Netflix is available in over 190 countries (basically everywhere except China, Crimea, North Korea and Syria).
That means that if you have a Netflix subscription, you can stream movies and TV shows from the service nearly anywhere in the world.
However, there’s a catch.
Due to Netflix’s contracts with television and movie studios, the availability of some content is restricted to certain countries. This means that the movies and TV episodes you enjoy in your home country might not be available when you’re connecting from abroad.
Happily, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can fool Netflix into thinking you’re in a different region, opening up access to the previously-blocked content.
When you connect to a VPN server in another country, the server spoofs your location by assigning your device a new IP address. This makes it appear as if your device is connecting from inside that country.
So, if you’re an American visiting France, you can make it appear as if you never left the United States.
The steps required to change your Netflix region or country are few, and in a manner of minutes you’ll be bingeing on your favorite Netflix content once again. (This trick will also work with other popular streaming services, like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime and many more.)
How to Change Your Netflix Country or Region
- If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to Netflix.
- Download, install and log into your VPN provider of choice. (I recommend ExpressVPN due to its top-notch connection speeds and extensive global server coverage.)
- Connect to a server in the country you wish to access Netflix content from.
- Connect to and log into the Netflix service, either in your browser on your computer or via the Netflix app on your other device.
- Grab a box of Jujubes and enjoy the show!
PRO TIP: If you’re visiting abroad for a short period of time, you can take advantage of most providers’ “money-back guarantee” to use their service for free.
Simply sign up to a VPN provider (like ExpressVPN, which offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee), enjoy your Netflix binge and then get a refund before the 30 days are up.
The Best VPNs for Changing Your Netflix Region or Country
During extensive testing, the following 5 VPNs proved their mettle, and I recommend them as the best VPNs for changing your Netflix country or region. The TL;DR summary is as follows:
- ExpressVPN: The best option for reliably changing your Netflix viewing region. ExpressVPN delivers the fastest connection speeds in our most recent speed tests, and its comprehensive global server coverage ensures access to most regions of the globe.
- NordVPN: This provider is the best low-cost option on this list. NordVPN provides excellent multi-platform support, and its global server coverage is above average.
- CyberGhost: The best choice for beginning VPN users. CyberGhost offers easy-to-use apps, with servers designated for streaming, making it easy to successfully change your Netflix country.
- PrivateVPN: This provider delivers above-average connection speeds. This makes PrivateVPN an excellent choice for streaming both HD and 4K content, and compensating somewhat for a less-than-impressive server network.
- Surfshark: This provider reliably unblocks numerous streaming services, Netflix included. Surfshark’s connections speeds keep buffering to a minimum.
Before we go any farther, you should keep in mind that Netflix actively works to prevent their viewers from using a VPN to access content from outside their subscribed region. The service doesn’t do this to be a jerk, but instead they do it because of contractual obligations.
Netflix has become rather adept at detecting when a viewer is accessing the service by using a VPN connection. When they detect an IP address of a VPN service, they block that address, cutting off access to their streaming servers.
The affected VPN provider then sets up new IP addresses for their customers to use, which restore access to Netflix – at least until Netflix detects the new IPs, and the game begins anew.
This is why you want to subscribe to a VPN service that has the resources (and willingness) to continue this game of online whack-a-mole.
The providers listed here have proven to have the resources and gumption to continue their game of back-and-forth with Netflix, which is one of the reasons they’re on this list.
The factors I considered when deciding on VPN providers for this article include:
- Reliable access to Netflix
- Level of global server coverage
- Connection speeds
- Privacy and online security protections
- Customer support
- Level of native app support
Without further ado, here are the best VPNs for changing your Netflix region or country.
In addition to opening access to Netflix around the globe, it has also proven to reliably offer unblocking of Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services.
At the time of this writing, ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers stationed in 94 countries around the globe.
ExpressVPN’s connection speeds are extremely fast, easily handling the HD and 4K HDR streams that Netflix offers. The provider never imposes bandwidth limitations or data caps.
Government-class encryption and a kill switch option should ease any worries you might have of having your online activities exposed. The provider keeps no logs of their customers’ online antics, and you can go totally incognito by using a disposable email address with the provider’s Bitcoin payment option.
