Many people are looking to access the American version of Netflix because of it’s huge collection of films and series. Usually, the amount of content Netflix USA has to offer is way larger than most people have in their local Netflix database. 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 the American Netflix from outside the US: a VPN.
In order to get access to American Netflix, people usually take the following steps:
- Get a subscription with a good 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 automatically connects you to the American version of Netflix if you use it’s Netflix servers and reaches very high streaming speeds.
Do you think you’ve seen every show and movie on Netflix already? Think again! Netflix has grown considerably over the last couple of years (and will probably keep doing so) and is now available in many different countries. However, the movies and shows available differ depending on the country you’re in. In this article we’ll explain why this is the case and how you can bypass these geographic restrictions. It’s quite easy to get access to the movies and series that Netflix offers in a different country. Do you want to watch the American version of Netflix (which has the biggest number of films and series) even if you aren’t in the USA? Stick around. We’ve got a solution for you.
With a VPN you can easily circumvent online geographic restrictions. This goes for restrictions enforced by Netflix as well. Simply use a VPN server that’s located in a different country, and you’ll get to watch that country’s version of Netflix. However, not all VPN providers are capable of getting you access to all of your favorite shows. You need a good VPN that actively tries to get around the Netflix blocks. After all, Netflix, like many other streaming services, tries to prevent VPN users from accessing Netflix by blocking IP addresses from VPN servers. Nevertheless, there are still VPNs that can circumvent the restrictions enforced by Netflix. Below you’ll find the four best VPN providers for watching Netflix.
The 4 Best VPN Providers for Watching Netflix
If you want to watch American Netflix with a VPN, you need to use a VPN server in the USA that hasn’t been blocked by Netflix. Besides, the server has to be fast enough to be able to stream with, so you won’t have to wait for videos to buffer. After testing several VPN providers on several features necessary for watching Netflix comfortably without restrictions, we’ve come up with a top 4 of the best providers for watching Netflix.
ExpressVPN is a great VPN for watching Netflix, especially because of the high speed of its servers and connections. This is especially useful for streaming, because it means your videos won’t have to buffer constantly. Moreover, ExpressVPN offers a large number of servers in many different countries and has built a strong reputation over the years. They also offer great customer support and user-friendly applications for all devices.
ExpressVPN definitely isn’t the cheapest option around, but there is a reason they are at the top of our list regardless. In their efforts to bypass Netflix’s geo-blockades, ExpressVPN is constantly updating their servers, making sure there are always servers available that allow you to access Netflix in many countries around the world. If Netflix does end up blocking you, ExpressVPN’s customer service will help you find the right server. In other words, watching Netflix with this VPN won’t be any problem. If you’d like to read more about this provider, you can 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
CyberGhost is the perfect VPN provider for watching Netflix. They offer a large number of servers spread out over more than 60 countries. This way you can choose which version of Netflix, and which shows and movies, you want to access. Moreover, their servers and speed are excellent, which means you won’t have to endlessly buffer your movie before you can watch it. Due to the special streaming options of CyberGhost’s VPN software, you’ll automatically be connected to a working Netflix server if you head over to the streaming service. This means you’ll be able to use CyberGhost to watch Netflix easily and quickly. You won’t have to search for a working server yourself, as is the case with most other VPNs.
The CyberGhost app is super easy to use and even has a specific mode for streaming. It’s a great app for beginning VPN users. If you do run into problems while streaming, you can contact CyberGhost’s 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 American version of Netflix. 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 which also works well with American Netflix. NordVPN actively works on the accessibility of Netflix through their servers. They have a special Smart Play feature, which automatically allows you to visit the American version of Netflix, no matter which server location you’re using. Their Smart Play-technology (an encrypted SMART-DNS feature) automatically makes it appear as if you’re in the USA when surfing to the Netflix website. 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’s fairly difficult for Netflix to detect this type of bypass.
A big plus is that NordVPN is very affordable for the quality they offer. NordVPN also offers dedicated IP addresses and obfuscated servers, both of which provide extra “camouflaging” for your VPN connection. This can come in handy, because sometimes Netflix blocks many “regular” VPN users at once (through server-blocking). Even so, a normal NordVPN connection will already provide you with access to the American Netflix in most cases. Are you curious about this provider? Read all about NordVPN’s safe and convenient extra options in our NordVPN review.
- Excellent protection and a large network of servers
- Nice and pleasing application
- No logs
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 you’ll suffer from any lag due to this provider are very small. If you use Surfshark to watch Netflix, you’ll be able to get access to a lot of different versions of Netflix. Surfshark is able to unblock fifteen different Netflix libaries. Using a Dutch server, for example, will give you access to the Dutch version of the platform, whereas an American server will give you Netflix USA. If you visit Netflix with a server that isn’t able to unblock the local version of the platform, you’ll automatically be sent on to the American Netflix.
Besides access to Netflix, Surfshark has many extra options that will enhance your online experience. For example, Surfshark uses extremely safe protocols and allows you to anonymously download torrents as well. They offer all of these services for an incredibly affordable 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. In other words, with Surfshark you and your entire family can watch (American) Netflix on any device you want! Read our full Surfshark review to learn more about this provider.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30 days money back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
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 (and what part) of that content is available depending on where you are in the world. It’s no surprise that the US Netflix offers the largest amount of content. Most other countries only have access to about a third of the total amount of Netflix content. This isn’t because Netflix is trying to be mean to its customers. The company actually has contracts with distributors in every country that they have to honor. These distributors push Netflix to control where customers can access certain content. Luckily, you can bypass these area restrictions with a VPN.
