How to Watch American Netflix From Anywhere in 2020

Last Updated by Kate Hawkins on April 01, 2020

Warning! Netflix has been cracking down on VPNs so don’t waste time getting a VPN that doesn’t work. I’ve tested all the leading providers and ExpressVPN is my #1 VPN for accessing Netflix — it’s reliable, super fast, and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The reality is that not every VPN can access American Netflix. Despite what you might’ve read online, only the best VPNs can consistently get around Netflix’s VPN ban.

To save you time and effort, I tested more than 45 providers to find the 3 best VPNs for watching American Netflix. Best of all, all of my top VPNs have a money-back guarantee so you can start streaming your favorite Netflix program with zero risk.

Watch Netflix US with ExpressVPN!

Quick Guide: 3 Easy Steps to Watch Netflix US

  1. Download and launch a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN as it can reliably access Netflix US and extremely fast speeds for UltraHD streaming.
  2. Connect to a server in the US.
  3. Log in to Netflix and start streaming from the US library!

Coronavirus Stay-At-Home Update 2020: If you're on lockdown and want access to more online streaming platforms (e.g. US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ etc.), a reliable VPN can help you get around geo-blocks. CyberGhost is now offering reduced prices that are really worth considering — it would allow you to enjoy your lockdown time streaming your favorite shows at home with no stress.

Help! I’m Using a VPN but Still Can’t Watch US Netflix!

Netflix proxy error

Don’t panic! If you’ve followed the above steps but still get a proxy error from Netflix, try using the tips below to solve the error.

Connect to a different server located in the US

The server you are currently using may be blocked. Go to your VPN app, open up the list of server locations, select another server in the US, then refresh your page and try again.

the office us playing with expressvpn connected and instructions how to choose a us server
Watching The Office (U.S.) after switching to the “USA – Los Angeles – 3” ExpressVPN server

Contact customer support

Getting in touch with your VPN’s customer support technicians can help, as they’ll recommend different suitable servers for you to connect to.

Clear your cache

If you’re getting the proxy error still, it could be because Netflix is detecting your real location information from cached data. You can clear your browser cache by opening “Advanced Settings” and clearing your browsing data.

For mobile devices, you can clear your browser cache or individual app caches by opening “storage” and choosing which app cache (like Netflix) you want to delete.

The Best VPNs to Watch US Netflix from Anywhere

Not all VPNs were created equal — some just don’t have what it takes to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions, and others are too slow for streaming without buffering. My list of recommended VPNs used to be longer, but as Netflix’s security measures have improved, many VPNs no longer make the cut.

These top 3 VPNs all guarantee fast, secure streaming of US Netflix from anywhere in the world.

1. ExpressVPN — #1 VPN for Watching Netflix US with Super Fast Streaming Speeds

Key Features:

  • 3,000+ servers in 94 countries with 26 physical servers in the US
  • Unlimited data for endless Netflix streaming
  • Military-grade encryption
  • 24/7 customer service available
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN’s unlimited data and fast speeds make streaming Netflix US easy. You don’t have to worry about buffering or bandwidth restriction, just connect to a US server and enjoy the content. With 32 server locations in the US alone, ExpressVPN bypasses Netflix’s geo-restrictions with ease. You can even test it out yourself by using the 30-day money-back guarantee to see if it unblocks the content you want. If you connect with a server that doesn’t work, you should know that customer service is on hand 24/7 to recommend an alternative working server.

While the number of server locations may seem small, ExpressVPN’s servers are super reliable. No matter which server you connect to, you won’t have a problem watching Netflix. On top of that, the speeds of the servers I tested were amazing  — I could stream without buffering and had no problem watching in full HD.

One subscription allows up to 5 devices to connect at the same time, meaning your whole family can enjoy Netflix US. For devices like game consoles that aren’t VPN compatible, you can use the router app, which encrypts internet traffic on all connected devices. ExpressVPN utilizes AES-256-bit encryption and TrustedServer technology so you can stream knowing your personal data is always secure.

ExpressVPN unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO GO, Amazon Prime, Showtime, Sling TV, and more.

ExpressVPN works on: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Firefox, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Apple TV, Fire TV and Stick, Smart TVs, routers, Chrome, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, and Nook eReaders.