Customer support consists of around-the-clock live support chat, email support, a support ticket tracking system and a searchable support library.
ExpressVPN provides native app support for the iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire and Linux platforms. Browser users can take advantage of extensions for the Firefox and Chrome platforms.
ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer DNS service allows game consoles, set-top streaming boxes and smart TVs to access Netflix abroad. (Please note: The MediaStreamer service doesn’t provide encrypted protection for your connection like a VPN does.)
While the provider allows an adequate 5 concurrent connections on a single login, users who require more can protect all of their connected devices via a single point thanks to ExpressVPN’s support for numerous router makes and models.
- Provides access to Netflix (and other streaming services)
- Wide-ranging global server coverage
- HD & 4K-capable connection speeds
- Optimal security & privacy protections
- Native app support for popular devices
- More expensive than other providers on this list
BEST VPN FOR CHANGING YOUR NETFLIX REGION:ExpressVPN is your best option for reliably accessing Netflix content housed in other countries. The provider’s optimal global server coverage and super-fast connection speeds combine to deliver your favorite Netflix content, no matter where you are. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN earned its spot on this list due to its top-notch native app support, network of Netflix-ready servers and low price.
This provider delivers reliable access to Netflix servers based in the U.S., Canada, Japan, the U.K., the Netherlands, France and Italy. The provider also opens access to Hulu, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video.
NordVPN’s global server network consists of over 5,100 servers, laid out in 60 countries. A support link provides information about the best servers to use for Netflix access.
NordVPN’s connection speeds can easily provide smooth streaming of HD content, and the provider’s lack of data caps or bandwidth limitations mean you can stream for as long as you’d like.
Military-grade encryption protects your online travels from prying eyes, and kill switch protection keeps your connection from being exposed if you lose connection to NordVPN’s servers.
The provider follows a strict no-logs policy and happily accepts cryptocurrency in return for their services.
The provider’s 24/7 support chat, email support and searchable support library are always available to offer answers.
Native app support is limited to the Android, iOS, Windows, Linux and macOS platforms, and browser extensions are available to Chrome and Firefox users. If you use a device not on this list, or if you’d like to protect more than 6 devices at once, you can make use of the provider’s comprehensive router protection.
- Plenty of global server coverage
- HD-capable speeds
- Comprehensive privacy and security
- Lowest-priced provider on the list
- Streaming servers aren’t labeled in the app
BEST BARGAIN VPN:NordVPN is the best VPN option for Netflix viewers who would rather spend their hard-earned dough on entertainment than protection. Users will also appreciate its global server coverage and customer service. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
CyberGhost delivers reliable Netflix region-switching via streaming-dedicated servers in multiple countries, providing HD and 4K connection speeds and enough simultaneous connections for a family of movie lovers.
CyberGhost’s global server network is made up of 3,700+ servers located in 60 countries. This includes streaming-dedicated servers located in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Romania, France, Czech Republic, Austria and Poland.
The provider’s connection speeds can easily handle anything Netflix can throw at them, including HD and 4K video. Kill switch protection and banking-grade encryption keep your online activities undercover.
Privacy isn’t a worry either, thanks to CyberGhost’s lack of server logs and their Bitcoin subscription payment option.
Customer support is an around-the-clock affair at CyberGhost, offering 24/7 support chat, a foragable support library and a trouble ticket system.
The provider has all of the major device platforms covered, offering apps for Android, iOS, Android TV, Windows and macOS devices. Chrome and Firefox users can protect their Netflix viewing sessions by using the available browser extensions.
You can also protect all of your other devices via a single access point through the provider’s excellent router compatibility. The provider is a valid option for large families and small businesses thanks to its 7 simultaneous connections allowance.
- Streaming-optimized servers around the globe
- Optimal connection speeds
- No-logs provider
- 7 concurrent connections
- Doesn’t reliably unblock other streaming providers
STREAMING-OPTIMIZED SERVERS:CyberGhost’s fast connection speeds and streaming-optimized servers offer an excellent way to change your Netflix region for access to geo-blocked content. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
PrivateVPN offers 4K-capable connections and reliable access to Netflix, despite rather low global server numbers.
