watch Netflix with a VPN

Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services globally and accessible from almost every country. However, your geographic location determines which TV shows and movies you can watch, and in some countries, the selection is very limited. As such, if you are traveling away from home you might want to consider changing your Netflix location to gain secure access to Netflix and your other home streaming services. Not all Virtual Private Networks work with Netflix, however, and 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.

With the right VPN, using Netflix abroad is extremely simple. When you connect to a VPN, you’re given a new, region-specific IP address from the country your chosen server is in. Netflix relies on the user’s IP address to determine their location, meaning from its point of view, there’s no difference between a user who’s actually in a given country, and one using a VPN to spoof their geographic location from abroad.

These are the best VPN services for securely watching Netflix anywhere:

  1. NordVPN: Our 1st choice for watching various Netflix libraries! Extremely fast, with over 5,000 servers, strong security, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: A highly versatile yet inexpensive service that makes it easy to watch Netflix abroad. Connect as many devices as you like.
  3. ExpressVPN:  Fast servers which work with Netflix, Hulu, and more.  Secures your data with encryption. 24/7 support.
  4. CyberGhost: Fast servers for streaming Netflix US, UK and more. Lets you connect up to seven devices simultaneously. No-logs VPN with Military-grade encryption.
  5. PrivateVPN: Very fast download speeds for streaming sites and torrenting. Also works with Netflix. Beginner-friendly apps and up to six connections.
  6. Hotspot Shield: This service works with several Netflix libraries. Security-focused, with user-friendly apps and consistently high speeds.

How to use Netflix with a VPN

Just follow these steps to use Netflix with a VPN.

Here’s how to watch Netflix with a VPN:

  1. First, sign up for a suitable VPN (we recommend NordVPN).
  2. Next, download and install the app, making sure to get the correct version for your device.
  3. Connect to the Netflix library you’d like to use and connect to one of your VPN’s servers in that country. For example, you’ll need a US server to access American Netflix if you have traveled outside of the US.
  4. Go to the Netflix website and try playing a video. It should load right away, but if not, you can often fix this issue by clearing your browser’s cache and cookies, then refresh the page.

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Choosing the right VPN for streaming Netflix

The sheer number of competing VPNs makes it difficult to choose just one. Further, Netflix periodically upgrades its VPN-detection measures and as a result, many VPNs struggle to reliably give secure access to streaming service from abroad. With these factors in mind, we decided to only consider services fitting all of the criteria below:

  • Can consistently work with several regional Netflix libraries and other popular video streaming services
  • Provides reliable, high-speed internet connections
  • Offers effectively uncrackable encryption and a selection of other security features
  • Doesn’t log any information which could identify you
  • Has apps for a wide range of popular operating systems and devices
  • Offers prompt and knowledgeable customer support

We explain our testing methodology for Netflix VPNs further below.

Best VPN services for watching Netflix

Below, you’ll find our list of the best VPNs for streaming your favorite country version of Netflix from any location:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Nov 2021 Works with NetflixTested Nov 2021

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN’s network is the largest of any major VPN, with more than 5,000 VPN server locations in its network throughout 60 countries. That’s not all it has to offer, though: it’s also very fast and capable of securely accessing several different Netflix libraries. A major advantage of this service is that you can access Netflix with any server since if you try to use a version that NordVPN doesn’t work with, you’ll simply be redirected to the US Netflix site.

This VPN keeps you safe using a combination of 256-bit encryption, a customizable kill switch (on all platforms but Android), and protection against port forwarding, IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. There’s also automatic malware-scanning and ad-blocking, plus multi-hop and Tor over VPN features. NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy but you can pay with Bitcoin if you’d like a little extra anonymity. If you need help, you can reach customer support 24/7 via live chat.

NordVPN has apps for Linux, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Manual configuration is required for select network routers.

