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The Best VPNs for Netflix

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

October 2021 Update: In response to the new Netflix VPN ban, we have updated this page to show the best VPNs For Netflix right now. See here for VPN servers that still work with Netflix.

Netflix limits the movies and TV shows you can watch based on where you are. A top-rated Netflix VPN (Virtual Private Network) beats these geo-restrictions and unblocks over 40 international Netflix libraries.

We conducted over 10,000 streaming evaluations, testing 68 VPNs with 50 different Netflix libraries. Read about our Netflix VPN testing process here.

Based on streaming access and speeds, the best VPNs for Netflix are:

  1. ExpressVPN: The best VPN for streaming Netflix. Read Summary or Visit ExpressVPN
  2. Windscribe: Unblocks over 40 Netflix libraries. Read Summary or Visit Windscribe
  3. Surfshark: A fast VPN that comes with Smart DNS. Read Summary or Visit Surfshark
  4. PrivateVPN: Cheap and works with 32 libraries. Read Summary or Visit PrivateVPN
  5. CyberGhost: User-friendly VPN for streaming. Read Summary or Visit CyberGhost

We test these Netflix VPNs daily and rate each VPN based on its ability to unblock Netflix, streaming speed, server network locations, and ease of use.

The Top 10 VPNs for Netflix Compared

The table below compares 10 of the most popular Netflix VPNs based on Netflix access, streaming speed, device compatibility, and price.

Based on our raw testing data, you’ll find all of the information you need to choose the right Netflix VPN for you.

ExpressVPN remains the best all-round VPN for streaming Netflix, particularly the US library. Windscribe unblocks the most libraries, and PrivateVPN is the cheapest.

The Best VPNs for Netflix: Performance Ratings

In the table below, see how the best VPNs for Netflix are rated in each testing category:

The 5 Best VPNs for Netflix in 2021

  1. 1. ExpressVPN: Best for Netflix

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

    Ranked #1 out of 68 VPNs for Netflix
    ExpressVPN's new app on mobile devices
    (1,773 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. Streams US Netflix on Apple TV
    5. Easy-to-use apps plus Smart DNS tool
    6. Excellent customer support


    1. Short-term price plans are expensive
    2. Fire Stick TV app is basic

    Overall Netflix Rating: 9.3/10

    This VPN's overall Netflix rating is calculated based on the following subcategories. Learn more here.

    • 9.99.9/10
    • 7.97.9/10
    • 9.29.2/10
    • 9.99.9/10
    • 9.99.9/10

    Our most recent tests confirm that ExpressVPN remains the best VPN for Netflix.

    The VPN consistently unblocks 19 Netflix regions, especially the American library, with ease and at high speed.

    Across thousands of tests over the years, the VPN service has never failed to stream Netflix.

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

    Fast streaming speeds

    We recorded an average download speed of 87Mbps connecting to a nearby server. That’s a speed loss of only 8%, which is lower than any other VPN on this list.

    We also experienced very fast long-distance connections, especially connecting from the UK to the US. These impressive speeds are ideal to watch American Netflix from overseas.

    Accessing US Netflix using ExpressVPN

    ExpressVPN worked with US Netflix in all our tests.

    Streams 19 geo-restricted Netflix regions

    While the VPN doesn’t have specific Netflix servers, our ExpressVPN review found that its ‘standard’ servers work with 19 popular Netflix libraries including the UK, US, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, and more.

    Works on all platforms and devices

    ExpressVPN is the most device compatible VPN for Netflix. It works well on every platform we tested: MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Fire TV Stick, Apple TV and routers.

    If you own many devices, you can use the VPN on up to five devices at once.

    Great Smart DNS tool

    Every ExpressVPN subscription comes with the MediaStreamer Smart DNS feature.

    The tool lets you unblock Netflix on devices that don’t directly support VPN applications, such as Apple TV, games consoles, and Smart TVs.

    Powerful browser extensions

    ExpressVPN’s browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox are the best we’ve seen.

    They have all the features of the full VPN software, and are the only VPN add-ons to block HTML5 geolocation leaks.

    More expensive than other VPNs

    ExpressVPN is more expensive than other services, but it’s worth it for the high streaming speeds and reliability it offers.

    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.

    Acces to many content platforms

    Not only does ExpressVPN bypass Netflix geo-restrictions, it also streams many other content platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and HBO Max.

  2. 2. Windscribe: Streams Most Regions

    A fast and affordable VPN that unblocks over 40 Netflix libraries.

