Does NordVPN Work With 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

Our most recent tests found that NordVPN works well with Netflix. It has excellent connection speeds and can reliably access nine content libraries around the world, including US Netflix. Find out everything you need to know about NordVPN and Netflix in this dedicated guide.

Illustration of a man in a NordVPN sweatshirt climbing through a device displaying the Netflix logo

Netflix offers different content libraries depending on your physical location. If you access the streaming service from the US, you’ll get the Netflix US library. In the UK, you’ll see Netflix UK.

These regional-restrictions can be irritating if you want to watch a movie or TV show that’s not available in your country.

The solution is a VPN. A good virtual private network (VPN) allows users to spoof their location and access another country’s Netflix library.

Unfortunately, since the Netflix VPN ban was announced in January 2016, it has become increasingly difficult to find a VPN service that can reliably unblock Netflix. The streaming site is now very effective at identifying and banning IP addresses that belong to VPN servers.

Our experts have tested over 70 VPN services and found that only a handful can reliably and consistently unblock Netflix in 2020. One of these services is NordVPN.

NordVPN works well with Netflix. It has excellent connection speeds and successfully unblocks nine libraries worldwide, including Netflix US.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Netflix and NordVPN. You’ll learn how to set up NordVPN to watch Netflix, which content libraries NordVPN unblocks, and some workarounds for if NordVPN doesn’t work with Netflix.

We’ll also compare NordVPN with some other VPNs to see if it’s the best available option.

For a more in-depth look at NordVPN, check out our complete review.

Does NordVPN Work with Netflix?

NordVPN American Netflix

NordVPN works reliably with US Netflix.

We put NordVPN through our rigorous VPN testing process and found that it works very well with Netflix and reliably unblocks nine content libraries around the world. These include:

  1. Brazil
  2. Canada
  3. France
  4. Germany
  5. India
  6. Japan
  7. Netherlands
  8. United Kingdom (UK)
  9. United States (US)

You’ll also be automatically shown the US content library if you access Netflix while connected to any NordVPN server located outside of those countries.

This is a huge bonus for users who don’t live near the US because you can browse the largest content library without compromising on speed. Just connect to any local server – outside of the countries above – to unblock US content.

There are a number of features that make NordVPN a good choice for Netflix, including obfuscated servers, SmartPlay, and fast connection speeds. We’ll take a detailed look at these in the remainder of this section.

Alternatively, you can learn how to watch Netflix with NordVPN or read our discussion on whether NordVPN is the best option for streaming.

NordVPN Netflix Servers

NordVPN has one of the largest server networks on the market. It offers 5,552 VPN servers spread across 59 countries.

The larger a VPN’s server network, the harder it is for Netflix to ban each and every one of them. This increases the likelihood that you’ll find a server to watch Netflix with.

Some of NordVPN’s servers also use obfuscation technology. Often, sites like Netflix are able to see that traffic has been encrypted and so can deduce that it is VPN traffic. Obfuscation masks the VPN encryption and makes the traffic look like regular HTTPS traffic.

To use obfuscation for better Netflix access, select Obfuscated under Specialty Servers and choose your desired location from there.

screenshot of NordVPN's obfuscated servers list

The following is a list of NordVPN servers we’ve recently tested that successfully unblock Netflix in their respective countries (Last Update: 1st July 2020):

Country Server IDs
Canada #776, #798, #1022
India #49, #53, #54
Japan #393, #511, #548
UK #1768, #1770, #1984
USA #5006, #5091, #5836

NordVPN SmartPlay

NordVPN has a SmartPlay feature built into its service by default. Though the technical aspects of SmartPlay are kept secret, we know that it combines VPN and Smart DNS technology to create a better streaming experience for users.

Similar to a VPN, Smart DNS technology tricks websites into thinking your physical location is elsewhere in order to keep your true location hidden and unlock region-restricted content. To do this, the tool changes the DNS server that your traffic is routed through.

Usually, the main drawbacks to using Smart DNS tools are that they don’t encrypt your traffic and can require a degree of technical knowhow to set up. By combining Smart DNS with VPN software and integrating it automatically, NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature avoids these drawbacks and allows you to enjoy the benefits of Smart DNS technology for streaming.

