Having complete control of the content you stream on Netflix requires a good VPN, or Virtual Private Network. This is especially true for those living or traveling internationally. But streaming content requires a VPN that optimizes speed over security, which is why it’s good to know which is the best VPN for Netflix.
Netflix is available in almost all countries across the world (not all).
So why use a VPN?
The reason has to do with licensing agreements. Different regions and countries carry different libraries of media content. So the shows and movies you watch in one country are different than what you are able to watch in another country.
Need an example?
Did you know that as of the publication of this article, the US Netflix library has 1,326 TV shows and 4,339 movies? This is the largest Netflix library. Compare this with the Netflix library available in the Maldives, which has access to only 210 shows and 515 movies.
No wonder a lot of people want to use a VPN to stream Netflix! They want to use an IP address in the United States so they can get the complete set of shows and movies.
Or maybe you want to stream The Big Ban Theory in the US.
Either way, you need a VPN. There are two key features you need to consider with a Netflix VPN:
- Speed: Speed is key when you’re streaming content.
- Server Quality: You need real servers, not virtual servers. You also need servers whose IP addresses haven’t been blocked by Netflix.
We’ll cover both of these in more detail below. You can use the table of contents below to jump to a specific section if you like.
- How to Choose a Netflix VPN that Works
- Recommended VPNs for Netflix 2020
- How to Use a VPN with Netflix
- Frequently Asked Questions about VPNs & Netflix
Not every service is optimized for streaming content, which is why the research you’re doing on the best VPN for Netflix is so important.
Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I may be compensated i you choose to use services mentioned here.
How to Choose a Netflix VPN that Works
As mentioned above, there are two primary features you should use to evaluate whether or not a VPN will work well to stream Netflix.
Speed and server quality.
Let’s look at each of these individually.
Server Speed | Fast = Better Streaming
I don’t think I need to tell you why faster speed is a good thing.
The problem is that every single VPN company claims to have “lightning fast server speeds!” Is it even possible to determine which ones are telling the truth and which ones are just marketing to you?
There are too many variables to accurately determine server speed. What you can control, however, are the available VPN connection protocols.
Some VPN services only offer one connection protocol or they automatically choose for you without giving you an option.
A good VPN for Netflix will allow you to change your connection protocol to one that might offer less security, but is much faster.
Server Quality | Real > Virtual Servers
Most VPN companies boast about the thousands of VPN servers they have around the globe. These are real physical servers which can be either rented or owned.
Some VPN companies, however, include a number of “virtual servers” along with their lineup of physical servers.
There are two major problems with these virtual servers:
- They aren’t as reliable;
- They expose your real IP;
When your real IP is exposed to Netflix, you won’t connect to the appropriate Netflix library.
The best VPNs for Netflix connect you through real servers, not virtual servers.
Of course, VPNs don’t advertise their use of virtual servers. That’s where trusted recommendations from those who have tested the VPN come in handy.
Recommended VPNs for Netflix 2020
There are literally hundreds of VPN services on the market and many of them will work to stream Netflix.
Below are the ones we’ve tested and recommend for both their speed and server quality.
Recommended VPNs for Netflix
- ExpressVPN: I rate this as the best overall VPN for Netflix and it has worked extremely well for me over the past few years.
- NordVPN: This VPN offers the best mobile experience for those streaming Netflix on the go more often than at home.
- Surfshark: If you’re on a budget, Surfshark is the only VPN on this list that has a free version, but it’s also the cheapest overall!
- VyprVPN: Because VyprVPN owns all of their servers across the globe, they offer some of the best speeds and server quality.
**Each of these recommended VPNs also provides a 30-day money back guarantee, which means that you can give them a try and if it doesn’t work like you hoped, you can get your money back.
Now let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these options so you can understand what makes them unique.
ExpressVPN: Best Overall VPN
- Best server options;
- Apps for most media streaming devices;
- 5 simultaneous connections;
ExpressVPN has real servers so you can get reliable connections without revealing your true IP. Also, since ExpressVPN offers blazing speeds, it becomes easy to stream HD shows and movies on Netflix without the issue of buffering.
A nice feature of the software is that you can run a speed test from within the ExpressVPN app. Based on the results, you can select the fastest server and connect to it.
ExpressVPN has apps for all major platforms. It can also be installed on smart TVs and Amazon Fire Stick. If you have a VPN-incompatible device, you can install ExpressVPN using their SmartDNS capabilities (although locations are limited).
ExpressVPN is an all-around quality VPN that gives a great performance no matter what your needs are. However, its prices are on the higher side.
NordVPN: Best Mobile App VPN
- Most beautiful, easy-to-use apps for desktop and mobile;
- Available media streaming apps as well;
- 6 simultaneous connections;
If you like watching Netflix on the go, NordVPN will be the best choice for you. It can unblock Netflix and has apps for all major platforms including Android and iPhone.
