Disclosure: Top10VPN is editorially independent. We may earn commissions if you buy a VPN through links on our site.

Best VPN for Netflix in 2021

25 comments
Best VPN for Netflix
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN
25 comments

Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

SUMMARY:

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Netflix. It works with the US and UK libraries, it has fast speeds for buffer-free streaming, and it comes with a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee.

Using a VPN with Netflix will unblock movies and TV shows that are only available in other countries’ libraries.

We have conducted over 6,000 tests on 69 VPNs that claim to work for streaming. We tested each VPN with 50 different Netflix libraries including the US, UK, Canada, and Japan.

Out of all the VPNs we analyzed, just five consistently unblock Netflix and can stream geo-restricted content in HD and 4K.

The five best VPNs for Netflix are:

  1. ExpressVPN: The best overall VPN for Netflix. Read summary.
  2. Windscribe: Secure VPN that unblocks over 40 Netflix libraries. Read summary.
  3. Surfshark: Fast and low-priced VPN that comes with Smart DNS. Read summary.
  4. PrivateVPN: Cheap VPN that works with Netflix in 32 regions. Read summary.
  5. CyberGhost: User-friendly VPN with specialist Netflix servers. Read summary.

Compare these VPNs side-by-side with our tool.
We test the VPN services above daily, to ensure they definitely work with Netflix. Every VPN has been ranked based on its speed, customer service, server network, and ability to easily beat the Netflix VPN ban.

We put special emphasis on the support of US Netflix, but every VPN on this page will unlock additional regions such as the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, and France.

All five services we recommend give you stable and buffer-free access to Netflix from any country — letting you stream Studio Ghibli, Harry Potter, The Office, and much more.

On this page, you will also find which VPNs unblock the most libraries and how to use a VPN with Netflix.

Keep reading to find out why we rate these five VPN services so highly. You can also compare the 10 best Netflix VPNs side by side.

5 Best VPNs for Netflix (Updated April 2021)

  1. 1. ExpressVPN: Best Overall

    The best overall VPN for Netflix with excellent speeds and support.

    Ranked #1 out of 69 VPNs for Netflix
    ExpressVPN's new app on mobile devices
     96% 
    (1,758 user reviews)
    Visit ExpressVPN
    1. Unblocks 19 Netflix libraries including US
    2. Very fast international speeds
    3. Native app for Amazon Fire TV Stick
    4. Unblocks US Netflix on Apple TV
    5. Easy-to-use apps plus Smart DNS tool
    6. 30-day money-back guarantee
    1. Doesn’t unblock popular Mexico & India libraries
    2. Short-term plans are expensive
    3. Fire Stick TV app is rather basic

    Based on our most recent tests, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Netflix. It consistently unblocks Netflix on a number of devices with extremely fast international speeds and reliable customer support. In all our years of testing, it’s never failed to access Netflix over thousands of tests.

    Cheapest Price$6.67/mo over 15 Months See all plans
    US NetflixYes
    No. of Netflix Libraries19
    Works with FirestickYes
    Top International Speed87Mbps
    Smart DNSYes
    Compatible with
    1. amazon_firetvFire TV
    2. windowsWindows
    3. macosMacOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. iosiOS
    6. routerRouter
    7. appletvApple TV
    8. playstationPlayStation

    Fast speeds for Netflix streaming

    ExpressVPN delivers fast connection speeds, which means you can stream Netflix in HD with little-to-no buffering. We recorded an average download speed of 85Mbps connecting to a nearby server, and we also found the VPN service to be one of the fastest for long-distance connections. These impressive speed results mean you can easily stream American Netflix in HD from anywhere in the world.

    Its built-in speed test tool allows you to check the download speed and performance of an ExpressVPN server before you connect. This helps you connect to the fastest server for the best possible Netflix experience.

    While it doesn’t have dedicated servers for streaming, the vast majority of ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ servers worked seamlessly with streaming platforms. Netflix blocks known VPN IP addresses every day, so having thousands of servers in over 160 locations means you can simply connect to a different server if Netflix blocks the one you’re using.

    All of these servers come with unlimited data too, which means you can watch as many shows as you want without reaching a bandwidth cap.

    Works with all platforms & devices

    ExpressVPN also works with Netflix on every platform we tested including MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and routers. You can connect up to five devices simultaneously to unblock 19 popular Netflix libraries including the UK, US, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, and more.

    Every ExpressVPN subscription comes with the MediaStreamer Smart DNS feature, which reroutes your DNS requests and unblocks Netflix on devices that don’t directly support VPN applications. This means you can use ExpressVPN to stream international Netflix on your Apple TV, games console, and Smart TV.

    There’s also a well-designed native app for Amazon Fire TV which gives you access to VPN servers in 94 countries and a range of advanced security features including a VPN kill switch and split tunneling.

    The VPN is simple to install and easy to use, ideal for newcomers that are unfamiliar with VPNs. It also provides strong AES-256 encryption and excellent security features, such as a VPN kill switch, for added privacy and security.

