best netflix vpn

The Best Netflix VPNs That Really Work in 2021

Last updated on May 10, 2021

Looking for a VPN that works with Netflix? Perhaps you’re trying to unblock your usual Netflix library while traveling, want to access titles that aren’t available where you live, or (like me) prefer never to turn off your VPN for privacy and security reasons.

The good news is that, while Netflix expressly forbids the use of VPNs to access geo-restricted content, it’s certainly possible – and Netflix has never, to our knowledge, banned a user for trying to visit the site through a VPN. That said, finding a VPN that gets past Netflix’s VPN block without impacting performance can be tricky, and rarely comes for free.

Don’t have time to read the full article? Here are our favorites:

Best Netflix VPNs at a Glance

VPNBest ForPriceVisit
ExpressVPNSuper high speeds and airtight securityStarting from $6.67Visit ExpressVPN
NordVPNLarge number of servers to choose fromStarting from $3.71Visit NordVPN
SurfsharkBudget-friendly price tag and unlimited devicesStarting from $2.21Visit Surfshark

How does a VPN Unblock Netflix

Websites know where you are based on your IP address. A VPN works by rerouting your internet connection through a server in a different location, so the website sees the IP address of this server instead of your real one. Whatever country the server is in, that’s where the website thinks you are.

Sometimes there are clues that give the game away, so a VPN provider has to be smart to blend in. Many sites, including Netflix, will block access if they think you’re using a VPN. This makes your choice of VPN crucial (more on that below).

Once you’ve downloaded a VPN that works with Netflix, all you need to do is launch the app on your device and connect to a server located in a country whose library you want to browse. Top VPN brands make this really easy; the first thing you’ll see will be a dropdown menu or an interactive map, so you can just click and hit “connect”. You can then head over to the Netflix site, sign in to your account and the library will automatically update to show whatever titles are available in your server country.

The 3 Best VPNs that work with Netflix

We’ve tried and tested a bunch of different VPNs to find the best VPN for Netflix. Here’s our pick.

1. ExpressVPN – the best Netflix VPN overall

Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox | Compatible Devices: Raspberry Pi, Amazon Fire TV| Unblocks Netflix | 3,000+ Servers | 95 Server Country Locations | Maximum Devices Supported: 5

ExpressVPN has servers in more countries than any other leading VPN provider, meaning you can access the broadest possible range of Netflix libraries. It’s fast, reliable and easy to use, and works with all major operating systems and devices.

ExpressVPN is powerful enough to unblock Netflix from anywhere in the world, too – even if you’re in China. Plus, it offers top-notch security and privacy features, giving you peace of mind as you stream. The company is based in the British Virgin Islands, keeps no activity logs and has TrustedServer technology to safeguard user identities. For more details, check out our in-depth ExpressVPN review here.

Price: Starting from $6.67 per month

Visit ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN– best VPN for Netflix on mobile devices

Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox | Compatible Devices: Raspberry Pi, Amazon Fire TV| Unblocks Netflix | 5,000+ Servers | 59 Server Country Locations | Maximum Devices Supported: 6

NordVPN is a fast, versatile, easy-to-use VPN with an absolutely enormous selection of servers around the world, so you can access pretty much any Netflix library that tickles your fancy. It’s super privacy-conscious, even offering a double-VPN option for unbreakable anonymity. Pricing is very reasonable, too.

NordVPN works on any device or operating system and you can use it simultaneously on up to 6 devices. Its simple, reliable mobile app is one of the best things about NordVPN. Especially for users of MacOS and iOS devices, as the VPN won’t interfere with AirDrop, giving it a slight edge over ExpressVPN. you can check out our in-depth NordVPN review here.

Price: Starting from $3.71 per month

Visit NordVPN

3. SurfShark– the lowest-cost VPN for Netflix

Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox | Compatible Devices: Routers, Raspberry Pi, Amazon Fire TV| Unblocks Netflix | 1,000+ Servers | 61 Server Country Locations | Maximum Devices Supported: Unlimited

Surfshark is extremely cheap, especially given that you can install it on as many devices as you want. It unblocks Netflix while in China and works with all major operating systems. From a privacy standpoint, it scores highly, too. Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, has a no-logs policy and uses military-grade encryption.

