What are the Best VPNs for Netflix in 2020?
For those of you who have been living in a cave with no internet access, Netflix is an American video streaming company, originally founded in 1997 as a DVD sales and rental-by-mail company.
In 2007, Netflix expanded into offering movies and television shows via streaming. The service has rapidly expanded and is currently available in over 190 countries around the globe.
Due to Netflix’s content licensing agreements with television and film studios, the streaming provider is required to restrict access to their content on a country-by-country basis. This means that the shows and movies you enjoy in your home country might not be the same as the content available in other countries.
Luckily, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an excellent tool for accessing content available on the Netflix service in other regions. It does this by assigning a connected device a new IP address, making it appear as if your device is connecting from another country.
However, not just any VPN provider will do.
Over the years, Netflix has become adept at identifying and blocking IP addresses that belong to VPN services. This means that you need to use a VPN provider that has a solid record of avoiding detection and that has the resources and ability to react quickly if one of their IP addresses are detected and blocked.
In this article, I’ll tell you about the 5 best VPNs for use with Netflix.
I’ll be concentrating on each VPN’s ability to provide reliable access to Netflix content stationed in other countries and the connection speeds that each VPN provides. I’ll also evaluate other VPN features that make it a valuable addition to your online toolkit.
How to Watch Netflix Using a VPN
Using a VPN to access Netflix content in another country requires a few easy steps:
- Subscribe to a Netflix-capable VPN provider. (I use ExpressVPN.)
- Install the selected provider’s VPN app on your device(s).
- Log into the VPN service.
- Select a server located in the country where your desired Netflix content is housed.
- Fire up your Netflix app and start bingeing!
What Is the Best VPN for Watching Netflix?
After extensive testing, the following 5 VPNs have earned the right to be called the best VPNs for watching Netflix. For those of you in a hurry, here’s a TL;DR summary:
- ExpressVPN: The best option for watching Netflix. The provider’s extensive global server coverage provides optimal Netflix access in numerous countries, and its fast connections can easily handle the service’s HD streams.
- NordVPN: The best low-cost option on the list. Provides above-average server coverage around the globe, as well as great multi-platform app support.
- CyberGhost: Provides easy-to-use apps, making it an excellent option for first-time VPN users who want to keep things simple. A generous 7 concurrent connections allowance means everyone can enjoy their own personal Netflix binge.
- PrivateVPN: Works well with numerous streaming services, Netflix included. Fast connection speeds compensate for a less-than-impressive global server network. Excellent customer service.
- Surfshark: The provider does a reliable job unblocking Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming services, making it a good option for movie lovers.
VPN providers all have their own strengths and weaknesses. While some providers offer super-fast connections, others have comprehensive multi-platform support or wide global server coverage.
When ranking the best VPNs to use to watch Netflix content in other countries, I considered the following factors:
- Reliable ability to access Netflix and other streaming services
- Comprehensive global server coverage
- Fast connections
- Strong connection encryption
- No logs of its customers’ online travels
- High level of native app support
Here is my list of the top 5 best VPNs for watching Netflix:
ExpressVPN is my #1 choice for opening up access to Netflix content from other regions. The provider offers reliable access to Netflix in a large number of countries around the world.
ExpressVPN currently has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, providing excellent access to streaming content around the globe.
ExpressVPN’s connection speeds are easily up to smoothly streaming Netflix’s HD streams. The provider places no bandwidth limitations or data caps on its customers’ usage.
The provider’s connections are encrypted with 256-bit encryption. A kill switch option keeps your online action from being exposed.
The provider keeps no user logs of a customer’s online travels. Users who want to go completely incognito can use the Bitcoin payment option.
Native apps are available for the iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire and Linux platforms. Browser extensions for the Firefox, Safari and Chrome platforms are available.
ExpressVPN also offers a MediaStreamer DNS service for use with game consoles, set-top streaming boxes and smart TVs, allowing those devices to access Netflix. (Take note: the MediaStreamer service does not provide encrypted protection for your connection like the provider’s VPN service does.)
ExpressVPN is somewhat stingy with their concurrent connection allowance, restricting them to 3 simultaneous connection on a single username. However, ExpressVPN’s router feature allows you to protect all of your devices via a single connection.
