5 Best Free VPNs That Work With US Netflix in (Tested 2020)Last Updated by Joel Timothy on October 01, 2020
Since I already pay for a Netflix subscription, I didn’t want to purchase an additional VPN plan in order to access my favorite content while traveling. But after years of covering the VPN industry, testing has shown me that it’s almost impossible to find a safe free service that can beat Netflix’s proxy error message and let you stream. Worse yet, I’ve found many popular free VPNs are dangerous — some even infect your device with malware!
To help you find a safe service that works, I put together a list of the top 5 free VPNs that let you stream from popular Netflix libraries (like the US, UK, and Japan). Although even the best free services have limitations, I made sure every provider on this list offers decent security, speeds, and data allowance.
To avoid dangerous free services, I recommend you try a safe VPN like Surfshark for free for 30 days. It unblocks tons of libraries on Netflix and other platforms. Plus, if you decide to subscribe it costs less than the price of a coffee.
Quick Guide: 5 Best Free VPNs for Netflix 2020
- NordVPN — #1 VPN for unblocking popular Netflix libraries with excellent streaming quality. Use it free for 30 days!
- Windscribe — Offers 10GB of monthly data with smooth Netflix streaming, but only allows free subscribers to access servers in 11 locations.
- ProtonVPN — Unlimited data for endless streaming, but speeds were too slow to watch shows in HD.
- Hide.me — Doesn’t display any ads and offers decent speeds, but it can’t consistently bypass Netflix location-restrictions.
- TunnelBear — Gives you access to all its servers to view many popular Netflix libraries, but only has a 500MB monthly data allowance.
5 Best Free VPNs for Unblocking Netflix – October 2020
- 5,100+ servers in 59 countries that easily unblock popular Netflix libraries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, India, Japan, and more)
- Unlimited bandwidth and data for lag-free Netflix streaming
- Allows up to 6 simultaneous device connections
- Responsive 24/7 live chat and email support available
- Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
NordVPN is the best service to unblock the greatest number of Netflix libraries and you can use it 100% free for 30 days (more than enough time to catch up on your favorite shows!). With over 5,100 server options in 59 countries, I was able to unblock 10+ Netflix libraries from the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and other regions.
During testing, I was impressed that NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature automatically connected me to the best available server for streaming. The best part is, you don’t have to do any additional steps to activate SmartPlay — simply select your preferred country and it finds the fastest server for you. When I tested it over 25 days, I was always able to unblock Netflix quickly without any issues.
Free VPNs often throttle your speed or limit your bandwidth, which can lead to lag or buffering. But this isn’t a problem with NordVPN. When I ran tests on Ookla, I was impressed with its results. I connected to servers in the US, UK, Australia, Japan, and other countries and I always had speeds between 25-30Mbps — meaning I always had fast enough connections to smoothly stream Netflix in Ultra HD with NordVPN. This was even true when I connected to servers over 15,000km away from me!
Unlike the majority of free VPNs on the market, NordVPN ensures that it keeps your online activities safe and private while streaming Netflix. I found that it hid my IP address when I performed DNS and IP leak tests — proving its encryption technology really works. It also has a strict no-logging policy so there are no records of what you do online. With this level of security, you won’t have to worry about your ISP, government agencies, or Netflix ever discovering you’re accessing restricted content.
An additional benefit is that NordVPN is compatible with all of your devices and protects 6 connections at the same time, so your friends and family can stream simultaneously. I was also impressed that it’s one of the best VPNs for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, Kodi, Smart TVs, and more. Plus, you can simply install NordVPN on your router if you discover that it doesn’t have a native app for the device you want to stream with (like Xbox). This will protect any device connected to your WiFi.
Although NordVPN is not a completely free VPN, I still had to put it at the top of this list — it’s the best service to unblock and watch content from many Netflix libraries around the world. Plus, you can use NordVPN for free for 30 days to test its streaming capabilities for yourself. If you decide you don’t want to commit to a subscription, simply contact a customer service representative via the site’s live chat to ask for a refund. I found the whole process really quick and easy — they returned my money in only 4 days!
NordVPN also unblocks: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, ESPN, NBC Sports, YouTube TV, Sling TV, Disney+, and more.
NordVPN works on: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Android TV, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire Stick and TV, Linux, Chrome, routers, and Firefox.
