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Best Netflix VPN

The Best VPN for Netflix: Beating the Ban in 2024

Netflix has one of the best (if not the best) library of movies and TV shows. However, because of content copyrights and royalties, users have access to only a fraction of the entire Netflix library. If you want to skirt around geoblocks and watch all available titles, read on to find the best VPN for Netflix.

Samson KiarieValentina BravoJasna Mishevska

Written by Samson Kiarie (Writer)

Reviewed by Valentina Bravo (Editor)

Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska (Lead Fact-Checking Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-01-22T06:38:39+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: What Is the Best VPN for Netflix?

  1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Netflix, with unmatched unblocking ability and fast speeds. 
  2. NordVPN — Reliable Netflix VPN, with SmartPlay technology.
  3. Surfshark — One of the best Netflix VPNs, with unlimited simultaneous device connections.
  4. CyberGhost — Budget-friendly Netflix VPN, with streaming-optimized servers.
  5. Proton VPN — Best free VPN with unlimited data.

Though Netflix is available in more than 190 countries, its movie and TV show catalog differs from country to country. For example, some movies on Netflix U.S. might not be available on Netflix France and vice versa. Luckily, the best VPN for Netflix enables you to bypass the geoblocks, letting you access movies or shows on any Netflix library regardless of your location.  

However, with so many VPNs on the market, picking a service that suits your Netflix streaming needs can be challenging — but worry no more. The Cloudwards professional testers ran yet another series of rigorous Netflix streaming tests and picked the top five VPNs based on overall performance. 

ExpressVPN remains the best Netflix VPN, followed closely by NordVPN. However, the rest of the pack is giving the top two contenders a run for their money, as you’ll see below. 

  • 10/25/2023

    Updated the article to reflect ExpressVPN’s expansion of server presence from 94 to 105 countries.

  • 01/02/2024

    We have rewritten the guide, adding fresh details regarding the VPNs’ streaming performance per our latest streaming tests. 

Cloudwards Editor’s Choice: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN stands out mainly because of its unmatched unblocking ability. This is arguably the only VPN that accesses any Netflix library on the first attempt. With servers in 105 countries, it allows you to access a wide array of catalogs. Moreover, ExpressVPN is a speedster that streams HD and 4K movies with no lags or buffering. You can try ExpressVPN with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

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How to Choose the Best Netflix VPN

To choose the best virtual private network (VPN) for Netflix, pick one with fast connection speeds and an excellent ability to unblock Netflix libraries. Other features to consider include VPN security, privacy, server locations and data and bandwidth limits, as you can see in the table below:  

Feature:Details
VPN serversDoes it offer servers in your go-to Netflix hubs?
Unblocking abilityDo the servers unblock Netflix?
SpeedsIs the VPN fast enough to support interruption-free streaming?
Security & privacyDoes the VPN keep you secure and private while streaming?
Unlimited data & bandwidthDoes the provider offer unlimited data and bandwidth?

Ideally, the Netflix VPN you choose should tick all these boxes. 

  • VPN servers: Confirm that the VPN has servers in your preferred Netflix location. For example, if you love anime movies, choose a VPN with a server in Japan.
  • Unblocking ability: Check whether the servers can unblock the Netflix libraries you want to access.  
  • Speeds: Make sure the VPN is fast enough to stream movies lag- and buffering-free. Thanks to our automated VPN speed tests, you don’t have to test this manually. 
  • Security & privacy: Confirm that the VPN has solid protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, Lightway or NordLynx) and encryption standards (AES-256 or ChaCha20) to bypass the Netflix VPN ban. Conduct a DNS leak test to ensure that the VPN doesn’t leak traffic. 
  • Unlimited data & bandwidth: Most paid VPNs for streaming offer unlimited data and bandwidth as a standard practice. However, if you’re looking for a free VPN for Netflix, check whether it has a monthly data cap (spoiler: Most of them have data limits).

