As you probably know by now, Netflix regions aren’t all equal. Some countries, like the US for example, have bigger and better content libraries. In this article, I explain to you can access them as cheaply as possible. Keep reading to find out the cheapest VPNs that still work with Netflix.
Cheapest VPNs that works with US Netflix: Quick list
See below for more information about these VPNs.
Why aren’t all Netflix libraries the same?
Netflix is a global streaming service that divides its audience and libraries by country. The monthly fee is roughly the same no matter where you are in the world. However, the library each country has access to is vastly different.
Why does Netflix do this? Competition. That’s the simple answer. Netflix has to negotiate and bid for the streaming right of every bit of content you find on its library – apart from the shows and films it makes itself. This makes a global Netflix library impossible.
Let’s use Game of Thrones as an example. For Netflix to broadcast GoT in the US, it only needs to agree a deal with HBO (who makes the show). However, if Netflix wanted to add GoT to the UK library as well, they need to work out deals with HBO and Sky TV and the latter owns the broadcast rights in the UK.
There’s another factor too. Buying power. The US is the biggest market for Netflix by far. This the US library’s collective buying power is much bigger than any other territory. So naturally, it offers more content than any other region.
See related: Which VPNs still work with US Netflix?
How to access a different country’s library?
Fortunately, there’s a pretty easy way to game the system and access any Netflix library in the world. All you need to do is spoof your location using a VPN.
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) combine military-level encryption with a global network of servers. This simple, but powerful, combination lets VPN users virtually spoof their location to any country in the world.
To access US Netflix from outside the US, all you need to do is turn your VPN on and connect to a server in the States. This will encrypt your local data and reroute through your chosen server in the US. All US Netflix will see is a connection attempt from an American IP address, so it will respond by serving the US library.
It’s that simple.
The only thing you need to be careful about is which VPN you use.
Why don’t all VPNs work with US Netflix?
Netflix started blocking VPNs from accessing its servers back in mid-2016. The reason for this was fair enough. Too many Netflix customers were using cheap VPNs to get access to different geographical libraries.
This had the potential to cause Netflix major problems. If Netflix could not police its borders properly, it ran the risk of being charged for global content licenses in future.
Proactively blocking VPNs from accessing Netflix was a necessary step to keep its business model alive.
How do some VPNs still work with US Netflix?
Streaming is big for VPNs and unblocking US Netflix is/was a major customer winner. For lots of users, myself included, their sole use of a VPN is to unblock video content from different regions. (See: BBC iPlayer not working with VPN? Here’s how to fix that!) Which meant the VPNs had to fight back.
The way Netflix blocks VPNs is pretty simple. VPNs work by giving customers access to shared servers. These servers all have IP addresses – just like a normal home or office internet connection. The problem for VPNs is that the volume of customers is was sharing its servers/IPs with was abnormal.
Detecting a VPN IP address was easy for Netflix. All it has to do was monitor the number of logins and simultaneous connections from the same IP address. When the number of connections from the same IP became abnormal, Netflix knew it was a VPN server and blacklisted that IP address.
Initially, this was pretty damaging for VPNs. However, they have fought back and the VPNs listed below all provide working connections to US Netflix.
For VPNs to successfully unblock Netflix, they have to be diligent in two main areas. First, they need to be winning the game of Cat and Mouse with Netflix. This means if/when one of its server’s IP addresses is blacklisted by Netflix, the VPN has to quickly respond by shutting that IP down and opening a new one. Secondly, VPNs have to monitor the number of customers it allows to connect to Netflix via the same IP address and keep it below Netflix’s “abnormal” threshold.
Performing these two tasks isn’t easy. Or cheap. Which is why not all VPNs offer US Netflix as a service anymore. However, the VPNs you see featured below all work with Netflix. The only difference is connection speeds, but all are fast enough to stream Netflix in HD.
Cheapest VPNs that works with US Netflix
- Price: $2.25/month
- Speed score: 2/5
- Apps: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Kodi, Xbox, Chrome, Firefox and more…
Ivacy ($2.25/month) is relatively new on the unblocking US Netflix scene. However, if you’re looking for the absolute cheapest way to watch American ‘flix, you’ve just found it.
It shares the same app layout and design and PureVPN (below), that lets you navigate and select your server based on “Purpose”. Meaning, if you want to connect to the best server for US Netflix, you literally select US Netflix from the app. It couldn’t be simpler.
The speed Ivacy offers is slower than all other VPNs on this list, based on the results from my tests, but still fast enough to get stream US Netflix in HD.
If you can afford it, you can buy a dedicated IP with Ivacy for an extra $1.99/month. This isn’t strictly necessary to unblock US Netflix as the VPN will do this naturally. But it does mean you won’t be sharing your IP address with any other users – so it eliminates the risk your connection will get blacklisted for abnormal usage.
- Price: $2.49/month
- Speed: 3/5
- Apps: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Android TV, Kodi, Firestick, Router, DD-WRT Applet, Linux, BoxeeBox, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV and more…
I really like PureVPN ($2.49/month). I’ve been using it to unblock US Netflix and BBC iPlayer on my Android phone and Windows laptop since the start of 2018. It’s also really cheap!
As mentioned above, its app layout is almost identical to Ivacy. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s really intuitive and easy to use.
And from my tests, its servers are also a little bit faster than Ivacy’s. Giving you more than enough Mbps to stream Netflix in HD.
There’s even one more feature it shares with Ivacy. PureVPN also offers you the ability to buy access to your own dedicated IP for $1.99/month. Buy this if you want a really cheap VPN that gives you access to Netflix but want just a little more speed.
- Price: $3.99/month
- Speed: 4/5
- Apps: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, ChromeOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Raspberry Pi, TOMATO, Synology, ASUS WRT, TP-Link, D-Link, Linksys, BlackBerry, Western Digital and more…
We’re moving into the world of high-end VPN apps now. And NordVPN ($3.99/month) is very close to the best in the business. It’s been around for ages and has established itself as one of the fastest and most reliable VPNs on the market.
The app is available to download on pretty much all platforms and is super easy to use. And is beautifully designed too. Finding the right server for US Netflix only takes seconds. Better yet, if you’re ever having difficulty finding a server that works with Netflix (which is very rare), you can chat to a Live Chat agent on the NordVPN website for free. Here you’ll be guided through what you need to do to get Netflix working again. You’ll even be given specific servers to connect to – which is handy because NordVPN has thousands to choose from.
However, it’s worth saying that using the Quick Connect server option has worked for me more than 99% of the time (and I watch a lot of Netflix).
NordVPN’s servers are lightning fast. If you’re willing to pay a little extra for NordVPN you won’t regret the speed boost you get in return.
- Price: $6.66/month
- Speed: 5/5
- Apps: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, BlackBerry, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Nook, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast, Roku, Nvidia Shield and more…
If you can afford it, you’re going to love ExpressVPN ($6.66/month). It’s the best there is. And boasts the best, most reliable, connections with US Netflix too.
The feature you’re paying for with ExpressVPN is speed. No other service comes close to it in terms of performance. It’s my go-to VPN of choice because its so easy to use. And so fast.
As you’d expect, the App is also world-class. Finding and connecting to the right server is child’s play. And the time it takes to establish a connection is ridiculously fast too. Which makes the process that much more enjoyable.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN money can buy. If you’re serious about unblocking US Netflix, you can’t do better than ExpressVPN.
Get ExpressVPN for $6.66/month (get 3 months free when you sign up for 12!)