How to Watch Netflix With a VPN

By using a VPN, you can get access to hundreds of TV shows and movies not available in your current library.

By
&
Aliza Vigderman Gabe Turner Chief Editor
Last Updated on Feb 16, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Feb 16, 2021

Even though Netflix may have thousands of titles to choose from, sometimes, you just can’t find something you like. Or maybe you’re traveling in a foreign country where Netflix is banned, but you’re dying to catch up on “Selling Sunset”. That’s okay because you can easily watch another country’s Netflix library simply by using a VPN. We’ll tell you the how, the why, and the what.

VyprVPN Connected in Germany
VyprVPN Connected in Germany

How to Watch Netflix With a VPN

To watch Netflix with a VPN, do the following steps:

  1. First, choose a VPN that works with Netflix. We list all of your options in detail below.
  2. After you’ve signed up for your account, download the VPN app on the device you want to watch Netflix on.
  3. Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed in, connect to another country’s compatible server. This will automatically change your region on Netflix, once you sign on.
  4. Now that the VPN is turned on, log into Netflix, sit back, and watch.
HMA VPN on on Mac
HMA VPN on on Mac

VPNs That Work With Netflix

Most of the VPNs we’ve tested work with Netlflix; however, many have limits on the compatible servers, as Netflix blocks IP addresses once it determines that they’re from VPNs. Still, VPNs are always racing to create new servers and IP addresses, so there’s still plenty of Netflix-compatible options.

VPN Does It Work With Netflix?
Astrill VPN ✓*not all servers
Avast SecureLine VPN
AVG VPN
Bitdefender Premium VPN
BlackVPN X
CyberGhost ✓*certain prerequisites depending on the country
Encrypt.me X
ExpressVPN
FastestVPN
HideMyAss
Hotspot Shield
ibVPN ✓* sometimes
IPVanish X
Ivacy VPN
IVPN X
Kaspersky VPN ✓* with premium plans in the U.S. and U.K.
KeepSolid VPN Unlimited ✓* U.S. only
Malwarebytes VPN ✓*sometimes
McAfee Safe Connect ✓*sometimes
Mozilla VPN X
NordVPN
Norton Secure VPN ✓*not all regions
Perfect Privacy X
Private Internet Access ✓*not guaranteed
ProtonVPN
PureVPN
StrongVPN
Surfshark
Trust.Zone ✓* on some servers in U.S., U.K., Canada, and France
TunnelBear X
VPNSecure X* but working on it for the future
VyprVPN ✓* Canada, Germany, U.S, and U.K.
Windscribe ✓* U.S. and U.K. only

Free vs. Paid Options

While we recommend getting a paid VPN to avoid the time, server, speed, and data limits, there are free VPNs and VPNs with free trials that work with Netflix. Here are some noteworthy options:

  • HideMyAss: HideMyAss, often abbreviated as HMA, offers users a seven-day free trial of its premium VPN. After that, prices start at $2.99 a month with the three-year plan, although you will still have a money-back guarantee for the first 30 days.
  • ProtonVPN: ProtonVPN’s pricing is different from HMA’s, as there’s no time limit to its free VPN. But before you get too excited, you’re limited to one device, speeds are half as fast as the premium version, and you can only connect to servers in the U.S, Japan, and the Netherlands. These limitations will probably be deal breakers for most, so it may be worth it to bite the bullet and pay for ProtonVPN, which starts at $3.29 per month for a two-year plan.
  • Surfshark: Surfshark makes it simple with a free 30-day trial with no limitations. After that, Surfshark’s costs start at $2.49 for a two-year package.
  • Windscribe: Windscribe offers a completely free VPN that you can use indefinitely. However, it only provides users with 10GB a month, which may not be enough to watch all the Netflix you want. Plus, you can only connect to 10 out of 62 servers, which includes:
    • Canada
    • France
    • Germany
    • Hong Kong
    • Norway
    • Romania
    • Switzerland
    • The Netherlands
    • The U.K.
    • The U.S.

    Windscribe’s pricing is reasonable, starting at $4.08 a month if you sign up for a year.

How to Choose

Once you have determined that a VPN is compatible with Netflix, keep these other considerations in mind:

  • Price: It’s not necessary to spend more than $10 a month on a VPN.

Pro Tip: If you want a VPN to watch Netflix for the long term, you can save money by signing up for longer contracts.

  • Device compatibility: Make sure the VPN works on the device you want to watch Netflix on, be it a VPN for the Fire TV Stick, a VPN for your router, a VPN for your iPhone, a VPN for your Android, etc.
  • Servers: If you want to connect to a specific server, check to see that it works with Netflix, and that the VPN has a server in that location in the first place. Most VPN companies list their server locations on their website, and whether or not these servers work with Netflix.
  • Privacy: If privacy is a concern; for instance, if you’re watching Netflix in a place where it’s banned, like China or North Korea,1 you have more considerations to mull over. One, make sure that your VPN won’t keep any of your web traffic or device IP addresses. Two, make sure that the VPN is headquartered in a Five Eyes nonmember country so they won’t share your information with governments around the world. Finally, look for VPNs with AES-256 encryption, the current industry standard.

