Does Surfshark Unblock 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 Verdict

Surfshark works very well with Netflix. The VPN delivers fast speeds and consistently unblocks Netflix libraries in 15 countries, including Netflix US. Surfshark is very affordable, has a great Smart DNS feature, and the company is committed to beating web blocks. Overall, we highly recommend using Surfshark to stream Netflix.

illustration of a man filling in the final piece of a Netflix puzzle with a piece branded with the Surfshark VPN logo

The movies and TV shows available to you on Netflix changes according to your physical location. For instance, subscribers in the US can watch Breaking Bad, but those in Australia cannot.

These region-based restrictions are the result of licensing agreements between Netflix and third-party producers. You can only access the shows and movies licensed in your region. Most other major streaming services have similar restrictions, including HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.

Many people use a VPN to workaround these restrictions and help maximize their Netflix membership. A virtual private network (VPN) hides your IP address so that you appear to be connecting from a different location. It does this by routing your internet traffic through a remote, private server based in a country of your choosing.

Unfortunately, since Netflix started blocking access to VPN and proxy users back in 2016, it has become much harder to find a VPN service that successfully unblocks Netflix. Nowadays, only the very best VPNs work.

In this guide, we’ll evaluate how good Surfshark VPN is at streaming Netflix.

Alternatively, here are our picks for the five best Netflix VPNs in January 2021.

Is Surfshark Good for Netflix?

A graphical image of Surfshark's app for Amazon Fire TV, which can be used to stream Netflix libraries from around the world.

We put Surfshark through our exhaustive testing process and found that it is an extremely good VPN for streaming Netflix. It consistently unblocks 15 Netflix regions with quick speeds and minimal buffering, making it one of the top 3 Netflix VPNs we’ve ever tested.

Here’s a detailed look at what makes Surfshark so good for Netflix. Alternatively, you can skip to our section on how to stream with Surfshark or check out these workarounds for if you’re still encountering the Netflix proxy error.

Unlocks 15+ Netflix Libraries

Surfshark unblocks Netflix in the following 15 countries:

  1. Australia
  2. Brazil
  3. Canada
  4. France
  5. Germany
  6. India
  7. Italy
  8. Japan
  9. Netherlands
  10. Norway
  11. Singapore
  12. South Korea
  13. Turkey
  14. United Kingdom
  15. United States

Being able to access the US Netflix library is a huge advantage if you don’t live in the US, since it has the biggest content catalog. Movie buffs will also be happy to access the Canadian library, which has the most movies available.

Other VPN providers can unlock more Netflix regions (e.g. Windscribe (42), PrivateVPN (32) and ExpressVPN (19)) but the fact that Surfshark works with the US, UK, Japanese, and Canadian libraries should be enough for most users. There are very few titles that are exclusively available outside of these countries.

We found that Surfshark also works to unblock other streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, Sky, and HBO Go. Its UK servers work with BBC iPlayer, which is one of the hardest streaming services to unlock.

Watch US Netflix From Anywhere

Not only can you access American Netflix by connecting to a VPN server in the US, Surfshark also offers a fantastic feature that lets you stream US movies and TV shows from any unsupported VPN location.

This refers to any VPN server that isn’t supporting streaming. Simply connect to a country that isn’t listed above and you’ll be able to view US exclusives, such as The West Wing.

We love this feature because it allows users who don’t live near to the US to enjoy American Netflix content without compromising on speed. You get the performance benefit of a local VPN server, while still getting access to the most desirable Netflix region.

Fast Enough Speeds for Buffer-Free Streaming

Surfshark offers strong speeds on both local and international connections. It is easily fast enough to stream Netflix in high-quality and with minimal buffering – although it isn’t among the fastest VPNs we’ve tested.

Getting past Netflix’s regional restrictions is just the first step. Your VPN also needs sufficient connection speeds.

Whenever you change IP address by connecting to a VPN server, your internet traffic has to make a longer roundtrip. This means a VPN connection will almost always be slower than connecting directly.

If the speed isn’t up to scratch, you’ll be restricted to low-quality video with a lot of buffering.

Netflix recommends the following minimum speeds:

  • >3Mbps for standard-definition (480p) content
  • >5Mbps for high-definition (1080p) content
  • >25Mbps for ultra-high-definition (2160p / 4K) content

Surfshark offers particularly fast local speeds and has no data caps. Our tests showed just a 10% drop in download speeds when using the WireGuard protocol to connect to a nearby server in the UK. We measured speeds of 90Mbps which is more than enough to stream Netflix in 4K.

Surfshark’s speeds are also impressive on international connections, which is important if you want to unblock movies and TV shows in countries far away. We recorded an average download speed loss of 44% and an average download speed of 56Mbps when connecting to US servers from the UK.

The VPN also performs reasonably well on other global connections:

Country Avg. Download Speed Avg. Speed Loss
Australia 47Mbps 53%
Canada 42Mbps 58%
Germany 76Mbps 24%

The above speeds were recorded using our 100Mbps fibre broadband.

While we’ve certainly seen VPNs with better long-distance speeds, our tests showed that Surfshark is more than fast enough to watch Netflix in Ultra HD and without buffering or lag.

Its large server network of 1,800+ servers in 66 countries also helps to improve connection speeds by reducing server congestion and improving the distance between you and your local VPN server.