- 15 servers in 11 countries that unblock Netflix US, UK, Canada, France, and Germany
- 10GB monthly data allowance for streaming approximately 10 hours of Netflix in SD
- Stream Netflix simultaneously on an unlimited number of devices
- Offers email customer support and FAQ troubleshooting pages
- Unlimited time to use the free version
Windscribe is a great free VPN for watching Netflix as it gives you a decent data allowance and fast streaming speeds. It provides 10GB per month, which makes it one of the most generous free VPNs on the market. Streaming is data-intensive and I initially thought I’d reach the 10GB limit quickly — but I was wrong. This amount of data allows you to watch about 10 hours of Netflix in SD. When I streamed Uncut Gems on Netflix US for about 30 minutes, it only used up 0.7GB of my data. As an added bonus, I found that Windscribe will give you an extra 5GB if you tweet about it!
You also won’t have to worry about streaming quality with Windscribe’s fast servers. It always maintained speeds between 18-21Mbps, so I was able to watch Netflix in SD with no lag or buffer time. Even when I switched to HD, I was still able to enjoy the same high-quality image.
Windscribe is also one of the few free VPNs that offers you decent online privacy. It doesn’t log identifiable user data and has military-grade encryption to make your online information unreadable to third parties. When I conducted DNS and IP leak tests, it always completely masked my real IP address. This proved to me that its security features really hide my online activity and that not even government surveillance agencies could see what I’m doing.
The number of Netflix libraries Windscribe was able to unblock was also impressive. When I tested it over 5 days, I was always able to unblock Netflix US, UK, Canada, Germany, and France with no issues. Unfortunately, I found that it doesn’t allow free users to access servers in Japan and Australia. That means you can’t unlock popular Netflix catalogs there. If you want to watch specific shows from these countries, you can try NordVPN to access more Netflix libraries.
Windscribe is totally free, so you can download and try it for yourself. You’ll be able to unblock your favorite Netflix shows at no extra cost!
Windscribe also unblocks: Hulu, HBO Go, Comedy Central, BBC iPlayer, National Geographic, NBC Sports, DAZN, YouTube, Sling TV, and more.
Windscribe works on: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV.
- Servers that easily unblock US, Japan, and the Netherlands
- Unlimited data for you to stream Netflix as much as you’d like
- 1 device connection allowed per account
- Online support form and FAQ troubleshooting pages available
- No time limits on the free version
ProtonVPN is the only totally free VPN on this list that gives you unlimited data. This means that you can watch Netflix for as long as you’d like without worrying about it cutting you off. I’ve used it for several months to stream and browse the web, and I have never been disconnected even after several days of Netflix marathons.
I also found that ProtonVPN is great at bypassing geo-restrictions. I was able to quickly unblock Netflix US, Japan, and the Netherlands with it. As an added bonus, I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that ProtonVPN even unblocks Netflix from China. If you plan to travel there and want to keep up with your favorite Netflix shows, ProtonVPN is a good choice.
Additionally, ProtonVPN protects free users with top-tier security and privacy features including AES 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logging policy. When I ran leak tests, I found that it always successfully masked my IP address and DNS requests. That means you’ll have no problem in beating Netflix’s proxy detection technology to access your favorite content.
The main drawback of ProtonVPN is that it’s slower than other services on this list. My tests showed that it was only able to maintain speeds between 7-11Mbps. This meant that I wasn’t able to stream in HD — Netflix automatically downgraded me to SD. Even with the lower quality video, I sometimes experienced buffering that lasted more than 1 minute. Although this was annoying, I thought that was an acceptable amount of lag since it’s a totally free service.
If longer buffering times don’t bother you, I think ProtonVPN is a good choice because it has no data caps and it unblocks several Netflix libraries. To try it yourself, you can download it to watch hours of content from Netflix and several other streaming sites like Hulu and HBO Now.
ProtonVPN also unblocks: Hulu, HBO Now, Disney+, YouTube, SlingTV, ESPN, and more.
ProtonVPN works on: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, routers, Chrome, Firefox, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and more.
- 5 servers in 4 countries for unblocking Netflix US, Canada, Netherlands, and Germany
- Offers a generous 10GB of data (approximately 10 hours of SD streaming)
- 1 device connection per account
- 24/7 live chat and email support
- No time restrictions on the free version
To me, there’s nothing more annoying than waiting for an ad to finish before connecting to watch my favorite shows. But you won’t have to worry about that with this service — Hide.me is totally ad-free so you can connect to a server and start streaming Netflix immediately.
