watch standard-definition content. As the video resolution increases, so too does the minimum speed required: 5Mbps for HD video, and 25Mbps for 4K. You should note that you’ll need at least 0.5Mbps to use the service at all, but the vast majority of people should already have this.
What shows does NordVPN allow me to watch on Netflix?
NordVPN makes a large selection of Netflix’s content available wherever you are in the world. Here are some of the titles you’ll be able to stream abroad with NordVPN:
- The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
- The Office
- The Haunting of Hill House
- Code Geass
- Mob Psycho 100
- The Walking Dead
- Stranger Things
- Black Mirror
- Making a Murderer