The 5 Best VPNs for Netflix: Quick Comparison Table

VPN:Unblocks NetflixDownload SpeedDevice SupportUnlimited Data & Bandwidth
94%Mac
iPhone
Android
Linux
Smart TV
97%Mac
iPhone
Windows
Android
Linux
Smart TV
98%Mac
iPhone
Windows
Android
Linux
Smart TV
92%Mac
iPhone
Windows
Android
Linux
Smart TV
75%Mac
iPhone
Windows
Android
Linux
Smart TV

This quick comparison table doesn’t tell the whole story. Let’s take a deep dive into our top choices for the best VPN for Netflix. 

1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Netflix With MediaStreamer

australian servers expressvpn
ExpressVPN is the best Netflix VPN thanks to its
excellent speeds and unblocking ability.

Pros:

  • Fast connection speeds
  • Great Netflix unblocking
  • Apple MediaStreamer DNS

Cons:

  • Comparatively pricey

Every time we test Netflix VPNs, ExpressVPN comes out on top thanks to its lightning-fast speeds and unparalleled ability to unblock Netflix. It has an extensive server network in 105 countries, including all popular Netflix hubs. The servers open Netflix libraries on the first attempt and are fast enough to deliver lag- and buffering-free HD streaming. 

Another factor that sets ExpressVPN apart is its extensive device compatibility. You can install the VPN on your Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and router devices. Beyond that, ExpressVPN has a MediaStreamer DNS service for devices that don’t support VPNs, like Apple TV (it’s our pick for best Apple TV VPN). 

Feature:Details
VPN servers105 countries, no Netflix-optimized servers
Unblocking abilityUnblocks Netflix libraries in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Japan and more
SpeedsIt’s not the fastest VPN, but it delivers interruption-free HD and 4K streaming.
Security & privacySolid security and privacy for secure streaming devoid of ISP throttling
Unlimited data & bandwidthYes

Top Features:

  • Fast speed: Fast download and upload speeds for lag- and buffering-free HD streaming.
  • Unmatched unblocking ability: Unblocks any Netflix library.
  • MediaStreamer: Helps access Netflix on devices that don’t support native VPN apps, such as Apple TV. 
  • Ad blocker: Prevents ads from ruining your Netflix experience or depleting your mobile data bundles.

ExpressVPN Hands-On Testing

ExpressVPN’s excellent unblocking ability became apparent during our testing. The VPN got us into the Brazil, Japan, France, U.S. and Australia Netflix libraries on the first attempt. Even better, regardless of how far away the Netflix library was, we were able to stream movies and shows in full HD or 4K without video lags or buffering.    

ExpressVPN for Netflix streaming
Besides Netflix, ExpressVPN accesses BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video,
Disney Plus, Peacock, Hulu and other popular streaming services. 

Notes From the Lab: ExpressVPN Unblocking Capability Test Results

Streaming Platform:Status
Amazon Prime Video
BBC iPlayer
Disney Plus
Peacock
Max
Hulu

Notes From the Lab: ExpressVPN Speed Test Results

ExpressVPN was the fastest VPN until NordVPN launched the incredibly fast NordLynx protocol. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s slow. It reaches over 94% of unprotected speeds on near-distance connections. 

On long-distance servers, the speed dips to below 80% of unprotected speeds. However, you likely won’t even notice the drop in speed. You’ll still be able to stream full HD and 4K videos without lags or buffering. The latency is relatively low, so Netflix videos load like they do during local sessions. 

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 04/27/24 to 05/25/24

Notes From the Lab: ExpressVPN Security Analysis

Protocols:Encryption
Lightway AES 256-bit
OpenVPN AES 256-bit
IKEv2 AES 256-bit

ExpressVPN is as secure as it gets. It supports the secure OpenVPN and Lightway protocols with AES 256-bit encryption. We carried out DNS leak tests with ExpressVPN protocol and encryption combinations and all came out clean. ExpressVPN keeps your data safe and doesn’t leak your activity to your ISP, making it apt at thwarting ISP throttling.

ExpressVPN DNS leak test
ExpressVPN passed our DNS leak tests, meaning that it
doesn’t leak your internet traffic to your ISP. 

