If you’ve tried to access American Netflix, either as an American abroad or otherwise, you may have found your access completely blocked. Netflix only allows its users to access content from the country they’re in. But if you’re a Chrome browser user with the right VPN extension installed, you can get American Netflix without any hassle. Below, you’ll find a list of the best Chrome extensions for unblocking Netflix. We’ve also included a list of Chrome VPN extensions that work, but that have some privacy concerns, as well as a few well-known brands that don’t unblock American Netflix at all.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a service designed to give you privacy, security, and anonymity on the web. When you use a VPN service, you connect to a private server at a remote location through a heavily encrypted tunnel. All data between your computer and the remote server is secured and unreadable. From there, you can connect to the web without worrying about anyone knowing your identity.
When it comes to accessing American Netflix, a VPN offers a perfect solution. Because Netflix blocks connections from outside of the U.S., as long as you’re connected to a remote server in the U.S., Netflix will let you right in and give you access to its American library of content. However, Netflix has been fighting back against VPN services, using technology that allows it to detect a VPN connection. As a result, not every VPN will work. This is why you’ll want to ensure you have a VPN that has been shown to work with Netflix before purchasing a VPN subscription.
Why Use a VPN Browser Extension?
All of the options on our list come with their own, free-standing applications for PCs, Macs, iOS, and Android devices. However, adding a VPN to your Chrome browser as an extension offers some unique benefits.
A Chrome browser extension means you can use the VPN without having to install the app. It also means that if you’re using a Chromebook, you’ll still have access to a quality VPN. Most VPNs do not include freestanding apps for Chrome OS, making a Chrome browser plugin a good workaround. Additionally, a Chrome extension for your VPN allows you to use the VPN faster, with much less of a headache.
There are some downsides to a Chrome extension, however. Chrome extension VPNs are only designed to connect or disconnect from the VPN. As a result, you’ll have fewer options, limiting how much you can do with the extension. Still, a Chrome extension for your VPN provides a more streamlined use of your VPN without the hassle.
VPN Chrome Extensions That Work with American Netflix
All of the below VPNs are tested and worked with American Netflix during testing. However, it’s important to note that Netflix is very active in blocking VPNs and other proxies. For that reason, we recommend utilizing the trial period available with each VPN you try. That way, you can ensure that you find a VPN that presently works for you and from your current location.
For VPNs to make our list, they needed to fit all of the following criteria:
- Available, updated Chrome extension
- Unblocks American Netflix (typically requires some form of obfuscation)
- Has multiple U.S. servers
- Has strict privacy rules (including a no-logs policy and strong encryption)
- Offers a free trial and/or money-back guarantee
All of the following VPNs match the above criteria.
Another smaller VPN service, StrongVPN is slowly gaining some recognition for just how well it suits its name. And by small, we mean it. StrongVPN has servers in just 46 cities across the globe, and a limited number of servers. Nevertheless, small is not a problem here. Most of StrongVPN’s American servers can bypass the Netflix proxy ban.
You’ll find StrongVPN hits the mark on the other criteria we were looking for. The service maintains a no-logs policy to secure your identity, as well as strong encryption standards. And because most of its servers can bypass Netflix proxy detection, it utilizes obfuscation methods effectively. Should you want to try before you buy, StrongVPN has a fairly standard 7-day money-back guarantee. The company is extremely good about honoring its return policy as well.
The biggest problem we have with StrongVPN is that, at this time of writing, the company has not updated its Chrome extension in almost a year. That does not mean it won’t work for you, however.
NordVPN is one of the better options out there if you’re looking to bypass the Netflix proxy ban and access American Netflix on Chrome. The Chrome extension was updated recently (February 2018 as of this time of writing). As for what NordVPN offers to Netflix users, you’ll find everything you need to get to American Netflix privately and securely.
The company has 1136 servers in the U.S. And unlike many of its competitors, NordVPN has specialized VPN servers that can be used for varying purposes. In the U.S., NordVPN offers: Double VPN, dedicated IP servers, P2P, anti-DDoS, and Obfuscation Servers. The Obfuscation Servers, in particular, are what you’ll likely want to use to access American Netflix while abroad.
Thankfully, NordVPN meets our other criteria as well to a great degree. The company offers high-level encryption and security features, and importantly, has a no-logs policy as a company. This means they don’t collect identifiable information on you and therefore cannot expose your identity to anyone. And thankfully, NordVPN is also one of the least expensive VPN services around, with a rather generous 30-day money-back guarantee, offering a good amount of time to try it out with Netflix
Read our recent review on NordVPN’s Netflix unblocking to learn more.
As one of the most popular VPN services around, it’s easy to think that ExpressVPN would have a target on its back from Netflix. And indeed, it likely does. Still, ExpressVPN has dedicated itself to countering Netflix’s anti-VPN efforts, and openly advertises its ability to get users to access to the streaming service.
