The best Netflix VPN 2024

Finding the best Netflix VPN lets you access thousands of your favorite shows from wherever you are, but also gives your whole household easy access to your account, all while benefitting from the added security a VPN brings.

For over 15 years TechRadar has utilized the knowledge and expertise of its VPN team to give you everything you’ll need to make the best choice. Conducting over 450 tests on leading Netflix VPNs, to give you five proven services that unblocked Netflix libraries in every region we tested. 

Given the competition between the best VPNs to provide a perfect Netflix VPN experience, it can be difficult to differentiate between marketing sweet talk and the realities you'll face from different VPN providers. So I've summed up the top five VPNs for Netflix below, and given you some more advice on how to choose.

The three best Netflix VPNs in 2024

Need a quick answer? No worries. Here are my top three Netflix VPNs:

1. NordVPN: the best Netflix VPN in 2024

1. NordVPN: the best Netflix VPN in 2024
NordVPN tops my list due to its supreme unblocking power. You'll have no trouble accessing every Netflix region, and its apps work on almost every device—making it perfect if you want to take your shows on the go.

NordVPN is also seriously quick. Checking out what’s new on Netflix or other services? You don't need to worry about annoying buffering circles. If you don’t see the desired results, NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Surfshark: the best cheap Netflix VPN

2. Surfshark: the best cheap Netflix VPN
Surfshark blows me away with its rock-bottom pricing and top quality service. Surfshark is lightning-fast and comes with unlimited simultaneous connections. So you can share its unblocking capabilities with the whole family.

Surfshark has apps for Apple TV, Roku, and Playstation and Xbox consoles. However, NordVPN has it beat thanks to its impressive Amazon Firestick app. Try it out and, if you're not happy, you can make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. ExpressVPN: the best Netflix VPN for beginners

3. ExpressVPN: the best Netflix VPN for beginners
ExpressVPN is an awesome all-rounder that did a great job unblocking Netflix across numerous key regions such as the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Japan. However, it missed out on the top spot in my ranking as it's much more expensive than equally capable competition.

Despite this, ExpressVPN's apps are a joy to use. With its simple layout and easily accessed functionalities, you can connect to Netflix, on any server, in a matter of clicks. Plus, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Recent updates

While no one has moved too significantly in our lists, we have seen some impressive improvements in performance of late. Both in terms of speeds and unblocking capabilities, the likes of Proton VPN and PIA have become much more capable alternatives to the likes of Surfshark and NordVPN. 

The five best VPNs for Netflix in 2024

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Below, I break down the best VPNs for Netflix and discuss why you'll want to check out each service, how they performed in my most recent tests, and any reasons you might be better off with an alternate pick. I dig into some FAQs at the end of the article, too, to help you find your perfect match.

The best Netflix VPN overall

TechRadar Editor's Choice award logo

1. NordVPN

The top Netflix VPN—unblock Netflix anywhere

Unblocks Netflix: Most countries | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money-back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu, ITVX, All4, 9Now, 10Play | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: 10

Great choice of server locations
Awesome NordLynx speeds
Unblocks a huge number of Netflix libraries
Built-in ad-blocking tools
Mobile UI can feel cluttered
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want to access Netflix in any country anywhere: NordVPN unblocks Netflix in pretty much every country you can imagine.

✔️ You need a VPN that's fast: in my tests, NordVPN hit speeds of over 950 Mbps, which is way more than you need for HD and 4K streaming.

✔️ You need to stream using Amazon Firestick: NordVPN is one of the only VPNs that work with Amazon Firestick.

Don't subscribe if:

You use mobile more than other devices: NordVPN's iOS and Android apps are slightly clunky—especially compared to their PC counterparts. Check out Surfshark for a smoother experience.

You need secure torrenting: while NordVPN is a safe torrenting pick, its overall speeds can dip when engaging in P2P file sharing.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 NordVPN accessed each and every Netflix library I threw at it—which is seriously impressive. Factor in awesome speeds and a ton of security tools, and you get an unbeatable Netflix VPN. Try it for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to learn more?

Head on over to our NordVPN review for more insight into how this speedy service performed in our most recent tests.

Geo-restrictions are, in a word, a buzzkill. Whether you're trying to check out Netflix content from overseas or avoid blocks, bans, and censorships, NordVPN can help—thanks to a massive fleet of servers in over 110 countries. Simply connect to a server in the location of your choice and you'll be able to access all of that region's content. NordVPN makes picking and choosing a server particularly easy, too, thanks to well-organized server lists and a favorites system.

