Is Surfshark a Good 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

Our Verdict

Surfshark is an excellent VPN for streaming Netflix. It works with Netflix US, plus 14 other content libraries worldwide. The VPN is fast, offers an easy to use Smart DNS feature, and is extremely good value for money. Overall, we recommend using Surfshark for unblocking Netflix.

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

While Netflix Originals are generally available globally, the availability of other movies and TV shows on Netflix varies according to you physical location. For example, subscribers in the US can watch Breaking Bad, but those in Australia cannot.

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

To avoid these restrictions, many people use a VPN. A virtual private network (VPN) lets you protect your online identity by routing your traffic through a remote, private server. It allows you to hide your IP address and spoof your location to make Netflix think you’re connecting from another country.

Unfortunately, Netflix started blocking access to VPN users back in 2016. It has since become much harder to find a VPN service that works with Netflix, but there are exceptions – such as Surfshark VPN.

Surfshark works well with Netflix. It is one of the few VPNs that can reliably unblock the streaming site and its server lists are regularly updated in order to keep up with new restrictions. To learn more you can read our in-depth review of Surfshark.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using Surfshark to watch your favorite Netflix shows and movies. We’ll also provide some workarounds to help you fix any issues you might run into.

Does Surfshark Work with Netflix?

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

Surfshark works very well with Netflix. We put the software through our thorough VPN testing process and found that it consistently unblocks Netflix in 15 countries with fast speeds and minimal buffering, which makes it one of the most effective Netflix VPNs we’ve tested.

The VPN is compatible with all major desktop and mobile operating systems including MacOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. You can also download a plugin for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox if you prefer to stream video in a browser.

Surfshark also lets you connect an unlimited number of devices with just one subscription. This is an impressive feature that sets it apart from a lot of other VPNs, and makes it a good choice if you like watching Netflix on the go.

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.

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

There are several unique features that make Surfshark a great choice for accessing Netflix. It operates a large server network, uses sophisticated obfuscation and Smart DNS technologies, and delivers fast connection speeds.

Here is a detailed look at the features that make Surfshark a good VPN for Netflix. If you’d rather skip over these, you can jump straight to our section on how to watch Netflix with Surfshark.

Surfshark Netflix Servers

Surfshark doesn’t offer dedicated servers for streaming, but our tests show that the vast majority of its servers work with Netflix anyway. The VPN offers over 1,700 servers in 63 countries, and you can even connect at the city level in 12 countries.

Choosing a VPN provider with a big server network is important. A large number of servers means it’s a lot harder for Netflix to block each and every IP address. This means that if you can’t unblock Netflix with one server, you simply disconnect and try another.

Traffic Obfuscation

Any good VPN will encrypt your web traffic to offer better online security and privacy. However, one of the most common methods services like Netflix use to detect and block VPN users is to look for encrypted traffic.

Surfshark avoids this problem by using obfuscation technology on all of its servers. Obfuscation makes VPN traffic look the same as regular HTTPS traffic, so Netflix’s geo-blockers have a much harder time identifying it.

Surfshark applies obfuscation automatically whenever you connect to one of its servers on the OpenVPN protocol. 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.

Smart DNS and Trust DNS

Surfshark offers SmartDNS and Trust DNS features to help users unblock streaming content in other countries. When activated, these features act as a proxy to reroute your DNS requests instead of hiding your IP address.

This gives you the functionality of a VPN on devices that do not typically offer native VPN support. Use it with your smart TV or PS4, for example, and you can get instant access to US Netflix. You can find full instructions for using Smart DNS on the Surfshark website.

It’s worth remembering that these features will not encrypt your traffic, so they do not come with the same privacy benefits as the full VPN.

Amazon Fire TV Stick, Kodi & Apple TV

Unlike many competing services, Surfshark has dedicated applications for Apple TV and Amazon Firestick. By downloading these apps you can get access to additional streaming services including Hulu, HBO, and YouTube. The VPN also works with the majority of devices that run Kodi, and is fully compatible with Kodi add-ons.

