Netflix – the glorious meeting point between Television and Torrenting. The whole world seems to have fallen in love with the streaming platform, yet not everyone can make use of it (at least not without a decent VPN).
No one is stopping you from getting a Netflix subscription, regardless of where you are in the world, but the truth is not all libraries are the same. Most people want access to Netflix US, where content is virtually endless. As a result of Netflix’ blocking efforts, many VPN services have stopped supporting the platform. But don‘t despair – there are still a good few who‘ll get you where you need to go. With its Smart Play feature and great server list, NordVPN has the makings of a good Netflix VPN.
Let’s see if using NordVPN for Netflix is a thing!
NordVPN Netflix field testing
NordVPN is effective at unlocking multiple Netflix catalogs. We tried it with the largest ones (based on the number of titles per country):
- Japan (5,963 titles)
- USA (5,655 titles)
- Canada (5,480 titles)
- United Kingdom (UK) (5,212 titles)
- India (4,904 titles)
- Australia (4,872 titles)
Despite Japan having a larger library, Netflix US is still the most sought-after due to all the English content. That’s where we began.
The idea was to pick a number of servers at various distances from our European location and try watching one of those awesome shows everyone’s talking about.
None of the servers we tried were blocked by Netflix and we were able to stream without any issue. Perhaps more surprisingly, with Playback Settings on High, there were no interruptions or buffering issues, even using servers on the other side of the American continent.
All other Netflix locations worked just as well, albeit there was some speed variation. Japan, India, and Australia were slower due to their significant distance from Europe, but we could still watch content in HD quality.
We’ve already established that NordVPN unlocks various Netflix catalogs. Yet we’d also like to give you some numbers. In 2016, Netflix launched its own free speed test (https://fast.com) to measure their users’ connections to Netflix servers. We’ll skip the more obscure details and focus on download speed.
According to the Netflix website, the recommended download speeds are:
- 0.5 Mbps – Required broadband connection speed
- 1.5 Mbps – Recommended broadband connection speed
- 3.0 Mbps – Recommended for SD quality
- 5.0 Mbps – Recommended for HD quality
- 25.0 Mbps – Recommended for Ultra HD quality
Keep in mind that the High Playback Setting is either HD or Ultra HD, depending on your connection speed.
Our regular speed for reference and connection speeds with different NordVPN servers:
As you can see, at 40 Mbps, the speed on NordVPN US servers is more than enough to stream Ultra HD Netflix content. The same can be said about the UK (41 Mbps) and Canada (34 Mbps). India (13 Mbps), Japan (10 Mbps), and Australia (12 Mbps) are too slow for Ultra HD but more than enough for HD.
The speeds should be seen as a percentage of your regular download speed – if you have a worse connection than we do, your VPN speeds will accordingly be lower.
How to use NordVPN for Netflix?
So, you’ve already subscribed for and installed NordVPN, and now you want a piece of that sweet video content.
You can subscribe to Netflix on their website. It’s simple:
- Go to Netflix.com and click “Join FREE for a month”.
- Choose one of 3 pricing plans: Basic, Standard, or Premium.
- Create an account using your email address.
- Enter your payment details.
Now it’s time to decide which Netflix library you want to access. Let’s say you’d like to use Netflix US – the most popular location.
For that, you will just have to connect to one of NordVPN’s US servers. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Just click on the US in the NordVPN map
- Find the United States on the list of countries on the left. If you hover over the listing, you’ll see a button with three dots. Clicking it will allow you to choose the region of the US and the specific server you want to connect to.
Finding the best server for you can take a few tries – the speeds will be different depending on your location, ISP, and other factors. Moreover, although we had no such issues, it’s likely that some of NordVPN’s 5,700+ servers will be blocked by Netflix. If that happens to you – don’t worry. Just try a different server.
Can’t get Netflix to work with NordVPN?
Here are some Netflix issues NordVPN users may occasionally encounter:
- Using NordVPN slows Netflix down too much
If you generally have a fast connection, but NordVPN completely messes your speed up, you should probably find a different VPN server. Try connecting to servers that are physically closer to your location and have less of a server load.
- Can’t access Netflix US on Android boxes, Smart TVs, Nvidia Shield and Amazon Fire TV Stick
Unfortunately, after the latest Netflix update, this seems to be impossible. If you have one of these devices and would like to watch Netflix on your TV, you will have to connect your PC via an HDMI cable or find some other solution.
- NordVPN proxy not working
Many want to use NordVPN only on their browser or torrent client, in which case, they have to set up the NordVPN SOCKS5 proxy on those apps. If your configuration is not working, chances are you should change the server or perhaps you‘ve missed a tickbox somewhere.
- NordVPN kills the internet connection completely
Yes, that sometimes happens. Antivirus programs or firewalls are usually at fault – make sure nothing is blocking NordVPN.