If you want to watch content from around the world, you’ll lock in two major advantages over regular streaming if you sign up for the best Netflix VPNs: zero throttling from your ISP and access to Netflix libraries outside of your current region. By keeping your traffic completely private, your internet service provider (ISP) won’t be able to target you by throttling (intentionally slowing) your connection when you access streaming sites like Netflix.
Because VPNs offer access to servers in other countries, you also gain the ability to appear as though you’re coming from countries across the globe. This opens up regional Netflix content that’s restricted to certain countries. We sifted through the endless lists of VPN services out there, looking at speed, access, and privacy to bring you our recommendation for the best Netflix VPNs on the market.
How We Picked the Best Netflix VPNs
Netflix tends to frown upon VPN use, sometimes actively working to prevent VPN access. Which means any service we considered had to have a great track record of reliability when connecting with Netflix. Invariably, you’re going to get stuck sometimes, so we singled out services with prompt, if not instant, customer service so they could guide you out of the darkness and into the bright lights of streaming.
Speed is critical too. All services we recommend either have their own VPN protocols built for speed and/or have the option of running on the fast and modern WireGuard protocol, which is ideal for speed-intensive activities like streaming. ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark consistently rank among the fastest streaming services, with ProtonVPN getting extra points for their VPN accelerator.
Finally, in order to make the cut, our recommendations had to work well with the platforms you use to access Netflix. Each of the best Netflix VPNs on our list has dedicated apps to work with devices running on Windows and Androids, MacOS and iOS, as well as Fire Sticks and routers.
Best Netflix VPNs: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: ExpressVPN
Why It Made The Cut: ExpressVPN delivers where it counts: speed, server availability, and reliability, but the service really sets itself apart by offering a customer service team with a knack for troubleshooting streaming snags.
— Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
— Number of Servers: 3,000+
— Number of Locations: 94 countries
— Device Limit: Five
— Servers in a huge number of countries
— Proprietary Lightway protocol built for speed
— Fast and knowledgeable customer service
— Great track record of working with Netflix
— More expensive
— Five-device limit
ExpressVPN also won our pick for the best VPNs overall. And with servers in a whopping 94 countries, ExpressVPN also wins the contest for best Netflix VPNs. If you travel (or live) outside of your preferred Netflix region, having a server or two located in your country of choice is critical for getting to your shows and movies — you’re not going to see your favorite South Korea-only drama by connecting to a Hong Kong server.
ExpressVPN has servers in nearly 100 countries and supports access to major streaming libraries like Japan, South Korea, Canada, the US, Germany, France, Australia, and the UK. For Bollywood fans, ExpressVPN operates two “virtual servers” that offer Indian IP addresses, but the company doesn’t operate any physical servers in the country thanks to India’s recent requirement that VPN companies log and store customer data — something that goes against the company’s strict (and appreciated) no-logs policy.
On top of global server access, ExpressVPN offers their own Lightway VPN protocol, a streamlined version of the rules an app (from your VPN service) uses to communicate with its servers. They built Lightway to be not only secure, but reliable and fast — two must-haves for streaming over a VPN. If you’ve ever had a problem with throttling (intentional data-slowing) by your ISP, ExpressVPN will make that nonsense a thing of the past, because your ISP will have no idea you’re streaming in the first place.
What really puts the feather in ExpressVPN’s cap is their customer service. Live chat and email is available around the clock, and you’ll be paired up with a rep who has helped countless streamers deal with every error message imaginable, seeing you through to clear sailing. Take advantage of the 30-day guarantee to make sure you like what ExpressVPN throws down.
Best Value: Surfshark
Why It Made The Cut: Offering an impressive combo of high-performance and low price, Surfshark is the best value around for a Netflix VPN.
— Jurisdiction: Netherlands
— Number of Servers: 3,200+
— Number of Locations: 95 countries
— Device Limit: Unlimited
— Huge server count and country coverage
— Amazing price on the two-year plan
— Easily switch between three VPN protocols
— Excellent, always-on live support
— Prompts to upgrade to their Surfshark One add-on are annoying
We continue to be amazed by Surfshark’s pairing of overall performance with a bargain price. In terms of speed and security, their fast WireGuard protocol, 256-bit encryption algorithm, and global server coverage put them right up there with big dogs like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, but their sub-$2.50 per month deal on the two-year plan makes them feel like one of the upstarts vying for a bigger share of the market.
