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Why ExpressVPN might Not Work with Netflix & How to Fix It

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market. It has some of the fastest servers, the latest technologies, airtight privacy features, and its speed makes it a top choice for streaming.

Yet, you might encounter a situation where ExpressVPN isn't working with Netflix. Don't worry. It's not uncommon. Netflix takes extraordinary measures to block all VPNs from accessing its services.

There are workarounds, though, and we'll explore all of them in this article. If they don't work, we'll give you the best alternative VPNs to switch to. Let's start.

How to stream Netflix with ExpressVPN

First, we need to ensure you have ExpressVPN configured correctly to work with Netflix.

The process is generally the same for all ExpressVPN's apps across different device types.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN. If you're uncertain, you can use the risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee for a test run.
  2. Download the app to your favorite device and ensure it's up-to-date.
  3. Connect to a server in the country you want to stream Netflix from.
  4. Clear your browser cache and cookies to ensure a fresh connection. Clear the Netflix app as well.
  5. Sign in to Netflix and enjoy unrestricted streaming.

You can try switching servers within your intended location if you can't connect to Netflix the first time. If that doesn't work, we have a few other ideas to help you. Just keep reading.

How well does ExpressVPN work with Netflix?

ExpressVPN has an extensive network of high-speed servers that are more than capable of streaming Netflix in the highest quality.

We tested ExpressVPN's streaming speeds with Netflix and found it averaged 91 Mbps. Many factors affect speed, like how far away your VPN server is. However, ExpressVPN is fast enough for 4K streaming even when connected to far-away servers.

With over 3,000 servers in 94+ countries, you can view content from the best Netflix libraries in the world. We easily accessed over 20 international libraries, including the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia.

ExpressVPN is easy to use and has the most advanced security, privacy, and speed technologies. It's developed its own protocol (how VPNs package and transmit data over the internet) called Lightway, which is both fast and lightweight, making it suitable for your mobile devices, too.

ExpressVPN is an amazing product, but, like all VPNs, it can face some issues working with Netflix. Let's find out why.

Why does ExpressVPN not work with Netflix?

Netflix strives to protect its broadcasting and copyright agreements, and that's why it puts so much effort into trying to block VPNs. The best VPNs usually find their way around Netflix's measures, leaving us in a perpetual cat-and-mouse game.

However, some other factors may contribute to ExpressVPN not working with Netflix. Here are a few and their solutions.

1. There could be a system error. This typical technical error sometimes occurs with all hardware and software.

Solution: Restart ExpressVPN or your device.

2. Netflix is reading old data from your cache and cookies. Your historical location data could conflict with the location presented by your VPN's IP address.

Solution: Clear your cache and cookies or use incognito mode.

3. Your ExpressVPN server is blocked. Netflix keeps a record of servers it identifies as VPNs and blocks them from ever accessing its service. ExpressVPN's 3,000+ servers give you more than enough options to switch.

Solution: Try another server in the same location.

4. Netflix is using your GPS information to establish your location. Netflix apps can periodically log your location information when you turn on your GPS. This may clash with the VPN information being provided to the streamer.

Solution: This is harder to solve, and you might need a GPS spoofing app to fake your location.

5. ExpressVPN doesn't have a server in the country you want. ExpressVPN has servers in more than 90 countries. But if it doesn't have a server in the country with your desired Netflix library, you can't access content there.

Solution: Use a VPN with servers in more countries ExpressVPN has missed, such as NordVPN or Surfshark.

Best alternative VPNs for streaming Netflix

The VPNs below are the best in the world and the top alternative to ExpressVPN for accessing Netflix content.

We've tested them rigorously and shared the full results in our complete VPN reviews.

1. NordVPN
Editor's Choice | June 2024

NordVPN is currently the best VPN on the market. It’s fast, secure, affordable, private, and even works in locations where VPNs have been banned.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $3.69/mth
      70% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      59% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • One of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested
    • 5,800+ servers in 60+ countries
    • Patented VPN protocol
    • Fast, reliable connections
    • Good value
  • Cons

    • Switching servers can be sluggish
    • Router setup requires manual configuration
    • Very few servers in Africa
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

NordVPN is probably the only VPN that can outperform ExpressVPN for Netflix. It has a vast network of over 5,800 speed-optimized servers in 60+ countries. These are more than capable of delivering bufferless Netflix streaming, even in 4K.


