Updated Netflix VPN test results valid for July 2021.
Netflix remains the most popular streaming platform around, but you’ll need the best VPN for Netflix if you want to unlock all shows and regions from anywhere in the world. But how do you find the best Netflix VPN when there are so many VPNs on the market?
We set out to answer this question by testing all of the top VPNs and posting the results in this guide below. We conduct regular tests to verify exactly which Netflix VPNs are working consistently without any problems.
WARNING: Even though there are still a few VPNs that work with Netflix, the vast majority do not work well, even if they claim to be good “Netflix VPNs”. This is because:
- Most VPNs are blocked by Netflix.
- Many VPNs are too slow to work well with streaming, which results in buffering, interruptions, and videos timing out.
- Very few VPNs can unblock a large selection of Netflix libraries around the world on a consistent basis.
Because Netflix is actively rolling out new blocks, most of the smaller VPN services simply cannot stay ahead of this cat-and-mouse game. Therefore we are recommending only three VPNs for Netflix. These three VPNs work the best at consistently (every day) unblocking the largest selection of Netflix libraries around the world.
So without further delay, here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:
- The 3 best VPNs for Netflix that are working right now with a large selection of Netflix libraries
- 20 VPNs that are blocked (or too slow) with Netflix
- Netflix VPN FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Netflix VPN Comparison Table
The Best VPN for Netflix
- NordVPN – Best all-around VPN for Netflix
- Surfshark – A low-cost VPN for unblocking Netflix
- ExpressVPN – Reliable Netflix VPN for many regions
Ranking the best Netflix VPNs
Here are the criteria that we used for ranking the best VPNs for Netflix:
- Unblocks American Netflix, as well as other popular Netflix regions
- Excellent speeds and reliability to stream HD Netflix without interruptions.
- Professional and prompt technical support.
- Reliable and secure VPN apps to use on Netflix streaming devices.
- Thoroughly tested and found to perform well with different devices and server locations.
Now let’s examine the test results.
1. NordVPN – Best VPN for Netflix in 2021
|Logs||No logs (audited)|
|Support||24/7 Live chat|
NordVPN is currently the best VPN for Netflix simply because it always works with the service and offers the fastest speeds with consistent reliability. With a huge network of global servers, NordVPN unblocks numerous Netflix regions with ease (see the list below). While most VPNs struggle to provide consistently fast speeds for HD streaming, NordVPN delivers. Below is one of our tests with NordVPN using the WireGuard (NordLynx) protocol, which gave us download speeds of 445 Mbps in the NordVPN review.
With NordVPN’s network of 5,400 servers spread across 59 locations, you can easily find a fast server near you. All of these servers are running in RAM-disk (no hard drives) for enhanced security and to ensure no data is stored on any server. Being legally based in Panama, NordVPN can maintain a strict no-logs policy. It is one of the few no-logs VPNs that has been independently audited.
For Netflix streaming, NordVPN is the top-performer. It supports all major Netflix libraries around the world and have dedicated apps for all types of streaming devices, from computers, phones, and tablets to Android TV boxes, Smart TVs and more. They even offer a dedicated app for using a VPN with FireStick. Below I’m streaming American Netflix through a NordVPN server in the US:
Aside from being a leader in streaming, NordVPN is also among the best VPNs with privacy and security. It has passed third-party security audits conducted by Versprite as well as no-logs audits conducted by PWC AG in Switzerland. Additionally, NordVPN offers many advanced privacy features:
- CyberSec feature to block ads, trackers, and malware domains
- Double-VPN servers that encrypt and route traffic over two different locations
- Tor-over-VPN servers that encrypt traffic with the Tor network, in addition to the VPN server
- Obfuscated servers to conceal VPN traffic as regular HTTPS encryption (a useful feature if you need a VPN for China)
One other huge advantage you get with NordVPN is the WireGuard VPN protocol. This gives NordVPN users a big performance advantage over other VPNs. For example, you can see in the ExpressVPN vs NordVPN comparison how NordVPN came out on top in every speed test. Aside from blazing-fast speeds, WireGuard also connects quickly, can easily transition between network interfaces, and works much better on mobile devices than legacy VPN protocols. This protocol also offers major security and encryption upgrades over OpenVPN and IPSec.
