Probably one of the best known and likely the most popular site on the Internet, Netflix is a sensation that has millions hooked with its massive selection of quality TV shows and movies, whether they watch it via their:
But did you know that its selection changes depending on the country you’re in? If you want to stream Netflix content from outside your own country, you’re going to need some way to get around that geo-restriction. However, Netflix is probably the most active site in the world when it comes to blocking access using the most common means to do so, namely a VPN or proxy.
Here at Cloudwards.net, we’ve tested a large number of VPN services to find the five very best at going around the Netflix VPN ban.Our favorite is ExpressVPN, but we have left the choice to our readers. If you want to jump straight to our five picks, check our table of contents above.
Netflix started its video streaming service in 2007. Before that, the company had been operating a DVD rental business with postal delivery. The streaming service became so successful that the company now focuses on that channel of delivery and even produces its own shows and movies.
The international operations of Netflix make it unique in the entertainment industry. Customers get one log in that works anywhere in the world. However, access to the library of movies and shows is limited on a country-by-country basis. You can access Netflix in any country in the world except for China, North Korea and Syria — there is a blackout in the Crimea, too, since the Russian invasion there.
As the list of available shows is different in each country, you may decide that you would prefer to switch back to the service of your own country while you are abroad.
Netflix is famous for having very strict controls on cross-border access. At the beginning of 2016, the company banned VPNs that were bypassing the entertainment server’s geo-location detection system. The checks on VPNs are very comprehensive and really ramp up at the point that the website starts showing a video.
The VPN industry is very aware of the ban that Netflix places on their services. Many VPNs are unable to get their users through the block and technicians at each service are constantly working to defeat detection.
The struggle between Netflix and VPN providers has actually been a positive experience for those that specialize in privacy services for the Internet. The challenge presented by the streaming service has spurred on VPN companies to improve their evasion methods.
Not only does the Netflix content server check for the tell-tale patterns that VPN-mediated requests contain, but they also log the source address of the request when they detect VPN activity. Thus, VPN companies have to use a large pool of IP addresses. Once Netflix detects a VPN it blacklists the IP address used on the attempt.
The company knows that VPNs buy blocks of IP addresses and so it actually will blacklist a whole range of them. This method sometimes results in people who are not using a VPN to access the service being locked out, even though they are actually in the same country as the Netflix service that they want to access.
The rules of what can be shown in a movie or TV series are different in each country.
The libel and blasphemy laws within a country can also get a video streaming service into trouble. Authorities impose laws on access to some websites by forcing Internet service providers to place filters on traffic to certain sites. The effect of the ISP filters is that requests to blacklisted sites get dropped. All of your traffic has to pass through an ISP in order to get out onto the Internet and connect to a website. That means that these filters effectively make a lot of sites invisible from within some countries.
Like Netflix, governments that impose controls on Internet access also realize that VPNs get around these access limitations, and so they ban VPN use as well. China is known as a very strong implementer of VPN controls. So, you therefore have two different levels of restrictions to overcome when you try to access the Netflix service of another country.
The Five Best VPNs for Netflix
You probably need a VPN for lots of other reasons, too. Each person has individual circumstances, so you should be looking for other features as well when you read through this list of the five best VPNs for Netflix. There are some free services available, and some fake VPNs put out by tricksters.
All of the VPN tunnels in this list come from reputable, well-established providers.
They all work well, provide top-level security and offer good customer service. Another feature that is common to all of the VPNs in this list is that they offer money-back guarantees. You can check that the provider you choose actually gives you all of the features you need and get your money back if you are not happy with the service.
ExpressVPN is a high-end service that has everything the average Internet user needs. Part of the VPN process takes place on your computer, so when you subscribe to the service, you have to download a file and run it.
Don’t worry — ExpressVPN is one of the easiest apps to install. The install wizard takes just a few clicks from you to get the program running on your computer.