Its exclusive NordLynx VPN protocol provides stable, ultrafast connections with speeds averaging 55 Mbps, according to our latest tests. It also has SmartDNS, which allows you to stream on devices that don’t support VPNs, like game consoles and some smart TVs.


NordVPN also delivers industry-leading security. As you stream, you’ll benefit from 256-bit AES encryption (the same standard used by banks, governments, militaries, and spy agencies), DNS/IPv6 leak protection, automatic kill-switches that block your internet if your VPN connection is disrupted, and much more.


If ExpressVPN isn’t working with Netflix, test out NordVPN on its risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark is the best budget VPN for Netflix. It’s fast, secure, packed with excellent privacy tools, and offers unlimited device connections.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      86% OFF
    • 12 months + 3 months FREE: $2.79/mth
      82% OFF
    • 1 month: $15.45/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
    • 3,200+ servers in over 65 countries
    • Comprehensive privacy tools
    • Fast, reliable connections
    • Works in China and the UAE
  • Cons

    • Monthly plans are expensive
    • Servers can occasionally be slow
    • Slow customer service
    • The Mac app is missing some features
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Surfshark is an absolute bargain for a few reasons. First, you can connect it to unlimited devices on a single plan.


Second, it's packed with tools missing from many more expensive competitors. Our favorites are the ad blocker, malware detection, IP address rotator, and stealth mode (hides your VPN from Netflix by obfuscating your server). Combined, these tools don’t just make accessing Netflix easier. They reduce your exposure to tracking, viruses, and online snooping.


Lastly, while Surfshark is not as fast as ExpressVPN, it’s very close. Our globally distributed team tested its servers from various locations. We could stream in 4K HD without any buffering or lag.


You can try Surfshark risk-free using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost is a beginner-friendly VPN with dedicated servers optimized for streaming on Netflix and other popular sites.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.11/mth
      83% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.99/mth
      42% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • 9,500+ super fast, streaming-optimized servers in over 90 countries
    • Connects up to seven devices simultaneously
    • Really easy to use
    • Fantastic customer support
    • Accepts cryptocurrency payments
    • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Cons

    • No apps for routers
    • Doesn’t work well in China and UAE
    • No stealth mode or obfuscated servers
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

CyberGhost is affordable and reliable, with 9,500+ servers in 90+ countries globally.


The VPN uses lightweight, cutting-edge VPN technologies to ensure a fast, stable, and secure connection. It can stream Netflix in at least HD, reaching 6 Mbps in our latest tests.


However, CyberGhost’s performance in VPN-restricted countries is disappointing. You might want a different VPN if you’re heading to China or the UAE. Elsewhere, though, it’s a great option to try out.


CyberGhost is also incredibly beginner-friendly, and you can install it on up to seven devices with your settings pre-configured from the first installation – great for sharing with your family.


You can test CyberGhost using its generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a veteran VPN with over 10,000 servers worldwide, and some of the most powerful privacy features.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      82% OFF
    • 6 months: $7.5/mth
      38% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.95/mth
  • Pros

    • 10 simultaneous device connections
    • One of the largest global server networks
    • Highly customizable and user-friendly apps
    • Excellent customer service
  • Cons

    • Doesn’t work well in VPN-restricted countries
    • iOS and macOS apps can be underwhelming
    • Some security features are outdated
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website


PIA is a well-established, all-round excellent VPN. However, it’s not as modern as other VPNs on this list. It lacks some advanced security features, and a few of its servers run pretty slow.


However, it can access a good number of global Netflix libraries. And with over 10,000 servers in 84+ countries, you have plenty of options if your first server doesn’t work.


PIA was originally built for torrenters worried about their privacy and security from online snooping. So it's invested heavily in providing an impenetrable layer of anonymity without slowing downloads. This benefits people streaming, too, as your true location will be hidden from Netflix and everyone else.