It doesn't matter if your Netflix account is registered in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or Japan. NordVPN unblocks libraries from around the world without fail—meaning you'll really, truly, get your money's worth. Have other TV streaming services? No problem. NordVPN easily unlocks Amazon Prime, Disney+, BBC, and popular channels in the UK and Australia.

▶ Try NordVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee

With apps for all platforms, you'll be able to check out Netflix content on your PC, mobile, and tablet, and NordVPN even works with game consoles, Fire Stick, AppleTV, and Roku. NordVPN is also an all-in-one security suite. So, in addition to its awesome VPN, you'll get ad-blocking tools and malware protection for all of your gadgets. You can even upgrade your plan and check out NordVPN's very own password manager and cloud storage.

This VPN uses a double encryption process to scramble up your data so well that it’s hard to read if it is ever snatched by a cybercriminal. NordVPN accomplishes this by sending your info through two servers. Along with securely encrypting your information, this process also makes it difficult to figure out your original IP address location.

Speed is another area where NordVPN shines. We experienced some improved connection speeds reaching 950+Mbps with its WireGuard-based NordLynx protocol last time we checked, placing itself along with Surfshark as one of the fastest VPN services. This means you'll be able to enjoy streaming in HD (high definition) and 4K with no buffer at all times. 

There are a few hiccups we've encountered while using NordVPN, though. For starters, its mobile apps aren't the easiest to figure out. There are inconsistencies between them and what tools are available on the desktop versions. Overall, there just isn't the same detail and navigation ease with the apps as there is with the computer apps.

Another point to be aware of is though NordVPN comes with ad blocking and malware protection, these aren't as effective as antivirus software. These programs are dedicated to malware blocking and overall threat protection, and so do a much better job than what you get with NordVPN. Still, for the price of this service, having a little bit of extra security isn't a bad thing.

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NordVPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignFun and interactive, though maybe a little too busy and overwhelming for some users⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIts mobile apps have a few quirks, and the interactive map isn't for every, but all other devices and apps are super easy to use⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceOne of the fastest VPNs we tested⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingNetflix in every country, plus access to other popular streaming apps⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyNo-logging policy and AES 256-bit encryption mean high marks for both security and privacy⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportQuick responses and an easy-to-understand knowledge base that are both helpful and professional⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceOverall a good deal, though there are other VPNs that are cheaper⭐⭐⭐⭐

The best cheap Netflix VPN

Surfshark VPN working across a range of devices

2. Surfshark

The fastest VPN we've tested with

Unblocks Netflix: Most countries | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu, All4, ITVX, 9Now, 10Play | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited

Likeable, easy-to-use interface
Bargain pricing
Good reputation on Netflix
Less reliable than ExpressVPN or NordVPN
Some kill switch issues
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want the best deal money can buy: Surfshark hits the high mark with its unbelievable deal that is perfect for anyone on a budget

✔️ You need a super-fast connection: with over 950 Mbps speeds, Surfshark is the fastest VPN on our list and can handle multiple devices streaming Netflix at once

✔️ You need an easy interface: it keeps its interface fun while also being super easy to use, even for those just starting out

Don't subscribe if:

You want more server locations: ExpressVPN has more server locations than anyone else, even if over 3,200 servers in 100 countries is impressive. 

You need a reliable kill switch: though it does work, our tests show some potential issues with the kill switch. If this is a problem for you, consider either NordVPN or ExpressVPN.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Surfshark's budget-friendly price can't be beaten, nor can its top speeds, which are awesome for streaming TV shows on every device in the house.

Want to know more?

Read our full Surfshark review to see why it's more than just a fast VPN, it's a budget-friendly security suite.

When it comes to sending and receiving information, Surfshark is really, really fast. To watch Netflix on one device and in high definition, it’s recommended that you have a connection speed of 5 Mbps. Surfshark has lightning-fast speeds of over 950 Mbps. Every device in your household can be connected and streaming at the same time if you want and you wouldn’t have to worry about lag or buffering.

When it comes to unlocking streaming services, Surfshark is equally pretty impressive. It unblocks Netflix in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan. If you have other streaming accounts, like Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, or BBC, Surfshark lets you tap into and watch those, too. For UK and Australian viewers, you can watch All4, ITV, 9Now, and 10Play.

Try the fastest VPN for Netflix on unlimited devices

Just like NordVPN, Surfshark works with Apple TV, Roku, and the popular gaming consoles, PlayStation and Xbox. However, it isn’t compatible with Amazon Firestick, which is a notable omission in terms of compatibility, especially if you're keen to use your VPN for streaming Netflix.