    More expensive than other VPNs

    ExpressVPN is more expensive than other services, but it’s worth it for the speed and reliability it offers while streaming. There are seven-day free trials available, or you can trial the VPN on up to five devices with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Customer support is also excellent, with 24/7 live chat and a range of helpful installation guides available in the online help center.

    Though more expensive than its rivals, ExpressVPN provides an excellent experience for Netflix users and is arguably the best VPN for streaming in general. It effortlessly bypasses Netflix geo-restrictions and other streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Hulu.

    Simply put, ExpressVPN is the best overall VPN for Netflix, and the most consistent all-round VPN service available today. It’s easy to use, impressively fast, and it will consistently unblock US Netflix on all your devices.

  2. 2. Windscribe: Most Netflix Regions

    A fast and affordable VPN that unblocks Netflix in over 40 countries.

    Windscribe mobile screenshots
     100% 
    (2 user reviews)
    Visit Windscribe
    1. Unblocks 42 Netflix libraries
    2. Good speeds for streaming
    3. Native VPN app for Amazon Fire TV & smart TVs
    4. Unlimited simultaneous connections
    5. Has a free-tier
    6. User-friendly & reliable apps
    1. Doesn’t work on Apple TV & games consoles
    2. No live chat

    Windscribe allows you to stream the Netflix catalog of 42 different countries whilst retaining great speeds and a reliable connection. Our most recent tests measured average download speeds of 63Mbps on nearby servers, which is more than fast enough to stream Netflix without any buffering issues or unwanted interruptions.

    Cheapest Price$4.08/mo over 12 Months See all plans
    US NetflixYes
    No. of Netflix Libraries42
    Works with FirestickYes
    Top International Speed63Mbps
    Smart DNSNo
    Live Chat SupportNo
    Compatible with
    1. amazon_firetvFire TV
    2. windowsWindows
    3. macosMacOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. iosiOS
    6. routerRouter
    7. appletvApple TV
    8. playstationPlayStation

    Unblocks the largest number of Netflix libraries

    Over months of our testing, Windscribe was the VPN service that unblocked the largest number of Netflix libraries. From our base in the UK, we were able to use Windscribe to stream content in HD from international Netflix catalogs including the US, UK, South Korea, Australia, and Brazil.

    The Windscribe app has dedicated Netflix servers called ‘Windflix’ for the US, UK, Canada, and Japan. Although Windscribe recommends connecting to these servers, we found that connecting to any Windscribe VPN server in these countries unblocks Netflix, which hasn’t always been the case.

    Windscribe’s recent server upgrade is responsible for the app’s new ability to unlock streaming services from around the world. Just make sure that the ‘Unlock Streaming’ option is set to ‘On’ in the ‘My Account’ section of your Windscribe account.

    Works with Fire TV Stick, but no Smart DNS feature

    Windscribe is also a great VPN service for watching Netflix on your TV, with impressive native VPN apps for Amazon Fire TV devices and Smart TVs. The Windscribe app for Fire TV and Smart TV is easy to use and gives you access to VPN servers in 64 countries.

    Apple TV and games consoles users cannot use Windscribe to stream Netflix. VPN apps do not work on game consoles and Apple’s tvOS, but some providers like ExpressVPN offer a Smart DNS service that allows you to access Netflix without the need for a VPN app. If you use these platforms, ExpressVPN is simply a better VPN for streaming Netflix.

    Windscribe Free streams US & UK Netflix

    Windscribe is also one of the cheapest VPN services available. It costs as little as $4.08 per month on a 12-month plan, and can be used on an unlimited amount of devices at the same time. It’s got the best free-tier of any VPN service too, allowing you to try out the VPN before committing to a paid plan.

    Windscribe Free does have a data cap of 10GB a month though, so you won’t be able to stream very much before exhausting your bandwidth.

    Overall, Windscribe is an impressive Netflix VPN. It unblocks over 40 international Netflix catalogs with fast speeds and a large network of servers.

    Windscribe’s intuitive apps, cheap price, and free plan make it a great choice for VPN beginners who want a quick way of accessing geo-restricted Netflix shows and movies. However, the lack of Smart DNS and live chat support is disappointing and means it should be avoided by Apple TV users.

    Windscribe is not as good as ExpressVPN overall, but it’s a great choice if you need access to lots of Netflix libraries for a budget price.

  3. 3. Surfshark: Best for Multiple Devices

    Unblocks 15 Netflix libraries for just $2.49 per month.

    Surfshark app
     84% 
    (91 user reviews)
    Visit Surfshark
    1. Unblocks 15 Netflix libraries
    2. Very low price on long-term plans
    3. Impressive app for Amazon Fire TV
    4. Smart DNS works on Apple TV & games consoles
    5. Unlimited simultaneous connections
    6. Seven-day free trial
    1. Relatively small server network
    2. Free trial on Mac & mobile only

    Surfshark is a great budget VPN for unblocking Netflix and accessing region-restricted content on streaming sites. It allows you to access 15 Netflix libraries with fast speeds and prices as low as $2.49 on a two-year subscription plan.