Global coverage is on par with ExpressVPN, offering 95 countries, with Netflix support for locations critical to streamers like Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, the UK, the US, and Japan. Indian servers for Surfshark are also virtual, avoiding India’s must-log policy.
Like any service trying to work around Netflix’s VPN bans, Surfshark sometimes gets stuck. If that happens to you, their informed customer service is ‘round-the-clock and available via chat or email. But before you hit that support button, a quick dive into their Surfschool and troubleshooting pages might get you headed in the right direction for solving your connection issues.
Like most paid VPN services, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can see if you like what you get for the price.
Best for Japanese Netflix: NordVPN
Why It Made The Cut: With a proprietary VPN protocol, specialized servers, and 80+ servers in Japan alone, NordVPN is the best VPN for Japanese Neftlix.
— Jurisdiction: Panama
— Number of Servers: 5,500+
— Number of Locations: 59 countries
— Device Limit: Six
— Proprietary protocol for fast speeds and privacy
— 80+ servers in Japan
— Dedicated IP address add-on available in four countries
— Large number of servers to limit traffic jams
— Six device limit
Japanese expats and Japanophiles with a need for exclusive regional Netflix content may need a VPN to access Japan’s Netflix library, and NordVPN is the best provider we found. They’ve got more than 80 servers on the island, and consistently come up aces in speed tests — two critical features for reliable content streaming.
Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers a VPN protocol they built themselves. It’s based on WireGuard, a protocol that’s very good at maintaining zippy speeds, but isn’t as private as NordVPN would have liked. Their NordLynx protocol adds dynamic IP addresses to the mix, granting considerable privacy protection as it anonymizes connections. In short, it’s fast and private, two great plusses for streamers. OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec protocols are also available, which is a good option to have, since switching VPN protocols is a common fix for Netflix connection woes.
While you don’t get servers in as many countries as ExpressVPN or Surfshark, NordVPN has most major Netflix markets covered, including the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, South Korea, and of course, Japan. And while their country count may be lower, their server count is massive, which means you have less chance of running into busy servers, especially in popular regions.
Helpful, professional customer service is available 24/7 through their website or app. Sign up for NordVPN and try it for a month. If it’s not the service for you, take advantage of their 30-day guarantee and get your money back.
Best for iPad: ProtonVPN
Why It Made The Cut: Privacy-first ProtonVPN adds excellent security and anonymity to your iPad with their sleek iOS app, which also happens to have major success unblocking Netflix in many of the top regions.
— Jurisdiction: Romania
— Number of Servers: 1,800+
— Number of Locations: 63 countries
— Device Limit: 10 (paid plan)
— Fast speeds boosted with the Accelerator upgrade
— Easy and sleek iOS app
— Privacy-focused company for anonymous streaming
— Offers a free version with a no-logs policy
— More expensive
— No live customer support
Tablets and phones are more popular than ever, and a great way to watch your shows when you travel. If you want to access your home turf’s Netflix content from abroad, you need a VPN service that plays nice with iOS. Thanks to its combo of an easy-to-use iOS app and proven ability to work with Netflix, ProtonVPN gets our vote for the best VPN for your iPad.
Offering local versions of Netflix from their servers in countries that include the US and UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, Canada, and their home turf of Switzerland, Proton unblocks plenty of major libraries. Interestingly, they do operate actual servers in India, with caveats. Their already high-speed connections were recently upgraded with a series of enhancements known as VPN Accelerator, boosting VPN speeds up to 400 percent so you can watch those libraries with less lag.
The app for iOS is clean and user-friendly, just like the iPad itself, and boasts all of Proton’s deep security and privacy features like their open source and audited code, strict zero-logs policy, high-end encryption, and a Swiss-based, full-privacy jurisdiction. When you search for your server of choice using the list interface, you’ll see current server loads so you can pick an uncrowded option.
They also offer a free version, which lets you get a feel for the service while using three of their servers, with the same no-log privacy protection. Upgrade to the paid version for better streaming access, which also has a 30-day, money-back guarantee on their yearly plans.
Best with a Free Option: PrivadoVPN
Why It Made The Cut: Offering a generous free plan with access to 12 cities, PrivadoVPN also enforces a strict no-logs policy — something many free VPNs fail to do.
