Best Free VPNs for Netflix (Tried and Tested!)

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Best Free VPN for Netflix: A Summary

Several paid virtual private networks (VPNs) cannot reliably unblock Netflix, so finding a free Netflix VPN is no mean feat. After extensive research and testing, here are the best free VPNs to access Netflix:

  1. PrivadoVPN: the overall best free VPN Netflix
  2. Windscribe: the most secure free Netflix VPN
  3. TunnelBear: wildcard option for unblocking Netflix

It’s worth noting that streaming Netflix with these free VPN services can be hit-or-miss. Some VPNs do not consistently give you access to Netflix libraries, and you might experience lags and buffering. For those reasons, we recommend using paid VPNs to watch Netflix.

Surfshark, our best cheap VPN, is an excellent alternative, since it can unblock global Netflix libraries at bargain-bin pricing.

If you’re still keen on using a free VPN for Netflix, read the rest of our article below.

If you’re looking for a free Netflix VPN, today’s your lucky day. Although many VPNs claim to unblock Netflix libraries from all over the world, only a few make good on their words. This is largely due to Netflix’s dogged proxy detection technology.

Free VPNs often come with limitations, including data caps and slow speeds, and most of them can’t give you access to Netflix libraries. As a result, finding a free VPN for Netflix can feel like grasping at straws. But not to worry. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you by researching and testing dozens of free VPNs to find the ones that are great at unblocking Netflix.

Read on to discover our three best free VPNs to stream blockbuster Netflix movies regardless of your location.

The Best Free VPN for Netflix

Below, we’ll share our three best free VPNs to unblock Netflix libraries. It’s worth noting that, with free VPN services, limitlessly unblocking Netflix is not a given. Some require several tries before they work with Netflix, while others come with data and bandwidth limitations.

If you notice that your free VPN is having a hard time helping you stream Netflix, be sure to scroll down to our section “What to Do if Your Free VPN for Netflix Isn’t Working.”

Now, let’s dig into our best free Netflix VPNs, starting with our winner, PrivadoVPN.

1. PrivadoVPN: The free Netflix unblocking champion

Screenshot of PrivadoVPN website homepage

PrivadoVPN is the best free VPN for Netflix, period. During our testing, this VPN service consistently unblocked Netflix libraries without trouble. We were particularly impressed with the fact that it was able to unblock Netflix US. If you’d like to do the same, make sure to click one of the “visit PrivadoVPN” links on our website. These links give you access to Privado’s exclusive free servers, which use obfuscation to work with Netflix.

The free version of PrivadoVPN offers servers in 12 cities and 10GB of data each month, although you can only connect one device at a time. PrivadoVPN’s only drawback is that, if you exhaust the data offer, you’ll be limited to 1Mbit speeds and only one server. This won’t work well if you intend to stream high-definition movies.

Aside from helping you access Netflix, PrivadoVPN is also great at unblocking other streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Hotstar. It’s worth noting that PrivadoVPN works well on various operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, although there’s no app for Linux. Fortunately, PrivadoVPN’s software is intuitive and easy to use, making it a good choice for people new to VPNs.

In addition, PrivadoVPN offers military-grade AES-256 encryption alongside an automatic kill switch, which is rare among free VPNs. No wonder it tops our list of best truly free VPNs!

Visit PrivadoVPN

Still in doubt about PrivadoVPN? Read our full PrivadoVPN review to help you decide.

2. Windscribe: A free Netflix VPN with fast servers

Screenshot of Windscribe, website homepage with added logo in the corner

Windscribe is another free VPN service that can unblock Netflix libraries, although it can be a hit-or-miss venture. We had to try several servers before the VPN was able to unblock Netflix for us. However, if you must use a free VPN for Netflix, Windscribe is a handy option.

You get 2GB for free each month, but when you hand over your email address, Windscribe upgrades the offer to 10GB monthly — just as much as PrivadoVPN.

What’s more, Windscribe’s free version gives you access to servers in over ten countries, including countries with impressive Netflix libraries, like the US, UK, Netherlands, Canada, France, and Germany. Even better, Windscribe’s servers provide fast connection speeds, which are excellent for streaming Netflix. In addition, Windscribe has apps for all major platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, FireTV, and Linux.

Finally, Windscribe is decked with an impressive lineup of security features to protect you while you watch Netflix. You get a kill switch, AES-256 encryption, and the ever-secure WireGuard protocol. For comparison, PrivadoVPN doesn’t come with WireGuard.

