*Content includes branded mentions of our sponsor, Norton Secure VPN.
A virtual private network, or VPN, can help you to surf the internet with greater privacy and security. Additionally, the right VPN can enable you to access geo-blocked content and start watching your favorite shows in no time. In this article we review some of the best VPN services, to discover which ones are the best of the best for watching Netflix.
Our Top Picks for Best VPN For Netflix
- Windscribe - Best Free VPN for Netflix
- ExpressVPN - Best VPN Browser Extension for Netflix
- Surfshark - Best VPN App for Netflix
- NordVPN - Best Netflix VPN for Fast Connection Speeds
- PrivateVPN - Best Netflix VPN for Frequent Travelers
Best VPN For Netflix Reviews
- Generous free plan
- No limit on the number of connected devices
- Extensive browser features
- 10GB data limit per month
- Limited server locations
Why we chose it: We chose Windscribe as the best free VPN for Netflix based on its extensive list of features — especially its browser features — and unlimited number of connections.
Windscribe has a positive reputation for a simple reason: it works well and it's free. Paid VPNs typically set themselves apart by offering more servers and more features. While Windscribe’s free version only offers around 15 server locations — and has a small number of free servers in each one — streamers have been able to consistently access Netflix using them.
Another advantage of the free version is that it comes with many of the features of its paid version. This is especially noticeable when looking at the Windscribe’s browser extension, which can track and delete cookies, block WebRTC to prevent your IP address from leaking, change your timezone or GPS location to fool trackers and more.
The biggest drawback of Windscribe that users should be aware of is that its free version caps data at 10 GB per month. In Netflix terms, this means you can watch three episodes of Suits or stream Skyfall in high definition. If you're planning to watch more than that, you may need to look elsewhere on this list, but if you just need a good, reliable option in a pinch, Windscribe is a stellar choice.
- Available for all major web browsers
- Extension is easy to download and use
- Audited numerous times by trustworthy firms
- Remarkable speeds
- Can only connect up to five devices on the monthly plan
- Expensive compared to competitors
Why we chose it: We chose ExpressVPN as the best VPN with a browser extension for Netflix because it offers extensions for multiple browsers and it does not significantly impact streaming speeds.
ExpressVPN offers VPN browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave and Vivaldi. Users can switch between servers in the browser itself by choosing from a list, or go with the one recommended by the company's smart location feature. This means you can access geo-restricted Netflix content without ever leaving your browser window.
The VPN’s browser extensions come with several helpful features, including WebRTC blocking and location spoofing. The former prevents websites from learning your true location and IP address, while the latter sets your geolocation data in your browser to match the IP address of the VPN location to which you’re connected. Additionally, the extension’s interface is easy to use, supports over 15 languages and has a dark mode.
These features are great, but would be irrelevant if the company could not promise consistently fast connections. Fortunately, ExpressVPN's browser extension does not have a notable impact on streaming speeds while using Netflix, which limits buffering issues on the platform. It might not be the fastest VPN on our list, but it shows consistently high results in speed tests that can easily manage Netflix’s recommended speeds of 3, 5 and 15 Mbps for high, full high and Ultra high definition, respectively.
Potential customers should keep in mind that ExpressVPN only allows up to five simultaneously-connected devices on its monthly plan. There are more affordable options on our list which offer unlimited connections for less than half the price of this VPN. However, these do not necessarily have such a robust browser extension and may not be able to promise the same speeds as ExpressVPN.
- Simultaneous streaming on unlimited devices
- Independently audited no-logs policy
- Consistently high marks on speed tests
- Competitive pricing
- Minimum two-year commitment
Why we chose it: We chose Surfshark as our best VPN app for Netflix because the company's mobile app is available on a wide variety of devices and boasts outstanding speeds.
Surfshark has one the most feature-rich apps on our list of VPNs, boasting a variety of security measures and tools designed to improve your privacy online. This includes multiple security protocols to choose from, a blocker for ads, cookies and pop-ups, split-tunneling and more. Moreover, the company’s server infrastructure and no-logs policy have been audited by well-established independent auditing firms.
