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Does Private Internet Access Work With Netflix? (Workaround Included)

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Private Internet Access is a good VPN to unblock Netflix access in regions like Syria, North Korea, and Crimea, where the streaming service is banned.

For those who already have access to Netflix, PIA also unblocks shows, movies, and content unavailable in your region.

During my tests, I unblocked titles like 30 Rock, Ink Master, and The Borgias over the VPN’s US servers, which were unavailable in my region.

Want to expand your Netflix library and have more fun than ever?

Read on to learn how to access Netflix content anywhere.

How to Unblock Netflix Libraries With PIA?

You can access Netflix libraries with Private Internet Access on your PCs (Mac, Windows, and Linux), mobile devices (Android and iOS), streaming devices (Apple TV, Roku, etc.), smart TV sets (Android & non-Android), and gaming consoles that support the streaming platform.

However, your best unblocking approach depends on the device you’re watching Netflix on. So, I’ll share stepwise guides to unblock Netflix access on supported devices with PIA below.

But before that, the table below provides a quick overview of how to use PIA to unblock Netflix on different devices.

Streaming Platform Devices Best PIA Netflix Support
Mobile iOS and Android PIA mobile app
PC Windows, Mac, Linux PIA PC app
Android Smart TV Android TV PIA Android app
Non-Android Smart TV Hisense, Samsung, LG, etc. Smart DNS, PIA Router
Gaming Consoles Xbox, PlayStation Smart DNS, PIA Router
Streaming Units Apple TV, Roku, Kodi, etc. PIA Router

How to Unblock and Watch Netflix on Mobile With PIA?

You can unblock and watch Netflix on your Android and iOS mobile devices with PIA. 

While you can connect to a router with PIA installed, the best way is via the mobile PIA app.

Let’s get to it:

  1. Purchase a PIA subscription. Save more with these discount offers.
  2. Download the VPN app from your mobile app store. I’ll use an iOS device for this demonstration.
  1. Launch your PIA app and log in with your account credentials.
  2. Search for a server in a preferred Netflix region. I’ll connect to the US server for this example.
  1. Go to the Netflix website and login/signup if you don’t already have an account.
  2. Search for your preferred titles.
  3. Unblock and stream Netflix content without buffering.

How to Unblock and Watch Netflix on PC With PIA?

Unblocking Netflix on PC is a little trickier and can take a few trials if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here’s how to get it right the first time:

  1. Purchase a PIA subscription. Get these amazing deals to enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Download the VPN app from your device’s app store. Alternatively, I prefer downloading directly from PIA’s download page.
download pia for windows pc
  1. Launch the VPN and log in with your account credentials.
pia log in
  1. Search for a server in a preferred Netflix region. I’ll connect to Japan.
  2. Search for a preferred title. I’ll use the elusive yet interesting Gin Tama.
netflix gin tama
  1. Play your preferred content and stream without geo-restrictions.
pia netflix japan

How to Unblock and Watch Netflix on Android Smart TVs With PIA?

The process to unblock and watch Netflix on Android Smart TVs is like the one for Android mobile devices since they use the same operating system.

Here’s a distilled guide to help you:

  1. Get a PIA subscription with these discount offers.
  2. Download the PIA app on your Android TV. Head to the Google Play Store on your Android TV, search for the VPN app, and install it.
  1. Launch the VPN app and log in with your credentials.
  2. Choose a preferred server location.
  3. Launch your Netflix app/use the Android TV browser to access the website. I recommend downloading the Netflix app, though.
  4. Search for a Netflix title exclusive to your chosen server location or any title.
  5. Enjoy your buffer-free content streaming.

How to Unblock and Watch Netflix on Non-Android Smart TVs With PIA?

Non-Android Smart TVs from manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and Hisense can’t download a native VPN app. But they come with the Netflix app, and you may need to stream content unavailable in your region.

Fortunately, PIA has a Smart DNS solution for these devices.

Learn how to set it up.

  1. Purchase a PIA plan. You can get discounts on multi-year deals to save more.
  2. Go to the official PIA account dashboard area.
pia log in smart tv
  1. Login with the username and password you used at the time of purchase.
  2. Click “Smart DNS” in the left-hand menu.
locating smart dns on pia
  1. Select the device you want to set up Smart DNS for. In this case, I’ll choose “Other Smart TVs.”
locating other smart tvs option on pia
  1. Choose a preferred country to get Smart DNS details in. This will be the country’s Netflix content you’ll get.
  2. Wait a few seconds while the smart DNS addresses are generated.
  3. Once generated, keep the browser page open and turn on your smart TV. I’ll use Samsung TV for this example.
  1. Locate your TV’s smart DNS settings. It’s usually under the network settings.
  2. Enter the smart DNS details you got from PIA in the provided field.
  3. Restart your smart TV for the changes to take effect.
  4. Launch Netflix and start streaming.