ExpressVPN Pricing & Value

ExpressVPN sits on the higher end of the VPN pricing spectrum. The monthly plan costs $12.95, whereas the yearly plan offers the best deal at $6.66 per month. However, considering its features and streaming performance, the VPN provider offers massive value for your money. 

Read our comprehensive ExpressVPN review to learn more about the service’s other features. You can give ExpressVPN a spin with the seven-day free trial on mobile. Alternatively, if you need more time to make a decision, make the most of the 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. NordVPN — Affordable Netflix VPN with SmartPlay

nordvpn open japan
NordVPN takes the second spot thanks to its unmatched speeds.

Pros:

  • Incredibly fast speeds
  • SmartPlay technology
  • Consistently unlocks Netflix

Cons:

  • Suffered a server breach in 2018

NordVPN comes in second thanks to its solid security and blazing-fast speeds. NordVPN is the fastest VPN; over the years, it has become very consistent over shorter- and longer-distance connections. Its network of servers in 60 countries gets you into different Netflix libraries, though you won’t always break through the geoblocks on the first attempt.

Sometimes, you’ll have to switch between servers to find an optimal one. Thankfully, NordVPN uses SmartPlay technology — which combines robust security features and Smart DNS capability — to minimize such occurrences. This technology is baked into every app and swings into action to help you sneak around Netflix geoblocks with ease. 

Feature:Details
VPN servers60 countries, no Netflix-optimized servers
Unblocking abilityUnblocks Netflix U.S., U.K., France and Brazil on the first attempt. Struggles to unblock some libraries, like Australia.
SpeedsFastest VPN: delivers interruption-free HD and 4K streaming
Security & privacyTop-notch security and privacy to sidestep Netflix VPN ban and prevent ISP throttling
Unlimited data & bandwidthYes

Top Features:

  • Fast speeds: Streams Netflix movies and TV shows without interruption.
  •  Dedicated IP: Assigns you an IP address that’s exclusively yours to minimize the chances of Netflix blocking you. 
  • Ad blocker: Blocks ads to prevent annoying interruptions during Netflix streaming.
  • MeshNet: Accesses home devices remotely to sidestep Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown.

NordVPN Hands-On Testing

NordVPN is easy to use thanks to its well-organized, clutter-free design. You won’t struggle to find your way around, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user. 

During our testing, NordVPN opened four of our test catalogs on the first attempt: the U.K., the U.S., France and Mexico. We had to switch between Australian servers to find a way into that country’s library. Once we found a way around the geoblocks, the VPN delivered lag- and buffering-free streaming thanks to fast download speeds.

NordVPN for Netflix streaming
NordVPN is one of the best Netflix VPNs for accessing local and international libraries. 

Notes From the Lab: NordVPN Unblocking Capability Test Results

NordVPN unblocks all popular streaming platforms, but in some cases, you’ll have to change servers to find your way into the catalog you want. 

Streaming Platform:Status
Amazon Prime Video
BBC iPlayer
Disney Plus
Peacock
Max
Hulu

Notes From the Lab: NordVPN Speed Test Results

NordVPN is the fastest VPN thanks to its NordLynx protocol, which is based on the WireGuard protocol. Our latest automated test results showed that the VPN consistently hit near-unprotected speeds whether connecting to a server near us or 1,000 miles away. During our testing, we streamed HD movies on Netflix without lags or buffering.

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 04/27/24 to 05/25/24

Notes From the Lab: NordVPN Security Analysis

Protocols:Encryption
NordLynxChaCha20
OpenVPNAES 256-bit
IKEv2AES 256-bit

NordVPN is the second most secure VPN after ExpressVPN, and you can rest assured that it won’t let your guard down while streaming or leak your traffic to ISPs. We conducted DNS leak tests with NordVPN’s protocols and they all came out clean. In other words, you don’t have to worry about your ISP noticing that you’re streaming and imposing speed throttling.

NordVPN DNS leak test
Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN blitzed through our DNS leak test.

NordVPN Pricing & Value

NordVPN’s monthly plan is nearly as expensive as ExpressVPN’s, but its extended plans are much more affordable. For instance, the two-year plan costs $3.09 per month. Each plan allows six simultaneous VPN connections. 