Watch Netflix US with ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN — High-Quality Netflix Streaming with SmartPlay Technology

Key Features:

  • 5,200+ servers in 59 countries with 1,590 servers in the US
  • Smooth streaming with SmartPlay technology
  • Advanced encryption and DNS leak protection
  • Live chat with customer support available 24/7
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

NordVPN’s SmartPlay Technology takes the hassle out of finding the right server for Netflix US. With one click, SmartPlay Technology connects you to a server which unblocks Netflix and provides the highest quality streaming. You have over 1900 NordVPN servers to choose from, so you will be able to find one which works with Netflix easily. If a server you connect to doesn’t work, switching is easy and customer support is always ready to recommend an alternative server too.

NordVPN supports up to 6 device connections at the same time, so your whole family can enjoy Netflix at the same time. NordVPN also offers a router app if your devices are not VPN-compatible.

NordVPN unblocks: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO GO, Amazon Prime, Showtime, and Sling TV.

NordVPN works on: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android TV, Chrome, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire Stick and TV, Linux, routers, and Firefox.

Watch Netflix US with NordVPN

Limited Offer April 2020: NordVPN is giving you a free gift for Easter! Subscribe to NordVPN's 3-year plan (with 70% off) and win an additional 1-month, 1-year, or 3-year plan completely free. This offer runs out on 15th April 2020, so grab it while you can!

3. CyberGhost — Watch Netflix US on Optimized Servers for Streaming

screenshot of The Irishman playing on Netflix with CyberGhost

Key Features:

  • 5,500+ servers in 90+ countries with 1,064 servers in the US
  • Optimized servers for streaming Netflix
  • AES-256-bit encryption
  • 24/7 live chat and customer support
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

CyberGhost’s optimized Netflix servers guarantee both bypassed geo-restrictions and buffer-free streaming. You don’t have to find the best server for watching US Netflix — the app does it for you automatically. With over 1000 servers in the US, the connection is quick and unlimited data means limitless streaming for you. 24/7 live customer support is on hand to get you streaming in minutes.

With the ability to access US Netflix on up to 7 devices at the same time, the whole family can watch their favorite content without buffering. You can try CyberGhost risk-free with their 45-day money-back guarantee, making sure it fits your streaming needs. With AES-256-bit encryption, you can rest assured that your Netflix viewing and all your other personal information is kept safe and secure.

Watch US Netflix with CyberGhost

Quick Guide: Watch Netflix US on Any Device With a VPN

Computer (PC or Mac)

  1. Using your PC or Mac, download your VPN, install, and launch it.
  2. Connect to a server in the US.
  3. Open the Netflix website and log in.

Smartphone (iOS or Android)

  1. Visit the Google Play or App Store, depending on your smartphone.
  2. Download and install your chosen VPN.
  3. Connect to a server in the US.
  4. Launch your browser and visit the Netflix website to start streaming.
Important Note: If you’re using the Netflix app, you might have difficulty streaming US Netflix even when using your VPN. This is because apps can sometimes override DNS settings, so Netflix can tell you’re using a VPN. If this happens to you, it’s best to use your browser to watch Netflix or connect to your VPN via your router.

Amazon Fire Stick

  1. Visit the Amazon Appstore and download your VPN app.
  2. Sign in to the app and connect to a US server.
  3. Access Netflix and start watching your favorite shows and movies.

Smart TVs

  1. Visit the app store for your Smart TV.
  2. Download your VPN app and sign in.
  3. Connect to a server in the US.
  4. Visit Netflix and start streaming.

Game Consoles

Game consoles, like XBox and Playstation, do not directly support VPN apps. To use a VPN with your game console, you’ll have to connect separately. You can do this by:

  • Sharing an internet connection with a connected computer
  • Connecting to the internet via a router with a VPN app

Different VPNs will have different processes for setting this up so you can either find set-up guides on their websites, or contact their customer support for instructions.

Watch Netflix US with ExpressVPN

FAQs on Watching Netflix with a VPN

🔍  Why do I need a VPN to watch US Netflix?

If you are outside the US, the only way to access the entire US Netflix library is by using a VPN.

