A VPN offers a host of benefits, but below we cover the three main ones that make streaming anything on Netflix easier.
Encrypt your data
First and foremost, a virtual private network (VPN) will help a user to remain secure while they’re online by providing a layer of privacy where all data is encrypted. In this way, you can avoid ISP throttling and other online snoopers from seeing your activity.
Another main benefit associated with using a VPN is that you’ll appear to be in a different country depending on the server selected. This connection can be used to bypass restrictions for a number of online services, whether it be news, entertainment, or even communication. (Think of social media platforms, which are often locked down following a military coup or periods of civil unrest.)
Unblock streaming content
Depending on the VPN selected, they will also work to unblock various versions of popular streaming services like Netflix. This means that you’ll gain unfettered access to the full vault of content the platform offers, no matter the regional restrictions in effect. The best VPNs for streaming will unblock a range of additional streaming platforms like Disney+, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
We chose Surfshark due to its ability to unblock Netflix in a range of locations, as well as its wide list of servers and capable connection speeds. (As with the majority of commercial providers, Surfshark will not limit your bandwidth or cause significant speed loss.)
On its website, Surfshark states it can unblock 30+ Netflix libraries in total, which is far more than most top VPN providers we’ve tested.
We’re operating under the assumption that you already have a Netflix account. If not, you can sign up with the service without using a VPN.
To begin, you’ll need to make an account with Surfshark. Make a note of your login credentials just in case.
Install the VPN application on your device(s) of choice. This can be anything from mobile to desktop, with different apps available for various operating systems. (Surfshark also has a browser version if you’d prefer.)
Open the VPN app, and log in using your credentials.
You should now be able to connect to any of the locations by choosing a country from the drop-down list on the left-hand side. Make sure the location matches the Netflix region you’d like to access. (So, US Netflix requires a US server, etc.)
Now it’s time to log in to your Netflix account while the VPN is running. You might have to refresh the browser if you’ve logged in to the service before.
That’s it! You should now have access to almost every international version of Netflix, as long as the VPN has corresponding servers.
Note: We would strongly recommend turning on the Kill Switch if you’re also interested in privacy. The toggle to do so can be found on the main app page, underneath the IP address. A kill switch works to disconnect a device from the internet if the VPN drops out unexpectedly. This means that your real IP will never be seen.
There could be minor lag or delay when using a VPN that varies depending on a variety of factors. Your base connection speeds will be one of them, along with the type of Netflix content you’re watching.
The streaming service recommends a minimum of 3 Mbps per second for standard definition content, going up to 25 Mbps for 4K/Ultra HD.
I decided to perform a quick internet speed test to see the maximum connection speeds of their recommended servers. My regular download speeds are roughly 300 Mbps, and I was able to record 216 Mbps while using Surfshark on a busy Saturday morning.
In other words, as long as your baseline internet connection is up to scratch, you should face no issues while streaming Netflix with Surfshark. However, there could be some lag if you’re operating within the <5 Mbps range.
We’d advise you to turn off any other devices if you’re using WiFi or use a wired connection if possible. (A VPN sends encrypted data to and from your device via a network of servers, so there will be some slowdown on occasion.)
While testing, I had no problem unblocking Netflix libraries in the US, the UK, and Canada after switching my server to the appropriate location.
We’ve listed a number of troubleshooting tips if you run into any issues while streaming Netflix with your VPN. Most will be easily solved by selecting a different server, especially if you’ve only tested out the recommended location so far.
The dreaded “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy” message is what you’ll be hoping to avoid, as seen below.
As the streaming giant explains: “TV shows and movies available on Netflix are different by region. VPNs and proxies block Netflix from knowing the region you’re in, so some titles aren’t available when you use these services.”
If you have slower speeds or a spotty internet connection, there’s also a chance that the VPN might cut out unexpectedly if it can’t reach their servers. We’d advise using a kill switch just in case, although we left Surfshark running for over 11 hours with no issues.
We’d recommend trying out the following troubleshooting tips:
Switching the server is one of the easiest ways to solve any issues if you’re unable to log in to a specific country or territory. To do so, disconnect from the VPN, and reconnect to your location of choice. (You can also try switching to a new city within the same territory.)
