Technology has made it much easier for people to enjoy their favorite movies and TV shows in the last decade, especially since you no longer have to drive to a theater or rent DVDs from your local store. Not only that, but you are also not limited to your TV either, since you can also use a computer, a tablet, or even a phone in order to access thousands of hours of content wherever you are in the world.
Netflix was one of the first streaming services out there, which means that they have the most experience in terms of delivering high-quality content to a variety of countries all over the world. In fact, the Netflix software engineers are considered to be some of the most well-trained people in the field, especially when you consider the fact that they had to invent a lot of the technology in-house. Thus, their CDNs are always fast and efficient, without compromising quality in the process, which is not something you get from most other services.
On the other hand, there are also some hurdles such a company must overcome, and unfortunately it has nothing to do with the quality of their platform. In essence, they need to purchase licenses for every movie and TV show on their platform, which is not cheap. Not only that, but they also have to keep in mind the fact that those licenses may not be valid in many countries due to conflicts with local TV stations.
This is also why certain TV shows or movies are only available to people from a specific set of countries. Hence, even if you purchase a Netflix subscription like everyone else, you won’t be able to access all the content, which is a bit of an annoyance to say the least. In fact, sometimes TV shows will be pulled from the platform while you are trying to watch them.
Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem, and it comes in the form of a VPN. In case you are not familiar with the concept, a VPN is basically a tool that allows you to change your IP address and make your device act like it’s in a different country, which is exactly what you need in order to unlock content on websites like Netflix.
Granted, there are some hurdles you need to watch out for, because not every VPN service is good enough to fool Netflix, given the fact that the company has some security in place to prevent this. Hence, a good VPN should use some kind of obfuscation method in order to go undetected, which is exactly what we looked for while testing the items on our list.
What makes a good Netflix VPN?
The first thing you need to make sure of is that your chosen VPN is not detectable when accessing Netflix. This is achieved by most good VPNs by disguising the connection protocols as something else, since regular VPN traffic will be immediately detected by Netflix. Hence, even if the VPN does not have a dedicated obfuscation option in the settings menu, it should do this for you in the background.
After that, it’s also important for the VPN to provide you with good download speeds. In essence, watching a movie at 1080p or 4K implies a high bit rate, which is basically the amount of data transferred from the Netflix servers to your device. If the VPN slows your connection by too much, the high bit rate will overwhelm your VPN, which leads to long buffering times and quality issues.
In addition, we all know that families usually share a Netflix account, which means that multiple people will be using the service at the same time. Because of this, you need to make sure your VPN provider allows multiple simultaneous connections as well, otherwise your family won’t be able to use the VPN. Thankfully, most VPNs allow for a handful of connections at the same time for multiple devices, so this is usually not a big issue.
Lastly, a list of dedicated Netflix servers inside the VPN app would be great as well, because it makes it much easier to connect and disconnect whenever you want to watch something.These servers are also designed to bypass Netflix’s restrictions by default, and they are also simpler to use even for people who are not very tech-savvy.
How to choose a good VPN for Netflix
As mentioned above, there are quite a few things to consider before making a choice, but at the same time you should also try to think about what other uses you might find for your VPN. Good obfuscation and specialized servers are nice to have for Netflix, but if you want to use the VPN for P2P traffic, privacy, or various other reasons, you should go for a jack-of-all-trades service that is capable of handling every kind of use case.
On top of that, it’s also wise to consider the type of platforms you want to use the VPN on. While basically every VPN on the market will work with a PC or a Mac, there are cases where your smart TV may not be supported, not to mention certain types of routers. This is yet another thing that makes the popular VPNs shine, because they usually offer support for a wide variety of devices and operating systems.
Furthermore, most Netflix users are interested in unlocking US-only content, since that’s where some of the most popular shows can be found. Because of that, you need to make sure that your VPN provides you with at least a handful of US servers, preferably from both coasts of the continent.
