VPNs are growing more popular for many reasons, and we know lots of UK users have streaming as their top priority.
That's why we've put together this list of the best VPNs for streaming Netflix in the UK – including one option that's free to use.
You don’t need one for streaming Netflix content that's available in your region, of course. But for unlocking a few extra goodies? That’s where a VPN comes in handy.
If you guess is that Netflix doesn’t take too kindly to this workaround, you’d be right: the streaming giant is finding increasingly sophisticated means to block VPNs.
However, while it’s challenging to unlock Netflix content outside your designated region, it’s still far from impossible.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of the best VPNs to use for Netflix in 2022.
If you're keen to settle down in front of some American Netflix – or indeed from any region across the world – take a look at our selection of services below.
For a list of our top services, you can also head to our best VPN article.
Best VPN for Netflix in the UK 2022
Our tech writer Alessandro Mascellino put ExpressVPN to the test in January 2022, and tried out accessing Netflix during his review.
He watched Netflix through a number of locations across the world, and found that every one delivered that region's content with no issue – and on top of that, it was completely lag-free.
ExpressVPN might be that little more expensive than the majority of VPNs out there, but it also offers servers in locations across the world that you won't see anywhere – we're calling this an excellent choice of VPN for Netflix.
- Good server distribution
- Extra security and privacy features
- Unlocks nearly all streaming sites
- A little pricier than most options
- High gaming ping in some locations
- No multi-hop options
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
- ExpressVPN, from £6.86 per month – buy here
During his hands-on test with NordVPN, our tech reviewer successful streamed Netflix from regions including Japan (there's lots more anime available), South Africa and the UK.
While he found the connections with US Netflix a little touch-and-go, by and large NordVPN is a hugely reliable VPN for streaming Netflix.
On top of that, it has an easy-to-use interface, has a large number of servers to access, and a particularly good customer support service.
- Great-quality security features
- Successful with majority of streaming sites, including Netflix
- Huge server network
- Client is a bit heavier than rival VPNs
- Costly renewal prices
Read our full NordVPN review.
- NordVPN, from £2.49 per month – buy here
3. Surfshark VPN
Our tech experts tried out Surfshark in November 2021, and found it successfully access Netflix regions including the UK, US and Japan.
Plus, the service was able to stream these regions at 1080p with no delays or visible drop in quality.
It's also a fantastic service in terms of value for money: a monthly basis you can expect to pay £9.69, but that can drop to as little as £1.89 if you pay for a two-year subscription.
- Superb streaming capabilities
- Well-priced at basic tier
- Robust encryption
- Some kill-switch issues
- Speeds not quite same level as competitors
Read our full Surfshark review
- Surfshark VPN, from £1.89 – buy here
4. Cyberghost VPN
CyberGhost certainly delivers in terms of quantity of servers – it currently has over 7,600 in locations across the world.
With that sheer number in mind, we're badging it as one of the finest VPNs out there for access to VPN.
In a particularly nice touch, in its interface, it marks which servers are best for smooth streaming – oh, and if you want to trial it, there's a 45-day free refund period.
- Huge fleet of servers available
- Cheap long-term subscription
- High connection speeds on offer
- Client was slightly clunky in review
- One-month subscription isn't cheap
Read our full CyberGhost VPN review.
- CyberGhost VPN, from £1.70 per month – buy here
5. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is one of the few open-source VPN companies out there – meaning the source code is publicly available, and it's far less vulnerable to data breaches.
Outside of this extra security, PIA should grant you access to a sweeping number of Netflix regions outside of your own.
And if you want to test it out? There's a 30-day money-back period so you can trial it risk-free.
- Slick, minimal app
- Extensive networks of servers available
- PIA has no-logs policy
- No external security audit
- Customer support not as good as others
Read our full Private Internet Access review
- Private Internet Access, from £1.69 per month – buy here
AtlasVPN is one of the most recent VPN's we've put to the test: it's a newcomer on the scene, owned by the reputable NordVPN.
In his review, our Technology and Science Reporter Jamie Harris heaped praise on the price and impressive connection speeds.
It's yet to have a proper third-party audit, but if you're seeking out an affordable means of unblocking Netflix outside your region, this is a solid choice.
- Cheap long-term subscription prices
- Limitless simultaneous device connections
- High-speed servers
- Quick 24/7 live support chat
- No-frills user interface
- Small number of servers and locations
- Limited privacy audit testing
Read our full AtlasVPN review
- AtlasVPN, from £1.35 per month – buy here
Best free VPN for Netflix in the UK
Privado is the only VPN service we've tried that offers a credible plan that's totally free of charge.
If you're keen to unlock Netflix content with a VPN but without any extra expenditure, Privado's costless 10GB subscription the route to go.
It's not a perfect service, with our VPN expert highlighting the lack of a full privacy audit – but regardless Privado boasts strong encryption and a particularly impressive kill switch.
- PrivadoVPN, from £0 per month – buy here
Is it legal to use a VPN for Netflix?
Yes – VPNs are legal services, and there are no laws that prohibit using them to access Netflix content in regions outside the one you're in.
Using a VPN as a workaround in this manner doesn’t constitute piracy.
However, it does go against Netflix’s terms of service – and the streaming company is entitled to cut access to anyone doing so.
But that’s not something that’s reportedly ever being done once. Our guess is that in Netflix’s eyes the pros of retaining a fee-paying customer far outweigh the cons of having them access content outside their region.
After all, the streaming market is an intensely competitive one, and anyone booted off Netflix will likely just head in the direction of Amazon Prime, Disney+ and HBO Max.
Are you looking for a Netflix alternative? Here are the best ones.