Try PIA using its 30-day money-back guarantee to see if it suits you.


 

Proton VPN has a better-than-most free plan and good long-distance connections, but lacks many advanced features.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $3.59/mth
      65% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      51% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
    • Free trial: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Good free plan
    • 2,800+ servers in 68+ countries
    • Easy-to-use apps
    • High-speed servers
  • Cons

    • Expensive paid plan
    • Gets caught by Netflix
    • Missing advanced features
    • Limited customer support
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Proton VPN’s free plan is one of the best out there. It’s ad-free, gives you unlimited bandwidth, and doesn’t compromise security and privacy. However, you’re limited to only three locations, which will probably be too slow for HD Netflix streaming.


The paid version is worlds better for streaming Netflix. It has 2,800+ servers in 68+ countries, boosted by its patented “VPN accelerator” software. This speeds up your connection over long distances, making it reliable for travel.


In our tests, the paid Proton VPN unblocked the 10 most popular Netflix libraries, including the US and the UK, but only sometimes. We often had to cycle through servers to find one that worked.


Proton VPN also lacks many advanced features offered by the best ExpressVPN alternatives, and costs roughly the same (or more).


Try out ProtonVPN for your location using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Do free VPNs work with Netflix?

Almost no free VPNs work with Netflix because it easily spots their servers due to small networks and out-of-date IP masking software.

But you should skip free VPNs for many other reasons if you're trying to access Netflix. Here are the biggest:

  1. Limited server locations you can access. You'l most likely be limited to a couple of servers in the US and maybe two other countries, max.
  2. Too slow for HD Netflix. Even streaming in standard definition isn't smooth - you'll encounter a lot of buffering.
  3. Frustrating ads. You'll get a pop-up every few minutes urging you to upgrade to the premium plan or promoting some other product. It's irritating, to say the least.
  4. No privacy. Free VPNs often sell your browsing information to data brokers. The consequences range from getting micro-targeted ads to your credit card and identity information potentially falling into criminal hands.
  5. Malware risk. Free VPNs have been caught infecting users' devices with malware that open backdoors to hackers and other malicious actors.

If you're worried about spending money, plenty of cheap VPNs work with Netflix for just a couple of dollars a month.

Stick to those and avoid free VPNs altogether.

How we tested ExpressVPN and others with Netflix

We've devised strict criteria for testing VPNs after years of using and reviewing them. For this, we focused our analysis on the VPN's compatibility with Netflix while factoring in other important aspects.

Here's a sample of our criteria:

  • Server network: We only recommend VPNs with global server networks spread throughout many countries.
  • Connection speeds: We test every VPN to ensure it's fast enough for 4K HD streaming, even if you connect to servers far away.
  • Access to content: Every VPN on this list works with Netflix and other popular streamers, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
  • Security: The top VPNs keep you safe thanks to the latest cybersecurity tools, including 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and much more.
  • Privacy: We looked for VPNs that hide your location and identity through a mix of IP address masking, anti-tracking tools, ad blockers, and similar software.
  • Value: VPNs don't have to be expensive. The best VPNs offer simple, affordable plans and generous money-back guarantees.
  • Ease of use: VPNs are a complicated technology, but they don't have to be difficult to use. Our favorite VPNs are all very beginner-friendly.
  • Customer support: Look for VPNs that offer 24/7 live support with human agents, video tutorials and troubleshooting, and other support channels.

You can use our VPN testing guide to assess which VPN is the best VPN for you.

FAQs

Conclusion

Finding a VPN that works better with Netflix than ExpressVPN is difficult.

However, if ExpressVPN isn't working with Netflix, you have plenty of great backup options and quick fixes to resolve the issue.

You can try every VPN alternative we've recommended with a risk-free money-back guarantee. So, shop around and see which one works for you.

Written by: Conor Walsh

Conor is a tech writer with professional paranoia. He's passionate about privacy, and when not writing about it, can be found trying to get far away from his phone and any other technology, enjoying some live music, outdoorsy stuff, or a good (physical) book.

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