Pros:

  • Customizable security
  • No-logs policy
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Fast streaming speeds
  • Huge server network

Cons:

  • Server connection times are slightly longer

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR NETFLIX:NordVPN is our top pick for streaming Netflix. It’s extremely fast, includes numerous advanced security features, and keeps zero logs. NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee allowing you to try it risk-free.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark works with NetflixTested Nov 2021

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark has around 1,700 servers spread across 63 countries and is fast enough for flawless HD streaming. It’s also capable of securely accessing multiple Netflix libraries including those of the US, the UK, Japan, and India. Additionally, Surfshark has one major advantage over its rivals: there’s no limit to the number of devices you can connect at one time.

256-bit military-grade encryption is enabled by default, and this service offers a kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning, split tunneling, dual VPN functionality, and the ability to obfuscate your traffic. Surfshark doesn’t log any details that could identify you. 24/7 live chat is available in case of any problems.

Surfshark offers apps for Windows, MacOS, and Amazon Fire TV, as well as both Android and iOS mobile devices. It works on Linux-based systems and select routers but must be configured manually.

Pros:

  • Plenty of advanced security options
  • Most servers are fast enough for flawless streaming
  • No connection limits
  • Works well with Netflix
  • Privacy-focused

Cons:

  • Small network size
  • Some slow speeds

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET PROVIDER:Surfshark is a reliable VPN that won’t break the bank. Wide choice of servers which work with multiple Netflix libraries and puts major emphasis on your security and privacy. Better still, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN works with NetflixTested Nov 2021

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN offers unlimited access to a network of over 3,000 high-speed servers across 94 countries. It’s fast enough for flawless HD (and 4K) streaming, and better still, offers secure access to multiple streaming services. For proof, look no further than Netflix: ExpressVPN works with more than a dozen of the libraries we’ve tested it with, including the ones for the US, the UK, Japan, and Australia.

This VPN keeps your activities hidden from prying eyes using 256-bit military-grade encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and an automatic kill switch (in its desktop apps) that automatically stops all traffic should you disconnect from the VPN unexpectedly. ExpressVPN logs no personally identifiable information and accepts Bitcoin payments, meaning you can sign up and use the service anonymously. Need help? You can reach customer support 24/7 via live chat.

ExpressVPN offers Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS apps. There’s even custom firmware that makes it easy to install and use ExpressVPN on your router and smart DNS services to use with your Smart TV.

Pros:

  • Works with multiple Netflix libraries
  • High download speeds and large server network
  • Strong security features
  • Accepts Bitcoin

Cons:

  • Maximum of five simultaneous connections
  • Slightly higher price than some of its rivals

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SECURE NETFLIX ACCESS ANYWHERE:ExpressVPN works great with Netflix and similar streaming  services. It boasts high speeds, strong security features, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of Express VPN here.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost works with NetflixTested Nov 2021

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost is an easy-to-use yet powerful VPN built with streaming in mind. It has more than 5,700 high-speed servers spread across 89 countries, and users can see the current load of each, as well as the streaming service it’s designed to work with. While many VPNs struggle with Netflix, CyberGhost has no such problems and grants internet access to many of the libraries we’ve tested it with.

This service comes with several advanced security features including 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch (in every version), an ad-blocker, a malware-scanner, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Further, CyberGhost doesn’t log any personally identifiable information, so there’s no need to worry about your activities being traced back to you. Live chat is available 24/7 in case you run into any issues.

CyberGhost apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS devices. It can also be manually installed on select wireless routers.

Pros:

  • Fast, reliable connections
  • Pre-configured security
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Great for securely accessing Netflix and other streaming services

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work in China or the UAE
  • May not be customizable enough to satisfy power users

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

POWERFUL VPN:CyberGhost makes it easy to safely watch Netflix, wherever you are thanks to its high download speeds, user-first privacy policy, and comprehensive security. It even comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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5. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN works with NetflixTested Nov 2021

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN might have a smaller network than most of its competitors (150+ servers across 60 countries), but it’s ideal for watching Netflix abroad. PrivateVPN offers much faster speeds than many of its rivals and works with a greater range of content. Indeed, it worked with most of the Netflix regions we tested it with, including libraries for the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan. Further, with six simultaneous connections permitted, you can stream freely at home and on the go.