    Windscribe mobile screenshots
    (3 user reviews)
    Visit Windscribe


    1. Unblocks 42 Netflix libraries
    2. Good speeds for streaming
    3. Native app for Firestick & smart TVs
    4. Unlimited simultaneous connections
    5. Free-tier works with Netflix


    1. Doesn’t work on Apple TV or games consoles
    2. No human live chat

    Overall Netflix Rating: 9.2/10

    This VPN's overall Netflix rating is calculated based on the following subcategories. Learn more here.

    • 9.99.9/10
    • 9.99.9/10
    • 8.98.9/10
    • 8.58.5/10
    • 8.18.1/10

    Windscribe is a very good Netflix VPN. It unblocks 42 international Netflix libraries with fast speeds and a large network of servers.

    We measured average download speeds of 63Mbps on nearby servers. While Windscribe is considerably slower than ExpressVPN, it’s still fast enough to stream Netflix without major buffering issues.

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

    Unblocks the largest number of Netflix libraries

    Over months of testing, Windscribe was the VPN service that unblocked the largest number of Netflix libraries.

    From our base in the UK, we used Windscribe to stream HD content from international Netflix libraries like 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.

    Make sure the ‘Unlock Streaming’ option is set to ‘On’ in the ‘My Account’ section of your Windscribe account.

    Works on Firestick but no Smart DNS feature

    Windscribe VPN is also great for watching Netflix on your TV, with native VPN apps for Fire TV devices and Smart TVs. They are easy to use and give you access to servers in 64 countries.

    However, Apple TV, Roku and games consoles users can’t use Windscribe to stream Netflix. That’s because Windscribe doesn’t have a Smart DNS tool, unlike ExpressVPN, Surfshark or CyberGhost.

    If you stream Netflix on a device that doesn’t support VPN applications, use ExpressVPN and its MediaStreamer feature.

    Free version streams US and UK Netflix

    Windscribe also has a very highly-rated free VPN, so you can trial the VPN before committing to a paid plan.

    Surprisingly, Windscribe Free unblocks US and UK Netflix, which most free VPNs can’t do. There is a streaming-unfriendly 10GB monthly data cap, though.

    No Live Chat support

    Disappointingly, Windscribe’s live chat support is below-par and nowhere near the level we expect.

    There is no human 24/7 live support, and most live queries are dealt with by an unhelpful chat bot.

    If you have any issues streaming Netflix with Windscribe, your best bet is to check online forums, the VPN’s online support guides, or to contact us.

  3. 3. Surfshark: Best for Multiple Devices

    Watch 31 Netflix libraries for just $2.49 per month.

    Surfshark app
    (120 user reviews)
    Visit Surfshark


    1. Unblocks 31 Netflix libraries
    2. Very low price on long-term plans
    3. Well-designed app for Amazon Fire TV
    4. Smart DNS works on Apple TV, PS5 and Xbox
    5. Unlimited simultaneous connections
    6. Seven-day free trial


    1. Relatively small server network
    2. Time to connect can be slow
    3. Free trial on Mac and mobile only

    Overall Netflix Rating: 9.2/10

    This VPN's overall Netflix rating is calculated based on the following subcategories. Learn more here.

    • 9.99.9/10
    • 99.0/10
    • 8.68.6/10
    • 9.59.5/10
    • 8.58.5/10

    Surfshark is a great budget Netflix VPN that easily unblocks region-restricted video content.

    This cheap VPN service streams 31 Netflix libraries in HD quality and costs just $2.49 on a two-year subscription plan.

    US NetflixYes
    No. of Netflix Libraries31
    Cheapest Price$2.49/mo over 24 months See all plans
    Top International Speed34Mbps
    Works with FirestickYes
    Smart DNSYes
    Live Chat Support24/7
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMacOS
    3. androidAndroid
    4. iosiOS
    5. amazon_firetvFire TV
    6. routerRouter
    7. appletvApple TV
    8. playstationPlayStation

    Watch 31 Netflix libraries at high speed

    Surfshark doesn’t only unblock Netflix in America. It streams 30 other Netflix regions including the UK, Australia, Singapore, Italy, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Norway, Poland, India, and Portugal.

    Accessing a movie from US Netflix using Surfshark

    Surfshark worked with many Netflix regions.

    Local VPN speeds dropped just 14% to 86Mbps on average, while international speed loss was a very respectable 45% connecting from the UK to the US.