Netflix originals, such as 13 Reasons Why, Orange is the New Black, and the Crown are aired all over the world. In these cases, Netflix owns the rights and doesn’t have to deal with a middle man. The same, unfortunately, isn’t true for the rest of the series and movies it offers.
There are several ways of bypassing area restrictions for Netflix. However, Netflix is actively intervening and combating these “unblocking tricks”. Therefore, some of these methods don’t (always) work anymore. In our eyes, a VPN is the best method to watch Netflix freely and comfortably. A VPN also provides its 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, such as the use of a proxy or the Tor browser.
How Many Movies and Series Does Netflix Have?
There’s a site called uNoGS that maintains an up-to-date database of the Netflix library in specific countries. Using this data we made a graph that shows just how much content Netflix USA has compared to other countries:
As you can see Netflix USA tops the list, followed closely by other countries with a lot of English speakers (Canada, UK, India and Australia). Not surprisingly, countries with a large market tend to have more movies and shows available than those with smaller markets. For example, Mexico (a Spanish speaking country) and Brazil (a Portuguese speaking country) have a larger Netflix library of shows and movies than Spain and Portugal respectively. Many Anglo-Saxon countries defy this rule when compared to their non-English speaking counterparts, however, as can be seen above. Australians have way more content available to them than Germans, even though there are more than three times as many people living in Germany.
Keep in mind that the films and series Netflix offers to different countries are constantly changing. Content is added and removed every day, so the numbers will be constantly fluctuating. Even so, the differences will remain. In general, the USA version of Netflix comes out on top as having the biggest library with the most content.
Why Doesn’t Netflix Work With Every VPN?
Netflix doesn’t always work when you’re using a VPN. This is because the company is actively trying to stop people when they try to circumvent their geographical restrictions. As we’ve mentioned, Netflix has legal contracts with producers and film distributors all over the world, meaning a huge part of their content can only be shown in specific countries. You won’t find all American series and films on the UK version of Netflix, nor the other way around.
In order to enforce these ‘rules’, Netflix uses the location attached to your IP address to determine whether you should or shouldn’t get access to specific content. If you use, for example, a German IP address to go online, you’ll only get to see the German version of Netflix when you log into your account. A VPN can change this, because it changes the IP address you use to access the internet.
However, Netflix knows this happens. That’s why they try to figure out the IP addresses used by VPNs, by looking at traffic numbers, and subsequently block these IP addresses. Instead of being able to watch any movie or series on Netflix, many VPN users therefore get to see an error message, stating that they have to turn off their proxy connection/unblocking tool in order to be able to use the platform.
Fortunately, Netflix is trying to make its content uniform and accessible anywhere in the world. This would mean that all Netflix users would have access to exactly the same films and series in time. It’ll take a while before we’ll reach that point, however. For now, a good VPN that isn’t being blocked by Netflix will give you the biggest chance of reaching foreign Netflix content with your account.
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 for watching (American) Netflix.
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 the use of a VPN. Not all VPN providers are trying (and succeeding) to bypass this restriction, so this is the most important feature we tested on. If we could not watch Netflix with a provider, we didn’t 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, availability of Netflix through specific servers and even providers can change extremely 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 larger the distance between servers, the slower the connection. But between different providers there are also large speed differences. 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 blocked 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.
If you use Netflix about as much as we do (which is a lot), you probably like to watch movies on different devices as well. Your smart TV, laptop, tablet and smartphone all could play Netflix content. But can you also reach a foreign country’s Netflix content on there? The answer is yes: some VPNs also work on all those different devices. All VPNs we recommend for Netflix have useful apps that can easily be downloaded and installed on your smartphone as well as your tablet and smart TV. In other words, you can enjoy a larger offer of movies and series on whatever device you own: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows PC, Chromecast, Android TV and other Android devices.
Free VPN to Use With Netflix
Although there are some free VPN providers that will allow you to bypass geo-restrictions, we wouldn’t normally 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 and internal security might 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 or encounter any other issues.
Pay Less For Your Netflix Subscription With a VPN
If you don’t have a Netflix subscription yet, you could also use a VPN to get a nice discount. We did extensive research on the different prices of a Netflix subscription in different countries. By choosing a VPN server in a specific country, you’ll be able to subscribe to Netflix as if you were in that country. This doesn’t affect the content you’ll be able to see on the platform. After all, you always get to see the version of Netflix that corresponds with your location. It doesn’t matter whether you subscribed to Netflix from Argentina or Turkey: if you use an American IP address to access Netflix, you’ll still get to see all movies and films that are part of the American catalog.
Currently, it’s cheapest to subscribe to Netflix with a Turkish IP address. In case you’re wondering how to get this done, you can have a look at our research: Save Money on Netflix. There, you’ll find everything you need to know in order to get a cheap Netflix subscription using a VPN.
Other Benefits of Using a VPN
Unblocking country-specific Netflix content 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 by 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 advantages 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 the Tor browser 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 with the Tor browser that the exit server (last rerouting node) is located in the US. This means trying to access U.S. Netflix through Tor is not much more than a gamble with low odds. 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, as covered in the previous section.
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!