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Started as the world’s first online DVD rental store, Netflix is such a big deal now that you are likely to find a dedicated button for it on your TV remote. However, wider international expansion came with certain limits and blocks. Some of which you can bypass with a VPN.
Questions like “how to watch Netflix with a VPN?” or “what is the best VPN for Netflix” hadn’t been relevant until recently – it just worked, period. Unfortunately, copyright concerns seem to have broken the company, so now there is a robust Netflix VPN ban. Of the hundreds of tools that had previously allowed users to watch Netflix, now only a few remain.
As a matter of fact, our “Best VPN for Netflix” list is very short.
No time to read? Here are our best VPNs:
Top 6 VPNs that can unblock Netflix
1. NordVPN ‣
While NordVPN is often compared to ExpressVPN, Netflix users might be inclined to save some money, especially if they are seeking a long-term deal.
NordVPN is excellent in every area – super-strong security, good speeds, servers optimized for various purposes, and so forth. You will also be able to use it in restricted countries, such as China, with no trouble whatsoever.
But we’re here to talk about Netflix, right? Well, NordVPN gets around the Netflix VPN block and, as far as we know, has never had issues with that. We checked multiple US servers and had no problems streaming our show successfully. NordVPN will also grant you access to other streaming platforms like the notoriously problematic BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. On top of that, this VPN is excellent for Kodi as well.
And all this is yours for a decent price – $11.95/month, $6.99/month, $4.99/month, and $3.49/month. Having in mind that the VPN prices are going up and the plans are getting shorter, grabbing one of the multi-year offers should be a no brainer for any Netflix aficionado. If you’re still not sure, you can always use a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The subscription also gets you six simultaneous connections, but there is one drawback. NordVPN still doesn’t have a custom router app, making it slightly more of a hassle to get it working on your TV. Anyway, the point is, this isn’t just any VPN that works with Netflix – it’s quite a bit more.
Anything you throw at Surfshark VPN, you can be sure that it will do it very well. It has uncrackable AES-256 encryption, doesn’t leak personally identifiable data, reliably works in China, and offers really good performance on the market as ensured by their moderate server fleet, which consists of 1000+ servers spread out over 60+ countries.
Compatible with a wide range of mobile devices, computers and operating systems, Surfshark can be used on any number of them at once. This means that no matter how you get your Netflix fix, you can take advantage of $1.99 per month deal when you opt-in for a 2-year plan.
3. PrivateVPN ‣
It might be surprising, but this is a VPN that’s very different from the others. PrivateVPN’s network makes up a tiny fraction of the thousand-server behemoths run by NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Regardless, PrivateVPN is rightfully among the best VPNs for Netflix.
Here we have a truly small network that nevertheless offers robust security, functional speeds, and very good features. PrivateVPN won’t try to stop you from torrenting, but, if you’re based in China, you might want to choose either of the above services.
Weirdly, PrivateVPN happens to be a VPN that works with Netflix. Perhaps they’re just too small for the streaming giant to notice?… Maybe, but we think it’s more likely this is the result of having a smart and technologically-gifted team. The speed should be enough to stream in HD or even UHD (4K) unless you’re connecting to a remote server on another continent.
In addition to Netflix, PrivateVPN will allow you to enjoy BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime content. Kodi users will be pleased as well.
There’s no router app for PrivateVPN, so you’ll have to do more work to get it running on your TV, but it has other benefits. Just look at these prices: $7.67/month, $4.88 a month billed every three months, or $3.82 a month billed every 13 months. Any of these subscriptions also let you simultaneously use PrivateVPN on six devices. Also, there’s a 7-day free trial for you to sniff around before committing. And if you’re already thinking about a long-term one, be advised that recently PrivateVPN has lowered their server count and increased the prices, which might mean that for some reason this great service is not gaining enough popularity.
