Best VPN for geo-blocking in 2023
Online services often use geo-blocking as a way to deter users outside of their chosen geographical locations. This means that if you travel abroad, you may no longer access your favorite websites or streaming services due to licensing agreements.
However, simply by using a reliable VPN, you can easily bypass geo restrictions and access any content you want, no matter where you are located. VPNs open vast possibilities by making you appear virtually local to any country. They can help avoid censorship, get better pricing deals, and secure your privacy, among other useful benefits.
To help you get started with bypassing restrictions, we tested a handful of VPNs. Scroll below to find the best VPN for geo-blocking.
Top 5 best VPNs for geo-blocking
- Surfshark – best performing VPN for geo-blocking
- NordVPN – security suite to bypass restrictions
- IPVanish – versatile VPN for geo-unblocking
- ExpressVPN – feature-rich geo-unblocking VPN
- PrivateVPN – privacy-focused VPN
The best VPNs to get around geo-blocking – our detailed list
After looking at unblocking performance, speed, features, and many other criteria, we present the best providers to get around geo-blocking.
1. Surfshark – best performing VPN for geo-blocking
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Unblocks US Netflix:||Yes|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE 🔥|
Surfshark combines excellent value for the money with impressive performance, making it the best choice for bypassing geo-restrictions.
This VPN is packed with features that deliver top-notch security and privacy. Its AES-256 encryption makes your data impossible to crack. Meanwhile, RAM-only servers guarantee that browsing logs are deleted upon each reboot. Paired with an audited no-logs policy, Surfshark is a strong choice for anyone who wants to protect their online privacy.
When it comes to performance, Surfshark delivers fast connections and no noticeable speed drops. It's excellent if you need to unblock geo-restricted gaming and streaming platforms. The reason behind its great speed is a leading WireGuard protocol. During our tests, it retained 85% of the original speed.
Speaking of streaming, Surfshark is undeniably good at it. It can unblock worldwide Netflix libraries, as well as other streaming platforms, such as Disney+, Hulu, YouTube TV, and more. The best part is that there were no noticeable drops in resolution or latency.
Furthermore, Surfshark offers many features, including P2P support, server obfuscation, a malware blocker, and split tunneling. On top of that, this VPN is very easy to use and has a pleasant UI.
You can get Surfshark only for $2.30/month. For the price, you'll also get unlimited simultaneous connections and a great set of features.
2. NordVPN – full-on security suite to bypass restrictions
|Servers/countries:||5,800+ servers in 60 countries|
|Unblocks US Netflix:||Yes|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get NordVPN with 68% OFF + 3 months FREE! 🔥|
NordVPN is another top-of-the-line VPN that can bypass geo-restrictions. The VPN is known for its great security, performance, and solid features.
With unbreakable AES-256 encryption, NordVPN protects your traffic from unauthorized external watchers. Furthermore, the provider doesn't store your data on its server since all of them are RAM-only. Your anonymity is further protected with an independently audited no-logs policy.
The VPN comes with a NordLynx tunneling protocol. This tunneling protocol is a variation of the renowned WireGuard protocol, which is fast and secure. The VPN performed very well during our tests, delivering good speeds and low latency. It retained 60% of the original speed.
Streaming is a breeze with NordVPN, as it can unblock virtually any streaming service. We had no issues accessing Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and other platforms.
NordVPN also offers a range of features that enhance your browsing experience. The VPN blocks annoying ads and infected sites. On top of that, it offers a Dark Web Monitor that warns of personal data vulnerabilities. It also protects your data from leaking with a reliable kill switch.
All of these benefits come with a price tag of $3.19/month. As many as 6 simultaneous connections are included in the package.
To learn more about this provider, read our full NordVPN review.
3. IPVanish – versatile VPN for geo-unblocking
|Servers/countries:||2,200+ servers in 52 countries|
|Based in:||United States|
|Unblocks US Netflix:||Yes|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get 75% OFF IPVanish! 🔥|
IPVanish is a great VPN service that offers an all-around geo-blocking bypassing with good security, performance, and versatile features.
IPVanish puts security at the heart of its service. It comes with advanced AES-256 encryption and a no-logs policy, so you can rest assured that your privacy and security are in good hands. If you need full anonymity, IPVanish also gives a free SOCKS5 proxy.
On top of that, you get the option to choose between different tunneling protocols. The choices are WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. All of them ensure high download speeds without compromising security.
Although IPVanish may have some trouble unblocking certain streaming services, it still does a good job with popular platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and YouTube.
This VPN comes with plenty of benefits. You'll get traffic obfuscation to hide the fact that you're using a VPN. Additionally, IPVanish offers split tunneling, so you can choose which applications use the VPN tunnel. For a small additional fee, you can also get encrypted storage – a rare feature for a VPN provider.
