The 2018 Best Fast VPN Service for Netflix
Web • Updated on May 20, 2018
Without a doubt, Netflix is the superstar of the video streaming industry. Its enormous library of movies and TV shows beats all other services hands down. This can be incredibly frustrating if you’re living somewhere with a disappointing Netflix catalog, or visiting a country where your favorite programs aren’t available.
Luckily, you may have tried to employ a VPN service to get around. In this post, we’re going to look at what a VPN is, Netflix VPN ban, and what the best VPN pick for Netflix is. Let’s get started.
Too lazy to read everything? Here’s the TL;DR version
This article has a lot of information, and you probably just want to install a VPN so you can try to watch your favorite Netflix movie on the other side of the world that’s unfairly been geographically restricted, here are our top choices and why we picked them:
- ExpressVPN is our top pick. This is the most trustworthy VPN provider we found, with blazing fast speeds, secure connections, easy-to-use applications on every major platform, that can handle torrenting or bypassing geographic restrictions, and just a generally pleasant experience.
- IPVanish is a solid choice if you’re looking for a quick VPN connection to use at the coffee shop – they have a limited free trial tier and cheap prices. But IPVanish is really easy to use, and supports for torrenting or streaming media.
All of them have free trials, so you can easily get your money back if you change your mind.
What is VPN and how it works?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Today, VPNs (and other privacy-focused services) are growing in popularity due to privacy and security concerns. It allows you to protect your privacy, secure information, and bypass censorship. It’s like your private lounge where you can browse the web without any foreign interference.
Normally, all your internet traffic travels through different servers spread across the world. This internet traffic can be spied upon. A VPN creates a private network that acts as a point to point network between your computer and your VPN server.
When you request a website from your computer using a VPN, your VPN client encrypts your request and then sends it to the VPN server. The VPN server then requests the information from the destination website and encrypts it before sending it back to your computer.
This allows you to keep your internet connection secure and away from the prying eyes of hackers, your internet service provider. VPNs encrypt 100% of your computer traffic and routes it through the VPN servers located all across the world. This way you can bypass country specific content restrictions on websites like Netflix, YouTube, BBC, etc.
Is VPN legal?
That depends. If the user sets up his own Virtual Private Network or signs up for a VPN service, that is not illegal. These days all the law firms, government agencies, and other organizations use their own VPN networks. It allows them to keep all the confidential data away from hackers and other third-party threats.
In countries like Canada, U.S, U.K and Australia VPN are legal in every way. There are however some countries with censorship laws. In such countries, if the government asks the VPN providers to release information, they are obliged to.
When getting a VPN the user should be aware of which VPN providers keep logs of your online activity. However, if a person is using VPN to do illegal activities online then that would certainly get him in trouble.
Illegal activities include spreading Child Pornography, spreading viruses, committing theft, harming someone etc. Many people use VPN to do illegal activities which makes people wonder if VPN is illegal. But VPN is legal if it is used to do legal activities.
With VPN services you can sign up and connect, and now you can access the Netflix catalogs of dozens of countries around the globe! Sounds great, but…
Netflix VPN ban
In January 2016, Netflix announced a crackdown on VPNs, or virtual private networks. This meant that accessing content which shouldn’t be available in your region is something Netflix doesn’t want you to do. You will see the Netflix proxy error message, that shows you that your chosen Netflix VPN ban workaround didn’t work.
Indeed, it is expressly forbidden in Netflix’s terms and conditions of usage, and there’s a constant battle between the streaming service and VPNs which are circumventing its restrictions. Naturally, you travel down the avenue of VPN content unblocking entirely at your own risk…
Why Netflix VPN crackdown will ultimately fail
Netflix is set to crack down on VPNs to satisfy the rights-holders from whom it sources its content. But right now, there’s no way to be certain about how effective Netflix’ blocking system will be.
