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Private Internet Access for Netflix: does it work, how good is it and where to start

Private Internet Access for Netflix
(Image credit: wutzkohphoto / Shutterstock.com)

For many people, Netflix is their favorite streaming platform because it allows them to access thousands of TV shows and movies on any connected device. And using a VPN has only enhanced that experience for many more.

That's because while the Netflix streaming catalog is highly diverse and constantly expanding, some content may only be available to watch in a specific geographic region. And if you try accessing a geo-restricted TV show or movie on Netflix, you’ll see a notification saying it’s not accessible where you live.

Luckily, you can unblock geo-restricted international Netflix libraries and content with the help of a premium virtual private network service. That’s why streamers are often on the hunt for Netflix VPNs

By using a service like Private Internet Access for Netflix, you’ll not only be able to watch all your favorite TV shows and movies on Netflix when you’re abroad but also potentially unblock content restricted to a particular part of the world. But how does this work, and what steps must you take? Read on to find out.


What can I do with Private Internet Access for Netflix?

Although VPNs have a large range of different uses, one of their best capabilities is the ability to unblock geo-restricted content. As a result, VPNs are a powerful asset for anyone who loves streaming TV shows and movies on Netflix.

With a global server network comprising over 35,000(!) connections in more than 70 countries worldwide, Private Internet Access has developed a strong reputation as a streaming VPN. When you connect to one of these servers, you’ll be able to access streaming libraries from all over the world.

Having such a large number of VPN servers at your fingerprints will be very handy if you travel to another country (whether it be for work or a well-deserved holiday) and want to access the shows and movies you’d typically watch at home.

Private Internet Access for Netflix: does it work?

If you’re thinking of buying a premium PIA subscription, you’re probably wondering if it can successfully unblock Netflix. And the answer to that burning question is yes...kind of.

Testing for our Private Internet Access review saw us successfully unblocking the US Netflix libraries using a variety test servers. Not only that, but PIA also allowed us to unblock the likes of Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video in addition to Netflix US.

Unfortunately, we began to struggle when trying access exclusive content on Netflix in the UK, Japan, Australia and Canada via PIA. So, you could potentially run into issues when trying to unblock different international Netflix libraries as a PIA user.

If that sounds like a problem for you and your intended use, then we'd suggest turning your attention to our best Netflix VPN guide instead. As you'll see from that article, going for a service like ExpressVPN or NordVPN instead will open up a much wider world of Netflix content around the globe.

How to use Private Internet Access for Netflix 

Unless you’ve used Private Internet Access for Netflix in the past, you might be questioning how you go about unblocking Netflix as a PIA user. Fortunately, it’s straightforward and won’t take long.

Firstly, you’ll need to sign up for a PIA plan (if you haven’t already). You can find a variety of premium plans by heading over to the PIA website (opens in new tab). When you’ve chosen a subscription and created a PIA account, you’ll need to download its official app on your streaming device of choice and set it up.

After setting up the PIA app, you can then connect to a VPN server in the country where you’re looking to access Netflix. Once you’ve connected to a server, you can open the Netflix app on your device of choice and stream content in a different Netflix library. Although it's worth pointing out again that PIA isn't all that thorough when it comes to international blocking. So don't expect to jump on a Japan server and suddenly begin streaming Japanese exclusive content... you may end up having to rely on PIA's 30-day money back guarantee!

Netflix

(Image credit: Future)

One of the questions many people ask when thinking about downloading a VPN solution is whether they’re legal or not. Across a large part of the world, it’s entirely within the law to use a VPN service like Private Internet Access for Netflix and many other use cases.

There are, however, some countries where the use of VPNs is outlawed. In China and Russia, it’s illegal to use a VPN service. But these countries have been criticized for their strict online censorship laws for a long time. In reality, most people are fine to use a VPN and won’t get in trouble with the authorities.

While VPNs are legal across a significant part of the world, streaming platforms like Netflix don’t see them in a positive light. In fact, Netflix has made it a violation of its user agreement to stream content while connected to a VPN service. Here’s a snippet from its terms and conditions:

You also agree not to circumvent, remove, alter, deactivate, degrade or thwart any of the content protections in the Netflix service; use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Netflix service... We may terminate or restrict your use of our service if you violate these Terms of Use or are engaged in illegal or fraudulent use of the service.

Netflix is getting increasingly better at detecting the use of VPNs by its subscribers, but despite this, top VPN companies like PIA still enable their users to unblock Netflix successfully. To avoid detection, PIA and other premium VPN services are constantly launching new servers just for streaming. 

Nicholas Fearn is a freelance technology journalist and copywriter from the Welsh valleys. His work has appeared in publications such as the FT, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The Next Web, T3, Android Central, Computer Weekly, and many others. He also happens to be a diehard Mariah Carey fan!