The interface of the program is very easy to use and you don’t need any technical skills in order to select a server, turn on the service and get into Netflix.
However, if things go wrong, or if there is something you don’t understand, you can get help from the company’s 24-hour live support desk. You can get into the Netflix of the U.S., Canada and Germany with ExpressVPN. We tested the service to get into U.S. Netflix and it works.
The company has one of the larger server networks in the industry — with a presence in 94 different countries.
This is helpful for those who have services in other countries that they want to surf to. As with everything in life, you get what you pay for, and all of these great features of ExpressVPN come at a price — it is the most expensive VPN on this list.
Why We Like It
You can also bring the cost down by sharing the service with friends — ExpressVPN allows three simultaneous connections.
I would recommend this VPN to anyone who is a little uneasy about technology. There are special versions written for Windows, MacOS and Linux.
The app can also be downloaded onto mobile devices running Windows, Android and iOS. If you want to know more about this great service, check out our ExpressVPN review.
Get a cheaper rate by signing up for a year. You don’t have to worry about risking your savings because ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
As far as Netflix access is concerned, TorGuard beats all the competition. The only reason this service didn’t make it to the top of the list is that their app isn’t anywhere near as easy to install and use as ExpressVPN (Check out our TorGuard review for a full overview of what it can do).
Things get a bit technical when buying the service, too, because in order to get into Netflix, you need to get a dedicated IP address as an add-on service. The standard VPN provider buys a block of IP addresses.
They allocate your computer a different IP address every time you log in, so when your Internet traffic gets to the Netflix server, their proxy detection system doesn’t see your address, but the fake one.
This is called a shared IP address service and it runs up to problems with Netflix access, because the content delivery server flags every VPN IP address that it encounters, so the one you get for a session might already be banned.
With a dedicated IP address service, the VPN company buys an address especially for you. Every time you access Netflix you use the same IP address.
You have to tell them which country you want to access Netflix for because you need an address in that country. Should you wish to access the Netflix service of several different countries, you will need to buy an IP address for each.
TorGuard is clearly driven by technical specialists rather than marketers. The app is not very well designed from a “look and feel” point of view, but it works like a charm.
You will struggle a little to get the VPN installed and working if you are not a techie. The help desk is staffed by technical specialists, although they communicate better with other technicians than with the general public.
Why We Like It
The dedicated IP service of TorGard can get you into a lot of streaming services around the world, not just Netflix.
The company confirms that its customers can access:
TorGuard has servers in 42 countries around the world and even if you opt for the dedicated IP address for one country, you can still use the shared IP service that connects to servers in other locations.
VPNArea is a cross between ExpressVPN and TorGuard, and it is a lot cheaper than either. The app is easy to install and the user interface is brightly colored with big buttons that make it easy to use.
Those who like to tinker under the hood will be pleased by the settings options that are available away from the main page.
Check out our full VPNArea review if you’d like to know more. The main view of the app is dominated by a message pane. If you are not technically minded, this panel might panic you because you will see a sudden burst of incomprehensible jargon scroll through the box when you make a connection.
Geeks will love it!
You are allowed up to six simultaneous connections. You don’t have to be coy about sharing a subscription with friends, because the company actually encourages that.
You also don’t need to be self-conscious about downloading with torrents if you ever need to contact technical support, because they’re fine with that, too. The service is based in Bulgaria, but the help desk is manned by English speakers.
The company’s no-quibble seven-day money-back guarantee can be relied upon, because I tested it. Support is available by email or live chat. At the time of writing, the live support is manned about 16 hours a day.
Why We Like It
I personally use VPNArea and I would recommend it to anyone.
The VPN has a server network that operates in 60 countries.
They have four servers that are dedicated to getting into Netflix U.S.A and one for those who want to get into Netflix UK from abroad.
The support desk is very responsive and regards criticism as an opportunity to improve (although, don’t get abusive).
