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Netflix operates in approximately 190 countries, making it widely available indeed. However, this doesn’t mean you can view the same content everywhere. Licensing rights are given on a per-country basis, making different content available in each country. Some places are better or worse off when it comes to the number of movies and TV shows users can watch. Countries like the US or Japan have huge libraries, including lots of exclusive content.
We don’t expect Netflix to force copyright holders to make deals with 190 countries giving unrestricted access. Yet this whole situation is quickly resolved using a VPN. With it, you can fool Netflix servers into thinking you’re connecting from the US (or any other country) and enjoy the entire library that they offer.
How to watch Netflix with a VPN
- Choose a VPN and download the app on your device. We recommend NordVPN
- Connect to a server in the country that you want
- Go to Netflix and search for your desired content
- Reconnect to a different server if you can’t find what you’re looking for
- Grab some popcorn and watch your favorite movie or show
If you’re having trouble finding the content that you’re looking for, try clearing the cache and cookies of your browser. Alternatively, contact the customer support team of your VPN provider – they will gladly help you.
1. Sign up for a VPN
When choosing a VPN for Netflix, consider these criteria:
- First and foremost, make sure that the service you’re looking at can unblock Netflix. Doing it is no easy task – Netflix is constantly upgrading its filtering tools to block VPNs from accessing their libraries.
- Performance is vital – if your selected service can unblock Netflix, it is still useless if the speeds are inconsistent. For that, you need a wide selection of servers and tunneling protocols. If you want to access US Netflix and the libraries from other countries with other exclusives, you should ensure that the service has servers in those countries.
- Safety might not be the priority if watching Netflix is the reason why you’re getting a VPN, but there’s no reason to dismiss it altogether. Chances are, you could benefit from an additional layer of security that VPN provides. Check if your VPN uses encryption, what kind of tunneling protocols are on offer, does it have a kill switch, and so on.
We have a list of VPNs that are best suited for the task. Read up on our Best VPN for Netflix page.
If you’re looking for the ultimate Netflix VPN – we recommend NordVPN. It has over 5500 servers in 59 countries and unlocks a vast number of Netflix libraries.
2. Download the selected VPN app
If you’ve made your decision and chose your provider, it’s time to get the software that will make all the magic happen. More often than not, you’ll find it on the provider’s page. If a provider doesn’t have a web page, this should be a red flag. Respectable app stores like Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App store have some excellent VPN tools, but even these can lack security.
Most providers have clickable download links on their web pages. When you click on the link, it will then download the setup in .exe or .dmg formats, so once you go through the installation wizard, you should be good to go.
As a rule of thumb, most providers offer several native apps, all of which you can use with one subscription. That’s neat! If your provider offers that, it’s a good idea to download and install VPN apps on all your devices. That way, you will be able to watch the entire Netflix library on all your devices while also taking advantage of an additional layer of security.
3. Connect to a server in the desired country
Once you type in your login credentials and get to the main screen, everything should be pretty straightforward. Usually, you get a map or a country list that, once clicked, automatically connects to a VPN server. You will get a confirmation that the app established the connection, and you’re browsing through a remote server in a different country.
So, if you want to access Netflix US, just connect to a server somewhere in the US.
Video explanation of how to watch Netflix with a VPN
4. Go to Netflix
We’re assuming that if you’re looking for ways to expand your library, you already have a Netflix account, so we’re not going to cover getting an account here. Instead, we’re going to focus on how to know that it worked and test it.
Nowadays, all you need to do is to go to Netflix and search for the film or show that you want to see. Earlier, Netflix would prompt you with the dreaded “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy” message. Thankfully, they did away with that practice. Instead, when the VPN doesn’t work, you’ll simply have access to the library of your actual location.
Our favorite way to check if you’re on Netflix US is searching for the first season of the original Twin Peaks, released in the ’90s. It’s only available on US Netflix, so naturally, if this works, you can be pretty sure that now you have the complete library in your hands.
5. Don’t have a Netflix subscription?
Your VPN subscription doesn’t include Netflix, so keep that in mind when planning. The first month is free, and all the subsequent months will cost you depending on your plan of choice. Furthermore, exact subscription pricing will depend on your country. Generally speaking, there are three options:
- Basic costs $8.99/month and doesn’t provide high definition viewing, and customers can only watch its programs on one screen at a time.
- Standard costs $13.99/month and offers HD streaming with the option to watch Netflix on two simultaneous displays.
- Premium costs $17.99/month and gives you the option to watch on four screens simultaneously (and access to 4K content).
Be advised that 4K streaming quality is very dependent on your connection speeds, which is all the more important when using a VPN. If you want to watch high-resolution content through a VPN, make sure that it has good connection speeds. In most cases, they offer a money-back guarantee, and you can verify the connection quality using the official Netflix speed test at fast.com.