Tech lore is full of examples of this. Perhaps the most striking example can be found in the DRM wars of the early 2000s. Back then, the nascent digital media sector was being hamstrung by onerous DRM (Digital Rights Management), which ultimately crippled the user experience. Music downloads from iTunes, Napster, and Rhapsody couldn’t be played anywhere else.While the ensuing backlash resulted in the virtual obsolescence of DRM. Songs are now shipped in DRM-free MP3 and M4A format.
DRM failed, like VPN blocking will fail.
Besides, the VPN industry knows this and so each provider is constantly revamping its service to get around the Netflix VPN ban.
VPN providers have servers in many different countries. The selection of a VPN server in the country that you want to watch the Netflix for is enough to get around the redirection problem. Beating the checks that the Netflix content server makes is much harder.
And VPN companies buy a large number of IP addresses. They have to keep changing their IP addresses when they access the Netflix server. This is because the Netflix content delivery system keeps a record of the IP addresses it detects as being from a VPN service.
All the VPN services in the world are working hard to combat the fact that Netflix bans VPN users. Thus, some VPNs can get you past the block.
So, which VPN services work well with Netflix?
The VPN crackdown is most prevalent on free VPNs and smartDNS services. If you hoped to get access to Netflix from another country without paying for a VPN, you’re out of luck.
Netflix is extremely vigilant about blocking VPNs, so you’ll need to bite the bullet and get a paid VPN to fight the company’s constant blocks.A free VPN service might not stand the test of time, but a big-brand paid VPN should last and keep working well.
When it comes to picking a solid VPN service, here is the criteria we considered:
- Speed and server coverage: No matter what you’re doing with a VPN, speed is certainly top major factor to consider. Especially for torrenting or streaming high-quality videos, via Netflix, you need a VPN that supports fast connections.
- Number of servers: It is important to go for a VPN with the most servers if you want more bandwidth. A VPN helps create a tunnel between the user and the client’s server. It is important that the VPN has many servers to handle the traffic. NordVPN has over 1,000 servers. ExpressVPN has over 1,500 servers, making it one of the fastest VPNs in the market. If you wish to get faster speeds then look for more servers.
- Location of the servers: If your VPN service has several locations to choose from then you would have no lags. If the VPN has locations nearby then you would get high speeds and performance. If you wish to stream media on Netflix, Hulu etc you would get several locations to choose from.
- Privacy and security: You need to make sure that your VPN service provider is offering the best layer of security to protect your privacy. This means not keeping logs and using layers of encryption for all data transfers.
- Support for mobile devices: If you’re going to spend money on a VPN service provider, you should be able to get a consistent experience across all of your devices.Make sure you don’t have to use two different VPNs with two different policies and agreements just because you want to secure your phone along with your laptop.
- Anti-Malware/anti-spyware features: Using a VPN doesn’t mean you’re invulnerable. You should still make sure you’re using HTTPS whenever possible, and you should still be careful about you’re not downloading viruses or trojans.
- Ease of use: You will need easy to use apps for all your devices, so you can quickly connect to your VPN, switch servers, change IPs without any technical skills.
How we tested and picked
We tested DNS leaks, IP address leaks, WebRTC leaks. All the VPNs that made it to our list of best VPNs have excellent speeds, great security, affordable pricing plans.
Here are some of the top fast VPNs for Netflix that we think are worth spending money on.
Among the best speediest VPN services out there is ExpressVPN, as its name suggests.
ExpressVPN should be a familiar name to us. It’s not the cheapest option available starting at $8.32 per month, but this is the most trustworthy VPN provider we found, and it does offer 24/7 live chat customer support and a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as high speeds and high performance, which is why we’ve deemed it our favourite VPN service we have used. For now, let’s dive into the app.
Setup and interface
After setting up an ExpressVPN account, getting the service up and running on your desktop is a breeze. Regardless of OS, the app looks and functions similarly. Here’s a look at the Windows version, turned off and on:
At the application’s bottom, ExpressVPN has picked out a recommended location: USA – New York. Since you might be concerned with speeds, ExpressVPN makes this easy via their built-in speed test facility(like below), this takes around four minutes to complete because it contacts servers in all the listed countries.
Latency is the speed at which a data packet travels from a device to the VPN server — the lower this number is, the better.