— Jurisdiction: Switzerland
— Number of Servers: 300+
— Number of Locations: 44 countries
— Device Limit: 10 (paid plan)
— Server coverage in major Netflix markets
— Free plan with no logs and 12-city access
— Low per-month price
— Smaller server count
— No live chat
As a newer and smaller player on the VPN scene, PrivadoVPN is hungry for your business. That means they’re willing to offer things the big guys don't bother with, like a free plan that grants access to servers in 12 cities, including those in the UK, the US, Germany, France, Canada, and Switzerland. And instead of pawning off the free crowd to lesser servers, free users run through the same servers as the paid accounts.
They’re betting you’ll like the free version enough to switch it up to a PrivadoVPN paid version. Both versions pack great features like a kill switch, split tunneling, high-end encryption, and your choice of protocols, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEV2. (SOCKS5, a faster but less encrypted IP-changing proxy is available too.)
Try the free version and if you like the cut of its gib, pony up for the paid version with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Netflix VPNs
There are two main reasons people need the best Netflix VPNs—avoiding ISP throttling and accessing geo-restricted content, either from home or while traveling. All of our recommendations excel at doing both.
Watching Geo-Restricted Content: Licensing agreements and copyright restrictions means not every show or movie on Netflix is available in every region. A show you like watching in the US might not be available when you access Netflix from Germany. That’s because each region Netflix serves is given access to their own library of content. When you use a VPN, you can access Netflix using a server and IP address from outside your region, which makes you appear as though you’re physically inside that region. This is called IP swapping, location spoofing, or geo-spoofing.
While nearly all Netflix originals are available to every Netflix region, a VPN can be useful if you are traveling abroad and want to keep up with shows or movies that are subject to different licensing laws, aka titles that are only available in your home country’s Netflix library. Geo-spoofing can also be used to check out the exclusive content available from other countries while you’re home.
Avoiding ISP Throttling :Interestingly enough, Netflix was part of the reason internet service providers began the practice of “throttling” in earnest. As one of the first streaming services, Netflix put a strain on bandwidth when people started using the service to watch data heavy movies and shows. Some ISPs respond to this by intentionally slowing down the data rates of users they knew were streaming. Unfortunately, throttling isn’t illegal. In the US, the “net neutrality” or Open Internet laws put in place in 2015 would have made such practices by ISPs illegal, but the regulations were rolled back in 2017.
Using a VPN hides your internet activity from everyone, including your ISP. If your ISP has no idea whether or not you’re accessing a streaming service, it can’t single you out. With a VPN, you can stream uninterrupted.
Q: Can a Netflix VPN access other streaming services?
The best Netflix VPNs can generally access other streaming services, for example, Hulu for people who are not in the US (as Hulu is only available in the States). Other services like Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer offer some content in some regions, but not in others. Keep in mind that most “original” content from a streaming service is available in all of its regions, and you can usually download content before traveling to watch your regional content while abroad.
Q: Is it legal to use a VPN for Netflix?
Yes, it is legal to use a VPN for Neftlix. If you use a VPN to access Netflix content from outside your current region, that practice violates Netflix’s terms of service and can result in account cancellation. Accessing geo-restricted content is not the same as pirating content. Pirated content is stolen, with the content creators receiving no compensation. By being a Netflix subscriber, you have paid for the service, therefore using the service is not illegal in terms of government laws, even if you access content in a way that violates Netflix’s internal policies.
Q: Why do I need a Netflix VPN?
You need the best Netflix VPNs if you feel your ISP is throttling, or intentionally slowing down your internet connection when you connect to streaming services. Using a VPN hides the fact that you’re streaming, so your ISP can’t target you. You can also use a VPN for Netflix if you want to access geo-restricted or region-specific content from a Netflix library outside your country.
Q: What makes the best Netflix VPN?
The factors that make the best Netflix VPNs are speed, server coverage, and traffic encryption. A VPN must offer high speeds for obvious reasons, as streaming requires high data rates. Having servers located in the country you want to access is critical for watching geo-restricted Netflix content. Data encryption ensures your ISP doesn’t know you’re accessing streaming sites, and therefore can’t throttle or intentionally slow down your traffic.
Final Thoughts on the Best Netflix VPNs
ExpressVPN prides itself on its ability to play nice with Netflix making it the overall best Netflix VPN. With servers all across the globe in an impressive 94 countries plus a fast VPN protocol, it’s your best bet for streaming whatever you want with fewer snags. If you do hit an issue, their customer service is well trained in getting around bumps in the Netflix-VPN highway.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.
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