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How to Watch Netflix With a VPN (From Anywhere) in 2020

The Netflix video streaming service is now available in most areas of the world. However, the content available on the service varies from country to country.

For example, as of the time of this article’s writing, Japan has the most available titles, with over 6,000 titles available, while Qatar has the least, with 2,650+ available titles. (The U.S. has 5,600+ titles, while the U.K. has 5,100+ titles.)

Netflix content availability varies from country to country due to the contracts Netflix signs with TV and movie producers, which restrict the availability of the content to specific countries.

Content also varies because of the laws and religious restrictions in various countries.

The point of all of this is that, no matter where you live, you’re not getting all that you can out of your Netflix membership. Enter the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

A VPN can open access to Netflix content around the globe, no matter where you are physically located.

A VPN accomplishes this by temporarily assigning a new IP address to your connected device. This can make you appear to be located in another country (like the United Kingdom) when you’re actually sitting in a hotel room in Chicago in the U.S. (I’ll tell you more about how this works a bit later.)

However, Netflix and other streaming services have gotten hip to this trick and have developed methods of detecting when a viewer’s IP address belongs to a VPN server. When they detect a VPN IP address, they block it from accessing their content.

It is then up to the VPN service to set up new VPN servers, sporting fresh IP addresses, to once again allow access to the streaming service. This requires a VPN provider that boasts both the resources and the willingness to engage in this game of virtual hide and seek.

In this article, I’ll tell you all about 5 VPNs that offer reliable access to Netflix servers around the globe.

How to Use a VPN to Watch Netflix From Anywhere

Using a VPN to access Netflix content from other countries requires a few easy-to-follow steps:

  1. Subscribe to a Netflix-unblocking VPN provider. (I use ExpressVPN.)
  2. Install the VPN provider’s app(s) on your device(s).
  3. Sign into your VPN account.
  4. Select a server in the country whose Netflix content you want to view.
  5. Grab your favorite movie snack, start your Netflix app and enjoy the show!

What Is the Best VPN for Watching Netflix From Anywhere?

Following extensive testing of various VPN services, as well as extended Netflix binges (you’re welcome), I have ranked the following 5 VPN providers as the best for providing reliable access to Netflix content around the globe. Here’s a summary:

  1. ExpressVPN: This provider offers the most reliable access to Netflix in other countries thanks to its excellent global server network, fast connection speeds and top-notch protection features for all of your other online activities.
  2. NordVPN: This budget-priced VPN option makes an excellent choice for movie fans on a budget who are looking to squeeze the most VPN service out of their subscription payment. The low-priced provider delivers reliable access to NordVPN while offering excellent all-around protection.
  3. CyberGhost: The best option for first-time VPN users, CyberGhost offers easy-to-use apps and fast connections speeds. The provider’s streaming-optimized servers provide reliable access to Netflix servers.
  4. Surfshark: This provider’s fast-growing server network makes easy work of Netflix blockades around the world. The provider delivers fast download speeds and excellent connection protection.
  5. VyprVPN: This relative old-timer in the VPN business has an excellent record of unblocking Netflix. The provider’s global server network is completely self-owned and -operated, keeping third-party contractors’ hands off your personal info.

When researching VPN services, you’ll quickly find that all providers offer their own particular set of advantages and drawbacks. While a VPN provider may deliver fast download speeds, they may come up short in the global server coverage category. Others may cover the globe well, but offer inadequate connection protection.

When researching and ranking the VPNs for this article, I considered the following factors:

  • Reliable ability to access Netflix servers around the globe
  • Ability to access other streaming services
  • Connection speeds
  • Privacy and security protections
  • Native app support
  • Customer support availability

Here are my top 5 VPNs for watching Netflix from anywhere:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Aug 2020

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN proved to be the best way to access Netflix servers from anywhere around the world. The provider also offers optimal protection for all of your other online antics.

ExpressVPN currently has over 3,000 VPN servers, which are stationed in 94 countries around the globe. Those servers deliver excellent access to Netflix nearly anywhere in the world. Reliable access to other streaming providers, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+ and BBC iPlayer is also available.