    Servers optimized for US Netflix

    The VPN has a large network of 3,200 servers in 65 countries. It doesn’t have streaming-dedicated servers, but most servers work with major content platforms.

    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 let you to stream American Netflix from all unsupported server locations.

    In other words, if you access Netflix from a VPN server location that doesn’t support streaming, Surfshark will automatically reroute you to the US Netflix library.

    Seven-day genuine free trial

    Surfshark also offers a 7-day free trial. This is rare among top VPN services, and a great way to test the VPN before committing to a longer-term plan.

    You can only sign up to the free trial via the Android, iOS, or Mac apps, but you can then take advantage of it on all platforms.

    Compatible with all streaming devices

    Surfshark is equally good at streaming geo-restricted Netflix content on TVs.

    There’s a native Fire TV Stick app, and a Smart DNS service to unblock Netflix on Apple TV and games consoles.

    The Fire TV app is 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.

  4. 4. PrivateVPN: Best Value

    Best budget Netflix VPN with access to 32 Netflix regions.

    Image of PrivateVPN's app on mobile
    (1,736 user reviews)
    Visit PrivateVPN


    1. Streams 32 Netflix libraries
    2. Free trial available
    3. Extremely cheap on long-term plans
    4. Fully featured Fire TV Stick app


    1. Only 150 servers worldwide
    2. Slow speeds on some servers
    3. No VPN browser extensions
    4. No Smart DNS feature
    5. Access to live chat is inconsistent

    Overall Netflix Rating: 9.0/10

    This VPN's overall Netflix rating is calculated based on the following subcategories. Learn more here.

    • 9.99.9/10
    • 99.0/10
    • 8.98.9/10
    • 8.58.5/10
    • 8.38.3/10

    PrivateVPN is the cheapest VPN for Netflix, costing $1.98 per month on a 2-year plan.

    This extremely affordable service can access 32 Netflix regions. It also has good connection speeds, and a native VPN app for Fire TV Stick.

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

    Streams 32 Netflix libraries

    After Windscribe, PrivateVPN works with the second highest number of Netflix regions: 32.

    You won’t have any difficulties finding a server to watch your favorite TV show or movie.

    Moreover, PrivateVPN’s servers are some of the most consistent we’ve tested. They unblocked Netflix every single time, over months of testing.

    Accessing a TV show on Netflix Canada using PrivateVPN

    PrivateVPN is a great budget VPN for Netflix.

    Inconsistent speeds

    The speed tests in our PrivateVPN review show that PrivateVPN is generally a fast VPN service.

    We registered a local download speed loss of 6%, which is even faster than ExpressVPN.

    However, PrivateVPN’s small network of just 150 servers means some servers are overly congested. This makes streaming Netflix impossible at times.

    For example, there is just one server in South Korea. Our connection speed loss from London to this server was 98%, which is far too slow for streaming.

    This poor performance on some VPN servers means you could struggle to stream Netflix in standard definition, let alone 4K UHD.

    Poor customer support

    Live chat support is not always available on PrivateVPN’s website, so you could be waiting a while for a response if you have issues streaming Netflix.

    No browser extensions

    PrivateVPN is also the only VPN we recommend missing browser extensions for Chrome or Firefox.

    If you stream Netflix on your web browser, we recommend using ExpressVPN, Windscribe or Surfshark instead.

    No Smart DNS

    Similarly, there is no Smart DNS tool so you can’t use PrivateVPN on your Apple TV, Roku, or games console.

  5. 5. CyberGhost: Easiest to Use

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

    CyberGhost app
    (313 user reviews)
    Visit CyberGhost


    1. Works with 6 Netflix libraries
    2. Optimized VPN servers for Netflix
    3. Good Smart DNS tool
    4. Custom Fire TV Stick app
    5. User-friendly apps
    6. 45-day money-back guarantee


    1. Unlocks less Netflix libraries than rivals
    2. Slow international speeds
    3. Limited browser extensions

    Overall Netflix Rating: 8.5/10

    This VPN's overall Netflix rating is calculated based on the following subcategories. Learn more here.

    • 9.99.9/10
    • 66.0/10
    • 8.88.8/10
    • 99.0/10
    • 9.59.5/10

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

    The VPN service operates dedicated streaming servers on all platforms. It offers plenty of server locations, and its speeds are fast enough for HD-quality content.

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

    Built for newbies

    CyberGhost is very easy to install and use, with a list of dedicated servers for Netflix.

