Short on time? Here’s the best free VPN for Netflix in 2023:
- 🥇 ExpressVPN: It’s not technically free, but it’s the best VPN for streaming Netflix in any country in 2023, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can use it risk-free for a whole month. It also has industry-leading security, maintains the fastest connection speeds I’ve seen in a VPN, and offers affordable plans that cover up to 5 devices.
Using a free VPN to stream Netflix can be risky — it might be unsafe, its speeds may be too slow, and it might not even be able to access Netflix. I always suggest using a premium VPN over a free VPN, as premium VPNs offer stronger security, better speeds, and full 24/7 support for Netflix and other streaming platforms.
Fortunately, some premium VPNs offer free versions of their service. I tested dozens of free VPNs and found the best 3 for streaming Netflix — while all of them have some limitations, they’re secure, fast, and work with Netflix most of the time.
Quick summary of the best free VPNs for Netflix in 2023:
- 🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN for watching Netflix in 2023. Consistently works with Netflix, has some of the best security features around, and maintains the fastest speeds. It’s not totally free, but it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 🥈2. Proton VPN — Best free streaming VPN with unlimited data (best for binging Netflix). Great security and speeds, but only 3 server locations and sometimes unpredictable Netflix access.
- 🥉3. Windscribe — Good for accessing Netflix on many devices. Provides up to 15 GB/month data cap and allows unlimited simultaneous connections.
- Bonus. Hide.me — Easy-to-use Netflix VPN. Allows 10 GB/month of data and provides good speeds for streaming Netflix, but it can’t always access Netflix.
- Comparison of the Best Free VPNs for Netflix.
🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best Free VPN for Netflix in 2023
ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN to stream Netflix in 2023. It can access Netflix more reliably and provides better security and faster speeds than most of its competitors. While it’s technically not 100% free, it comes with a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can subscribe risk-free and enjoy your favorite content for a whole month.
Installing ExpressVPN on my PC, Mac, iPhone, and Android devices was quick and took only a few minutes. Once I installed it, I connected to one of its servers, and I could easily access Netflix on my browser with no issues. I also tested ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer feature, which let me stream Netflix from my game console and smart TV, and I experienced no problems whatsoever.
ExpressVPN has some of the best speeds I’ve seen in a VPN. Finding the fastest server is easy thanks to its built-in speed test, which checks its servers in real-time and shows a list of the fastest servers. On all the servers I tested, I was able to stream HD Netflix content without any lag, and I even got close to my normal connection speeds when I was connected to the closest server to my actual location.
256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy are just some of the security features offered by ExpressVPN. It also has TrustedServer technology, which means its servers use temporary RAM rather than hard drives, and they are wiped clean each time they’re restarted. I also like its split tunnel feature, which lets you control which apps route through the VPN and which ones bypass it.
Premium subscriptions start at $6.67 / month, but I often see special deals on ExpressVPN’s website offering extra free months. All plans give you access to ExpressVPN’s large server network and allow you to connect up to 5 simultaneous devices.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Netflix in 2023 — it can access Netflix 100% of the time, and it has great speeds and security. It has support for a wide range of devices, provides MediaStreamer for installing on devices that don’t have native VPN support, and includes features like a speed test to help you connect to the fastest server. It’s not totally free, but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans, so you can try it with no risk.
🥈2. Proton VPN — Best Free VPN With Unlimited Data
Proton VPN’s free version doesn’t come with a data cap, so you can watch as much Netflix as you want. Its security is strong, and it offers good speeds on its 3 free server locations (the US, Japan, and the Netherlands). One drawback is that free users are allowed only 1 connection at a time.
Proton VPN’s website says its free plan doesn’t support streaming. However, in my tests, I could access Netflix most of the time, but the streaming platform also detected I was using a VPN on a couple of occasions. ExpressVPN proved to be much more reliable when accessing Netflix.
Proton VPN’s free plan provides “medium” speeds, but I still had really good speeds for streaming HD content on Netflix. I mostly didn’t experience any buffering or lag, though some videos took longer to load when I was connected to its US server during peak times. I really like Proton VPN’s VPN Accelerator feature, which helps provide even faster speeds on distant servers (my speeds were 13% faster with the VPN Accelerator when I connected to servers in Japan and the Netherlands).
