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Best VPN for Netflix in 2020

Best VPN for Netflix
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

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

The best VPN for Netflix will unblock movies and TV shows that are only available in other countries.

Our experts have conducted 5,328 tests on 70 VPNs that claim to work with Netflix. We’ve tested each VPN with 50 different Netflix libraries including the US, UK, Canada, and Japan.

We’ve analyzed all Netflix VPNs and found just five that consistently unblock Netflix and can stream geo-restricted content in HD.

In a hurry? The current best VPNs for Netflix are:

  1. ExpressVPN: The best overall VPN for Netflix—it has the fastest speeds, it always works, and it’s compatible with all devices. Read summary
  2. Windscribe: A budget and secure choice that unblocks the largest number of Netflix libraries. Read summary
  3. Surfshark: A speedy and low-priced VPN that unlocks 15 Netflix libraries. Also includes a Smart DNS feature. Read summary
  4. PrivateVPN: Suffers from average speeds, but is a reliable VPN that comes with dedicated Netflix servers in 32 countries. Read summary
  5. CyberGhost: A user-friendly VPN with decent speed performance and specialist Netflix servers. Read summary

Compare these VPNs side-by-side with our tool.
Our experts test the VPN services in this list on a daily basis to make sure our recommendations are accurate and up to date. Every VPN we recommend has been scored based on its speed, customer service, server network, and ability to easily bypass geo-restrictions

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

Based on our latest test results, the best VPN for Netflix is ExpressVPN. However, all five of the services in this list will give you reliable and buffer-free access to Netflix from anywhere in the world — granting you free access to Studio Ghibli movies, Friends, The Office, and much more.

If you are looking for a free VPN for Netflix, you can find our recommendations later on in this article along with advice on which VPNs unblock the most libraries and how to use a VPN with Netflix.

Keep reading to find out exactly why we scored these five VPN services so highly, or skip straight to our comparison table of the 10 best Netflix VPNs.

Wondering why you should trust our reviews?
See How We Review VPNs.

5 Best VPNs for Netflix (In-depth Analysis)

1. ExpressVPN

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

  1. Unblocks 19 Netflix libraries including US
  2. Fastest VPN for international speeds
  3. Native app for Amazon Fire TV Stick
  4. Unblocks US Netflix on Apple TV
  5. Intuitive & easy-to-use apps
  6. 30-day money-back guarantee
  1. Doesn’t unblock popular Netflix libraries like Mexico & India
  2. Expensive on short-term plans
  • Best Price

    $6.67/mo over 15 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    85Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    94 countries, 3,000+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #1 VPN for Netflix

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

ExpressVPN delivers fast connection speeds, which means you can stream Netflix in HD with very little buffering. Our recent speed tests measured an average download speed of 85Mbps when connected to a nearby server, and we also found it to be the fastest VPN for long-distance connections. This level of performance means 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 a VPN server before you connect, which helps ensure you’re connecting to the fastest VPN server for the best possible Netflix experience.

Best VPN for American Netflix.

ExpressVPN’s speed test tool ensures you’re always connecting to the fastest server.

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 a huge selection of popular Netflix libraries including the UK, US, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, and more.  

While it doesn’t have dedicated servers for streaming, we found the vast majority of ExpressVPN’s 3,000 servers worked seamlessly with streaming sites. 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.

US Netflix?
Total no. of Netflix Libraries
Top International Speed
Live Chat Support?
Works with Firestick?
Smart DNS?

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, or other Smart TV device.

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, which means it shouldn’t be too intimidating for newcomers that are unfamiliar with VPNs. It also offers strong AES-256 encryption and excellent security features, which is a great bonus. 

ExpressVPN is more expensive than other services, but it’s worth it for the speed and reliability it offers while streaming. There is no free trial, but you can try the service out on up to three 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 centre

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 geo-restrictions imposed by Netflix and other streaming services such as Disney+ and BBC iPlayer.

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, incredibly fast, and will reliably stream US Netflix on all of your devices.

For a more in-depth look, read our full ExpressVPN review.

2. Windscribe VPN

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

  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
  • Best Price

    $4.08/mo over 12 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    95Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    63 countries

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #2 VPN for Netflix

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.

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.

Screenshot of a Harry Potter movie on Netflix, accessed through Windscribe's Brazil VPN server.

Windscribe works with the largest number of Netflix libraries and offers great speeds for HD streaming.

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.

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.

Windscribe is also one of the cheapest VPN services available. It costs as little as $4.08 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.

