Our team recorded roughly 1,650 results on each platform: Netflix website in a desktop browser, iOS Netflix app, and Android Netflix app. The website in a desktop browser was unblocked 286 times, while iOS and Android apps were close at 197 and 184, respectively. It’s worth noting that not all the VPNs we tested have mobile apps, in which case the result was negative.
Max Eddy is a Software Analyst, taking a critical eye to the Android OS and security services. He's also PCMag's foremost authority on weather stations and digital scrapbooking software. He spends much of his time polishing his tinfoil hat and plumbing the depths of the Dark Web. Prior to PCMag, Max wrote for the International Digital Times, The... See Full Bio
When you point your browser at a website, it sends a request to the server that hosts the website and returns with the content you want. It's a bit different when you use a VPN. When a VPN is active, it creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and a server controlled by the VPN provider. From there, your request exits onto the worldwide internet as normal, returning via the VPN server and through the encrypted tunnel.
Using a VPN almost certainly means losing some internet speed because your data is taking a longer, more circuitous path than usual. With a VPN you can expect an increase in latency, as well as a reduction in download and upload speeds. When I review VPNs, I first run a series of tests using Ookla's internet speed test tool. (Note that Ookla is owned by Ziff Davis, which also owns PCMag.) Ookla tests latency, upload speed, and download speed, so those are the figures I look at as well.
If cost is a major hurdle, fear not. There are many excellent free VPNs on the market. Our Editors' Choice winner, TunnelBear, offers a free version with a limited amount of data available. ProtonVPN, on the other hand, limits the number of simultaneous devices and available servers to its free customers. Ivacy does not, however, offer a free version.
Our custom-built VPN for Netflix gives you the ability to Unblock Netflix from any region. If you want to access the entire library, there is no better place to start than by accessing Netflix US. Whether you are traveling or reside abroad, you will be able to access American Netflix in a few simple steps. So if you want to enjoy the latest TV shows and movies in Ultra HD, that too without compromising your account, then Ivacy’s Netflix VPN is the way to go.
For its part, Ivacy uses only 26 virtual servers. Hide My Ass, on the other hand, is able to support its incredible number of server locations because only 61 of its servers are physical. The rest, numbering almost 300 servers, are virtual. NordVPN has no virtual servers, while Private Internet Access and TunnelBear use virtual servers to accommodate users rather than support faux-locations.
If you plan on using a VPN while torrenting, consider the ramifications of the Kill Switch. This feature, found in most VPN services, prevents apps from sending data via the internet when the VPN is disconnected. The idea is that it prevents any information from being transmitted in the clear. The avid BitTorrent downloader needs to decide if they want total and complete protection, or would rather not have their download interrupted.
For each test, our staff connected to the VPN, opened Netflix in a browser or in the Netflix app (depending on the OS), and played a video. If the video played normally, the VPN scored a positive result. If it wasn’t clear which server to connect to for a given VPN, we contacted the VPN’s customer support team to ask which servers work with Netflix.