4. ExpressVPN ‣
ExpressVPN is among the best providers for Netflix. It has got impenetrable security and great speed, nice features, etc. The Great Firewall of China is also no match for this VPN, and neither are those annoying copyright warriors who would mess with your torrents.
Like Netflix. Yep, stream all you want, ExpressVPN is a great Netflix VPN. They’ve had no issues with geo-blocking measures whichever country we’ve tested – the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Japan, Germany or the Netherlands.
We don’t foresee that changing any time soon – ExpressVPN’s server count is over 3000 and constantly growing. Additionally, they have proven resourceful enough to deal with all kinds of obstacles in their path.
Naturally, the same goes for other streaming platforms – BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.
The reason we’ve placed ExpressVPN lower on this list is the price: $12.95/month, $9.99/month, or $8.32/month. Unfortunately, there’s no free trial for ExpressVPN, so you’ll have to buy before giving a try, and use a 30-day money-back guarantee if you change your mind, which is unlikely.
This service gets you five simultaneous connections, but running it on your router is probably the easiest way of getting your TV traffic covered. To be fair, ExpressVPN makes streaming possible on almost any device that’s not been built on your own – we’re talking about Amazon Firestick, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and alike. Fan of Kodi? Then you’re also a fan of ExpressVPN.
5. CyberGhost ‣
It’s likely that CyberGhost would have placed higher if it weren’t for issues it’s had in the past and shady business partners it has in the present. This VPN is quite similar to ExpressVPN and NordVPN: CyberGhost is pretty big and well placed (Romania) to provide a secure service.
And indeed, CyberGhost will protect almost any user from the pitfalls of the contemporary online experience. CyberGhost has impenetrable encryption and brings some awesome features to the table outside of the usual kill switch, etc.
With that said, CyberGhost’s strongest aspects are ease of use and entertainment. “Ghosties” can watch US Netflix, as well as unlock the libraries of other countries. The VPN has spent the latter year enlarging its server list, which now includes well over 5,700 servers across 90+ countries. This makes it great both for streaming and torrenting.
The speeds are generally good, leaving about one-third of your original connection. In addition to Netflix, watching BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime shouldn’t be an issue. In fact, CyberGhost VPN has specialized servers for different platforms, allowing streaming connoisseurs to enjoy Crunchyroll, ZDF, and other gourmet services.
The price of the multi-year plans also works in CyberGhost’s favor. While $12.99 a month is more than NordVPN is asking, $5.99 a month for one year, $3.69 a month for two years or $2.75 a month for three years is worth considering. This includes the ability to use seven devices, and the extra-long 45-day money-back guarantee. Compared to the competition, the 24-hour free trial is lacking in length, though.
CyberGhost supports a bunch of routers and has apps for Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick – these are some of the easiest ways to get a VPN running on your TV.
The American Hotspot Shield is a great consumer-focused VPN with a great balance of speed and security. This tool from AnchorFree offers a huge server list containing 3,200 servers in more than 70 countries around the globe. With it, Hotspot Shield delivers top-notch performance in all major Netflix regions, including the US and UK.
Needless to say, Hotspot Shield bypasses the geo-blocking of Netflix using US servers and others. The only notable exception to this rule is Japan, so you should forego Hotspot Shield if that’s the content you’re after.
While the service has no dedicated apps for Smart TVs, Hotspot Shield can be set up on virtually any other device you may have. This includes Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android platforms. If you’re having doubts, give it a shot for up to 45 days and get a refund – Hotspot Shield has one of the longest money-back guarantees of any premium VPN.
Sadly, the free version of Hotspot Shield will not get you watching Netflix. But with that said, the VPN has great security and anonymity features, as well as great customer support, so it’s not a bad shout if you’re looking for general protection on the net.
Are there other VPNs that unblock Netflix?
At the moment, fans of Netflix don’t have much to choose from, but that’s hardly a tragedy. All the VPNs on this list are decent choices, and all have 30-day or even 45-day money-back guarantees, except TorGuard, which has a measly 7-day money-back guarantee.