I also found that Hide.me’s speeds were decent. I was able to watch Stranger Things on US Netflix in HD without lag and only 5-10 seconds of buffering time. When I switched to SD to make the most of the 10GB data allowance, I was happy that I didn’t experience any buffering or lag.
After reviewing its no-logging policy, I felt safe using Hide.me because I knew it wouldn’t keep records of my streaming and other online activities. I was impressed to learn that it has been independently audited by the cybersecurity firm DefenseCode Ltd. to prove it doesn’t keep user data — even some premium VPNs refuse to undergo such screenings! This gave me the confidence that my streaming activities would never be discovered by my ISP or any other third parties.
Although Hide.me is safe and good speeds, I was disappointed to find that it couldn’t always unblock Netflix. During my testing over 5 days, I was able to access Netflix US, Canada, Netherlands, and Germany. However, I wasn’t able to establish a connection on every try. For example, I only unblocked US Netflix on 10 out of 15 tries. I think that’s still a decent success rate given that it’s free, but it was less consistent than other VPNs.
Hide.me is definitely a good free VPN to try — especially if you hate ads! It offers decent speeds and a generous data allowance for streaming shows from the 4 different Netflix libraries it can access. The best way to see if it works for you is to download it and try it for yourself.
Hide.me also unblocks: Comedy Central, National Geographic, NBC Sports, YouTube, Sling TV, and more.
Hide.me works on: Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, Amazon Fire OS, routers, Chrome, and Firefox.
- Severs in 20+ countries that can access Netflix US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, and Japan
- 500MB monthly data allowance
- 5 simultaneous device connections
- Customer support available through email and online FAQ web pages
- Unlimited time to use the free version
The great thing about TunnelBear’s free version is that it gives you access to all its servers in 20+ different countries. To see how good these servers would be at accessing the most popular Netflix catalogs, I put it to the test. I was surprised that TunnelBear was successful at unblocking Netflix libraries from the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, and Japan.
TunnelBear also has decent streaming speeds for a free VPN. I watched Breaking Bad on US Netflix with no lag and only 2-3 seconds of buffering time. Despite this fast connection, I was only able to stream in SD because of data caps — TunnelBear’s 500MB monthly allowance only lets you watch about 15 minutes of a show in HD or about 1 hour in SD per month!
TunnelBear protects you with decent security like military-grade encryption to ensure that your streaming and other online activities aren’t visible to others. However, it doesn’t follow a strict no-logs policy. It records information about your operating system and bandwidth use. Personally, I didn’t think this was a big deal because this is non-identifiable data. But if privacy is your top concern, you can use NordVPN to stay 100% anonymous online.
With so many servers to choose from, TunnelBear is a good choice for you if you want to watch a short episode from one of the many Netflix libraries it lets you access. If you’re only looking to watch a short episode of a series, you can download and try TunnelBear.
TunnelBear also unblocks: HBO NOW, Spotify, Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, and more.
TunnelBear works on: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chromebook, Chrome, Firefox, Roku, Kodi, and more.
How VPNs Work to Unblock Different Netflix Libraries
VPNs are able to bypass the Netflix proxy error message by tricking Netflix into thinking you’re physically located somewhere else.
Netflix only allows you to access the library of the country in which you’re physically located. It does this to abide by local copyright laws. Netflix detects your location by using your device’s Internet Protocol (IP) address — a unique set of numbers given to identify a device and show where it is. If you try to connect to a library outside your location, you’ll be blocked.
But when you connect to a VPN’s American server, you’ll receive a US IP address and Netflix will grant you access to that library. This means a VPN can bypass Netflix restrictions to get you content from other countries’ catalogs no matter where you are.
However, most free (and many premium) VPNs don’t have the technology necessary to bypass these restrictions. If your provider doesn’t use strong encryption, prevent leaks, and redirect your DNS requests, Netflix can detect you’re trying to sneak around its blocks. If that happens, it will display the annoying proxy error message and stop you from entering the site.
Why You Shouldn’t Use a Free VPN to Watch Netflix
Since you already have to buy a Netflix subscription, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to also pay for a VPN. Through extensive testing, I’ve made certain that all the VPNs recommended in this article are safe to use and work well — but keep in mind that most free services don’t unblock Netflix and expose you to safety risks.
The majority of free VPN servers can’t consistently bypass Netflix’s location-restriction technology. This is because they have limited IP addresses, few servers, and weak encryption.
