The Best VPNs for Netflix of 2020

By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Oct 19, 2020

We love VPNs for lots of reasons: they keep our information secure, encrypt our web traffic in a tunnel, and replace our IP address so we can safely join public Wi-Fi networks. However, another reason we can’t live without our VPN is the ability to stream Netflix. With certain VPNs, we can even access Netflix as if we were in another country, giving us access to our favorite U.K. reality shows. Below, we’ll take you through our top picks if you’re just like us and can’t live without binging your favorite series.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

ExpressVPN

Editor's Rating
9.5
/10
ExpressVPN is our favorite VPN service overall and is also a great option for Netflix streamers.

Best Privacy & Security

NordVPN

Editor's Rating
9.4
/10
NordVPN is great for keeping you anonymous and has the added benefit of being able to stream Netflix.

The Best VPN for Netflix in 2020

Comparing VPNs That Work With Netflix

VPNExpressVPNNordVPNFastestVPNStrongVPNIvacy VPN
Rating9.49.58.38.48.5
Minimum Monthly Cost$6.67$3.49$0.83$5.83$2.25
Contract Length1 to 12 months1 to 36 months1 to 60 months1 to 12 months1 to 24 months
Split TunnelingYesNoYes, but not on their Mac or Windows appsOnly on Android devicesYes
NetflixYesYesYesYesYes
TorrentingYesYesYesYesYes
IP AddressesDynamicDedicated, staticAnonymous, staticSharedDedicated, static
Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes MemberNoNoNoYesNo
ReviewExpressVPN ReviewNordVPN ReviewFastestVPN ReviewStrongVPN ReviewIvacy VPN Review

Which VPNs are the Best for Netflix?

  • 1. ExpressVPN – Best Netflix VPN Overall

    Editor's Rating
    9.5
    /10

    ExpressVPN is always a solid contender, and it’s no secret why. Its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands are a major plus, since they don’t have to comply with Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes. Those are international surveillance alliances, and if a company participates in one, it means our data can be surrendered to the government.

    Pros
    • Won’t forfeit our data to the federal government
    • Over 2,000 servers in 148 locations
    • Rotating IP addresses
    • Split tunneling
    Cons
    • Slower for Macs
    • No customer support via phone
    • Can only connect five devices simultaneously
    • High cost compared to competitors

    Wide Reaching Global Network

    ExpressVPN has more than 2,000 servers in 148 locations all across the world. This is a huge deal because the closer we are to a server, the better Internet speeds we’ll enjoy. More servers mean a greater chance of a speedy Internet experience, no matter where we end up traveling. It’s especially cool because if we connected to a server in another country, we experienced the Internet as if we were really there.1

    ExpressVPN App
    ExpressVPN App

    Split Tunneling

    We always keep an eye out for if a VPN offers split tunneling, because it comes in handy quite frequently. We often find ourselves in situations where we need to be on both private and public networks at the same time. With other VPNs, that would mean that we needed to switch off our connection to access files on a public network, which is a big hassle. With ExpressVPN, we can use split tunneling to go through an encrypted tunnel for some of our traffic, while also connecting directly to the Internet when we needed to.

    Stringent Logging Policy

    While ExpressVPN logs some information, like which app and version we used, what server we connected to, how much data we transferred, our email address, and payment information, they didn’t keep records of our web traffic or activity, which is exactly why we used a VPN in the first place. To learn more about ExpressVPN’s privacy policy, check out our ExpressVPN pricing page.

  • 2. NordVPN – Best Security

    Editor's Rating
    9.4
    /10

    A popular choice, NordVPN went above and beyond in our evaluation. We could torrent films and watch Netflix without a hitch, and knowing that it’s headquartered in Panama, outside of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes, made us feel even better about using the service.