Elite-Level Encryption & Security

Surfshark protects your data with the safest encryption technologies on the market. It uses the military-grade AES-256 cipher to secure your traffic and lets you choose between a selection of great VPN protocols, including OpenVPN and WireGuard.

In addition, the VPN comes with an effective VPN kill switch and sophisticated IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak blocking tools, which clearly work as we found no evidence of data leaks when we put Surfshark to the test.

Not only will Surfshark’s security suite keep you private and safe online, it’ll also help you beat Netflix’s geo-blockers. The obfuscation technology used by Surfshark makes VPN traffic look the same as regular HTTPS traffic, which makes it much harder for Netflix to identify you as a VPN user.

Obfuscation is applied automatically whenever you connect to a Surfshark server through the OpenVPN protocol. However, if necessary, you can change the connection protocol in the app’s Settings menu.

Simply open up Settings, select Advanced, and then choose your protocol. To learn more about the different VPN protocols, check out our dedicated guide to VPN encryption.

Compatible With a Wide Range of Devices

Surfshark lets you stream Netflix on all major desktop and mobile operating systems including MacOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. Or you can download a plugin for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox if you prefer to watch video in a browser.

Surfshark is also one of the best VPNs for streaming Netflix on your TV. It offers a dedicated application for Amazon Firestick that is impressively easy-to-use and well-optimized for the big screen. Simply download the app from the Fire TV app store and use it to change your geographic region on a number of streaming platforms, including Hulu, HBO and YouTube.

Smart DNS and Trust DNS

Unlike many of its competitors, Surfshark can also be used on Apple TV, PS4 and other devices that don’t allow for app downloads. To do this, it uses SmartDNS and Trust DNS features that work by rerouting your DNS requests rather than hiding your IP address.

Smart DNS won’t encrypt your traffic in the way a full VPN does so you should be careful when using it. But for spoofing your location and unblocking Netflix on Smart TVs and games consoles, it’s a great additional tool to have.

You can find full instructions for using Smart DNS on the Surfshark website.

Budget-Friendly VPN With a Generous Free Trial

Surfshark is among the cheapest premium-quality VPNs around. You can use it to improve your Netflix experience for as little as $2.49 a month, if you’re willing to pay for 2 years up front. This is considerably cheaper than our top-rated VPN, ExpressVPN, which costs $6.67 a month.

If you’d rather try before you buy, Surfshark also offers an unrestricted week-long trial period so that you can test out the service for yourself. There’s also a 30-day refund period, meaning you can essentially stream with Surfshark entirely risk-free for up to 5 weeks.

SUMMARY

Surfshark is an excellent VPN for Netflix and is great value for money, too.

How to Use Surfshark for Netflix

To watch Netflix with Surfshark VPN:

  1. Register for a Surfshark account or try it out with the seven-day free trial. We recommend choosing the three-year subscription plan because it offers the best value for money.
  2. Download the VPN software onto your device. We always recommend choosing the dedicated app from the associated official app store if you have the option.
  3. Decide which Netflix content library you want to access, and choose any server based in that country.
  4. Once connected, open your Netflix app or website and your desired Netflix library should appear. Now, just choose a show or movie, and start watching.

One Netflix subscription will be enough to unblock movies and TV shows in all 15 countries that Surfshark can access. If you connect to a VPN server that doesn’t support streaming, the service will also automatically redirect you to the US Netflix library, too.

If you run into any problems, like Netflix error m7111-5059, check out our workarounds below.

Surfshark VPN Not Working with Netflix?

Netflix is constantly finding new ways to block VPN providers in an effort to prevent people from viewing certain content. While Netflix feels obliged to do this because of its licensing agreements with production studios, viewers are the ones left suffering the inconvenience.

While we regularly review the information on Top10VPN.com to keep it up to date, you should also know that the situation can change by the day. Surfshark is currently one of only a few VPNs that works well with Netflix, but on occasion you may still come across the painfully familiar Netflix proxy error.

How to unblock Netflix proxy error.

Netflix’s “Streaming Error” message.

“Oops, something went wrong… Streaming Error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”

Here are some easy workarounds that should help you bypass the Netflix proxy error – also known by error code m7111-5059.

1Use a different VPN server

Netflix blocks VPN servers by blacklisting the IP addresses that belong to them. While VPN providers regularly launch new servers and change their IP addresses, they’re not always able to keep up.

Fortunately, it often happens that only a handful of servers belonging to a VPN provider end up getting blocked. So, the first thing to try is simply reconnecting to a different server, since each server has its own, unique IP address.

You might need to try several servers before you can access the library you’re looking for. Surfshark has a reasonably big server network comprising over 1,800 servers, so you should find one that works on most occasions.

An alternative is to find another country whose Netflix library includes the content you want to watch. You can use uNoGS to search through all the regional libraries.

2Use a different encryption protocol

If you can access your Netflix library, but the content is stuck on the loading screen, you may need to change the encryption protocol. To switch to a different protocol:

  1. Go to the Settings page in the Surfshark app
  2. Click or tap the Advanced tab
  3. Ensure the protocol is set to OpenVPN/UDP or WireGuard
  4. Restart Netflix

3Contact the customer support team

The Surfshark customer support team is always on-hand to help with any difficulties you may have, including the m7111-5059 error. We’ve always found them to be very responsive and helpful over our years of testing.

If you’re struggling to stream and you can’t find the answers you need in Surfshark’s online resources or tutorial videos, it is very easy to contact it via email or get immediate support through its 24/7 live chat.

About the Author


  • 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