If you take your local Netflix catalog for granted, you may not even question its variety. Why would you? There’s way too many to choose from anyway, right? That said, what would you do if you traveled abroad or got relocated? How would you watch and keep up with your favorite TV shows?
Did you know that Netflix applies rigorous geo-blocking?
So, the question is: can you use ProtonVPN for Netflix to unblock your TV shows? Let’s find out!
Netflix’s war on VPNs: the blockade vs block aid agenda
With your local Netflix service, you may never be able to watch certain shows. The reason is simple: geo-blocking. This means that there are shows only available from the Netflix US, CA, or UK libraries. The main reason is copyright deals and laws. However, it’s also possible that some countries simply want to censor what their citizens should watch.
Currently, Netflix is the largest paid entertainment platform in the world. This giant does everything in its power to stop unauthorized users at the threshold. Its rigorous proxy and VPN detection is infamous and “feared” by most VPN providers. In fact, lots of VPN services have given up the Don Quixote fight against Netflix.
Nevertheless, both leaders and wannabes of the VPN market try to make sure their apps can still circumvent the imposed geo-blocking. In other words, with the right VPN, you can actually access the Netflix US and some other catalogs from anywhere around the world.
How ProtonVPN can unblock Netflix
ProtonVPN has 4 plans:
The truth is, with the first two plans (Free and Basic), you won’t be able to unblock Netflix and enjoy streaming. Even ProtonVPN claims so. Nonetheless, we did try several Free and Basic servers to see for ourselves. While we got good speeds on fast.com (40-60 Mbps), the dedicated Netflix speed test page, we couldn’t bypass Netflix’s proxy detection.
Fortunately, it’s a different story with the Plus servers.
ProtonVPN can spoof your IP, and thus, your physical location so that Netflix will believe you’re actually in the country of your choice. Therefore, you’ll be able to stream that particular catalog. Since all your internet traffic is going through an encrypted VPN tunnel, no prying eyes can figure out what you’re doing online. That’s what we call “two birds with one stone.”
Truth be told, it’s not like you can access all major Netflix regions with a VPN. Those that can bypass detection usually target Netflix US. But you may get lucky with a few other regions like Netflix CA (Canada), GB (UK), JP (Japan), or AU (Australia).
What you need to unblock Netflix with ProtonVPN
Before we reveal which Netflix regions you can stream with ProtonVPN, let’s recap what you need to be successful:
- A valid Netflix subscription: you need a Netflix subscription to stream your favorite TV shows. Your ProtonVPN will only be useful when it comes to unblocking the Netflix geo-block. It doesn’t serve as a substitute for your Netflix account.
- ProtonVPN Plus or Visionary subscription: these are the two of the 4 plans that can bypass the Netflix detection and provide secure streaming.
And now, let’s see which Netflix library you can unblock with ProtonVPN.
ProtonVPN for Netflix US
The ProtonVPN website claims that you can use the Plus servers to unblock Netflix US. These servers are marked with a “P” next to the names. We tested several US servers in different regions to see if we could stream Netflix.
So, the short answer is: yes, you can use ProtonVPN for Netflix US.
Now, let us show you our results.
We were running our VPN tests from Europe. Our fast.com speed without VPN was around 300 Mbps.
US-CA#3 San Jose
First, our connection was quite slow and it resulted in bad picture quality. The connection speed was fluctuating between 1 and 50 Mbps. When we tested the speed on fast.com, we got this:
If this speed were more or less stable, you could easily enjoy 4K (Ultra HD) quality Netflix streaming.
Another US Plus server that worked with Netflix US as promised. In this case, we had much better quality and more reliable speed (66 Mbps).
The third US region we tested also passed. Again, the speed was pretty consistent (51 Mbps) and double what we needed for seamless 4K.
US-NY#1 New York
Our last stop before leaving the continent was New York. ProtonVPN evidently lived up to its promise. We experienced good quality streaming with similar speeds as before (62 Mbps).
Overall, our ProtonVPN for Netflix US tests turned out quite positive. We did have some issues with speed from time to time due to fluctuations. However, keep in mind that, as A. Einstein said, everything is relative. This couldn’t be more true for VPN speed tests. In other words, you may experience different speeds and picture quality from your location.
ProtonVPN for Netflix in other countries
Although ProtonVPN only mentions Netflix US on the website, we had to check whether it can access any other catalogs. We went through 8 main regions and lots of local servers to find the answer. It seemed like a doomed mission; however, we did have some positive findings too.
All the Swedes around the world may find it a relief that we managed to access and stream the Swedish Netflix catalog. We connected to the SE#3 Stockholm server and had around 89 Mbps speed according to fast.com.
The same goes for the Dutch Netflix catalog. We used the NL#3 Amsterdam server. Our speed test showed 87 Mbps, which is like 3 times more than you need for 4K streaming.
Unfortunately, we failed to access the following Netflix catalogs: Canada (CA), UK (GB), Australia (AU), Japan (JP), Germany (DE), and France (FR). In all fairness, ProtonVPN never claimed they could stream these regions.
How to use ProtonVPN for Netflix
As we’ve already mentioned, you need to have a ProtonVPN Plus or Visionary subscription to stream Netflix. If you have an account, launch your VPN app and log in.
Select a lightly loaded US server that is marked with a “P” (Plus server).
Now, open Netflix and sign in. Enjoy your favorite shows. That’s all.
If you want to make it easier for you next time, create a profile for Netflix US streaming. How? Once you’re connected to a US Plus server that seems to work well for you, click the green Set as profile link in the upper right part of your app window.
This server is now added to the Profiles tab, and you can directly connect to it from this tab. To edit this streaming profile, click the Manage Profiles link below.
Next, click Edit to change the name or any other parameter.
Once you’re done with all the modifications, press Save.
What if you can’t stream Netflix US
It’s possible that you may encounter technical difficulties and fail to stream Netflix US. Here’s what you can do before contacting support:
- Check the load of the server you’re trying to connect to in the location list. If it’s too crowded, you may not be able to use it for Netflix. So, choose another server.
- Double-check that you’re using a server that is marked with a “P.”
- Restart your ProtonVPN app and connect to a different server.
- Clear your browser cache.
- Flush your DNS cache. (You’ll find information about this on the ProtonVPN website.)
- Restart your device.
If after all these steps you still can’t stream Netflix US, we suggest that you contact the ProtonVPN support team. Since there’s no live chat support, this could take some time though.
What else to stream with ProtonVPN
Another good bit of news about ProtonVPN is that you won’t just get Netflix US, SE, and NL, but Hulu as well. Again, all you need is a valid Hulu subscription and a ProtonVPN Plus or Visionary plan. Choose any of the US Plus servers to stream Hulu all you want.
Sad news though for BBC iPlayer fans that we checked all 6 Plus servers in England and failed to access it.
We’re really impressed that this relatively newcomer can defeat Netflix and provide us with a relatively consistent and smooth streaming experience. However, ProtonVPN pricing may put you off a bit. For $8 a month when you subscribe for the annual plan, we believe it’s a bit pricey. Still, if your anonymity is also important to you, the Bitcoin payment option could be tempting.
If it’s not just Netflix streaming you’re after, you’ll find our ProtonVPN review quite helpful.