NordVPN also stands out in the area of customer support with a 30 day money-back guarantee. This gives you plenty of time to test NordVPN with Netflix to make sure everything works well. And if you need help getting everything setup correctly, NordVPN provides 24/7 live chat support directly through the website.
Other streaming services: With support for Netflix, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and numerous regional channels, we’ve rated NordVPN as the best VPN for streaming. It simply offers the best access in comparison to all the other VPNs we’ve tested, along with great apps for all streaming devices.
Netflix Regions: NordVPN currently unblocks the following Netflix regions: US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Korea. NordVPN support staff told me other locations are available as well, but these are some of the most-used locations.
- Works with 15+ Netflix regions
- Supports numerous streaming services
- User-friendly apps for all devices and operating systems
- Double-VPN and Tor-over-VPN servers
- 24/7 live chat support and 30 day money-back guarantee
- No logs (audited)
- Upgraded network security with all servers running in RAM-disk mode
- Full WireGuard support
- CyberSec feature to block tracking, ads, and malware domains
- Big discounts only available for longer subscriptions
Check out our NordVPN review for more info.
2. Surfshark – A low-cost VPN for unblocking Netflix
|Based in||British Virgin Islands|
|Support||24/7 Live chat|
Surfshark is probably the cheapest VPN for Netflix you will find that still works really well. Officially launched in 2018, Surfshark offers a secure, high-performance VPN that delivers access to all major Netflix regions. And aside from the low price, Surfshark also stands out by giving you an unlimited number of connections. This allows you to stream Netflix on every device (the whole family!) without having to worry about exceeding your connection limit.
Surfshark is a great option for all types of streaming. In addition to Netflix support, you can also use this VPN for Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and many other services. It’s a great VPN for Amazon Prime with a dedicated Firestick app in the Amazon Store.
Following NordVPN’s lead, Surfshark recently integrated the WireGuard protocol into their service. With Surfshark’s WireGuard servers, I was able to hit speeds of 397 Mbps in the Surfshark review. This means Surfshark will deliver more than enough bandwidth for HD streaming on all your devices.
With premium speeds and support for all types of devices, Surfshark is also a great VPN for Kodi streaming. Like our other top Netflix VPNs, Surfshark has a large network with 3,200+ servers in 65 countries. This large network will unlock many Netflix libraries and streaming services around the world. Below I am using a Surfshark server in London to watch UK Netflix:
Surfshark also does well with security. VPN traffic is encrypted with an AES-256 cipher via the OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, and a ChaCha20 cipher with WireGuard. Like NordVPN, Surfshark offers many great privacy features:
- CleanWeb feature to block ads, trackers, and malware domains
- Double-VPN servers to secure traffic with an extra layer of encryption
- Browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome browsers
- Whitelister split tunneling feature to route certain apps or websites outside of the VPN tunnel
At only $2.49 per month with the coupon below, Surfshark is probably the cheapest VPN worth considering for Netflix. All plans come with a 30 day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support.
Regional Netflix availability: Surfshark officially supports and unblocks ten different Netflix regions: US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Poland, Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Sweden, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Turkey, and Taiwan. Surfshark may also work on other Netflix regions.
- Unlimited connections
- User-friendly apps for all devices and operating systems
- CleanWeb feature to block ads, trackers, and malware domains
- Works great with numerous Netflix regions (over 16)
- Unblocks Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services
- 24/7 live chat support + 30 day refund window
- Split tunneling feature
- Secure encryption and leak protection features
- Limited VPN router support
- Discounts limited to long-term subscriptions
Our Surfshark review has more info and test results.