ExpressVPN was the “download speeds king” in my most recent round of connection speed testing, providing speeds that are easily up to streaming the HD and 4K content available from Netflix. The provider doesn’t impose daily or monthly data caps.

Those speedy connections are well protected by bank-grade encryption, kill switch protection, and IPv6 and DNS leak prevention. The provider’s split-tunneling feature gives you the option to connect to nearly any Netflix server around the world while keeping the rest of your online activity piping through an unprotected tunnel.

The privacy side of things is also well covered thanks to the provider’s strict no-logs server policy, as well as its payment privacy protections via Bitcoin.

The provider delivers excellent multi-platform support, with apps for most of the Netflix-compatible device platforms, including iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, Amazon Fire, Chromebook and Linux devices. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available.

You can also use routers with the service, as well as connect up to 5 devices simultaneously on a single account.

Netflix viewers who use a set-top box, game console or smart TV: You can use the provider’s MediaStreamer DNS service to access Netflix. (However, MediaStreamer does not encrypt your internet connection.)

ExpressVPN offers 24/7 support agent chat, a support ticket tracking system, contact via email and a searchable support knowledge base.

Pros:

  • Unblocks Netflix in multiple countries
  • HD- and 4K-capable download speeds
  • Optimal privacy and security
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Comprehensive multi-platform support

Cons:

  • More expensive than many other VPN providers

BEST VPN FOR UNBLOCKING NETFLIX ANYWHERE:ExpressVPN is my #1 choice as the best VPN for viewing Netflix content from anywhere. The provider delivers optimal connection speeds, along with protection for all of your internet activities. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.

Read my full review of ExpressVPN.

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2. NordVPN

NordVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN earned a spot on this list thanks to its reliable Netflix unblocking ability, offered for a reasonable price.

The provider’s global server network is made up of close to 5,200 servers, stationed in 59 countries around the globe. NordVPN’s server network offers access to Netflix content in a large part of the world. The service even provides a helpful Netflix information page on their website. Access to BBC iPlayer, Hulu and other streaming services is also provided.

While NordVPN’s connection speeds are far from the fastest in this lineup, they can easily handle the HD-level content that Netflix offers.

The provider offers excellent connection protection, using military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak and IPv6 leak prevention.

In addition, the provider offers ad and malware blocking, Double VPN protection (which routes your connection through two VPN servers) and obfuscated VPN servers, which hide your VPN activity as normal browsing activity.

A strict no-logs policy and a willingness to accept cryptocurrency in return for a subscription complete the provider’s privacy protections.

Most popular Netflix viewing platforms are covered, with apps available for the iOS, Android, Android TV, macOS, Linux and Windows platforms. In-browser viewing can be enhanced with Chrome and Firefox browser extensions.

The provider’s router compatibility enables protection for all of your connected devices. Up to 6 devices can connect simultaneously to the service on a single set of login credentials.

Customer support is available 24 hours a day thanks to 24/7 live chat, a searchable knowledge base and an email support option.

Pros:

  • Plenty of unblocking power thanks to servers in 59 countries
  • HD-capable connections
  • Top-notch privacy and security
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • The app interface isn’t very user-friendly

BEST BARGAIN-PRICED VPN OPTION:NordVPN is the best VPN option for users looking for reliable access to Netflix without breaking the bank. In addition to a low price, the provider offers reliable, well-protected connections. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.

Read my full review of NordVPN.

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3. CyberGhost

Cyberghost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.CyberGhost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Novice VPN users will appreciate CyberGhost’s easy-to-use apps, which provide reliable access to Netflix via a collection of streaming-enhanced servers.

The provider’s global server coverage amounts to over 5,600 servers spread among 90 countries. All of that adds up to some pretty nice global server coverage. Some of those servers are streaming-optimized, which means they provide access to numerous streaming services around the globe, including HBO Now, Pandora, Eurosport and many others.

CyberGhost offers HD- and 4K-ready streaming speeds, which are ready for your longest video binges, since there are no data caps or bandwidth limitations.

The provider protects those swift connections using government-grade encryption, a kill switch and DNS leak and IPv6 leak prevention. The service also offers blocking of malicious websites, ads and online tracking. In addition, it can force websites to serve up HTTPS versions of their pages, if they’re available.

