The Best VPN for Netflix: Beating the Ban in 2020

Sandra Pattison
By Sandra Pattison (Assistant Editor)
— Last Updated: 2020-09-29T10:14:43+00:00

Netflix is one of the world’s leading streaming services. It’s available in more than 190 countries and has a ton of movies and shows available, with new ones being added every month. All you need is an internet-connected device to stream Netflix, but there can be some hiccups along the way, which is why we’ve put together this best VPN for Netflix guide.

Although Netflix is available in most countries, not all users have the same experience. Netflix’s library differs from country to country, so what’s available on Netflix U.S. might not be accessible in the UK. 

This also means that if you’re traveling, Netflix is going to look a little different when you log in, and you might not be able to continue watching your favorite show.

Some countries that are strict on censorship don’t allow access to Netflix at all. China is one of those countries, with its Great Firewall blocking most, if not all, Western content. Thankfully, all of the above issues can be fixed simply by connecting to Netflix via a virtual private network (and we have a dedicated guide on how to watch Netflix in China). However, not all VPNs can bypass the Netflix VPN block.

If you’d prefer to skip to the finish line, ExpressVPN is the front-runner for consistently getting into Netflix. It’s the best VPN on the market and ticks all the boxes for Netflix. Check out our dedicated guide on how to watch Netflix with ExpressVPN.

Keep reading, though, for more choices. We’ll also talk more about why you need a VPN, what app features are the most important for accessing Netflix, as well as the disadvantages of using a free VPN. 

The Best VPN for Netflix

  1. ExpressVPN — best VPN for U.S. Netflix
  2. NordVPN — helps you watch American Netflix from other countries
  3. CyberGhost — bypasses Netflix VPN block
  4. Windscribe — good service, but the free plan is no good for Netflix
  5. VyprVPN — secure service that circumvents the ban
  6. Private Internet Access — most cost-effective option
  7. ProtonVPN — open source and offers great deals

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN sits on the throne in many of our top-five articles, but for good reason. It’s one of the best all-round apps you can get (even being a top VPN for cloud storage), and it’s proven itself in many areas of our testing. 

ExpressVPN has excelled above many of its competitors by consistently breaking through some of the hardest streaming barriers around, making it easy to watch Hulu with ExpressVPN, and it’s why it’s also our top VPN for streaming

When it comes to streaming, ExpressVPN is the best VPN to use for Netflix, with access to pretty much every country’s library. It also has more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, so there shouldn’t be an issue finding a Netflix server (we particularly like the New York servers for Netflix U.S.).

It’s also the fastest VPN we’ve tested to date. That means you should have no problem streaming in 1080p or even 4K, and you won’t have to wait an eternity for content to load. You get unlimited bandwidth, too, so you can stream as much as you like, whenever you like. 

ExpressVPN’s Other Features

ExpressVPN is one of the easiest VPNs to use. It’s great for beginners, with the interface showing a large “on” button to get connected quickly. Pressing that button will connect you to a “smart” server based on your location. To connect to a specific country, you simply click “choose location” and pick the one you want. Read more in our full ExpressVPN review.

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One area where ExpressVPN does let us down is its price, as we mention in ExpressVPN vs PureVPN article. It’s expensive, but it’s worth the money and offers a lot more than just a way to get into Netflix. You can bring the cost down a few notches by opting for a longer subscription. If you’re not comfortable with that, though, there’s no ExpressVPN free trial, but it has a 30-day money-back guarantee for your peace of mind.

Pros

  • Accesses Netflix easily & consistently
  • Large server network
  • Fast

Cons

  • Expensive

2. NordVPN

NordVPN comes close to being the best Netflix VPN, being comparable to our top choice, as you can read in our ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN throwdown. It just misses out, though, because of its inconsistent speeds

Actually getting into Netflix wasn’t an issue during testing for our NordVPN review. All of the servers that NordVPN recommended were able to gain access. The problem is that the recommended servers have awful speeds. It’s so bad, in fact, that it can’t stream the content. That said, selecting a server yourself has much better results. 7

Read our guide on how to watch Netflix with NordVPN.

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Once you pick a decent server, NordVPN works like a charm, even scooping the top spot in our best VPN for torrenting piece. It comes with unlimited bandwidth, and in case you need to access other countries’ Netflix, there are more than 5,500 servers in 59 countries. It’s also easy to use, with a huge map showing you the countries where there are servers.

NordVPN offers good value for your money and may be a better option if you’re short on cash. The monthly plan isn’t good, though. Longer plans will save you some money, and there’s a 30-day refund window, in case you don’t like it.

