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Surfshark not Working with Netflix? Quick Fixes & Alternatives

There are many reasons for Surfshark not working with Netflix. Some of them are basic and easy to fix. Some are more complicated and may need expert assistance or a switch to a different VPN.

In this quick guide, we’ll explain why Netflix might be blocking your Sufshark account, what you can do to fix it, and the best alternative VPNs to Surfshark for streaming Netflix if nothing works.

How to stream Netflix with Surfshark

Let’s get the basics out of the way and ensure you’ve configured Surfshark correctly to work with Netflix. 

Surfshark is available on Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Fire TV, and other popular devices. But the setup process remains essentially the same on each one. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Sign up to Surfshark. You’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it risk-free if you’re a new user. 
  2. Download the latest version of the app on your preferred Netflix device.
  3. Sign in to Surfshark and connect to a server in your desired Netflix location.
  4. Clear the cache and cookies on your browser or Netflix app.
  5. Open Netflix on its app or your browser and stream as usual. 

That’s it!

Clearing your cache and cookies is key. Netflix logs your location from previous sessions, and the information may conflict with the IP address/location displayed by Surfshark. 

If you still can’t access Netflix, try connecting to a different server on the Surfshark app. 

If your Surfshark app or account is completely blocked, keep reading to find alternative VPNs that work with Netflix. 

How well does Surfshark work with Netflix?

Surfshark is one of the best VPNs for Netflix. In all our tests, it consistently accessed various international Netflix libraries, producing a fast, buffer-free experience.

Surfshark is one of the most widespread VPNs, with 3,200+ servers in 100+ countries, including uncommon locations like Belize and North Macedonia. Surfshark is a gift for cinephiles or those that love exotic content.

It’s also one of the fastest streaming VPNs, with speeds well over the minimum threshold to handle Netflix at 4K HD.

Why does Surfshark not work with Netflix?

Even though Surfshark is excellent at streaming Netflix, the streaming service is constantly trying to block it, sometimes successfully. 

Netflix has a legal responsibility to only stream TV shows and movies in regions where it has the rights, and ensure people outside those regions can’t get access. 

That’s why you’ll find that Netflix US has a richer library than any other country, with tons of content unavailable anywhere else. US copyright laws and distribution agreements restrict Netflix from showing them anywhere else. 

Therefore, Netflix spends a lot of time devising countermeasures for VPN use.

However, Surfshark might not work with Netflix due to unrelated technical reasons. These are the most common ones that you can resolve on your own:

1. Netflix is reading old location data from your browser or device. Your old data may suggest you’re using a VPN and trigger an error on your Netflix app. 

Solution: Clear your cache and cookies.

2. Netflix has identified and blocked the Surfshark server you’ve selected. The server’s IP address will be permanently banned from accessing Netflix. The good news: Surfshark has plenty of other servers to connect to.

Solution: Change servers in your desired location.

3. Netflix could use GPS information to establish your location. Many apps on mobile and desktop log your GPS location when you turn it on to use cab-hailing apps and maps. Surfshark can’t wipe this data.

Solution: Use incognito mode to watch Netflix on your browser (with a VPN installed) or install a GPS spoofing app. 

4. Surfshark servers aren’t available in your chosen country. The country you're trying to watch content from may not be among the 100+ in which Surfshark has servers. Or it may have very few servers that have been identified and blocked by Netflix. 

Solution: Switch to a VPN with more servers in your chosen country. Try ExpressVPN.

Best alternative VPNs for streaming Netflix

We’ve tested the following VPNs for speed, server reliability, and compatibility with Netflix’s most in-demand libraries. They are the best alternatives to Surfshark for streaming Netflix.

 

1. ExpressVPN
Editor's Choice | February 2024

ExpressVPN is lightning fast and has servers in over 94 countries, almost as many as Surfshark.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
      49% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Over 3,000 servers in 94+ countries
    • One of the fastest VPNs in the world
    • Industry-best security
    • Works with Netflix and other major streaming services, including Hulu and Disney+
    • Works in China and other VPN-restricted countries
  • Cons

    • You only get five simultaneous device connections
    • Relatively expensive
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

ExpressVPN is among the top two VPNs in every VPN review we publish. Its super-fast servers in 90+ countries give you buffer-less 4K HD streaming from the most popular Netflix libraries.