NordVPN Netflix Speeds

Beating Netflix’s geographic restrictions is impressive, but a VPN service also needs to have good enough connection speeds to stream effectively.

With poor connection speeds, you’ll be forced to watch low-quality video and endure a lot of buffering. Netflix lists minimum speed recommendations on its website:

  • >3Mbps for Standard Definition quality (480p)
  • >5Mbps for High Definition quality (1080p)
  • >25Mbps for Ultra High Definition quality (4K)

Though using a VPN will almost always slow your internet speeds down to some degree, premium VPN services like NordVPN are usually so fast you’ll barely notice it. In fact, NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve ever tested.

When connecting from the UK to servers in the US, we experienced an average speed loss of 21% – where our normal download speed of 94Mbps dropped to 74Mbps after connecting to a server in New York.

These are impressive speeds for a long-distance VPN connection, and our tests show that NordVPN consistently performs well on other international connections:

Country City Avg. Download Speed Avg. Speed Loss
Australia Sydney 56Mbps 40%
Germany Berlin 83Mbps 12%
Singapore Singapore 63Mbps 33%
USA (East) New York 74Mbps 21%
USA (North-West) Seattle 67Mbps 29%
USA (South) Dallas 76Mbps 19%
USA (West) Los Angeles 62Mbps 34%

These speeds make NordVPN an excellent choice for Netflix and mean that, even with a modest home connection, you should be able to stream buffer-free and in Ultra HD.

How to Watch Netflix with NordVPN

To watch Netflix with NordVPN:

  1. Sign up for NordVPN and select a subscription package. We recommend the three-year plan as it provides the best value for money.

  2. Download the custom application for your device. NordVPN is currently compatible with Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and can be installed at the router level.

  3. Decide which Netflix library you want to unblock, and select a VPN server in that country.

  4. Navigate to Netflix and log into your account. Your desired Netflix library should appear.

  5. Select a video and start streaming.

It should be as simple as that to use NordVPN to watch Netflix. Your Netflix subscription will work in every country, so you can use your existing account to watch the complete content catalog of any country you’re connected to.

If you encounter any problems, such as the Netflix proxy error, check out our simple workarounds in the chapter below.

Should You Use NordVPN for Netflix?

NordVPN is an excellent tool for unblocking Netflix on desktop and mobile devices. Its fast speeds, large server network, and clever SmartPlay technology create a reliable and easy streaming experience.

As well as being good for Netflix, NordVPN is also one of the very best VPN services overall. It uses top-tier AES encryption, has an independently verified no-logs policy, and offers a range of additional benefits including a VPN kill switch and dedicated P2P servers – all for a very reasonable price.

However, users who want to stream Netflix on Amazon Fire TV Stick or Apple TV should not use NordVPN.

For several months, the service has struggled to unblock Netflix on its Firestick app, and it does not support a number of other streaming devices and smart TVs. If you plan to stream on any of the following devices, we don’t recommend using NordVPN:

  • Apple TV
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • Chromecast
  • PS4
  • Xbox One

Though its ability to unblock nine Netflix libraries is impressive, there are other VPN services available that offer access to even more. Windscribe gives users access to 42 Netflix libraries, while PrivateVPN can unblock a total of 32 libraries.

Chart displaying the findings from our Netflix VPN research

NordVPN does unblock US Netflix, which has by far the largest collection of movies and TV shows. That said, there are a number of titles only available outside of the US, including Harry Potter, Friends, and Studio Ghibli.

Therefore, we recommend using the volunteer-run service uNoGS to check which Netflix libraries host the content you’re after, and then find a VPN service that works in those countries using our VPN comparison table.

Netflix Not Working with NordVPN?

As of July 2020 NordVPN works with Netflix. However, the streaming service is constantly changing and finding new ways to block VPN users. So, what should you do if you come across the m7111-5059 Netflix proxy error while connected to a NordVPN server?

In this section, we’ll offer some simple workarounds that will help you bypass this error and get you back to streaming in no time.

How to unblock Netflix proxy error.

Netflix’s m7111-5059 “Streaming Error” message.

