Regardless of where in the world you may physically be, you'll be able to watch Netflix Originals like The Crown and Wednesday with few issues. However, for those looking to access country exclusives, things may be a bit harder to sort out. Thankfully, we're here to tweak the line of succession and crown the best Netflix VPN for all your devices.
No need to lose your place in your current binge-watch or sign-up for yet another streaming service, a VPN allows you to virtually country-hop. But not all providers are made equal. Only the best VPN providers are able to consistently and effectively unblock streaming services, with Netflix in particular proving an ever more difficult nut to crack.
Allowing you to get more out of your Netflix subscription, 40% of our readers said they used a VPN in order to stream geo-blocked content and secure a more private connection. Our top 5 best Netflix VPN services are more than up for the mission, allowing you to unblock Netflix catalogs worldwide with easy-to-use apps for almost all devices.
Today's top 3 best Netflix VPNs:
1. NordVPN - #1 best Netflix VPN in 2023 (opens in new tab)
Overall score: 4.5/5
EDITOR'S CHOICE. Chances are, even if you don't know a lot about virtual private networks you may have heard of NordVPN. Well, it walks the walk too with a fantastic reputation for unblocking geo-restricted streaming services. It's currently the most reliable, and also offers super security smarts if you're planning on streaming on public Wi-Fi.
2. Surfshark VPN - ace VPN for a really low price (opens in new tab)
Overall score: 4.5/5
After a service as reliable at unblocking as Nord, but at a cheaper price point? For less than $2.50 USD per month, it's a fantastic, premium option that's unbelievably simple to use. And it's really upped its Netflix unblocking game of late.
3. ExpressVPN - a powerful VPN for unblocking
(opens in new tab)Overall score: 5/5
ExpressVPN is fast, secure, incredibly easy to use, and has great 24/7 support. It is also our choice of VPN in the office and a decent option for unblocking, able to access some Netflix exclusives. Plus, it comes with a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee and 3 months extra free.
How to use your Netflix VPN
The idea of a Netflix VPN likely sounds good - but how does one actually use it? With relative ease, a Netflix VPN has the ability to make just about any device appear to be in a completely different country in just a few clicks.
In practice, this means if you're in the US but want to access shows only available on Netflix's UK or Canadian library – or just about anywhere else – you can hop on the appropriate server and gain access to a whole other catalog. The same works in reverse. In the UK and want to get American Netflix? A VPN can do that too!
To get started, you only need to install your choice of VPN onto your streaming device. All the best Netflix VPN providers we recommend below have a slew of clients and apps across Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire Stick, and even gaming consoles.
Once you're all set up, you simply need to select a server in the country you want to 'appear' to be in. Once connected, you can head to Netflix, which should serve up TV shows and movies available in that country.
Please keep in mind that accessing content not available in your region is something Netflix doesn't want its users to do. In fact, it is explicitly forbidden in Netflix's terms and conditions of usage. In short, this means you proceed down this avenue of content unblocking entirely at your own risk, though we will say we've never heard of anybody having their Netflix account suspended due to using a VPN.
Top 5 best Netflix VPN working providers in 2023:(opens in new tab)
The results are in and NordVPN maintains its #1 spot as the best Netflix VPN, proving to be one of the most reliable options for streamers looking to unblock content while also ensuring a consistent performance elsewhere. This is thanks in a big way to its proprietary NordLynx protocol, which promised stable, barely affected speeds in our October 2022 testing. For those looking to stream in HD and 4K, then, you won't notice a difference while connected to NordVPN. That's all without mentioning how effortlessly NordVPN was able to unblock Netflix catalogs around the world.
Best Netflix VPN 2023 - Save 68% and pay $3.99 a month for 2 years (opens in new tab)
NordVPN's engineers have been hard at work behind the scenes as the streaming giant cracks down more and more on IP addresses and its geo-restriction infrastructure. It appears that NordVPN just cannot be beaten, though.
Nord is the provider for the job, able to unblock all the key countries we target in our Netflix testing, including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and Japan. Proving far more consistent as of late than ExpressVPN, combined with its excellent performance elsewhere, this is the best Netflix VPN currently on the market.