How to Unblock and Watch Netflix via PIA Router Installation?

The Smart DNS approach above can be used for smart TVs, streaming devices (like Apple TV), and gaming consoles. But it lacks encryption and limits the Netflix locations you can connect to. So, a router setup may come in handy.

Here’s how to make this happen.

  1. Ensure you have a VPN-compatible router. Otherwise, this method doesn’t work.
  2. Purchase a PIA subscription if you don’t have one already.
  3. Install the VPN on your preferred router. I’ve found some video guides for different router types below:
  • DD-WRT Routers:
  • Tomato Routers:
  • PFsense Routers:
  1. Choose a configuration file for your preferred Netflix region when configuring the router.
  2. Connect your streaming devices (gaming consoles, streaming sticks, or smart TVs) to the router. They’ll now get the same encryption and server address.
  3. Launch your Netflix app and start streaming.

What’s the Best PIA VPN Server to Stream Netflix?

PIA’s streaming-optimized servers are the best bet to unblock and stream Netflix content anywhere.

I tested different servers for streaming, and these came out on top.

I’ve shared some details of my tests below.

Before testing these servers, I tried watching The Borgias from my local Netflix library.

I searched for this show, but it didn’t show in the results.

geo-blocking on netflix
I couldn't get "The Borgias" from my location

So, I connected to a US – Texas server (since the show is a US-exclusive title on Netflix), and my next search for this title came up positive!

However, Netflix caught on that I was using a VPN and didn’t allow me to play the content. This could result from Netflix having logged this VPN IP address, blocking it from its platform. I tried a few other regular servers but had no luck.

netflix error

But once I switched to the US East Streaming Optimized server on PIA, the show started playing!

To be sure this was no fluke, I tried unblocking Last Tango in Halifax, another US-exclusive title, and it played buffer-free on this server.

streaming netflix with pia on us server

Thus, always search for the streaming-optimized servers in your preferred Netflix region to get the fastest and best server to unblock content. Otherwise, you may have to do a lot of testing to find a server that works.

What Makes Private Internet Access a Good Netflix-Streaming VPN?

unblock netflix with pia on us server
PIA unblocks "Last Tango in Halifax" over its US servers

Before testing PIA with Netflix, I considered a few starting points.

During and after my tests, I discovered more talking points that make this an ideal Netflix-streaming VPN.

Here are a few of those points:

  • Speed: PIA isn’t the fastest VPN I’ve ever tried with Netflix, but its guarantee of 31 Mbps on my 100Mbps connection means I can still unblock Netflix content in 4K, despite the encryption-induced speed drop.
  • Server coverage: PIA has servers in multiple regions where you can get exclusive Netflix content libraries. This includes the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, and more.
  • Smart DNS offering: The VPN provider brings Smart DNS at no extra cost to ensure users with devices that can’t download VPN apps don’t lack Netflix unblocking options.
  • Decent router support: You can also install PIA on compatible routers to stream Netflix on all devices and units, especially those without native PIA app support.
  • Multi-device compatibility: PIA has a solution for everyone: Whether you stream Netflix on your PC, unblock Netflix on the move via mobile devices, or enjoy your Netflix content on gaming consoles.
  • Simultaneous connections: PIA allows ten simultaneous device connections, ensuring a household/group of Netflix users can unblock the services on individual devices without paying for another VPN plan.
  • Streaming-optimized servers: While standard servers may fail to unblock some Netflix streams, PIA has streaming-dedicated servers, so you don’t have to manually test the servers yourself.

For all these, PIA is one of the most affordable Netflix-unblocking and streaming VPNs I’ve tested. You can grab these limited-time discounts to enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee, during which you can test it risk-free for Netflix.

Why Isn’t PIA VPN Working With Netflix? (Troubleshooting Guide)

netflix interruption

During my tests, PIA sometimes wouldn’t unblock Netflix, or a server might unblock content in another location.

Follow this troubleshooting guide (in no order) to identify possible issues and solve them.

  • Your internet connection is poor. The first thing is to check that you have stable, decent internet before streaming Netflix, especially over a VPN.
  • You’ve connected to the wrong server. For example, you can’t stream US-exclusive content by connecting to Japanese servers. Ensure you’re connecting to the location where you can get the Netflix content you want.
  • Your server has been blacklisted by Netflix. Some servers have been overused by Netflix users, so it has blacklisted those IP addresses. In this case, disconnect and choose a new server in your preferred location.
  • You chose a standard PIA server. I noticed that the standard servers on PIA struggle to unblock Netflix. But with the streaming-optimized PIA servers, I get better luck. Try them, too.
  • You’re connected to the wrong protocol. The best PIA protocol for streaming is WireGuard, never OpenVPN. Ensure you’re using the right protocol every time.
  • Your browser has stored caches. I once connected to a Japanese server but kept getting US content. That’s because my browser had stored the Netflix US cache already. Simply clearing your browser cache will do the trick.
  • Your browser has stored cookies. In some cases, clearing the cache might not be enough. In this case, clear your browser cookies too. Or launch incognito/private browsing mode (preferred) so you don’t mess up your cookie preferences.
  • Something else is the issue. In this case, I suggest you contact PIA’s customer support staff. Luckily, there’s a 24/7 live chat channel to reach them anytime for troubleshooting needs like this.