Netflix has different shows and movies available for viewers depending on their location. The reason for these different content libraries is because of copyright and contractual agreements with local cable providers. The content disparity between countries is pretty significant, with only the US being able to access 100% of Netflix’s content. There are even some Netflix Originals which aren’t broadcast globally. You can see just how different content libraries are by comparing the country and the number of shows and movies they have:

Netflix Country  Number of Shows and Movies Available 
United States 5,817 Argentina 4,378
Canada 5,728 Mexico 4,372
United Kingdom 5,712 Brazil 4,272
India 5,591 Germany 4,052
Australia 5,357 France 3,967
Japan 4,981 Sweden 3,635
Russia 4,884 Italy 3,603
New Zealand 4,635 Spain 3,562

💰 Can I use a free VPN to watch Netflix?

Technically, you can use a free VPN to watch Netflix US — but the experience is very likely to be lousy.

From my extensive testing experience, free VPNs are often limited when it comes to data allowances and speed, resulting in endless buffering and slow streaming. If you manage to connect to a server in the US, it’s unlikely you’ll bypass Netflix’s geo-restriction technology. Two of my top free VPNs, TunnelBear and Hotspot Shield, weren’t able to access Netflix at all!

TunnelBear doesn't work bypass Netflix Proxy Error
TunnelBear couldn’t beat Netflix’s geo-restriction technology

On top of that, free VPNs usually contain tons of annoying ads. Many free VPN providers sell your data to advertisers as a way to make money (as their users are not paying for the service). This means that you’re going to get ads popping up in the middle of watching shows — not ideal.

The bottom line is: If you want unlimited, fast streaming for US Netflix, a free VPN is going to let you down. It’s best to use premium VPN like ExpressVPN, proven to unblock Netflix. If you’re not ready to commit, there are many premium VPNs that offer a money-back guarantee so you can try their services with zero-risk. Just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN unblocks Netflix and has a 30-day money-back guarantee which I tested — I got my refund, no questions asked.

❓ Is it legal to use a VPN on Netflix?

When it comes to VPN use on Netflix, you can rest assured knowing that it isn’t illegal. As long as you’re paying for your Netflix subscription and not downloading the content illegally, you’re free to use one while you stream.

However, if you live in a country such as China, Russia, or Iran, you should know that the use of VPN services is prohibited.

🔍 Can Netflix block my account if I use a VPN?

While Netflix can detect the use of a VPN, it won’t block your Netflix account. It will only temporarily block your streaming while you’re connected to a VPN. You’ll see Netflix’s proxy error message, but as soon as you disable the VPN service, you will be able to regain access.

I read through the Netflix Terms of Use. While it says you can’t “circumvent […] any content protections”, it doesn’t say that Netflix will ban you from their service if you’re using a VPN.

Highlights From Netflix Terms Of Use
From Netflix’s Terms of Use

I haven’t heard of anyone having their account blocked because of VPN use, and I don’t expect to. It makes no sense for Netflix to throw away money from subscribers, especially as using a VPN is not illegal.

The VPN services I’ve recommended use the best security and protocols to avoid detection. Netflix may still identify the use of a VPN, but as these VPNs offer a variety of servers that can access Netflix, so you only need to switch servers to continue streaming.

🔧 Are subtitles available if I use a VPN on Netflix US?

Access to subtitles will depend on what you want to watch, and what language you want the subtitles in. You can see our hack for getting Netflix subtitles in different languages, even if they’re not initially listed in the Subtitles section.

❓ What are the rules of Netflix in Europe?

Europeans can watch online streaming services (such as Netflix) wherever they go throughout the EU without facing geo-restrictions.

As of mid-2018, the European Commission’s “digital single market strategy” claimed victory, leading to the passing of “portability regulation”. Essentially, this means all users located in the European Union can use streaming platforms freely while traveling around the EU.

Watch Netflix US with ExpressVPN

Get a VPN to Unlock TV Shows and Movies on Netflix US

The Netflix US library is the biggest out of every Netflix country — and you don’t have to miss out just because you’re not in the US.

Luckily, all of my top VPNs will give you access to Netflix US. You can even use your VPN to watch Netflix in other countries, including the UK, Australia, France, Japan, and more!

Not sure which VPN to choose? Personally, my top choice for watching American Netflix is ExpressVPN. When connected, I’ve always been able to access Netflix US from any country. Plus ExpressVPN offers unlimited bandwidth so you can stream as much Netflix as you want.

Even better, you can try ExpressVPN for free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee.

Watch Netflix US with ExpressVPN today!

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Kate Hawkins
Kate Hawkins is a tech-focused writer and web expert with a keen interest in online security and privacy. She enjoys getting stuck into new technology and researching the latest cybersecurity trends to keep readers informed and safe online.