This service doesn’t skimp on security either. Our tests show that it is tough on data leaks even under extreme stress. Plus its no-logging policy is impressive and backed up by third-party audits. This means both your online activity and your personal identifying information are kept shielded from anyone trying to figure out what you do online. We noticed during testing that the kill switch doesn't always work on Windows computers, though. Most of the time we saw it work as it should, but every now and then we did notice some small leaks when it didn't engage quickly enough.

One drawback of using Surfshark is it doesn't have as many servers in as many countries as the likes of ExpressVPN. The biggest number of servers are where the most Netflix accounts are, the US and the UK. So if this is where you need to watch, you shouldn't have any problems connecting to a good, fast server.

Surfshark is an overall great value. In fact, it is the number one service on our cheap VPN guide and our recommendation if you’re on a tight budget. Its 24-month subscription comes out to less than $55, which is better than most single-year subscriptions offered by its competitors.

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Surfshark test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignFun and simple while being intuitive and professional⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useOne of the best for newbies just getting use to a VPN⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceLightening-fast speeds that top all others⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingStruggles with a couple of services, but most are easily unblocked⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacySome kill switch issues, but does include an ad blocker and antivirus⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportThe answer is in its extensive library of help articles, but it's hard to navigate, especially if in a hurry⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceCan't beat the price and the wealth of security that comes with it⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The best Netflix VPN for beginners

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

3. ExpressVPN

Most secure - high marks for safety and usability

Unblocks Netflix: Most countries | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, All4, 9Now, 10Play | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: 8

Support for wide range of devices
Reliable fast speeds
Fantastic customer support
Not the cheapest provider
Sometimes need to contact support for a working server
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a highly configurable VPN: ExpressVPN lets you set your preferences and will save them for future sessions.

✔️ You want to access content anywhere: ExpressVPN has servers in over 160 locations, though it has fewer total servers than NordVPN.

✔️ You place security as your top priority: ExpressVPN is among the best when it comes to privacy and security, which is why it continues to retain its spot among our top VPNs. 

Don't subscribe if:

You want to tap into your US or UK Netflix account: ExpressVPN isn't consistent when unblocking these apps, though it's perfect for watching in Japan or Australia.

You're on a tight budget: Though it's worth every penny, ExpressVPN is expensive compared to most other services. Surfshark is our top budget pick.

You need a Linux app: Though it does work with Linux, it isn't the best because it's missing a graphical user interface (GUI).

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 ExpressVPN may not be the cheapest VPN, but the ease of use and attention to detail are just a couple of the reasons why it's among our top VPNs.

What to know more?

Check out our ExpressVPN review and see why, even though it's not our top Netflix VPN, it is among our most recommended services for VPN users.

It's no secret that ExpressVPN continues to rank among the best VPNs we test—even if it's recently been surpassed in most categories by NordVPN. This is because it consistently proves how secure it is when testing for leaks, logging, and trackers. It’s really hard to get this VPN to break. Even its kill switch is fast at shielding your information if there is so much as a hint of a threat.

ExpressVPN's headquarters are in the British Virgin Islands. This country governs itself where it counts, including collecting and sharing digital information. It doesn't subscribe to the Five Eyes, or even the 14 Eyes alliances, so even if another country asks, ExpressVPN isn’t obligated to provide any information about you to them. And they won't.

Try  ExpressVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is also one of the easiest VPNs on any device or platform. It’s pretty consistent across all its versions, so it’s almost second nature when you enable it on a laptop, a mobile device, or even an Xbox. Developers think of everything to make the user experience quick and easy.

Where previously we had seen issues with ExpressVPN's capabilities to unblock streaming services in different regions, our latest tests showed an impressive improvement in the provider's capability. ExpressVPN was capable of unblocking every streaming service we tested, in every region we tested it for, a huge step up from the last time we tested them.

Despite this improvement, ExpressVPN still doesn't come close to the speeds we've seen from both NordVPN and Surfshark. Although it's slower, ExpressVPN is still over 20 times faster than what you need to watch Netflix in 4K on a single device, plus it is pretty consistent regardless of where in the world we tap into an open server.

Speaking of servers, ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in 105 different countries, with many in multiple locations in some of them with a good percentage found in both the US and the UK. That's 2,000 fewer servers than NordVPN has, but it's worth noting the quality of those servers, and the increased focus on bare metal servers, rather than virtual instances.