Privacy isn’t an issue thanks to the provider’s no-server-logs-ever policy, as well as their ultra-private Bitcoin payment option.

CyberGhost has most Netflix-compatible device platforms covered, with apps for the Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux, Amazon Fire and Windows platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available.

The provider’s router features can be used to protect all of your connected devices. You can simultaneously connect up to 7 of your devices to the service.

CyberGhost customer support includes 24/7 live support chat, a trouble ticket tracking system and an online support library.

Pros:

  • Streaming-optimized servers
  • 4K-ready download speeds
  • Easy-to-use, yet powerful apps
  • Excellent privacy and security

Cons:

  • Apps missing some advanced options

ATTRACTIVE OPTION FOR VPN NOVICES:CyberGhost is an attractive VPN option for users with little to no VPN experience. The provider’s apps are easy to use, yet provide reliable protection and access to Netflix. A 45-day money-back guarantee is available.

Read my full review of CyberGhost.

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4. Surfshark

SurfShark VPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark earned a spot in this roundup thanks to its reliability in unblocking Netflix in an increasing number of countries, as well as its top-notch online security offerings.

The provider has greatly enlarged its global server network in the last few months, going from 500+ servers to over 1,000, and increasing their country count from 50+ nations to 60+. The provider’s servers do a great job of unblocking Netflix and other streaming services around the world, including Hulu, BBC iPlayer and many more.

Surfshark’s download speeds are the 3rd fastest on this list of 5, and Netflix’s HD and 4K streams are no challenge to its powers. No data caps to be found here.

The provider’s connection protection is taken care of by government-grade encryption, a kill switch and ad-blocking protection. “MultiHop” is also available, which routes your traffic through two VPN servers, each located in a different country.

Privacy is well handled by the company’s no-server-logs policy, as well as its Bitcoin subscription payment option.

Native apps are available for the Linux, iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and Fire TV platforms. Firefox and Chrome browser extensions are also available. The provider’s apps do lack features found in some other VPN apps, such as no OpenVPN protocol or split- tunneling in the Mac app.

Router setup instructions are available for multiple types of routers. Surfshark offers an industry-leading unlimited simultaneous connections allowance.

Surfshark customer support is always available thanks to 24/7 live chat, a searchable support library and a support contact form.

Pros:

  • Ever-expanding Netflix access
  • Unlimited concurrent connections
  • Excellent security and privacy protections

Cons:

  • Lacks features some other providers offer
  • 1-month subscription is expensive

PERFECT FOR FAMILIES AND LARGE GROUPS:Users looking for wide Netflix access will benefit from Surfshark’s ever-growing server network. The provider’s unusual unlimited concurrent connection allowance makes the VPN an attractive option for big families, small businesses and even college football teams. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.

Read my full review of Surfshark.

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5. VyprVPN

VyprVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.VyprVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

VyprVPN provides not only reliable access to Netflix around the globe, but also an added layer of privacy protection not available from other VPNs in this lineup.

The provider’s global server coverage includes 700+ servers stationed in 70 countries around the globe. The servers do a top-notch job of unblocking Netflix in many countries around the world. Plus, it also offers reliable access to Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Now and others.

VyprVPN connection speeds are easily up to handling the HD and 4K content that most streaming services offer, and no data caps ever restrict the viewing fun.

Connection protection is top-notch at VyprVPN, as they use military-grade encryption to keep your online activities safe from observation. They also protect your connection with kill switch protection, IPv6 and DNS leak prevention, malicious site blocking and split-tunneling abilities.

This provider also provides an extra layer of privacy protection, as in addition to the usual no-logs policy, they own and operate all of their servers, keeping third-party contractors away from your personal info. However, you can’t use cryptocurrency to pay for your subscription.

VyprVPN apps are available for the iOS, Android, Android TV, macOS and Windows device platforms. However, no browser extensions are available. The provider’s router compatibility offers protection for all of your connected devices. The base VPN account allows just 3 simultaneous connections.

Support is available 24/7 thanks to around-the-clock live support chat, a support request form and a searchable support and troubleshooting library.