The free services that work with Netflix are unlimited trial versions of premium services. The providers of these VPNs intentionally limit your speeds, data allowance, bandwidth usage, and server options. This means you’ll have to deal with long buffering times, lag, and data caps while streaming. Free VPN providers impose these limits in order to try to force you to upgrade.
The even bigger risk with free VPNs is that they can be dangerous. Many keep extensive logs of your online activities and some even sell this private information to marketers and others. I personally don’t like the idea of companies profiting from my data.
Worse still, many free VPNs have been known to infect your devices with malware. This can allow them to steal your sensitive information like email addresses, passwords, or even financial information. To me, saving a few dollars on a VPN subscription isn’t worth exposing myself to risks like fraud!
How to Choose a Safe Free VPN to Unblock Netflix
- Check if it has servers available in the country where you want to access Netflix. Many free VPNs don’t offer you full access to all their servers. So if you want to watch US Netflix, make sure your VPN allows you access to its American servers.
- See if the servers unblock Netflix. Even if a VPN has servers in the right country doesn’t mean that it will be able to beat Netflix’s tough detection technology.
- Examine the data caps and other limitations. While a free VPN may be able to unblock Netflix, many put restrictions in place which can severely impact your streaming experience.
- Make sure the VPN you’re using has strong security. This should include 256-bit encryption and IP/DNS leak protection. If a VPN’s encryption standard is weak, it could reveal your real location by leaking your IP address. This could get you into trouble if you’re accessing content that’s banned in your country.
- Ensure its speeds are fast enough for smooth streaming. Many free VPNs have overcrowded servers that are so slow that you can’t even stream Netflix. 3-5Mbps is the minimum speed I aim for to have a decent streaming experience.
Desired Netflix Image Quality Speed Required Normal Definition (less than 480p) 1.5Mbps Standard Definition (470p or better) 3Mbps High Definition (720p or better) 5Mbps Ultra High Definition (1080p or better) 25Mbps
Avoid Using These Unsafe Free VPNs to Access Netflix
While many free VPNs can endanger you, here are a few I wanted to warn you about:
- HolaVPN: It works by sharing resources through a peer network rather than using servers like a real VPN. None of your information gets encrypted, it keeps user logs, and your IP address may end up being used by others for illegal activities.
- UFO VPN: Avoid this VPN as it’s been involved with leaks that left sensitive user data (emails, passwords, and full names) visible to prying eyes.
- TouchVPN: This VPN logs extensive user data — including IP addresses and online history.
5 Solutions If Your VPN Is Still Getting Blocked by Netflix
Don’t worry if you ever see an error message while trying to unblock a certain library. Netflix is always upgrading its software and even the most reliable VPNs get detected sometimes. The few times it has happened to me, I’ve used these simple steps to bypass the error message fast:
- Try a different web browser — I found switching from Safari to Chrome was always better for accessing Netflix.
- Clear your web browser cache and cookies — This data can reveal your location to Netflix. Head to your browser settings to delete your cache and cookies, restart your browser, and try accessing Netflix again.
- Select another VPN server within the same country — The particular server you’re connected to may be banned by Netflix. Try switching to another server and refresh the site.
- Contact the VPN’s customer service — Ask the support staff about the Netflix library you’re trying to unblock and see which servers currently work for that catalog. NordVPN has 24/7 live chat and email services, and I’ve always received helpful responses from them.
- Ensure that you have the latest update of your VPN — After updating your VPN, try reconnecting to Netflix.
FAQs About Unblocking Netflix With a Free VPN
- Which free VPNs unblock Netflix with good streaming speeds?
- How can I watch American Netflix with a free VPN while abroad?
- What free VPNs work with Netflix US, UK, Canada, India, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, and the Netherlands?
- Can I use a free VPN to unblock Netflix on my iPhone, Smart TV, Mac, Android, and Windows PC?
- Can I use a free proxy to unblock Netflix?
- Is it safe and legal to use a free VPN with Netflix?
- What VPN doesn’t require a credit card for signup and can unblock Netflix?
- Can my account be blocked for using a free VPN to access Netflix overseas?
😎 Which free VPNs unblock Netflix with good streaming speeds?
Most of the free VPNs that can unblock Netflix are slow — but after testing 20+ services I found the 5 fastest free VPNs to stream with minimal lag.