Visit Windscribe

Still not sure if you want to download Windscribe? Read our full Windscribe review for more information.

3. TunnelBear: Big server network with data limits

Screenshot of TunnelBear, website homepage with added logo in the corner

In our testing, TunnelBear had a bit of a harder time unblocking Netflix libraries. We had to tweak some settings, including switching servers and protocols, to access Netflix libraries in the United Kingdom and Germany. Even then, we didn’t get consistent results. Therefore, we wouldn’t recommend this VPN service for unblocking Netflix long-term, but it’s worth a shot if you’re out of options.

Despite struggling to unblock Netflix, TunnelBear is one of the more reliable and secure free VPNs. You get the military-grade AES-256 encryption, which is near-impossible to break. Even on a free account, you’ll be able to connect to servers in several countries, including Germany, Spain, Japan, the USA, France, and Canada.

Furthermore, this free service has apps for various platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Android, as well as browser extensions. The best part is that these apps are generally easy-to-use and they follow TunnelBear’s playful and colorful visual style.

Unfortunately, TunnelBear only offers 500MB, which is quite a small amount for watching Netflix. For perspective, if you’re going to stream an HD movie for one hour, you’ll burn through around 3GB. In short, TunnelBear is a good temporary option, but it is not the very best free VPN for Netflix. If you’d like to binge-watch a show, you’re better off with PrivadoVPN or Windscribe.

Visit TunnelBear

You can learn more about this fun provider in our full TunnelBear review.

What to Look For in a Free Netflix VPN

Most free VPNs come with significant limitations, so it’s crucial to scrutinize your options to ensure you’re picking the best. When deciding on our top three, we tested our VPNs on different fronts. If you’d like to do your own research into the best free VPN for Netflix, here’s what to look for:

  • Ability to stream Netflix: Some free VPN services easily unblock Netflix in specific regions, but very few VPNs can access Netflix USA. That’s why it’s vital to test to confirm which Netflix libraries your VPN can unblock. You might need to change servers, switch protocols, and clear your cache while testing.
  • Speed: Most free VPNs for Netflix cap your speeds and throttle your bandwidth. If your VPN is slow, you’ll experience lags, buffering, and poor video quality while watching Netflix. Our article “How to do a VPN Test for Speed and Security” can help you with the nitty-gritty while testing VPNs for speed.
  • No-logs policy: Because many VPNs log and sell your data to advertisers, it’s essential to find out if the free VPN offers a strict no-logs policy. It’s also worth checking whether they’ve ever been hacked and how they handled it.
  • Security: Your VPN is as good as the security features it offers. Free VPNs generally come with limited security features, but the likes of AES-256 encryption and a variety of strong protocols are a must-have.
  • Customer support: Some VPNs give customer support priority to paying customers. So if you’re using a free VPN, you might not be able to get the help you need. Find out if your chosen VPN has exhaustive knowledge bases and user forums, even if you can’t get top-tier and real-time support on calls and live chats.

What to Do If Your Free VPN for Netflix Isn’t Working

Infographic showing what to do if your free VPN for Netflix is not working

You might be tempted to call it quits when you notice that your free VPN isn’t allowing you to unblock Netflix. Before you throw in the towel, here are a few troubleshooting tips to get your free Netflix VPN working again.

1. Select a different VPN server

Chances are, the free VPN server you’re using is blocked by Netflix or it’s leaking information about your location. Whatever the case, if your free VPN is struggling to access Netflix, choose a different server location. You might have to sift through several servers before finding one that can unblock Netflix libraries.

We recommend using streaming-optimized VPN servers to access Netflix, since they typically have obfuscation features that can outwit Netflix’s geoblocks. However, most free VPNs don’t work with these types of servers. Your best bet on this front is the free version of PrivadoVPN.

2. Clear your cache and cookies

Your browser’s cache and cookies improve your browsing experience by making pages load faster. However, this comes at a cost: these cookies keep track of your IP address and location and may reveal those to websites you visit. Hence, even if your free VPN is working, Netflix might know that your location and IP address differ and block you from watching geo-specific content altogether.

We recommend that you clear your cache and cookies periodically to remove any hint of your location so Netflix won’t know where you’re streaming from. Alternatively, you can change your browser or use incognito mode to browse anonymously.

3. Make sure your VPN is up-to-date

While software updates may be easy to ignore, they often add essential security fixes, unblocking capabilities, and UI features to your VPN. For example, your free VPN might introduce unblocking features in their updates to help access Netflix. Such updates aren’t rare, considering Netflix is hellbent on blocking VPNs. In general, we recommend that you check for available updates for your VPN at least once a month.