Read our NordVPN review to learn the nitty-gritty details beyond streaming capability. NordVPN offers a seven-day free trial on Android and a 30-day money-back guarantee if you need more time for a risk-free trial.

3. Surfshark — Affordable VPN with Unlimited Connections

surfshark us new york
Surfshark sometimes takes a while to establish a
connection, but it’s apt for Netflix streaming.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly plans
  • Unlimited device connections
  • CleanWeb to block online ads

Cons:

  • Inconsistent speeds
  • High latency on near-distance servers

Surfshark claims the third spot after ExpressVPN and NordVPN in most of our categories, and streaming is no different. When it comes to unblocking Netflix, Surfshark gives ExpressVPN a run for its money. It used to struggle to open some Netflix libraries, but the situation has changed for the better. Its servers in 100 countries access any Netflix library on the first attempt.

The only issue with Surfshark is its inconsistent connection speeds, mainly on longer-distance servers. Thankfully, if you’re using high-speed internet, you’ll enjoy interruption-free HD streaming even during the slowest hour. In terms of security, you don’t have to worry about ISP throttling or your personal information falling into the wrong hands while streaming.

Feature:Details
VPN serversServers in 100 countries
Unblocking abilityUnblocks Netflix libraries on the first attempt
SpeedsFast speeds with a dash of inconsistency
Security & privacySolid security and privacy
Unlimited data and bandwidthYes

Top Features:

  • Excellent unblocking ability: Unblocks Netflix libraries on the first attempt. 
  • CleanWeb: Blocks ads to prevent interruptions while streaming Netflix.
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections: You only need one account to connect unlimited devices simultaneously. 
  • Dedicated IP address: Assigns you a unique IP address not shared with other users. 

Surfshark Hands-On Testing

The last time we tested Surfshark, it took us three attempts to access U.S. Netflix. This time around, the VPN unblocked Japan, France, Brazil, Mexico and U.S. Netflix on the first attempt. Even better, we streamed videos without interruption, though sometimes the videos took too long to load due to Surfshark’s high latency.   

Surfshark for Netflix
Surfshark is one of the best VPNs for Netflix access on multiple devices.

Notes From the Lab: Surfshark Unblocking Capability Test Results

Surfshark is slowly morphing into a streaming behemoth, and its excellent unblocking ability is a hallmark. Besides Netflix, Surfshark accesses Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Peacock and Max on the first attempt.  

Streaming Platform:Status
Amazon Prime Video
BBC iPlayer
Disney Plus
Peacock
Max
Hulu

Notes From the Lab: Surfshark Speed Test Results

When connecting to near-distance servers, Surfshark download speeds hover above ExpressVPN’s and NordVPN’s most of the time. Similarly, long-distance speeds are fast but not as fast as our top pick. However, Surfshark suffers from inconsistency and high latency, which is sometimes 40 times higher than ExpressVPN’s and NordVPN’s on near-distance servers. 

Inconsistency means that the speed can sometimes dip significantly, causing lags and buffering when on slow internet. When the latency is very high, Netflix videos will take longer to load, leading to stutters and long buffering times.

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 04/27/24 to 05/25/24

Notes From the Lab: Surfshark Security Analysis

Protocols:Encryption
WireGuard ChaCha20
OpenVPN AES 256-bit
IKEv2 AES 256-bit

Surfshark is also secure thanks to solid VPN protocols and encryption. Our DNS leak tests revealed that Surfshark doesn’t leak your data or traffic regardless of the protocol or encryption you use. For users using mobile data to stream Netflix, Surfshark’s CleanWeb blocks ads that deplete your data bundles as well as third-party trackers and advertisers.  

Surfshark DNS leak test
Like our top two picks, Surfshark passed our DNS leak tests. 

Surfshark Pricing & Value

Like our top two picks, Surfshark is pricey on the monthly scale but much more affordable on extended plans. Its most affordable plan is the two-year plan, which costs $2.19 per month. Each plan offers unlimited simultaneous connections, making Surfshark ideal for users who want to split the bill. 

