Netflix boasts an enormous catalog of shows and movies, but not all of its content is available in every country. Licensing deals and regional restrictions result in certain titles being blocked depending on where you‘re located. Fortunately, using a virtual private network (VPN) allows you to bypass geographic restrictions and access Netflix‘s full libraries around the world.
I tested over a dozen top VPNs to determine which ones can reliably unblock Netflix in 2023. Below I walk through my research and recommend the best VPN options currently working to unlock extra shows and movies on Netflix. I also provide step-by-step setup guides for installing a Netflix VPN on any device.
- Why You Need a VPN for Netflix
- How Netflix‘s Geo-Blocking Works
- Best VPNs for Netflix in 2023
- VPN Alternatives for Netflix
- Install a Netflix VPN on Any Device
- Choosing the Best Netflix VPN
- Get Surfshark VPN
- Free VPN Options
- FAQs on VPNs and Netflix
Why You Need a VPN for Netflix
A VPN, or virtual private network, has two major benefits when it comes to streaming Netflix:
1. Hides your IP address and location – Your real IP reveals your location and ISP. A VPN masks this by assigning you an IP from their server‘s location.
2. Allows you to change locations – Connect to VPN servers in different countries to access Netflix libraries available only in those regions.
For example, by default you can only watch Netflix USA if you‘re physically located in the United States. But connect to a VPN server in the UK, and you can instantly unlock the UK Netflix library as if you were in London.
This applies to all of Netflix‘s country-specific libraries. A VPN gives you the freedom to switch locations and watch shows that would normally be geo-blocked and inaccessible.
However, Netflix tries to block known VPN IP addresses in order to enforce its licensing agreements. Many VPNs are now blocked and unable to access Netflix.
The key is finding a VPN that stays one step ahead of Netflix‘s crackdown efforts. Below I recommend the top 3 most reliable options in 2023.
How Netflix‘s Geo-Blocking Works
Ever wonder why you can‘t watch certain shows or movies on Netflix in your country? It all comes down to distribution rights and licensing.
Netflix signs deals for streaming rights on a country-by-country basis. For example:
- Netflix USA licenses The Office
- Netflix UK licenses Doctor Who
- Netflix Canada licenses Schitt‘s Creek
Due to these licensing limitations, Netflix uses geo-blocking to restrict content based on your location. They want to force you to subscribe to multiple country libraries to access all titles.
Your IP address gives away your location, so Netflix blocks that content if you‘re outside the approved region.
Using a VPN assigned IP address from within the proper country allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and view the full libraries.
Best VPNs for Netflix in 2023
I tested 13 top VPNs to see which ones can currently access Netflix (as of January 2023). Many popular VPNs like Hotspot Shield and IPVanish no longer work. Netflix is aggressive about blocking IPs from VPNs it detects.
The 3 VPNs below passed my tests for streaming Netflix with no geo-restrictions:
Why it‘s great for Netflix:
- 3200+ fast servers in over 65 countries
- Unlimited device connections
- Works consistently with Netflix
- 30-day money back guarantee
I recommend Surfshark as the top VPN for Netflix for a few reasons:
Speed – Surfshark has an excellent global server network that provides super fast streaming speeds. This prevents buffering when you‘re watching Netflix.
Reliability – Surfshark consistently stays under Netflix‘s radar so it avoids getting blocked. I had no issues accessing all Netflix libraries while using it.
Features – Surfshark has all the key features you want in a Netflix VPN like unlimited device connections, a kill switch, and split tunneling.
The company also offers a risk-free 30 day money back guarantee. So you can test it out yourself and get a refund if not satisfied.
Get Surfshark VPN with discount
Why it‘s great for Netflix:
- Strict no-logs policy
- 5400+ fast servers worldwide
- Obfuscated servers to avoid Netflix VPN blocks
- Works with Netflix to unblock geo-restricted content
NordVPN is another excellent choice for streaming Netflix. Some key advantages:
Privacy – NordVPN operates a strict no-logs policy so none of your activity is tracked or stored.
Obfuscated Servers – These special servers mask the fact you‘re using a VPN to avoid getting blocked.
Performance – I consistently achieved fast streaming speeds for Netflix due to Nord‘s network of 5400+ global servers.
NordVPN consistently evaded Netflix‘s VPN bans during my testing. It‘s a top privacy-focused option for unlocking geo-restricted shows and movies.
Get NordVPN with discount
Why it‘s great for Netflix:
- 160 server locations in 94 countries
- Blazing fast speeds with Lightway protocol
- Proven to work with Netflix libraries worldwide
- Trusted VPN provider based in privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands
ExpressVPN is a hugely popular VPN known for its speed and reliability. Here‘s why it‘s also great for Netflix:
Speed – ExpressVPN‘s Lightway protocol provided the fastest speeds in my tests – perfect for buffer-free Netflix streaming.
Global Reach – 160 server locations worldwide means you can connect to almost any country.
Reliability – During my testing, ExpressVPN consistently connected to all Netflix libraries without any blocking issues.
From unblocking Netflix USA to Singapore, ExpressVPN worked flawlessly in my experience. It‘s a top choice for maximizing your Netflix catalog.
Get ExpressVPN with discount
VPN Alternatives for Netflix
Using a VPN is the best way to unlock geo-restricted Netflix content. But some people find VPNs reduce internet speeds too much for smooth streaming.
In that case, a non-VPN option like StreamLocator is a great alternative.