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ExpressVPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignEverything you need is easily found without a lot of clutter to distract you⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useSuper easy to use for anyone just learning about VPNs, and very configurable for more tech-savvy users⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceIt’s fast enough to support streaming, but it is significantly slower than both Surfshark and NordVPN⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingStruggles with a couple of Netflix apps, but just about everything else is easily accessed⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyCan't beat how secure ExpressVPN keeps your data from leaking, or falling into the wrong hands⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportCan't beat the friendly, helpful, professional, and always-available support⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceIt's expensive, even if it is worth it⭐⭐⭐

Other VPNs I've tested and recommend

Private Internet Access running on various devices

(Image credit: Private Internet Access)

4. Private Internet Access (PIA)

An industry veteran, with dedicated streaming servers

Unblocks Netflix: Most countries | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu, Disney Plus, Prime Video, 9Now, ITVX, All4 | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon TV, Smart TV, gaming consoles | Maximum devices supported: 10

Unblocks other popular streaming services 
Great support site and live chat
Dedicated streaming servers
Tons of security features
Might be too technical for newbies
Not the fastest VPN on the list
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want dedicated streaming servers: PIA has streaming-specific servers designed to help you unblock your favorite content wherever you want.

✔️ You need customization: you can change settings to the protocols you want and the torrenting servers to need, just to name a few of PIA's options

Dont' subscribe if:

You're new to VPNs: PIA is highly configurable and not the easiest for beginners. We recommend either Surfshark and ExpressVPN if you're after a super easy-to-use app.

You need faster speeds: though it's fast enough to support torrenting and TV streaming, PIA is far from reaching the speeds of NordVPN or Surfshark.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Private Internet Access has so many servers it's hard not to find what you need when you need it, but it isn't recommended for new users.

What to know more?

For users that want to know more bout the reconfigurability of this VPN, check out our in-depth Private Internet Access review.

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.

PIA was able to unblock all Netflix libraries in all the regions we tested. It had no problem accessing catalogs in the UK, Canada, Australia, the US, and 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 #4.

Try PIA and stream on unlimited devices today

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. In one key improvement, PIA was able to unblock 10 play, a service the provider had struggled with in our previous rounds of testing.

Offering an abundance of apps across a number of platforms, PIA continues to be feature-packed and highly compatible. 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, and it doesn't seem to be improving. PIA fell from 510 Mbps peaks all the way to 360 Mbps in our last round of tests. While it's not far behind the likes of ExpressVPN at 560Mbps, it certainly is a far cry from the fastest performances at 880-950Mbps from the likes of Surfshark.

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.

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Private Internet Access test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignNot a lot of detail, but it is very customizable⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useNot the best choice for beginners⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceIt's good but average in just about every area⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingReally good at unblocking TV streaming services including Netflix⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyUses the latest technology to really secure its VPN⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportSome of the best customer support that's always available, and its support library is helpful, too⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceA good price point value for everything you get with this service⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Proton VPN across devices including desktop and smartphone

(Image credit: Proton VPN)

5. Proton VPN

A decent Netflix VPN that offers a free plan to try.

Unblocks Netflix: Most countries | 24/7 customer support: No | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu, ITVX, All4, 9Now | Streaming devices: Chromecast, Android TV | Maximum devices supported: 10

Great free offering
Works on many tested Netflix regions
Effective with other streaming services, too
Above average prices
Drop in speeds
Subscribe if:

✔️ You need Linux (GUI) support: Proton VPN's Linux app is a good choice if you need a graphical user interface.

✔️ You need a free VPN: the free version of Proton VPN doesn't allow TV streaming, but it doesn't cap your usage and is available for most devices and platforms.

Don't subscribe if:

You want a simple app experience: While Proton VPN's design is impressive, it doesn't lend itself to the simpler experiences you'd see from the likes of ExpressVPN. 

You need quick access to support: A lack of 24/7 customer support and an annoyingly complex support site leave much to be desired if you're in need of assistance.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 ProtonVPN is secure, and unblocks Netflix as well as many other streaming services. Plus, it even offers a free VPN plan.

Want to know more?

In our in-depth review of Proton VPN learn about both its free offering and paid subscription and what is missing and included with each.

Proton VPN is one that appeared to come out of nowhere, joining the rankings in our overarching VPN provider rankings. The good news is, based on our tests, Proton doesn't look to be losing its touch anytime soon. It is one of the few VPN services that infiltrated Netflix's biggest crackdown on IP addresses to date. 