  1. Try connecting to a different server.

    The Netflix ban works by identifying IP addresses that belong to VPN servers and blacklisting them. NordVPN overcomes this by operating a huge server network that is extremely difficult to block in its entirety.

    It’s still possible for individual servers to make their way onto the blacklist, though. If this is what has happened, disconnecting from the VPN and then re-connecting to a different server should solve the problem, because you’ll be assigned a new IP address. You might have to try it a few times to find a server that works.

    Thankfully, NordVPN’s server network is so large that you won’t even have to change location to do this. The service offers multiple VPN servers in each country.

    Check out our list of servers above for an example of some specific servers that we know work with Netflix.

  2. Change Your Device’s DNS Servers.

    Another useful tactic is to make sure you’re using NordVPN’s DNS Servers. To do this:

    1. Close the Netflix app if you’re on mobile, or clear the browser’s cache if you’re on desktop. If you’ve never done this before, here is a useful guide.

    2. Restart the NordVPN application.

    3. Manually configure your device to use the following DNS server addresses: 103.86.96.100 and 103.86.99.100. The NordVPN website explains how to do this on a number of different platforms.

    4. Restart your device.

    5. Open the NordVPN application and connect to a server.

    6. Navigate to Netflix and start streaming.

  3. Contact NordVPN’s Customer Support Team.

    If all else fails, contact the NordVPN Customer Support Team. The live chat service is one of the best among VPN providers. It’s available 24/7 and the agents are often helpful and prompt in their replies.

NordVPN Netflix Alternatives

NordVPN is an excellent choice for users who want to watch Netflix on desktop and mobile devices and are happy with the content libraries in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US.

However, the service’s inability to unblock Netflix on smart TVs and other streaming devices is a problem for a lot of users. It’s part of the reason why we no longer recommend NordVPN as one of our 5 best VPNs for Netflix. Instead, we recommend:

  1. ExpressVPN: The best overall VPN for Netflix
  2. Windscribe: Fast, affordable, and unblocks the most libraries
  3. Surfshark: Great for Netflix and allows unlimited simultaneous connections
  4. PrivateVPN: The best value VPN for Netflix
  5. Cyberghost: Beginner-friendly and works well with Netflix

Here’s how these alternatives compare to NordVPN when it comes to Netflix streaming:

Can I Use a Free VPN for Netflix?

The overwhelming majority of free VPNs do not work with Netflix. It takes huge amounts of time and resources to beat the site’s geo-blockers, and most free VPNs just don’t have the means or the motivation to do it.

Occasionally, a free VPN will get lucky and evade the Netflix ban, but this is usually short-lived. Even when they do work, free VPNs tend to have slow connection speeds, severely limited server networks, and can even pose a threat to your privacy and security.

We have only ever found one free VPN service that reliably works with Netflix: Windscribe Free.

The free version of Windscribe is safe to use, unblocks both the US and UK Netflix libraries, and has sufficient speeds for buffer-free streaming.

There is one significant downside, though. As with many free VPN services, Windscribe Free comes with a data cap. Users are only permitted to consume 10GB of data each month, which translates to just four hours of HD Netflix content.

If that doesn’t sound like enough, the only other option is to try a paid provider’s free trial. Lots of VPNs offer customers the opportunity to test out their product free of charge for a limited period of time.

You can read more about this in our dedicated guide to the best VPN free trials.

Is It Legal to Watch Netflix with a VPN?

Using a VPN to watch Netflix is perfectly legal, although it may violate the service’s terms and conditions.

The company’s Terms of Use state that “you may view the Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and licensed such content”.

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.

Using NordVPN to access another country’s content library is a violation of Netflix’s rules, but it isn’t an act of law. You won’t face any legal penalty. The worst case scenario is that your Netflix account gets banned. However, we are yet to come across a single example of this happening.

While there is no law preventing the use of Netflix with a VPN, you should be aware of the legality of VPN use in your country. In a small number of countries around the world, using a VPN is illegal or heavily-restricted. These countries include:

  • Belarus
  • China
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Russia
  • Turkmenistan

You could potentially be breaking the law by using NordVPN to watch Netflix in these countries. To learn more about where VPNs are illegal, read our Are VPNs Legal? 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