It also has the most cutting-edge security. Your data is guarded by 256-bit AES encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, automatic kill-switches that cut out your internet when your VPN connection fails, and more. 


ExpressVPN is also a leader in protecting your privacy. It operates out of the British Virgin Islands, one of the most private countries in the world. Its servers are 100% built on RAM, which can’t store your information once you end your session. Its privacy policies and practices are regularly audited, and reports are posted online, so we’re confident in ExpressVPN’s privacy. 


With an almost similar international presence and better feature set, ExpressVPN should be your first alternative if Surfshark can’t work with Netflix.


Test ExpressVPN risk-free using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN is fast, secure, affordable, private, and even works in locations with VPN restrictions. The only reason it isn’t our top recommendation is it’s available in far fewer countries than Surfshark.

  • Pricing

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

    • Among the fastest VPNs we’ve tested
    • More than 5,000 servers in 60+ countries
    • Speedy 24/7 help desk through live chat, email, and ticketing
    • Affordable
  • Cons

    • Switching servers can be slow
    • No router app, only manual configuration available
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

If NordVPN had just a few more server locations, it would be the ultimate replacement and upgrade for Surfshark. As it turns out, the world’s best VPN is only available in 60+ countries. However, it has many more servers, at 5,800+. You have more switching options should one fail to work with Netflix.


The servers are remarkably quick. Its NordLynx VPN protocol provides speed and stable connections, averaging 55 Mbps in our most recent tests – without compromising security or draining your device. It also has SmartDNS, which enables streaming on devices that don’t support VPNs, like game consoles and some smart TVs.


NordVPN is proven to access the top 25 Netflix library regions worldwide, including the major ones in the US, the UK, Japan, and Europe.


Try NordVPN with Netflix using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

With a ridiculous 20,000+ servers worldwide, PIA is affordable, secure, and private. We also like that it’s open source.

  • Pricing

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

    • Massive server network
    • Open source
    • Excellent for P2P and torrenting
    • Capable of buffer-free HD streaming
    • 10 devices simultaneous device connections
  • Cons

    • Based in the US
    • No stealth mode or obfuscated servers
    • Has issues with some streaming sites
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Torrenting is PIA's main strength, prioritizing speed, security, and privacy – the exact characteristics you need for a great Netflix VPN.


PIA’s 20,000+ servers are unmatched in the VPN space. However, many of them are virtual servers which may not work well with Netflix. They also don’t have obfuscation to hide that they’re VPN servers, so Netflix could easily block them.


You'll appreciate PIA's open-source nature if you’re strict about online privacy. If you have the know-how, you can check its source code at any time and see how it works to confirm it isn’t selling your information.


We’re confident in PIA’s commitment to privacy. It’s extremely serious about its no-logs policy and has even been taken to court twice in 2016 and 2018, winning both times.


You can try PIA using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost is fast, affordable, and beginner-friendly. It has dedicated Netflix servers in Germany, France, and the US, but many others work fine with the streamer.

  • Pricing

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

    • 9,400+ servers in over 90 countries
    • Easy to use
    • Fantastic customer support
    • Good value
    • Accepts cryptocurrency payments
  • Cons

    • Can’t be installed on routers
    • Doesn’t work well in China and UAE
    • Its parent company has a poor privacy reputation
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

CyberGhost has a massive network of 9,400+ servers in 90+ countries. It covers all the most popular Netflix libraries and more.


Its apps are easy to use, even though they pack all the most sophisticated modern VPN technologies. CyberGhost also uses lightweight protocols to give you lightning-fast speeds while maintaining the highest levels of security. 


You can install CyberGhost on up to seven devices, with your settings pre-configured on each new device after the first time you install it. You can bookmark servers, security and privacy settings, and favorite Netflix countries, and they’ll be instantly synced across all devices. 