Elsewhere, the service also gave us easy access to other services including BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and YouTube. We've also added other UK and Australia services to our roster of testing, including ITVX, All4, 9Now, and 10Play, all of which NordVPN breezed through.
If you do find yourself struggling, Nord's customized support pages should get you watching your favorite shows and newly added films in no time. Beyond that, the support team is on hand 24/7 and should be able to get you going in no time - plus, it offers great value for money (opens in new tab).
As mentioned before, it's also one fast provider. In fact, once again its seen an increase in results - especially impressive when you consider many of the other services we tested had dropped. Last time around NordVPN clocked averages of 730-760Mbps, but our autumn results saw averages of 700-820Mbps, retaining its reputation of being a consistently speedy provider.
Further benefits of this service include super-strong 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and an extensive choice of servers. The company has a no-logs policy regarding the user’s online activity that the renowned PricewaterhouseCoopers auditors have audited. All told, these contribute to making NordVPN a premium choice for every use.
NordVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. With the monthly billing being quite costly, the multi-year plan offers the best value for money, if you can make that commitment.
Get the best Netflix VPN and 68% on 2-year plans (opens in new tab)
NordVPN has claimed the top spot as the best VPN for Netflix thanks to its consistent unblocking prowess and ability to stream exclusives in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan. It's also incredibly speedy thanks to its NordLynx protocol, and one of the most secure VPNs. Try risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
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Surfshark keeps the doors open for those looking to unblock Netflix catalogs around the globe. What's more, it's become one of the fastest VPNs (second only to TorGuard) with peaks of 950Mbps, solidifying it as one of the best overall VPN providers out there for streaming.
It ticks off all the countries on our Netflix testing checklist. That's the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan. And if you want to unblock services stuck behind geo-restrictions you're in luck with Surfshark. We also had success across the board with all UK services, including BBC iPlayer, ITVX, and All4. For anyone wanting to tune into Aussie services, we were able to use 9Now and 10Play, as well as Disney Plus and Prime Video.
Surfshark also boasts really helpful customer support agents just a click away on a live chat, any time of the day. They're on hand to help get you connected to the best server for your needs where possible.
And for those new to Netflix VPNs, Surfshark has two extra strings to its bow. Firstly, it's sublimely easy to use, and not too many services out there have 'friendlier' interfaces (or cooler names!). And for anybody worried about yet another pricey bit of software to install, Surfshark has some of the market's best pricing - leading our list of the best overall cheap VPNs – and a 30-day money-back guarantee if you just want to dip your toes into the water.
Note though, that for power users with bigger plans for their VPN, Surfshark perhaps lacks a couple of extra features that the competition tote, and its OpenVPN speeds are below average at 120-190Mbps (so we'd suggest you use the speedy WireGuard protocol as and when you can).
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ExpressVPN remains our overarching top VPN to recommend time and time again, overachieving in just about every area; from its reliable, seamless clients to its consistent speeds and exceptional track record for unblocking. So, while it has admittedly dropped off in cracking Netflix since the streaming giant upped the ante on its anti-VPN infrastructure, it's still a viable choice – though NordVPN and Surfshark have outranked it in the past six months or so.
Our latest tests saw it crack the code of both Australia and Japan's Netflix exclusives, while it had intermittent success with the US and UK. Canada, unfortunately, was an outright failure this time around. It's worth noting, though, that ExpressVPN has exceptional 24/7 support who, at the drop of a hat, can tell you the server to use to successfully unblock your chosen service, whether Netflix or another service, the first time.
Regardless of where you do the majority of your Netflix watching - on your laptop, smart TV, mobile, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, another streaming device, or a mix of the lot - ExpressVPN's MediaStreamer DNS assists with secure streaming and the ability to appear in another country altogether including on devices that don’t immediately support VPNs (like Apple TV, some smart TVs and game consoles).
The consistency of ExpressVPN's speeds is another asset here with speedy connections on servers in faraway corners of the globe. That means no frustrating buffering when watching another just-landed blockbuster or eye-popping nature doc in 4K.
