Netflix is still the world's more popular streaming service, and countless people are discovering the power of a Netflix VPN to enhance their viewing and make their money go further. But how can you pick the best VPN for the job?
Well, we've got you covered. If you're not quite sure, a Netflix VPN allows you to watch content from other countries. Netflix restricts content in certain regions due to distribution rights, and as a result, many popular shows aren't available in every country. By using a VPN with Netflix, you can virtually relocate and trick the service into showing you whatever you want.
Not only does that get you more for you money when you're at home, but it also means that if you're abroad, you'll be able to keep watching whatever you're currently obsessed with – even if it's not usually available where you currently are.
- Check out our testing on which VPNs work with Netflix right now
What makes the best Netflix VPN?
The best Netflix VPN should be fast, reliable and, more than anything, be able to unblock as many Netflix locations as possible. Having great privacy helps too, as although you'll mostly be using it to stream, there's no point in sacrificing the security any good VPN can provide.
At home, you'll be able to make the most of what you pay for from Netflix and stream pretty much anything that's available anywhere. If you're abroad and craving some home comforts, you'll also be able to select a server there and watch what you're used to – no matter where you are.
That's why ExpressVPN tops our list. It ticks all the boxes and has a tons of available locations – and it also boasts plenty of extra features to suit more experienced users. There are plenty more to pick from, though, so below we've run down the five best Netflix VPNs. All that's left for you to do is pick which one suits you.
NB: Using a VPN to circumvent restrictions goes against Netflix's Ts&Cs, and doing so may put your account at risk.
- Here's our in-depth guide on how to change region on Netflix with a VPN
1. ExpressVPN – our top-rated Netflix VPN
Whether you want to stream overseas Netflix from your sofa or watch what you know when you're abroad, ExpressVPN is the most reliable option. With over 3,000 servers greats speeds all over the world, it's the best Netflix VPN – and you you can grab three months free.View Deal
2. NordVPN – big name is great for Netflix
With a huge 5,000+ servers worldwide, NordVPN can get you watching wherever you want. While it's not quite as perfect as ExpressVPN in other areas, for just $3.71/mo it's great value and is proven to be a great VPN for Netflix.View Deal
3. Surfshark – cheap with excellent streaming features
If you're looking for a bargain way to unblock international Netflix libraries, Surfshark could be your best option. With a recently-increased 3,200+ server network you'll have more choice than ever, and speeds are great overall – but we especially like the price of just $2.49 a month.View Deal
The best five Netflix VPNs available
Simply put, ExpressVPN is the best Netflix VPN on the market, thanks to its superb speeds, excellent 24/7 customer service support and wide compatibility across devices.
Express allows users to access a wide range of Netflix libraries, including the US, UK, Canada and loads more besides, and the most important thing is that there's no faffing around to get it going – it just works! Plus, the huge network of over 3,000 servers in 94 countries means you'll have a great range of options when it comes to picking a location.
If you run into any trouble, Express's customer support team is on hand 24/7 to provide you with assistance, and in our experience the operators are eager to help and very knowledgeable – they'll also be able to tell you which server will be best for whatever regional Netflix library you want to explore.
Smart TV support means that you can explore the world's Netflix from your sofa, and it's ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer DNS that allows this. Essentially, you can install this on devices that don’t support VPNs – including the likes of Apple TV and consoles – meaning you don't have to rely just on your mobile or laptop to get international Netflix goodness wherever you want.
It's worth noting there's a limit of up to five devices using the service at once, which is fewer than some competitors. However, that should be more than enough for most people's needs, since many Netflix plans limit the number of shared accounts used at one time.
If you're looking for the most well-rounded, fully featured VPN for Netflix and more, look no further than ExpressVPN.
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If you fancy unlocking everything Netflix has been hiding from you, Tom's Guide readers are being offered 49% and three free months of ExpressVPN – which means you'll get 15 months for the price of 12. Not bad for the best Netflix VPN on the planet.
NordVPN is possibly the best-known VPN on the market, and has achieved that by prioritising security and speed: excellent 256-AES encryption, over 5,000 servers spread across more than 60 countries, strong DNS leak protection, two kill switches and excellent connection speeds. All that equates to a service that can unblock Netflix with very little fuss.
While some VPNs can only unblock a couple of locations, NordVPN has a pretty comprehensive range of available locations – and in our most recent testing it's the only provider other than ExpressVPN to deliver a 100% success rate when accessing US, UK, Canadian, Australian, and Japanese Netflix regions.
If you're using a mobile device the interface can be a little tricky, but that's a minor quibble with what is an excellent VPN with fully-featured apps for pretty much every device you have – and having six simultaneous connections is handy, too.
If you're after a Netflix VPN that focuses on security without sacrificing functionality or speed, NordVPN could be right up your street, and if it doesn't work out, you've got a 30-day money-back guarantee to protect you. Plus, If you have any problems while using it, its 24/7 live chat will be able to assist you in minutes.
Head over to the NordVPN website to sign up
Surfshark is very bold with its Netflix unblocking claims, stating that it can give access to 14 different libraries around the world – and in our testing it delivered, giving usable access to just about all the locations we tried. It's worth noting we had a brief hiccup with Australian Netflix, but otherwise Surfshark delivered a clean sweep.