To install Surfshark on Amazon Fire TV Stick, simply purchase a subscription to the VPN service and then download the Surfshark Fire TV app from the Amazon App Store. You can find detailed instructions in our guide to installing a VPN on Amazon Firestick.

Is Surfshark Fast Enough for Netflix?

Surfshark offers strong speeds on both local and international connections. It is easily fast enough to watch Netflix in high-quality and with minimal buffering.

Getting past Netflix’s regional restrictions is just the first step. You’ll also need a VPN which offers 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 has no data caps and delivers particularly fast local speeds. Our tests showed just a 14% drop in download speeds when connecting to a nearby server in the UK. We measured speeds of 86Mbps 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 45% and an average download speed of 55Mbps when connecting to US servers from the UK. This is fast enough to enjoy Ultra HD video and buffer-free streaming.

While we’ve certainly seen VPNs with better long-distance speeds, our tests showed that Surfshark is more than fast enough for Netflix use. Surfshark also performed 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.

How to Use Surfshark to Watch 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.

Should You Use Surfshark for Netflix?

Unblock Netflix from abroad.

Surfshark is one of the best VPNs available for watching Netflix and streaming content from other countries. It offers fast, dependable access to multiple international content libraries, smart DNS technology, and native applications for Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV.

With strong encryption and a strict no-logging policy, it’s also great for secure and private browsing in general. We’ve ranked it in sixth place out of the 70 VPN providers we’ve reviewed, and third place for streaming Netflix.

It’s also among the cheapest premium-quality VPNs out there, at least if you choose a three-year subscription plan. It’s slightly slower on international connections than some competing services like NordVPN, but this won’t present a problem for watching Netflix.

What we liked most about using Surfshark for streaming was the fact it automatically reroutes you to the US Netflix library if you’re connecting from a location that doesn’t support streaming.

Another huge benefit of using Surfshark is its unlimited simultaneous connections. This means you can download and use the apps on as many devices as you like, which is ideal if you want to make Netflix accessible to everyone else in your home.

Though Surfshark can unblock 15 Netflix libraries, there are other VPN providers which offer access to an even wider range of locations. These include Windscribe (42), PrivateVPN (32) and ExpressVPN (19). That said, the fact it works with the US, UK, and Canada libraries is enough for most people, since there are very few titles which are exclusively available outside those countries.

If you’re choosing a VPN provider primarily to access Netflix, we recommend browsing through uNoGS to find out which libraries host the content you’re looking for.

SUMMARY

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

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 1,700 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
  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.

Is Surfshark Good for Streaming?

Surfshark isn’t just a great VPN for Netflix, it also works very well with a number of other streaming services. Provided your internet connection is up to the job, you should be able to stream with high-quality video and minimal buffering.

The streaming sites we’ve found Surfshark to work with include:

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • BBC iPlayer
  • CBS
  • ESPN
  • HBO Go
  • Hotstar
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Spotify
  • Vudu
  • YouTube

Will Surfshark VPN Decrease My Connection Speeds?

Using any VPN reduces your connection speed to some degree. That’s because they add an extra pathway for your internet traffic. However, with good VPNs, the difference shouldn’t be an issue, especially for everyday activities like streaming. Surfshark offers good local speeds, but it struggles to compete with the very best VPNs on longer-distance connections.

What Is the Best VPN for Netflix?

After testing 70 VPN providers, our experts found that ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Netflix. It supports 19 regional libraries, is super secure, and provides excellent connection speeds. Nonetheless, Surfshark is a worthy contender and is still one of our top five best Netflix VPNs.

Is It Legal to Use a VPN to Watch Netflix?

Using a VPN to access Netflix is legal in almost every country, including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and anywhere in the EU. The only places where using a VPN is either illegal or heavily-restricted are:

  • Belarus
  • China
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • North Korea
  • Oman
  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • UAE

Nonetheless, it is technically a violation of Netflix’s user agreement to use a VPN. In theory, you could have your account suspended. However, we’ve never seen an example of this happening in practice.

For more on VPN legality, check out our guide Are VPNs Legal?

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