    Cheapest Price$2.49/mo over 24 months See all plans
    US NetflixYes
    No. of Netflix Libraries15
    Works with FirestickYes
    Top International Speed34Mbps
    Smart DNSYes
    Live Chat Support24/7
    Compatible with
    1. amazon_firetvFire TV
    2. windowsWindows
    3. macosMacOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. iosiOS
    6. routerRouter
    7. appletvApple TV
    8. playstationPlayStation

    Unlocks 15 different libraries with fast speeds

    Surfshark doesn’t only unblock Netflix in America. Our tests have shown it works with 15 other Netflix catalogs including the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, Italy, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Norway, Poland, India, and Portugal.

    Our speeds remained fast enough for Netflix when connected to nearby VPN servers, dropping just 14% to 86Mbps on average. The VPN performed well over long-distance connections, too, with a respectable 45% speed loss when connecting to the US from our base in the UK.

    The VPN has a large network of over 3,200+ servers in 66 countries. Though it doesn’t provide servers specifically optimized for streaming, the overwhelming majority of servers worked with major streaming websites. Recently, only the St. Louis and Charlotte servers didn’t unblock US Netflix.

    Although Surfshark doesn’t unblock Netflix in as many countries as Windscribe or PrivateVPN, it does allow you to access American Netflix while connected to all unsupported VPN server locations.

    This means that if you access Netflix from a VPN server location that doesn’t support streaming, Surfshark will automatically reroute you to the US Netflix library. This is a great feature that allows you to watch American Netflix while connected to a server location closer to you — minimizing any potential speed loss and keeping your Netflix streaming buffer-free.

    Seven-day genuine free trial

    Surfshark also offers a 7-day free trial. This is a rare feature amongst rivals and a great option if you want to test out the VPN before committing to a longer-term plan.

    The free trial can only be initiated from the Android, iOS, and Mac apps, but it can be used on all platforms once it’s set up.

    If you need more time to test the VPN, all of Surfshark’s plans also have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    Compatible with all streaming devices

    Surfshark is also effective at streaming geo-restricted Netflix content on TVs. Surfshark has both a native app for Amazon Fire TV and a Smart DNS service to unblock Netflix on Apple TV and games consoles. Our tests found the Fire TV app to be particularly impressive, with an attractive interface optimized for big screens. However, Surfshark’s Smart DNS feature was often sluggish and unable to stream Netflix in HD on Apple TV.

    In conclusion, Surfshark is one of the best VPNs to stream Netflix on your phone, tablet, or desktop. It provides fast, consistent access to 15 major Netflix libraries, support for Firestick and Apple TV, and a 7-day free trial – all for just $2.49 per month on a two-year plan.

  4. 4. PrivateVPN: Best Value

    Best budget Netflix VPN with access to 32 Netflix regions.

    Image of PrivateVPN's app on mobile
     98% 
    (1,736 user reviews)
    Visit PrivateVPN
    1. Unblocks 32 Netflix libraries
    2. Free trial available
    3. Extremely cheap on long-term plans
    4. Fully featured VPN app for Fire TV Stick
    1. Slow speeds on some servers
    2. No browser extensions
    3. No Smart DNS feature
    4. Access to live chat is inconsistent

    PrivateVPN is the cheapest VPN for Netflix, costing just $1.98 per month on a 2-year plan. It provides access to Netflix in 32 countries, decent connection speeds, and a native VPN app for Fire TV Stick.

    Cheapest Price$1.98/mo over 24 months See all plans
    US NetflixYes
    No. of Netflix Libraries32
    Works with FirestickYes
    Top International Speed63Mbps
    Smart DNSNo
    Live Chat SupportYes
    Compatible with
    1. amazon_firetvFire TV
    2. windowsWindows
    3. macosMacOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. iosiOS
    6. routerRouter
    7. appletvApple TV
    8. playstationPlayStation

    Works with Netflix in 32 countries

    PrivateVPN works with a huge amount of Netflix catalogs, which means you won’t have any difficulties finding a server to access your favorite TV show or movie. These servers are some of the most consistent we’ve tested, unblocking Netflix every single time over months of testing.

    Inconsistent speed performance

    Our speed tests show that PrivateVPN is generally a fast VPN service. We registered an average local download speed of 87Mbps in our most recent tests, which is an above-average result. However, PrivateVPN’s small server network means some servers are overly congested, often making streaming Netflix outright impossible.

    For example, there is just one server in South Korea. Our connection from London to this server resulted in a connection speed loss of 98%, which is far too slow to stream successfully. PrivateVPN’s poor performance on some VPN servers means you’re unlikely to be able to stream Netflix content in standard definition, let alone 4K UHD.