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. It doesn't perform half bad in accessing other services either, with  Australia's 10Play even now being accessible despite previous issues. We view that kind of coverage 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.

Try Proton VPN's unlimited free plan

Another win for Proton VPN is its speed. Previous testing had seen Proton drop to a lower point on our list than many would expect, however now, after numerous improvements, we saw an impressive uplift. Proton VPN now provides speeds of over 950 Mbps using WireGuard and up to 400 Mbps using OpenVPN, putting it among the very best VPN providers in terms of outright speed.

It's worth noting Proton VPN has a great free VPN, too. 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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Proton VPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignThis is especially helpful for users that prefer dark mode⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useThe mobile apps are really easy to use, but the desktop ones are more overwhelming⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceThere's a lot of variation between apps, but it's a decent option⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingCan't unblock most geo-restricted content with its free service, but all paid services are great at unblocking most content⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyYou get AES-256 bit encryption, a good no-log policy, and add-on options to boost all-around security⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportHelp articles are pretty technical and hard to figure out, and live support is hit or miss⭐⭐⭐
PricePaid subscriptions are pricey, but its free service has a lot to offer⭐⭐⭐⭐

What is the fastest VPN?

As independent reviewers, we want to see with our own eyes what VPN services are really capable of despite their marketing pitch. That's why we regularly test the speeds of the top software on a variety of servers and protocols.  

Below are the speed results for the top VPN services, during our latest tests:

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VPN ProviderWireGuard or proprietaryOpenVPN
1. Surfsharkover 950 Mbps (maxed out our testing)640 Mbps
2. Mullvadover 950 Mbps (maxed out our testing)410 Mbps
3. Proton VPNover 950 Mbps (maxed out our testing)400 Mbps
4. Windscribeover 950 Mbps (maxed out our testing)240 Mbps
5. PrivadoVPNover 950 Mbps (maxed out our testing)220 Mbps
6. NordVPNover 950 Mbps (maxed out our testing)110 Mbps
7. Norton VPNover 950 Mbps (maxed out our testing)240 Mbps
8. PureVPN880 Mbps210 Mbps
9. Atlas VPN785 MbpsN/A
10. IPVanish770 Mbps230 Mbps
11. CyberGhost760 Mbps360 Mbps
12. FastestVPN730 Mbps170 Mbps
13. AirVPN710 Mbps300 Mbps
14. Hide.me690 Mbps210 Mbps
15. Hotspot Shield600 MbpsN/A
16. VyprVPN590 Mbps145 Mbps
17. TunnelBear480 Mbps180 Mbps
18. ExpressVPN410 Mbps210 Mbps
19. StrongVPN395 Mbps210 Mbps
20. Astrill VPN390 Mbps (unstable speeds)N/A
21. Private VPN350 Mbps125 Mbps
22. Private Internet Access330 Mbps270 Mbps
23. Mozilla VPN360 MbpsN/A
24. Google One345 MbpsN/A
25. UltraVPN300 MbpsN/A

How to choose a Netflix VPN

Now that you know why you should use a VPN to unblock Netflix, you might want to know what to look out for in your next software.

For starters, it doesn't help to use a VPN if someone is able to break through and see what you’re doing. That’s why our top priority is to make sure the VPNs we recommend are the most secure. This includes not found data leaks during testing, strong no-logging privacy policies with extra kudos for those that allow independent audits, and an effective kill switch to keep you secure even when your VPN connection fails.

ExpressVPN is the best when it comes to security, but both NordVPN and Surfshark have some security aces of their own. For example, NordVPN sends your data through its encryption process twice to make it extra hard to figure out if it is intercepted. And Surfshark allows third-party audits of its no-log policy to prove it really doesn’t keep tabs on anything you do.

Want to unblock more?

Looking for a VPN that supports more TV viewing than just Netflix? Check out our guide to the best streaming VPNs.

Speed is another detail that is important for a VPN, especially one being used for TV streaming. This is because if you don’t have a fast enough connection you’ll experience a lot of buffering while watching.

Netflix requires a minimum speed of 5 Mbps for one device to watch a show in high-definition (HD) and 25 Mbps to watch in 4K. Remember this is for only one device. If there is more than one device connected to the VPN—it doesn't even need to be logged into Netflix—you will beed faster speeds to head off any lag.

The good news is all the VPNs we’ve tested and reviewed easily support your laptop, your cellphone, a gaming console, and in some cases a Roku or Apple TV all watching Netflix at the same time without any problems.

