How to watch Netflix USA in India

Netflix has about 5 million subscribers in India, but the country is only granted a fraction of the same library of shows and movies compared to the US. This disparity is down to licensing deals, but there is a way to overcome these restrictions. To stream Netflix USA in India, you must connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) first.

VPNs encrypt all the traffic flowing to and from your device and route it via an intermediary server of your choice. If you choose a server in the United States, your Indian IP address will be switched with one from the US.

While this seems like a straightforward approach, we should mention that Netflix deploys sophisticated filters and VPN detection algorithms. As such, not all VPNs are up to the task of unblocking Netflix USA in India. We discuss the individual merits of each provider below, but here’s a snapshot of our top six VPNs to watch Netflix USA in India.

Best VPNs to watch Netflix USA in India

  1. ExpressVPN: Our first choice to stream Netflix from India. Deploys uncrackable encryption and speedy servers to make streaming shows a breeze. Well-designed apps and friendly customer support.
  2. NordVPN: Great for users on a budget. Fast speeds, a vast number of server locations in the US, and an ability to bypass Netflix detection algorithms.
  3. CyberGhost: Blazing fast speeds, impressive security features, and a consistent ability to thwart geo-restrictions on streaming media.
  4. IPVanish: Advanced encryption and cloaking features coupled with great speeds. A good contender to access Netflix.
  5. Surfshark: An unlimited number of simultaneous connections, fast speeds, and a growing server network.
  6. PrivateVPN: Best known for its streaming and unblocking capabilities. Proven to unblock Netflix and other services.

How to unblock Netflix USA from India with a VPN

Follow these steps to set up a VPN so that you can watch US Netflix in India:

  1. Register and sign up with one of the providers we recommend in this article (our top choice is ExpressVPN).
  2. Once the payment formalities are out of the way, proceed to download and install the VPN app onto your preferred device.
  3. Restart your device once the app is installed.
  4. Open the VPN app and select a Netflix server. Note that with some VPNs, not all US servers will be able to unblock Netflix. Either consult with customer support or check your chosen provider’s website if you have issues.
  5. Wait for the connection to be established.
  6. Congratulations! Just navigate to Netflix and start watching.

Not every VPN is up to the task of reliably unblocking Netflix abroad. We curated our list of the best VPNs to stream US Netflix after critically evaluating them on the following criteria:

Criteria for selecting the best VPNs 

  1. Able to unblock Netflix US and other streaming services
  2. Offers consistent speeds for uninterrupted streaming (no buffering)
  3. Makes use of superior encryption protocols so your location remains hidden
  4. Provides friendly, efficient customer support
  5. Allows a money-back guarantee
  6. Includes provision for simultaneous connections

Best VPNs to watch Netflix USA in India

1. ExpressVPN

Express VPNSep 2019unblocks Netflix USTested Sep 2019

ExpressVPN has multiple server locations in the United States and is proven to unblock Netflix USA, Canada, UK, and others. Its optimized servers and superior encryption protocols all but guarantee a stable connection with a near-perfect uptime record.

It’s important to state that ExpressVPN operates Netflix-specific US servers. As such, it’s a good idea to consult with a customer support representative first. They’re available 24/7 and on hand to assist with any queries. Other than Netflix, ExpressVPN can enable location-agnostic streaming of Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. Its well-designed, minimalist apps will get you streaming in a matter of minutes.

Security parameters include 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, leak protection, and an internet kill switch. This provider doesn’t store any detailed user logs, including IP addresses.

You’ll find apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. One account allows for five devices to connect concurrently.

Pros:

  • Fast enough to play HD video without buffering
  • Top-class security and privacy protection features
  • Unblocks Netflix US, UK, and others
  • Offers 24/7 live chat
  • Works across all major desktop and mobile platforms

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive than some other providers

BEST VPN FOR US NETFLIX IN INDIA:ExpressVPN is our #1 choice because of its efficiency, speed, and commitment to customer service. It operates several Netflix-optimized servers and delivers a robust user experience. Try it risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN

NordVPNunblocks Netflix USTested Sep 2019

NordVPN offers a vast global network of over 5,000 servers with plenty of Netflix-optimized servers in the US. Its site lists servers to securely watch Netflix along with additional troubleshooting steps if you face problems. On top of that, its 24/7 live customer support will lend a helping hand if you run into any problems.

