Netflix is the biggest streaming service in the world, with over 150 million subscribers, but each country is limited to a specific content library.
Did you know that the American Netflix library has over 5,500 titles, but the Australian only 2,000?
Using a private VPN service is the only reliable way to bypass Netflix’s content restrictions and unlock all these ‘hidden’ TV shows and movies.
Not all VPNs work with Netflix though. Netflix actively blocks VPN services, so you need to make sure the VPN you choose bypasses this VPN ban , or you could end up facing the dreaded Netflix Proxy Error.
That’s where we come in.
We tested 99 VPN providers to see if they unblock Netflix libraries, and regularly test them to keep this guide up-to-date.
The VPNs we picked all work very well, delivering buffer-free streaming and consistent access to Netflix (especially the US video library), no matter where you are in the world.
Before we go into more depth below, here’s a quick overview of our top three VPN services for Netflix:
The Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN for Netflix
- Reliably unlocks Netflix libraries worldwide
- Fast, buffer-free download speeds
- Strong logging policies & No IP leaks
- Advanced privacy & security features
- Easy to use apps on popular devices
- High quality customer support
Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs
Read More Information on the Best VPN Services for Netflix
Do I Need a VPN to Watch Netflix?
You need a VPN to watch Netflix if you want to access geo-restricted content and keep your personal information confidential while doing so.
You can watch Netflix without a VPN service, but this means you’ll be limited exclusively to the video content that’s available in your country.
A reliable VPN service will allow you to connect to a VPN server in almost any other country in the world, bypassing geo-restrictions to stream any content that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you – if you live in Hong Kong you’re only getting 10% of the total number of movies and TV shows as subscribers in the US!
How to Watch Netflix with a VPN
These are the most popular ways to watch Netflix with a VPN:
Computer (PC and Mac)
Download, install and launch the VPN service, select your preferred server location, and launch the Netflix website.
If you’re faced with an error screen, try clearing your cookies and browsing history if you haven’t already, and open Netflix again.
If you use a Chromecast, or you have an Android TV, you can also cast your computer screen onto your TV screen.
Install one of the above VPN services on your smartphone. Connect to your preferred VPN server location, launch the Netflix site or app, and begin streaming.
Again, if you have a Chromecast or an Android TV you can stream Netflix on your TV easily.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
If you use an Amazon Fire TV Stick or a Fire TV Cube to stream shows, ExpressVPN, IPVanish, or PrivateVPN will be your best choices to watch Netflix.
All of these VPN services offer custom Firestick VPN apps and provide reliable access to Netflix, as well as a whole host of other popular streaming sites.
Take a look at our Best VPNs for Firestick here if you’re planning on mainly using this device for streaming Netflix.
You have several options here, including setting the VPN up on your router or sharing your computer’s internet connection with your console.
Take a look at our VPN router installation guide here if that’s something you’re planning to do.
For best results, always look out for VPN servers optimized for streaming.
Don’t worry if you get a proxy error when accessing Netflix – simply try a different VPN server, or clear your internet browsing history and cookies.
It’s best to contact your chosen VPN service directly if this happens, as it may be able to tell you which IP addresses Netflix is currently blocking, and therefore the VPN servers to avoid.
Is it Illegal to Watch Netflix With a VPN?
No, it is not illegal to watch Netflix with a VPN.
You have every right to keep yourself safe online by using a VPN service, and using one to protect yourself while streaming Netflix is no exception.
Be aware, though, that using Netflix to access content that wouldn’t usually be available in your location is against its Terms of Service.
Does Netflix Allow VPNs?
Netflix allows VPNs if you’re using one purely to protect your privacy, but if you’re trying to access content that wouldn’t otherwise be available in your country you may face some difficulties.
This is why it’s so important to use a secure VPN service, as it encrypts your online activity and hides your true IP address, meaning your streaming activity can’t be traced back to your individual device.
How to Avoid the Netflix Proxy Error
When using a VPN to stream Netflix, it’s all too common to see the dreaded Netflix Proxy Error message.
If you’re using one of our five VPN recommendations, this is usually easily solved by clearing your browsing history and cookies, then relaunching Netflix. Alternatively, simply connect to a different VPN server location.
Most VPN services will be aware if their IP addresses are being blocked by Netflix, so often the best option is simply to contact the service directly. This way you can be told which servers are most likely to work for Netflix.
Can Netflix Detect VPN?
Netflix usually blocks IP addresses that it knows belong to a VPN service in order to prevent users from streaming geo-restricted content.
Only the VPN services we’ve recommended, along with a handful of others, will work to bypass these blocks and allow you to stream Netflix without any issues.
What is the Best Free VPN for Netflix?
The problem with free VPN services is that they very rarely work for Netflix due to limited server locations and stingy data caps. Some free VPNs are also so slow that you’d struggle to stream any content from Netflix, let alone in good quality.
We’re yet to find any safe free VPNs that work for Netflix, other than Avira Phantom, which seems to work intermittently. This comes with a stingy 1GB monthly data cap, though, making it a less than ideal free VPN for Netflix.
If you’d like to test out how well a VPN service works with Netflix before you sign up to a subscription, we’d recommend taking advantage of free trials and money-back guarantees.
We’ve published a handful of guides showing you how to get premium VPN services for free, including:
Alternatively, take a look at our Best Free Trial VPNs here.
Can I Use Netflix Overseas?
You can use Netflix in pretty much any country in the world, so no matter where you live or are planning on traveling to, you should be able to stream your favorite content no problem.
There are a handful of exceptions, though. Netflix is currently unavailable in:
- North Korea
This is due to U.S. government restrictions on American companies. The only way to watch Netflix from any of these countries would be to use a VPN.
How Can I Watch Netflix on Blocked WiFi?
Watching Netflix on blocked WiFi is as easy as downloading a VPN that works with the service, connecting to a server, and watching it through that.
Don’t be put off if you see a Netflix proxy error when you first try to connect – clearing your cookies and cache should normally solve this problem.
If you’re still unable to access Netflix, simply select a different VPN server location until you find one that works. Alternatively, reach out to your VPN provider for the best advice.
VPNs That Don't Work With Netflix
Put simply, the majority of VPN services don’t provide reliable access to Netflix. These include:
This is by no means an exhaustive list, either. The five VPN services we recommend are by far the most reliable for streaming Netflix – others may work temporarily but are usually blocked within a week or two.
Avoid free VPN services altogether if you’re hoping to access Netflix, too. Bypassing the regularly-changing VPN blocks costs a lot of money, and just isn’t something you can expect from a free VPN.
About the Author