3. ExpressVPN – Reliable Netflix VPN for many regions
|Based in||British Virgin Islands|
|Support||24/7 Live chat|
Third up on our list of the best Netflix VPNs is ExpressVPN. While it may be more expensive than NordVPN and Surfshark, ExpressVPN is a very reliable service that has always performed well with Netflix. And like our other top Netflix VPNs, ExpressVPN offers consistent and reliable access to a huge selection of Netflix regions.
Fast speeds – ExpressVPN is a fast VPN service. They have developed their own protocol called Lightway, which outperforms OpenVPN and other legacy protocols. In our tests we could get up to 235 Mbps. And while this is certainly fast enough for HD streaming, it’s not quite on par with WireGuard, as we found in the ExpressVPN vs Surfshark comparison.
ExpressVPN also does very well in the areas of security and online anonymity, with maximum encryption and excellent privacy features. ExpressVPN’s apps are user-friendly, simple, and come with built-in leak protection via the Network Lock (kill switch) feature.
And similar to NordVPN and Surfshark, ExpressVPN provides a large selection of VPN apps for all types of devices and operating systems. This includes Smart TVs through the MediaStreamer feature, as well as computers, phones, tablets, routers, and more. They even offer a dedicated VPN router app. Below I’m streaming American Netflix through an ExpressVPN server in the US:
Support – ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support directly through their website. This may come in handy when setting up ExpressVPN to use Netflix on your computer, TV box, tablet, or other devices. To remove any risk, ExpressVPN offers a 30 day money-back guarantee with all plans. This gives you lots of time to ensure it works perfectly for your situation with Netflix streaming or anything else.
Regional Netflix availability – ExpressVPN provides access to the following Netflix regions: US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Japan, and Germany. Like NordVPN and Surfshark, ExpressVPN also supports some smaller regions as well.
Other streaming services – ExpressVPN works well with most other streaming services. It is a good VPN for Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus. However, it currently is not working with BBC iPlayer (based on our tests).
- User-friendly and secure apps
- Fast speeds throughout the server network
- Split tunneling feature (for Mac OS, Windows, and routers)
- Works with Netflix and most streaming services
- 24/7 live chat support
- Passed independent third-party audits for security and no-logs
- Very large server network
- Above-average prices
- Fewer features than some leading VPNs
20 VPNs that are BLOCKED (or too slow) with Netflix
Unfortunately, most VPN services on the market today are blocked with Netflix or are simply too slow to work well. In the past, nearly all VPNs worked with Netflix, but that all changed when Netflix decided to actively block VPN services in 2016.
Now let’s take a look at VPNs that are not working well with Netflix.
Disclaimer: This list is based on my own experience testing numerous VPNs with Netflix. Since variables are always changing with Netflix and VPNs, this list may not reflect the most recent changes. If in doubt, check with your VPN provider to see if it’s working.
Here are a few VPNs that I have found to not work well with Netflix:
CyberGhost not working with Netflix
In our CyberGhost review, we showed how the VPN was getting blocked by US Netflix. This occurred even while we were using the CyberGhost server that was dedicated for streaming Netflix in the US.
You can see the CyberGhost VPN server in the background (right) with the Netflix proxy error message on the left.
PureVPN too slow for Netflix
PureVPN is not the best choice to use with Netflix, mainly due to performance problems. Extensive testing for the PureVPN review identified serious issues, including slow speeds, data leaks, and dropped connections. This would make viewing Netflix very frustrating.
Even worse, PureVPN was found to be logging customer data and handing it over to the FBI (US authorities), despite claiming to have a “zero logs policy”.
Hola is another free VPN service that should probably be avoided if you are looking to stream Netflix. It was found to be hijacking user bandwidth and fraudulently reselling it through its sister company Luminati. These bandwidth-stealing practices expose the end-user to all kinds of problems and dangers.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is a decent VPN service, but it’s not a great VPN to use with Netflix. In my own tests of Private Internet Access, I found it to be consistently blocked with US Netflix. PIA claims to sometimes work with Netflix, but for me, it has never worked well.