Proton VPN’s security includes 256-AES encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy. I like that its apps are all open-source and regularly audited by independent third parties, which makes it easy to trust this VPN. I also tested Proton VPN’s split tunnel feature — it worked well, but it’s only available on the Windows and Android versions.
If you want to upgrade from its free version, Proton VPN has monthly and yearly premium Plus plans (starting at $3.99 / month), which add streaming and Tor support, access to 60+ server locations, and up to 10 connections. All plans come with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
Proton VPN’s free version offers unlimited data for streaming as much Netflix content as you want. It has top-notch security and fast connection speeds, and all of its apps are open-source and undergo regular third-party audits. However, its free version only allows 1 device at a time, and in my tests, it didn’t access Netflix as reliably as ExpressVPN. Upgrading to its premium plans unlocks more devices and servers, as well as more reliable Netflix access.
🥉3. Windscribe — Best VPN for Streaming Netflix on Many Devices
Windscribe’s free plan allows unlimited device connections, so it’s a good option if everyone in your house wants to stream Netflix.
It also gives access to over 10 free server locations (more than many other of the free VPNs on this list), but it comes with a maximum monthly data limit of 15 GB. While this is good for everyday browsing (and generous when compared to most free VPNs), it means about 15 hours of SD Netflix content or only 5 hours of HD content. This is pretty restrictive compared to Proton’s unlimited data cap, but it’s still enough to stream a few movies a month.
Windscribe’s security features are solid, with 256-bit AES encryption and a strict no-logs policy. However, unlike ExpressVPN and Proton VPN, it doesn’t offer a kill switch — instead, it has a built-in firewall, which works in a similar way and stops all internet traffic when the VPN disconnects. That said, Windscribe Free comes with split tunneling, which can help you manage how much data is counted towards its free data cap (available on Windows, Mac, and Android).
Windscribe has several premium plans, starting at $5.75 / month, and they all give you unlimited data and access to more servers. It also has a “build-a-plan” option, which lets you customize your plan by adding access to individual servers. All plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Windscribe allows unlimited device connections, making it a good choice for large households or groups. However, free users can only reach a 15 GB/month data limit, so it’s not ideal for Netflix bingers. It has split-tunneling to help manage its data cap, as well as a built-in firewall. Upgrading to Windscribe’s premium plans unlocks unlimited data and a larger server network.
Bonus. Hide.me — Easy-to-use Netflix VPN (Great for Beginners)
Hide.me is an easy-to-use VPN that’s good for beginners. It has a data limit of 10 GB/month, which is less than Proton VPN or Windscribe, but it’s enough to stream a few movies a month. It can access Netflix with no issues, its speeds are fast, and it has good security features.
Hide.me offers 5 free server locations — 1 in Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, and 2 in the US. During my speed tests, I only saw a bit of buffering when connected to its US East server, but this was during peak times. Overall, I had good download and upload speeds, but not near what I saw with ExpressVPN.
Hide.me’s free version has all industry-standard VPN features, including a kill switch, 256-bit encryption, and a strict no-logs policy. It also has Stealthguard, a feature that prevents apps from accessing the internet when you’re not connected to Hide.me (kind of like a customizable kill switch), which works great for preventing leaks.
Upgrading to Hide.me’s premium plans, which start at $3.84 / month, gets you unlimited data, 50+ server locations, and up to 10 simultaneous connections. Hide.me offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all paid plans.
Hide.me is an easy-to-use free VPN with a decent 10 GB/month data limit. It can access Netflix, but not as reliably as ExpressVPN or Proton VPN. However, its premium plans unlock unlimited data, more reliable Netflix access, servers in 50+ countries, and up to 10 device connections.
Comparison of the best free VPNs for Watching Netflix in 2023
|Free VPN||Data Cap||Max # of Devices||Split Tunneling||# of Server Locations||Starting Price for Premium Plans|
|1.🥇ExpressVPN||Unlimited||5||✅||160||$6.67 / month|
|2.🥈Proton VPN||Unlimited||1||✅||3||$3.99 / month|
|3.🥉Windscribe||Up to 15GB/month||Unlimited||✅
(Not all versions)
|10+||$5.75 / month|
|Bonus. Hide.me||10 GB/month||1||✅||5||$3.84 / month|
How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Watching Netflix
- Ability to access Netflix — Not all free VPNs can access Netflix, so make sure you choose one that can. ExpressVPN accessed Netflix the most consistently out of all the other VPNs in my tests. It’s not free, but it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it risk-free for a whole month!