Read our full Surfshark review to learn how all its features work. Alternatively, subscribe to one of its plans and make the most of the 30-day money-back guarantee to test it risk free. 

Surfshark Starter
  • Unlimited GB bandwidth, Unlimited devices, Secure VPN, Ad blocker, Cookie pop-up blocker. Plans renew: $231.75 for one year, $417.15 for two years
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited
  • Yes
Surfshark One
  • Everything in Starter, plus Antivirus protection, Identity protection, Email Breach and Credit Card Alerts, Online Alias Plans renew: $239.25 for one year, $430.65 for two years.
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited
Surfshark One+
  • Everything in One, plus Data removal Plans renew: $269.25 for one year, $404.65 for two years
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited

4. CyberGhost VPN — Best Netflix VPN for Local Libraries

CyberGhost specialty servers
CyberGhost is the best VPN for streaming local Netflix libraries.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly prices
  • Netflix optimized servers
  • 7 simultaneous connections

Cons:

  • Slow over longer-distance servers

CyberGhost is the only VPN on our list with Netflix streaming-optimized servers that can access libraries worldwide. Beyond the dedicated streaming servers, we found the regular servers in 100 countries just as apt at unblocking Netflix libraries. CyberGhost’s strong security ensures that you can stream safely and with no annoying ISP throttling.

In terms of speed, CyberGhost VPN is very fast when connecting to a nearby server. It’s not as fast in this regard as the rest of the pack, but it supports full HD streaming. Sadly, when connecting to longer-distance servers, speeds dip and are more inconsistent, hampering your quest for an interruption-free Netflix experience. 

Feature:Details
VPN serversNetflix streaming-optimized servers, servers in 100 countries.
Unblocking abilityUnblocks Netflix libraries without a hitch
SpeedsFast enough for uninterrupted streaming on near-distance servers
Security & privacyStrong security and privacy
Unlimited data & bandwidthYes

Top Features:

  • Fast near-distance speeds: CyberGhost has fast near-distance speeds for interruption-free streaming. 
  • Streaming-optimized servers: The only VPN on our list with servers optimized to unblock different Netflix libraries. 
  • Smart rules: CyberGhost lets you connect to your server of choice on startup or when you open the Netflix app. 

CyberGhost Hands-On Testing

The CyberGhost UI may take some getting used to, but once you figure it out you will enjoy an array of advanced features. To get a sense of CyberGhost’s streaming capability, we conducted a series of Netflix streaming tests with the regular and streaming-optimized servers. 

The Netflix streaming servers do precisely what they are intended to do: unblock Netflix libraries. There are specific servers to access Netflix in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S. In addition, there are servers optimized to access Netflix on Android TV and Amazon Fire Stick. 

However, you can also use the regular servers to access Netflix. They opened Netflix libraries on the first attempt during our testing. 

CyberGhost VPN for Netflix
CyberGhost VPN — with dedicated streaming servers — is best for watching Netflix. 

Notes From the Lab: CyberGhost Unblocking Capability Test Results

The streaming-optimized servers could be more effective with other streaming services. Though they unblock Max without a problem, they fail to crack Disney Plus and BBC iPlayer geoblocks. Thankfully, the regular servers can access both streaming platforms. Amazon Prime Video is the only platform we couldn’t access with streaming-optimized or regular servers. 

Streaming Platform:Status
Amazon Prime Video
BBC iPlayer
Disney Plus
Peacock
Max
Hulu

Notes From the Lab: CyberGhost Speed Test Results

CyberGhost has the least consistent speeds on near-distance connections compared to our top four picks. It sometimes reaches more than 90% of our unprotected speeds, but on its slowest day, the VPN’s speeds fall below 20%, which can be unserviceable for Netflix streaming. 

Worldwide download speeds dip significantly, so you might want to consider other VPNs if you want to stream movies on Netflix libraries abroad. 