- Works well to unblock Netflix and other streaming services
- Comprehensive global server coverage
- HD-capable, well-encrypted connections
- Optimal privacy protections
- Excellent all-around native app support
- Limits concurrent connections to 3
BEST VPN FOR UNBLOCKING NETFLIX:ExpressVPN is my best overall choice for a VPN to reliably deliver content from Netflix and other streaming services. The provider does an excellent job of opening up a world of content, while also protecting your privacy and security. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN placed in 2nd in this roundup thanks to its large number of Netflix-ready VPN servers, excellent multi-platform support and low price.
This provider offers access to Netflix streams in the U.S., Canada, Japan, the U.K., the Netherlands, France and Italy. NordVPN offers a helpful Netflix page on their website, providing information about using their service to access the streaming service.
The provider also opens access to Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and BBC iPlayer.
The provider’s 5,100+ servers are spread out among 60 countries. The provider suggests using the servers listed on the page I mentioned above to access Netflix.
NordVPN offers the 3rd best connection speeds in this top 5 list, delivering smooth HD streams from the Netflix servers, with little to no wait for the action to begin.
Those connections are encrypted with military-level protection, and a kill switch ensures your connection will never be exposed.
Privacy is well-handled at NordVPN thanks to the provider’s strict no-logs policy and willingness to accept cryptocurrency as subscription payment.
Most popular device platforms are covered thanks to the provider’s multi-platform app support, including devices on the iOS, Android, macOS, Linux and Windows platforms. Chrome and Firefox users are protected thanks to extensions for both browsers.
Platforms not covered by NordVPN’s app support can be protected via the provider’s compatibility with numerous routers.
Up to 6 concurrent connections are allowed under one username.
- Servers in 60 countries
- Plenty of speed
- 256-bit encryption
- The app interface needs work
BEST BARGAIN VPN:NordVPN is the best VPN for Netflix subscribers who would rather spend money on entertainment than their VPN provider. The service offers reliable, Netflix-capable connections at a low price. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Our #3 Netflix VPN, CyberGhost, delivers the fastest connection speeds on the list, provides excellent protection and is generous with their simultaneous connections allowance.
CyberGhost has streaming-dedicated servers that unblock Netflix in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Romania, France, Czech Republic, Austria and Poland. Those servers also have success in unblocking Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
The provider’s global server coverage is about average, with 3,700+ servers in 60 countries.
CyberGhost is #1 when it comes to connection speeds, and the provider’s connections are easily up to streaming even 4K UHD Netflix content. Those connections are well protected with 256-bit encryption and a kill switch.
The provider’s privacy protections are top-notch, thanks to both its strict no-logs policy and its Bitcoin subscription payment option.
Apps are available for the Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS and Windows platforms. Browser extensions protect Chrome and Firefox browser users.
Other devices can be protected via your router thanks to the provider’s excellent router compatibility. That feature also helps if you need more than the 7 simultaneous connections that the service allows.
- Streaming-optimized servers in numerous locations
- Fastest connection speeds on this list
- No logs kept, accepts Bitcoin
- Comprehensive online security protections
- Comes up short when unblocking other streaming providers
STREAMING-OPTIMIZED CONNECTIONS:CyberGhost is the top-speed option for Netflix viewers. The provider’s streaming-optimized servers also unblock other streaming services. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
PrivateVPN ranks in at 4th in this top 5 thanks to its speedy connections and reliable access to Netflix and other streaming services.
Netflix and other streaming services (including Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO and BBC iPlayer) are only a few clicks away with PrivateVPN. The provider has servers located in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Japan and many others that provide streaming unblocking.
While their server count of 150+ is rather miniscule, they spread them out well, in 60 countries around the globe.
PrivateVPN delivers the 2nd-fastest connections on this top 5 list, providing HD and 4K-capable streams with no sweat. Their well-encrypted, kill switch-protected connections have no bandwidth or data cap limitations.
Your online identity is protected thanks to PrivateVPN’s no-logs policy, and Bitcoin is welcome here, allowing you to keep your payment info anonymous.
Up to 6 devices at once can access the service on a single login, using macOS, iOS, Windows and Android devices. (If 6 connections aren’t enough, you can protect all of your devices via the provider’s extensive router compatibility.)
Kodi viewers can protect their bingeing sessions too thanks the PrivateVPN Kodi add-on.
- Opens Netflix access in multiple countries
- 2nd-fastest connection speeds in the top 5
- Up to 6 concurrent connections
- Server numbers way below other providers
- Multi-platform support needs improvement
GREAT CONNECTION SPEEDS:PrivateVPN unblocks Netflix in numerous countries, delivering 4K-capable connections on up to 6 devices at once. Their server count is low, but the country coverage is decent. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
Surfshark took the 5th and final spot in this “best” list thanks to its ability to unblock Netflix in numerous countries and its excellent privacy and security protections.
