Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

How to use a VPN on Netflix: 5 Tips and tricks

Neon light signage displaying the Netflix logo.
Chesnot/Getty Images

It’s no secret that using a VPN on Netflix can unlock a whole array of features and can benefit you in many ways. However, if you’re not tech savvy or don’t know how VPNs work, you might be confused about how to unlock these features. Due to copyright laws, Netflix can’t legally distribute content across all regions. A solution to bypass that is to use a VPN when watching Netflix and connect to the VPN location that has the content you’re looking for.

There are many other benefits to using a VPN when connecting to the internet, such as privacy and data collection concerns. If you haven’t gotten yourself a VPN subscription yet, then take a look at our dedicated page for the best Netflix VPNs to get you started. Read on to find out how to use a VPN on Netflix and learn some other tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your VPN and Netflix subscription.

Make sure the VPN is on

Although this step sounds simple, many forget to turn on their VPN before browsing the internet or watching Netflix. Most VPN services require you to turn the VPN on manually, and unless you have unlimited data, it’s recommended you keep a close eye on how much data you have left. Keeping your VPN on when you don’t want it can drain your remaining data quickly, especially if you’re doing something that is data-heavy, like watching HD videos.

If you’re on your mobile device, you’ll need to go into the app and tap the button to turn it on. If you’re on your computer, you’ll need to open the program and turn the VPN on. There are also browser VPNs where you’ll need to click on the browser extension to turn on the VPN. Once you’re done watching the best shows on Netflix or the best movies on Netflix, you can turn off your VPN if you have a limited data plan.

Go incognito

In the majority of cases, simply connecting to your VPN is good enough to protect you online. Still, if you’re experiencing issues or are worried about cookies and privacy, you can turn on incognito mode in your browser to help. Some browsers refer to incognito mode as private mode. Click on the browser settings icon and select open new incognito/private window to turn it on. Alternatively, you can press CTRL + SHIFT + N.

Incognito mode blocks any location-revealing cookies, which bolsters your digital privacy. On top of that, it does not log any information you put in forms or text boxes. And perhaps most importantly, incognito mode does not record or store any browsing data like history, so your ISP cannot track or trace what you’ve been doing online. Therefore, using incognito mode in tandem with a VPN is best for digital privacy. If you’re experiencing problems with Netflix, try opening an incognito tab and then turning on your VPN. Opening a new incognito tab acts as a new digital slate with no cookies attached to your connection, so you may be able to fix any problems you have.

Change servers

The classic “turning it on and off again” but in VPN form. If you’re experiencing speed or connectivity issues on one server, try changing server locations (moving countries in the VPN app) or changing VPN protocols (connecting to a different server in the same country). If you’re trying to access geo-locked content on Netflix, it may be better to change VPN protocols, or if that’s not an option, then just turn it on and off again. Every time you connect to a VPN server, your IP address is obfuscated and encrypted uniquely so changing servers or restarting your connection can fix many problems.

Check your internet connection

If you’re on your mobile device, your VPN may not work if you’re using cellular data. Making sure you’re connected to WiFi on your mobile device is a good habit regardless, as you don’t want your phone bill to skyrocket while watching Netflix. While the best VPN services can bypass any malicious speed throttling set up by your ISP, they can’t fix a generally weak connection. If you want to use a VPN on Netflix, you’ll need a solid connection to enjoy some movies and show in HD.

Stick to a computer or mobile device

You can use a VPN on almost any device that can connect to the internet, but they’re tried and tested on mobile devices and computers. It’s ideal to stick to these forms of technology when trying to use a VPN on Netflix as they’re easy to set up and troubleshoot. Technically, the best way to utilize your VPN subscription is by hooking it up to your router, so it protects your whole household’s internet connection, but it can be challenging to set up if you’re not completely sure of what you’re doing. Therefore, we suggest keeping your VPN activities on your handheld devices or personal computers.

Editors' Recommendations