With a recently-updated Chrome extension (updated February 2018 as of this time of writing), ExpressVPN provides a good option for Netflix users. And the company fits well into the criteria we monitor for. ExpressVPN has dozens of servers spread all across the U.S. and includes the necessary obfuscation technology to bypass Netflix proxy blockers. In fact, ExpressVPN excels at avoidance technology, as it’s the go-to option for those living and working in China, where the Great Firewall trips up most other VPN services.
The company’s focus on privacy and security also means a distinct focus on user anonymity. As a result, there’s a strict no-logs policy in place that helps guarantee you’ll have your identity completely secure.
The biggest downside to using ExpressVPN for American Netflix is that the company regularly changes which servers will work to bypass Netflix. You’ll need to contact ExpressVPN customer support to find out which VPN server you should be using if something is not working right.
We recently ran an extensive test on ExpressVPN and Netflix, which you can read about here.
Due to its smaller size, SaferVPN is a good option. You’ll find that SaferVPN offers the same protections as the larger services as well. SaferVPN has a recently updated Chrome extension (updated February 2018 as of this time of writing), and a large number of servers in the U.S. It also includes a no-logs policy designed to help secure your identity.
SaferVPN also includes some notable options that might attract you to the service. That includes unlimited server switching and a dedicated “streaming” server that was designed just for geo-restricted content. That means you can access Netflix easily through SaferVPN. The company even openly promotes its ability to unblock Netflix.
The only thing we don’t like about this service is the comparatively short trial period. SaferVPN only offers a 24-hour trial period. That should still be enough time to determine whether or not the service works for you, but it may not be enough time to give the service a full shake before committing. As such, we would recommend signing up for one month first, in case you need more time to test it out.
Finishing off our list of best chrome extensions for unblocking American Netflix, CyberGhost is a great option to consider for anyone. The service is among the larger options on our list, with over 1,200 servers in over 60 countries. In the U.S., the company hosts over 200 servers, giving you a lot of options when trying to bypass the Netflix proxy ban through your Chrome browser.
CyberGhost effectively meets all of the criteria we set for a good unblocking Chrome extension. As of this time of writing, it’s the most recently updated option on the list (updated in March 2018). The company also advertises its ability to unblock streaming sites. Additionally, you’ll find that CyberGhost keeps high standards for user protections, which includes the relevant no-logs policy and top-level encryption standards on its servers.
You can try CyberGhost for 7 days before deciding whether or not you want to keep the service.
The PureVPN Chrome Extension Works, But…
On its surface, PureVPN is a great option. It has a recently updated Chrome extension, a large number of U.S. servers, bypasses Netflix proxy bans, and even has some nice additional features through its service, including unique server options. However, PureVPN’s biggest issue is its logging policy.
PureVPN does not maintain a no-logs policy. That means your PureVPN does keep and record your private information, browsing habits and identifiable data. That ultimately means that PureVPN is not the best option if privacy and security is part of your criteria. That said, if all you’re concerned about is accessing American Netflix through a functional Chrome extension, PureVPN is still a good option, so long as complete privacy is not an issue for you.
VPN Chrome Extensions That Don’t Work
A large number of VPN services have working Chrome extensions. However, as stated, not every VPN will work to unblock American Netflix or most other streaming services. The following options are available to add to Chrome but won’t get you what you need.
A popular, free VPN service, TunnelBear VPN also has a paid option. And the company was recently purchased by McAfee, adding a bit more legitimacy to the company. However, TunnelBear VPN doesn’t work with Netflix. There are also other issues with this service that make it one we can’t recommend for use for other purposes either. As a rule of thumb, free VPNs should be avoided, as they tend to be slow, have limited server options, and collect user data to sell to third parties. TunnelBear also uses somewhat manipulative customer retention practices, making it a less-desirable option even for casual use.
Private Internet Access
Among one of the most respected VPN services, Private Internet Access effectively meets all of the criteria we looked for. Unfortunately, it fails at the most important one, which is unblocking Netflix. The company offers a large number of servers, a very good and recently updated Chrome extension, and is among the cheapest services around. Still, the company is open about the fact that it does not try to bypass Netflix proxy blocking. PIA is good for many privacy and security purposes, but sadly, not for Netflix.
Hotspot Shield boasts 500 million users. However, those are 500 million users that are not accessing American Netflix through the service or its Chrome extension. While Hotspot Shield does claim to work with some streaming sites, such as YouTube, it, unfortunately, has no functionality with Netflix at this time. Should it start working with Netflix, it could be an attractive offer. However, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission last year criticized HotSpot Shield for using HTTP redirects on its users, among several other instances of sketchy behavior.
Have a VPN Chrome extension that we missed, and that works with American Netflix or any other Netflix region? Let us know in the comments below!