FYI: To see what your VPN logs, go to its website and look for the privacy policy, usually linked to at the bottom of web pages.

  • Speed: Especially with VPNs for streaming, speed is important; after all, you can’t handle buffering when it’s the season finale of “The Great British Baking Show,” can you? Look at our speed test results to find a VPN that’s fast enough for your needs; alternatively, if the VPN has a free option or a free trial, you can do a speed test yourself. Simply Google “free speed test,” and use a tool that is presented.2
  • Connections: Whether you watch Netflix on multiple devices or you just want general protection, make sure that your subscription covers all of the devices you need to connect, in general and simultaneously.

What If I Can’t Get Netflix To Work with a VPN?

You may see a message that states, “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy”. The truth is that not all VPNs work with Netflix. Here’s a comprehensive list, so you don’t waste your time.

VPNs That Don’t Work With Netflix

  • Perfect Privacy
  • Blackvpn
  • IVPN
  • Encrypt.me
  • TunnelBear
  • VPNSecure
  • Mozilla VPN

When you get this error, first try switching to another IP address and/or server on the VPN you’re connected to. If that doesn’t work, change VPNs to one that’s compatible with Netflix. Another option is getting a dedicated IP address, meaning you’re the only one on it. This makes it much less likely that Netflix has blocked it; typically, they block IP addresses that thousands of users share.

Why Netflix Is Different in Different Countries

Since Netflix is a website, it should have the same content no matter where you are, right? Wrong. Each country has its own unique Netflix library, so by changing your IP address, you can unlock new content.The U.S. currently has the largest Netflix library with 5,932 different movies and TV shows. They’re followed by the U.K., Canada, Greece, and India.3

NordVPN Speed Test Brussles
NordVPN Speed Test Brussles

How to Optimize VPN Speeds for Netflix

While all VPNs will slow your streaming down a little bit, they also have advantages when it comes to speed.

Do VPNs Block Throttling?

Some internet service providers (ISPs) may throttle websites, meaning slow them down intentionally. However, by using a VPN, your ISP won’t know what websites you’re on, making throttling impossible. We recommend doing a speed test to quantify the slowdowns precisely. After that, your best bet is to turn off all other websites, web apps, and other devices on your network to optimize speeds.

Surfshark Speed Test
Surfshark Speed Test

Will Netflix Ban Me If I Use a VPN?

While Netflix has a ban against VPNs and proxy servers, it’s perfectly legal to use VPNs on Netflix; it just may not work. Netflix has specific licensing agreements with TV shows and movies, meaning that they’re only allowed to offer them to certain audiences, divided by country. As VPNs replace IP addresses, making users seem like they’re elsewhere, you can see where this becomes a licensing issue. Don’t worry about being carted off to jail if you use a VPN on Netflix. Unless you’re in a country where VPNs are illegal,4 you should be safe and sound.

Kaspersky VPN on Mac Screenshot
Kaspersky VPN on Mac Screenshot

Recap

And that covers everything you need to know about watching a VPN on Netflix. Whether you’re at home and itching for that funny British show, or traveling and want to figure out the twist at the end of a TV show from home, VPNs are a helpful tool to unlock new content.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still got questions? We’ve got answers.

  • How do I use a VPN with Netflix?

    To use a VPN with Netflix, first find a VPN that’s compatible. Then, go to the VPN’s website, make an account, pay for a subscription, and download the VPN app on the device you want to watch Netflix on. Sign in to the VPN app, connect to a server, and watch Netflix.

  • Can I access Netflix libraries from countries other than the U.S. with a VPN?

    Yes, you can access Netflix libraries from countries other than the U.S. with a VPN. By replacing your device’s IP address with that of a foreign server, you can trick Netflix into thinking you’re somewhere else so that they show you libraries from other countries.

  • Is it legal to use a VPN with Netflix?

    In the U.S, it is legal to use a VPN with Netflix, although the company doesn’t allow it, technically. However, some countries ban VPNs, so make sure that you’re following the law, wherever you may be.

  • Which free VPNs work with Netflix?

    Some free VPNs that work with Netflix are HideMyAss, ProtonVPN, Surfshark and Windscribe.

Citations
  1. Netflix. (2021). Where is Netflix available?
    help.netflix.com/en/node/14164

  2. Google. (2021). Search Results: Free Speed Test.
    google.com/search?q=free+speed+test&oq=free+speed+test&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l2j69i60l5.1954j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

  3. Statista. (2021). Biggest Netflix libraries in the world 2019.
    statista.com/statistics/1013571/netflix-library-size-worldwide/

  4. Norton. (2021). Are VPNs legal or illegal?
    us.norton.com/internetsecurity-privacy-are-vpns-legal.html