Despite recent access concerns, Netflix VPN services continue to be extremely popular, and the ability to unblock the streaming behemoth is a critical string to any of the top VPN hopefuls’ bow.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a VPN for Netflix enables you to alter your location and view different types of content on the service. This is because Netflix restricts access to certain content based on distribution rights. However, by creating the appearance of being in that nation, you will be able to watch these geo-blocked shows from anywhere.
Since Netflix began rolling out its new VPN blocking, we’ve seen established services falter, and a few newcomers vie for the top places — with one newcomer genuinely delivering.
What Methods Did We Use to Create Netflix VPN List?
We drew items for our testing from the services previously included in this roundup, our list of the best VPN services, and our list of VPNs tested for unblocking international Netflix video.
We implemented and tested each service in mid-August 2021. We examined whether a customer based in the United States could connect to a VPN server located in the United States and still properly view Netflix content. If you’re interested in watching Netflix content that is only available in certain countries, we have a dedicated article for you.
All testing for this report was conducted from Max Eddy’s New York City apartment. We began with a household IP address and a standard internet connection. While the VPN client software was often linked to a VPN server in the New York City area, we regularly changed IP addresses and locations during our testing.
Each service received five tries. We attempted to obtain a unique IP address for each attempt, either by picking a different server or by changing the location of the VPN server. Certain companies, such as TunnelBear VPN, do not allow you to select specific servers and instead allow you to select servers by country. In these instances, we toggled the VPN connection on and off to establish a new connection.
To qualify for this list, a VPN allowed us to access US Netflix regularly while the VPN was active. In summary, accessing Netflix with or without a VPN should have been identical. The services that contributed to this achievement are detailed above and after this article.
The figure below illustrates the whole breakdown of the results. Our results reflect the optimal outcome for each service. This means that while some of the services we identify as unblocked were functional at one point, they were blocked on subsequent tries.
What Factors Contribute to the Best Netflix VPN?
The two prerequisites are the ability to unblock Netflix and high-speed Internet access. Excellent privacy is also a bonus, and even if you’re only going to use your VPN to stream, there’s no reason to forego a bit extra privacy in the process.
At home, you’ll be able to maximize your Netflix subscription and access virtually anything available everywhere. If you’re traveling and hankering for some familiarity, you’ll also be able to select a server and watch what you’re accustomed to — regardless of where you are.
We’ve rated ExpressVPN as the best Netflix VPN for a long time, and while it’s been somewhat impacted by Netflix’s adjustments, it remains the most trustworthy option on the market.
Using a VPN to bypass restrictions is against Netflix’s terms and conditions, and doing so may jeopardize your membership.
The top five Best Netflix VPNs
Despite some industry-wide setbacks, ExpressVPN has continuously ranked as one of the best – if not the best – Netflix VPNs for a lengthy period. And, while Netflix’s improved VPN filtering measures severely impacted all providers in mid-2021, ExpressVPN demonstrated its commitment to its consumers by promptly and effectively rallying.
However, it is not all plain sailing, and not every server is flawless. However, based on our in-house testing and conversations with the ExpressVPN support team, there are ways to access the majority of locales.
Use Los Angeles – 3 for Netflix in the United States. Use Sydney – 2 for Australian Netflix. On most regional servers like UK and Canadian libraries are pretty trustworthy.
Recent events have revealed the critical nature of having a solid, competent support network that is responsive and capable of providing genuine assistance should something go wrong.
If you enjoy streaming on various devices, ExpressVPN’s apps are accessible on a wide variety of platforms, including PC, Mac, Android, routers, and smart TVs. You’ll get the same results regardless of how you stream, and the MediaStreamer DNS enables you to access prohibited content on devices that don’t support VPN connections natively.
However, one disadvantage is that ExpressVPN only supports five concurrent connections. This may be an issue if you’re always using a large number of devices, but for the most, this won’t be an issue – and you can also log in and out to free up a slot.
In general, no other VPN comes close to ExpressVPN’s range of unblocked Netflix libraries or the strength and ease of its apps – which is why it is the finest Netflix VPN available today.
2. Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN, formerly a contender for the top Netflix VPN place, has been impacted by Netflix’s adjustments, but it remains capable and outperforms much competition.
With reliable US Netflix unblocking (which is frequently all that users want) and occasional access to Canada and Australia, it’s an excellent choice for the casual user – and at this price, it becomes pretty enticing. Plus,
We discovered that we could occasionally unblock Canadian Netflix during our testing and that both the Perth and Melbourne servers worked while accessing Australian Netflix.
Apart from Netflix, Surfshark supports BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, amongst other region-locked services. Thus, if you’re running out of Netflix shows to consume, there’s plenty more worldwide stuff to feast on.
VPNs are not simply for streaming, and even if you’re not watching Netflix, you may want to safeguard yourself while out and about or while torrenting. Fortunately, Surfshark offers well-designed apps for a wide variety of devices and has had its servers thoroughly examined, providing peace of mind.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a low-cost VPN that’s suitable for streaming but also secure, quick, and simple to use, Surfshark checks all the boxes.
ProtonVPN has been on our radar for a while, but in our most recent round of in-depth testing, we discovered that it has significantly improved and can compete with the major brands.
The most fantastic aspect of the device was its streaming ability, particularly with Netflix. Since Netflix implemented its new VPN filtering measures, every VPN has suffered, even our top service ExpressVPN. However, for whatever reason, ProtonVPN appears to be considerably superior to nearly any other service circumventing these protections.
While ProtonVPN can unblock Netflix in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, the only Netflix library that ProtonVPN cannot unblock, ExpressVPN can play in Australia. Compared to competitors such as NordVPN and Surfshark, this is a great accomplishment, and ProtonVPN has more than earned its second-place finish.
It’s also ideal for everyday usage, thanks to its lightning-fast WireGuard and OpenVPN connections, as well as features like Secure Cores, which route your traffic through ultrasecure servers in countries such as Switzerland.
However, the pricing structure of ProtonVPN is a little unclear, and the Basic plan does not include streaming. As a result, we’d opt for the two-year Plus plan. It’s slightly more expensive than Basic, but if you take advantage of a deal, you’ll receive all of the provider’s features (including the excellent Netflix unblocking) for a reasonable price.
If you’re still unsure, ProtonVPN also offers a very capable free VPN, along with a 30-day money-back guarantee to ensure the service works for you.
NordVPN is perhaps the most well-known VPN on the market, and it has earned this status by prioritizing security and speed:
- superb AES-256 encryption
- over 5,000 servers in over 60 countries
- powerful DNS leak protection
- two kill switches
- lightning-fast connection speeds
All of this adds up to a well-rounded service suitable for almost everybody.
As with all VPNs, Nord’s coverage has decreased due to Netflix’s adjustments, and in our most recent set of tests, we were only able to unblock UK Netflix. That’s not as bad as it sounds, given BritFlix’s impressive library. As you may have gathered, though, this is all fluid.
If you’re using a mobile device, the interface can be a little confusing, but that’s a minor issue with a fantastic VPN that includes fully-featured apps for almost any device you own – and having six simultaneous connections is also convenient.
If you’re looking for a Netflix VPN that prioritizes security without losing functionality or speed, NordVPN may be for you, and if it doesn’t work out, you’re protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, if you have any difficulties while using it, its 24/7 live chat will be able to assist you in a matter of minutes.
5. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA), which was not previously regarded as a top-tier Netflix VPN, has stepped up its game since our last round of reviews. Now, it’s reliable for accessing US Netflix, and while that’s the only library available, it’s more than enough for most people.
Although PIA’s WireGuard speeds are not quite as fast as the competition, averaging around 400Mbps is hardly slow – and we envy you if your home connection is fast.
With access to Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+, PIA is also well-rounded, offering special privacy protections in addition to streaming capabilities. Additionally, it’s a steal, so if you’re on a budget, it’s well worth a look.
What is a VPN and how does it spoof your location?
