Many people are looking to access the American version of Netflix because of it’s huge supply of films and series. Usually, the amount of content Netflix USA has to offer is way bigger than most people have in their local Netflix databse. And, although Netflix wants to work towards a global offer, this has not yet been achieved. That is why people have found a solution to be able to watch American Netflix from outside the US: a VPN.
In order to get access to American Netflix, people usually take the following steps:
- Take out an online subscription to a VPN provider. The four best for Netflix are, at the moment: ExpressVPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost and NordVPN;
- Download the VPN software on a smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop;
- Use the software to connect to an American VPN server;
- Log in to Netflix to access all the content of Netflix USA.
According to us and our readers, the best VPN provider for Netflix is ExpressVPN. It almost always works with Netflix and reaches very high streaming speeds.
Do you think you’ve watched everything on Netflix? Well, think again. Netflix has grown considerably over the last couple of years and is now available in most countries. However, the content displayed differs depending on what country you’re in. In this article we’ll explain why this is the case and how you can bypass geographic restrictions. It’s quite easy to get access to the films and series that Netflix offers in a country that isn’t your own. Want to watch American Netflix, but you don’t live in the USA? Stick around – we’ve got a solution for you.
If you use a VPN, you can easily circumvent online restrictions. This goes for Netflix as well. Use a VPN-server in a different country from your own, and you’ll get to see that country’s version of Netflix. However, not all VPN providers are capable of getting you access to all your favorite shows. You need a good VPN that actively tries to get around the Netflix blocks. Here are some of them.
The 4 best VPN providers for watching Netflix
After testing several VPN providers on different necessary features for watching Netflix, we’ve come up with the following top 4 of providers that work with Netflix.
ExpressVPN works very well for watching Netflix, especially because of the high speed of the connection. This is a big plus if you are streaming because it means you won’t have to buffer constantly. Moreover, they have a great offer of servers and have built a strong reputation. They also offer great customer support and user-friendly applications for all devices.
It is true that ExpressVPN is definitely not the cheapest option around, but there is a reason they are at the top of all the lists. In their efforts to bypass Netflix’s geo-blockades, ExpressVPN is constantly updating their servers, making sure there are always servers that allow you to access Netflix, in many countries around the world. If it happens that Netflix blocks your access, ExpressVPN’s customer service will help you find the right server. If you would like to read up on them take a look at our ExpressVPN review.
- Super fast and simple VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading and streaming (i.a. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
Surfshark is a relatively new provider that quickly rose to the top of the VPN market. Their software is extremely user-friendly and their speeds are excellent as well. The chances that you’ll suffer from any lags because of this provider, are very small. Moreover, Surfshark uses extremely safe protocols and allows you to anonymously download torrents as well.
Besides access to Netflix, Surfshark has many extra options that will enhance your online experience. All of that, they offer for an incredibly low price, making it a very worthwhile VPN. There’s something else that makes Surfshark a great VPN for watching Netflix. With just one affordable subscription you can connect an unlimited number of devices. This means with Surfshark you can watch (American) Netflix on any device you want! Read our full Surfshark review to learn more.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30 days money back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
CyberGhost is an ideal VPN provider if you want to watch Netflix without any trouble. They have a large amount of servers spread out over more than 60 countries. This way you can choose what type of Netflix content you want to see. Moreover, their servers are of great quality, which means you won’t have to endlessly buffer your movie before you can watch it.
The CyberGhost app is super easy to use and even has a specific mode for streaming. Because of this everybody can use CyberGhost. If you do run into problems while streaming, you can contact their great customer service and they will help you out. All in all, CyberGhost is definitely one of the best VPN providers if you want to watch the U.S. Netflix content. Find out all the details of this provider in our extended review of CyberGhost.
- Very user-friendly
- High quality for a low price
- Torrents and Netflix possible
NordVPN is a very popular VPN provider, especially because of their great offer of servers. Like the others we have mentioned, NordVPN actively works on the availability of Netflix through their servers. They have a special Smart Play feature that is exclusively focused on watching Netflix. A big plus is that NordVPN is extremely cheap for the quality they offer.
Their Smart Play-technology (an encrypted SMART-dns feature) makes it look like you are in another county. After the connection with the American Netflix has been established the servers won’t be rerouted anymore. This feature reduces the loss of speed that usually happens when you use a VPN. Apparently, it is fairly difficult for Netflix to detect this type of bypass.
NordVPN also offers dedicated IP addresses and obfuscated servers, both of which provide extra “camouflaging” of your VPN connection. This can come in handy because sometimes Netflix blocks many “regular” VPN users at once (through server-blocking). However, with NordVPN, a regular connection will already provide you with access to the American Netflix offer. Read all about all their extra safety options in our NordVPN review.
- Excellent protection and a large network of servers
- Nice and pleasing application
- No logs
Different content on Netflix
Netflix is a streaming service that offers a large number of movies and series. As you might know, it differs how much of that content you can watch in your country. It’s no surprise that the US Netflix offers the largest amount of content. Most other countries only have access to a third of the total content. This is not Netflix trying to be mean. They have contracts with distributors in every country that they have to honor. These distributors push Netflix to control who can access certain content. Luckily, you can bypass these area restrictions, as we’ve explained above.