    You can search for Netflix in the app’s search bar and 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.

    Accessing Netflix Japan using CyberGhost

    CyberGhost worked with 6 different Netflix libraries in our most recent tests.

    Includes a Fire TV app

    Dedicated Netflix servers are also available on CyberGhost’s native app for Fire TV Stick.

    The Fire OS app comes with extra features too, such as an ad blocker and an option for split tunneling.

    Advanced Smart DNS tool

    CyberGhost also offers the most advanced Smart DNS feature we’ve seen for games console, Apple TV, and 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.

    Generous refund policy

    CyberGhost VPN has also one of the most generous refund policies, offering a full 45-day money-back guarantee. ExpressVPN and Surfshark only offer 30 days.

    Streams only 6 Netflix libraries with slow speeds

    The main issue with CyberGhost is only streams six Netflix regions, and sometimes at slow speeds.

    CyberGhost’s international speeds are sometimes underwhelming. The speed test results in our CyberGhost review show download speeds falling by a massive 74% connecting from the UK to a New York CyberGhost server.

    Depending on your location and internet speed, CyberGhost may not be fast enough to stream an overseas Netflix library in high-definition.

VPN Not Working with Netflix?

Since August 2021, Netflix is now blocking a wider range of IP addresses. As a result, most VPNs can no longer stream Netflix. There is no workaround for this other than to connect to a VPN server that works.

Here is a list of VPN servers we have verified work with popular Netflix regions in October 2021:

VPN Service
Working VPN Servers
Canada: Toronto

France: Strasbourg

Japan: Tokyo

UK: East London

US: Atlanta
Canada: Toronto

UK: London
Japan: Netflix JP

US: Netflix US

We recommend bookmarking this page, as we will continue to update the table above following our daily tests.

Currently, ExpressVPN works with more regions than any other VPN service. Just make sure to connect using the ‘Lightway’ protocol, as we’ve found this to be more reliable for streaming Netflix than other VPN protocols.

How to Watch Netflix with a VPN

Using a VPN helps you unlock the full potential of your Netflix subscription by increasing the amount of content you can watch.

In fact, a VPN gives you access to over 4,000 movies and 2,000 TV shows. That’s nearly three times as many titles as one Netflix library alone.

To use a VPN with Netflix:

1. Choose a VPN that works with Netflix

Sign up to a VPN service that reliably bypasses region-restrictions at high speed.

2. Download and install the VPN app

Download the VPN onto your preferred device and set it up by following the onscreen prompts.

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

3. Connect to a VPN server

Once you’ve installed the VPN on your device, launch the app and connect to your chosen server 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.

For VPN services with dedicated Netflix servers, like CyberGhost, the process is even easier. Connect to the servers labeled ‘Netflix’ for smooth Netflix streaming.

4. Launch 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.

If a VPN server is blocked by Netflix, disconnect and try another server in that location. The best VPNs have plenty of servers and IP addresses in every country.

Which VPN Works With the Most Netflix Regions?

We tested 68 VPNs with Netflix in every country around the world, to identify which ones work with the most Netflix libraries.

Our testing shows that Windscribe works with the most Netflix libraries. The VPN streams 42 different regions, including the US, UK, Japan, and Canada.

Number of Regions Each VPN Unblocks

  • Windscribe: unblocks 42 Netflix libraries
  • PrivateVPN: unblocks 32 Netflix libraries
  • Surfshark: unblocks 31 Netflix libraries
  • ExpressVPN: unblocks 19 Netflix libraries
  • CyberGhost: unblocks 6 Netflix libraries

In the table below, you can compare 16 VPN services and their compatibility with 20 of the most popular Netflix libraries:

The graph below also summarizes the top 10 Netflix VPNs and the number of regions they access:

Chart displaying the findings from our Netflix VPN research

Only five VPNs can stream Netflix in ten or more countries.

Based on the latest test results, US Netflix is by far the most accessible Netflix library. Over 75% of the VPNs tested were able to access it on all platforms.

That’s in stark contrast to Netflix libraries in Russia, Mexico, and South Africa – which only Windscribe can access.

How We Test the Best Netflix VPNs

We tested 68 VPNs for key attributes including speed, reliability, and support for popular streaming devices. As of writing, we’ve carried out over 10,000 tests.

Due to how Netflix detects VPN traffic on different devices, we tested each VPN on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, and games consoles.

To calculate a VPN’s overall rating for Netflix, we rate it based on five subcategories.

To rank the best VPNs for Netflix, we tested for:

  • Whether the VPN reliably worked with US Netflix.
  • How many other Netflix regions it unblocked, such as the UK or Japan.
  • Download speeds across the VPN’s server network.
  • High-quality apps for popular streaming devices.
  • The VPN’s customer support quality and availability.

In the sections below, we’ll go into greater detail about the performance characteristics we look for in Netflix VPNs and explain how much of our overall rating they make up:

1. US Netflix Access: 25%

Minimum Requirement: Streams US Netflix regularly on some US servers.
We Recommend: Streams US Netflix on all US servers.

The American Netflix library has the largest collection of movies and TV shows. It contains almost 6,000 titles, while some other regions have just over 2,000. For this reason, it’s essential that the best Netflix VPN works with US Netflix all the time and on every device.

We test 68 VPNs with US Netflix every week and track each VPN’s performance over time. If a VPN fails to unblock the American Netflix library for two consecutive weeks, we substitute it on this page for a more reliable VPN.

As well as working consistently, the best VPNs for Netflix will also access the streaming service on any of its US servers. This means you can connect to whichever server is closest to you, resulting in faster speeds and higher resolution video.

2. Other Netflix Libraries: 25%

Minimum Requirement: Works with at least 4 Netflix regions.
We Recommend: Works with over 30 Netflix libraries.

Many popular Netflix TV shows and movies are only available to stream outside of the main regions. Using a VPN that works with a larger total number of libraries increases the chance you’ll be able to access the content you want.

The best VPNs work with Netflix on almost all of its servers. The worse-performing services work with just the US.

To find out how many Netflix regions each VPN works with, we conducted the largest Netflix VPN study of any publication. In all, we tested 68 VPN services with Netflix in every country in the world.

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

3. International Speed: 20%

Minimum Requirement: Average international download speeds above 25Mbps.
We Recommend: Average international download speeds above 80Mbps.

Streaming is a data-intensive activity, so you need high speeds from your VPN to avoid video buffering. As you’ll be using a VPN to access Netflix regions from around the world, the VPN’s long-distance performance is the most important speed factor.

To calculate an international speed rating for each VPN, we test each while connected to servers in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America. After this, we then work out the average and assign the VPN a rating out of 10.

We prefer VPNs with an average international speed of over 80Mbps, as these can be relied upon to deliver 4K resolution across every server location. The worse VPNs have speeds of around 25Mbps, which often means inconsistent performance across different countries.

4. Device Compatibility: 20%

Minimum Requirement: Native app for Amazon Fire TV.
We Recommend: Apps for Fire TV, Google TV, and a Smart DNS feature.

If a VPN isn’t compatible with streaming devices, you’ll have to install your VPN on a router to unblock Netflix on your TV. This is a complicated and involved process, so we only recommend Netflix VPNs that provide native apps for popular streaming devices.

We check the compatibility of each VPN with our Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast, Apple TV 4K, and PS5. After setting up the VPN on these devices, we download the Netflix app and verify that we can now stream geo-restricted content.

As well as native apps, our top-rated VPNs also provide Smart DNS functionality. This means you can use a proxy server on any non-VPN-capable device.

5. Customer Support: 10%

Minimum Requirement: Email support and online guides.
We Recommend: 24/7 live chat customer support.

When using a VPN with Netflix, some servers may not work or you may encounter error codes. Because of this, it’s useful for a VPN to have good customer support to help resolve any issues.

A VPN’s customer service team will be able to tell you which servers are currently working with Netflix and be able to provide workarounds for any error codes.

We use a bespoke scoring system for rating each VPN’s customer support out of 10. A VPN service must include live chat support, along with email and online resources for us to rate it above 8.6 for customer support.

How Does Netflix Block VPN Traffic?

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

If you’re using a known VPN IP address, Netflix will block you from watching its non-original content. Instead, it will display the M7111-5059 proxy error code.

This Netflix proxy error message is very common, because the company’s VPN detection techniques are very effective.

Here’s what happened when we tried streaming US Netflix with Mullvad VPN:

How to unblock Netflix proxy error.

Netflix’s “Streaming Error” message.

Below are the two main methods Netflix uses to detect VPN traffic, and block it.

Shared IP Addresses

When using a VPN, you share an IP address with other users connected to the same VPN server.

Shared IP addresses are great for privacy and security. They make it much harder for any third-party to identify specific users.

However, if over 1,000 people stream Netflix from the same IP address at once, Netflix assumes the IP is non-residential and blocks it.

IP and DNS Server Locations

Netflix also detects VPN traffic by checking if your IP address location matches your DNS server location.

This detection method is less effective on desktop traffic, since VPN services can hide your true location by routing traffic through their own DNS servers.

However, this detection technique is extremely effective on mobile. The Netflix app can in fact force your device to use its default DNS servers rather than those of the VPN.

This explains why it’s often harder to unblock Netflix on your mobile device than on a web browser.

Why Does Netflix Block VPN Traffic?

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

These licensing agreements allow copyright holders to sell their content in different countries for a larger fee than if distributed globally.

In 2016, Netflix caved to the pressure from large copyright holders and introduced a VPN ban. Since then, it has been blocking access to many VPN and proxy services.

Netflix VPN ban.

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

Additional research by Luke Williams

Netflix VPN FAQs

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 cannot afford.

Free VPNs that do work with Netflix do so on a very limited basis. Netflix will eventually block most of them, and the rest will cap the amount of data you can use, unless you upgrade.

Thankfully, we found two free VPNs that will partially stream Netflix. See our list of the best free Netflix VPNs.

How Fast Do My Speeds Need to Be for Netflix?

By encrypting and tunneling internet traffic, all VPNs slow down internet speeds to some degree.

However, the best Netflix VPNs maintain fast connection speeds, ensuring streaming is not interrupted by buffering issues.

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

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

We suggest aiming slightly higher for your Netflix streaming to be as buffer-free as possible.

To optimize your streaming speeds, connect to the closest VPN server you possibly can. This means your internet connection will not be routed via a far-away server, minimizing connection speed loss.

To further speed up your Netflix VPN, use a VPN protocol optimized for speed. We recommend using WireGuard if your VPN supports it. Otherwise, use OpenVPN UDP or IKEv2.

If you experience slow speeds on particular VPN server, try connecting to another server in the same country. Some popular server locations can get 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?

Based on testing data from the previous eight weeks, Surfshark is the fastest VPN for Netflix overall, with an average speed loss of 9%.

ExpressVPN is a close second, with an average speed loss of ~14%. Windscribe performed the worst, with a speed loss of over 50%.

We use the results from our automated VPN speed testing tool, which runs 24/7 on servers around the world with speeds capped at 100Mbps. This gives us results similar to what you’d get on a home internet connection.

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 accessing international catalogs with a VPN, and there is no risk of incurring a legal penalty.

Although there is no law preventing users from watching Netflix with a VPN, it is technically against the company’s Terms of Service.

Netflix’s Terms of Use states that the company may terminate or restrict your use of the service if you violate its rules on content protections.

Based on this, you technically could be banned from Netflix for using a VPN. However, we have not seen any evidence to suggest this has ever been enforced on a user.

In practice, the worst that can happen is that you won’t be able to watch the content you’re looking for while using a VPN.

Can I Watch Netflix on Apple TV, Roku, Xbox and PlayStation?

You can use a VPN to watch Netflix on Apple TV, Roku and games consoles.

Apple doesn’t allow VPN apps on its Apple TV App Store, and you can’t use AirPlay either from another iOS device.

The simplest way to stream Netflix on Apple TV is to set up a Smart DNS proxy.

Of our recommendations, only ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost let you stream 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.

You can also use Smart DNS to unblock Netflix on Roku and games consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation.

There is one drawback, though: Smart DNS can only access US and UK Netflix. This should give you access to most of the Netflix movies and TV shows you need.

But, to stream Netflix regions other than the US and UK, you’ll have to either install a VPN on your home router, or set up a virtual router (see the section below).

Can I Watch Netflix by Setting up a VPN on a Router?

Configuring your router with a VPN is a very effective method to stream international Netflix. It lets you watch Netflix on devices that don’t support VPNs, like a Chromecast or a PlayStation.

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

However, all five Netflix VPNs we recommend sell pre-configured routers.

Some VPN services, such as ExpressVPN, even come with a dedicated router app. This makes changing VPN router settings and server locations easier.

You can also set up a virtual router or mobile hotspot using a desktop or laptop computer: set up a virtual router on your computer, before connecting to a VPN in the usual way. Then, share your computer’s VPN-enabled connection with your other devices.

For Chromecast devices specifically, read our in-depth how to use Chromecast with a VPN guide.

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