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 04/27/24 to 05/25/24

Notes From the Lab: CyberGhost Security Analysis

Protocol:Encryption
OpenVPN AES 256-bit
IKEv2 AES 256-bit
WireGuard ChaCha20

Even though CyberGhost supports solid protocols and encryption, it didn’t make it onto our list of the most secure VPNs. Our DNS leak test revealed why. During the three rounds of testing, CyberGhost had DNS leaks. Though this was the first time we experienced DNS leaks with CyberGhost, it’s a strike against this provider’s security.

CyberGhost DNS leak test
CyberGhost failed our DNS leak test and might present ISP throttling issues.

CyberGhost Pricing & Value

CyberGhost offers a massive bang for your buck, especially with long-term plans. The best deal is the two-year plan, which costs $2.19 per month, making it one of the best cheap VPNs

Read our full CyberGhost review to learn more. Alternatively, make the most out of CyberGhost’s one-day free trial on desktop or seven-day free trial on mobile devices. Moreover, the monthly plan offers a 14-day money-back guarantee, and extended plans offer a generous 45-day money-back guarantee

CyberGhost Plans
  • *The $56.94 price under the 2-year plan is billed yearly after the first two years.
  • Unlimited GB
  • 7
  • Yes

4. Proton VPN — Free VPN With Unlimited Data

protonvpn canada
Proton VPN used to be the best free VPN for Netflix thanks to its unlimited monthly data, but new users can’t pick their servers anymore. 

Pros:

  • Unlimited data on free plan 
  • NetShield to block online ads
  • 10 simultaneous connections

Cons:

  • Slow speeds on free plan
  • Limited streaming options on the free plan

Proton VPN — the best free VPN — made it onto this list thanks to its solid security and unlimited data, a rarity for free VPN providers. It combines reliable VPN protocols and encryption standards to keep you safe online and prevent ISP throttling from ruining your streaming experience. 

Moreover, the unlimited monthly data lets its free users binge-watch movies without worrying about getting cut off mid-month. Sadly, Proton VPN puts free users on slow speeds and doesn’t let them pick from its five free servers. Instead, you connect to the “best server” — which means you will have trouble trying to bypass geoblocks to connect to certain countries. To enjoy streaming to specific servers, you might have to pay for a Proton VPN plan.

The paid version of Proton VPN offers access to servers in 69 countries, all of which are optimized for streaming services. The servers are fast enough to stream Netflix movies without interruption. You can also use NetShield to block ads that eat up data and clutter your screen while streaming.

Feature:Details
VPN serversFive countries on the free version, 69 countries on the paid plan
Unblocking abilityPaid servers access Netflix on the first attempt
SpeedsFast speeds on paid plan to stream HD movies
Security & privacySolid security to stop ISP throttling
Unlimited data & bandwidthYes, on free and paid plans

Top Features:

  • Unlimited data on the free plan: There’s no data cap on the free plan, which is a rarity with free VPN services.
  • NetShield: Blocks ads when streaming Netflix, but is available on paid plans only.
  • Secure free VPN: Proton VPN keeps you safe and private while streaming.
  • Sort server by load: You can pick a server that’s not crowded for better streaming performance. 

Proton VPN Hands-On Testing

We started by testing the free version of Proton VPN, which got us into the Japan, United States and Netherlands Netflix libraries. Sadly, the VPN was sluggish during peak hours, hindering seamless streaming. 

On the paid plan, all these problems vanished. We could pick an optimal server from any of the 69 countries. Every server we selected got us into Netflix on the first attempt. This, coupled with Proton VPN’s excellent speeds, enabled us to watch Netflix content without a hitch. 

Proton VPN for Netflix
Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Netflix, with unlimited data.

Notes From the Lab: Proton VPN Unblocking Capability Test Results

In addition to Netflix, the paid version of Proton VPN unblocks other streaming platforms on the first attempt. The VPN accessed Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Peacock and Max during our testing. 

Streaming Platform:Status
Amazon Prime Video
BBC iPlayer
Disney Plus
Peacock
Max
Hulu

Notes From the Lab: Proton VPN Speed Test Results

Proton VPN isn’t part of our automated speed testing, so we manually tested its connection speeds. The free version reached 74% of our download speeds and the latency wasn’t high. It’s fast enough for streaming Netflix videos in standard definition during off-peak hours. 

LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected1919.965.94
🇺🇸 United States
26
19.43
5.55
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
299
18.46
5.45
🇧🇷 Brazil
392
15.77
4.82
🇸🇬 Singapore
540
14.47
3.40
🇿🇦 South Africa
604
13.27
5.40
🇦🇺 Australia
523
17.53
5.09
Average
397
16.49
4.95

The paid servers showed significant improvement. They reached 89% of our unprotected speed, and in some nearby locations they reached near-unprotected speeds. The speed is consistent whether you’re connecting to a nearby or more distant server. 

Notes From the Lab: Proton VPN Security Analysis

Protocol:Encryption
Smart Protocol ChaCha20 & AES 256-bit
WireGuard ChaCha20
OpenVPN AES 256-bit

One of the main reasons why Proton VPN perennially ranks as the best free VPN is its top-notch security. The VPN uses a secure VPN protocol and encryption to ensure your traffic passes through airtight VPN tunnels. We put the provider through a series of DNS leak tests and it came out clean.

Even better, the paid version of Proton VPN offers NetShield — a reliable ad blocker. Unlike other blockers, NetShield takes a “malware protection first, ad blocking second” approach. Nonetheless, it prevents ads from eating up your data or slowing down your connection. 

Proton VPN DNS leak test
Proton VPN came out clean during our DNS leak tests —
it won’t leak your data or internet activity.

Proton VPN Pricing & Value

Proton VPN’s most appealing perk is the free plan. The free plan is handy if you’re on a tight budget, but it’s only apt for streaming in standard definition. With a paid plan, you can unlock features such as NetShield, 10 simultaneous connections and high-speed servers. The two-year plan offers the best deal at $4.49 per month.

Read our full Proton VPN review to learn more about its features. Alternatively, sign up for a free plan today or subscribe to a paid plan to tinker with Proton VPN’s features. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind. 

Free
  • Unlimited GB
  • 1
  • Yes
Plus
  • 1-year plan renews at $119.88; 2-year plan renews at $239.76
  • Unlimited GB
  • 10
  • Yes

Honorable Mentions: Netflix VPNs That Didn’t Make the Cut

Our guide on the best VPNs for Netflix wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Private Internet Access and TunnelBear. These services are reliable for Netflix streaming, but because of inconsistent speeds and the inability to access some libraries, they didn’t make it onto the list of the top five providers: 

Private Internet Access

PIA for Netflix streaming
Private Internet Access is one of the most affordable VPNs that works with Netflix.

Pros:

  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Fast near-distance speeds

Cons:

  • Inconsistent speeds over long distance

Private Internet Access is an appealing Netflix streaming provider for users on a tight budget. However, as affordable as PIA is, its ability to unblock Netflix is a mixed bag — it struggles to access some Netflix libraries but is quite apt for others.

PIA is one of the fastest and most consistent performers when connecting to nearby servers. Its worldwide speeds are below par and more inconsistent than those of the top providers on our list. This makes PIA great for accessing local Netflix libraries. Learn more in our full Private Internet Access review.

TunnelBear

TunnelBear for Netflix
TunnelBear is another reliable free VPN for Netflix, but its
2GB data cap can be off-putting for binge-watchers.

Pros:

  • Solid security
  • Fast download speeds
  • Free servers in 47 countries

Cons:

  • No money-back guarantee
  • Doesn’t unblock major streaming services

TunnelBear is one of the best free VPNs thanks to its extensive network of free servers. This, coupled with TunnelBear’s fast download speeds, makes it an excellent option for streaming Netflix. 

The problem with TunnelBear is that it struggles to access some Netflix libraries. During our testing, we couldn’t find a way around the Netflix U.S. geoblocks. This means that while it’s a solid free VPN, it’s a bad choice for streaming Netflix. Moreover, the 2GB of monthly data may not be enough to binge-watch Netflix movies. Learn more in our TunnelBear review.