IPVanish is known as a budget-friendly provider. You can get all of its features for $2.99/month. By the way, the provider gives unlimited simultaneous connections with all plans.
To learn more about this provider, read our full IPVanish review.
4. ExpressVPN – handy range of features for geo-unblocking
|Servers/countries:||3,000+ servers in 94 countries|
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Unblocks US Netflix:||Yes|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan! 🔥|
ExpressVPN is another well-known and efficient VPN service that provides fast speeds and excellent geo-bypass performance.
Security and privacy are top priorities for ExpressVPN, which uses AES-256 encryption. This VPN provider also has a strict no-log policy, which means that your online activities are private and cannot be tracked by any third party.
In terms of performance, ExpressVPN offers fast speeds thanks to its Lightway protocol, as well as support for IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols. During our tests, Lightway retained 54% of the original speed. With fast and efficient protocols, the VPN is more than suitable for browsing, streaming, or gaming.
Speaking of streaming, ExpressVPN can unblock many streaming services with ease. During testing, it was able to unblock popular services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, Apple TV, and more.
Furthermore, the provider offers a wide range of features to boost your browsing experience. First, it provides a Threat Manager that deters trackers and malicious ads. On top of that, it comes with split tunneling, MediaStreamer, stealth servers, as well as a router app.
While ExpressVPN is not the cheapest provider on the market, it does deliver plenty of value for the price. It comes with a price tag of $6.67/month and a 5 simultaneous connection cap.
5. PrivateVPN – budget-friendly VPN
|Servers/countries:||200+ servers in 63 countries|
|Unblocks US Netflix:||Yes|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get PrivateVPN, now 85% OFF! 🔥|
While lesser-known, PrivateVPN is definitely a hidden gem in the market. It offers strong security features and seamless performance for geo-bypassing.
The VPN is powered by the strongest AES-256 encryption methods in the VPN world. It also allows users to customize their encryption settings, offering to choose AES-128 encryption and different modes (CBC and GCM). On top of that, the provider has implemented a strict no-logs policy to keep your data safe.
In terms of speed, PrivateVPN may not be the fastest VPN provider in the market. Since it uses OpenVPN instead of the industry's standard WireGuard, competing speed is not guaranteed. During our test, the provider retained 33% of the original speed.
When it comes to streaming, PrivateVPN is a great option. The VPN got us access to every geographically restricted service that we tested. So, you'll be able to watch Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and even YouTube unrestricted.
PrivateVPN features may seem lacking when compared to the top providers, yet it does not come empty-handed. The provider offers HTTP and SOCKS5 proxies when you need full anonymity. It also helps you to customize the VPN connection with the port forwarding feature.
This provider is one of the most affordable on the market, with plans starting at $2.00/month. It even allows for 10 simultaneous connections with every plan.
To learn more about this provider, read our full PrivateVPN review.
How we selected and tested these VPNs
Testing VPNs takes a lot of work. After all, not all of them are equally as good at geo-blocking. Here are the criteria we looked at to determine which providers are best:
- Server fleet. A provider with a large number of servers helps ensure that there will always be a server available in a desired location. This way, you'll be able to access various content while reducing the likelihood of congestion and slow speeds.
- Fast speed. Providers can guarantee the fast speed with advanced tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard. Tunneling protocols are crucial to ensure a quick and secure connection to a VPN, reducing the chances of connection drops and delays. This is important for tasks such as streaming or playing online games that require a fast and stable internet connection.
- Strong encryption. VPN encryption is important because it protects sensitive information by encrypting internet traffic before it is sent to the VPN server, making it unreadable to anyone intercepting the traffic.
- Kill switch. This feature ensures an extra layer of protection. The kill switch is designed to prevent the user's actual IP from leaking if there are any network issues.
- Audited no-logs policy. The best way providers can prove that they do not log your browsing traffic is through independently audited no-logs policies. Additionally, a VPN should be based in a privacy-friendly country.
- Obfuscation. This beneficial feature prevents firewalls, such as the Great Firewall of China, from determining if a user is connecting through a VPN.
- Simultaneous connections. The more simultaneous connections a provider offers, the better. A large number will allow you to share the VPN with family or use several devices at once.
If you're wondering what geo-blocking is, there's a simple explanation. Geo-blocking refers to restricting access to online content based on the user's geographical location. Service providers can do this through various means, all of which include determining users' real location.
The geo-blocking process starts by analyzing the user's IP address, which identifies their location. Some content providers also compare a user's DNS address against their IP to prevent geo-unblocking attempts.
Some providers take it even further by tracking the users' ISP providers, which then gives out an approximate user's location. Additionally, they can try to get your device's GPS location when they have the means to do so.
