The Best VPN for Netflix in 2021

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Not too long ago, I had been happily binge-watching The Big Bang Theory on Netflix in Australia when, to my horror, the next and final season wasn’t available. But how would I discover what happened with the super-asymmetry epiphany? After a bit of online snooping, I discovered that season 12 was available — in Netflix UK.

Luckily I knew the best VPN for Netflix with UK servers, and — after tricking Netflix into thinking I was in London — soon I was watching the final season, where (spoiler alert) Penny, Leonard, Sheldon and the gang live happily ever after.

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The worst screen to pop up when you just want to get your 'flix on.

However, not just any VPN can bypass the Netflix VPN ban. Using a quality VPN service, though, like ExpressVPN, can easily unlock Netflix and allow you to enjoy your favorite shows without compromising the streaming experience too much.

The benefits of using a quality VPN for streaming is not just limited to Netflix, either; the same applies to other major streaming sites such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime and more.

Getting a VPN purely for streaming is definitely a game changer. It’s an easy and effective way to watch the latest releases (or old reruns) without having to torrent dodgy files or stream on ad-riddled websites that can do more harm than good. That’s why I put together a list of seven quality VPNs that can get you past geo-restrictions and the VPN ban.

 

When Netflix detects you’re using a VPN, the error code m7111-5059 usually pops up, followed by the message “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy.” If this happens, try switching to a different server, or even to a nearby location, and see if that helps.
Yes. It’s legal to watch Netflix shows using a VPN.
Using a good VPN for watching Netflix opens up a lot more streaming options, including US Netflix, all without having to download content from dodgy websites or use a free proxy that may or may not work. Plus, most premium providers have essential features like split tunneling, a kill switch and security functions.

 

What Is the Best Netflix VPN?

  1. ExpressVPN — Very fast, easy to use and super secure — but expensive
  2. NordVPN — Plenty of servers for streaming, highly secure, affordable
  3. Surfshark — Unlimited simultaneous connections, very affordable
  4. Windscribe — Generous free plan, cheap build-a-plan option
  5. CyberGhost — Large network of servers, free trial
  6. PIA — Affordable, secure, lots of servers
  7. Hotspot — Decent speeds, user-friendly

How to Choose the Best Netflix VPN

To be honest, I mainly use a VPN for streaming Netflix in other countries, and sometimes I like to throw Amazon Prime or Hulu into the mix as well. Luckily, the top provider on this list, ExpressVPN, can access all the major streaming sites like the BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max and more.

However, I’m not a big fan of shelling out the big bucks for a VPN service. While some are more expensive than others, plenty of VPN providers offer a discount on long-term subscriptions, as well as money-back guarantees so you can see if it’s something you want to invest in.

It’s also nice to enjoy my ‘flix on many different devices, from my laptop at home, to my phone or tablet when I’m on the go. Luckily, most premium VPNs support multiple simultaneous connections or even an unlimited number of devices.

Let’s not forget security and privacy, either. I want to know that what I’m watching or browsing remains private, so a clear no-logs policy is a must, too.

With that out of the way, let’s pop our popcorn and get ready to check out the best VPNs for Netflix.

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Watch out, sofa. We are ready for a weekend of binging.

1. ExpressVPN

The best Netflix VPN that is worth the steep price

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ExpressVPN offers super-fast speeds to stream content in HD or even 4K quality.

  • Price: $8.32 per month, billed at $99.95 every year
  • Unblocks Netflix: Yes
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Also unlocks: BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video
  • Maximum devices supported: 5
  • Website:www.expressvpn.com

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Great support
  • High security level

CONS

  • Expensive

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs I’ve tried so far, which is great news for streaming Netflix content in exceptional HD or even 4K quality. It doesn’t disappoint in its ability to bypass geoblocks, either — it got into Netflix U.S. and other major platforms, such as BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime.

The split tunneling feature is particularly impressive. This effectively allows you to choose which apps you want to access using a VPN and which ones to leave unblocked. So when I’m busy streaming on Netflix with a VPN and want to access my online banking, I can do that without interrupting an epic scene.

ExpressVPN comes with a kill switch function, which cuts off your internet if it detects a break in the VPN connection. This is pretty useful for masking your IP address and keeping your identity private. ExpressVPN is very secure — it includes a solid privacy policy, and a clear no-logs policy as well. However, all this greatness comes at a cost — literally. It’s not easy on the wallet, but it’s well worth the money.

Luckily it does offer a tried-and-true 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can give it a whirl before committing your hard-earned cash.

1-month plan: $12.95 per month
6-month plan: $9.99 per month, billed at $59.95 every six months
1-year plan: $8.32 per month, billed at $99.95 every year

2. NordVPN

A quality VPN, with servers in 59 countries

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NordVPN comes with dedicated streaming servers to access Netflix.