TunnelBear is known for its free VPN (giving users 200 Mb of free data per month) but it does not work well with Netflix. In testing out the service for the TunnelBear review, I also found the speeds to be quite slow, which would make Netflix streaming difficult.
IPVanish is a decent VPN service, although it does not do a great job of unblocking Netflix. I asked a customer support representative if IPVanish works with Netflix and he had this to say: “Netflix has been very vigilant recently in trying to block our services.” If you want a VPN that works consistently with Netflix, IPVanish is not the answer.
IPVanish was also caught logging users and providing the data to the FBI, despite claiming to be a “zero logs” VPN service. (We discuss this more in the IPVanish review.)
HideMyAss (HMA VPN)
In our tests for the HideMyAss review, we found it to work sporadically with US Netflix. However, it would get blocked for other regions, such as Netflix UK and Netflix Canada.
Other VPNs that are blocked with Netflix
In addition to the providers mentioned above, these VPNs also were found to not work well with Netflix:
- Avast Secureline VPN
- Private Tunnel
- F-Secure Freedome
- AVG VPN
- Ra4w VPN
- Celo VPN
- Kaspersky Secure Connection
Important: This is just a small sample of VPNs that are blocked or not working well with Netflix, but there are surely many more. Keep in mind, however, that the Netflix VPN blocking game is dynamic. Therefore this list will continue to change as Netflix and VPNs evolve with these changes.
Using a VPN to unblock different Netflix regional libraries
We have been testing out VPNs with Netflix for about 4+ years — and there is a reason we only recommend the three VPNs above. The answer is simple: they unblock a large number of regions on a consistent basis.
One of the best advantages of using a VPN with Netflix is that it gives you access to a huge library of content. With your Netflix account, all you need is a good Netflix VPN to unblock a large selection of content from all over the world. Take for example NordVPN. You can use their servers to access more than 15 different Netflix regional libraries.
The streaming possibilities are truly endless — especially when you consider the other streaming services you can access through your VPN.
Most “Netflix VPNs” are very restricted
There are many VPNs that claim to “work with Netflix” — but they usually don’t tell you the regions they support. This is because most of these “Netflix VPN” services only support one or two regions. One example of this is HideMyAss VPN. In our HideMyAss VPN review, we found that it only worked with US Netflix, while all other regions were blocked.
Therefore if you want full access to the largest selection of Netflix regional libraries, go with one of the recommended VPNs above.
Netflix VPN FAQs
Aside from determining which VPN is best for Netflix, there are many other areas you may be wondering about. Below we will address different questions and topics that often come up when discussing Netflix and VPNs. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- How to watch Netflix with a VPN when abroad or overseas
- How to unblock Netflix
- How to access American Netflix from other countries
- What free VPN works with Netflix?
- Why does Netflix block VPN users?
- What is the fastest VPN for streaming Netflix?
- How much speed do you need with a VPN to stream Netflix?
How to watch Netflix with a VPN when traveling abroad
Many people who work or travel abroad are looking to Unblock Netflix with a VPN. As long as you are using a good VPN and have enough bandwidth for streaming, you can watch Netflix with your VPN by following these simple steps:
Step 1: Choose a good Netflix VPN service
First you need a good VPN that works with Netflix:
Any of these VPNs will work well with Netflix streaming.
Step 2: Install the VPN software on your streaming device(s)
You will be able to find the VPN software for your specific device(s) directly on the VPN’s website. If you go with NordVPN, you’ll have access to a large selection of VPN apps for all types of devices and operating systems, including TV boxes, Smart TVs, and Amazon FireTV/Fire Stick, as well as computers, routers, tablets, phones, and more.
Step 3: Connect to a VPN server
Simply open the VPN app on your device and connect to a server in the location where Netflix is available, such as in the US or UK. To improve Netflix VPN performance, connect to the closest VPN server possible.