One of its other major bonuses is that it's incredibly straightforward to install and use, so it shouldn't be too daunting for those unfamiliar with VPNs.(opens in new tab)
Proton VPN is one that appeared to come out of nowhere, joining the rankings in our overarching VPN provider rankings. The good news is that Proton doesn't look to be losing its touch anytime soon. It was also one of the few VPN services that could infiltrate Netflix's biggest crackdown on IP addresses to date. While the likes of Nord and Surfshark have surpassed it in that regard, it's still worthy of finding itself on our list of the top 5 best Netflix VPN providers.
In fact, in our latest tests, we were able to unblock all test countries, only seeing a slight niggle in the UK. Still, two out of three attempts are great odds. And it doesn't perform half bad in accessing other services either, with only Australia's 10Play an outright fail.
That kind of coverage should be regarded as a real feather in the cap of Proton VPN, which has also made strides with its connection speeds, feature list, server count, and general client usability.
It's fair to say, though, Proton VPN does lag a little behind now in terms of its performance. We logged speeds that peaked at 510Mbps. While not a bad result, against the rest of the market, this is below average. If speed is a priority, you may be better off picking from #1-3. That said, Proton's averages offer ample speed for a reliable connection without buffering on 4K content.
It's worth noting Proton VPN has a great free VPN. While you'll need to hold your horses in regards to unblocking Netflix or any other streaming service (which is reserved as a feature for paying customers only), for anyone unsure about committing to a VPN, it does offer a great stepping stone.
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Private Internet Access (PIA) re-enters our best Netflix VPN list following our recent round of tests where we try to access exclusive titles in five key locations (the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan) by connecting to the auto server in these geos. In PIA's case, we utilized its dedicated streaming servers and saw a fairly competent performance.
While not a 100% success rate, PIA was able to unblock all Netflix libraries more often than not. It had no problem accessing catalogs in the UK, Canada, and Australia, with two out of three of our attempts working in the US, and one of three in Japan. Considering Netflix is proving more and more difficult for VPNs to wrangle into submission, this is a strong show effort from PIA that sees it sitting at #5.
Add to that, it was also able to gain access to many other streaming services including BBC iPlayer, ITVX, and All 4, as well as Aussie service 9Now, Disney Plus, and Prime Video. It struggled in our test to unblock 10Play, but for the most part, it was ticking boxes across the board.
Offering an abundance of apps across a number of platforms, we also rate PIA for how feature-packed it is, including an excellent kill switch. That said, for those newer to VPNs, this could potentially be a bit off-putting. It's also fair to say it's not the fastest. PIA fell into the comfortable average bracket at 510Mbps peaks. It's fair to say that it's not far behind the likes of ExpressVPN at 560Mbps, though certainly a far cry from the fastest performances at 880-950Mbps.
We deem PIA to be great value for money and its support website and customer service prove excellent should you run into any problems, making this a reliable option for your Netflix VPN of choice.
Best Netflix VPN: FAQ
What is the best Netflix VPN
Topping the lot at the moment is NordVPNas the overall best Netflix VPN (opens in new tab). This, bolstered by its reputation for being incredibly secure and mighty fast makes it the perfect choice for all your streaming. And if you get stuck, it offers 24/7 customer support.
It's fast, secure, and is available on pretty much every device you can imagine, with its Smart DNS available for the less smooth sailing devices. So use it on your laptop, mobile, smart TV, PlayStation, Xbox, or any one of a range of TV streaming devices. One sub allows simultaneous connections on five devices, too, so you can even let friends and family members use it for their global Netflix-streaming needs as well.
How to choose the best Netflix VPN
Many providers have given up on Netflix unblocking, leading to the infamous proxy error advising you to turn off your VPN when watching Netflix. But all five VPNs recommended in this guide work for Netflix.
Connection speeds are a priority, of course - video streaming is an intensive activity, and you’ll need nippy performance levels to avoid suffering at the hands of stuttering footage, particularly when watching HD or 4K content. Having plenty of servers on offer will mean you’ll be more likely to be able to find that vital fast connection, as well. And it pays to go for a service with excellent support, just in case you do run into any issues.