This provider delivers excellent Netflix-unblocking power in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, France, Japan and other countries. Plus, it opens access to Amazon Prime Video (in the U.S.), HBO Go and BBC iPlayer.
Although the provider’s global server coverage of 500+ servers in 50+ countries is a bit lacking when compared to all but one other provider on this list, it still offers a decent amount of Netflix-unblocking power.
While Surfshark’s connection speeds are the slowest on this list, HD video streams should still play quickly and smoothly. Those connections are 256-bit encrypted, and the provider’s apps offer kill switch and ad-blocking protection.
No worries about your privacy being invaded with Surfshark, as the British Virgin Islands-based firm keeps no logs whatsoever and accepts Bitcoin to keep your payment info anonymous.
Native app support is strong here, with native apps for the Linux, iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and Fire TV platforms. Firefox and Chrome browser users are protected via extensions for both platforms.
Routers are well-covered, too, if you want to protect all of your connected devices whenever they connect to your network.
You can invite all of your friends and family to view Netflix content from another region thanks to Surfshark’s industry-leading unlimited simultaneous connections allowance.
- Connects to Netflix in numerous countries
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Bitcoin and no-logs privacy protections
- Global server coverage could be better
- Connection speeds are the slowest in the bunch
PERFECT FOR FAMILIES:Surfshark is an up-and-coming VPN provider that offers excellent access to Netflix, despite a somewhat limited global server count. The provider’s unlimited simultaneous connections policy is perfect for big families. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of Surfshark.
Can I Use a Free VPN to Watch Netflix?
In a word? “No.”
Netflix stays ever-vigilant for users who are connecting to their service via a VPN.
When Netflix detects a large number of viewers connecting via a single IP address, they take a close look at the activity. If they discover that the IP address belongs to a VPN provider, they will block the address.
Netflix doesn’t do this just to be a corporate jerk. Instead, their content contracts with various television and film studios require them to block access to content from outside of a licensed area.
When Netflix blocks a VPN server’s IP address, it’s up to the VPN provider in question to add new IP addresses to re-enable access to the streaming provider. When Netflix finds out the new addresses are owned by a VPN, they block those and the vicious cycle begins anew.
This back-and-forth battle requires a VPN to have deep pockets just to stay in the game. Do you really think free VPN providers have deep pockets? (The answer we’re looking for is “no, no they do not.”) Free VPNs are simply not going to offer reliable access to Netflix, if they can get you any access at all.
Other reasons not to use a free VPN service are related to privacy and convenience.
When it comes to privacy, you simply won’t have it with many free VPNs. Those so-called “free” providers have a hidden cost, and you pay for that cost with your privacy.
Many free VPNs track your online activities, then sell your valuable info to advertisers and other Nosy Nellies.
In the convenience department, you’ll find that many free VPNs will make you wait in a queue before you can connect to one of their servers.
Then when you’re allowed to connect, the server selection is limited to a select few. Those servers won’t necessarily be located in the country where your desired Netflix content resides.
I’d avoid free VPN providers like the plague, but that’s just me. Maybe you’ll have better luck than I have. But is it worth the risk?
How Do I Access Netflix Using a VPN?
Viewing of localized Netflix streaming content requires an IP address based inside the borders of the country in question. The best way to obtain an IP address in another country is to use a VPN.
Once you’ve decided on which country you’d like to access the Netflix content of, load your VPN app of choice and connect to a VPN server located in that country. You’ll temporarily receive an IP address inside the country, opening up access to that area’s Netflix content.
What Else Is a VPN Good for?
In addition to unblocking Netflix content, a VPN can also unblock other types of geographically-restricted content. This includes other streaming services, both video and music, as well as gaming arenas and in-app content that gamers might not normally have the opportunity to try.
A VPN also prevents connection throttling, ensuring that your Internet Service Provider won’t slow your connection speeds simply because you’re viewing a streaming service, such as Netflix.
In addition, VPNs route your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, preventing outsiders from monitoring your online activities.
The encryption feature makes a VPN an excellent method of protecting your online shopping, banking and other online activities when you’re using an unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot, such as those found in coffee shops, hotels and other public locations.
It’s a big, wonderful world out there – a world full of Netflix content.
By using a VPN – like my #1 choice, ExpressVPN – you can view the content from your home country or many other regions you might be curious about.
I know I’ve always wanted to watch “Isn’t it Romantic” with a Romanian soundtrack. How about you?