    Poor customer support & no browser extensions

    Live chat customer service is not always available on PrivateVPN’s website, so you could be waiting a while for a response if you have any issues streaming Netflix. It is also the only VPN service in this list that fails to provide browser extensions for Chrome or Firefox, so we recommend choosing a different VPN if you’re interested in watching Netflix primarily on your web browser.

    Overall, PrivateVPN is simply the best value Netflix VPN. You can access all 32 of PrivateVPN’s Netflix servers for just $1.98 a month. Although PrivateVPN could benefit from a larger number of servers to ease congestion and improve speeds, its extremely low prices make it a fantastic budget VPN for Netflix.

  5. 5. CyberGhost: Easiest to Use

    A beginner-friendly VPN that unblocks 6 major Netflix libraries.

    CyberGhost app
     94% 
    (308 user reviews)
    Visit CyberGhost
    1. Unblocks 6 Netflix libraries
    2. Optimized VPN servers for Netflix
    3. Smart DNS works for games consoles & streaming devices
    4. Custom Fire TV Stick app
    5. Easy-to-use apps
    6. 45-day money-back guarantee
    1. Unlocks less Netflix catalogs than competitors
    2. Slow international speeds

    CyberGhost is a beginner-friendly VPN that reliably works with Netflix in the US, UK, France, GermanyItaly, and Japan. There are dedicated servers for streaming on all platforms, plenty of server locations on offer, and its speeds are fast enough for HD-quality content.

    Cheapest Price$2.25/mo over 3 years See all plans
    No. of Netflix Libraries6
    Works with FirestickYes
    Top International Speed17Mbps
    Smart DNSYes
    Live Chat Support24/7
    Compatible with
    1. amazon_firetvFire TV
    2. windowsWindows
    3. macosMacOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. iosiOS
    6. routerRouter
    7. appletvApple TV
    8. playstationPlayStation

    Easy to use and simple to set-up

    CyberGhost is extremely easy to use, with a separate list of dedicated servers specifically for Netflix. You can search for Netflix in the app’s search bar and then simply choose the location you want from the drop-down list. These dedicated streaming servers also regularly refresh their IP address, allowing you to consistently bypass Netflix’s ban on VPNs.

    Includes a Fire TV app & Smart DNS functionality

    Dedicated Netflix servers are also available on CyberGhost’s native app for Fire TV Stick, allowing you to stream Netflix on your TV. CyberGhost’s Fire TV app comes with a ton of extra features too, including an ad blocker and option for split tunneling.

    CyberGhost also offers the most advanced Smart DNS feature we’ve seen — allowing you to unblock Netflix on your games console, Apple TV, and all smart TVs. It is the only VPN service that allows you to unblock both the UK and US Netflix libraries on these devices, which is very impressive. You can find out how to configure Smart DNS on CyberGhost’s support website.

    Live chat is provided around the clock on CyberGhost’s website, which means customer support is easily available in case you encounter any problems while streaming Netflix. It also has one of the most generous refund policies around — offering a full 45-day money-back guarantee.

    Unblocks only 4 Netflix libraries with slow speeds

    The main issue with CyberGhost is that it doesn’t allow you to access as many Netflix libraries as our other recommendations. Depending on what content you want to stream, you may be left frustrated by Cyberghost’s inability to access less popular Netflix libraries.

    CyberGhost’s international speeds are also unimpressive. Our speed test results found that our download speeds fell by a massive 74% when connecting to a New York CyberGhost server from our office in London, UK. Depending on your location and internet speed, CyberGhost’s performance may not be good enough to stream in high-definition.

    In summary, CyberGhost is an easy-to-use VPN service that provides consistent access to popular Netflix libraries on many devices and platforms. It provides great value for money, with prices as cheap as $2.25 on a 3-year plan. Though cheap, CyberGhost simply cannot compete with the other best VPNs for Netflix when it comes to international speeds and the ability to unlock multiple Netflix libraries.

Comparison of the Best Netflix VPNs

We thoroughly tested 10 of the most popular VPNs so you can compare which one is best for Netflix in terms of speed, device compatibility, and price.

Here are our full test results:

Although it can’t unblock as many libraries as its rivals, ExpressVPN is still the best all-round VPN for unblocking Netflix when it comes to speed, platform compatibility, customer support, and reliability.

There are some VPNs on the market that work with Netflix but didn’t make our top five recommendations. This will be due to inconsistent performance, privacy issues, slow speeds, or the inability to unblock Netflix on mobile devices.

Here are honorable mentions of VPNs that often work with US Netflix, but didn’t make our list of 2021’s best Netflix VPNs:

How to Watch Netflix With a VPN

Using a VPN with Netflix helps you unlock the full potential of your Netflix subscription, and increase the amount of content you can stream.

Depending on where you are in the world, a VPN will give you access over 4,000 movies and 2,000 TV shows. That’s nearly three times as many titles as one Netflix library alone.

Unblock Netflix from abroad.

The process is simple: subscribe to a VPN that works with Netflix and connect to a server in your target country. To access the Netflix catalog of another country, simply disconnect from your current server and reconnect to a new location of your choice.

