Want to unblock different regions of Netflix and get MORE movies and MORE TV shows?
I did too and this is where a VPN comes into play. However, finding one is more tricky than it should be, right?
So I did some research into which VPN services work and below I'm sharing my results which I keep updated every month.
Netflix has completely revolutionised the way we watch both movies and TV shows and just like the term ‘Google it', it's now become a part of public consciousness to essentially, ‘Netflix it'.
If you're a savvy movie watcher then you'll probably be already aware that depending on what country you're in, depends on what kind of movie and TV show catalogue you'll get access to.
You'll also probably be aware that a VPN is the magical app that allows you to access overseas regions and get more movies and TV shows with your regular Netflix account.
The most reliable Netflix VPN right now is ExpressVPN and in my tests I found them to work every time without issue.
Netflix blocks many VPN services but there is a good selection that works and in this guide, I'm comparing the Top 5. Although ExpressVPN is my favourite, you are free to choose.
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How to choose a VPN?
Before you dive in head first and sign up for any old Netflix VPN, it's worth considering a few points. These will save you both time and money.
- Works with Netflix: This may seem like an obvious one, but it's worth remembering that not all VPN services work with Netflix. Asking before you sign up or taking advantage of free trials or money back guarantees will save you a lot of time (and money) in the long run.
- Unblocks the regions you want: Most VPN services that do work with Netflix only work with the American Netflix website. It has the largest catalogue so it is the one you'll want to be accessing. If you want to access other specific regions then your mileage may vary and not many providers unblock individual regions.
- Fast download speeds: Streaming video is speed intensive at the best of times but with Netflix now offering content in Ultra HD it means the speed of the VPN service you choose needs to be fast.
- Money back guarantee: While it's not a Netflix specific consideration, you should always choose a VPN service that offers a money back guarantee. If for some reason the service doesn't work for you, you can get your money back and haven't lost anything.
Top VPN choices for Netflix:
Choosing a VPN shouldn't be hard, but unfortunately, it is. With so many VPN services out there it's easy to end up with one that's blocked by Netflix.
We've tried and tested a whole bunch of them and found the following five to be the best.
Not only do these work with the American Netflix service and some other regions but they're also some of the leading options in terms of speeds and reliability allowing you to sit back and enjoy without interruptions.
1. ExpressVPN – No.1 for Netflix
ExpressVPN has become synonyms with Netflix because it's the service that's been working with Netflix for the longest time. While many VPN services remained blocked, Express VPN was sailing the Netflix flag and allowing unrestricted access for as long as I can remember.
The American Netflix site works perfectly on the service across their range of apps and there are plenty of Netflix servers enabled. This allows you to stream on your computer, tablet, phone or even the Amazon Fire TV / Stick.
They do also work with some other international Netflix regions such as the Canadian, Australian and Netflix UK sites. However, your luck with these may vary.
In our most recent ExpressVPN review we found them to be one of the fastest providers with minimal speed loss even at distance when testing their US connections from the UK. You'll have no trouble streaming in up to Ultra 4k across the world.
Plus they have a huge 30-day money back guarantee and live customer support so you can stream Netflix and chill for an entire month without risk.
Our #1 Recommendation
30-day money back guarantee
NordVPN is another great choice for watching Netflix but they work a little different to most of the competition.
A feature you'll love is you can access American Netflix by connecting to most of their server locations. So if you're in Asia or Australia, for example, you can connect to your local server and as if by magic, you can still access American Netflix.
They have started to open up the service to work with other Netflix regions and have plenty of VPN servers but these can be hit and miss depending on the region you're trying to access.
Reviewing NordVPN, it works consistently well with Netflix for many years and like ExpressVPN they're one of few who is reliable for accessing Netflix.
Their apps are simple to use and they support all major devices such as Windows, Mac, Android and iOS plus the Amazon Fire TV / Stick / Cube. So whatever device you want to binge-watch American Netflix on, NordVPN has you covered.
Surfshark is pretty new to the VPN scene but they've been excelling in their ability to work with Netflix.
At the time of writing they unblock Netflix from 15 different countries. This includes the major regions like the USA, UK, Canada and Japan but also some more rare regions including France, Germany, The Netherlands, India, South Korea, Italy, Australia, Turkey, Brazil & Singapore
Using their range of apps is straightforward and they support all major devices. Apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS and the Amazon Fire TV.
There is also the industry standard 30-day money back guarantee and if you're prepared to commit to a 2-year package their prices are lower than we've seen elsewhere.
4. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN is an excellent choice if you're after accessing regions other than the American one.
While they work perfectly well with American Netflix, they also offer access to some regions that others don't.
On their range of apps they have a dedicated ‘For Streaming' mode which has specific servers for Netflix. This covers the American, UK, French and German Netflix sites. If you want to watch any of these then you can connect to their dedicated server and stream.
If you want a VPN for nothing else than making a quick connection to Netflix, then these simple options make it effortless, connect and forget about it while binge-watching Netflix.