Note: You may need to check with your VPN provider to learn which servers to use.
Step 4: Enjoy streaming with Netflix from abroad
Now just log in to your existing Netflix account and enjoy streaming Netflix as normal. From Netflix’s perspective, you are just another user connecting from the country where your VPN server is located.
How to unblock Netflix regions
One problem with streaming Netflix is that it is often blocked in various regions. When this happens, one of two things will happen:
- You will get a proxy error message; or
- You will be unable to locate the titles for the region you want to access.
As an example of the second case, let’s say you want to access US Netflix in order to stream The Office. If you are getting blocked by Netflix (through your VPN), then you will simply not be able to find The Office anywhere in the library.
Many people who try to access Netflix through a VPN or proxy service will run into the message below about an “unblocker or proxy” being used (the first case from above). Here’s what this looks like (the image below is from the NordVPN vs PIA comparison).
Here are some different solutions that should help you unblock Netflix:
- Use one of the Netflix VPNs listed in this guide whenever you stream Netflix.
- If you are still getting blocked, contact the VPN’s support, and then connect to the exact server they recommend for streaming Netflix.
That’s pretty much the secret to unblocking Netflix. Use a good VPN and connect to the correct VPN server.
There is a perpetual cat and mouse game that is being played between Netflix and VPN services. We regularly see Netflix block some VPN servers (IP addresses) and then the VPN will roll out a new solution. So if you are already using a Netflix VPN from above, just verify which server will allow you to unblock Netflix with the VPN’s support department.
How to watch American Netflix from other countries
Many people living and working overseas are looking to access Netflix from abroad. This applies to expats and also foreign nationals – but there is one region that stands out from them all: Netflix in the US.
Why do so many people want to access American Netflix with a VPN?
The reason for this is simple: American Netflix has the largest video library anywhere. Other Netflix regions in various parts of the world only have a fraction of what US Netflix offers. For example, UK Netflix only gives you about one-third of the content available through US Netflix media library!
A VPN remains the best available tool to unblock websites and other content around the world.
Whether you are an expat living in Europe, Asia, or South America, you can have the best that American Netflix offers, wherever you are located. Or perhaps you are simply an American traveling and working abroad. Either way, it is easy to unblock American Netflix using the steps in this guide.
To access American Netflix from overseas simply follow the steps laid out above. Any of the recommended Netflix VPNs on this page will give you full access to American Netflix. You just need to choose one of the VPNs and then connect to a VPN server for full access.
Do you need to pay for American Netflix with a US payment method?
You can access American Netflix from anywhere in the world, even if you purchased your Netflix subscription in a different country, such as France or Japan. All you need is a US IP address, which you can access by connecting to a US server through your VPN. This will unblock American Netflix, regardless of whichever Netflix region you originally subscribed to.
What free VPN works with Netflix?
There are not very many good free VPNs that work with Netflix simply because most free VPNs are blocked. But there is another problem that arises when trying to use a free VPN for Netflix:
When something is free, you are the product.
As time goes on, this is becoming clear with free VPN services, which are inherently risky. For example, with third parties having access to your browsing history and data, which is collected by the VPN and then sold to third parties (usually advertisers). How else could a VPN with high fixed costs be free? (By collecting and selling user data.)
Some VPNs also offer a limited amount of free data, but force you to upgrade to a paid plan if you want more. One example of this is TunnelBear, but as we already pointed out, it does not work with Netflix. Free trial VPN services might be a better alternative.
Therefore you’re back to the only viable option: using a safe, secure, paid VPN service.
Why does Netflix block / ban VPN users?
The infamous Netflix VPN ban was officially rolled out in early 2016. Following the initial announcement in January 2016, Netflix initiated a number of consecutive steps to further block VPN and smart DNS services. By January of 2017, many of the VPNs that previously worked with Netflix could no longer access the service.