Your Netflix subscription works in every country, so you can use your existing account details to watch the full catalog of another country you’re connected to, without purchasing additional subscriptions.

To use a VPN with Netflix:

1Choose a VPN service that works with Netflix

Subscribe to a VPN that offers fast speeds and reliably bypasses region-restrictions. We recommend choosing ExpressVPN for its server coverage, performance, and ease-of-use, but you could also use Windscribe if you plan on streaming Netflix from many countries around the world.

2Download and install the VPN app

Download the VPN onto your preferred device and set it up by following the onscreen prompts. All of our recommended VPNs for Netflix have a minimum of five simultaneous connections, so you can easily install the software on all of your devices.

You can download your chosen VPN directly from the downloads page on the VPN provider’s website. If you’re using your smartphone, or an Amazon Fire TV Stick, simply search for the VPN provider’s name in the device’s app store.

However, to use your VPN on your Smart TV or other streaming devices, the installation process is different. For these platforms, all of our recommended VPNs for Netflix provide online setup guides to follow instead.

Alternatively, you can skip to our instructions on how to use a VPN on Apple TV.

3Connect to a VPN server

Once the VPN is installed on your device, launch the app and connect to a server in your chosen location.

For example, to stream US Netflix, connect to a US VPN server. To access the Japanese Netflix library, connect to a VPN server in Japan.

A screenshot showing ExpressVPN's US server locations, which can be used to watch American Netflix from anywhere.

For VPN providers that have dedicated servers for Netflix, like CyberGhost, the process is slightly different. Make sure to connect specifically to the servers labeled for use with Netflix to ensure your Netflix streaming goes smoothly.

4Launch Netflix

Once you’re connected to a VPN server in your target country, launch Netflix in your browser or open the app on your mobile device.

Screenshot of the US Netflix Home Screen, accessed using ExpressVPN

If you find a server that’s blocked, simply disconnect and try another VPN server in that location. The best VPNs have dozens of servers in every country. When you reconnect, you’ll be assigned a new IP address to overcome this problem.

The VPN will reroute your internet traffic through the server in the country of your choice. This means that Netflix will think you’re legitimately connecting from this location, and you will now have access to a range of movies and TV shows that you were blocked from viewing before.

EXPERT TIP:

Netflix Originals, such as After Life and The Crown, are available in all locations. You don’t need to have your VPN on to access them.

How to Find Which Country Has a Netflix Movie or TV Show

To find out what Netflix catalog has the content you want, we recommend you use uNoGS. uNoGS is a service that informs you which country’s Netflix library contains any movie or TV show you search for.

Although the US Netflix library has by far the largest collection of movies and TV series, it is certainly not the only Netflix catalog worth streaming. Titles like Harry Potter, Friends, The Office, and the Studio Ghibli movies are only available on Netflix in countries outside of the US.

Once you know which location has the TV show or movie you want to watch, simply connect to a VPN server in that country and enjoy streaming.

Screenshot of our results when searching a movie in the uNoGS online database.

uNoGS shows you every region where a Netflix TV show or movie is available.

Study: Which VPN Unblocks the Most Netflix Libraries?

SUMMARY:

Windscribe works with the largest number of Netflix libraries. In total, the VPN unblocks 42 different regions, including the US, UK, Japan, and Canada.

We have conducted a comprehensive analysis of the most popular VPNs to identify which providers unblock the most Netflix libraries. We tested 69 VPN services with Netflix in every country around the world.

Due to the various ways Netflix detects VPN traffic on different devices, we tested every VPN on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Fire TV Stick, Apple TV and games consoles. Every VPN service has to unblock Netflix on all platforms for it to successfully pass our test. So far we’ve carried out 5,328 tests, with more ongoing.

To keep this page as accurate and up-to-date as possible, we update our findings daily with fresh data from our manual and automated tests.

From these tests we found that Windscribe unblocks more Netflix libraries than any other VPN provider. Here’s a list of how many Netflix libraries each of the five recommended VPNs unblocks:

  • Windscribe: unblocks 42 Netflix libraries
  • PrivateVPN: unblocks 32 Netflix libraries
  • ExpressVPN: unblocks 19 Netflix libraries
  • Surfshark: unblocks 15 Netflix libraries
  • CyberGhost: unblocks 4 Netflix libraries

We’ve collected the results from our Netflix VPN research in the table below. Here, you’ll be able to see the 16 most popular VPN providers and their compatibility with 20 of the most desirable Netflix libraries:

As you can see, US Netflix is by far the most accessible Netflix library — with 75% of these 16 VPNs able to unblock it on all platforms. That’s in stark contrast to Netflix libraries in Russia, Mexico, and South Africa, which only Windscribe can access.

The spread is more consistent elsewhere, though, with the same VPN providers working consistently across the UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan Netflix library.

Using the results from our investigation, here are the top 10 Netflix VPN providers and the number of Netflix libraries they unblock:

Chart displaying the findings from our Netflix VPN research

As the graph above shows, just four VPNs were able to unblock Netflix in over ten countries. Even streaming-focused VPNs like CyberGhost failed to access more than four Netflix libraries.