You can check some PIA alternatives to streaming Netflix below if you’d rather not deal with these issues.

Private Internet Access Alternatives That Work Better With Netflix?

While PrivateVPN is a great pick for streaming Netflix anywhere, it may sometimes not work. Or, you might want another, more reliable VPN for Netflix streaming.

In that case, here are my top options.

NordVPN – 1970+ USA Servers to Access the Largest Netflix Library

streaming gin tama with nordvpn on japan server
NordVPN streams Gin Tama over Japanese servers

NordVPN is home to 1970+ US servers to stream the most Netflix content from anywhere. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what makes it a better alternative:

  • P2P-optimized servers: NordVPN’s P2P servers are optimized for faster speeds, which translates into unblocking and streaming Netflix fast.
  • Faster than PIA: NordVPN managed 33Mbps on the same 100Mbps connection, slightly faster than PIA, to ensure even better streaming speeds.
  • In-house protocol: NordVPN uses an exclusive NordLynx protocol to ensure faster speeds and better encryption, reducing the chances of Netflix finding out you’re using a VPN.

For these extras, NordVPN costs slightly more than PIA. So, grab these NordVPN discounts before they expire, and you can test the VPN risk-free for 30 days.

ExpressVPN – Fast Obfuscation to Hide VPN Usage

streaming trial of the chicago 7 with expressvpn on canada server
ExpressVPN unblocks "Trial of the Chicago 7" over its Canadian servers

Thanks to ExpressVPN’s automatic and fast obfuscation on all servers and protocols, you don’t have to worry about Netflix catching on to the fact that you’re using a VPN.

Here’s more on what makes this VPN a better PIA alternative for Netflix:

  • Obfuscated servers: Every ExpressVPN server is designed to hide traces of the VPN traffic. Thus, you don’t have to test around to find the one that works.
  • Faster than PIA: At 32Mbps, ExpressVPN is more impressive than PIA since obfuscation is known to lower VPN speeds. Thus, showing how optimized for speeds this provider is.
  • Better coverage: ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries, ten more than PIA. Thus, you may get niche Netflix content in regions where PIA doesn’t have servers.
  • Easier router setup: ExpressVPN has router apps and direct configuration settings to enable it on routers without all the technicality PIA requires.
  • In-house protocol: This provider also uses an in-house Lightway protocol to ensure faster speeds, reliable obfuscation, and trustworthy Netflix unblocking on every server.

ExpressVPN is also pricier than PIA, but you get good value with these discounts and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost – Streaming-Optimized Servers for Netflix

streaming slasher with cyberghost on italy server
CyberGhost unblocks the Italian-exclusive "Slasher"

PIA also has streaming-optimized servers, but CyberGhost takes it further by engineering certain servers for Netflix in different regions. On top of that, it also offers these:

  • Faster servers: CyberGhost got 38Mbps on my speed tests, beating PIA to the punch regarding streaming speeds.
  • Better Smart DNS optimization: CyberGhost has UK and US Smart DNS addresses specially optimized to stream Netflix US and UK content on your smart TVs, gaming consoles, and streaming units.
  • Similar pricing: CyberGhost uses similar long-term price plans as PIA, even though it’s faster and has customized Smart DNS addresses.
  • Longer test period: You can test CyberGhost’s compatibility with Netflix risk-free for 45 days (15 more than PIA) or get a full refund if you don’t like the service. Zero risk!

Interested? Here are some CyberGhost deals to get the best price.

Interesting Reads:

Frequently Asked Questions

Netflix detects some Private Internet Access servers and keeps them from unblocking or streaming content on its platform. This might be due to VPN users having overused those PIA IP addresses on Netflix, so the streaming giant has now recorded and blocked them.

Thankfully, PIA provides tens of thousands of IP addresses to connect to, ensuring you can always find another available server to bypass Netflix’s geo-blocks.

It’s not illegal to stream Netflix with PIA VPN. However, it’s against Netflix’s terms of service as the platform tries to keep in line with licensing and distribution rights obtained from content creators.

Even so, Netflix has never prosecuted or pursued users for unblocking its libraries in other regions with PIA.

Do the Netflix Tour With PIA

Tour the global Netflix library while PIA leads the way, unblocking new possibilities of shows, movies, documentaries, and other content.

You’ll find detailed guides above if you’d like to stream Netflix on your mobile phones, PCs, smart TVs, gaming consoles, or other streaming units.

And when you’re ready to start, these PIA discounts promise to sweeten the deal for you.

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