Pros:

  • Reliable access to Netflix around the globe
  • 4K-able download speeds
  • Excellent security and privacy
  • Self-owned and -operated VPN servers

Cons:

  • Priced higher than many other providers
  • Only 3 simultaneous connections for basic subscription

SUPER SECURE GLOBAL SERVER NETWORK:VyprVPN provides reliable access to Netflix servers around the globe. The provider’s self-owned and -operated global server network keeps third-party contractors away from your important info. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.

Read my full review of VyprVPN.

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Can I Use a Free VPN to Watch Netflix?

While you can try to use a free VPN to access Netflix content in your favorite country, you’re likely not going to be happy with the results.

First off, Netflix and other streaming services have become quite adept at detecting when a viewer’s IP address belongs to a VPN. When they do detect a VPN-used IP, they immediately block it. Then, it’s up to the VPN provider to set up new servers sporting new IP addresses.

Competing in this game of virtual hide-and-seek requires a VPN to have deep pockets and the willingness to go the extra mile for its users. Most free VPNs don’t boast either quality.

Then comes the issue of being able to select the region the free VPN connects you to.

When connecting to a free VPN provider, you’re usually automatically connected to a server of the VPN service’s choice, or you’re forced to choose from a limited number of servers. This really lowers the chances that you’ll be able to connect to a server in the country where your desired content is housed.

Plus, HD and 4K streaming requires fast connection speeds. Some sans-charge VPN services will throttle your connection speeds, while many of them enforce daily or monthly data caps. Neither of those things are exactly conducive to streaming.

In addition to performance issues, there are also privacy and security issues that arise from using a free VPN. First off, many “free” VPNs keep their servers humming by tracking their users’ online travels, then selling that information to the highest bidder.

Other providers have been caught inserting unwanted ads and tracking cookies into their users’ browsing sessions.

Now, does a “free” VPN still appeal to you? Let’s hope not.

How Does a VPN Open Access to Netflix?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, a VPN can temporarily assign your connected device a new IP address.

A device’s IP address acts much like your home or business postal address, identifying it so that the rest of the internet can identify it, allowing other devices to know where an information request originates and where the information needs to be sent to.

In addition to acting as an identifier on the internet, an IP address also acts as a geographical locator. (Again, just like your postal address.)

By assigning your device a new IP address, a VPN makes it appear as if you are connecting from another part of the world.

This opens up access to content that might normally be blocked to users in your actual area of the world. So, you can access movies and TV shows intended for France from the comfort of your home in New York.

What Other Streaming Services Can a VPN Unblock?

In addition to Netflix, there are many streaming services that a VPN can unblock, including:

What Else Can a VPN Do?

This article has focused on how a VPN can open access to Netflix from anywhere around the world. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other benefits of using a VPN.

In addition to unblocking Netflix, a VPN is also a handy tool for unblocking other streaming services – including video, music and even gaming streaming services.

VPNs can also unblock websites and other types of services and content that may be blocked in your region.

In addition, a VPN provides an excellent level of privacy and online security for your internet activities. A VPN encrypts your internet connection, preventing anyone from monitoring your online travels or stealing your valuable personal and business-related information.

If you’re a regular user of unprotected public Wi-Fi hotspots, I strongly recommend using a VPN to protect those activities.

Most hotspots are unencrypted, allowing hackers to monitor your online activities, such as shopping or banking, allowing them to steal credit card and other financial information. A VPN’s encryption hides your activity, forcing hackers to move on to their next victim.

A VPN’s encryption can also help prevent your Internet Service Provider from throttling or blocking your internet connection, simply because you’re engaging in “unapproved” activities, such as viewing streaming video from certain sources or because you’re sharing files via P2P file sharing.

Conclusion

Netflix offers a wealth of entertainment, yet sadly, it’s not all offered in one spot. That’s why a VPN makes such an excellent tool to open access to all that Netflix has to offer.

ExpressVPN logo

A VPN – like ExpressVPN – opens access to blocked Netflix content on the web, protects your online activities from the prying eyes of others and keeps third parties from throttling or blocking your connection because of your online antics.

For more information, visit the ExpressVPN website.

 

Netflix In Flight” by Dominic Smith licensed under CC BY 2.0

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