Our investigation results are clear: Windscribe works with more Netflix libraries than any other VPN provider. It unblocks 42 Netflix regions on every platform we tested, including Windows, iOS, Android, and even on Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.

Our Netflix VPN Testing Criteria

To see which VPNs are fast and reliable enough to consistently unblock Netflix and stream in HD quality, we’ve tested 69 VPNs for key attributes including speed, support, and reliability.

Netflix constantly blocks VPN services, so we favor those with a proven history of successfully bypassing the proxy error — we don’t want to recommend VPNs that might work today but not tomorrow.

The VPNs in this list have been tested and found to meet the following criteria:

  • Reliably and consistently unblocks Netflix
  • Fast speeds and reliable enough to stream in HD
  • Professional and quick-to-reply customer support
  • Strong encryption and security features
  • High-quality apps for major streaming devices
  • VPN servers in desirable Netflix locations
  • Support for other streaming services
  • Money-back guarantee

Once you’ve established that a VPN can access Netflix without being blocked, download speeds should be your next priority. Streaming is a data-intensive activity, so you’ll need strong performance from your VPN to avoid video buffering or interruptions, particularly when watching 4K content.

Likewise, having plenty of servers on offer means you’ll be more likely to find the fastest connection available, as each server will be less congested. It’s always worthwhile to choose a service with excellent support too, just in case you run into any issues.

Testing multiple servers on each VPN with this process gives us a good idea of how each service performs while streaming in real-life. Combined with our regular reviews and speed test results, we’re able to recommend exactly which VPNs will provide the best experience for Netflix.

The Netflix VPN Ban: How Does Netflix Block VPN Traffic?

Netflix blocks VPNs by restricting access from any IP address that is known to belong to a VPN service.

If you’re using an IP address known to belong to a VPN server, Netflix will restrict you from accessing any of its non-original content and display the infamous M7111-5059 proxy error code.

For example, this is what it looked like when we tried streaming US Netflix with Mullvad VPN:

How to unblock Netflix proxy error.

Netflix’s “Streaming Error” message.

The Netflix proxy error message is so common because the service’s sophisticated VPN detection techniques are very effective at identifying when users are using a VPN, so only the very best VPNs succeed.

Netflix blocks VPNs because they allow users to circumvent the territorial licensing agreements that the company has in place with content providers.

These licensing agreements allow copyright holders to sell their content in different locations around the world for a larger fee than if they were to be distributed globally.

Netflix sadly caved to the pressure from these large copyright holders and enacted the infamous Netflix ban in 2016. Since then, it has attempted to block access to any user found to be using a VPN service.

Netflix VPN ban.

Excerpt from Netflix’s original announcement of its now infamous ‘VPN ban’.

When using a VPN, you share an IP address with other users who are connected to the same VPN server as you. This is great for privacy and security, as sharing an identical IP address makes it much harder for any third-party to determine which user is responsible for a given behaviour.

However, this makes it easier for streaming services like Netflix to detect VPN users. If over 1,000 people are streaming Netflix from the same IP address at once, Netflix can infer that this IP is non-residential and therefore block it.

Netflix also detects whether you are using a VPN by validating whether the location of your IP address matches the location of your DNS server. This particular method of detection is less effective on desktop users, as the VPN provider is able to hide your true location by routing your traffic through its own DNS servers.

This method of VPN detection is extremely effective on mobile though, where the Netflix app can force your device to use its default DNS servers rather than those of the VPN provider. This explains why it’s often harder to unblock Netflix on your mobile device compared to in a web browser.

The best VPNs for Netflix, like those included in our list, circumvent these methods of detection by using their own DNS servers and regularly refreshing their IP address. This ensures that they’re able to consistently bypass Netflix’s VPN blocks and reliably stream the content you want.

Netflix maintains that the company’s ultimate aim is to create a “global Netflix,” where its content library would be identical everywhere in the world.

However, Netflix’s real aim is to stuff its content library full of its original content — a project which it spent a massive $14.61 billion on in 2019. By producing TV shows and movies itself, Netflix will be able to deploy this content everywhere in the world without having to worry about restrictive territorial agreements.

We’re still years away from this, so using a VPN to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions is still essential if you want access to all of Netflix’s best TV shows and movies.

Conclusion on Netflix VPNs

Without a VPN, you are only able to access a fraction of Netflix’s movies and TV shows. A good Netflix VPN bypasses the streaming platform’s restrictive geo-blocks, unblocking the US, UK, Canada, France, and many other regional libraries.

For years we’ve been testing VPNs to ensure our Netflix VPN recommendations are accurate and reliable. Every VPN service we recommend in this guide gives you everything you need to unblock Netflix at fast internet speeds, and to anonymously stream thousands of newly available shows.

Remember to contact your chosen provider’s support team if you are having any issues streaming Netflix. Alternatively, leave a comment below and we’ll promptly answer your questions.