Other than Netflix, NordVPN is proven to unblock Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer so you’re covered for lots of other streaming services too.

This provider is well-equipped to secure your digital footprint. It utilizes 256-bit AES encryption, an internet kill switch, and automatic wifi protection. It stores no identifying logs or user data of any nature to augment privacy settings.

One account allows for six devices to connect at the same time and apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Pros:

  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption for great privacy
  • Best budget VPN for torrenting and streaming
  • Unblocks Netflix US, UK, and others
  • Offers 24/7 live chat

Cons:

  • Connections through the desktop app can be slow

BEST BUDGET OPTION:NordVPN is available at a tantalizing price level and doesn’t skimp on any privacy or security features. You’re assured a stable connection to stream Netflix USA in India. Try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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3. CyberGhost

Cyberghostunblocks Netflix USTested Sep 2019

CyberGhost has 947 servers in the US, so you’re definitely going to find a fast, stable connection to access Netflix in India. This VPN service can also unblock many other streaming platforms, including other Netflix libraries, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

Security features include 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol, an internet kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. An ad blocker and anti-malware defense are thrown in for good measure.

Speeds are consistently among the fastest we’ve tested, making HD streaming a breeze. Plus this provider offers unlimited bandwidth and traffic so you won’t be subjected to any data caps. If you run into any problems, its 24/7 live chat support will assist you.

Apps are included for all major platforms — Android, iOS, MacOS, and Windows. One account allows for seven devices to connect at the same time.

Pros:

  • Streams HD video seamlessly
  • Unblocks Netflix US, UK, and others
  • Keeps no logs
  • Some of the fastest servers we’ve tested

Cons:

  • Lack of configuration options will frustrate power users

SPEEDY VPN:CyberGhost is designed for newcomers to the VPN world. Its fast speeds and top-tier encryption are well-suited for Netflix. Try it with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Take a look at our full CyberGhost review.

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4. IPVanish

IPVanishunblocks Netflix USTested Sep 2019

IPVanish scores points on its superior privacy and location-evading features. It declines to store any user logs including metadata, and personally manages all the servers in its network. It includes military-grade encryption, perfect forward secrecy, an internet kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks.

At the time of writing, IPVanish offers more than 600 servers in the US, giving you a stable option to stream Netflix. Customer support can be a little clunky at times but it can assist in finding an appropriate server. Speeds are quick and one account allows for 10 simultaneous connections.

Apps are available for all the major platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS.

Pros:

  • Keeps no logs whatsoever
  • Unblocks Netflix US
  • Offers 24/7 live chat

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer any browser extensions

SUPERIOR CLOAKING ABILITY:IPVanish incorporates hardy location-evading technology without compromising on speed. Try it with a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full IPVanish review

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5. Surfshark

SurfShark VPNunblocks Netflix USTested Sep 2019

Surfshark doesn’t require you to connect to a US server in order to unblock Netflix. Its website claims that you can connect to any server closest to your actual geographic location and still be able to stream the American version. That’s possible with the SmartDNS function, however, it’s better to connect to a US server for better speeds. With over 850 servers around the world and lots of locations in the US, there are plenty of options to stream your favorite content.

In total, Surfshark unblocks 11 country versions of Netflix, including the US, France, Japan, Italy, Australia, and more. Plus it can also help you get access to other platforms like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.

All traffic is secured with 256-bit AES encryption along with perfect forward secrecy, an internet kill switch, and protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. Its speeds are fast and streaming is a lag-free experience.

At the time of writing, there’s an offer to connect an unlimited number of devices with one account. That’s great news for people wishing to share the plan with friends and family.

Apps are included for iOS, Windows, MacOS, and Android.

Pros:

  • Unlimited devices
  • Kill switch on all platforms
  • Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer

Cons:

  • The server network is smaller than most other VPNs

VERSATILE:Surfshark delivers a well-rounded VPN experience with impressive unblocking capabilities and fast speeds. Try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of Surfshark.

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6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPNunblocks Netflix USTested Sep 2019

PrivateVPN has a smaller number of servers than the other providers on this list, but it does its job very well. It lists a total of three server locations in the US that are optimized to bypass Netflix restrictions as well as others in Canada, UK, France, Japan, and Denmark that can unblock Netflix libraries for those countries.

