Using a Netflix VPN is a great way to find new content or access shows and movies that aren’t available in your region. That’s because a VPN service hides your IP address and makes it look like you’re accessing the Internet from another location. As a result, you can stream Netflix as if you were in a different country and watch all the content that isn’t available in your own.
But not all VPNs are built the same, and many of them fail to get past Netflix’s sophisticated geo-blocks – and even those that do so may not be ideal for other reasons. In this article, we take a look at how Netflix detects and blocks VPNs, and what features to look for in a good VPN for streaming.
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How to avoid Netflix geo-blocks
Our top-rated VPN for unblocking Netflix is ExpressVPN (opens in new tab). Great speeds, reliable connections and unbeatable evasion tech means that it's the quickest and easiest way to get access to all the content you love.
Netflix uses sophisticated tools to detect and block VPNs. While technically using a VPN with Netflix isn’t illegal, it and other streaming services still try to limit content based on your location. This has resulted in a kind of arms race between streaming services and VPNs, as each tries to outwit the other.
Netflix uses a variety of tools to detect VPNs. It may match IP addresses to known VPN servers, look for DNS server location mismatches, or watch for multiple users coming from the same IP address.
To combat these, VPNs need to have the right technology and a large number of servers. That’s why only the best providers are able to get past Netflix geo-blocks.
What else does your VPN need?
Unfortunately, simply getting past a streaming service’s geo-blocks isn’t enough. You want to look for VPN providers with lightning-fast connections, a large number of VPN servers to avoid bottlenecks, and rock-solid encryption and security. You also need a reliable connection when streaming to avoid buffering, and you’ll want to be sure to get unlimited data.
Additionally, if you’re like most people, you may watch Netflix on your computer, your tablet, and your Smart TV or gaming console – heck, even on your phone when riding the bus. Look for a VPN that works on a wide range of devices and has a decent number of simultaneous connections (how many devices you can have the VPN active on at once).
One alternative option is to get a router VPN so that all your Internet traffic, no matter what device, is covered. This also helps if you regularly use devices that don’t support true VPN connections or simply want to protect every device in your household all the time.
Which VPN should I use?
Based on the above criteria, there are a few VPNs that work reliably on streaming websites, with great speed and stability.
ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) is not only one of the best VPNs out there for Netflix, it’s our #1-rated VPN, period (opens in new tab). It has server locations in more than 90 countries, so you have a wide selection of Netflix regions to choose from, and it consistently beats out Netflix’s geo-blocks. You'll also get a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test the service before committing.
Another great option is Surfshark (opens in new tab), which allows for an unlimited number of devices and can be installed on gaming consoles, Smart TVs, and routers. Surfshark also has a strict zero-logging policy and is one of the cheapest VPNs available on the market today (opens in new tab), despite being fast, reliable, and great at unblocking Netflix.
The right VPN for streaming out-of-region and foreign Netflix must not only get past sophisticated geoblocks, but should be lightning fast and support a large number of servers.