Pros

  • Consistently accesses Netflix
  • Large server network
  • Fast on certain servers

Cons

  • Inconsistent speeds
  • Broken server recommendation

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is another great choice for the best VPN service for Netflix. It has a bunch of servers that are optimized for streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, and getting into Netflix is a breeze. It also has a massive server network, with around 6,000 in 90 countries, which isn’t far from ExpressVPN’s country spread (read our ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost comparison). That number does tend to fluctuate, but it’s never too far off.

Its speeds are a little inconsistent, with faster speeds seen on closer servers, much like NordVPN (read our NordVPN vs CyberGhost piece). However, during our tests, we found that CyberGhost performed well once we found a decent server, as you can read in our CyberGhost review. You can read our guide on how to watch Netflix with CyberGhost, though.

There are no limits to bandwidth, and although its interface may take some getting used to, it’s easy to see where you need to be. CyberGhost also lets you connect up to seven devices at the same time, which is great if the whole family wants to connect. 

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CyberGhost is an inexpensive service, but like many other providers, the monthly plan isn’t the most cost-effective. A seven-day free trial is available for Android and iOS users, but desktop users only get one day to try it out (find out how to use the CyberGhost free trial).

There’s also a money-back guarantee: 14 days with the monthly plan and 45 days with longer ones, but it’s easy to get a CyberGhost refund, whichever plan you’re on.

Pros:

  • Optimized streaming servers
  • Massive server network
  • 7 simultaneous connections

Cons:

  • Can’t control the kill switch
  • Speeds can be slow

4. Windscribe

Next up is Windscribe, which offers its VPN services through both a free and paid plan that can be customized. However, when it comes to accessing Netflix, the free plan just doesn’t cut it. When we tried to get into Netflix with Windscribe’s free servers, we were blocked completely.

Plus, its free servers only cover a handful of countries, meaning not all of Netflix’s libraries will be available to you. Once you look at its paid plan, though, all that changes. Not only do you get access to a whole hoard of other countries’ servers, but you can also use Windscribe’s Windflix servers. 

Windflix servers are built specifically for streaming, and they work well. They’re available in the U.S., UK, Japan and Canada, and they can access Netflix without any issues. On top of that, it has a simple interface, suitable for both beginners and techies. 

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Plus, you get unlimited simultaneous connections no matter what plan you’re on, which is why it’s our top VPN for multiple devices, too. Read our Windscribe review for more.

Windscribe’s Bandwidth and Price

The question of whether you get unlimited bandwidth with Windscribe isn’t a simple yes or no. The free plan is one of the best free VPN services, but you only get 2GB of bandwidth per month. You can increase that to 10GB by entering a valid email address when you sign up, as well as other ways, but it still won’t be enough to handle a good Netflix binge.

Windscribe’s paid plan, however, does come with unlimited bandwidth, but it’s not the cheapest option on the market, especially when you compare it against what you get with, say, NordVPN (read our Windscribe vs. NordVPN piece). Longer plans will save you money over time, but there’s a cheaper way to get what you want.

By using Windscribe’s “build-a-plan” option, you can club together unlimited bandwidth and any server — including one of the Windflix servers — for just $2 per month. You can also add other servers to that package, for an extra $1. There isn’t an official refund policy, but you can get your money back if you ask within three days of purchase.

Pros

  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Cheap “build-a-plan” option

Cons

  • Expensive full plan
  • No Netflix on free servers

5. VyprVPN

VyprVPN has also earned a place as one of the best VPNs for Netflix. It can get into streaming services without having to tweak any settings, so getting into Netflix was a piece of cake. 

VyprVPN also has its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which can help you get past the Netflix block because it’s designed to completely mask the fact that you’re even using a VPN. However, it’s not always needed.

VyprVPN-Client

It also comes with unlimited bandwidth and a fairly good interface. Its servers can be found in more than 64 countries, though the total number of servers and other aspects of the service don’t look too promising on paper. Our speed tests returned bad results, as you can read in our VyprVPN review, but its actual performance told a different story. 

Local servers returned speeds similar to those recorded when we weren’t using a VPN and allowed content to load at 1080p without much delay. More distant servers struggled a little to begin with and initially loaded at a lower resolution, but they quickly got up to the preferred 1080p.

VyprVPN comes in two different packages. The Standard plan allows up to three simultaneous connections, and the Premium plan allows five, plus the use of its Chameleon protocol. You can then choose between a monthly or yearly bill, with the annual plan working out better, price-wise. A 30-day money-back guarantee is in place, too.

Pros

  • Good streaming performance
  • Get into Netflix easily
  • Chameleon protocol

Cons

  • Speeds can be slow
  • Small server spread

6. Private Internet Access

Despite Private Internet Access not being able to get into Netflix consistently, we feel it’s still worth a mention as a VPN that is capable of punching through the barrier. Although we had some strange encounters during testing for our Private Internet Access review, it can access the streaming service once you’ve played around with different servers.