    Pros
    • Strong encryption
    • Apps perform well
    • P2P sharing permitted
    • Non-member to Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes
    Cons
    • No split tunneling
    • Static IP addresses
    • Faulty kill switch on iOS
    • No customer support available over the phone

    Double Encryption

    NordVPN uses a double VPN. That means our web traffic was encrypted not once, but twice, and goes through two servers. We believe this is a huge perk, and is especially useful for those who work in fields like journalism, activism, or any other fields where they might have to deal with sensitive information.

    NordVPN Customer Support
    NordVPN Customer Support

    Headquartered in Panama

    VPNs are a lot like real estate: location matters. NordVPN’s headquarters in Panama means that they are not part of any international surveillance alliances, and can’t be forced to give up our data, even if the government is demanding it. Want to learn more about their servers? Read our pricing page for NordVPN.

    P2P Sharing

    We were allowed to peer-to-peer (P2P) file share, meaning that we could share materials like media, books, and music directly with our colleagues. This is a great perk for fun things like our favorite movies, but also really came in handy for file sharing our collaborative work documents.

  • 3. FastestVPN – Most Affordable

    Editor's Rating
    8.3
    /10

    This Cayman Islands-based VPN has more than 250 servers in 37 countries. With FastestVPN, you’ll be able to torrent files, and browse the Internet without slowing down speed. To top it all off, FastestVPN is super affordable, starting at less than just a dollar per month.

    Pros
    • Based in the Cayman Islands, outside of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes jurisdiction
    • Kill switch
    • Ability to connect 10 devices at once
    • Cost
    Cons
    • Can’t do split tunneling on Mac or Windows app
    • No phone line for customer support
    • Static IP addresses
    • No browser extensions

    Kill switch

    A kill switch is like a fail-safe when we’re using a VPN. Meaning, if our VPN fails at any point, the feature will “kill” any web pages or apps that we have open in the background. That way, we never risk exposure, even if something goes wrong with our connection.

    FastestVPN Desktop App
    FastestVPN Desktop App

    10 Devices connected at once

    We were allowed to connect up to 10 of our devices at one time which was super convenient. Many VPNs cap devices at five or six, so we loved that we didn’t have to choose what devices got connections, or keep track of what needed to be toggled on and off.

    Band for your Buck: It’s great when a VPN allows us to connect so many devices because we ultimately only want to get one VPN subscription.

    Affordability

    FastestVPN is one of the most affordable VPNs we’ve seen. While a month-to-month option will cost $10 per month, if we signed up for five years, the monthly total would net out to just $0.83. That’s a price that is really hard for us to resist.

  • 4. StrongVPN – Best for Multiple Devices

    Editor's Rating
    8.4
    /10

    While we used StrongVPN, we connected a whopping 12 devices at the same time. Plus, they’re an older VPN company and have been around since 2005, which makes us trust them that much more. We love that since their founding, they’ve accumulated 950 servers in 24 countries, a decent number.

    Pros
    • Superior customer service
    • Can connect 12 devices simultaneously
    • Super fast on Windows
    • Minimal data logging
    Cons
    • Based in the U.S.
    • Limited split tunnelling on Androids only
    • Not the most affordable option on the market
    • Shared IP address

    Customer support exceeds expectations

    We might be technology pros, but sometimes we’re a little old-fashioned. That’s why we were pumped that StrongVPN offers a telephone support line. Sometimes we just need to speak to a human being, and they were very easy to reach when we wanted to know more details about IP addresses.

    High speed Internet connection

    While VPNs have lots of great perks, some can seriously bog down our Internet speeds. When that happens, it’s like, what’s the point? We’re happy to report that StrongVPN performed well on our speed tests on both Windows and Mac computers. We browsed the web and watched Netflix without skipping a beat.

    StrongVPN Windows App
    StrongVPN Windows App

    Doesn’t log much data

    While no VPN company logs absolutely no data, StrongVPN really only kept the bare minimum, like our email and payment information. They also made use of cookies to improve their website, but we felt comfortable with that.

    Inside Scoop: It’s especially important to look at the logging policies of VPN companies based in the U.S as the government can force them to surrender user data.