The speeds in the app are consistently fast enough to stream Netflix on your smartphone without connection issues. Independent testing firm AV-Comparatives found that it performed especially well in its download speed test. According to Surfshark, regular connections to its servers in the US show an average download speed of 58.46 Mbps — far beyond the 15 Mbps minimum to stream Ultra high definition content on Netflix.
A big advantage of Surfshark over other VPN apps is that it does not limit the number of devices you can connect at the same time. This is especially appealing when you consider the Surfshark’s monthly cost and number of available servers.
The price of Surfshark’s base plan is $3.99 per month, which is on the lower end of the spectrum. Although it does require a minimum two-year commitment, its selection of 3,200 servers located across 100 countries is formidable considering the price.
- Leading speeds on third-party speed tests
- Robust browser extension
- Competitive pricing
- Only up to six simultaneously-connected devices
- Mixed customer satisfaction
Why we chose it: We chose NordVPN as our best Netflix VPN for fast connection speeds because it offers industry-leading speeds and numerous useful features at a competitive price.
NordVPN is consistently an industry leader when it comes to connection speeds. The company credits its in-house NordLynx technology for this, which is built around the Wireguard protocol and produces better speed without sacrificing security. Independent testing from IT firms like AV-TEST has shown that Nord is the best-performing VPN on average by a large margin, which means you'll be able to enjoy your favorite Netflix series without having to worry about buffering or slow frame rate issues.
The VPN browser extension deserves a special mention due to its extensive features. These include Threat Protection Lite, which blocks ads and dangerous links, malware protection and an ad blocker. Users can also use split-tunneling, a setting that allows you to decide which data goes through the VPN and which does not, further protecting NordVPN's superior speed.
The price of NordVPN plans start at $3.79 per month on two-year plans — less than half the price of some of its main competitors. This makes it especially affordable considering what you get for that price. On the other hand, many of those competitors offer unlimited simultaneous connections, while NordVPN only allows you to connect up to six devices at once.
It’s also important to mention that Nord’s online reviews show mixed customer satisfaction. A number of customers were angered by the auto-renewal process and the difficulty associated with changing payment methods. However, other users gave the company high marks based on the software’s reliability and performance, as well as for their positive interactions with customer service.
- Reliable access to full Netflix library
- Affordable long-term prices
- Consistently high speeds
- Positive reviews for customer service
- Fewer number of servers worldwide
- Lack technical features like multi hop and split tunneling
- No browser extensions available
Why we chose it: We chose PrivateVPN as the best Netflix VPN for frequent travelers because of its low price and widespread, reliable access to Netflix's geo-restricted content.
When you travel, you want to be able to access the shows and movies you've been watching when you were in the comfort of your own home. PrivateVPN is particularly effective at avoiding geo-restrictions, which block content based on your geographical location. This may be especially attractive to Americans who frequently travel abroad, since as many as 80% of the television titles available to them at home are blocked in some countries.
PrivateVPN allows users to access Netflix titles from all over the world, using one of its 200 servers located across 63 countries. That represents fewer servers than many of its competitors, which means you could encounter crowded servers and longer wait times with Private VPN. Even so, the price and speed of PrivateVPN keep it in the running as one of the best VPNs for Netflix.
New users can sign up for only $2 per month, but this requires a two-year commitment. Such a long-term commitment may cause some customers to think twice, but it’s worth noting that PrivateVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. PrivateVPN has also scored remarkably well on relevant speed tests, such as those carried out by AV-TEST.
Customers have given Private VPN glowing reviews, and it boasts the highest customer ratings of any other company on this list. Users were particularly happy about the company's customer service, citing quick response times and effective problem-solving on reviews in third-party sites.
Other VPNs for Netflix we considered
We reviewed several VPN providers for Netflix that did not make our list for one reason or another. Still, some of these VPN services warrant further recognition for their noteworthy features or benefits. Below we have highlighted the pros and cons of a few of these providers.