Netflix VPN FAQs

How Do I Watch US Netflix from Abroad?

To watch US Netflix with a VPN:

  1. Subscribe to a VPN that works with Netflix and download the application.
  2. Select a server in the United States and connect to the VPN.
  3. Launch Netflix on whichever device you’re using.
  4. Contact your VPN provider’s customer support if you’re having any issues.

Whether you’re on holiday or now living somewhere else in the world, you could be missing out on thousands of the movies and TV shows that Netflix has to offer.

Using a VPN, you can access American Netflix from anywhere in the world without using an American payment method or purchasing an additional subscription. All you need is an existing Netflix account and a US-registered IP address, which you can get by using a VPN service that successfully unblocks Netflix.

What Is the Best Free VPN for Netflix?

Almost all free VPNs do not work with Netflix. Being able to bypass the Netflix VPN ban requires a considerable amount of resources and almost all free VPNs simply cannot stay ahead of the curve.

Free VPN services that do work with Netflix will do so on a very limited basis. Most are eventually identified by Netflix and the rest will place a limit on the amount of data you can use before you upgrade.

Thankfully, we found two free VPNs that will partially unblock Netflix. Learn more in our list of the best free Netflix VPNs.

How Fast Do My Speeds Need to Be for Netflix?

By encrypting and tunneling your internet traffic, all VPNs will slow down your internet speeds to some degree. However, the best Netflix VPNs maintain fast internet speeds, ensuring your Netflix streaming is not interrupted by any buffering issues.

Here are the minimum internet speeds Netflix itself says you need for streaming:

  • 3Mbps — Recommended for SD quality
  • 5Mbps — Recommended for HD quality
  • 25Mbps — Recommended for Ultra HD (4K) quality

These recommendations from Netflix align with what we’ve found in our testing — but we recommend aiming slightly higher than the official recommended speeds if you want your Netflix streaming to be as buffer-free as possible.

To check your internet speed, connect to a VPN server and complete a speed test using fast.com. Fast.com is owned by Netflix, so the speed test is completed on the company’s own servers — giving you the most accurate results possible.

By comparison, our research found that other speed testing tools like Ookla overestimate your VPN speed and lead to unrealistic expectations of what streaming quality you can expect.

To optimize and increase your internet speed for streaming Netflix you should connect to the closest VPN server you possibly can. This means your internet connection will not be routed via a far-away server, minimizing any connection speed loss and keeping your streaming interruption-free.

To further speed up your Netflix VPN, make sure to use a VPN encryption protocol that’s optimized for speed. For the very fastest speeds, we recommend connecting to WireGuard if your VPN supports it. Otherwise, connect using OpenVPN UDP or IKEv2.

If you are still experiencing slowdowns with Netflix when connected to a VPN server, try reconnecting to another server in the same country and retest your internet speeds. Some popular server locations can become congested and frustratingly slow. Less popular server locations have fewer active users at a given time, often resulting in dramatically better speeds.

What Is the Fastest VPN for Netflix?

To make sure the VPNs we recommend are the fastest on the market, we use the results from our custom automated VPN speed testing tool.

These automated speed tests run 24/7, on servers around the world, with speeds capped at 100Mbps. This gives us results similar to what you’ll get on a home internet connection.

We own all the servers and infrastructure that we test with and report the unbiased results exactly as we find them.

These are the latest results from our five best VPNs for Netflix on a New York to London connection:

VPN Speed Performance Comparison Chart

Use our Speed Test Tool to compare the speeds of Netflix VPNs across different countries.

Over the previous eight weeks, Surfshark has consistently been the fastest VPN. The VPN’s speed peaked at 84Mbps and fell to an impressive 70Mbps at its lowest point. These results mean that Surfshark will unblock Netflix content in HD or 4K.

The other VPNs performed less impressively, however. While PrivateVPN often reached very fast speeds, its performance was inconsistent. This chimes with our manual speed test results, which show PrivateVPN to be an unreliable VPN for speed.

ExpressVPN wasn’t the fastest over the past eight weeks, but its speeds did remain steady and consistent — a must for reliable Netflix streaming. Windscribe and CyberGhost performed the worst, with a speed loss of 50% in some cases. Depending on your internet speed, this might prevent you from being able to stream Netflix in HD.

Is It Legal to Use a VPN With Netflix?

It is completely legal to use a VPN with Netflix. There is no law preventing Netflix users from using a VPN to access different international catalogs, so there is no risk that watching Netflix with a VPN will result in any form of legal penalty.

Many users are worried that by bypassing content geo-restrictions they are somehow committing an act of piracy. Piracy is illegal because it allows people to access copyrighted material they have not paid for, but by using a VPN with Netflix you are still paying for your Netflix subscription.

Simply put, using a VPN with Netflix doesn’t allow you to access content for free, it just allows you to bypass licensing restrictions.