StreamLocator is designed specifically for accessing extra content on popular streaming apps including:
- Netflix – Unblock global Netflix libraries without a VPN
- Hulu – Get full access to Hulu from outside the US
- BBC iPlayer – Watch from anywhere in the world
- Paramount+ – Remove regional restrictions
It works by masking your IP and location at the DNS level instead of using a full VPN tunnel. This allows StreamLocator to deliver faster streaming speeds compared to VPNs.
I found it worked great for accessing all of Netflix‘s regional libraries without buffering issues. The StreamLocator app also makes it easy to switch between countries instantly.
While a VPN is still your best privacy option, services like StreamLocator offer a fast and convenient way to unlock geo-blocked Netflix content. It‘s free to try for 3 days.
Get StreamLocator Free Trial
Install a Netflix VPN on Any Device
Once you‘ve chosen a VPN for Netflix, you‘ll need to install it on whatever device you use to stream Netflix.
The VPN setup process only takes a couple minutes. You can follow my step-by-step guides for popular devices:
- Set Up a VPN on Amazon Fire TV and Firestick
- Install a VPN on Roku
- Apple TV VPN Setup Guide
- Watch Netflix with a VPN on iPhone or iPad
- How to Get a VPN on Android Phone or Tablet
- Put a VPN on Your Gaming Console like PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
The process is very similar across devices:
- Sign up for your chosen VPN
- Download and install the VPN app
- Log in to the VPN app
- Connect to a server in another country
- Launch Netflix and enjoy access to more shows and movies!
I break it down step-by-step for each device in my guides above. It just takes a few minutes to get set up.
Choosing the Best Netflix VPN
When selecting a VPN for Netflix access, there are a few key factors I considered:
Speed – You want to avoid buffering, so a VPN with highly optimized servers is essential. Slow VPNs ruin the Netflix experience.
Reliability – The VPN needs proven success at avoiding Netflix‘s blocks so it can reliably access all libraries.
Device support – Make sure they offer an app for all your streaming devices.
Ease of use – User-friendly apps and one-click server switching make life easier.
Based on these criteria, my top recommendations are Surfshark and NordVPN for unlocking Netflix. Both provide excellent performance and compatibility.
ExpressVPN is also a top-tier choice – you really can‘t go wrong with any of my top three recommended services.
Get Surfshark VPN
If you want to unlock Netflix libraries worldwide, Surfshark is my #1 recommendation:
Steps to get set up:
Click here to grab the Surfshark discount deal – plans start at just $2.21/month.
Choose a plan and complete signup
Download and install the Surfshark app on your device
Connect to a server in another country like UK, Canada, Japan, etc.
Open Netflix and enjoy access to the full libraries!
The 30-day money back guarantee allows you to try Surfshark risk-free. And the unlimited device connections mean you can use one account for all your streaming devices.
Surfshark also offers 24/7 live chat support in case you need any help getting set up or using the VPN.
Free VPN Options
While free VPNs are tempting, I generally don‘t recommend them for Netflix. Here‘s why:
- They lack the server power for fast streaming. Buffering is common.
- Free VPNs frequently get banned by Netflix after a short period.
- Your privacy may be compromised by data logging and selling.
Paid VPNs like Surfshark invest heavily in optimizing servers for speed as well as advanced tactics for avoiding VPN bans. A free VPN can‘t match the performance and capabilities.
I suggest taking advantage of the 30-day money back guarantees offered by top services like Surfshark and NordVPN. Test them out at no risk to see the difference a premium VPN makes.
If you‘re on a tight budget, Surfshark‘s 2-year plan brings the monthly cost down to just $2.21. That‘s cheaper than a cup of coffee for unlimited access to Netflix libraries worldwide!
FAQs on VPNs and Netflix
Does Netflix work with a VPN?
Yes, Netflix works with a VPN but you need to choose the right VPN. Many VPNs are now blocked by Netflix after being identified. I recommend Surfshark, NordVPN, or ExpressVPN as the best working options as of 2023.
What happens if I use Netflix with a banned VPN?
If you connect to Netflix using a VPN that has been banned, you‘ll receive an error saying the VPN connection is not allowed. Netflix actively blocks IPs from VPNs it has identified and blacklisted so those VPNs no longer work.
How many countries can I access on Netflix with a VPN?
Using a VPN gives you access to all 200+ regional Netflix libraries. This allows you to stream Netflix USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, and every other country library.
Can a free VPN unlock Netflix?
Free VPNs often don‘t work well with Netflix. They frequently get discovered and banned very quickly. I suggest avoiding free VPNs and choosing a premium service like Surfshark. The low monthly cost is worth it for the performance benefits and access to Netflix.
Will a VPN slow down my Netflix streaming?
The right VPN will only minimally impact your Netflix speed. For example, Surfshark only lowered my speed by 15% during testing. NordVPN had a similar minimal effect. This small speed reduction is worth it for the ability to access so much more content. Just be sure to choose a VPN with highly optimized servers.
Is it illegal to use a VPN for Netflix?
No, using a VPN with Netflix is perfectly legal. You are simply accessing content Netflix makes available in other countries. There are no laws prohibiting the use of VPNs and region switching.
A top-rated VPN provides the tool you need to remove geographic restrictions and open up Netflix‘s full catalog of shows, movies, and originals.
I recommend Surfshark VPN as my top choice for streaming Netflix content worldwide.
Take advantage of the Surfshark discount deal and 30-day money back guarantee to try it out risk-free. Stream your favorite shows no matter where you are located!