Reasons for geographical restrictions
Geo-blocking is a common practice these days. You can often encounter it in streaming, gambling, or gaming industries. It is also used as a tool for governments to restrict residents of the country. Let's take a look at the most common reasons for geographical restrictions:
- Censorship. Geo-blocking is commonly used as a censorship tool in authoritarian countries such as China, UAE, or Russia. Residents in these countries can't access platforms such as Whats app, Facebook, or even payment methods like Visa or MasterCard.
- Licensed or copyrighted content protection. Many digital platforms, such as streaming, music, gaming, TV, or even gambling, are tied to certain locations. It's all because of their licensing agreements. For instance, a movie on Netflix may be only licensed to be streamed in the US, but not Germany.
- Pricing discrimination. It comes as no surprise that service prices vary based on the region. This is because providers adjust their pricing according to what they think people from those regions are willing to pay. Thus, you can get Netflix cheaper in India than in the US. The same goes for other services, such as Xbox Game Pass, which is cheaper in Turkey.
How to use a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions: simple guide
Believe it or not, but VPNs are very simple to use. All you have to do is set it up, and you're good to go. Here's how to use the best provider to bypass geo-restrictions, Surfshark:
- Go to the Surfshark website, then download the VPN app and login.
- The, pick a relevant server from those available.
- Go to the browser and try to access the geo-blocked service.
Can free VPN get around geographical restrictions?
Free VPNs are a great option when you don't have additional cash to spare for a premium service. However, with limited resources and infrastructure at their disposal, free VPNs aren't always efficient.
Websites and platforms put enormous efforts into keeping VPNs at bay. They are constantly updating their geo-restriction technologies and implementing measures to detect users' real locations. While paid VPNs may have the resources to develop workarounds and stay ahead of these restrictions, free VPNs are often unable to keep up.
If you're looking to unblock geo-restricted content but want to test the waters first, we suggest freemium VPNs. While limited in terms of features, providers such as Windscribe and ProtonVPN show decent performance.
However, for the best possible experience, we suggest getting a premium VPN. Powerful and constantly updated services, such as Surfshark and NordVPN, are invincible at removing geographical restrictions.
Is using a VPN to bypass geo-blocking illegal?
It all depends on the laws regarding the type of platform you're using. For instance, you'll be breaking the law by accessing gambling platforms while residing in a country that outlaws such services.
However, if you decide to get cheaper Spotify while connected to, let's say, an Argentinian server, you won't break any laws. However, this action is a violation of Spotify's terms of service. If the provider becomes aware of the violation, they may penalize you by blocking access to the service.
Keep in mind that some countries, such as China or North Korea, ban VPN usage altogether. To avoid legal repercussions, we recommend that you check whether VPNs are legal (or only restricted) beforehand.
VPN doesn't unblock geo-blocked content: what to do?
If you are not getting access to a certain service, here are some quick fixes you can try:
- First things first, try clearing the cache and cookies. Then reset browser settings.
- It's always worth trying another browser.
- Some VPNs are better than others, so it's worth trying various providers, such as Surfhark or NordVPN.
- Try using different servers in the same regions or changing protocols.
- Make sure IP and DNS addresses are not leaking in ipleak.net
- Switching from a desktop app to a browser extension may help.
Geoblocking is not going anywhere. Thus, if you want to access restricted locations, you will need some ammunition, such as a VPN service. If you pick the right provider, you'll get access to almost any website you want. VPN will help you bypass censorship, avoid pricing discrimination or simply stream your favorite foreign series.
The best VPN that gets the job done is Surfshark. It comes with advanced encryption, as well as an audited no-logs policy. On top of that, Surfshark has RAM-only infrastructure. All combined, these features ensure that your traffic is private and anonymous.
Surfshark is one of the best entertainment VPNs. Powered by specialized servers, it easily unblocks all major streaming platforms, Such as worldwide Netflix libraries, Hulu, HBO Max, you name it. Furthermore, the provider boasts great speeds, which means that no lags can interrupt your free time.
Lastly, Surfshark is also a budget-friendly provider. It boasts one of the smallest price tags starting at $2.30/month. Clearly, it's the best choice when you need performance that doesn't break the bank.
Does VPN get around geo-blocking?
Yes, a VPN can be used to bypass geo-blocking. It works by routing your internet connection through a server located in a different country, making it appear as if you are connecting from that country. This way, you get access to geo-restricted content around the world.
How do you fix "Content is not available in your country"?
If you encounter the error message "Content is not available in your country," you can use a VPN. It can help you bypass geo-blocking by routing your internet connection through a server located in a different country, making it appear as if you are accessing the internet from that country.
Which VPN is best for Geoblocking?
According to our tests, the best VPN for geo-blocking is. This provider shows excellent performance when bypassing geo-restricted content. It is also very secure, fast, and unblocks various streaming sites. The best part about Surfshark is the price. For xx/month, you get an impressive range of features.