While easy to use and offering great speeds, Surfshark isn’t quite at the same level as ExpressVPN or NordVPN for performance or range of server locations. However, if you’re looking for an affordable VPN to use with Netflix, it’s an excellent choice. For more details, check out our in-depth Surfshark review here.

Price: Starting from $2.21 per month

Visit Surfshark

Free VPNs to Stream Netflix

While there are plenty of free VPNs out there, very few of them are powerful or reliable enough to fool Netflix’s VPN blockers.

If these companies only offer a free version, they won’t have the resources to invest in finding ways to keep avoiding detection, especially if Netflix gets better and better at spotting the signs of a VPN. They’re also unlikely to have a particularly good range of servers – and those in sought-after locations will need to serve a lot of users at once, dragging down speeds.

The best of the bunch is ProtonVPN. That’s because ProtonVPN does actually have a paid version of its well-performing VPN, but offers a limited free version, too, which is very unusual. However, while you should be able to access Netflix, you can only connect from three server countries: the USA, the Netherlands and Japan. What’s more, you’ll be limited to medium speeds, which could lead to a frustrating viewing experience. To learn more about ProtonVPN, check out our full review here or read more about other free VPNs to stream Netflix.

Netflix VPN FAQ

It depends where you are. At the time of writing, VPNs are illegal in Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, UAE, Oman, Belarus, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Turkey, but they are completely legal everywhere else. Of course, if you use a VPN in order to commit a crime, this will still be a crime. That includes torrenting copyrighted content, hacking into a network without authorization, buying or selling illegal weapons and drugs, and cyberstalking. But it is not a crime to use a VPN to visit a website if the website itself is legal under your country’s laws. If the website contains geo-restricted content, it’s typically the responsibility of the website owner to make sure they display the right stuff as per their licensing agreements.
It isn’t Netflix’s policy to ban VPN users, even if they catch you in the act. They will prevent you from accessing the site and you will usually get an error message, but if you appear to have disconnected from your VPN, they’ll let you back in.
There are over 13,000 titles in the entire Netflix library, but most of these are geo-restricted, so you will only be able to access a selection of them no matter where you are in the world (or which VPN server you use). As of December 2020, Netflix Ireland has the largest selection of available titles at 5573, followed by the UK (5527), Canada (5469), the USA (5349), and India (5217). Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Japan, South Korea and Germany also have extensive libraries, all of which contain different titles to one another. That said, bigger doesn’t always mean better. The US and Canada have some of the biggest libraries, but they also have a lot of duds: the average IMDb score of their titles is just under 7. By comparison, Portugal, Russia and Azerbaijan have much smaller libraries, but a far higher proportion of these titles score highly on IMDb. If you’re using the Academy Awards as a barometer, South Korea comes top with over 100 Oscar winning movies and 30 Emmy Award-winning TV shows. Switzerland takes second place.
Netflix signs licensing agreements with distributors for any movies or shows that it doesn’t make in-house. These distributors may already have agreements in place for certain regions, or other reasons they can’t (or won’t) allow Netflix to stream their content in particular countries. Netflix is contractually bound to honoring these licensing agreements, so it does have an obligation to stop people bypassing the rules. The company knows that, when you use a VPN, it can’t be certain where in the world you are. The simplest solution, from their point of view, is to stop you from accessing the Netflix library if they think you’re using a VPN.
The only way to bypass Netflix’s VPN block is to convince them you’re not using a VPN. Top VPN providers are playing a constant cat-and-mouse game with Netflix (and other streaming services), where the site looks for clues that an IP address belongs to a VPN server and the VPN provider adapts in order to conceal those clues and look like a normal IP address. Your best bet is to pay a subscription fee to a leading VPN provider, as they’ll be throwing all the resources they have into making sure they stay ahead of the game.


If you want a VPN that works with Netflix, you will realistically need to pay for it. Luckily, subscriptions to some of the best streaming VPNs  work out at just a few dollars per month. It’s definitely worth the cost to avoid the hassle and frustration of getting blocked by Netflix or spending half your time waiting for the movie to buffer!

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