The provider offers Netflix-unblocking servers in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Japan and many other countries. PrivateVPN also offers region-busting power for Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO and BBC iPlayer.
Admittedly, the provider’s total server count of 150+ is much leaner than many other providers, even though the provider does a great job of spreading them around, as they are located in 60 countries around the world.
The provider’s HD- and 4K-capable connections are not restricted by monthly data caps or bandwidth constraints. They are protected by government-grade encryption and kill switch protection.
Third parties can’t gain access to records of your online travels, since they don’t exist, thanks to the provider’s no-logs policy. You can also keep your subscription payment info totally incognito by combining the provider’s Bitcoin payment option and a disposable email address.
24/7 live support chat is available, as is a “Contact Us” form and a non-searchable FAQ section.
Windows, macOS, Android and iOS users can simultaneously connect up to 6 of their devices using a single username. Users requiring more connections or who need to protect devices not listed here can make use of the provider’s router compatibility.
- Offers access to numerous Netflix libraries
- Top-notch security and privacy protection
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections
- Global server count needs improvement
- Multi-platform support limited to big 4 device platforms
EASY TO USE, YET HIGHLY CUSTOMIZABLE:PrivateVPN unblocks Netflix in numerous countries, providing 4K-capable connections on up to 6 devices at once. The provider’s apps are easy to use, yet provide comprehensive protection options. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
Surfshark makes an excellent choice for movie-loving families, small businesses or even medium-sized countries, thanks to its unlimited connections policy.
The provider delivers Netflix content from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, France, Japan and other countries. It also unblocks Amazon Prime Video (in the U.S.), HBO Go and BBC iPlayer.
The provider’s global server numbers of 500+ servers in 50+ countries are best described as adequate. However, they should prove to be enough for most users.
Surfshark’s connection speeds can easily handle HD content, and under optimal conditions, they can also handle 4K streams. (Your mileage may vary.)
The provider’s connections are also well protected, using high-level encryption while adding an extra layer of protection with kill switch and ad-blocking protection.
The provider also does a top-notch job of protecting your privacy by keeping no logs whatsoever and by accepting Bitcoin as payment.
24/7 live support is available, along with a contact form and a searchable FAQ library.
Surfshark has all of the more popular device platforms covered, with native apps for Linux, iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and Fire TV devices. Firefox and Chrome browser extensions are also available. Users who have other devices can make use of the provider’s extensive router compatibility.
Surfshark’s unlimited simultaneous connections allowance allows large groups to view Netflix content from their favorite country, without penalizing other users.
- Provides access to Netflix in numerous countries
- No simultaneous connection limit
- Optimal connection and privacy protections
- Global server coverage could stand improvement
- Advanced app options rather limited
PERFECT FOR FAMILIES:Surfshark is the best choice for movie-loving families and other groups thanks to its lack of simultaneous connection limits. The provider’s apps, though somewhat rudimentary, provide excellent connection protection. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
Are Free VPNs a Good Choice for Changing My Netflix Region?
First of all, I cannot in good conscience recommend using a “free” VPN for any type of online activity. I’m even more against using a freebie provider to access Netflix.
Strike 1: Free VPNs are known to restrict their users’ online activities by throttling their connections and enforcing monthly data caps. Streaming video is a data-hungry activity; it doesn’t take long for a user to come up against most free-VPN data allowances.
Strike 2: As mentioned previously, Netflix and other streaming services are adept at blocking VPN users from their servers. Many paid VPN providers have given up on offering reliable access to Netflix. What makes you think a free VPN provider would have the resources to stay in the game?
Strike 3: “Free” VPN providers also carry hidden costs, such as the cost to your online privacy. Many sans-cost providers keep their servers humming by logging your online travels and selling that precious information to the highest bidder. Others have been caught injecting ads and tracking cookies into their users’ web browsing sessions.
3 strikes and you’re out!
As you can see, using a free VPN simply isn’t a reliable or safe way to access Netflix or any other streaming services.
While “free” may be tempting, I strongly recommend using a low-price VPN provider instead of a free service if money is a concern.
Why Would I Want to Access Netflix in Other Countries?
Although originally only available in the United States, Netflix has rapidly expanded to other countries over the last 10 years.
