Despite being available almost anywhere worldwide, Netflix is a region-locked service. However, instead of blocking people from certain countries, it simply changes the list of available TV shows and movies based on the user’s location. While this approach helps Netflix abide by its complex licensing agreements, it can cause issues for users who go abroad. For instance, users may find a show they planned to keep watching unavailable in their new location.
Since Netflix determines the user’s location from their IP address, changing your Netflix region should be as simple as connecting to a VPN server in a different country. However, Netflix has spent huge amounts of time perfecting its VPN-detection features, so few services still work. In fact, despite its overall impressive performance, TunnelBear can’t securely access Netflix from abroad.
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Does TunnelBear work with Netflix?
As of the time of writing, TunnelBear can’t securely access any Netflix catalogs. However, it has been known to occasionally work with Netflix US, UK, and a few other libraries.
If you’d like to regain access to your regular Netflix library as you travel, you might want to consider NordVPN. This is a fast, security-first service that works with 12+ Netflix libraries, including Netflix US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan. Better still, it offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
How to watch Netflix from anywhere with a VPN
Below we explain how to quickly and easily change your Netflix region with a suitable VPN. Don’t worry. Even if you’ve never used a VPN before, the process is very simple.
Here’s how to stream Netflix from abroad using a VPN:
- Begin by signing up for a suitable VPN provider. We recommend a reputable VPN service such as NordVPN.
- Download and install the VPN app on your streaming device. Note that most major providers allow at least five simultaneous connections.
- Connect to a server in your home country. This is important because only US servers will work with Netflix US, and only British servers will let you securely access Netflix UK.
- Open Netflix and check for new content. You should now be able to see and stream titles previously unavailable in your location.
- If nothing seems to have changed, clear your cookies and reload the page or try a different server to fix the most common issues.
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Which VPNs are best for watching Netflix?
Best VPNs for watching Netflix:
- NordVPN: Best VPN for Netflix. Fast with a large server network. Access over a dozen Netflix libraries. Includes specialty servers and a strict no-logs policy.
TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for Netflix.
- Surfshark: Best value VPN. Works with over 30 Netflix libraries. Very fast and lets you connect all of your devices simultaneously. MultiHop servers are available.
- ExpressVPN: Offers servers in 94 countries. Consistently works with Netflix US, UK, and more. User-friendly apps and highly secure with encryption.
- CyberGhost: Over 7,000 servers globally. Unlimited bandwidth for lag-free streaming of Netflix. Use on up to seven devices at once. Strict no-logs service.
- PrivateVPN: Fast and works with many Netflix libraries. User-friendly apps and strong security with encryption and a no-logs policy. Live chat and email support.
- Private Internet Access: Servers in over 80 countries. Good speeds for streaming Netflix US and UK. Strong security and privacy protection.
- Atlas VPNis one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested — perfect for streaming Netflix. Unlimited simultaneous connections and secure with encryption.
Streaming Netflix abroad: FAQs
Can I change Netflix libraries using a free VPN?
While it may be possible to watch Netflix abroad using a free VPN, we don’t recommend doing so. First, these services usually only offer a handful of servers, which means that at peak times, your speeds will likely slow to a crawl: not exactly what you want when streaming. Further, Netflix frequently updates its geo-blocking features, so even if your free VPN works at the moment, there’s a good chance it won’t in the future.
Unfortunately, these services come with real risks. Research indicates that malware is increasingly disguised as free VPN apps, so choosing poorly could result in your compromising your own system. What’s more, many free VPNs don’t even encrypt your traffic. To protect yourself online, it’s best to use a well-established VPN that offers a proven no-logs policy.
Will I get into trouble for using a VPN with Netflix?
Why are some titles not showing up on Netflix?
If you’re finding that some movies or TV shows fail to appear, or that sections of the site fail to load at all, it’s likely Netflix has realized that you’re using a VPN. In situations like these, the service will only display content from the country that you signed up in. While this does mean you’ll always be able to watch, it can be confusing, especially since there’s no error message.
So how can you fix this problem? It’s a good idea to start by clearing your browser’s cookies, which forces Netflix to get your new location. If this doesn’t work, you should contact your VPN’s customer support team directly to see if there’s a specific server that works with Netflix. Failing this, your only real option is to use a different VPN.
What connection speed do I need to stream Netflix?
Most people shouldn’t have any issue streaming Netflix content. Indeed, you only need a connection speed of 3Mbps in order to stream in standard definition (SD) or 5Mbps for high definition (HD). However, a connection speed of 25Mbps is required if you want to stream Netflix in 4K. The fastest VPNs all easily surpass these requirements and offer unlimited bandwidth to boot.
How does Netflix detect VPNs like Tunnelbear?
Netflix uses various methods to detect VPNs, including recognizing and blocking popular VPN IPs and detecting shared IPs. In addition, Netflix can also identify VPNs by looking for inconsistencies in geolocation or irregular traffic patterns.