US Netflix?
Total no. of Netflix Libraries
Top International Speed
Live Chat Support?
Works with Firestick?
Smart DNS?

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.

Overall, Windscribe is a fantastic VPN for Netflix. It works to unblock 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.

For a more in-depth look, read our full Windscribe VPN review.

3. Surfshark

Unblocks 15 Netflix libraries for just $1.99 per month.

  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. 7-day free trial
  1. Relatively small server network
  2. Free trial on Mac & mobile only
  • Best Price

    $2.49/mo over two-years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    85Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    66 countries

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #3 VPN for Netflix

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 $1.99 on a two-year subscription plan.

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 1,700 servers in 63 countries. Though it doesn’t provide servers specifically optimized for streaming, we found the overwhelming majority of servers worked with major streaming websites. In our most recent analysis, only the St. Louis and Charlotte servers didn’t work to unblock US Netflix from the UK.

US Netflix?
Total no. of Netflix Libraries
Top International Speed
Live Chat Support?
Works with Firestick?
Smart DNS?

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.

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. 

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.

A graphical image of Surfshark's app for Amazon Fire TV, which can be used to stream Netflix libraries from around the world.

Surfshark allows you to unblock US Netflix directly onto your TV.

In conclusion, Surfshark is one of the best VPNs on the market for streaming 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 $1.99 per month on a two-year plan.

For a more in-depth look, read our full Surfshark review.

4. PrivateVPN

Best value Netflix VPN with dedicated streaming servers.

  1. Unblocks 32 Netflix libraries
  2. Dedicated servers for Netflix
  3. Extremely cheap on long-term plans
  4. Fully featured VPN app for Fire TV Stick
  1. Slow speeds on some Netflix servers
  2. No browser extensions
  3. No Smart DNS feature
  • Best Price

    $1.89/mo over 24 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    94Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    60 countries, 150+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #4 VPN for Netflix

PrivateVPN is the cheapest VPN for Netflix, costing just $1.89 on a 2-year plan. It provides dedicated Netflix servers in 32 countries, decent connection speeds, and a native VPN app for Fire TV Stick.

PrivateVPN’s dedicated Netflix servers are clearly labeled, which means you won’t have any difficulties finding the server for your favorite Netflix library. These dedicated servers are some of the most consistent we’ve tested, working to unblock Netflix every single time over months of testing.

Best cheap VPN for Netflix.

The PrivateVPN app allows you to connect to an extensive list of dedicated Netflix servers.

Our speed tests have shown PrivateVPN to be a generally fast VPN service. We measured 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 dedicated servers are overly congested, often making streaming Netflix outright impossible. 

For example, there is just one Netflix 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 Netflix VPN servers means you’re unlikely to be able to stream Netflix content in standard definition, let alone 4K UHD.

US Netflix?
Total no. of Netflix Libraries
Top International Speed
Live Chat Support?
Works with Firestick?
Smart DNS?

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 dedicated Netflix servers for just $1.89 a month. Although PrivateVPN could benefit from a larger number of Netflix VPN servers to ease congestion and improve speeds, its extremely low prices make it a fantastic budget VPN for Netflix.

For a more in-depth look, read our full PrivateVPN review.

5. CyberGhost

A beginner-friendly VPN that unblocks 4 major Netflix libraries.

  1. Unblocks 4 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
  • Best Price

    $2.75/mo over 3 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    87Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    90 countries, 6,400+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #5 VPN for Netflix

CyberGhost is a beginner-friendly VPN that reliably works with Netflix in the US, UK, France, and Germany. 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.

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 attempted ban on VPNs.

Screenshot showing CyberGhost's dedicated Netflix servers.

CyberGhost has specialist Netflix servers for streaming devices, like the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

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.

US Netflix?
Total no. of Netflix Libraries
Top International Speed
Live Chat Support?
Works with Firestick?
Smart DNS?

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 the US, UK, French, and German Netflix libraries on many devices and platforms. It provides great value for money, with prices as cheap as $2.75 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.

For a more in-depth look, read our full CyberGhost review.

Netflix VPN Comparison Table

We’ve put 10 of the most popular VPNs through our expert testing process so you can compare which one is best for Netflix in terms of speed, device compatibility, and price.

