Is it safe to use a VPN with Netflix

With the rise of streaming giants like Netflix, many users are turning to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to access a broader range of content.

While VPNs offer the potential for expanded libraries and increased online privacy, there are inherent questions and concerns to address.

This article provides an in-depth analysis of using VPNs with Netflix, highlighting both its merits and considerations surrounding safety and security. More specifically, we’ll answer the question of is it safe to use a VPN with Netflix so you understand exactly what the risks are when doing so.

Are VPNs safe?

VPNs are tools designed to enhance online privacy, security, and access to content that might be restricted in certain regions. But as with any technology, safety depends on how and which VPN is used.

Trustworthiness of the VPN Provider: One of the main concerns when using a VPN is whether or not the VPN provider can be trusted. There are hundreds of VPN services available, ranging from well-respected and vetted companies to shady operations with questionable practices. Reputable VPNs commit to a strict no-log policy, ensuring they do not store records of your online activities. However, some less reputable providers might log user data, sell it to advertisers, or even hand it over to law enforcement agencies if pressed.

Encryption Standards: A critical safety feature of VPNs is encryption, which ensures that the data being transmitted is scrambled and unreadable to prying eyes. Reliable VPN services utilise robust encryption protocols to secure user data. Choosing a VPN that upholds high encryption standards is essential to ensure your data isn’t vulnerable to breaches.

Security Vulnerabilities: Like any software, VPN applications can have vulnerabilities. In some cases, these vulnerabilities can be exploited by hackers. Hence, it’s crucial to keep the VPN software updated and choose providers known for their proactive stance on security.

Jurisdiction and Legal Concerns: The jurisdiction under which a VPN provider operates can influence its safety. Some countries have stringent data retention laws, while others may frequently issue warrants to companies to hand over user information. Choosing a VPN based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction can add an extra layer of safety.

Is it safe to use a VPN with Netflix?

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access Netflix is common for many individuals worldwide. This is primarily because a VPN can bypass geographical restrictions, allowing users to access content that may not be available in their region. 

But the question is it safe to use a VPN with Netflix is multifaceted, touching on both technical and policy aspects.

From a Technical Perspective, your online data and activities are encrypted when you use a reputable VPN service. This encryption ensures that third parties, including potential hackers or your Internet Service Provider (ISP), can’t easily see what you’re doing online, including watching Netflix. In terms of cybersecurity, this is a boon, as it provides an additional layer of protection against potential eavesdroppers.

While the technicalities of using a VPN might seem safe, Netflix’s stance on the matter is vital to understand. Netflix’s terms of service state that you’re only supposed to access the service in the country where you’ve established an account and only from territories where they offer the service. Using tools to circumvent these geographical restrictions, like VPNs, is technically against Netflix’s terms. There have been instances where Netflix detected and blocked VPN servers, making content inaccessible. However, as of time of writing, there haven’t been widespread reports of Netflix penalising individual user accounts for VPN usage.

The safety of using a VPN with Netflix also depends heavily on the VPN provider you choose. Reliable VPN services prioritise user privacy, utilise strong encryption, and do not log user activities. However, some subpar or shady VPN providers might pose risks, either by tracking user data or being susceptible to security breaches.

Is it safe to use a VPN with Netflix

What risks are there in using a VPN with Netflix?

Using a VPN with Netflix, although beneficial for bypassing geographic content restrictions, does come with a few concerns:

Netflix’s terms of service clearly articulate that users should only access content in the region where they’ve set up their account. Bypassing these stipulations using a VPN could be seen as a violation of these terms. While Netflix’s primary reaction to this has been to block the IP addresses of known VPN servers, there’s no definitive assurance about the platform’s future actions against individual accounts that consistently breach this policy.

In addition to potential account issues, the technical side of using VPNs might not always be smooth sailing. VPNs direct internet traffic through different servers, and depending on the quality of the VPN service, this can lead to degraded streaming quality. Users might find themselves facing prolonged buffering times, a drop in video resolution, or even intermittent disconnections.

How to pick a safe VPN for Netflix

To pick a safe VPN for Netflix, consider the following points:

  1. Reputation & Reviews: Prioritize VPNs with a solid track record, positive user feedback, and industry endorsements.
  2. No-Logs Policy: Choose a VPN that commits to not recording or storing your online activities.
  3. Strong Encryption: Ensure the VPN uses robust encryption protocols like OpenVPN or IKEv2.
  4. High-Speed Servers: Opt for VPNs that offer high-speed servers to prevent streaming lags or buffering.
  5. Netflix Compatibility: Some VPNs are better equipped to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions, so make sure your choice is known to work effectively with Netflix.
  6. Jurisdiction: Consider where the VPN company is based; privacy-friendly jurisdictions are preferable as they’re less likely to share data with third parties.
  7. Cost and Value: While free VPNs can be tempting, they may have limitations or security risks. It’s often worth investing in a reputable paid service for reliability and safety.

What are the best VPNs for Netflix?

We’ve been watching different Netflix libraries for years using VPNs. We’ve tried and tested a number of VPNs and have created a list of the ones that both work reliably with Netflix and provide a safe experience when doing so:

1. ExpressVPN 🥇 $6.66/month

The fastest and most reliable streaming VPN of 2023

  • 160+ IP addresses in 94+ countries
  • 5 simultaneous devices
  • Live chat support
  • Over 3,000 servers
  • >80% connection speed
  • Unlimited bandwidth
ExpressVPN review

ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) is still the best VPN. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

2. NordVPN $3.19/month

An incredibly fast and trustworthy VPN

  • Over 5,000 servers worldwide
  • 6 simultaneous devices
  • Reliable customer service
  • Fast NordLynx protocol
  • Cybersec ad and tracker blocker
  • Easy to use interface
NordVPN Best VPN image

NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And it’s easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers.

It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired a full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers’ connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing in its network of IP addresses in key locations.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

3. Private Internet Access $2.03/month

An affordable, reliable VPN

  • 35,000 servers worldwide
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • 24/7 chat support
  • Servers in over 80 countries
  • MACE ad blocker included
  • Supports multiple protocols
Best VPN list - PIA

Private Internet Access is one of the leading no-log VPN services with over 1-million paying customers.

This VPN is one of the best in the industry at beating streaming sites’ VPN bans. It provides reliable connections with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, MAX, Disney+ Amazon Prime, and many more.

Even better, it allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time. So you can share the account with all of your friends.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

4. Ivacy $1.00/month

A trustworthy and affordable VPN

  • 5700+ servers worldwide
  • 10 simultaneous devices
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Dedicated IP address option
  • Available on all major platforms
  • Great price
Ivacy Best VPN image

If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.00/month) is a great option.

While it doesn’t do much more than the other VPNs on this list, the main attraction is the price. This is an affordable VPN that will allow you to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick. You’ll also be able to unlock other services like US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, MAX, Amazon Prime, etc. with ease.

Read our full Ivacy review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

5. CyberGhost $2.19/month

A solid VPN package

  • Deloitte verified no logs policy
  • Servers in 91 countries
  • 7 simulatenous devices
  • Proprietary NoSpy servers
  • Multiple protocol options
  • Split tunneling support
CyberGhost Best VPN image

CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well.

It also offers NoSpy servers which are specially designed to provide an extra layer of security and privacy for users.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

Patch Bowen is a VPN expert who has trialed, tested and used different VPNs all over the world. He loves the latest technology especially when it comes to gaming. Patch Bowen is also an experienced Tech Reviewer. Whether it's laptops, smartphones, earbuds or keyboards he's seen it all.