- Up to 30 simultaneously-connected devices
- High-speed connection
- Inconsistent access to Netflix
- Too inconsistent to justify its price
Private Internet Access offers an unlimited number of simultaneously connected devices for the impressively low price of $2.03 per month when you sign up for a three-year plan.
Why it didn’t make the cut: Private Internet Access has an inconsistent track record for those hoping to access Netflix outside of the U.S.
- Unlimited devices
- Large number of servers
- Limited connection to foreign Netflix content
IPVanish is an appealing option due to its ability to connect an unlimited number devices using an array of 2,200 servers.
Why it didn’t make the cut: IPVanish struggles to support connections to Netflix from outside the U.S., with users reporting difficulty accessing content from Germany, the U.K. and Canada. Still, IPVanish may be a good option for those hoping to stream Netflix U.S. from elsewhere.
VPN for Netflix Guide
It's been a long day of travel and you just want to relax in a hotel room while watching your newest guilty pleasure show. But when you log in to Netflix, you can't find the series you've been binging, leaving you asking yourself: "Do I need a VPN?"
Using a VPN may allow you to access Netflix content from back home while you’re abroad. If you want to watch geo-restricted shows and movies from other regions of the world, you may also need a VPN at home. Read on to learn how VPNs work with Netflix and how to use one to access content on this platform.
What Is a Netflix VPN?
A virtual private network, or VPN, obfuscates your online activity by redirecting your internet traffic through an encrypted data tunnel. This has the effect of disguising your IP address, the unique, identifying code that is attached to your computer.
A “Netflix VPN” is the common name for any VPN you might use to stream content from Netflix. Specific licensing and copyright agreements define the countries in which Netflix may show a film or series. Using a VPN for Netflix allows you to stream content that the company may be restricting in your region.
How does VPN work with Netflix?
A VPN allows you to access Netflix content from other regions by connecting to servers in a different country. For this reason, VPN providers that offer more servers in a greater number of countries are preferred to those with a smaller server count.
Netflix's recent attempts to discourage password sharing have made headlines, but the company has also been fighting VPN use for years. Netflix has blocked IP addresses from an increasing number of VPN services as the company seeks to root out revenue losses and enforce its terms and conditions.
As with any service, we encourage you to read your Netflix user agreement before trying to circumvent any of the platform’s established restrictions. Moreover, we acknowledge that using a VPN to specifically get around Netflix’s password sharing restrictions may breach your user agreement, and we do not advocate it.
How to use VPN for Netflix
Watching Netflix with a VPN connection is not as difficult as it may seem. The following steps should help you use a VPN to watch Netflix with ease.
1. Choose a reliable Netflix VPN service provider
You should consider several factors when choosing a VPN for Netflix, including security, performance, servers, price and customer reviews.
Security features are paramount because poor security can result in data leaks, revealing your IP address location and preventing you from streaming your favorite shows. Performance is also key for data-heavy activities like streaming in high resolution, so high speeds and consistent connections are a must. The number and location of the VPN provider’s servers are another important consideration, as this will play a large role in your ability to stream geo-restricted content.
As with all products, price is a factor you should consider to ensure you don't overpay for an underperforming VPN. Finally, customer reviews can also be a good resource of a VPN provider’s reliability.
2. Install the VPN software or app on your device
After choosing a Netflix VPN, go to its website and sign up for an account. Some VPN companies may require you to give personal information about yourself, while others may allow for greater anonymity.
If your selected VPN provider supports a smartphone app, you can download it from the App Store or Google Play depending on your device. If your provider supports a browser extension, you can typically download this directly from the provider's website. Instructions will be different based on your device’s operating system.
Once you have downloaded and installed the software on your device, you are ready to sign in and start streaming.