And, of course, if you like traveling with your laptop, you can install it on your Windows or Mac computer too.
NordVPN comes with a kill switch so your IP is not revealed even if the VPN connection drops. And if you are traveling and are watching Netflix using your hotel’s Wi-Fi, NordVPN will keep you protected from hackers and spies.
As with all of these choices, NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee so you can get a refund if it doesn’t stream Netflix like you wanted it to.
Surfshark: Best free Netflix VPN
- Offers a 7-day free trial of the software;
- Unlimited devices and simultaneous connections;
- Lowest priced VPN;
To be honest, there are no *absolutely free* VPNs that will unblock Netflix. In fact, I usually recommend that you avoid free VPNs vs paid VPNs for various reasons.
So we will use the next best thing – a free trial. Surfshark offers a free trial of 7 days. So if you want to binge watch a season of your favorite show on Netflix, you can use Surfshark for a week.
Surfshark has superfast speeds and apps for all major platforms. It’s a great option to watch Netflix not only for the free trial but also because it’s the lowest cost option here.
Of course, there is a 30-day money back guarantee so if you are not happy, you can claim a refund.
VyprVPN: Fastest VPN to stream Netflix
- Own all their servers, not rent them;
- 5 simultaneous connections;
- Most transparent VPN company on the market;
If you need speeds more than anything, you’ll like VyprVPN. Thanks to their super-fast servers (all of which they own, not rent), you will rarely face buffering issues.
VyprVPN helps you connect not just to the US Netflix library but also Canada, Germany, and UK libraries. Make sure you have your VyprDNS enabled with using VyprVPN for Netflix.
Once it is enabled, you can connect to any of the Netflix servers and you’ll be able to bypass the blocks.
They offer apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, TV, and router. No matter which platform you want to watch Netflix on, VyprVPN will help you with that.
They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee so you try VyrpVPN risk-free.
How to Watch Netflix with a VPN
Before you use a VPN with Netflix, make sure that the VPN provider can actually unblock Netflix. If it can, let’s begin with the steps.
- Download and install the VPN app on your device
If you plan to watch Netflix on your phone, you will need to download the app from the official app store of your device. If you are planning to watch Netflix on your laptop, you can download the app from your provider’s website. Apps can also be downloaded and installed on other media devices and routers based on the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server and connect to it
Ask your VPN provider about the servers that unblock Netflix. Depending on your VPN provider, there might be specific servers that unblock Netflix better than others. Also, depending on your provider, there might be different settings. For example, if you use VyprVPN, you need to enable VyprDNS before connecting to Netflix.
- Open Netflix and Start Streaming!
Once you’re connected with the right server, you can open Netflix and watch your favorite movies and TV shows. The app should start displaying movies and TV shows from the country library where your VPN server is located.
- Troubleshoot Connection Problems
If you happen to get a Netflix connection error, shut down Netflix and then reconnect to a new server, a different connection protocol or a different VPN service.
Frequently Asked Questions – Netflix and VPNs
While VPNs are gaining popularity as more and more people want to access bigger Netflix libraries, many people are unaware of how to do that. And others are apprehensive because Netflix bans proxy IPs. Is it really a good idea to use Netflix with a VPN? Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about Netflix and VPNs.
As a business, Netflix wouldn’t mind if you use a VPN with your connection. But Netflix has crumbled under the pressure exerted by copyright holders.
These copyright holders are Hollywood studios and TV networks. They have an outdated business model of distribution rights and they don’t want their businesses to be affected because anyone can access Netflix from anywhere now.
A successful show makes money for its network not just because of its distribution in the domestic market but also because it is sold to TV networks all over the world. If Netflix starts showing these shows, it will mean fewer dollars for the TV network that produced it.
What Netflix does is called geoblocking. When you visit a website or an application, it can see your IP address and thus your geographical location. If a website blocks your IP from accessing their services because of your location, this is geo-blocking. It can be bypassed by using a good VPN.
Netflix actively monitors all IPs making requests on their streaming site. When they see too many requests being generated by a single IP address, they assume it’s a proxy IP. VPN companies like ExpressVPN often have thousands of servers and so when one server is flagged by Netflix, they bring up another one.
No. It’s not illegal to use a VPN with Netflix. However, it is against Netflix terms of service to use a VPN. As long as you’re a paying customer, however, they won’t do anything about it.
No. Netflix has historically not banned accounts from paying users. However, you will not be able to continue streaming if Netflix bans an IP address. This means you can continue using your Netflix account but you’ll need to connect using another IP address with a VPN.
Yes. If Netflix owns the licensing and distribution rights, they make it available in all countries. However, if a show is Netflix exclusive but not created by Netflix, it might be limited to certain regions.