While France has no shortage of incredible cinema to enjoy, sometimes it can be nice to catch some American TV for some drama or a good laugh. Unfortunately, the US Netflix has blocked French users from streaming its content catalogue. Today, we show you how to get around this geo-restriction by using the best Netflix-compatible VPNs.
Netflix is an American streaming service that now provides entertaining content for over 100 million users across 190 countries. Unfortunately, it is a well-known issue that Netflix has different libraries for different countries in the world. This is all because Netflix partnered with copyright holders, who dictate their own conditions in terms of where a film or TV show can be available.
If (by some bizarre twist of fate) you are a French cinephile with a penchant for American movies and shows, you can reliably unblock US Netflix with these VPNs:
- NordVPN – Best Netflix Unblocker – NordVPN has offered reliable access to international Netflix catalogues for years, and is still going strong today. It offers thousands of servers between France and the US, enabling military-grade protections and powerful spoofing both locally and abroad.
- Surfshark – An affordable VPN that “just works” to unblock Netflix thanks to built-in smart DNS settings.
- ExpressVPN – Long hailed the king of speed, this blazing-fast provider has only improved its offering with the recent Lightway encryption rollout.
- CyberGhost – Huge network, powerful encryption, and dead-simple to use effectively–even if you’re a VPN newbie.
- PrivateVPN – User-friendly, but also immensely flexible in the hands of power users seeking to tweak the optimal connection.
Since US Netflix has the widest English-language content availability, users from countries like France are always looking for a way to gain access to the American library. Although Netflix introduced a ban on VPN services in 2017, there are still providers that will allow you to bypass these regional blocks and enjoy the full range of content. In this article, we will explain how to pick the right VPN, give you our top recommendations for unblocking US Netflix in France, and explain more about Netflix and its evolution.
How do I pick the right VPN?
When looking for the right VPN service, it’s important to prioritize certain features over others. More globally, however, there is one important thing to keep in mind. Free VPNs may be tempting to opt for, but the truth is they come with their own price. Without bulletproof security qualities and privacy protocols, providers are free to sell your personal data to interested third parties and potentially even cybercriminals. Taking that into account, we recommend you prioritize the features below in order to make an informed decision.
- Fast connections – When watching films and TV shows on Netflix, the last thing you want is to experience delays or buffering. A good VPN provider will deliver fast streaming and downloads without compromising security.
- Large server network – A provider with a big server network allows you to be selective about your connection locations, so you can explore content from even more countries worldwide. Further, a large VPN server network gives you more options for fast connections.
- Strong security – A VPN is only as good as its security features. Opt for a provider that uses 256-bit AES encryption as a default – your data will be protected at all times. Further, a VPN that employs a zero-logging policy will ensure that your data is not stored.
- Device compatibility – In order to enjoy a wide array of content wherever you are, you will need a VPN that is compatible with your device/operating system. Choose a provider that has wide software availability so that you can protect all your devices.
Best VPN providers for unblocking Netflix from France
Now that you know what the most important features for your internet needs are, you are ready to start picking. Below are our top recommended VPNs for unblocking US Netflix from France.
NordVPN has advanced features that make it a great choice for overcoming VPN blocks, which is particularly great for accessing US Netflix from France, or anywhere else for that matter. With 5,500+ servers in 58 countries, NordVPN has one of the the biggest networks in the industry – and it is growing constantly. Due to the size of the network, there is a range of speciality servers available, including obfuscated servers, which hides the fact that you are using a VPN. This makes it much harder for Netflix to detect VPN usage. The ultimate trump card, however, is the built-in smart DNS settings which auto-configure to confound Netflix’s proxy ban for good.
NordVPN’s security features do not fall behind, either. The provider uses 256-bit AES encryption, which means that your data will be protected at all times. Encryption protocols include SSTP, which beats hardcore censorship blocks. Furthermore, the immaculate logging policy covers everything from your IP addresses to bandwidth and makes sure no logs are stored.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer without breaking a sweat
- Over 5,400 servers in 61 countries
- Strong encryption is used on all connections
- Extra-secure Double VPN for data encryption
- Customer Service (24/7 Chat).
- Some servers can have average d/l speeds
- Sometimes slow in procesing refunds (but always do).
Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the VPN scene, but has already made big waves due to its extremely reliable access to US Netflix. French users need merely launch the lightweight application, choose a US server, and enjoy–no advanced configuration required.
This is possible because every one of Surfshark’s 3200+ servers in 65 countries also features smart DNS functionality, while foils Netflix’s infamous proxy ban before you even know it’s there. In total, Surfshark can unblock 17 international Netflix catalogues–if you connect to a server in a country outside that select group, it will default to US Netflix. Convenient!
Other essential provisions include the unbreakable 256-AES-GCM encryption cipher, IP/DNS/WebRTC leak protection, a kill switch, ad- and malware-link blocking, plus a solid no-logging policy. Surfshark even lets you install its apps onto every one of your devices without limit or penalty–a rarity among the VPN industry indeed.
- Unblock 15 international Netflix libraries, including the US and Japan
- One of the first VPNs to implement RAM-only servers
- 30-day satisfaction guarantee
- Based in the British Virgin Islands, where there are no data retention laws
- Get help any time of day via email, phone, or live chat.
- Server network is not nearly as expansive as major competitors
- Apps don’t allow for much manual fiddling for power users.
Read our full Surfshark review.
ExpressVPN is a solid choice when it comes to bypassing regional blocks on Netflix. With a server network of 3,000+ nodes in more than 94 countries, ExpressVPN gives you plenty of connection options, both in terms of speed and location. It employs a wide range of encryption protocols that keep your data and identity protected. This includes the SSTP protocol, which is known for beating even the most hardcore censorship blocks. Last but by no means least, the provider has a solid no-logging policy that ensures your data, from browsing history to IP addresses, does not get stored.
ExpressVPN has additional features that make it particularly multi-purpose. Whether you are looking to stream Netflix videos on your Apple TV, smartphone, or PC, ExpressVPN’s wide software availability means you will be able to enjoy more films whether you are on your phone in the office or in front of your TV at home. Furthermore, you have the option to connect up to three devices at once. The unlimited bandwidth and lack of speed caps will ensure that the streaming is not interrupted by loading or buffering.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
- Unblocks US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime
- 94 countries, 3,000+ servers
- Very simple and easy to use
- Keeps no logs of personal data
- 24/7 Chat Support.
- Priced slightly higher.
CyberGhost’s main goal as a VPN provider is to protect privacy and provide an easy-to-use service. To make things simpler, CyberGhost presents users with six different configuration profiles upon launch. When choosing one, the VPN automatically applies the best VPN settings for what your needs are. For example, if you pick “unblock streaming”, the provider will configure the app in the most effective way for unblocking streaming websites included in their list. Furthermore, you can add extra features to these profiles, such as “block ads” or “extra speed”. These are ideal for bypassing censorship laws and ensuring quick download speeds on Netflix. For a little more direct control, you can easily switch between over 5,500 servers in 80 countries to really dial in your connection.
In terms of security, CyberGhost is very much on top of their game. The 256-bit AES encryption through OpenVPN ensures that your data is protected at all times. Furthermore, other encryption protocols, including UDP, TCP, and PPTP, gives you more security options in case other protocols do not work with Netflix. The no-logging policy prevents your data from being stored, and ensures that not even your email address is being stored or can be traced back to you.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
- LOW PRICE: 6 EXTRA free months (79% off - link below)
- Fast, constant speeds
- GooglePlay users rating: 4.3/5.0
- Strict no-logging policy
- 45-days 'No-hassle' money back guarante.
- Doesn’t unblock all streaming services.
PrivateVPN’s service focuses on speed, security, and a seamless user experience. The provider has a network of over 150 servers in 60+ countries. While the number of servers is not as high as other VPNs on the market, PrivateVPN has managed to cover almost as many locations worldwide as providers with thousands of nodes. These locations include countries in Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, and even Russia. If you are trying to unlock US Netflix from France, the great news is that PrivateVPN has 9 servers spread out all across America.
In terms of Netflix availability, PrivateVPN goes to great lengths to ensure that Netflix is accessible through as many of their servers as possible. The provider even goes as far as listing which locations work with Netflix through their app, making it incredibly convenient and easy to use. Furthermore, PrivateVPN supports Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, as well as Fire TV and Android TV (with some tweaking). This means that you can enjoy the access to US Netflix whether you are on the move on at home.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Why do Netflix catalogs differ?