Privacy and security are important whatever you’re using a Netflix VPN for, with a ‘no logs’ policy and good encryption being definite must-haves. Support for mobile devices, and hopefully native clients for iOS/Android, will obviously be handy for watching flicks on the move.
And another good idea is to plump for a provider with a money-back guarantee – that will be useful if things change suddenly and the particular VPN you’ve gone for ends up getting the cold shoulder. Some countries block Netflix completely – for example, China – and again, you can use one of our top Netflix VPN picks above to get around this.
How and why does Netflix prevent VPN use?
It's very clear... Netflix doesn't want you using your VPN when you stream with the platform. It says as much in its Ts&Cs. And it's understandable, as it needs to protect its rights agreements.
Generally, its engineers will do this by completely blocking the use of Netflix at a select range of IP addresses that it knows are associated with VPN servers.
But in August 2021, it stepped up the game even further. Netflix went and blocked a whole range of residential IP addresses in an effort to clamp down on the abuse of its TS&Cs. The effect was to seriously curtail the attempts of VPNs to circumnavigate the geo-blocks.
Why Netflix has regional restrictions
The reason why Netflix catalogs differ from country to country is simple: copyright law. Movie studios have different contracts in different countries, so it’s possible that one series may be available in one country but not in another.
And then you have to deal with local broadcasting rights, where some countries may have the rights to some shows and therefore don’t permit them to be accessed on Netflix. House of Cards in Hong Kong is a great example—because a local TV network has the rights to the Netflix show, it’s not available online.
It’s no surprise that America has the best Netflix library. With the majority of original content coming out of the States, it makes sense that more series would be available there. In fact, the U.S. Netflix library has nearly 1,000 more shows than its UK cousin. Again, great if you’re in the States, but not so much if you’re in the UK.
You can check out our pick of the best Netflix series for each region below:
- Best shows on US Netflix
- Best shows on UAE Netflix
- Best shows on UK Netflix
- Best shows on Australian Netflix
And what about the movies? TechRadar has up-to-the-minute 'best of Netflix' guides for the longer format, too:
What can I watch with a Netflix VPN?
Combining your VPN and Netflix means that you can watch shows and films that are exclusive to certain regions - that's usually because they're licensed to another streaming service in that country.
A fantastic example is for people who want to watch Rick and Morty. In the US, you'll need a service that gives you access to Adult Swim. But down in Australia, every single episode is sitting on Netflix. It's a similar story for Friends, The Office, and Fargo – none of which are on US Netflix but can be accessed using a VPN.
It's beyond the scope of this article to list and update every single show and film that is exclusive to certain regions. Luckily, the site FlixWatch (opens in new tab) does a pretty good job of that.
How to bypass the Netflix VPN proxy error
Netflix has invested big bucks in detecting and blocking VPNs, and users can attest that servers that work with Netflix one day may not work the next. You’ve likely seen the infamous “Streaming Error” message below if you tried to access Netflix from outside the US with a VPN.
Netflix has been systematically finding and blacklisting suspected VPN IP addresses. And while the past few years have been an ongoing battle between VPNs and Netflix restrictions, VPNs are now setting up specific server locations intended to be used with Netflix.
How some providers overcome the Netflix VPN ban
Every IP address is associated with a country code, which Netflix then uses to either reroute or block network access. As the majority of VPN providers have multiple servers in cities and countries around the world, hopping from location to location is essentially the only way to stream the US Netflix library abroad. It’s a tab cumbersome, but it works.
Be aware that not every server will work – it’s best to contact the provider’s customer assistance to see which servers are working on a particular date. ExpressVPN, for example (opens in new tab), has been one of the leading providers to stay one step ahead of the Netflix VPN ban.
The company (along with a handful of other VPN providers) has been working overtime to acquire new IP addresses, which they can then cycle out whenever an older address is no longer working. As soon as Netflix detects and subsequently blocks a specific IP, the VPN then switches to another IP and encourages customers to use that specific location to stream.