  • Price: $3.71 per month, billed at $89.00 every two years
  • Unblocks Netflix: Yes
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Also unlocks: BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video
  • Maximum devices supported: 6
  • Website: www.nordvpn.com

PROS

  • Easy to operate
  • Additional safety functions
  • Cheap long-term subscriptions
  • Fast support via live chat
  • Doesn't keep logs

CONS

  • Can't test without payment data

NordVPN comes in for a close second place on this list due to its ability to access multiple Netflix global libraries. The streaming quality is also pretty great, without too much lagging. This is especially true after enabling the Nordlynx protocol in the settings, which significantly improves streaming speeds.

NordVPN’s interface is also straightforward. All you need to do is pick a country from the list or the map, or use the “quick connection” feature if you simply want to use the VPN for security reasons. There are many servers to choose from: around 5,700. This means if you come across a slow server, it’s easy to find another one that’s faster.

Regarding security, NordVPN uses AES-256 encryption, which safeguards all your data. Plus, if you plan on torrenting, then you’ll like NordVPN. It comes with custom P2P servers that allow you to torrent with incredible speeds and safety.

NordVPN allows up to six simultaneous connections, meaning you can stream across various devices with ease. There are no data caps to worry about either, so you can binge-watch as many seasons as you want. It offers support for Android, iOS, Microsoft and Apple operating systems, too.

Lastly, NordVPN gives you bang for your buck, with the two-year plan costing only $3.71 per month. However, if you’re nervous about committing to two years, don’t worry, it also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, just in case you change your mind.

1-month plan: $11.95 per month
1-year plan: $4.92 per month, billed at $59.00 per year
2-year plan: $3.71 per month, billed at $89.00 every two years

3. Surfshark

Affordable VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections

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Surfshark can access all of the major streaming platforms.

  • Price: $2.49 per month, billed at $59.76 every two years
  • Unblocks Netflix: Yes
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Also unlocks: BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video
  • Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
  • Website: www.surfshark.com

PROS

  • Very good price-performance ratio
  • High security level
  • Netflix-compatible
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Great support with live chat

CONS

  • No information on individual servers
  • Can have issues establishing a connection

Surfshark is pretty great at unlocking various Netflix libraries around the world, but you may need to fiddle with the servers sometimes. And while its speeds aren’t the fastest, like NordVPN, I still found it to be a great VPN for streaming.

Surfshark also comes with 3,200 servers in 65 countries, which is quite a lot for a relatively new VPN — founded in 2018. More servers mean more opportunities to access more geo-restricted streaming content.

You don’t need to worry about how much you stream — Surfshark comes with no data caps, so stream away! What I really like about Surfshark is that it supports unlimited device connections, so you can share your subscription with your family or housemates at no extra cost to you. Plus, Surfshark is pretty secure, with a clear no-logs policy.

Lastly, if you still aren’t sold on the idea of having a VPN, even one as cheap as Surfshark — it’s the price of a cup of coffee! — Surfshark comes with a seven-day free trial across all mobile devices. Plus, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee if you pick one of its long-term plans.

1-month plan: $19.95 per month
6-month plan: $6.49 per month, billed at $38.94 every six months
2-year plan: $2.49 per month, billed at $59.76 every two years

4. Windscribe

Best free VPN, cheap build-a-plan includes Windflix servers

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Windscribe comes with a build-a-plan option that costs $1 per server.

  • Price: $1 per server each month; or $4.08 per month, billed at $49.00 every year
  • Unblocks Netflix: Yes
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Also unlocks: BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video
  • Maximum devices supported: unlimited
  • Website: www.windscribe.com

PROS

  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • File sharing services allowed
  • Anonymous payment via BitPay
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Browser extensions
  • Free account with up to 10 Gigabyte per month

CONS

  • Slow speeds

Windscribe is probably the top free VPN I have tested so far. It’s a great alternative if you don’t want to shell out for a premium VPN, and its 10GB of free data is enough for light browsing and extra privacy. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for streaming, as Windscribe’s limited servers on the free plan don’t cut it for accessing all of the Netflix libraries.

If you decide to get the Pro version, you’ll have access to Windscribe’s Windflix servers. These are designed for streaming and will unblock Netflix — and other streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer and Hulu — in no time. You’ll have access to unlimited bandwidth and you can spread that across as many devices as you want.

Windscribe also offers a unique “build a plan” option, where you can add a server (including a Windflix server) to the free plan for just $1 each. This is handy when you simply want to watch Netflix from one specific country and don’t need the whole package.

The only two things holding Windscribe back are inconsistent speeds and a lack of split tunneling. However, it does have a kill switch, which is an important plus for any VPN provider.