3. Launch the VPN app and sign in to your account
With the app downloaded on your device, you're ready to launch the VPN app. Open the app and sign in to your account using the credentials you established when you signed up. Some providers allow you to automatically launch your VPN when you start your device or open a new browser window.
If you forgot your login credentials, you should contact your VPN provider's customer support for assistance.
4. Select and connect to a server location that supports Netflix access
Next, you will need to select and connect to the right server location for the Netflix content you hope to stream. Choosing the appropriate server is something that will depend on your provider. For those who use a provider like ExpressVPN, you will be able to select a dedicated server specifically designed for streaming.
If your provider does not feature dedicated streaming servers, you will first need to ensure the server is beyond the reach of Netflix's geo-restricted boundaries. For instance, if a show is streaming on Netflix in the U.K., but you want to watch it in the U.S., you will need to select a server in the U.K.
5. Open Netflix in your browser or app and start streaming
The final step is to navigate to Netflix, log in to your account as you normally would and start your featured presentation. Popcorn is optional.
Occasionally, you may encounter technical difficulties — this is not uncommon. If you're unable to connect the first time, give it a minute and try again. Contact your VPN provider for support if the issue persists.
How to change Netflix region without a VPN
The most common methods for changing your Netflix region without a VPN involve using a smart DNS or a proxy server. Neither method uses encryption, so your internet activity may be exposed to those within your network.
Your connection to a specific website is facilitated by a domain name system (DNS) request. A smart DNS intercepts these messages and runs them through a server in a region beyond the geo-restriction. As the name implies, a proxy server operates as a go-between, connecting your device to Netflix via a server in a different location. Because these methods work without encryption or tunneling, you will not experience the speed drain associated with VPN usage.
VPN for Netflix FAQ
Which VPNs work with Netflix?
Why is my VPN not working with Netflix?
How does Netflix detect VPN?
Netflix has developed several methods to identify and curtail VPN activity on its platform. One way that Netflix can tell you are using a VPN is by singling out VPN-associated IP addresses. Your VPN may recycle IP addresses, which can alert Netflix security and cause it to ban that IP address altogether.Netflix may also recognize inconsistencies in user activity data. For instance, if a user's DNS request and IP address do not match, it can be an indicator that they are using a VPN.
Why does Netflix block VPNs?
Netflix blocks VPNs because they allow users to avoid geo-restrictions on certain content. Due to licensing agreements, Netflix has the rights to stream movies or series in certain countries, but not in others. For instance, The Office is currently streaming in Canada, but not in the U.S.Geo-blocking prevents customers from having access to content not available in their region. A VPN can circumvent this by allowing an American user to appear as though he or she is in Canada, France, Japan or any other country where the VPN has servers.
How We Chose the Best VPN For Netflix
The best VPNs for Netflix have reliable connection speeds, unique features, positive customer feedback and access to a large number of servers across a wide variety of regions.
We researched VPN providers by referencing their websites, customer reviews and app store ratings, when applicable. In general, we favored companies that had dedicated streaming servers and allowed a higher number of connected devices.
These were the most important factors we used for evaluating companies.
- Reliable connection speeds: A stable connection with high speeds is a must if you plan to stream content, especially in 4k resolution. We favored providers with speeds that were better suited to support streaming.
- Range of features: We reviewed the features each service offers, including tools to safeguard your privacy and to customize your experience with the VPN.
- Customer reviews: Customers are often the best source of information for what a VPN does well (and what it doesn’t), so we looked for reviews and took them into account when evaluating companies.
- Number and location of servers: If you want to stream content from other regions, then the number and location of a VPN provider’s servers can make a big difference. We considered how many servers each provider offers and where these are located.
- Number of simultaneously-connected devices: Being able to connect more devices to your VPN minimizes the hassle of switching between them and makes the software easier to use for large groups or families. We gave higher marks to VPN services that allow a large or unlimited number of simultaneously-connected devices.
- Price: Price is always at the forefront of a buying decision. Customers will want to know exactly how much a product or service will cost them, so we compared VPN plans based on the list price on their websites.