Here are our full test results:

VPN Provider Astrill CyberGhost ExpressVPN IPVanish NordVPN PIA PrivateVPN ProtonVPN Surfshark Windscribe
Cheapest Monthly Price $10 $2.75 $6.67 $3.25 $3.71 $2.85 $1.89 $6.63 $1.99 $4.08
Unblocks US Netflix? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Unblocks UK Netflix? No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
Firestick App? No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Smart DNS? No Yes Yes No No No No No Yes No
Unblocks BBC iPlayer? No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Long-Distance Download Speed 48Mbps 17Mbps 77Mbps 53Mbps 74Mbps 31Mbps 63Mbps 49Mbps 34Mbps 32Mbps
Simultaneous Connections 5 7 5 10 6 5 6 5 Unlimited Unlimited
Live Chat Support 24/7 24/7 24/7 Limited Hours 24/7 24/7 Limited Hours No 24/7 No

Though it cannot unblock as many libraries as its competitors, we found that ExpressVPN is consistently 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 don’t quite make our top five recommendations. This could be due to inconsistent performance, privacy issues, slow speeds, or the inability to access Netflix on mobile devices.

Here are some honorable mentions of VPNs that often work with US Netflix but don’t quite make our top 5 recommendations: 

While NordVPN unblocks an impressive amount of Netflix libraries, it is simply not one of the best VPNs for Netflix. NordVPN only works with the US, UK, and Canada Netflix libraries on Amazon Fire TV Stick and its Smart DNS feature does not work with Netflix — meaning you can’t stream on devices like an Apple TV or PS4. Streaming device support is essential for Netflix VPN users, so there are better alternatives to NordVPN available. To learn more, read our complete guide to NordVPN and Netflix.

Which VPN Unblocks the Most Netflix Libraries? (70+ VPNs Tested)

If a movie or TV show you want to watch is available in a different country, you can use a VPN to access it. However, every VPN’s ability to unblock Netflix varies — a VPN service that works with US Netflix might not unblock the South Korean Netflix library, for example.

In general, the US Netflix library remains the gold standard, so most of the Netflix content you’ll want to watch will be available there. However, some of Netflix’s best content is available on Netflix libraries outside of America, so a VPN for Netflix must work in as many countries as possible.

Screenshot of the Studio Ghibli movies on Netflix, which can be accessed through a UK VPN server.

The Studio Ghibli movies can be streamed using a UK VPN server.

Our experts have conducted a comprehensive analysis of the most popular VPN services to find out which providers unblock Netflix in the most countries. We tested 74 VPN providers with Netflix in every country around the world.

Due to the particular ways that Netflix detects VPNs on different devices, we also tested every VPN on Windows, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV Stick. This equates to 5,328 tests, with more ongoing. Every VPN service has to unblock Netflix on all platforms for it to successfully pass our test.

In order to keep our information as accurate and up-to-date as possible, we update our findings daily with data from our manual and automated testing process.

We found that Windscribe unblocks more Netflix libraries than any other VPN provider. Here’s a list of each of our top VPN recommendations and how many Netflix libraries they unblock:

  • 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 being 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 unblocks more Netflix libraries than any other VPN provider. It is able to stream Netflix from 42 different countries on every platform we tested, including Windows, iOS, Android, and on Amazon Fire TV Stick.

How to Watch Netflix With a VPN

Using a VPN with Netflix can help you unlock the full potential of your subscription and increase the amount of content you have available to stream.

Using a VPN ensures you’re getting the maximum value from your Netflix subscription. Depending on where you are in the world, a VPN will allow you to access over 4,000 movies and 2,000 TV shows – nearly three times as many as one Netflix library alone.

Unblock Netflix from abroad.

The process is simple: subscribe to a VPN that works with Netflix, connect to a server in your target country and then access Netflix on whichever device you’re using. 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 complete catalog of any country you’re connected to without purchasing any additional subscriptions.

To use a VPN with Netflix:

1Choose a reliable 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 from your provider’s website or an app marketplace

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 will be able to download the VPN by choosing from this list or accessing 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.

If you wish to use your VPN on your smart TV or other streaming devices, the installation process will be slightly different. For these platforms, all of our recommended VPNs for Netflix provide online installation guides to follow instead. Alternatively, you can skip to our instructions for how to use a VPN on Apple TV or read our dedicated guide to installing a VPN on your Smart TV.

3Choose a VPN server and connect to the VPN

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 PrivateVPN and 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.

Stream Netflix with VPN.

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.

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.

How to Choose a VPN for Netflix: Our VPN Testing Criteria

To see which VPNs are fast and reliable enough to consistently unblock Netflix and stream in HD quality, we’ve tested 74 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 helpful 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.