Although there is no law preventing users from watching Netflix with a VPN, it is actually against the company’s Terms of Service. Section 4 of Netflix’s Terms of Use states that:

“You may view the Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account […] you also agree not to circumvent […] any of the content protections in the Netflix service […] we may terminate or restrict your use of our service if you violate these Terms of Use”

As a result, you technically could be banned from Netflix for using a VPN. However, we have not seen a single example case to suggest this has ever been enforced on a user. In practice, you will not be banned from Netflix if you are caught using a VPN. The worst that will happen is that you will not be able to watch the content you’re looking for while using a VPN.

Although the aggressive language in Netflix’s Terms of Use can be frightening, its threats are not enacted in reality. We have never had our Netflix account suspended despite conducting thousands of VPN tests with Netflix over several years.

How Do I Bypass the Netflix Proxy Error?

If you’re using a VPN with Netflix and you encounter the “proxy error” message, follow the steps below:

  1. Use one of the VPNs we recommend – that should be enough to avoid the streaming error message.
  2. If you’re still having problems with accessing Netflix, connect to a number of different VPN servers in the same country. If you still can’t access Netflix, simply contact the VPN’s customer service. They’ll quickly tell you which servers are working for Netflix.

What Is Smart DNS?

Smart DNS is a technology that allows you to spoof your location and access region-restricted Netflix libraries on devices that are not VPN-compatible. Smart DNS proxies will work with Apple TV, smart TVs, and game consoles, whereas VPNs do not.

Your ordinary ISP-assigned DNS address contains details that expose your true location, so Smart DNS proxies work by routing your DNS requests through a dedicated DNS server somewhere else in the world. This is what allows you to access Netflix content in regions outside of your own.

Smart DNS is complicated technology that requires a lot of overhead, so only a select few VPN providers include it in your subscription. These providers are ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost. Our tests found ExpressVPN’s Smart DNS to be the most reliable.

Unlike a VPN, Smart DNS technology does not encrypt your online traffic — leaving your activity exposed to your ISP and other third-parties. This is fine if you’re just using Smart DNS for accessing Netflix libraries, but make sure to connect to a full VPN service for everything else.

Smart DNS services do not allow you to unblock as many Netflix catalogs as full VPNs, either. This is because Smart DNS is a relatively complicated technology, so VPN providers typically only configure their Smart DNS service to unblock American Netflix.

CyberGhost’s Smart DNS service unblocks the most Netflix libraries, but this still only allows you to stream the UK and US Netflix. On the other hand, Windscribe’s full VPN allows you to access over 40 Netflix libraries.

As a result, you should always use a VPN app over Smart DNS whenever you can. This will allow you to secure your internet connection while accessing as many geo-restricted Netflix libraries as possible. However, if you just want to watch US Netflix on an Apple TV or games console, Smart DNS is a legitimate tool for conveniently bypassing Netflix’s geo-blocks.

To find out how to set up Smart DNS, look for the instructions for your specific device on your chosen VPN provider’s website or contact its support team.

Can I Unblock Netflix on Apple TV?

Yes, you can unblock Netflix on Apple TV. Apple doesn’t allow VPN apps on its Apple TV App Store, so the simplest way to unblock Netflix on Apple TV is to set up a Smart DNS proxy.

Of our recommendations, only ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost allow you to unblock Netflix on Apple TV using Smart DNS. After signing up for one of these VPN services, you will be given a unique DNS address.

All you have to do is replace your Apple TV’s DNS address with the new one from your VPN service.

There is one drawback, though: Smart DNS can only unblock US and UK Netflix.

This should get you access to most of the Netflix movies and TV shows you need, but if you crave even more on your Apple TV, you’ll have to either install a VPN on your existing router or set up a virtual router. You can read more on router configuration in the section below.

While other publications still suggest that the best way to unblock Netflix on your Apple TV is to use the content-beaming AirPlay functionality on your iOS device, these instructions are now useless as Netflix has blocked this functionality for over a year.

Can I Unblock Netflix by Setting up the VPN on a Router?

Yes, configuring your router with a VPN is a very effective method to unblock Netflix. This will allow you to stream Netflix on devices that do not support VPNs, like a Chromecast or PS4.

Installing a VPN on your router is trickier than on other devices, though, and most routers do not support VPN software.

However, because of the difficulty involved, all five of our recommended Netflix VPNs sell pre-configured routers. These routers are expensive, but they save you the hassle of a complicated set up process and will allow you to unblock Netflix on all of your devices.

Some VPN services, such as ExpressVPN, even come with a router app that has a graphical interface, making changing VPN router settings and server locations easy.

If this sounds too difficult or too expensive, you can also set up a virtual router or mobile hotspot using a desktop or laptop computer.

Virtual routers and mobile hotspots can be set up on both Windows and Mac devices and are a lot simpler than configuring a physical router with a VPN.

Simply, this method involves setting up a virtual router on your computer before connecting to a VPN in the usual way. You then share your computer’s VPN-enabled connection with all of your other devices, allowing you to unblock Netflix everywhere.

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio