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Best VPN for Netflix

Simon Migliano
By Simon MiglianoUpdated
Illustration of a laptop streaming via VPN

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

  1. Reliably unlocks Netflix libraries worldwide
  2. Fast, buffer-free download speeds
  3. Strong logging policies & No IP leaks
  4. Advanced privacy & security features
  5. Easy to use apps on popular devices
  6. 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

Ranked #1 out of 99 VPNs for Netflix

Works with

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, SlingTV, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Uninterrupted access to Netflix
  2. Very impressive speeds
  3. Custom app for Amazon Fire TV Stick
  4. Minimal logging policy
  5. 24/7 live chat support
  6. Loads of privacy extras
  1. Shorter plans are expensive
The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is hands-down the best VPN service for Netflix – it’s never let us down over thousands of tests.

Streaming Netflix in buffer-free HD with ExpressVPN is a total breeze, no matter where you are in the world, thanks to its consistently impressive speeds across its VPN server network.

ExpressVPN is incredibly secure, too, with a minimal logs policy and a ton of privacy extras designed to keep you as safe as possible online.

All of ExpressVPN’s apps operate on OpenVPN, the most secure connection protocol, and there’s also a VPN kill switch to protect you in case of connection drops.

ExpressVPN’s custom app for the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a great bonus for those looking to stream Netflix on their TV, too, and the five device connection limit is pretty generous.

Even better, live chat is available on ExpressVPN’s website 24/7, so you’ll be able to get immediate help if you ever do encounter the dreaded Netflix proxy error message.

Ranked #2 out of 99 VPNs for Netflix

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Quick, easy access to Netflix
  2. Fast same-country speeds
  3. Optimized servers for streaming
  4. Custom Firestick app
  5. Strict zero-logs policy
  6. 24/7 live chat support
  1. No P2P or Kodi on Firestick
The Bottom Line

CyberGhost is a good budget VPN service for Netflix. It competes well with its more premium rivals on the privacy front, too.

Access to Netflix is quick and easy thanks to CyberGhost’s dedicating streaming servers, even if its speeds don’t quite match up to those offered by ExpressVPN.

A native CyberGhost VPN app for the Amazon Fire TV Stick is very useful, though, and its user-friendly apps are very easy to set up on other platforms, too.

CyberGhost’s strict no-logs policy is good news for user privacy, along with the security features included in its apps, such as a VPN kill switch and protection against DNS leaks.

We really like that CyberGhost’s apps are all encrypted with top cipher AES-256, plus they operate exclusively on the OpenVPN protocol.

Live chat support is provided around the clock on CyberGhost’s website, so it’s on hand in case you encounter any problems while streaming Netflix.

Ranked #3 out of 99 VPNs for Netflix

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Reliably unblocks Netflix
  2. Excellent download speeds
  3. Labeled servers for streaming
  4. Custom app for Amazon Fire TV
  5. Strict zero-logs policy
  6. Live chat support
  1. Small number of individual servers
  2. Live chat not always available
The Bottom Line

Now a well-established VPN service, PrivateVPN is a worthy rival to our top picks, especially when it comes to streaming Netflix.

As well as being one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested, PrivateVPN also makes it very easy to watch Netflix thanks to its specifically labeled VPN servers for streaming.

Even better, PrivateVPN maintains a strict zero-logs policy, ensuring you remain totally safe while streaming Netflix, and the desktop app comes with a VPN kill switch.

PrivateVPN operates on OpenVPN, too, which is the most secure VPN protocol you can use without compromising on speed.

PrivateVPN’s server network is on the small side, though, so depending on where you are in the world, you may not get the best download speeds possible.

Live chat is also not always available on PrivateVPN’s website, so you could be waiting a while for a response if you have any issues streaming Netflix, although this isn’t something we’ve ever experienced.

Ranked #4 out of 99 VPNs for Netflix

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Easy access to Netflix
  2. Excellent same-country speeds
  3. Completely no-logs policy
  4. Simple setup on all devices
  5. 24/7 live chat support
  1. No access to Netflix using Firestick app
  2. Alternative VPN protocols require manual config
The Bottom Line

If you want a reliable, cheap VPN service that works for Netflix, NordVPN is a good choice.

That is unless you want to watch Netflix on Firestick or any other streaming device.

You can watch Netflix (and other streaming platforms) using the desktop and mobile VPN apps but, unfortunately, Netflix is blocked via NordVPN’s Firestick custom app or through router connections.

However, if you don’t need to watch Netflix on your streaming device, NordVPN is an excellent choice.

NordVPN comes with a ton of extra security features to keep you safe online, and the no-logs policy means none of your personal information is collected or stored.

NordVPN’s custom VPN apps protect against DNS and IP leaks when you use the service, too.

The customer support team is available 24/7 through the live chat feature on NordVPN’s website, so any potential issues you encounter while streaming Netflix will be solved quickly.

Ranked #5 out of 99 VPNs for Netflix

Works with

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Quick access to Netflix
  2. Fast VPN speeds on nearby servers
  3. No-logs policy
  4. Sleek custom VPN app for Amazon Fire TV Stick
  5. Easy setup on a range of devices
  6. 24/7 live chat support
  1. Top speeds lag behind other VPN picks
The Bottom Line

Founded in 2018, Surfshark is a new addition to the VPN market, but has already proven itself to be a solid choice for streaming fans, particularly if you watch Netflix.

Unlike CyberGhost and PrivateVPN, Surfshark doesn’t come with well-labeled streaming VPN servers, but there are plenty of US servers that work with Netflix.

In fact, Surfshark unlocks 14 different Netflix libraries.

Surfshark isn’t as fast as our other top VPN picks for Netflix, but if you connect to a nearby server it should be fast enough for buffer-free streaming.

There are a range of sleek custom VPN apps available for desktop and mobile devices, as well as one for Amazon Fire TV Stick, making streaming on your TV easy.

With no logging and a robust set of security features, Surfshark is a great VPN option for those who require high levels of privacy as well as Netflix access.

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:

  1. 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.

  2. Smartphone

    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.

  3. 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.

    Screenshot of ExpressVPN's Firestick app

    The home page of ExpressVPN’s Amazon Firestick app

    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.

  4. Games Consoles

    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.

Screenshot of Netflix's 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.

Screenshot of the Netflix proxy error

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.

Illustration of a map showing the countries in which Netflix is available

There are a handful of exceptions, though. Netflix is currently unavailable in:

  • China
  • Crimea
  • North Korea
  • Syria

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.

Check out our best VPNs for China (and other high-censorship countries) here.

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.

Screenshot of the live chat feature on ExpressVPN's website discussing Netflix

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

  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon leads our investigations into VPN safety and internet freedom research. His work has been featured on the BBC, CNet, Wired and The Financial Times. Read full bio