Can You Use a Free VPN for Netflix?

Yes, you can use free plans from reliable providers, such as Proton VPN and TunnelBear, to watch Netflix. However, the best free VPNs for Netflix have usage limits. Some have data caps, whereas others limit the number of servers you can access. 

However, we don’t usually recommend free VPNs — especially those you can find in mobile app stores — because they’re unsafe. Many will claim to be the best but are honeypots for hackers. They will lure you to download only to steal and sell your data to third parties. Even worse, the free VPNs rarely cut it when it comes to unblocking Netflix. 

The Best Free Netflix VPN: Proton VPN

Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Netflix, which we discussed in the provider reviews above. The free plan offers servers in five countries — though you can’t choose which one — and 10 simultaneous connections. Sadly, Proton VPN speeds can be unserviceable, especially during peak hours.  

How to Use a VPN for Netflix

In this section, we’ll show you how to use the best VPN for Netflix — ExpressVPN — to access Netflix France from the U.S.

  1. Download and Install the VPN

    Go to the VPN’s website and subscribe to your plan of choice. Download and install the VPN app on a desktop device. Alternatively, install the VPN app on your mobile phone from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store. You can also install the VPN on your smart TV.

    expressvpn apps
  2. Launch the VPN and Connect

    Launch the VPN app, log in and connect to a server in your country of choice. The VPN will assign you an IP address in that country.

    expressvpn france connected
  3. Watch Netflix

    Once you’ve connected to the server in your chosen country, log in to Netflix. You should see that country’s Netflix catalog. Browse for a movie and enjoy.

    Netflix France

VPN Not Working With Netflix: Easy Fixes

It’s normal for a VPN that has been accessing a Netflix library to suddenly stop working. Remember that the Netflix vs VPN battle is a cat-and-mouse game: Every party wants to get ahead of the other. If you’re facing issues, try one of the following fixes:

  • Switch VPN servers: Switch VPN servers in the country with your favorite Netflix library in case Netflix has blocklisted the server you’re using. 
  • Update your VPN app: The best VPNs for Netflix frequently update their apps to remain ahead of the curve. Ensure that you’re using the latest version of the VPN app.
  • Clear browser cookies and cache: Clear browser cookies and cache files that could be informing Netflix of your real location. Reconnect the VPN and try accessing Netflix again. 
  • Change VPN protocol: If Netflix is constantly blocking you, change the VPN protocol and try again. Remember that some protocols and encryptions are better at circumventing Netflix geoblocks than others. 

Why You Need a VPN for Streaming Netflix

You need a VPN for streaming Netflix in order to bypass geoblocks and access content from libraries in other countries. Because of copyrights and royalties, Netflix libraries differ widely. For example, there are movies in the U.S. Netflix library that you won’t find on Netflix Japan and vice versa. A VPN changes your location virtually, enabling you to watch any flick on Netflix. 

Final Thoughts

The best VPNs for Netflix enable you to watch any movie or TV show regardless of your country of residence. However, as you’ve seen, the VPNs for Netflix differ in their unblocking ability, speed, price and other factors. Our top pick is ExpressVPN thanks to its unmatched unblocking ability and blazing-fast speeds for interruption-free streaming. 

However, if ExpressVPN’s price is off-putting, consider one of its more affordable alternatives, such as NordVPN or Surfshark. NordVPN is particularly appealing because, besides unblocking Netflix, it offers MeshNet — a feature that helps circumvent Netflix’s password-sharing policy.

Do you access Netflix libraries outside your country of residence? Which VPN service do you use? Which VPN feature is most important for Netflix users and why? Let us know in the comment section. As always, thanks for reading. 

FAQ

  • The best VPN location for Netflix depends on your needs and preferences. For example, to access Netflix France, pick a VPN provider with a server in France.

  • ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Netflix thanks to its unparalleled unblocking ability and fast download speeds.

  • Yes, the best VPNs easily skirt around Netflix geo-restrictions and stream movies without lags or buffering.

  • Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Netflix thanks to its excellent security and unlimited data. Sadly, the VPN can be slow during peak hours.

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