In exceptional cases, you may have to uninstall and reinstall your free VPN to get it working properly. Usually, however, you’ll simply be shown a popup asking you to update the software.

Another helpful option is to restore your VPN to its default settings, especially if you’ve tampered with them repeatedly. This might just be the tiny cleanup your VPN needed to effectively give you access to Netflix again.

4. Contact customer support

If the above measures don’t work, contact your VPN’s customer support. Most VPNs limit the support options available for free users, so you can start with knowledge bases typically found on their websites. If you don’t find what you need there, you can send an email, call, or use live chat support.

Of the three VPNs on this list, Windscribe has the best customer support, with an exhaustive knowledge base, setup guides for a wide range of platforms, and a subreddit. However, their live chat option wasn’t functioning when we tested it.

The Challenges of Using Free Netflix VPNs

Infographic showing the challenge of using free Netflix VPNs

In a world full of “freebies,” it’s tempting to simply choose a free VPN and be on your way. However, Netflix VPNs (and specifically free VPN services) can be limiting and even dangerous for accessing Netflix libraries.

Below, we dig deep into the reasons we don’t wholeheartedly recommend free VPNs to stream Netflix.

Free VPNs might log and sell your data

As Tristan Harris of the Center for Humane Technology says, “if you’re not paying for the product, then you are the product.” This is true of many free VPNs as well. Since you’re not paying for the VPN, these free services must find a different way to make money. Hence, they often resort to logging your data and selling it to advertisers. Sure, paid VPNs can also log your data, but they’re less likely to do so since they have a constant source of income.

In general, VPNs keep email addresses and account data, but some providers log other, additional information, which could be harmful. Especially when a (free) VPN logs your device’s IP address or traffic (meaning the websites you visit), you should watch out. The goal of a VPN is to hide your IP address and online behavior, and keeping these kinds of logs can make this information accessible to third parties, anyway.

Fortunately, our top three VPNs barely collect any of such logs. PrivadoVPN uses RAM-only servers, which means all logs are wiped upon every reboot. Although Windscribe and TunnelBear collect a few logs, including personal data and account data logs, they’re not a real cause for concern, either.

When choosing a free VPN, thoroughly examine the provider’s logging policy — you might be surprised at the logs they keep. For example, HolaVPN collects all kinds of user data including your IP address, name, email, payment information, browser type, and webpages visited. That’s why we do not recommend the use of Hola.

Some VPNs contain malware

Hackers and scammers wreak havoc by finding ways to install malware on devices. Such harmful software can help them steal your passwords, delete files, and completely take over your device. Unfortunately, some “free VPNs” come bundled with all sorts of malware. When you download and install those apps, you put your device at risk.

In 2017, researchers from the University of NSW and UC Berkley in the US studied 238 VPN apps on the Google Play Store to determine if they had any malware. The results were shocking: over 38% of VPNs studied contained some form of malware, spyware, or adware.

An example of a malware-infested VPN is SuperVPN. Even more concerning: this VPN is one of the first few results you see when you search for “VPN” on the Google Play Store. Its malware has allowed hackers to collect sensitive user data, including login details and credit card information, over the years.

Free VPNs might have ads and pop-ups

Free VPNs often bombard you with ads and pop-ups. This practice is not surprising, considering that free VPNs have to find a way to make money. These ads are often targeted, meaning that free VPNs likely share your internet traffic data with advertisers. In the worst cases, such ads could be riddled with malware and could end up slowing your internet connection.

Even free VPNs that don’t sell ads might still come with pop-ups, trying to get you to invest in their premium version. Although this doesn’t have to be super intrusive, it is still considered annoying by some users.

Data limits might interrupt your Netflix experience

Another key challenge with most free VPNs is that they limit your data package. The best free VPNs, like PrivadoVPN and Windscribe, give your around 10GB of data each month. However, free VPNs at the low rung of the ladder give you just 500MB.

For Netflix streaming, such data caps are woefully inadequate. According to Netflix, users will burn through 3GB per hour when they set their video quality to high definition. If you want to watch Netflix at Ultra high definition (4K), you’ll need around 7GB of data per hour.

Here are Netflix’s four video quality settings to help you understand how much data they take up per hour on average.

  • Low: Basic video quality, up to 0.3 GB
  • Medium: Standard video quality, up to 0.7 GB
  • High: Best video quality
    • Standard definition: up to 1 GB
    • High definition: up to 3 GB
    • Ultra high definition (4K): up to 7 GB
  • Auto: Adjusts automatically to deliver the highest possible quality, based on your current internet connection speed.