What is the best free VPN for Netflix?
There aren’t any free VPNs out there we would recommend for this – like nearly all products on the market, you get what you pay for.
Even excellent VPNs like ProtonVPN, which offer a free tier, reserve their extra features, including streaming, to their paid-for subscription options.
You can read more about it below, but essentially VPN providers constantly play a game of cat-and-mouse with Netflix, adding more servers as their old ones gets flagged and blocked from streaming.
Adding more servers is an expensive process, and VPN providers reserve the right of sharing their shiny, Netflix-compatible servers with paying users.
That being said, lots of VPNs also offer free trial periods, which gives you the opportunity to try out different services and compare their performance.
Can I watch Netflix for free with a VPN?
No. Netflix remains a subscription-only service – and in our humble opinion a very good-value one at that.
We would never advocate for trying to access the service without paying a subscription fee.
For more information on the streaming giant and the costs, head to our how much does Netflix cost explainer.
You can also share your subscription with friends and family to cut down on costs, just be aware you should be in the same household to do so (more on this later).
How to use a VPN for Netflix
A VPN works by routing your traffic through a number of servers.
The locations depend on each service, but they’re typically scattered far and wide across the globe.
So when you active your VPN, you’re able to select from one of a number of countries across the world.
Having done that, when you access Netflix, you’re essentially tricking the service into thinking you’re based in that region of choice.
So, if you’re based in the UK, and you want to watch some US-only Netflix shows, simple use your VPN to selection an American server location, and voila: you’re set up on US Netflix.
In some cases, VPN providers have multiple servers in a given location, but only some of them are compatible with streaming services, and/or Netflix in particular.
Keep an eye out for the streaming or Netflix icon next to individual servers to make sure to find the ones that support Netflix. If no such icon is available (and you have selected one of the VPN services on this list), you can connect to any server and you should be able to access Netflix.
Can you watch American Netflix with a VPN?
There all sorts of shows that are only available on US Netflix – and interestingly, a fair few UK shows that aren’t currently available in the UK itself.
Netflix offers its service across a staggering 190 countries worldwide, with a constantly rotating roster of shows and movies across each of them – you’ll find all sorts of things.
Because the American Netflix catalogue is one of the largest on the platform, most VPN providers have servers supporting streaming in the country.
Why do I need a VPN for Netflix?
For straightforward streaming, you don’t: Netflix is a service that you can access via any smart device, whether that’s your smartphone, tablet or TV.
Depending on the subscription tier you select, you can stream from as many as four devices at the same time – and you can log in from an unlimited number of devices.
As we explain in this wider article, VPNs come in handy for when you’d like to access shows that aren’t available in your region.
For info on VPNs in general, make sure you read our articles on what is a VPN and are VPNs are legal.
Why is Netflix not working with my VPN?
Netflix is growing increasingly sophisticated at blocking VPN users from its content.
The streamer can detect when a user's connection is from a proxy IP address, which generally means a VPN is used – and then can prevent the user from accessing any content at all until they re-connect with a standard connection.
That's why we can never 100% guarantee you'll successful access the content you want on Netflix – but if you do run into this issue, you can try again with a different server in your VPN's user interface.
As a general rule of thumb, the best VPN providers are constantly expanding and improving their server fleets, with the result that Netflix-compatible servers should be added on a regular basis (even if the old ones should be flagged and rendered useless for streaming).
How have some VPNs overcome the Netflix ban?
VPNs essentially get around Netflix's ban by adding increasing numbers of servers to their books – ones that haven't yet been blacklisted by the streaming giant.
If you're running into issues, we always suggest you try anther server that's available in a location that matches the Netflix library you want to access.
Can I watch other streaming services with a Netflix VPN?
Absolutely – content that's only available in certain regions on Amazon Prime or similar streaming platforms can be accessed via the same process with a Netflix VPN.
If you want to access BBC iPlayer from a region that's outside the UK, you can use a VPN and find a UK server to connect to.
How to get the best Netflix VPN in the UK
To recap the points above and help you choose a VPN, whether it's on this list or not, here are some final pointers.
- Work out your budget in advance. VPN services can be expensive, particularly after the initial subscription. Keep an eye on prices to make sure you're always getting the best possible deal.
- Check what Netflix catalogues have your favourite shows. No point in getting a VPN to watch Netflix in Australia if your chosen VPN service does not have solid streaming services in the country.
- Keep an eye on Netflix's password sharing policy. The company is currently trialling a way of rooting out account sharers. And since Netflix use IP addresses (alongside device IDs, and account activity) to detect devices' location, VPNs could potentially constitute a problem. If you live in a country where the feature is being trialled, make sure to always use the same verified device when using a VPN to make sure you are not flagged as a "password sharer".
- Consider your PC's hardware capabilities. Generally speaking, VPN clients are not particularly heavy programs. However, if you plan on watching your favourite shows on older machines, that may make a difference. The combination of a light VPN client and a fast browser is very important to avoid annoying lagging.
- Harness the power of free trials. Even considering all the above tips, finding the right VPN for your Netflix needs may take a while. Consider using VPN subscription trials to find the right one for you.
MORE on VPNS
The 7 best VPN services 2022
Atlas VPN 2022 review: great value but still growing
Save 83% with AtlasVPN this summer and get three months FREE
What is a VPN, how do they work and are they legal?
For more besides the best VPN for Netflix, don't miss our pick of the 100 best films on Netflix and also our selection of the 100 best series on Netflix.
Are you on holiday and want to watch UK TV abroad? We have a guide for that too.
For an in-depth look at another major VPN service, there's our NordVPN review.
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