How to Pick the Right Netflix VPN

Let’s be serious for a moment – Netflix is an amazing streaming platform, but the geo-blocking is really holding it back. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could really get your money’s worth by watching every title you want no matter what country you’re in?

The good news is you can do just that with a VPN. The bad news is that picking a good Netflix VPN isn’t as simple as just hitting a download button.

If you want to unlock any Netflix title now, right on the spot, you came to the right place. In this quick five-minute guide, we’ll show you what to look for when browsing VPNs to make sure you get an enjoyable streaming experience.

So, let’s get started!

1. The Server Network

Many people say you don’t need a large server network to watch Netflix with a VPN – just servers in countries where the content you want to unblock is available. For many people, that means that a small network of just 20-30 servers should be enough.

Or is it?

Here’s the problem with small networks – servers can often get overcrowded, resulting in slow speeds. 

Also, you never know when Netflix might stop offering a title in some countries. For example, let’s say you use a VPN with 20 servers to unblock a Netflix show that’s only available in Germany. Netflix suddenly drops that show in Germany, and makes it exclusive to Japan. But the VPN you’re using doesn’t have any Japanese servers, only servers in Europe and the US.

See the problem? You’ll be stuck not being able to watch that content until your provider gets a server in the new location where the title is available. And who knows how long that will take.

Usually, you should look for a server count that goes over 1,000. That way, you get smooth speeds and can always unblock content. 

2. The Speeds

When you want to binge Netflix, you don’t want to deal with annoyingly slow speeds that make watching a movie a chore instead of fun.

The provider should be able to give you an estimate of what speeds their servers have. Also, always go for unlimited bandwidth. Capped data is a nightmare. You always have to check to make sure you didn’t go over your monthly limit before watching the next episode. And nobody wants that!

We also believe that you should test the speeds during the first days of your subscription. As long as the provider offers a no-questions asked refund policy, you should get your money back if you’re not happy with the speeds.

What qualifies VPN speeds as being good for Netflix, though?

Here’s a breakdown from Netflix themselves:

  • 3 Mbps – SD quality;
  • 5 Mbps –  HD quality;
  • 25+ Mbps – Ultra HD quality.

So if you get smooth 25+ Mbps speeds with the VPN, that’s a good sign.

3. The Apps

Using a VPN with Netflix should be easy-peasy: download, install, and run the app, and use it to connect to a server. 

That’s all it should take!

If you need to deal with third-party clients or use tutorials to understand how the app works, that’s no good.

Similarly, you’ll want a VPN that has native apps for most platforms you can watch Netflix on – like Windows, macOS, smartphones, and smart TVs.

4. Parallel Connections

“Parallel connections” is a term that refers to how many devices you can use your VPN subscription on at the same time. If the provider offers five parallel connections, you can set up their service on up to five devices, and use it without having to log out of one device before logging into another.

It’s pretty obvious why a big number of simultaneous connections is helpful. You can switch from watching Netflix on your PC to passing the time with an episode of your favorite series on the toilet to binging the last of the show in bed on your laptop – all without having to log out and log back in!

As a general rule of thumb, five parallel connections are normally enough. But there are also providers that offer unlimited simultaneous connections (like IPVanish and Surfshark).

5. Split Tunneling (Optional)

This is a feature that lets you force the VPN app to only route traffic from specific sites or apps. So you could make it only encrypt and decrypt Netflix traffic (from the app and/or the browser you use to watch Netflix).

We marked this as optional because it isn’t really a must-have feature. But it can be very helpful if you want to optimize your VPN speeds. If the VPN only routes Netflix traffic and ignores everything else, there’s less data to encrypt and decrypt. So, you might get better speeds.

6. Being Able to Bypass the Netflix Proxy Error

If you’re not familiar with the Netflix proxy error, it looks like this:

You will often see it if you use a VPN that isn’t able to unblock Netflix round-the-clock. Basically, the site detects its IP addresses and blacklists them. So, all the provider’s users end up on that page.

To avoid that, VPNs need to regularly refresh their IP addresses. Unfortunately, VPN providers don’t really say how often they do that in their marketing copy. You could ask their support reps, but it’s unlikely they’ll be able to give you an exact answer.

It’s usually a good sign if the provider has Netflix-dedicated servers (like CyberGhost VPN does). They’re basically servers optimized for streaming which refresh their IPs more often to avoid detection. 

But instead of wasting time looking for those specific details, you should use StreamCatcher from ProPrivacy instead. It’s an online tool that can help you unlock any Netflix title now by telling you which VPNs you should use. The recommendations are based on ProPrivacy’s data. They’re a very reputable VPN review site, so you know their information is legit.

What Else Should You Look for in a Netflix VPN?

If you know other requirements a good Netflix VPN has to meet, please tell us about them in the comments below.

Also, if you know some red flags (like capped bandwidth) that point to a VPN not working well with Netflix, please let us know.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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