Lastly, price should come into play too, because you are already paying for a Netflix subscription. In essence, a monthly subscription will usually cost about as much as your Netflix subscription, which is not a great deal when you think about it. On the other hand, things get much better if you opt for a longer VPN subscription, because most providers offer substantial discounts if you purchase yearly packages.
The best VPNs for Netflix in 2020
After all that, it’s time to unveil our picks for the best VPNs for Netflix. Naturally, we made sure that our picks are more than able to unblock the desired content before adding them to the list, so you cannot go wrong with any of them. However, some of the VPNs offer more features than others, which makes them a better choice if you have other uses in mind as well.
If you want to quickly jump to the VPN you are most interested in, you can use the following links:
You can also use the table below in order to examine and compare each VPN and their features.
As far as unblocking Netflix goes, you can’t go wrong with CyberGhost, especially since it even comes with a list of dedicated servers designed specifically for Netflix, as well as for various other streaming platforms. Not only that, but the service is right up there with ExpressVPN and NordVPN in terms of servers and locations, which means that you are covered no matter where you are in the world.
To begin with, the list of specialty servers is quite vast and varied, given the fact that it’s not limited to unblocking the US version only. As such, you can also get access to Netflix content only available in Canada, France, or the United Kingdom. All you have to do in order to switch between them is a simple click, so it’s definitely a lot easier to use than many other similar apps.
On the other hand, the specialty servers cover some other topics too, including things like peer-to-peer downloads. These servers provide you with excellent download speeds whenever you want to use torrents while the VPN is active, which is yet another plus for CyberGhost.
Settings-wise, CyberGhost can seem a bit more barren than you would expect in 2020, but it’s definitely not devoid of any options. As such, you get to choose the desired protocol used for your connections, which includes UDP, TCP, and IKEv2. Not all of them are suitable for Netflix, however, so make sure you go with UDP for that, because it provides you with the best speeds, which helps with streaming.
Additionally, you can also allow the app to use a random port whenever it connects, which comes in handy if you are ever at an airport or a hotel, where HTTP traffic is usually restricted for various reasons. To top things off, you can also tell CyberGhost to disable IPv6 connections whenever the VPN is active, but keep in mind that this can affect the functionality of certain local devices.
Lastly, the Smart Rules section of the app is basically a split-tunneling feature under a different name. However, it can do a couple of extra things for you as well, such as checking new Wi-Fi connections to see if the traffic is encrypted, or white-list specific websites and allow them to bypass the VPN entirely. Keep in mind the fact that the app defaults to using the OpenVPN protocol if you want to use this feature.
+ Dedicated servers for Netflix streaming, including servers from France, US, and the UK
+ Vast array of servers all over the world
+ A split-tunneling feature that allows you to white-list websites
+ Decent protocol support
– May have trouble unblocking other streaming platforms sometimes
It should be no surprise that ExpressVPN makes our list again, especially since the service is about as complete as it can get in terms of features and capabilities. Thus, besides being able to unlock Netflix for you – together with a plethora of other streaming services and websites -, the VPN also brings a lot of other useful things to the table. Granted, it does cost a bit more than your average VPN subscription, but it’s definitely worth the extra money.
To begin with, ExpressVPN does not come with a dedicated list of servers when it comes to streaming or Netflix, so you have to do the work manually. On the other hand, the only extra step is to search through the list of available locations and choose the one you are most interested in, because the app takes care of everything else after that. Hence, it’s definitely not difficult to unlock Netflix, even if you are a beginner when it comes to VPNs.
In terms of speeds, ExpressVPN has one of the fastest and most reliable server networks in the world, which means that you lose very little bandwidth when you activate the VPN. This means that you can easily watch the desired content in whatever resolution you wish, without worrying about long loading times, incessant buffering, or any other such issues. In addition, geographical distance does not affect the speeds too much either, which is yet another plus.