How Does Netflix Identify and 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 displaying an IP address that is known to belong to a VPN server, Netflix will restrict you from accessing any of its non-original content and display the infamous ‘proxy error’ message.

For example, this is what it looked like when we tried accessing 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.

What Is the Best Free VPN for Netflix?

The vast majority of 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. 

In addition to this, our independent investigation found that nearly 90% of popular free VPN apps have significant privacy flaws. For example, Hola VPN — a wildly popular free VPN for Netflix — has permission to access extremely sensitive information like your name, home address, and birth date.

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. Hotspot Shield Free, for example, will direct you to its premium subscription plan if you attempt to access Netflix.

Thankfully, our tests have discovered two free VPN services that will partially work to unblock Netflix. The best free VPNs for Netflix are:

  1. Windscribe Free
  2. HideMyAss browser extension

Our tests found that Windscribe free can access both the US and UK Netflix libraries, which is really impressive for a safe free VPN. 

Windscribe’s free-tier does come with significant disadvantages compared to the paid version, though – mainly that the VPN only allows you to consume 10GB of data per month.

Despite being more generous than other free VPNs, this data cap will allow you to stream just four hours of HD Netflix content per month.

Best free VPN for Netflix.

Windscribe Free is the only safe free VPN that works with US Netflix.

If 10GB a month is simply not enough for your Netflix streaming habits, we also recommend using the HideMyAss browser extension. This extension for Chrome and Firefox gives you unlimited bandwidth — allowing you to stream US Netflix without a data cap.

The HideMyAss browser extension can only be used on a Mac or PC, though, which means you won’t be able to unblock Netflix for free on your mobile or streaming device. 

It’s also worth noting that a proxy extension is not a VPN. It will geo-spoof your location, but it won’t do anything to protect your online privacy. This isn’t a problem if you just want a free way to access US Netflix, but should be avoided if you’re serious about your digital anonymity and security. 

If you’re not sure how web proxies fail to provide the same level of online privacy and security as a fully-fledged VPN service, check out our beginner-friendly guide into the differences between VPNs and proxies.

Although free VPNs can be useful if you’re on a budget, most are unreliable or even dangerous. If you need permanent unlimited access to Netflix, it’s much easier to use a paid VPN service or even to try out a premium provider with a free trial.

For a more detailed look at using free VPNs for Netflix, read our dedicated guide.

Netflix VPN FAQs

What Is the Best VPN for Netflix?

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Netflix — it’s actually the best overall VPN of 2020, period. The VPN is extremely secure, fast, and reliable. It’s compatible with all major platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android and has consistently worked to unblock dozens of Netflix libraries over all our years of testing.

Though it is a fantastic all-round VPN service, ExpressVPN is still limited. If you’re looking for an inexpensive VPN or you need access to as many international Netflix libraries as possible then we recommend installing Windscribe, which provides reliable access to Netflix for a much lower subscription fee. 

How to Watch US Netflix From Abroad

Being able to access US Netflix is an essential VPN feature for most users. British and Australian Netflix users are limited to just 2,000 titles, while the US Netflix library has a massive total of 5,665 movies and TV shows.

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.

Watch US Netflix from abroad

The Office & Parks and Recreation can be streamed with a US VPN server.

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.

VPN Speeds for Streaming 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.

Fast VPN for Netflix.

A sample result from fast.com, an internet speed testing site owned by Netflix.

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.

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”

A screenshot of Netflix's Terms of Use, which threaten to ban any users caught using a VPN with the streaming service.

Excerpt from Section 4 of the Netflix 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 to 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 provided by some VPN services 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.

How to 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. Smart DNS allows you to stream geo-blocked content directly on your Apple TV.

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 provider.

Apple TV VPN

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. You can find detailed instructions on how to install a VPN on your router in our step-by-step tutorial.

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.

Netflix VPN router

ExpressVPN’s app for routers allows you to unblock Netflix on all of your devices.

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. 

To learn how to set up a virtual router on your Windows or Mac device, read our beginner-friendly guide.

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 allows you to bypass the streaming service’s restrictive copyright agreements so you can watch whatever you want from any location in the world.

You’ll be able to access Netflix US, UK, Canada, France, and many others while encrypting your internet connection and protecting your online privacy. 

We’ve spent years testing hundreds of VPNs to ensure our Netflix VPN recommendations are accurate and reliable. Every VPN service recommended in this guide will give you everything you need to unblock Netflix and maintain fast internet speeds — keeping you safe and anonymous as you 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 our VPN experts will answer any questions you might have.

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