This service uses 256-bit encryption, protection against IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks, and a kill switch (in its Windows app) to keep your activities private at all times. While you can sign up almost completely anonymously by paying with Bitcoin, PrivateVPN doesn’t keep any logs at all, and as such, your activities cannot be traced back to you. Its live chat support service is available 22 hours per day (it’s offline from 1-3PM PST), and the staff can remotely configure the software for you, if you’d like.

PrivateVPN apps are available for Windows, Android, MacOS, and iOS. This service can be manually installed on Linux systems and select internet routers.

Pros:

  • Works with more than 20 Netflix catalogs
  • Higher-than-average download speeds
  • Strong focus on privacy and security

Cons:

  • Fewer servers than most
  • Live chat isn’t 24/7

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

FAST AND VERSATILE:PrivateVPN is very fast, works with more Netflix libraries than most, keeps zero logs,with it’s no logging policy and includes strong security features. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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6. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield works with netflixTested Nov 2021

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.

Hotspot Shield offers access to more than 1,800 servers in 60+ countries. This VPN not only works with Netflix US and UK (among other libraries), it’s fast enough that you can watch without any noticeable lag or buffering. Every server works with Netflix, although if you try to access a library the VPN doesn’t work with, you’ll be redirected to Netflix US.

This service uses 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch to keep your traffic private at all times. What’s more, users can let some websites bypass the VPN, allowing you to use local streaming services without having to disconnect. Hotspot Shield doesn’t store any identifiable data once your session ends. If you need help, you can contact customer support 24/7 over live chat.

Hotspot Shield offers Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS apps.

Pros:

  • Works with Netflix and similar streaming services
  • Fast, reliable connections
  • Strong on security

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work with Linux
  • Past privacy issues

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

WATCH YOUR FAVORITE SHOWS ABROAD:Hotspot Shield works with some of the most popular Netflix libraries, but it also offers high speeds and places major emphasis on your security and privacy. A 45-day money-back guarantee is included.

Read our full Hotspot Shield review.

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Our methodology: finding the best VPNs for Netflix

It goes without saying that not just any VPN will work with Netflix. After all, this is a multi-billion dollar organization, and one that’s poured huge amounts of energy into blocking VPN users. We didn’t just find out which services work and call it a day, though — we also took several other factors into account. This approach helped us ensure that we only recommend the best of the best.

  • Server selection: This dictates which libraries you’ll potentially have access to, so the more countries covered, the better. Also, a larger network can handle more users at once, meaning a more reliable, smoother connection.
  • Speed: Netflix recommends at least a 25 Mbps connection for streaming 4K content. We go one better, and only recommend VPNs that are fast enough to watch on multiple devices simultaneously.
  • Library choice: Plenty of services work with Netflix US, but few work reliably with Netflix France or Japan. We’ve favored providers capable of securely accessing a wide array of regional Netflix libraries.
  • Security/privacy: The VPNs we choose must keep you safe with powerful encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and a no-logs policy. Bonus points if they include more advanced security tools as well.
  • Value: Not every VPN justifies its price. We only recommend those that are worth what they charge, and even then, only if they’re a good fit for the task at hand.
  • Ease of use: The VPNs above are all simple enough for novices to use. If you get stuck, don’t panic: they all offer live chat-based support and a huge selection of helpful articles in their website’s knowledge bases.

Would you like to learn more about how we test VPNs? Why not take a look at our full testing methodology?

Can I watch Netflix with a free VPN?

While you might be tempted to use a free VPN, we advise against doing so, for several reasons. Firstly, there’s the performance: free VPNs usually don’t have enough servers to cater to all of their users. This causes near-permanent network slowdown, which is hardly ideal for HD streaming. Additionally, Netflix has invested significant resources to block VPNs, so in all likelihood, you won’t be able to watch anything in the first place.