When you activate a virtual private network, it encrypts all of your web traffic and directs it to a VPN company-managed remote server. Nobody, not even someone on the same network as you, not even the person who operates that network, can monitor your behavior. Neither can your ISP track your activity, which is convenient given that Congress approved the sale of anonymized customer metadata several years ago.
After reaching the VPN server, your online traffic is routed to the public internet. Because the VPN server is transmitting your data, not your home computer, anyone observing will see the server’s IP address rather than your own. It is effective at spoofing your location.
When viewers attempt to deduce your physical address on the internet, one straightforward method is to examine your IP address. These IDs are segmented by geographic location and can be surprisingly near to the location of your actual computer when you browse the web. Thus, passing your traffic through a remote VPN server creates the illusion that your computer is located wherever the VPN server is. Consider it as internet-based astral projection.
There are different methods for determining someone’s actual location. An app may request your GPS coordinates when you’re on a mobile device. Additionally, companies can examine cookies or the unique mix of device and browser settings on your system — a process referred to as browser fingerprinting — to monitor your activity around the web and accumulate additional information about you. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies have more sophisticated methods, such as advanced timing assaults that compare activity on a target machine to recorded online traffic. While a VPN will not always prevent all of these approaches, it is an easy and efficient solution to increase your online anonymity.
Additionally, activists and journalists operating in countries with notably repressive internet policies have used VPNs worldwide. By channeling traffic around government censors, VPNs can unblock banned websites and shield dissident broadcasts as well.
This option to redirect your traffic to another country can occasionally cause issues when accessing websites and services other than Netflix. For instance, a bank’s fraud detection system may consider it strange for a customer in the United States to suddenly log in from Europe.
Bear in mind that while VPNs are beneficial for preserving your privacy, they cannot protect you from all threats. We highly advise readers to install antivirus software on their computers, activate multi-factor authentication methods wherever possible, and use a password manager to create unique and complicated passwords for each site and service.
Why Does Netflix Block VPN Access?
Spoofing your location is especially useful if you wish to watch region-locked Netflix content. Instead of having a single repository for film and television, Netflix offers content that varies according to your area. It’s all about license agreements. For instance, you could watch Game of Thrones on Netflix at one point—as long as you were in Australia. These licensing agreements are almost certainly why Netflix has begun barring VPN users.
Being denied access to Netflix is inconvenient, and it’s made worse when you’re not attempting to spoof your location. If you’re concerned about the security of your network or the condition of surveillance capitalism in general, using a VPN makes sense. Unfortunately, even if you’ve paid for the ability to watch everything available locally, Netflix will very certainly attempt to block you if you attempt to access the service over a VPN connection.
While most people will wish to fake their location to gain access to stuff they would not otherwise have, this is not always the case. Assume you’re from Baltimore and are currently binge-watching your favorite Netflix show. If you fly to the United Kingdom and attempt to watch it, you may discover that you cannot do so unless it is available there. With a VPN, you could theoretically continue watching as if you were in the United States.
What is the purpose of a Netflix VPN?
While some episodes are available on Netflix in most of the world, even the Netflix powerhouses in the United States and Canada are missing out on some programming – and things might differ significantly across the two countries.
Japanese Netflix has a slew of anime that isn’t available anywhere else, and Netflix in the United Kingdom still has some incredible British shows that aren’t available anywhere else – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
If you travel, a Netflix VPN is a requirement, as once you leave your home country, you’re unlikely to be able to continue bingeing the episodes you’re presently watching.
Additionally, if you feel you’re losing out on all the fantastic Netflix stuff that isn’t available in your home country, it’s worth considering enrolling in a Netflix VPN to broaden your viewing options. Additionally, you’ll be able to use the service to protect all of your surfing activity on your desktop PC and mobile device.
Is it possible to use a Netflix VPN to access other streaming services?
If you choose the best Netflix VPN, you may also access additional streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, NBC’s Peacock, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. However, it’s worth verifying in advance if you have a specific service in mind. Many VPN services can, but you should always read the complete review of any company before purchasing to ensure that it meets your expectations.