How to watch Netflix USA in South Africa

Netflix is available almost everywhere in the world, but the library of content changes based on your location. In fact, there’s often major disparity between regional libraries. For instance, Netflix USA has almost 2,000 more titles than Netflix South Africa. Luckily, there is a way to access another country’s library. When you connect to an American VPN server, you’re given a temporary US IP address, which tricks Netflix into believing you’re actually in the United States.

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 network or country-wide blocking.

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

  1. ExpressVPN: A reliable VPN with over 3,000 servers in 90+ countries. Unblocks American Netflix in South Africa, includes powerful security features, and offers consistently high speeds.
  2. NordVPN: With over 1,600 fast US servers, exceptional unblocking ability, and a strong focus on privacy and security, NordVPN is ideal for streaming US Netflix abroad.
  3. CyberGhost: Versatile yet simple enough for beginners to use. Offers high speeds, one-click unblocking for platforms like Netflix USA, and pre-configured security features.
  4. PrivateVPN: PrivateVPN unblocks more than a dozen Netflix libraries and provides very fast connections. Boasts a no-logs policy and a strong commitment to your security.
  5. Surfshark: A fast, security-conscious VPN that’s able to unblock Netflix US from South Africa. Allows you to connect as many devices as you like.

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 bypass regional restrictions. Follow the steps below to access Netflix US from South Africa:

  1. Start by signing up for one of the VPNs above (we recommend ExpressVPN).
  2. 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.
  3. Connect to one of your VPN’s American servers.
  4. 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 then refreshing the page. Still can’t watch anything? Try contacting your VPN’s support team for further assistance.

Choosing a VPN doesn’t have to be an ordeal. While there are dozens of VPNs to choose from (and new ones appearing all the time), we’ve narrowed the list down to just five. The best VPNs for streaming American Netflix in South Africa meet all of the criteria below, meaning that they’re all highly versatile services, capable of handling just about anything you throw at them.

Criteria for selecting the best VPNs 

  • Has servers capable of reliably unblocking Netflix US abroad
  • 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

Best VPNs for watching US Netflix in South Africa

Below, we take a closer look at the best VPNs for unblocking the American Netflix catalog in South Africa:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPNOct 2019UNBLOCKS NETFLIX USTested Oct 2019

ExpressVPN has a network of over 3,000 servers in 94 countries including the US. It provides consistently high speeds and unblocks a wide range of streaming services including Netflix USA, Hulu, and Sling TV from abroad. With three connections permitted, 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, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS devices. There’s also custom firmware, designed to make it easier to install ExpressVPN on select internet routers.


  • Fast speeds for streaming and torrenting
  • Unblocks Netflix US, UK, and others
  • Solid privacy and security
  • Pay anonymously with Bitcoin


  • More expensive than other providers on this list

BEST VPN FOR US NETFLIX:ExpressVPN is our #1 choice for watching Netflix US 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 meaning you can try it risk-free.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN


NordVPN has the largest network of any major VPN, with over 5.000 servers in 60 countries (and more than 1,600 in the US alone). This VPN is excellent at unblocking stubborn streaming services like Netflix USA, and with reliable, high-speed 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 Linux, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android apps. It also works with network routers, but must be configured manually.


  • Excellent unblocking ability
  • Excellent security and encryption standards
  • Server size (5,000 servers) is second-to-none
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever


  • Desktop app can be awkward to use, needs updating

BEST VALUE VPN:NordVPN is a powerful yet low-cost service. It has several advanced security features, unblocks US Netflix abroad, and has over 5,000 servers to choose from. What’s more, NordVPN also includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our review of NordVPN.

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3. CyberGhost

CyberghostUNBLOCKS NETFLIX USTested Oct 2019

CyberGhost currently has over 4,500 servers in 59 countries, nearly 1,000 of which are in the US. This service is excellent for streaming as it’s fast, offers unlimited bandwidth, and allows you to search for the best server by latency, load, or the service it best unblocks. CyberGhost allows you to stream safely on up to seven devices simultaneously.

There’s no need to configure anything since 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, customer support is available over live chat, 24/7.

CyberGhost offers apps for MacOS, iOS, Windows, and Android. It must be manually installed on Linux-based systems and wireless routers.


  • All security features enabled by default
  • Fast, reliable service
  • Apps are easy to install and use – a good option for beginners


  • Less suitable for power users

COMPREHENSIVE SECURITY:CyberGhost provides fast, reliable connections, advanced security and privacy features, and the ability to stream US Netflix from anywhere. This VPN has almost 1,000 US servers and includes a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our in-depth CyberGhost review.

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4. PrivateVPN


PrivateVPN might not have the largest network (around 150 servers in 60 countries) but it does offer higher speeds than many other VPNs. Additionally, this service has excellent unblocking ability, and allows you to access more Netflix libraries than any other VPN we’ve tested. With up to six simultaneous connections allowed, you can stream on whichever device you prefer.

This VPN uses a combination of 256-bit 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 between 3 PM–1 PM PST every day.

PrivateVPN apps are available for Windows, Android, MacOS, 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
  • Unblocks popular streaming sites including US Netflix


  • Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
  • Small number of servers to choose from

FLAWLESS STREAMING:PrivateVPN boasts exceptional unblocking ability, very high speeds, and access to servers in nine 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.

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5. Surfshark


Surfshark has over 800 servers across 50 countries including the US. This service not only lets you watch American Netflix in South Africa, it also unblocks platforms like Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. The main attraction of this VPN is that it has no connection limit, meaning it offers excellent value and is a particularly good choice 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, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV / Fire Stick apps. It works on routers and Linux systems too, although it must be installed manually.


  • Allows unlimited devices
  • Great at unblocking popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer


  • A relatively small server network
  • Some slow speeds

NO CONNECTION LIMIT:Surfshark is a fast, security-conscious VPN which can unblock Netflix US in South Africa. 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 complete Surfshark review.

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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 was caught selling idle user bandwidth to help run a botnet.

The best way to stay safe online is to use a reputable VPN service with a clear-cut privacy policy and a history of standing up for its users’ privacy.

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 catalog. Below, we’ve listed some of the titles you can expect to watch on American Netflix:

  1. Black Mirror
  2. Terrace House
  3. When They See Us
  4. Always Be My Maybe
  5. The Chef Show
  6. Aggretsuko
  7. Russian Doll
  8. Dead to Me
  9. The Good Place
  10. The Society

Related: How to change Netflix country

Image credits: Wikipedia map of USA CC BY-SA 3.0map of Africa” by Shosholoza CC BY SA 3.0