The service has a massive 45-day money back guarantee which is longer than most and they have apps for all major devices including the Amazon Fire TV devices.
VyprVPN had been a little hit and miss for accessing Netflix in recent years but over the past 12-months, Netflix has been working perfectly.
Again, they're mainly suitable for watching the American Netflix region which is where the majority of movies and TV shows are so it really is the site you'll want to access. You may have hit and miss luck with a couple of other regions but it's not guaranteed.
At the end of 2018, VyprVPN became an entirely no-log VPN service so your privacy is ensured which is not only great for watching Netflix but also for your overall internet security.
Speeds are fast and the connection reliable. The service provides apps for Android and iOS plus Windows and Mac allowing you to stream Netflix anywhere.
They don't, however, have a dedicated Amazon app, so if you're a Fire TV / Stick / Cube user, you're best sticking with ExpressVPN.
Which Netflix VPN is best for you?
If you're after using a VPN with Netflix then the most difficult part is finding on that works.
Our favourite right now is ExpressVPN but the other four listed above all work well with Netflix. It's hard to go wrong whichever you end up choosing.
There are some minor considerations which will help you choose between the five above if you're still struggling to make a decision.
If you want to unblock Netflix with no fuss, choose ExpressVPN. They work well for American Netflix and a handful of other regions. They also support more devices than most. No messing about here and they work great with other streaming services.
If you want to watch on more devices, choose Surfshark. They have no concurrent device use limit allowing you to use it on an unlimited number of devices at the same time.
If you want to try risk-free, choose CyberGhost VPN. CyberGhost VPN offers a huge 45-day money back guarantee to give you plenty of time to test the service.
If you want to watch on any device, get ExpressVPN. They've got apps for more devices than most. You'll be able to unblock and watch Netflix on your computer, laptop, tablet, phone, TV, media stick and a whole host more.
How we selected the top VPNs
We tested a whole range of VPN services initially to see if they worked with Netflix.
As Netflix block many, it was a quick process to eliminate those that suffer the dreaded “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy” message.
Once we had whittled it down to a select group, we then went about testing various features of the service. Some questions we asked included:
- Does it unblock US Netflix?
- Does it unblock other regions of Netflix?
- How many regions of Netflix does it unblock?
- Does it unblock Netflix on multiple devices?
- Are speeds fast enough to stream in high quality?
Alongside those questions we considered other areas such as price, ease of use, reliability and historic time working with Netflix.
From these, we were able to determine which services were most suitable and rank them accordingly.
Don't forget you don't need multiple Netflix subscriptions to hop regions, you just need your regular region subscription and a VPN.
Aren't VPNs blocked from accessing?
You may have heard of the fabled Netflix VPN ban.
While it's true, this is something that occurred back in 2015. Netflix cracked down on almost every VPN service and at the time it wasn't possible to use Netflix with a VPN.
Fast forward to now and many VPN services work fine.
However, not all work so it pays to do some research – or stick with one of the five providers above which we've tested and can confirm work.
What about the dreaded Proxy Error?
You may get an error message when playing a movie or TV show while connected to a VPN.
If it's one of the above you can easily resolve this by disconnecting and reconnecting to a new server. Look to see the VPN service you're using ‘Streaming Friendly' servers and use these.
If not, pick a different city in the country you're connecting to and retry. This solves 99% of proxy error issues.
Will it unblock Netflix on my TV?
The answer to this can be both Yes and No and it all depends on your set-up.
If you've got a built-in Netflix app on your TV then using a VPN app is impossible and unless you've got a dedicated VPN router then you'll be unable to unblock American or other regions of Netflix.
The best way to watch American Netflix on an actual TV is to do so through the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick devices.
It's a small, inexpensive box or stick that plugs into your TV and enables access to loads of different entertainment apps from BBC iPlayer to Netflix. You can buy an Amazon Fire TV here.
The top four services listed in this guide have dedicated Amazon apps that work with the Fire TV, Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Cube. They'll let you unblock American Netflix (and some other regions) and watch directly on your TV.
That means you can kick back on your sofa and enjoy more high-quality Netflix content on your TV, the way you're meant to watch.
If you do want to watch on any type of device even Smart TVs that don't support VPN directly, you'll need a VPN router such as the InvizBox 2.
Can I watch on my tablet, mobile or other devices?
Yes, all the recommended services above have apps for all the most popular desktop, laptop, tablet and phone devices.
You need to sign up for one of their services and download their app.
Then connect to the United States. Once you're connected, you can watch on any device wherever you are.
So if you're lazing in bed at home, on the commute to uni or sneaking 5 minutes in the toilet at work, you can binge-watch Netflix as much as you want.
Is there a free VPN for Netflix?
I love something for free and I'm sure you do too. After all, why pay for it if you can get it free?
Unfortunately, getting a free VPN for Netflix usage is a none starter.