Download speed gets measured in kilobits per second. In this case, a higher number is preferable. Typically, for HD-quality video (720p), you’ll want at least 5,000Kbps, and for 4K video, 25,000Kbps.
Speed Index is a combined score that takes both latency and download speed into account. Higher numbers are good once again.
Features and services
The top point to note is that ExpressVPN is one of those companies that’s going to battle with Netflix. It allows you to virtually reside in the country of your choice to access additional TV shows and movies.
In our tests, you could access U.S. Netflix using ExpressVPN. There was nothing to complain about when it comes to how quickly the stream started, or even skipping ahead or back on 1080p video.
The company says you can use any U.S. server to connect, and it also asks customers to contact them if they have trouble using Netflix with any of ExpressVPN’s servers.
Also, even if Netflix company does end up blocking all VPN tunneling efforts, ExpressVPN offers users a Smart DNS proxy which should function as an excellent workaround.
As with other VPNs, ExpressVPN supports routers, and it also has a special service called MediaStreamer that allows you to watch American version of Netflix on an Apple TV, consoles, and other set-top boxes. That’s a really great service for those who live outside of the U.S.—especially expats who want to watch the same stuff their friends are watching back home.
Performance and privacy
There’s the fact that ExpressVPN had really good speeds in the U.S. and UK, hitting 40Mbps on our test connection. We streamed 1080p video without waiting for video to buffer and could seamlessly play fast-paced online games without any noticeable extra lag.
And the ExpressVPN servers we tested (there are 1,500 total!) available in 94 countries, ranging from Monaco to Mongolia, all seem rock steady and throughput was good, and we found the west coast servers to perform the best for Netflix.
Of course, VPN services are about much more than just speed. They’re also about protecting user privacy, and in that regard, ExpressVPN again earns top marks thanks to OpenVPN encryption and excellent supplemental security features.
OpenVPN is considered the top protocol to use today, thanks to a potent combination of security and speed, and many security experts claim it’s as safe as OpenVPN and most consider it more secure on Windows.
Not only does it integrate with the best encryption protocols available – ExpressVPN also uses 256-bit AES – and you can forward activity through any port you want.
ExpressVPN also has a kill switch facility, called Network Lock, which focuses on traffic rather than applications. If the VPN tunnel collapses, all traffic stops, rather than applications being killed. You can also tune this feature to still allow local traffic while dropping all remote traffic, to prevent other devices such as printers from losing connectivity when the killswitch is activated.
ExpressVPN works well with Netflix to allow you to virtually reside in the country of your choice to access additional TV shows and movies.There was nothing to complain about when it comes to how quickly the stream started, or even skipping ahead or back on 1080p video.
Also, even if Netflix company does end up blocking all VPN tunneling efforts, ExpressVPN offers users a Smart DNS proxy which should function as an excellent workaround.
Availability and price
ExpressVPN clients are available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, iPad and even Linux.That’s right, you can even watch Netflix natively on Linux easily with the ExpressVPN app. It also has a remarkably easy setup for routers, so you can tunnel all your data through the VPN.
ExpressVPN offers just the one plan, so all customers enjoy all the benefits offered by this service. The basic monthly price is $12.95 per month, while a yearly subscription cuts it down to $8.32 per month.
If you’re outside the US and still want to enjoy your favorite shows and movies and unblock Netflix, do yourself a favor and get ExpressVPN.
- Support for all VPN protocols
- Encrypted Traffic
- Gives Offshore Privacy
- Unblocks Websites
- Zero-Knowledge DNS
- Connects to Only 3 devices
- A bit expensive compared to the rest
It’s not cheap but you get what you pay for: bulletproof encryption, high speeds, reliable access to the most popular sites and responsive customer support and every subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk free.
Other notable VPN software or apps
There were a lot of other high-quality VPN software and app options we looked at when writing this review. None of them quite measured up to our top pick in terms of functionality and features, however, if none of the above appeal for whatever reason, these are solid backups.