A good thing about providers making such bold claims is that the company is selling itself on its abilities as a Netflix VPN, so it's much more obliged to maintain its performance, even as Netflix tightens its restrictions on VPN usage.
Another great thing about Surfshark is the price – at around $2.50 a month it's one of the best cheap VPN services. To boot, it also sports very fetching apps which are easy to use and nice to look at. However, they don't have the biggest feature list, so if you're going to be digging around in the settings it might prove restrictive.
As well as unblocking Netflix, Surfshark can get those outside the UK into BBC iPlayer, as well as unblocking YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Also, Prime access is an improvement, as while in our last round of testing it couldn't access it reliably, this time round there were no issues at all.
As a Netflix VPN, though, there's very little to fault with Surfshark, especially for the price. If you're after a cheap and simple way to get stuck in to overseas Netflix content, there are plenty of worse options than Surfshark.
Head over to Surfshark's website to sign up
With decent access to Netflix libraries all over the world – as well as other services such as Amazon Prime, Disney+ and the ever-tricky BBC iPlayer – it makes a great all-round streaming VPN. Plus, with simple and intuitive apps, it's a piece of cake getting connected and watching.
However, while Hotspot Shield admittedly had issues as a Canada VPN in our testing, it performed as well as – if not better than – all of the competition when accessing Japanese content. So, if you want lightning fast access to exclusive anime and Japanese drama (perfect if you're learning the language), Hotspot could be an excellent choice.
If you've been on the lookout for the most secure VPN, you may well have come across VyprVPN. Boasting excellent privacy and security features and apps for a huge range of device, it's a tempting option.
However, unlike other security-focused VPNs, it's also excellent for streaming Netflix, and in fact currently beats out specialized services like CyberGhost when it comes to which libraries it can unblock.
While it has issues with Australia and Japan, VyprVPN effectively unblocks US, UK and Canadian Netflix libraries, meaning you'll have access to a huge range of the best shows on the streaming service.
While it 'only' has around 700 servers, VyprVPN has them dotted around in over 70 locations worldwide, meaning you'll have plenty of choice when it comes to virtually relocating yourself.
With a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer support, Vypr is a wildcard option that can really deliver the goods.
Best Netflix VPN FAQs
How do we test Netflix VPN services?
To ensure we're giving you up-to-date information on these Netflix VPN providers, we regularly test them in a variety of locations. This is our process:
First, we fire up the VPN to be tested, and connect to the automatically selected server in our country of choice – this best reflects what the majority of users will be doing.
We then head over to Netflix and attempt to watch content that's exclusive to the country we're testing. We do this both in private browsing/Incognito mode and on a regular browser, note any differences, and repeat a number of times to check for any discrepancies.
We then note down the results, and update any relevant guides and articles if necessary.
Why do I need a Netflix VPN?
While some shows may be regular Netflix fare in much of the world, even the powerhouses that are the United States and Canada miss out on some content – and things can even vary drastically between north and south of the border.
Japanese Netflix has lots of anime you won't find elsewhere, and Netflix in the UK still has some classic British shows that aren't available anywhere else – and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
If you travel, a Netflix VPN is a must, as when you're out of your home country it's likely that you won't be able to keep up with the shows you're currently bingeing..
Also, if you feel like you're missing out on all that great Netflix content that you can't get in your home country, it's definitely worth considering investing in a Netflix VPN to expand your viewing. And, on top of that, you'll be able to use the service to secure all your browsing on your desktop PC and mobile device, too.
Is it legal to use a VPN for Netflix?
There are a couple of important things to note here. First of all, using a VPN or another kind of proxy service to access Netflix in other countries may violate Netflix's terms of service. That puts your account at risk of being terminated – but that's never actually happened.
Second, Netflix tries to identify and block VPN and proxy servers, with mixed results – that's why many VPNs can't get you watching. The company didn't always do this, but it's now under pressure from Hollywood studios and other content creators to block cross-border streaming.
We reached out to Netflix for further clarification, and were directed to a company blog post from early 2016.
"We have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere...In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location. ...We look forward to offering all of our content everywhere and to consumers being able to enjoy all of Netflix without using a proxy."
Why is Netflix not working with my VPN?
Netflix (and other streaming services, for that matter) are constantly trying to block the IP addresses of VPNs to stop people watching content they're not entitled to.
While the five Netflix VPNs above have proven that they're reliable and can consistently unblock Netflix, there's always the possibility that at one point certain servers will be unavailable.
In this situation, we recommend speaking directly to the VPN's support team. They will know many users prioritise streaming support, and will usually do all they can to get you on a working server as quickly as possible.
On that note, great support is an important reason why we rate ExpressVPN so highly. Whenever anything goes wrong – which isn't unheard of with any VPN – having top-class assistance is a massive help in rectifying the issue.
Can a Netflix VPN access other streaming services?
If you pick the best Netflix VPN, you may be able to access other streaming services like BBC iPlayer, NBC's Peacock, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and tons more. However, if there's a particular service you want access to, it's worth checking in advance.
An example is an iPlayer VPN. One VPN, IPVanish, is pretty handy for Netflix, but unfortunately can't access iPlayer. So, if that's something you'd miss, we'd recommend a service like ExpressVPN which can unblock pretty much everything.