  • 5. Ivacy VPN – Best Plan Options

    Editor's Rating
    8.5
    /10

    This Singapore-based company has over 1,000 servers in more than 100 locations. While it’s not the largest or most popular option, Ivacy VPN can still hold its own as a great VPN option.

    Pros
    • Split tunneling on Windows and Android (Have an Android? Read our list of the best VPNs for Android).
    • Offers a seven-day free trial
    • Headquartered in Singapore
    • More than 1,000 servers
    Cons
    • Kill switch only on Android and Windows
    • Shared IP address
    • Only five simultaneously connected devices
    • Not supported on Safari

    Cost-Effective

    We love options, and Ivacy VPN gave us a bunch. If we wanted the best value, we would have signed on for a two-year contract, which would have evened out to just $2.25 a month. If we weren’t up for such a commitment, we could pay month to month for $9.95. At just under $10, even their priciest option is a steal in our book.

    Ivacy VPN Kill Switch
    Ivacy VPN Kill Switch

    Protocol options

    Ivacy VPN allowed us to choose what level of encryption we wanted. This was a great customization because some of us prioritize security, and some of us prioritize speed. Unfortunately, there’s usually a tradeoff between these two things, so we liked that Ivacy VPN let us make the call.

    Split tunneling

    Split tunneling is just what it sounds like: making two tunnels. One of them is encrypted by the VPN, while the other connects directly to our Internet Service Provider. We can choose what web traffic we want to be encrypted by Ivacy VPN to reduce bandwidth and make for a smoother experience.

How We Test VPNs: Methodology

We spend lots of time testing out all these VPNs and want to let you know exactly what’s behind our recommendations. We’ve come up with a framework that evaluates each VPN by key standards like encryption standards, IP addresses, amount of data logged, customer service, etc., to confirm that it does all that a VPN should do. On top of that, we put each VPN through speed and security tests to ensure we don’t get too bogged down, and that nothing accidentally leaks. We’ll take you step by step below on all of that and more.

Speed

Typically, our VPNs will get tested from our Brooklyn office. We have a private Optimum network there, but on some rare occasions, we will test VPNs when we travel to the Philippines or even Poland.

Our control is our Internet speed without a VPN, and we’re sure to only connect one device at a time. We know our readers use all different devices, so we make sure to test on a Macbook Air or Pro and a Windows Vivobook or an Acer Aspire 5. We use the website SpeedTest.net.4 to test download speed, upload speed and ping (latency). First, we perform tests with the VPN, and then, without. Download and upload speed are measured in megabits per second, while latency is measured in milliseconds. Once we take these two measures, we identify the difference in terms of a percentage to account for any discrepancies between the greatly varied natural speeds of Macs and Windows computers.

Distance to the server, operating system and device all impact speed, but it’s ideal that VPNs have no more than a 40 percent difference in any of our categories (ping, download speed or upload speed).

Security

We all want to feel safe while using the Internet, which is why VPNs are so popular. We don’t want our domain names (website names) and their IP addresses available to anyone, not even the government. It’s also important for us to know that users’ IP addresses aren’t being leaked due to WebRTC, which allows browsers to communicate directly with each other and is the default on browsers like Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Opera. We tend to stick to Chrome, so this struck a chord with us personally.

We test for DNS leaks by using DNSLeakTest.com. By comparing our computer’s IP address with the IP addresses that the website shows, we can tell if there was a DNS link while using the VPN or not. Then, we test for WebRTC leaks by leveraging a tool available on ExpressVPN’s website. We use a similar tactic where we look at the local and Public IPv4 IP addresses to see if there were any WebRTC leaks.

ExpressVPN WebRTC Leak Test
ExpressVPN WebRTC Leak Test

We also go through the companies’ privacy policies with a fine-toothed comb to get a thorough understanding of their data-logging policies. We take note of where a company is headquartered, because it dictates if they are members of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes. Those are international surveillance alliances that have the potential to legally force companies to surrender customer data. While it’s ideal for a company to not be located in a country impacted by such agreements, we also prefer they log minimal user account information. We find things like name, email and payment information acceptable, but don’t see why VPNs would log additional data, like when customers use their VPNs, how long they use it for, how much data they’ve transferred, what servers they use, what websites they visit and more.