1-month plan: $9.00 per month
1-year plan: $4.08 per month
Build-a-plan: $1 per server

5. CyberGhost

Affordable VPN with dedicated servers for streaming

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CyberGhost comes with dedicated streaming servers to unblock Netflix and other popular streaming sites.

  • Price: $2.25 per month, billed at $87.75 every three years, plus three months free on top
  • Unblocks Netflix: Yes
  • Money-back guarantee: 45 days (14 days for the monthly plan)
  • Also unlocks: BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video
  • Maximum devices supported: 7
  • Website: www.cyberghost.com

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Thousands of servers including streaming servers
  • Strong encryption
  • Doesn't keep logs
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Cheap only with long-term subscriptions

CyberGhost is one of the few VPNs out there that comes with dedicated streaming servers. This means that you can stream Netflix U.S. in excellent HD quality without compromising your speed. While it’s true that CyberGhost isn’t as fast as ExpressVPN or NordVPN for regular use, its dedicated servers really improve its performance when streaming.

CyberGhost’s strict no-logs policy means that it has a very clear stance on privacy, and it won’t stick its nose in your online business.

The three-year plan makes CyberGhost one of the cheapest VPN solutions, though its one-year plan is also very affordable if you’re the noncommittal type. You can also try out all of CyberGhost’s features using its one-day trial.

With CyberGhost, you have access to over 6,000 servers worldwide. This gives you the power to stream shows from home while you’re traveling, or shows from abroad at home. Lastly, its customer support is very responsive, and I found a lot of useful info in its knowledgebase.

1-month plan: $12.99 per month
1-year plan: $3.99 per month, billed at $47.88 every year
2-year plan: $3.49 per month, billed at $83.76 every two years
3-year plan: $2.25 per month, billed at $87.75 every three years, plus three months free on top

6. PIA

Highly customizable, but only unblocks Netflix

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PIA works very well with Netflix, but isn’t good at unblocking BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime.

  • Price: $2.69 per month, billed at $69.95 every two years, plus two months free on top
  • Unblocks Netflix: Yes
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Also unlocks: n/a
  • Maximum devices supported: 10
  • Website: www.privateinternetaccess.com

PROS

  • Easy to operate
  • Very fast data transmission
  • Value for money
  • Suitable for Netflix
  • Flexible security settings

CONS

  • Inconsistent speeds
  • Struggles with Hulu & Amazon
  • No obfuscated OpenVPN protocol

If you’re looking for an affordable VPN that works with Netflix, then it’s definitely worth checking PIA out. Unfortunately, other streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer aren’t accessible at the moment. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they become available in the future.

PIA’s speeds are pretty good, especially if you choose the location nearest to you. You might see a more significant drop in speed over long distances, but PIA is still decent for streaming. You have an impressive 3,400 servers to choose from in over 44 countries.

With PIA, you also have the kill switch function, and it’s pretty secure with its strong AES-256 encryption and OpenVPN protocol. Plus, you can safeguard all your devices with PIA’s generous support for up to 10 simultaneous connections. The VPN also has live chat support for any queries you may have, which is always a big plus.

1-month plan: $9.95 per month
1-year plan: $3.33 per month, billed at $39.95 every year
2-year plan: $2.69 per month, billed at $69.95 every two years

7. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield offers a seven-day free trial

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You can try out Hotspot Shield using its handy seven-day free trial.

  • Price: $7.99 per month, billed at $95.88 yearly
  • Unblocks Netflix: Yes
  • Money-back guarantee: 45 days
  • Also unlocks: BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video
  • Maximum devices supported: 5
  • Website: www.hotspotshield.com

PROS

  • Nice design + great layout
  • Easy to use
  • Practical mobile app

CONS

  • Only 35 different server locations
  • Hardly any functions & only a few supported devices
  • Can't be used on routers
  • Keeps logs
  • Limited time for live chat in support
  • Direct connection to U.S. authorities
  • Possibly the "wolf in sheep's clothing": Data transfer to U.S. authorities not excluded
  • No payment by Bitcoin or other crypto currencies

earns brownie points for being able to unblock other streaming services in addition to Netflix, and offers pretty fast streaming speeds thanks to its Catapult Hydra protocol, which maximizes speed and security.

Similar to Windscribe, Hotspot Shield also has a free version. However, its 500MB daily allowance and a speed limit of 2 Mbps means that you won’t be able to stream a single episode — let alone a movie. However, it’s pretty useful if you just want to check it out before committing to the Pro plan — though there’s also a generous 45-day money-back guarantee and seven-day trial.