The majority of free services are slow because they don’t have the resources necessary to give you decent streaming speeds. They may also intentionally limit your access to servers, bandwidth, or data to try to force you to upgrade to a paid subscription.
The fastest service for unlimited Netflix streaming is NordVPN. You can use it totally free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee, and if you decide to subscribe it has a low monthly fee.
🤩 How can I watch American Netflix with a free VPN while abroad?
- Download a VPN that can unblock Netflix. You can use NordVPN for free for 30 days by taking advantage of its money-back guarantee.
- Connect to a US server. Next, log into US Netflix to access the largest library available.
- Start streaming your favorite US Netflix shows!
😄 What free VPNs work with Netflix US, UK, Canada, India, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, and the Netherlands?
Use this chart to see which Netflix libraries the top 5 free VPNs on this list can access:
NordVPN and TunnelBear can unlock the greatest number of libraries, but do keep in mind that TunnelBear’s strict data limits only let you stream about 1 hour in SD per month! However, you can use NordVPN to unblock the largest number of Netflix libraries and enjoy unlimited streaming.
🙂 Can I use a free VPN to unblock Netflix on my iPhone, Smart TV, Mac, Android, and Windows PC?
It depends on the particular device — the 5 best free VPNs for Netflix on this list are all compatible with iPhones, macOS, Android, and Windows PCs.
Most VPNs don’t have native apps for Smart TVs, but you can set up a VPN connection on your router and then connect your Smart TV to it. However, the following services have native apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV:
|Android TV||Amazon Fire TV|
If you need a service with broad compatibility, I recommend you try NordVPN because it works with the most operating systems and devices of any VPN on this list.
🤓 Can I use a free proxy to unblock Netflix?
The short answer is — no. Free (and even most premium) proxy services don’t have the right technology to bypass Netflix restrictions. If you need a quick solution, you can try one of the 5 best free Netflix VPNs on this list.
Although both proxies and VPNs reroute your internet traffic to hide your IP address, only VPNs encrypt your data to keep you 100% hidden. This is why proxies usually get blocked by Netflix, but high-quality VPNs don’t.
If you need a free way to reliably access Netflix, I recommend you take advantage of NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s the best service to unblock several Netflix libraries and it gives you the fastest speeds for smooth streaming.
😇 Is it safe and legal to use a free VPN with Netflix?
It’s safe and legal to use any of these top 5 free VPNs to access Netflix libraries that are blocked because of your location. While Netflix may not like it because of the licensing agreements it has with media companies, that doesn’t make using a VPN illegal.
However, most free services aren’t safe because they infect your devices with malware and their weak security can’t protect you from surveillance. That’s why it can be dangerous to use free VPNs in countries like China, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Since Netflix is often blocked in these places, you may be fined or go to jail if you’re caught using a VPN to access it.
My testing showed that NordVPN is the safest service that lets you stream Netflix. It has a strict no-logging policy and uses military-grade encryption to keep your online activities 100% private. You can use it completely free for 30 days, and if you choose a long-term subscription the monthly cost is about the price of a cup of coffee.
🤑 What VPN doesn’t require a credit card for signup and can unblock Netflix?
The top 5 free VPNs in this article can unblock Netflix and don’t require a credit card for sign-up.
NordVPN (the #1 service on this list) accepts payment methods like Alipay, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies. Plus, you can try it free for 30 days using its money-back guarantee. This gives you plenty of time to stream as much as you want from the most popular Netflix libraries. When I asked customer service for my money back after paying with Bitcoin, I got my refund in 4 days!
😅 Can my account be blocked for using a free VPN to access Netflix overseas?
“You may view 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.”
If Netflix’s software detects you’re using a VPN, it will only send you an error message requesting that you turn it off — it won’t ban your account.
Unblock Different Netflix Libraries for Free Today
With the right VPN, you can watch your favorite shows from anywhere. If you’re looking for a free service to unblock Netflix, be careful when selecting a provider — many don’t work well and are dangerous.
After testing 20+ free VPNs, I discovered that NordVPN is the best choice for streaming Netflix. It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular libraries and streams shows in UltraHD without lag. Plus, it even gives you access to other streaming services like Hulu, Disney+, and more.
The best part is that you can use it 100% free for 30 days by taking advantage of its money-back guarantee period. If you’re not fully satisfied with it, contact its customer service to ask for a refund. When I went through the process myself, I got my money back in only 4 days!