I tested a whole bunch of them and they let me down either being too slow or just not working.
The main issue is Netflix blocks most of them and it makes sense. As hundreds of people load onto them because they're free, it's easy for Netflix to spot them and block them.
You're free to search around and try but my advice is, save yourself some time, spend a couple of pounds or dollars and watch Netflix hassle-free with one of the above providers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Netflix vary by region?
So far, most Netflix users are aware of the fact that the streaming service offers different content in different regions.
Its library can be somewhat different by hundreds and hundreds of shows and movies depending on the region in question.
Of course, Netflix didn't make things this way just for fun, and it has its reasons for not offering the same content everywhere.
Netflix has to purchase rights to stream certain content, and it does it for each show, movie or documentary. Sometimes it will sign agreements with individual studios for groups of content.
Sometimes, there are complications or rights restrictions.
Sometimes, it cannot offer certain content in specific countries because it is already available on another service like Amazon Prime, for example.
It doesn't offer some content in certain regions because of potential cultural or religious issues as it would be deemed banned by the government.
For example, if it contains religious or sexual content in areas where such things are not to be discussed publicly, such material could upset people, which is what Netflix tries to avoid by not offering it.
Why do some VPNs work and others don't?
Pretty much every VPN article that explains how to unblock content in other countries always goes back to the fact that some VPNs can unblock Netflix, and some cannot.
This is entirely true, as Netflix previously cracked down on VPNs, blocking all of their IP addresses, and simply preventing people from their service when connected to a VPN (dreaded proxy error, anyone?).
Some VPNs recovered from this by buying and rotating IPs, although many did not.
Obviously, you don't want to use the ones that cannot access Netflix, if this is one of your requirements.
However, IP rotation proved to be an excellent way to bypass the blocks.
The reason why some VPN services don't work is that they gave up and decided playing cat and mouse with Netflix was time consuming, costly or both.
Why do VPNs get blocked in the first place?
Unfortunately, blocking VPNs is pretty easy these days.
It happens because websites want to collect user data, and it is common for them to try to track and locate users based on their IP addresses.
IP addresses contain a lot of user information, such as location, and can be used for identifying them.
With people wanting online anonymity and privacy, many are using a VPN for this exact reason.
However, this also leads to websites blocking VPN quickly, as they can detect a lot of users using the same IP addresses.
As one user disconnects and another connects, services like Netflix can detect the same IP on entirely different accounts. They can then recognise this as a VPN-owned IP and block it.
Will a VPN affect video quality?
To stream a video in a clear, standard definition, your internet does not need to be particularly fast.
All you need is a minimum download speed of around 3 Mbps.
Of course, the minimum requirements go up if you want your stream to be in higher quality.
These days, you can get up to 4K streaming, or Ultra HD, but you need quite a bit of bandwidth, with minimum required speed of 25 Mbps.
Of course, most people would be entirely satisfied with 1080p streaming, for which they only need 5 Mbps.
Now, using a VPN can affect your video quality, yes. It will slow down your internet due to the protections it applies, such as encryption.
It needs to encrypt all the traffic that passes through your device, which reduces the speeds somewhat.
You can reduce the impact by connecting to the closest server that will allow you to use whatever region of Netflix you're entitled to.
However, unless you have a feeble internet connection to begin with or you're using a very old or underpowered device, the speed impact won't be noticeable to your video streaming.
Which VPN is best for new users?
If you are new to the world of VPNs, the best service for you to use is Surfshark.
It is very user-friendly, capable of unblocking Netflix, and it has a vast server network, with over 1040 servers in more than 60 countries. Lastly, if you end up not liking it, it also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
What VPN is the best for security?
If your goal is to secure your connection, the best choice to go for is ExpressVPN.
This is one of the most secure VPN providers in the market.
It offers the unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption, and the most reliable security protocol, OpenVPN, among others.
It also has numerous other features, like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and it's registered off-short in the British Virgin Islands.
Should I use a VPN with Netflix?
Using a VPN is certainly something we recommend, whether or not you want to use it with Netflix.
But yes, if you've got a Netflix account, a VPN is the ideal companion.
If you are already paying for your Netflix subscription, then why not use the service's full capabilities?
With a VPN, you can access more movies and TV shows in different regions, as plenty of content can only be accessed from a handful of countries.
There are a lot of VPNs for Netflix. However, those that worked last year are not guaranteed to work this year.
That's why we're keeping this guide updated through-out the year testing a range of VPN services so you don't need to waste your time or money.
Our favourite VPN for watching Netflix right now is ExpressVPN and as well as unblocking access to American Netflix and a few other regions they offer a fast VPN service with plenty of IP Addresses to keep Netflix flowing.
It doesn't matter much which VPN you end up choosing because they'll all be suitable, so select one of the five above and enjoy unrestricted Netflix access.
Other articles you may like
- 21 VPN services you should know about in 2020
- Why free VPN services really should be avoided
- Best VPN for the Amazon Firestick
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