One thing I wasn’t a fan of was Hotspot Shield’s privacy policy. It clearly states that it collects a ton of information about you, like the type of bandwidth used, location information and more. That goes against everything a VPN was designed to do, and it’s one of the reasons why it’s the last VPN on this list. Regardless, it’s still pretty secure in other aspects, such as the encryption and protocol used.

Plus (monthly): $9.99 per month
Premium (monthly): $12.99 per month
Family (monthly): $19.99 per month
Plus (annually): $6.99 per month, billed at $83.88 every year
Premium (annually): $7.99 per month, billed at $95.88 every year
Family (annually): $11.99 per month, billed at $143.88 every year

Why Netflix Has Regional Restrictions

A fun fact about Netflix — and any other streaming service — is that the content that’s actually on Netflix must be licensed by country. So while your friends in the U.S. can binge-watch Brooklyn 99, it’s not available to UK viewers. It’s pretty annoying, and without using a proxy or VPN, it’s near impossible to break through these geoblocks.

However, not just any VPN will get past these geoblocks. If you’re on the cheap side and like free VPNs, chances are you’ve already met the error code m7111-5059, which basically means that Netflix has detected that you’re using an IP address that’s linked to a VPN.

Netflix is getting pretty savvy about this, and often it is finding providers that were initially able to bypass the Netflix VPN ban. Therefore, what works today may not work tomorrow. However, the VPNs on this list have proven their ability to faithfully access Netflix. If you do run into any issues, just try switching to a different server.

Why Do Some VPNs Work When Others Don’t?

There’s no denying that Netflix’s VPN ban is pretty tough, and not all VPNs can get through it. Netflix is trying hard to fight back against VPN users and has created a sophisticated VPN detection system to prevent users from accessing the restricted content. However, top providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN are a step ahead and are continuously updating their IP addresses to sneak past the ban.

However, we can only hope that our favorite VPN providers won’t fall victim to this cat-and-mouse game. Currently, only a handful of providers can access georestricted content; in some cases, like with PIA, that content is pretty limited.

Free VPNs vs Paid VPNs

Using a free VPN will always be a risky business. Unless it’s a reputable one like Windscribe, a free VPN can open you up to malware, slow speeds and much more. Plus, most of them don’t even work with Netflix or other streaming services. This especially applies to Hola VPN, which is notorious for collecting their users’ info.

Usually, a free or unreputable VPN also comes with an unclear logs policy, and you’re at risk of having your data exposed. This actually happened a few months back, when three VPN services (SuperVPN, GeckoVPN and ChatVPN) were hacked, and major data — such as phone numbers, email addresses and more — were leaked.

A premium service is on a whole other security level, and they’ll always be evolving and improving their software so you can access all the streaming channels you want without having to fiddle around with it too much.

Quick Guide: How to Unblock Netflix With a VPN

The number one thing to keep in mind is that it’s nearly impossible to change your Netflix location unless you’re using a VPN. Although you could use a proxy instead, they usually aren’t very safe. With that being said, here I have provided a mini-guide on how to unblock Netflix using a VPN. I’ll use my top pick, ExpressVPN, for this example.

1. Download the VPN service

First things first: download and sign up for the VPN service on your device. Usually, you’ll need your email address and password for this step.

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 2 . Turn on the VPN

After you have the VPN set up on your device, open it up and look at the server locations.

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 3. Connect to a server location and watch Netflix

Select a server you want to connect to. For example, if you want to access some U.S. content, simply select the “United States” option and click the “onbutton and make sure you’re protected. That’s it, and you’re done! Now all you have to do is pop back into Netflix and enjoy your show. If it didn’t work the first time for some reason, try connecting to a different server.

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What Do I Do If Netflix Blocks My VPN?

If you’re using a premium VPN service, like the ones from our list, and you meet the Netflix proxy error code, don’t worry — I got you. This doesn’t mean that the VPN has failed you and you’ll never be able to access American Netflix — it’s just a matter of switching to a different server.

If this happens, simply exit Netflix and disconnect from the server you’re currently connected to. After that, connect to a different one and try reaccessing Netflix. You could also try connecting to another country that’s close by. For example, if you’re streaming your favorite anime using a Japanese server, try switching to South Korea.

Conclusion

Now that I have my premium VPN installed, I can safely stream The Big Bang Theory all cozied up on the sofa with my cat, knowing that I won’t experience any buffering or lagging.

Overall, I have to suggest ExpressVPN as the best Netflix VPN. I find almost all of its servers are great for accessing all of the Netflix libraries, without the annoying buffering. It’s a little pricey, but it’s great value for money. However, all the other options on this list are quality VPNs that will serve you well.

To sum up, a good VPN is the best thing for watching great shows with zero limits. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either, and it beats streaming content on those dodgy free websites that are riddled with ads — and possibly malware. So, try one out for yourself using a VPN with a solid refund policy and see the difference.

 

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