The company has made moving over to 24-hour live support a priority, so by the time you try them out, they may be online around the clock.
You can see my test of VPNArea for access to Netflix in the U.S. and UK in my article about getting around a Netflix proxy error.
VyprVPN is similar to VPNArea. Both are very easy to install and use, but have extra settings that the technically competent can get to and tweak. The service uses the OpenVPN system by default: this is the industry standard and offers high levels of security.
The company is based in Hungary, which is great as copyright holders in the U.S. have been getting very strident over the past few years.
Their legal teams lean on the owners of download sites and get the IP addresses of everyone who accessed the service and take those people to court.
Netflix has never taken users to court, but it is better to be safe than sorry: VyprVPN keeps no logs and their location in Hungary puts up another barrier to U.S. lawyers. If Netflix ever does go after people for breaking the rules, the prospects of navigating through Hungarian law should prove quite the deterrent.
Go for the premium package at VyprVPN because the basic deal has lower levels of encryption (for more details, we recommend our full VyprVPN review). The VPN can only get into Netflix US for now, so if you are looking for access to Netflix elsewhere, you will have to keep looking.
Why We Like It
I have personally tested the service and I got in to Netflix and watched a movie without any problems.
VyprVPN has brought down its prices recently, but the service is still more expensive than VPNArea, NordVPN and the shared IP service of TorGuard.
A great bonus of the premium deal is that the company includes cloud storage with it.
Premium users also get protected by the company’s proprietary cloaking methodology, which is called Chameleon.
NordVPN is based in Panama and it keeps no logs at all, so it can offer complete protection from any possibility of prosecution by Netflix. The service can get you into Netflix for the U.S., Canada, France and India.
Like NordVPN, you are allowed up to six simultaneous connections, and account sharing is allowed. You can happily download on P2P networks on this service. The customer support operators are a quick to respond as those that work at ExpressVPN and they are a knowledgeable as the TorGuard staff.
NordVPN’s app is based around a map that shows all of the server locations. A control panel, a settings menu, and a server list are available as overlays on the PC version and as side swipes on the smartphone layout.
The app is very easy to use, as we mention in our NordVPN review. Although you can alter the settings of the VPN to use a range of protocols, you would be better off sticking with the default system, which is OpenVPN.
Overall, the service offered by NordVPN compares favorably to the others in the list, and if you want to get into the Netflix for India or France, this is the only one in our top five that will get you there. The only reason NordVPN is the fifth on the list and not first is that you may find it to be a little slower than all the rest.
The company runs a special offer that makes this a super-cheap option. If you are prepared to sign up for a two-year subscription, you can get a much bigger discount.
Why We Like It
This is the second cheapest option on our list, because VPNArea just beats it on price.
The company’s server network is slightly smaller than those of ExpressVPN, VyprVPN and VPNArea, but it covers more countries than TorGuard.
In total, NordVPN manages 784 servers in 57 different countries.
Better yet, connections are made double secure by NordVPN’s unique double-hop VPN strategy.
The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its subscription periods.
I tried Netflix with the VPN in:
And they all got me past the proxy detection system.
Your VPN needs to mask its traffic on the way through your ISP and then again when it gets to communicate with Netflix.
At the Netflix site, the VPN has to overcome the redirection mechanism that is the company’s first line of defense. The really tough VPN detection system lies in wait at the point of video delivery. It is important to distinguish between access to the Netflix site, which almost all VPNs can achieve, and evasion of the Netflix proxy detection system.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest on new releases and more.
The status of each VPN can change overnight, and so it is important to check on the age of any report you see on the Web that says that a particular provider can get you in. This comparison report should help you out in your quest for a VPN that gets into Netflix. We have tested each of the listed services and can confirm that they all do the job well.
Have you tried a VPN with Netflix? Which Netflix country do you want to connect to Leave a comment here below, and share this article with your friends if you discover that they are having troubles watching entertainment on Netflix.