There are other aspects you might want to consider before buying; if so, we urge you to read our full reviews of these (and other) VPNs.
If you want to learn more about this topic, read Why Does Netflix Block My VPN?
How we made this best VPN for Netflix list
Naturally, the most crucial factor deciding appearances on this list is the VPN’s ability to bypass the Netflix restrictions. Beyond that, however:
- Versatility scores are more important than most other factors. VPNs have the potential to perform a plethora of functions. Some do, others merely promise to. Whenever a function is not available, that’s less value for money in our mind.
- Price is the final deciding factor between similar services.
- The list is not final and will see constant updates.
Netflix VPN FAQ
1. Is it legal to unblock Netflix with a VPN?
Absolutely. Using a VPN for Netflix won’t get you into any legal trouble whatsoever.
2. Can Netflix ban my account if I use a VPN?
No. To date, there have been no cases that we know of where Netflix banned anyone just for using a VPN. For now, the rather annoying Netflix proxy error message is your only slap on the wrist.
3. Can Netflix detect VPNs?
Yes. In fact, the Netflix VPN detection system seems to be quite advanced and capable of sniffing our the vast majority of VPN services. Even VPNs that can unblock Netflix won’t do so a 100% of the time.
4. Do free VPNs unblock Netflix?
Some free VPNs may unblock Netflix. That said, there are several problems with trying to unblock Netflix for free:
- Most free VPNs collect and sell your data & browsing history to third parties
- Free VPN services considerably slow down your connection
- Some free VPNs have a data limit, which is not ideal for streaming
- Certain free VPNs can inject malware into your device
With that in mind, paying a few dollars a month for a fast, secure, and unlimited premium VPN service no longer seems like such a bad deal.
5. Why is Netflix content different in other countries?
According to Netflix, the reason for this difference is copyright law, which can significantly vary across different countries. Plus, the rights holders for each particular film can limit the rights to show their product to as many (or as few) countries as they wish.
This means that Netflix is forced to comply with these requirements, resulting in content differences across its regional libraries, as well as the subsequent Netflix VPN ban.
6. Which Netflix region has the largest content library?
Unsurprisingly, the fact that Netflix is based in the US means that Americans have access to the second-largest but most sought-after content library that includes a whopping 5,600+ titles overall and 1,600+ TV shows in particular.
For a fuller comparison of the different Netflix content libraries, be sure to check out our in-depth guide to beating the Netflix VPN ban.
7. Is there a difference between the Netflix app and Netflix in a web browser?
Theoretically, yes. Some VPNs that can unblock Netflix in your web browser won’t be able to do the same for the Netflix app installed on other devices like smartphones, tablets, or smart TVs. This is because the Netflix app can force DNS requests to be sent to public DNS name servers. This can alert Netflix that you’re not using your actual IP address and are trying to fool the streaming company with a proxy or VPN.
That said, all of the top VPNs we listed in this guide have no issues with unblocking Netflix both in the dedicated app and your web browser.
These popular VPNs can’t unblock Netflix:
TunnelBear is a top-quality VPN that also offers a limited free version, but unfortunately no longer unblocks Netflix. All of its locations, including the US, CA, and UK servers, have been blocked by the streaming giant.
2. Private Internet Access
While Private Internet Access is an otherwise highly-rated VPN service, it officially no longer supports unblocking geo-locked content, Netflix included.
IPVanish no longer promotes itself as a Netflix-capable VPN, which means that most (if not all) of its servers are blocked. And our tests show as much. If you’re looking for a VPN that reliably works with Netflix, IPVanish isn’t it.
4. Opera VPN
While Opera VPN has a “VPN” in its name, in reality, it’s just glorified a proxy. Even though you may be able to access a couple of libraries outside your country, getting into the coveted US Netflix server with Opera is not an option.