Using a VPN and can’t access Netflix?
If you’re using a VPN and still having trouble accessing a particular country’s library, don’t worry; there are a few solutions.
First off, simply try connecting to a different server in the same country. Some IP addresses might already be flagged, so try your luck with another one.
If you’re using a browser – clear cache and cookies. Many sites track your general location through cookies, so clearing those out should remove that information.
Once connected to a VPN, check for any IP and DNS leaks. Netflix won’t work if your actual location information is leaking. You can also try changing the VPN tunneling protocols.
And if you still can’t access your desired library, then your last resort is to contact the customer support of your VPN provider. They will know the specifics of how to make their software work with Netflix.
Best VPN services for streaming Netflix
Not every VPN out there is optimized to work with Netflix. Some services have plenty of servers worldwide but don’t have the necessary features under the hood to unblock geo-restricted content. This is why we’ve curated this list of some of the best VPNs for Netflix. Plus, a VPN adds much more value. It can guarantee security from various online threats and privacy from unwanted monitoring. Furthermore, you can even start streaming in places where it’s typically restricted, such as watching Netflix in China.
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NordVPN is our top VPN suggestion as a companion to Netflix. Starting at $3.30/month, It has over 5500 servers in 59 countries, allowing you to access a wide variety of libraries around the world. Plus, the proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol is insanely fast and will allow you to stream in 4K without any issues. Plus, you can have up to six simultaneous connections with one subscription, allowing you to share the VPN with your Netflix family members.
If you’d like to try out the service first, there’s a 7-day free trial available on Android. Once claimed, you can use it on other devices as well. Furthermore, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
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Another great alternative is Surfshark. Starting at $2.49/month, this VPN grants you unlimited simultaneous connections, 3200 servers in 65 countries, and the swift WireGuard tunneling protocol. Furthermore, extra features include a kill switch, double-hop servers, and DNS leak protection.
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Isles and has a strict no-logs policy, ensuring no one will know what you like on Netflix. Additionally, the service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
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If getting a Netflix subscription has left you strapped for cash, VyprVPN is the best choice for you. With subscriptions starting at $1.66/month, this VPN comes with 700+ servers in 70+ countries, a kill switch, IP leak protection, and military-grade encryption. Plus, you can choose from WireGuard, OpenVPN, and Chameleon tunneling protocols.
VyprVPN is located in Switzerland and has an independently-audited no-logs policy, guaranteeing confidentiality. You can connect up to five devices simultaneously and get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Will a free VPN work with Netflix?
In most cases, free VPNs will not work with Netflix. And even if you do find one that manages to work, we would advise against it. First off, free VPNs are usually overcrowded with users, rendering their networks unusable. Plus, the frequently used IPs are very likely to be blacklisted by streaming services.
Furthermore, free VPNs might have some hidden costs associated with them. They may come packed with intrusive and annoying ads, ruining the user experience. Additionally, they could be tracking you online and selling your browsing data to online advertisers. Plus, speed and data limitations mean that you will experience stuttering and interruptions while trying to stream anything. Finally, they’re usually not even optimized to get around geographical restrictions.
Where can I find the most content?
Once you have a VPN to break down all geographical restrictions, you may be wondering which countries have the most movies and TV shows available. Sadly, Netflix does not share this information with us explicitly. Luckily, there’s a variety of third-party tools that can answer that question. For example, finder.com can show us how many movies and TV shows there are in each country.
At the time of writing this article, Netflix US had 3712 movies and 1845 TV shows available. Meanwhile, the UK had 3904 movies and 1946 TV shows. The numbers can change significantly over time, so it’s hard to say what country has the most content available.
In any case, you won’t have a shortage of content once you’ve picked up a worthwhile Netflix VPN!
And what’s your go-to VPN for unblocking Netflix? Let us know by leaving a comment!
What are the best VPNs for Netflix?
The best VPNs for Netflix are NordVPN, Surfshark, and VyprVPN. You can find the complete list and more details on our best VPN for Netflix page.
Is using a VPN to watch Netflix illegal?
No, using a VPN to watch Netflix is not illegal. Netflix will not suspend your account for using a VPN. However, it may ask you to change your password as a security precaution due to the constant location changing.
Do free VPNs work with Netflix?
Free VPNs usually do not work with Netflix. They get blocked fast on rare occasions because of the massive traffic coming from a few IP addresses.
Can I connect multiple devices with my Netflix account?
Yes, it’s possible to connect more than one device with a single Netflix account. However, the number of simultaneous devices depends on your subscription plan. The basic plan allows you to watch on only one screen simultaneously, while the premium plan allows up to four screens.
Can I share my Netflix account with friends and family?
According to the Netflix terms of service, you can only share your account with people in your household, i.e., people you live with. Furthermore, each Netflix account comes with five different profiles that have separate settings and viewing progress.
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Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.