Plus, PrivateVPN can assist in unblocking Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer, among others. Its apps are user-friendly and speeds are very fast. PrivateVPN doesn’t store user logs of any nature, so you’re covered from a privacy angle.

This provider uses 256-bit AES encryption along with perfect forward secrecy, DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection, and an internet kill switch for the Windows app.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. A single account allows for up to six devices to connect at the same time.

Pros:

  • Unblocks Netflix US, UK, and others
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever
  • Privacy and security are top notch

Cons:

  • A small number of servers to choose from
  • Live chat is not around the clock

GREAT FOR STREAMING:PrivateVPN is a reliable performer when it comes to geo-restricted media. Plus its friendly customer support provides an edge. Try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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Can I use a free VPN to stream Netflix USA in India?

We don’t recommend using a free VPN to stream Netflix USA. Here are a few reasons why:

Subpar security and privacy standards

Free VPNs aren’t in the business of providing top-notch encryption protocols and, therefore, aren’t well-equipped to evade the sophisticated detection filters deployed by Netflix. You might be able to find a free VPN that has options for a US server but that isn’t guaranteed to stream Netflix by any means.

To make things worse, lots of free VPNs track user data to sell to third-party advertisers. That goes against the purpose VPNs serve in the first place. A 2016 study of free VPN apps on the Android app store discovered that 38% of them contained malware of some nature and an astonishing 87% didn’t route traffic via the encrypted tunnel they claimed to set up.

Lack of customer support

As we’ve outlined in our recommended VPNs, customer support can make a vital difference in helping you select the right server for Netflix, as well as troubleshooting if you run into any problems. Free VPNs don’t have dedicated customer support portals and won’t be on hand to solve urgent queries. This will dilute your overall experience.

Poor speeds and server networks

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. If you’re going to use a VPN without paying for it, then expect limited speeds, a choice of only a few servers, and wait times to connect during peak hours. That stands in stark contrast to what paid VPNs offer — consistent and trouble-free Netflix streaming.

To sum it up, it’s not in your best interests to compromise your privacy and security on the web by opting for a free VPN.

See also: Fastest VPNs

Can’t access Netflix with a VPN? Try these solutions

If that’s the case, then try these steps:

  1. First, contact your VPN’s customer support team and check that the server you’re connected to is optimized for Netflix.
  2. Proceed to log out of all Google accounts, including the one in your Chrome browser. Google caches IP addresses and it’s possible that this is the reason you’re being denied access to Netflix.
  3. Disable your device’s GPS and any other location-based services. Clear browser cookies, cache, and temporary files.
  4. Disable IPv6. This is mostly for Windows 10 users, but it might cause issues on other operating systems.
  5. Purge your DNS cache. To do that in Windows, open Command Prompt in administrator mode and enter the command: ipconfig /flushdns
  6. Change your device’s time zone so that it corresponds to the US server you’re connected to.
  7. Disconnect from and close the VPN app. Restart your device and reconnect to the Netflix-optimized server to get a different IP address.

Why does Netflix have different content libraries?

Netflix doesn’t produce all the content in its libraries. The vast majority of it is sourced from third-party production houses such as Paramount and Fox. As such, it only negotiates rights for specific countries. That’s because said production houses can often sell rights to more hosting providers in separate places. While Netflix has said that it would like to show the same library of content in every country it operates, that won’t be a reality until it has greater control over all the shows and movies on the platform.

For example, its original productions like Stranger Things and Sacred Games don’t have the same restrictions and are available for streaming all over the world.

Netflix tracks your device’s IP address to determine where you’re streaming from. An IP address is a unique string of numbers assigned to you by your internet service provider. It helps host websites and apps to approximate your location. So if you log on to the internet in India, you’re assigned a local IP address. Netflix uses this information to display country-specific content.

That’s why it’s vital to use a VPN to obfuscate your actual location. If you connect to a VPN server in the US, it will appear that you’re physically in the United States and the local library will be made available. Note that it doesn’t matter if your account was originally registered in India.

In case Netflix does detect VPN use, you’ll probably be flashed the following error message:

“Whoops, something went wrong. Streaming error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”

Don’t worry, VPNs are perfectly legal in India and in most other parts of the world. You won’t be blacklisted by Netflix for attempting to log on with one.

image credits: Wikipedia map of USA CC BY-SA 3.0 “India” Superbenjamin CC BY-SA 3.0