IPVanish took the second spot on our list of best VPNs. It is a US-based VPN provider. The user can choose from over 1000+ servers in over 60 countries. It has unlimited p2p traffic. IPN vanish supports five simultaneous connections.
It uses strong encryption method. It comes with several features. If privacy is your main concern then IPVanish states they have a strong no log policy.
IPVanish is really easy to use, is great for using at the coffee shop. The plans start from $7.50 per month. It is a bit costly compared to some other VPNs in the market but considering the features it is worth the price value.
The only downside is that it does not have a 30- day money-back guarantee like several other VPN providers in the market. It does, however, offer a 7-day full trial.
- Anonymous Torrenting
- Access to censored websites and apps
- 5 Multi Logins
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Based in the US
- No free option
NordVPN is a VPN provider based in Central America. It offers over 3,700+ servers in over 61 countries around the world. It supports almost all the major platforms like Windows, MAC, Linux, IOS, and Android. It even has browser extensions that are fully encrypted.
It has a strict no log policy. It uses strong encryption methods which keep your online activity private and safe. It comes with DNS leak protection. It can support up to 6 simultaneous connections, more than other VPNs in the market.
It has other features like choosing option IP address, a kill switch, and a smart play feature which allows the user to access a wide range of blocked streaming services around the globe.
NordVPN has several affordable plans to choose from. The monthly plan starts from $3.29 per month. Which is cheaper than many VPNs in the market. NordVPN supports several payment methods like Paypal, Credit Cards, Bitcoins etc.
- Provides streaming services
- Supports multiple devices
- Encrypted internet traffic two times
- No logs policy
- DNS leak protection
- NordVPN can be comparatively slow
- Cannot prevent ad trackers
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong. It offers over 750 servers. You can choose from over 140 countries. It has a strict no log policy, and your connection remains entirely anonymous.
PureVPN is available on different platforms like Mac, Windows, IOS, and Android. You can use five simultaneous connections on PureVPN. After conducting several tests, PureVPN had no DNS and IP leaks. The speeds were above average too.
It uses a strong encryption method and comes with a kill switch. It does not have a free version but Pure VPN is quite affordable, starting from $4.95 per month. You can pay through PayPal, AliPay, Credit Card and several other payment methods.
- Allows Split Tunneling
- 24/7 Customer Service
- Wide range of servers
- 5 simultaneous connections
- Average Speed
- No Forward Secrecy
VyprVPN is a VPN based in Switzerland. The privacy policies in Switzerland are favorable. VyprVPN has over 700+ servers in over 73 locations. It offers unlimited bandwidth. VyprVPN has excellent security and performance.
VyprVPN is very speedy and performs well overall. It comes with excellent features, and support for all the major platforms like Windows, MAC, IOS, and Android. If you wish to access Netflix or use it for torrenting then VyprVPN works perfectly well.
It supports several protocol methods. Their 24/7 available customer service is friendly, and would help you out with any queries you have.
The only downside is that it does not have a 30-day money back guarantee. It does have a 3-day trial. The monthly plan starts from $9.95. It is a quite costly compared to some of the other VPN services.
- 700+ servers, 200,000+ global IPs
- Access to Streaming Services like Netflix
- Zero-Knowledge DNS
- Numerous Protocols
- 256-bit encryption
- Not good for gaming
- Lacks Ad-blocking
Free VPN Options
Many people use VPN to do normal online activity where security, speed, privacy and performance isn’t really their main concern.
But you do not have to worry as there are some VPNs that give you all that as well. Even though it might not be as good as the paid ones but here is a list of the best Free VPNs:
In the world of internet, nothing is free. Free VPNs earn by selling user’s data to authorities, companies or advertising agencies. Not only this! They also earn by showing ads, annoying popups to their users.
After carefully evaluating all these VPN services, we believe that ExpressVPN is the best VPN service currently available. They offer the best security, easy to use apps, huge network, and blazing fast speeds.
IPVanish is the second best option in the list. They offer similar set of features as other VPN service providers with strong encryption method.
We hope this article helped you find the best fast VPN Service as a Netflix user.