Clearly, with a free VPN data package, you can only stream Netflix at the highest quality for a few hours at best. True, Netflix allows you to tweak your video settings and choose the lowest video quality. But even with that setting, you’ll need about 300MB per hour. With TunnelBear’s 500MB data limit, you won’t last more than a few hours.

Free VPNs could slow down your internet

Have you ever tried watching a Netflix movie with slow internet? Your video probably kept lagging and buffering. Unfortunately, some free VPNs intentionally throttle your bandwidth and slow down your internet traffic. They do this to nudge free users to upgrade to a paid plan. For instance, ProtonVPN mentions on their website that they provide free users with “medium” speeds, while paid users get access to faster connections.

Other free VPNs simply offer a very limited free network, meaning that there are a lot of free users working with the same three or four VPN servers. This can significantly slow down the speed, too.

Surfshark: A Cheap Alternative to Free Netflix VPNs

Chances are, you’re looking for a free VPN provider to watch Netflix because you want to save money. However, there are several VPNs that can help you watch Netflix without leaving a dent in your budget, since they are very cheap. The best cheap VPN that works with Netflix is Surfshark.

Surfshark VPN provider website homepage with added logo to the corner

Surfshark can unblock Netflix libraries in at least 15 countries, including the US, France, Germany, Turkey, and the UK. If you connect to servers that are not in any of those countries, you’ll automatically be directed to Netflix US.

Although Surfshark is pocket-friendly, it doesn’t skimp on features at all. You get access to thousands of servers in 65 countries, alongside robust security features. Camouflage mode, for example, helps to keep your VPN use under wraps, so you can easily get around VPN blocks, like those put up by Netflix.

Surfshark’s apps are simple, intuitive, and easy to use, so even if you’re new to VPNs, installing and setting up Surfshark should be a breeze. Their browser extension works flawlessly with Netflix, enabling you to get around VPN blocks easily. On top of that, each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can take it for a test run before taking the plunge.

Read our extensive Surfshark review to get a better picture of this handy VPN.

Safe and anonymous internet for only $2.21 a month
  • Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
  • 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
  • Cheap with many extra options
Visit Surfshark

Not convinced by Surfshark? Other cheap VPNs that work with Netflix are PIA, PureVPN, BlufVPN, and FastVPN.

Final Thoughts

Because of Netflix’s anti-VPN technology, many free VPNs draw a blank when they try to access Netflix. Based on our research and testing, here are the best free VPNs for Netflix:

  1. PrivadoVPN: the overall best free VPN for Netflix
  2. Windscribe: the most secure VPN for watching Netflix
  3. TunnelBear: a wildcard option for accessing Netflix

Even the best free VPNs come with severe data and bandwidth limitations, making it hard to enjoy your Netflix. If you don’t want to deal with those limits and shortcomings, we recommend Surfshark, our best cheap VPN. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out. You can even use a Netflix VPN like Surfshark to save money on your Netflix subscription.

Want to watch content on other streaming platforms? Here are a few guides on unblocking popular streams from all over the world:

Best Free VPNs for Netflix: Frequently Asked Questions

If our article didn’t answer all your questions, don’t worry. Check out our frequently asked questions section to learn more.

PrivadoVPN is the best free VPN for Netflix thanks to its ability to unblock Netflix libraries even in the US. It comes with top security and privacy features, including AES-256 encryption and an automatic kill switch, which is rare among free VPNs. What’s more, this VPN service offers 10GB monthly for free and you get access to servers in 12 cities. Learn more in our best free Netflix VPNs post.

Surfshark is the best cheap VPN for Netflix, because it costs just a few dollars a month and does a great job of unblocking Netflix libraries in several countries, including US, France, Germany, Turkey, and the UK. It also comes with intuitive and easy-to-use apps to help you access Netflix. Learn more about Surfshark in our Surfshark review.

To change your Netflix location for free, use a free virtual private network (VPN) for Netflix like PrivadoVPN:

  1. Download and install the VPN app for your device.
  2. Connect to a server in a different country.
  3. Log into your Netflix account and enjoy a new collection of movies.

Note that if a particular VPN server doesn’t unblock Netflix, you can try other servers until you find one that does.

Tech journalist
Wisdom is a B2B SaaS consultant and tech writer, with several years of software review and writing experience under his belt. He combines a background in data science, mathematics and digital marketing with a knack for storytelling.