VPNs have high running costs, whether they’re free or not. As such, free services find ways to generate income without billing the user upfront. Free VPNs will often have large, intrusive ads that can only be removed for a monthly fee. Others make money by storing tracking cookies on your device, allowing the VPN provider to monitor your activities and create a consumer profile that can later be sold to advertisers without your knowledge.

Finally, free VPNs aren’t the most trustworthy services. In fact, we’ve seen a major player in this space sell user bandwidth to help run a botnet. Further, a recent survey of over 280 free-to-use VPNs found that 18% never used any kind of encryption, 66% leaked information over DNS, and almost 40% contained malware. To stay safe online, we recommend using a reputable VPN provider with a customer-first privacy policy instead.

What should I do if I still can’t access Netflix?

So you’ve connected to one of your VPN’s servers, tried to access another country’s version of Netflix, and received an error saying You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.” There are a few reasons why this might happen, and below, we’ll explain what you can do to fix the problem.

Here’s what to do if your VPN isn’t working with Netflix:

  1. Start by clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. Some sites store a cookie on your device if you try accessing them without a VPN. This cookie simply tells the site not to let you enter, but by clearing it and trying again, you might fix the issue.
  2. Try closing your browser and reconnecting to the VPN. You might be using an IP address that Netflix has blacklisted and by reconnecting, you can secure a different one.
  3. Try asking your VPN provider which server to use. Sometimes, when Netflix improves its VPN detection measures, it takes VPN companies a while to catch up. Despite this, there’s usually at least one working server in high-traffic areas.

Which Netflix region offers the most content?

Netflix doesn’t have a publicly-available country-by-country breakdown of its available video content, so we’re reliant on third-parties to find out exactly what is on offer around the world. According to Finder, the US currently has the largest Netflix library, with a total of 5,852 titles (4,091 movies and 1,761 TV shows). Netflix Japan is a close second, however, with 5,634 titles (4,326 movies and 1,308 TV shows).

There’s huge variation in terms of catalog size from one country to another, however. For instance, Netflix Iran has just over 2,300 titles in total. Usually, this is because Netflix only has the rights to show titles in specific countries, but local laws also have a part to play. For instance, Saudi Arabia has laws against the transmission of “material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy,” and recently used this to block the release of a show which represented the Crown Prince in a negative light.

How to use a VPN with Netflix FAQ

Does Netflix ban VPN users?

Netflix recently changed its service so that instead of blocking VPNs outright, it only shows content that's available worldwide.

If your provider claims to be able to securely access a specific Netflix library, but you’re having issues doing so, you can always contact customer support and see if there’s a specific server you should be using first.

Is watching Netflix outside the US via VPN legal?

Using a VPN is legal in most countries. After all, all they do is route your traffic through an encrypted server somewhere else in the world. That said, section 4.3 of Netflix’s terms of use statement says “You may view the Netflix content… only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such content”

So what does this mean? Simply, although it’s not illegal, Netflix frowns upon using a VPN to stream its content abroad. If it’s any comfort though, to date, there are no reports of anyone being banned from the service for using a VPN.

Do I need a US payment method to get US Netflix?

You don’t need a US payment method to access the American content library. This is because the shows that are available when you log into Netflix aren’t determined by the country you signed up in. Instead, the service checks your IP address to find out where you currently are, and displays all of the content that it has the rights to show in that country. This means that you aren’t locked out of other regional libraries, no matter where you signed up from.

Can multiple devices connect to my Netflix from different countries?

Each Netflix account lets you create up to five profiles, but the number of people who can watch at once is determined by your subscription tier. However, as long as you’re not on the Basic plan, your friends and family should be able to watch at the same time as you, on the same account, wherever they are in the world. It’s worth mentioning, however, that due to international licensing laws, the TV shows and movies they’ll see will be different.