The service is now available in most regions around the world, excepting China, Crimea, North Korea and Syria. (However, there is a way to access American Netflix while in China.)
While Netflix is available around the world, movie and TV show availability varies wildly around the globe. The shows and movies you enjoy in the U.S. might not be available in the U.K., French Guiana or even across the border in Canada.
This is due to the licensing arrangements the service signs with movie and television producers. (As well as due to what’s allowed by law or religion in some restrictive areas.)
The largest selection of available content can be found in the U.S., where as of this writing there are 1,326 TV shows and 4,339 movies available to American Netflix viewers.
Meanwhile, Lithuanian viewers are limited to a selection of only 213 TV series and 585 movies.
What all this means is that the shows you enjoy while at home in the States might not be available on the local version of Netflix in the country you’re visiting.
That’s where a VPN comes in handy, as a VPN can make it appear that you never left home, maintaining the availability of your favorite shows and films, no matter where you may roam.
Does Netflix Allow VPN Access to Their Servers?
No. As I’ve previously mentioned, Netflix and other streaming services have become adept at detecting and blocking VPN users from accessing their streaming servers.
While some VPN providers, like the 5 we’ve discussed in this article, have been able to continue providing reliable access to Netflix by evading their blockades, others have not.
As I mentioned in the section immediately above, Netflix isn’t trying to be a jerk, they’re simply required to do so, due to their region-by-region agreements with content providers.
It should be noted that while Netflix could block your access to their libraries when you’re using a VPN, there haven’t been any documented cases where they’ve cancelled a viewer’s subscription simply because they used a VPN.
Can I Use a DNS Proxy to Change My Country?
There are plenty of DNS proxies that claim to unblock Netflix and other streaming services.
However, DNS proxies don’t offer the worldwide access a VPN does, nor do they offer encrypted protection for your internet connection. This means your online activities are left open for third parties to observe.
In addition, some DNS proxy services, especially the free services you can find on the net, have been known to collect and share user information, much like the free VPN services we discussed previously. They also may inject unwanted ads and tracking cookies, just like the free VPNs do.
Okay, I’m Using a VPN to Change My Region, But Now Netflix Won’t Let Me In!
Using any one of the 5 VPN providers I’ve recommended above should offer reliable region- or country-switching to access foreign Netflix content.
However, you may occasionally find Netflix throwing this up at you when you try to view your favorite movie or show:
When this happens, I recommend trying the following remedies.
1. Contact your VPN provider’s customer support crew. They can likely tell you which servers are currently enjoying success in accessing Netflix. If your provider doesn’t offer a live chat option, search their support library for information.
2. Disconnect from the VPN server and reconnect. This may result in obtaining an IP address that hasn’t been blocked by Netflix.
3. Try a different server location in the same country. This will allow you to obtain a new address, possibly one that hasn’t been blocked.
4. Go into your browser settings and clear your cache, cookies and temporary files. Try connecting again.
5. Log out of any accounts that might cache your IP address, like Google.
6. Disable the location services of your browser or device
For more tech-savvy users, you can also try these options:
7. Windows users can disable IPv6 in their Wi-Fi properties and flush their DNS cache by entering the command “ipconfig /flushdns” (without the quotation marks) in a Command Prompt.
8. Mac users can open a Terminal window and enter “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” (again, no quotation marks) at the prompt. (FYI: You may need to enter your Administrator password to complete the process.)
9. If you have access to your local Wi-Fi router, rename your Wi-Fi by appending “_nomap” (without quotation marks) to the end of the network name. (So, if your Wi-Fi access point is named “YouKidsGetOffMyLAN”, the new name would be “YouKidsGetOffMyLAN_nomap”.) This opts the network out of Google’s geolocation services. Disconnect and reconnect your device to the network.
By using one of the 5 VPN services mentioned in this article, you will gain reliable access to Netflix content in nearly any region or country around the globe.
You’ll also find that a VPN is an awesome tool to keep handy when you feel the need to protect your online identity and activities from exposure.
Now grab a bag of popcorn and a can of New Coke and start bingeing the newest season of Stranger Things. Enjoy the show.
Map from Netflix.com