Recent years have seen the television business flourish beyond all expectations. TV used to be for actors and actresses who couldn’t land a decent film contract. Today, countless big stars – from Meryl Streep to Matthew McConaughey – are producing, writing, or starring in a television series. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are responsible for this massive shift. They have created the ultimate playground for everyone from Hollywood actors to writers and producers, allowing them to bring their original ideas to life without the stress of TV ads and ratings.
The majority of the content in question is owned by Netflix, therefore they can make it available to viewers in every corner of the world. The problem is, however, that some of the content on Netflix is not owned or produced by Netflix. This means that the streaming service must follow the rules of those who are copyright holders of any film or TV show in their library. Surprisingly, Netflix is not to be held responsible for these geoblocking restrictions – making their content available to all users would make their service much more desirable. However, their partners specify which locations they want their piece of content to be available to, and there is not much Netflix can do to change these terms.
So, why do copyright holders block content? The most important reason is that they know they can make more money by selling licenses to regional distributors and broadcasters rather than giving out global rights.
Why does Netflix block VPNs?
In 2017, Netflix began banning the use of VPNs for their streaming service. This entailed blocking attempts to overcome their geo-blocks by using a VPN app or browser extension. According to reports, Netflix didn’t have much choice – their contracts with movie copyright holders held them accountable for the breach of licensing. This is because for every user that uses a VPN to overcome these restrictions, they do not get paid.
Another important reason for the stance against VPNs is the fact that Netflix is now a content creator as much as it is a distributor. This means that copyright issues and piracy are a lot closer to home, and a violation of copyright conditions now affects them from both sides. Chances are, if it were up to their Hollywood partners, they would simply block all accounts that ever used a VPN to bypass their censorship laws. However, Netflix knows this move would end up costing them in lost subscription fees, so instead, they chose to start blocking VPNs.
The end goal for Netflix is to become a platform with global access to the entire library. This, however, will require a lot of work and negotiations, so the near future looks geographically restricted.
Why unblock US Netflix?
Although Netflix’s service is available in 190 countries, there is a reason why trying to access the American library has been a subject of interest. With access to over 6,000 TV shows and films, U.S. Netflix consists of just under 40% of Netflix’s 13,500+ titles. Although the numbers change on a daily basis, the U.S. still has one of the most complete Netflix content libraries in the world.
Is it legal to use VPNs with Netflix?
The reason Netflix has been so harsh about using VPN services on their website is that they must honor their agreements with production companies and copyright holders. In order to do so, they are practically obligated to try everything in their power to stop copyright law violations on their turf, including blocking IP addresses that belong to VPN providers.
How do I get started with unblocking US Netflix?
Now that you know the benefits of unblocking American Netflix and have picked your VPN provider, it’s time to get started. The process only takes a few minutes and will allow you to enjoy any one of your favorite films – from the ultimate classics to recent releases.
Sign up, install, and configure your VPN
- Sign up for a subscription with the provider you have chosen (on their website) and download the app compatible with your device/OS.
- Launch the app and sign in with your new account credentials.
- Upon launch, most VPN apps will automatically assign you to the fastest available server. If the server you were connected to is outside of the US, select a server manually.
- You are now ready to stream Netflix content from the U.S. library on your device.
Double-check your IP address
Prior to accessing Netflix, it is important to ensure that your connection is secure.
- Open your browser and go to ipleak.net.
- This page will run an automatic IP address lookup test. Give it a few moments to load.
- Check the IP address indicated under “Your IP Addresses”. If the IP address is from the United States, you are good to go. If, however, you still see an IP address from your physical location, there may be a leak and you need to contact the VPN provider for more information.
Although Netflix is on a mission to maintain strict regional locks, our recommended VPN providers still manage to bypass these restrictions. This allows users from all over the world, including France, to enjoy US Netflix while abroad. While Netflix’s end goal is to provide a global service without these limitations, it will take them a long time to get there. In the meantime, follow the steps we have provided above and start enjoying the American Netflix library already now.
Have you tried using a VPN for US Netflix? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below!
If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. NordVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.