As far as obfuscation goes, it’s worth pointing out that the app does not provide any explicit settings that deal with proxies or anything of the sort, but that doesn’t matter too much if it manages to unlock Netflix anyway. In fact, ExpressVPN is one of the few services that work in heavily-censored countries like China, so they can definitely hide your traffic well enough.
In terms of extra features, there’s hardly anything missing if you also want to use ExpressVPN for other purposes as well. Thus, P2P traffic is not restricted in any way, and you should also be able to access any blocked websites while the VPN is active. In addition, there’s a kill switch option as well, which allows the client to automatically disconnect your device from the Internet if something goes wrong with the server you are connected to.
Split-tunneling is also part of the deal, and that’s definitely something you don’t get from many other providers. To put it simply, split-tunneling enables you to manually select which apps are allowed to bypass the VPN, which comes in handy if you want to play online games, or do anything else that doesn’t require a VPN and doesn’t threaten your privacy.
+ Huge server network that spreads all over the world
+ Great speeds that help a lot with streaming high-quality content on Netflix
+ Split-tunnelling capabilities
+ Works for a variety of other streaming services as well
+ Supports a wide variety of devices and operating systems
– Higher price-tag than most other services
– No dedicated servers for streaming
NordVPN is another heavy-hitter in terms of server count and features, not to mention the fact that they have been in business for many years, with only minor slip-ups here and there. Thus, the company is always leading the way when it comes to new technologies, while also striving to provide its clients with top-notch speeds and all the privacy they could wish for.
As you might expect, NordVPN is more than capable of unblocking regional Netflix content, especially since the service provides you with access to a variety of United States servers. Not only that, but you also get to enjoy a variety of other services as well, including Amazon Prime, Hulu and BBC iPlayer. Unfortunately, there are no dedicated Netflix servers, so you have to manually connect to the desired location.
Just like all the other top VPNs out there, NordVPN is constantly expanding its network of servers, which at the moment already covers all the continents. To make things even better, the company’s success and prestige allows it to maintain high speeds regardless of the chosen location, which is also great news for Netflix streaming.
In essence, the high download speeds make for a great experience while streaming high-resolution content, which means that you can crank up the quality settings as much as you want without worrying about buffering or any other bandwidth-related problems. Furthermore, NordVPN does not impose any bandwidth limits either, so you are free to stream as much content as you wish all day long.
If you want to know what sets NordVPN apart from the competition, then you should look into all the other features you get with the app. As such, besides the usual gimmicks like kill switches and multiple protocols, you also get the CyberSec feature bundled with the app. This is basically an anti-malware tool that keeps your device safe from various online threats, so it’s definitely a nice thing to have.
On top of that, there are also obfuscated servers, which help a lot if you happen to be in a country with heavy censorship. It’s also possible to use the Double VPN option as well, which reroutes your traffic twice whenever you are browsing the web. Naturally, this slows down your connection significantly, but it might be worth it if privacy is your main concern.
Lastly, while there are no specialty servers for streaming, you do get access to a couple of other special servers designed for P2P traffic, or TOR traffic.
+ Servers all over the world
+ Excellent download speeds that help with Netflix streaming
+ Access to specialty servers for P2P and TOR
+ Obfuscated servers for countries with heavy censorship
+ The CyberSec feature can keep you safe from online attacks
– No dedicated servers for Netflix, or any other kind of streaming service
– No split-tunneling
IVPN is a unique service in many regards, especially since it’s the kind of app that is both easy-to-use and complex at the same time. Thus, while you can get a VPN connection up and running in just a few clicks, you also have the possibility to tweak a variety of settings, as well as activate certain safeguards, or manually adjust the protocols in order to get the best experience for your device.
However, the first thing you need to know is that IVPN does its job when it comes to unlocking Netflix, and it does so with as little hassle as possible. Granted, there are no dedicated servers for anything, so you still have to search for the desired server manually, but on the other hand this provides you with more freedom in case one of the servers is not up to your expectations in terms of speed or stability.