- Speed — Many free VPNs have crowded servers that reduce your speeds, making it difficult to stream Netflix content without buffering or lag. All the VPNs on this list have speeds good enough for streaming HD Netflix videos without any interruptions.
- Large (or unlimited) data limit — Streaming Netflix content in SD can take up to 1GB per hour of data, and HD content can take up to 3 GB per hour. Choosing a free VPN with unlimited data or a large monthly limit will allow you to stream your favorite Netflix movies and shows. Proton VPN’s free plan doesn’t have a data cap.
- Server locations in your preferred country — Free VPNs often have a limited number of free servers. Make sure you choose a free VPN that has at least one server in the country you want to access.
- Split-tunneling — Since you’re using a VPN only to watch Netflix, you don’t need all of your internet traffic going through the VPN’s server. Split tunneling allows you to choose which apps to route through the VPN (like your Netflix app or browser).
Risks & Disadvantages of Using a Free VPN to Watch Netflix
- Lack of security. Free VPNs are often unsafe as they lack security features such as encryption and kill switches. They might even track your data and sell it to third parties. While you’re connected to a VPN’s server, it’s hard to know who is looking at your data unless you use a reliable VPN with trustworthy privacy and security protocols.
- More lag. VPNs will always slow your connection somewhat, but free servers are more crowded and may slow you down even more, and some free VPNs also throttle your connection speeds. Premium VPNs have much larger networks of servers, so fewer users are connected to any server at once, which means faster speeds for you.
- Locked out. Popular streaming services can almost always detect if you’re using a free VPN. Premium VPNs like ExpressVPN have servers designed to access Netflix, so you’ll never be locked out.
- Blacklisted servers. Because free VPNs have fewer servers (and are more crowded), the chance of a popular website banning or blacklisting the servers is higher. You may notice more captcha requests or being blocked entirely from Netflix or other sites while using free VPNs.
- Data tracking. Because free VPNs have to make money somehow, they may track your activity (like shopping and browsing) and sell your data to third parties. Premium VPNs like ExpressVPN are very strict in their policies to never track or sell user data.
Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut
- CyberGhost. CyberGhost is one of the best premium VPNs for streaming Netflix — it has servers specifically designed to access streaming sites. It’s also very secure, fast, and easy to use. It didn’t make this list because there’s no free version, but it does have a 45-day money-back guarantee.
- TunnelBear. TunnelBear is a simple, easy-to-use free VPN that has fast speeds and can reliably access Netflix. Its free version only allows 500 MB/day of data (not nearly enough for Netflix), but upgrading to its affordable premium plans unlocks unlimited data.
- IPVanish. IPVanish has a large server selection and allows unlimited device connections. Unfortunately, accessing Netflix was inconsistent in my tests, and it doesn’t offer a free version.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best free VPN for watching Netflix?
While it’s not exactly free, the best VPN for watching Netflix is ExpressVPN. Other free VPNs are good — like Proton VPN with its unlimited data — but ExpressVPN provides the fastest speeds, the strongest security, and the most reliable access to streaming sites like Netflix. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can subscribe risk-free.
How do I use a VPN with Netflix?
To install and set up a VPN on your Mac, PC, or smartphone, follow these 3 quick steps:
- Download and install a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because it has excellent security, fast speeds, and easy-to-use apps for all platforms.
- Connect to a server. Choose a server located in the country you want to connect to. To find the fastest server, ExpressVPN’s speed test can help you find the servers with the best speeds.
- Log into Netflix and start streaming. Open Netflix on your browser or via the Netflix app, log into your account, and enjoy your favorite content!
Do All VPNs work with Netflix?
No. Not all VPNs can access Netflix. This can be because Netflix is able to easily detect the VPN, or because the VPN has been blacklisted due to many other users trying to access Netflix with the same IP address. Premium VPNs like ExpressVPN have servers designed to access Netflix successfully, so you’ll never run into this issue.
Does Netflix block VPNs?
Netflix can detect if you’re using a VPN and block you from accessing the service. Some VPNs — usually free VPNs — are easily detected by Netflix. However, some premium VPNs like ExpressVPN can access Netflix without being blocked.