You might need to refresh the browser or your device if content isn’t updating correctly on the platform. If Netflix freezes or gets stuck loading, but the rest of your device is working, it usually means there’s information stored on your device that needs to be refreshed
Make sure that you’re using the latest version of the VPN app to avoid any bugs or critical errors that may have been patched
If all else fails, you can contact Surfshark to help you 24/7 over live chat or email
The majority of issues are unlikely to be faced by many users, although there’s always a chance that Netflix might block the IPs used by Surfshark unexpectedly. As such, no VPN can promise a 100% success rate.
Surfshark Netflix FAQs
Here are some of the most common FAQs associated with streaming Netflix with Surfshark VPN.
1. Why do different countries have different Netflix libraries?
The video streaming giant is currently available in over 190 countries with thousands of shows and movies on offer. However, every Netflix library differs by country.
Copyright and licensing issues are the main reasons why various territories have access to content libraries. For example, the United States and the United Kingdom have more original programming than many other regions, while Georgia has the least titles of any country in the world.
The United States has the most titles with 5,879 (4,035 movies and 1,844 TV series) and Canada has the biggest movie catalog with 4,043 films as of the time of writing this post. Granted, this used to be more of a problem when Netflix didn’t have a large selection of original shows that they own the rights to indefinitely.
2. Is the use of a VPN legal with Netflix?
It’s not illegal to use a VPN for Netflix, although it may go against their terms of service.
“You may access the Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such content. The content that may be available will vary by geographic location and will change from time to time. The number of devices on which you may simultaneously watch depends on your chosen subscription plan and is specified on the “Account” page.”
At worst, they may suspend your account, but I’ve not heard of it happening personally. Of course, Surfshark states that it “does not encourage using a VPN in any way that would potentially violate the Terms of Service of streaming service providers.” Neither would we, but what if you’re on holiday and just want to catch up on your local Netflix shows? A VPN is a viable legal method to do so.
3. Can I use a free VPN with Netflix?
A range of free VPN services will be able to bypass basic online restrictions, but they’re likely to struggle when it comes to Netflix. That’s because the service aggressively targets the IP addresses used by VPN services, blocking them in waves. The latest collection of bans came midway through 2021, as reported by Torrent Freak at the time:
“Netflix has stepped up its efforts to ban VPN and proxy users from bypassing geographical restrictions. The streaming service is now blocking residential IP addresses too since some unblocking tools use these to bypass restrictions. This isn’t without collateral damage as many regular Internet users without a VPN now report ‘missing content’ on Netflix.”
Free VPNs often lack the resources necessary to source new IP addresses that haven’t been banned by Netflix. In other words, it costs time, effort, and money to provide a VPN service that can be used to unblock the streaming service.
For example, I’m able to confirm that multiple versions of Netflix work with Surfshark, including the US and the UK. For consistent results, you’ll have to stick with a premium name. (Make sure to check out the VPNs refund policy too. Surfshark guarantees you the right to claim your money back within 30 days of purchasing your subscription.)
If you’re desperate to use a free provider, check out a freemium model such as the one used by Atlas VPN. It has slower speeds, limited servers to choose from, and up to 2 GB of free data per day. In other words, it’s an advert for the premium service, but a usable one nonetheless.
4. I can access Netflix but the show won’t load?
I’ve seen this happen from time to time while testing out various versions of Netflix for review purposes. Sometimes, you won’t be able to load into the website at all, often accompanied by a server error.
A soft block is found if you’re able to access an international version of Netflix, but the shows won’t load. (Alternatively, you might only be able to see shows from your region.) Once again, this means that Netflix has detected the use of a VPN. Switch to a different server or location, and reload the browser or Netflix app.
Streaming Netflix with Surfshark is remarkably easy, as they offer access to over 3,200 servers and 65 locations. That’s more than enough to get the job done with almost any streaming service, and it’s a quick, capable provider with a lot to offer.
Along with different versions of Netflix, you’ll also be able to access the following services from anywhere in the world:
It might be tempting to try out a free VPN, but they won’t be able to match up to a premium provider when it comes to connection speeds or unblocking popular streaming websites.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously.
The cookie is used by cdn services like CloudFlare to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis. It does not correspond to any user ID in the web application and does not store any personally identifiable information.
The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Advertisement".
This cookies is set by GDPR Cookie Consent WordPress Plugin. The cookie is used to remember the user consent for the cookies under the category "Analytics".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Non-necessary".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".