Netflix originals, such as 13 Reasons Why, Orange is the New Black, and the Crown are aired in all countries. In these cases Netflix owns the rights and doesn’t have to deal with a middle man.
There are several ways of bypassing area restrictions for Netflix. However, some methods are now being attacked by Netflix and won’t work anymore. In our eyes, a VPN is the best method. A VPN also provides the user with freedom, anonymity, and security. You can find the four best VPN’s to watch Netflix with at the top of this article. We’ll tell you how we decided on these four and why it’s better not to use a free VPN. Finally, we’ll also describe some alternatives to a VPN, like the use of a proxy or the Tor browser.
Using a VPN to bypass geographic restrictions
We tested several VPN providers on the following features and created a top 4 of the best VPN providers that will allow you to watch US Netflix content.
Access to Netflix
For the purpose of watching Netflix, a VPN provider has to meet several requirements. As mentioned before, Netflix is closing in on these types of services. Netflix will display an error message if they detect that you are using a VPN. Not all VPN providers are trying to bypass this restriction, so this is the most important feature we tested on. If we could not watch Netflix with a provider we did not include them in this list. Please note that we try to update as often as possible, but seeing as this is an ongoing back and forth between Netflix and VPN services, things are changing quickly.
Another feature that is important when watching Netflix with a VPN is speed. When you are watching Netflix, you don’t want to wait for you movie or episode to load. Thus, speed is very important for this ranking. Using a VPN can make your connection slower because your internet traffic is often rerouted through different countries. Understandably, the bigger the distance the slower the connection. With some providers you can hardly notice the difference, but with others the slow speeds can be quite frustrating.
The same is true for the stability of the connection. Our experience with the speed and the stability of a connection can be slightly different from yours if you live outside of Europe. Luckily, most providers allow you to test their services for a certain amount of time before committing to a subscription.
Because the VPN providers are constantly having to find ways around geo-blockades, it can happen that Netflix will block certain servers a provider uses. This is the moment that customer service becomes important. If the provider has a good customer service they will be able to guide you to a server that is not yet discovered by Netflix.
Dedicated IP address
Another service that some providers have, is a dedicated IP. Netflix mainly discovers VPN IP addresses when they see that lots of people are using Netflix from the same IP address at the same time. With the service of a dedicated IP the VPN providers will give you a personal IP in, for instance, the USA. You will be the only person using that IP address, thus likely not causing any suspicion with Netflix. However, this feature does often cost extra.
Free VPN to use Netflix
Although there are some free VPN providers that will allow you to bypass restrictions we wouldn’t recommend using those. First of all, free VPN providers can use the information they gain about you to sell to other parties. They will likely be more inclined to do this than paid services, because of the stronger financial incentive. Secondly, it is way more likely they will infect your PC with malware because their protection can be lacking. Moreover, most of them do not offer any customer service. This means that they won’t be able to help you if you need help getting access to US Netflix content.
Other benefits of using a VPN
Watching Netflix content in other countries is not the only benefit a VPN service has to offer. It provides you with almost complete freedom on the internet. Area restrictions are imposed on streaming services but there are also countries that limit the internet access of their citizens. This type of censorship can also be bypassed with a VPN.
A VPN encrypts all of you internet traffic. It also reroutes all of the traffic through their servers. These features make it much harder for hackers, governments, or other parties to gain access to any of your personal data. This way, a VPN offers the security that you can move around safely on the internet.
Another important feature of a VPN is the anonymity it can offer you. Because the VPN reroutes your traffic through a different IP address no one will see your own IP address. Your IP address is linked to your location and ultimately to you identity. By hiding you IP address with a VPN you are much more anonymous online.
All in all, a VPN is useful for so much more than just watching the U.S. Netflix content. It offers you more freedom, security, and anonymity online. If you are interested in reading up on these other features you can read our article on the advantages of a VPN.
Other methods to bypass area restrictions
Proxy servers and Tor
Some will say you can use a proxy server or Tor to watch the American Netflix. Our experience, however, is that Netflix blocks the use of most proxies. Moreover, the connection won’t be as strong as with other methods which means loading can be very tiring.
Tor functions as a browser and works by sending your internet traffic through different servers all over the world. Each server will offer another layer of anonymity. Because the traffic has to travel through so many different “nodes”, Tor can be slow as well. Moreover, you cannot make sure that one of the last servers is in the US, providing you access to the U.S. Netflix content. Streaming videos on Netflix requires a fair amount of data speed. For this reason we would recommend the use of a good VPN instead. Moreover, a VPN can provide you with a lot more perks than just watching American Netflix.
The ongoing quest of distributors in the movie industry to ban illegal downloading and streaming means that sometimes even people with a valid Netflix or other streaming subscription are targeted for blockades. Our recommendation right now would be to use a VPN to bypass area restrictions and to watch the American Netflix, or any other version of Netflix you enjoy watching. Hopefully this article has helped to find the right VPN for you. We will keep testing these services on their effectiveness and keep you posted!