While IVPN does not have quite as many servers as ExpressVPN or NordVPN, the ones that are available are certainly fast enough to work great with Netflix. Hence, there are no restrictions when it comes to the available bandwidth, which means that you are free to stream as much content as you want, at whatever resolution you want. However, the important thing is to make sure you do not activate too many privacy options, because they can really slow down your connection to a crawl.
As such, IVPN comes with a MultiHop feature that allows you to remain anonymous and make it even harder for someone to track you. Naturally, bouncing your traffic multiple times takes a significant toll on your connection, so it’s recommended to turn off this feature for Netflix streaming. In addition, the same is true for the obfuscated proxy setting, which can also make it very difficult to watch movies at decent qualities.
On the other hand, the freedom to tweak everything about the VPN is a great bonus to have if you want to use IVPN for other purposes as well. Hence, the support for both OpenVPN and WireGuard is excellent, especially if you plan on using multiple VPNs on the same device and you do not want to deal with separate apps.
Another great thing is the fact that the app comes with an AntiTracker, which is designed to stop giants like Google and Facebook from tracking you around the Internet. Not only that, but this feature even comes with a “Hardcore Mode”, which makes it next to impossible for anyone to unravel your web browsing patterns and target you with tailored ads.
+ The MultiHop option is great for online anonymity
+ Decent download speeds
+ Reasonable number of servers and locations
+ Includes an AntiTracker
+ Supports both WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols
+ The “obfproxy” feature provides you with access from within censorship-heavy countries
– Not as many servers as other VPN services
– No dedicated servers for Netflix or streaming in general
Surfshark is a regular occurrence on our lists, and it’s really no surprise after you take a look at the list of features the VPN provides you with. While it may not be able to compete with others when it comes to the number of servers and locations, Surfshark impresses in other regards, and it also manages to unblock Netflix successfully, which is obviously the reason why it’s on this list as well.
Right off the bat, the app makes it incredibly easy to get a connection going, especially since you can let it automatically connect to the fastest server for your location. Naturally, this is not useful if you want to unlock Netflix content, because you need to manually select the desired location in order to do that. Thankfully, it’s possible to add servers to a “Favorite” list, which makes it a lot easier to reconnect to the same server whenever you start the app or you want to watch something on Netflix.
In terms of supported protocols, Surfshark offers support for both TCP and UDP through OpenVPN, plus IKEv2 if your connection supports it. However, there’s also the option to use Shadowsocks, which comes in handy if you happen to be in a country where the Internet is censored and certain websites are blocked.
Speaking of which, there’s also a “No Borders” option in the settings menu, which is designed to bypass government restrictions and provide you with free access to the Internet, regardless of what websites you wish to visit. As you may have guessed already, however, these features take their toll on your connection, so it might be difficult to watch high-resolution content while you have them active.
Lastly, there are some interesting mini-features as well, such as the integrated ad-blocker that keeps all of your connected devices free from ads. In addition, you can also use the “White Lister” feature to allow certain programs to bypass the VPN, which definitely comes in handy in a variety of situations.
+ Includes Shadowsocks support
+ Decent download speeds and a relatively large selection of servers
+ Integrated ad-blocker
+ Split-tunneling capabilities
+ Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
+ Support for static IP and MultiHop
– No dedicated servers for streaming
When it’s all said and done, you really do not have to worry about not being able to access regional Netflix content, given the fact that there are many great VPNs that solve this issue with only a few simple clicks. In addition, most of the products on our list are also great choices if you want privacy on the web because the apps are definitely not designed for Netflix-only purposes.
Moreover, many other streaming services can be unlocked as well with most of the VPNs on our list, although it’s wise to do a bit of research regarding the desired platform beforehand. Hence, you can find out which VPNs are best for streaming in general by checking out our other article on the matter.