PIA has more than 3,000 servers, but they only cover 29 countries. Still, that should be enough for accessing a different Netflix library if you need to. Additionally, most of those servers are in the U.S., meaning PIA could be a great VPN for watching American Netflix. PIA is also our top VPN for Linux, in case you’re struggling to find a suitable one.

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You get unlimited bandwidth, and its speeds are generally fast, though that’s mostly due to PIA using lighter encryption by default. As a gateway to Netflix, that shouldn’t be a problem, but you should consider increasing it to the more secure 256-bit encryption if you plan on doing anything else.

PIA is one of the cheapest VPNs where you still get a quality service, even after its recent price hike. It’s just a shame that its customer support lineup doesn’t include live chat. Still, you can give it a go with the knowledge that there’s a seven-day refund period

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Fast
  • 10 simultaneous connections

Cons

  • Inconsistent access to Netflix
  • Small server network
  • No live chat

7. ProtonVPN

Lastly, we have ProtonVPN. It has no problem connecting to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu or any other streaming service. The reason why it comes last, though, is its poor speeds. 

Like many other providers, ProtonVPN recommends servers to use, but they’re slow. By choosing a server yourself, you should find one that loads quicker, but it’s still not going to be the best.

ProtonVPN has servers in 44 countries, but you’ll need to be on one of its paid plans to have access to all of them. With the free plan, you get one connection and the use of three servers located in the U.S., Japan and the Netherlands. 

The locations themselves may be fine for you, especially if you want Japanese Netflix, but the servers aren’t reliable and may not have good speeds. 

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You get unlimited bandwidth on all of its plans, including the free one. It can be a pain to set up, but the interface is easy to use once you have. However, there aren’t a lot of settings to tinker with. You can read more about the service in our ProtonVPN review.

ProtonVPN’s Packages

ProtonVPN has multiple tiers to choose from. There’s the free plan, as we said above. After that, you can choose from three plans: Basic, Plus and Visionary.

The Basic plan just moves you up a peg so you can access all of the servers, and also ups the connections to two. Plus comes with five connections, as well as some extra benefits, such as streaming servers. Lastly, Visionary gives you 10 connections and the use of its encrypted email service, but in our eyes, it’s way too much money.

To ensure you get the best streaming experience without paying too much, the Plus plan is the best option. You’ll get five connections and access to all of its country servers, as well as its streaming and Tor servers. Plus, you can use ProtonVPN’s Secure Core servers, which add a layer of protection if you need it. There’s a 30-day refund period, too.

Pros

  • Gets into Netflix easily
  • Generous free plan
  • Tired plans to choose from

Cons

  • Slow speeds
  • Free servers are sometimes unusable
  • No live chat

Why You Need a VPN for Netflix

Using a VPN while you’re online is more important now than it’s ever been. VPNs offer great protection against many things, such as cybercrime, surveillance and anything else related to web privacy. There’s more to VPNs than just safeguarding, though, and helping you get into Netflix and other streaming services is just another benefit to having one.

Netflix Geoblocks

Certain countries don’t have access to Netflix at all. If you’re in such a country, a VPN will allow you to choose a server in a country that can access it and make you look as if you are physically there. However, even if you do have access to Netflix, it doesn’t mean you can watch everything in its library.

That’s because of geoblocks. If you’ve never heard of the term, you can expand your knowledge by reading our geoblocking guide. In short, though, it’s basically where certain content is only available in a particular region. 

For example, the spy-thriller series Homeland is on Netflix, but it’s only available on the UK library. Similarly, the crime-drama series Better Call Saul is available on both the U.S. and UK Netflix, but the UK version has seasons one through four and the U.S. library only has seasons one through three.

Once again, this is where a VPN can help. If you’re in the U.S. and want to watch the fourth season of Better Call Saul, all you need to do is connect to a UK server. There are plenty of other Netflix shows that are exclusive to certain countries, too, but you’ll be able to access them with a good VPN. With one, you can watch Netflix with a VPN from anywhere.

If you’re, for example, traveling abroad, you can watch U.S. Netflix from other countries, even if you’re not physically there. Read our full guide on how to change Netflix region.

The Netflix VPN Ban

Now that we’ve made getting into Netflix look like a walk in the park, we’re going to tell you that it’s not. Although circumventing a regional restriction is usually easy by picking a suitable server, the Netflix VPN ban is an extra barrier that only a handful of VPN services can break through because Netflix frequently blocks VPNs.