In our full in-depth reviews, we also conduct a full analysis of a VPN’s encryption methods and Internet protocols to make sure they meet the industry standards. We prefer VPNs with AES-256 encryption and OpenVPN, which are some of the highest standards of security on the market.

We take note of how a company handles IP addresses because it impacts our likelihood of being tracked. It’s best if a company offers dynamic addresses that change each time we log on, making it even harder to track what we are doing. Static IP addresses stay the same and that makes them less desirable and easier to track. Finally, we make sure that each VPN has a kill switch. This function shuts down Internet browsers in the unlikely event that a VPN fails. If a kill switch isn’t in place, our activity could become exposed, which is a no-go for us.

Torrenting and Netflix

VPNs are also used to watch movies and television. We make sure to keep track of which VPNs offer torrenting and have access to Netflix.2 The Netflix part can be a bit of a toss-up, as the entertainment giant is always updating its code to block VPNs. Even though we test our ability to access Netflix, we can’t guarantee that it will always work for everyone.

Split Tunneling and Encryption

Split tunneling is another feature we’re on the lookout for. It lets us use both the VPN, and a public network at the same time. The lower bandwidth can create faster speeds. We prefer double or multi-hop VPNs, because this means that data is encrypted multiple times through multiple servers.

Subscriptions

We know that cost is a big decision driver, so we promise to give it to you straight. Most VPNs offer many options and that can be overwhelming. Luckily, we spend lots of time looking at VPNs and will make sure to point out a really good deal when one pops up. Some VPNs are super cost-effective, with monthly fees of less than a dollar if you sign on for a long-term commitment. Alternatively, certain companies offer subscriptions as expensive as $15 each month. We like it when a company offers several options in their pricing structure, like the ability to pay month-to-month, or pay less monthly for a longer-term contract. We also look for the option to give a VPN a test run through a free trial or money-back guarantee period. Finally, we specify what actually comes in a subscription in terms of how many servers the company offers and how many devices can be connected simultaneously.

Customer Support

Once our readers decide on a VPN, we want to make sure they stay in good hands. That’s why customer support is another dimension we look at VPNs through. We check what resources are available in the event that issues pop up. Most companies offer a live chat option, email support, and a searchable compilation of past users’ questions. Once in a while, a company will have a support line available via phone. That’s not too common, so if a company has one it scores major brownie points.

FAQs About VPNs that Work with Netflix

  • Can I use Netflix on a VPN?

    The short answer is, you may or may not be able to use Netflix with a VPN; it depends on the VPN and the server you’re connecting to. While many VPNs allow Netflix, plenty of companies are blocked. Additionally, Netflix is consistently trying to block users from accessing their service through a VPN, so this access is subject to change. All the VPNs featured in this review allowed us to use Netflix.

  • Why do I need a VPN?

    Getting a VPN is important to keep our information, like our files and photos, in addition to our browsing activity encrypted. This means that we are using the Internet in a safer and more private way.

  • Do VPNs track me?

    Typically, you cannot be tracked if you use a VPN. While the point of a VPN is to hide web traffic and activity, some VPN companies do keep track of things like your real IP address, the device you are on, when you went online, and potentially more. This is why we pay such close attention to companies’ privacy policies.

  • How do I get a VPN?

    You can get a VPN by making an online purchase through the VPN’s website. You can also get a VPN through your device’s app store. Be sure that you log into your VPN on all your devices and remember, you can use the same subscription across devices in most cases.

Citations
  1. Los Angeles Times. (2010). VPN opens a forbidden window.
    latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-jan-31-la-fi-piratetv31-2010jan31-story.html

  2. New York Times. (2015). VPNs Dissolve National Boundaries Online, for Work and Movie-Watching.
    bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/in-ways-legal-and-illegal-vpn-technology-is-erasing-international-borders/