Part of the speed factor is determined by the VPN server you’re connected to. If you’re trying to connect in an area that is a) popular and b) has few servers, it may be harder to get a server connection, or you may experience slower speeds if a lot of users are connected to the same server.

For a Netflix VPN, look for a service that has a lot of servers in many different countries. One of the best in this area is Private Internet Access (PIA). It has a whopping 20,000 servers in 84 countries.

How to use your Netlfix VPN

The idea of a Netflix VPN sounds great, but how do you actually use a VPN? With relative ease, I would say—a VPN for Netflix can 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 libraries—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, all you need to do is install your chosen Netflix VPN. All the providers we recommend below have tons of clients and apps across Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire Stick, and more. However you stream, there's a VPN that'll get you up and running.

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, simply head to Netflix and start watching TV shows and movies available in that country.

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, although we will say we've never heard of anybody having their Netflix account suspended due to using a VPN.

How we test VPNs

There are a lot of experts on our VPN team that range from IT personnel, who can read the source code and find trouble spots, to cybersecurity analysts, who can sport data leaks, to parents who use VPNs at home to protect their families. Many TechRadar writers, editors, and managers travel internationally and use VPNs to access sensitive company files, log in to backend programs, or relax by watching a favorite movie from their TV streaming account.

TechRadar has been testing all kinds of hardware, software, tech devices, and everything in between for 15 years, so we really know what we’re doing, and VPNs are no exceptions.

To begin with, we test how secure every VPN we review is. In fact, we test a lot of VPNs that don’t make it onto our buying guides or are ultimately never reviewed because it first needs to pass our security tests.

If we see any hint of a DNS leak, we make note of it and how much pressure we needed to put on the VPN to get it.

Part of these tests try to make the VPN connection drop or leak some data. If we see any hint of a DNS leak, we make note of it and how much pressure we needed to put on the VPN to get it.

Another security test is forcing the VPN connection to drop. This is so we can test the kill switch. An effective kill switch will quickly shield your data rather than allow it to leak until the VPN connection is restored. This test is repeated multiple times, with multiple levels of force, and on multiple devices to make sure we can recommend the VPN regardless of how you use it.

An important part of our evaluation really isn't a physical test, but it does require us to read and reread through each VPN's privacy policy. We look for any clauses that mention personal information that is traced, tracked, or logged by the company. We want to ensure you are safe as possible, so we put a lot of confidence behind those that don't keep logs of your online history at all.

Surfshark VPN performance benchmark results from Speedtest.Net by Ookla

(Image credit: Speedtest.Net by Ookla)

Another important test we conduct is a speed test. This test looks at how fast information is sent and received between your device and the VPN server. This test is conducted hundred of times from test computers in both the UK and the US.

We connect to servers throughout the world and at different times of day to get a good speed average. This average is what we use for ranking and reporting our findings.

When we run our tests, we count the number of server locations that are listed inside the VPN app. This is usually different than what is reported on the company's website, but we want to give you accurate information. The numbers we report are those we've verified ourselves.

Another important test we run is for geo-restricted content, specifically TV streaming services. We want you to be able to watch your favorite shows by having access to your streaming accounts. So, we get a list of the most popular services and try and access them with each VPN.

As with the speed tests, we try to tap into accounts from a variety of server locations to make sure there is a definite way to gain access to geo-restricted content. We rerun these tests using different devices, so we can let you know if a VPN is compatible with AppleTV, Amazon Firestick, or Roku.

Best Netflix VPN FAQs

What is the best Netflix VPN?

Topping the lot at the moment is NordVPN as the overall best Netflix VPN. It's fast, secure, and 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 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 Terms and Conditions. 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. 

You can find out more about how Netflix detects and blocks VPNs in our full guide.

Netflix logo

(Image credit: Netflix)

Why does Netflix have 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. You then 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— as a local TV network has the rights to the Netflix show, it’s not available online.

Which country has the best Netflix library?

America, to no suprise, 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:

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, 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.

To discover every single show and film that is exclusive to certain regions, check out FlixWatch.

Netflix displaying a VPN streaming error message

How do you 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. 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 do 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, has been one of the leading providers to stay one step ahead of the Netflix VPN ban, working overtime to acquire new IP addresses, which they can then cycle out whenever an older address is no longer working. When Netflix detects and blocks a specific IP, the VPN switches to another IP and encourages customers to use that location to stream.

Disclaimer

We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example: 1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service). 2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad. We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.