The main issue with CyberGhost is it needs to improve in countries that restrict VPN use. If you’re heading to the UAE, China, etc., and want to keep up with your favorite shows, you should opt for ExpressVPN or NordVPN.


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

Proton VPN is a reputable VPN that offers good security, excellent privacy, and high-speed streaming.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $4.99/mth
      51% OFF
    • 12 months: $5.99/mth
      41% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
    • Free trial: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Its free plan gives you access to three countries: the US, Netherlands, and Japan
    • 2,800+ servers in 64+ countries
    • User-friendly apps
    • Fast servers
    • Good free plan
  • Cons

    • Expensive paid plan for its features
    • Not as capable as other top Netflix VPNs
    • Smaller server network
    • Limited customer support
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

The paid version of Proton VPN works well with most Netflix libraries. It only has 2,800+ servers worldwide, but its proprietary VPN Accelerator protocol makes up the difference in speed and reliable connections, even over long distances. 


However, we noted that Proton VPN was flagged by Netflix more often than other top VPNs. This is probably due to the limited servers and lack of advanced features. 


If you have to use a free VPN, Proton VPN has one of the best. It gives you full bandwidth, no ads, the same privacy features as the paid plans, and three locations with popular Netflix libraries – the US, Netherlands, and Japan.


Will they work well, though? No. They’ll likely be overcrowded and slow or blocked by Netflix. You’re better served using a good, cheap VPN like CyberGhost.


Use ProtonVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee to see if it works with your Netflix location. 

Do free VPNs work with Netflix?

You might get lucky and find a free VPN that works with Netflix. However, most don’t – because they have limited servers that Netflix easily identifies and lack advanced features. 

Free VPNs have more downsides than just server availability. These are just a few of the issues you’re likely to encounter: 

1. Free VPNs limit the number of locations you can access. You’ll be limited to maybe two or three countries at best. 

2. Free VPNs are too slow for Netflix – or anything else. They want you to upgrade to the paid plan, so they’ll throttle your speed. The ones that don’t will likely be overcrowded and, therefore, slow.

3. Free VPNs come bundled with ads. They’re annoyingly intrusive and could infect your device with malware.

4. Free VPNs sell your information to data brokers and advertisers. YOU are the product with most free VPNs, and they’ll readily sell your information. They can also install malware to track your online activity.

5. Free VPNs have been caught hosting malware and hackers on their networks. They may compromise all devices on your network.

Many affordable VPNs work with Netflix and won’t compromise your experience, privacy, or security. We urge you to use those instead. 

How we tested Surfshark and others with Netflix

We use a long list of strict criteria before recommending any VPN. Here’s a brief sample of what we look at: 

  • Server network: For a fast, reliable connection with access to the most content, you need a VPN with thousands of servers worldwide.
  • Connection speeds: We tested each VPN’s speed and consistency to ensure our recommendations are stable and can stream high-quality Netflix.
  • Access to content: Not only how many Netflix libraries the VPN could access, but also how many other streaming sites it could unblock.
  • Security: Our top-rated VPNs offer features to protect your device and information, like kill-switches, leak protection, and military-grade encryption. 
  • Privacy: We look into a VPN provider’s privacy policy, base of operations, server hardware (is it RAM based?), and privacy audit report if they have one.
  • Value: We only recommend premium VPNs with low-cost plans and money-back guarantees. 
  • Ease of use: VPNs are a technical marvel, but using them doesn't have to be. We only recommend beginner-friendly VPNs. 
  • Customer support: The best VPNs provide enough online information to DIY most issues and have 24/7 live support with human experts to help with cases. 

Use our entire VPN review process when choosing the right VPN for Netflix or other use.

FAQs

Conclusion

Surfshark is excellent for streaming Netflix. We’ve recommended it many times over other VPNs. However, Netflix is becoming more competent at tracking and blocking VPNs, a problem that all VPN providers face.

If our self-help solutions for streaming Netflix with Surfshark don’t work, switching to either ExpressVPN or NordVPN will likely get you back streaming.

Or check out our other VPN reviews to find a better-suited one 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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