The Netflix VPN ban and the continual efforts to block paying customers from access is somewhat ridiculous. After all, why should paying customers be blocked from using a service that they have already paid for?
The answer to that question is that Netflix caved in to pressure from large copyright holders, who wanted to further restrict access to their licensed content. This is usually done so that they can charge people more money to stream the same movie in different locations.
This also lines up with the trend we see unfolding whereby the internet is getting carved up and more restricted, with the gatekeepers blocking access to content, media, websites, etc.
Fortunately, there are a handful of VPN services that continue to invest significant resources into unblocking Netflix, while many others have simply given up completely. However, we see similar restrictions rolling out in 2021 with bans on account sharing.
Is it illegal to use a VPN for Netflix?
Generally speaking, it is not illegal to use a VPN for Netflix. The VPN blocks are put in place by Netflix to limit content. In other words, these blocks are not carried out by state governments or municipalities. Therefore getting around these blocks should not be illegal or break any laws where you are located.
With that being said, we encourage you to check your local laws just to be safe, and of course this is not legal advice. VPNs can be a grey area in some places of the world, such as in China, Dubai, and some other countries with restrictive internet regulations. So do your own homework beforehand.
What is the fastest VPN for streaming Netflix?
The fastest VPN for streaming Netflix is NordVPN. It consistently delivers the fastest speeds with the WireGuard protocol, around 445 Mbps in my tests. The runner up, not far behind, is Surfshark, which was about 400 Mbps in my tests.
To get the fastest VPN speeds when streaming Netflix, use NordVPN or Surfshark, and then connect to a nearby server with the WireGuard protocol. ExpressVPN is also fast with the Lightway protocol.
VPN speed was a key consideration when ranking the best VPN services for Netflix. So let’s examine this use in more detail.
How much speed do you need with your VPN to stream Netflix?
Here are some benchmarks for streaming speed and quality:
- 500 Kbps = Minimum quality
- 1,500 Kbps [1.5 Mbps] = Normal quality (less than 480p)
- 3,000 Kbps [3 Mbps] = SD quality (480p or better)
- 5,000 Kbps [5 Mbps] = HD quality (720p or better)
- 25,000 Kbps [25 Mbps] = Ultra HD quality (1080p or better)
To optimize the best speed and reliability, connect to the closest VPN server you can. For example, if you are in the UK and want to stream American Netflix, a VPN server in New York would be better than a VPN server in Los Angeles. This will minimize latency and should improve overall performance.
Depending on your VPN provider, you may want to experiment with a few different locations. If you ever notice speed issues with your VPN, you can always troubleshoot with the VPN’s support department – or switch to a faster VPN service.
Conclusion: Use a good Netflix VPN in 2021
Using the best Netflix VPN will unlock a world of potential for you – wherever you may be located. A VPN will allow you to:
- Access Netflix from any location in the world.
- Unblock American Netflix to give you access to the largest selection of movies and TV shows.
- Access other Netflix regions, such as Netflix UK, Canada, France, Netherlands, and many more.
- Encrypt your internet connection to give you more privacy and security while streaming your favorite shows.
Even though accessing Netflix with a VPN continues to be a cat and mouse game with some providers, all of the VPNs recommended in this guide should give you everything you need. The trend with people using VPNs for streaming will only continue to grow with the current landscape. A VPN gives you unlimited access and streaming freedom.
Netflix VPN Comparison Table
As a brief recap, below are the best VPNs for Netflix that are working right now. These VPNs have been tested and found to meet the following criteria:
- Unblock American Netflix (along with many other Netflix regions as well).
- Have excellent speeds and reliability to stream HD Netflix without interruptions.
- Offer professional and prompt technical support.
- Provide high-quality apps to use on various devices.
- Were thoroughly tested and found to perform well with different devices and VPN servers.
Enjoy streaming movies with the best VPN for Netflix!
If you have any feedback, problems, or questions about Netflix VPN services, drop a comment below.
Last updated on July 24, 2021.