The reason for that is because even though a lot of content on the streaming service is produced by Netflix itself, there’s still a lot that isn’t. The rest is produced by other companies, and they get to say where it is shown. If a company has sold the rights to a network, it means Netflix can’t have the show included in that country’s library.

Before Netflix’s VPN ban, more and more people were using VPNs to access Netflix’s TV shows, the distributors put pressure on Netflix to prevent people from accessing the service with one. That’s when Netflix’s sophisticated VPN detection system was born and the reason many users are hit with the Netflix proxy error until they turn off the VPN.

Thankfully, though, many VPN providers took to the challenge of how to unblock Netflix and are able to be included in these lists. Granted, it’s a cat-and-mouse game, and you might find your chosen VPN needs to make some adjustments to its service every time Netflix catches it, but if you select one that has multiple working servers, you should be fine.

How to Choose the Best Netflix VPN

When it comes to choosing a working VPN for Netflix, the biggest question is whether or not it is strong enough to break down Netflix’s wall without getting an error message and do it consistently. 

After that, there are a few other factors to take into account. For our picks, we made sure the VPNs could get into Netflix undetected, but we also considered the following criteria.

Speed and Streaming Performance

There’s not much point in getting into Netflix if the VPN’s speeds are so slow that you can’t actually stream anything. The faster the VPN’s speeds, the less chance there’ll be of you screaming at a buffering circle. Not only that, a speedy server means you can stream at 1080p, or even 4K. 

Although not all of our selections are among the quickest on the market, they still hold some sort of value to getting into Netflix.

Bandwidth

Most providers offer unlimited bandwidth, but there are the odd few that don’t. Bandwidth allowance is important because streaming can eat it up pretty quickly, and if it reaches the limit, the VPN will stop working. 

Imagine you’re about to find out who the culprit is in Sherlock and you get thrown off. Losing the VPN will also mean you’re left vulnerable with your privacy at stake.

Server Network

If you need to watch Netflix overseas, a good server network will allow you to watch Netflix with a VPN. If there’s another country you want to access, you should check that the VPN has servers there. Choosing a VPN that has a number of servers in multiple countries is a good idea so you can bypass any geoblocks and peek in on different libraries.

User-Friendliness and Devices

Newbies and techies will differ in what they want from a VPN client. If you’re a beginner, you’ll most likely prefer the interface to be as simple as possible and pretty much do everything for you. 

If you’re a bit more tech-minded, you might appreciate a VPN with a good settings menu to tinker with. Some apps have the best of both worlds, but it’s something to check on.

It’s also a good idea to check that the VPN is compatible with your device. The majority of VPNs are suitable for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, but some have clients for Linux, as well as other devices, such as smart TVs.

Price

To get a VPN that actually works with Netflix, you’re going to have to spend at least some of your hard-earned pennies. That said, the cost varies with each provider. You should make sure that you can afford it, along with your Netflix subscription, and that you opt for the most cost-efficient plan.

Can I Use a Free VPN for Netflix?

Although there are some fairly decent free VPNs available — like the plans we’ve mentioned above — most stand-alone, free VPNs are a bad idea, especially for Netflix. As such, there’s no real best free VPN for Netflix.

For one, there aren’t many — if any — free VPNs that work with Netflix. Plus, app stores are flooded with free choices to tempt you, but many of those will do nothing but cause you trouble. 

There are some that are disguised as a VPN, but in reality, they’re just a virus waiting to infect your device. Others do have some security included, but their main objective is to obtain information from you and sell it to other companies. Our worst free VPN guide goes into much more detail, but we’d steer clear from them.

You can protect yourself from dangerous encounters by installing a decent antivirus, such as Bitdefender (read our Bitdefender Antivirus review). Still, it’s best to whip out your wallet and go with a trustworthy provider from the get-go.

Final Thoughts

Netflix is a hard nut to crack when it comes to streaming with a VPN. Whether you’re traveling and want to access your home country’s library, want to watch a show or movie that isn’t available where you are, or you are blocked from using the service altogether, a VPN can help you. However, it’ll need to be equipped with a virtual jackhammer to break through Netflix’s VPN wall.

Thankfully, there are some VPN options that are armed with the right tools for the job. There are some other factors to consider with that, as well, though. Its speed, bandwidth allowance and server network are top considerations, too. 

ExpressVPN fulfills all the requirements for a Netflix VPN. It can easily get around the Netflix ban and any geoblocks along the way. It has lightning-fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth and a massive server spread. All that easily makes it the best VPN for streaming Netflix, and its 30-day money-back guarantee means you have nothing to lose. 

What’s your experience with using a VPN for Netflix? Let us know in the comment section below. Check out our other VPN articles and our entertainment library while you’re here, too. As always, thank you for reading.