Private Internet Access streams US Netflix on fast, throttle-free servers. However, the VPN only unblocks one other Netflix library, and it doesn’t work on Apple TV, PS4/PS5 or Smart TVs. Frankly, there are much better VPNs than PIA for Netflix.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a fast and secure VPN. It has a large server network and comes with apps for all major platforms, but can it stream Netflix content from other countries?
Here are the Private Internet Access servers that work with Netflix:
PIA VPN Server
IT Streaming Optimized
US Washington DC
However, there are a few downsides to using Private Internet Access VPN to stream Netflix.
Firstly, it doesn’t unblock nearly as many Netflix regions as other top VPNs. For example, ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN access over 10 major libraries.
Secondly, Private Internet Access’s Smart DNS feature does not work with Netflix. Therefore, it’s much harder to use the VPN on streaming devices that don’t allow VPN apps, like Apple TV, Roku, and games consoles.
That said, PIA does come with good apps for Fire TV Stick and Android TV. You can also install the VPN on a router to which your other streaming devices are connected.
In this guide, we’ll cover in detail how to use PIA to watch Netflix, and what to do if the VPN stops working. We’ll also suggest VPN alternatives in case you want to change service.
The VPN service reliably works with Netflix in the US and Italy. Sadly, PIA cannot access Netflix libraries in other countries, such as Japan, Canada, or Australia.
On the whole, there are better VPNs than Private Internet Access if streaming Netflix is your main priority.
Better Netflix alternatives, like ExpressVPN and Surfshark, unlock more regions, are faster, and offer a Smart DNS tool for greater device compatibility.
Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of using Private Internet Access with Netflix:
Works reliably with US Netflix
Fast speeds for HD streaming
Unblocks BBC iPlayer & Prime Video
Apps for Fire TV & Android TV
Huge server network
24 hour live chat support
Only works with 2 Netflix libraries
Smart DNS doesn’t work with Netflix
Unreliable Fire TV application
In the rest of this section, we detail the benefits and drawbacks of using PIA with Netflix.
Fast Global Speeds
Using any VPN will always result in a speed reduction. As you’ll be connecting to PIA servers in different countries, long-distance connection speeds are the most important.
Private Internet Access delivered fast speeds in our Netflix streaming tests. We recorded an average global download speed of 57Mbps.
Therefore, wherever you’re located, you’ll be able to stream Netflix content in HD or 4K with no buffering or lag.
Here are the download speeds that Netflix requires:
2Mbps for Standard Definition (SD) quality
5Mbps for High Definition (HD) quality
25Mbps for 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) quality
Here are the speeds we recorded with PIA on our 100Mbps connection in London, UK:
Despite its adequate speed performance, PIA cannot match the speeds of other top streaming VPNs.
Based our most recent manual speed tests, Private Internet Access is the sixth-fastest VPN, behind NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN.
Our automated speed test recordings also support the findings above. The graph below shows how PIA’s speeds are slower and less reliable connecting from the US to the UK.
Nevertheless, PIA’s speeds are fast enough to reliably stream Netflix in HD and 4K.
However, if your baseline internet speed is slow, we recommend considering a faster VPN, like ExpressVPN or Surfshark.
The Largest VPN Server Network
Server network size and server locations are important when choosing a VPN for Netflix.
PIA has more servers than any other VPN service. It has 29,643 servers in 78 countries.
Larger server networks make it harder for Netflix to ban each server’s IP address.
In addition, user bandwidth is spread out over a greater range of servers, resulting in minimized server load and faster speeds.
Recently, Private Internet Access even introduced streaming-optimized servers. These servers regularly refresh their IP address, increasing the likelihood of bypassing Netflix’s VPN blocks.
These servers are placed within the general list, and not in a separate part of the app. Just search ‘Streaming’ to find them. They are located in the US, UK, Italy, Japan, Finland, and Sweden.
Sadly, our PIA VPN tests revealed that the US, UK, Japan, Sweden, and Finland servers don’t work with Netflix.
Private Internet Access has dedicated servers for streaming.
These servers do work more consistently with other popular streaming services, like Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
Strong Privacy & Security
Private Internet Access comes with leading privacy and security features.
The VPN encrypts traffic using the AES-256 cipher and uses Perfect Forward Secrecy. It also operates first-party DNS servers with leak prevention to ensure your ISP, as well as any other third parties, are unable to view your browsing history.
PIA’s app allows you to choose the level of encryption.
For Netflix streaming, the biggest drawback of PIA’s privacy and security features is that it has no native support for network obfuscation.
This means it’s unable to fully mask the fact that network traffic is being rerouted through the VPN. Thus, Netflix may be able to identify VPN connections and block them, as it is already doing for libraries in Canada, Australia, and other regions.
Apps for Most Devices, but Smart DNS Doesn’t Work
You can use Private Internet Access to watch Netflix on your phone, tablet, computer, or TV. The VPN has native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and Android TV.
You can use PIA on up to ten of these devices at the same time, which is double the allowance of some other popular VPN services.
The VPN also provides browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. These provide a simple and convenient method to quickly change your Netflix region.
PIA provides apps for all major platforms.
However, there are a couple of major drawbacks if you want to use PIA to unblock Netflix on your TV.
Firstly, the VPN’s Smart DNS feature does not unblock Netflix. You won’t be able to easily access geo-blocked Netflix libraries on your PS4 or Apple TV.
To get PIA to work with these devices, you’ll have to install the VPN on your internet router. However, this is a complex setup process, and we only recommend it for advanced VPN users.
Secondly, when using the VPN’s Fire TV app, we were only able to unblock Netflix on 25% of US servers. This is significantly less reliable than its desktop and mobile apps. We encourage PIA to issue a fix for this as soon as possible.
How Does Private Internet Access Compare to Other Netflix VPNs?
Although PIA is a reasonable option for streaming Netflix, there are better choices.
Testing 68 services, we found better VPNs that accessed a larger number of Netflix regions at faster speeds.
Here’s a table comparing how the three top Netflix VPNs compare to PIA:
Cheapest Monthly Price
Monthly Data Cap
Private Internet Access
ExpressVPN: The Best VPN for Netflix
ExpressVPN unblocks 10 Netflix libraries, including the US. It’s one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested and, unlike PIA, offers a Smart DNS to unblock Netflix on an Apple TV or PS4.
While PIA doesn’t use any server obfuscation techniques, ExpressVPN uses it to hide VPN traffic among regular HTTPS traffic.
The only notable drawbacks are its high price and the fact it doesn’t unblock the popular Netflix libraries of South Korea and India.
Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPNs for unblocking Netflix, and it consistently unblocks 11 Netflix libraries. It delivers fast speeds across its server network, has an impressive app for Amazon Fire TV, and even works on game consoles.
Though it does have a much smaller server network than PIA, we found that almost all the servers worked with Netflix. We were also able to stream other popular sites, like Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer.
If you want a cheap way to watch a huge number of Netflix libraries, Surfshark is a great choice.