Many streaming platforms have geographic restrictions on them. Netflix is no exception. This means that the content that you can watch varies depending on your location. For example, the content in the US Netflix library varies from the content in the Japanese Netflix library. These geographic restrictions are put in place since, depending on the content, it can only be broadcast in some countries based on the broadcast rights Netflix has. The issue with this is that when you’re travelling, you might not be able to view all of the content that is available in the Netflix library of your home country, since you will have an IP address associated with the country you’re currently in.
The good news is that you can use a VPN server in your home country and with that you should theoretically be able to access your home Netflix library. Top VPNs such as NordVPN can achieve this. However, some VPNs have issues achieving this for particular countries or they may not be able to access Netflix at all. Private Internet Access (PIA) is generally a great service for protecting you while online but users can run into issues accessing their home Netflix library with this service.
While PIA can help you access Netflix in many scenarios, in some cases, users are shown the following error: “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy”. This prevents them from being able to view content on Netflix from their home library while abroad and using the particular PIA server they chose to connect to. Some VPNs simply can’t access geo-restricted Netflix content and will show this message regardless of the server that you pick.
Below, I’ll show you how you can get PIA to work for you while abroad. However, note that it’s effectiveness will be limited. That’s why I recommend using NordVPN or ExpressVPN instead.
Instructions for streaming Netflix with Private Internet Access
Here are some instructions for streaming Netflix with PIA in case you’re new to VPNs:
- First, you should start by signing up for PIA. However, note that you will get the best performance with NordVPN.
- Now, download the right version of the PIA client for your computer. PIA has apps for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS.
- You can then connect to one of PIA’s VPN servers in your home country.
- Next, sign into Netflix and start streaming. If it doesn’t work and you get an error, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies and refreshing the page.
Does PIA work with Netflix?
PIA has servers in approximately 84 countries, allowing users to get IP addresses from those locations. While connected to a PIA server, your connection and online activities will also be masked from third parties, such as your ISP and governments. PIA can also access some services and even Netflix in some cases.
However, my tests showed that PIA can only successfully allow access to some Netflix libraries. This suggests that PIA prioritises unblocking these countries. This unfortunately means that users in most countries aren’t able to access their home Netflix library while abroad. Here is a list of Netflix libraries I was able to access:
Here are some of the countries I didn’t have success with:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
PIA works with several Netflix libraries but unfortunately many countries’ libraries are not supported. Netflix blacklists PIA’s servers and its IP addresses, making it difficult for this VPN to access Netflix’s catalogs in some countries.
Another issue with PIA is its speed. Its not as fast as top VPNs like NordVPN. This means that you might encounter some buffering issues when streaming Netflix with PIA.
If you are looking to access the Netflix library of a country that isn’t supported, I would recommend going with a VPN that works better with Netflix, such as NordVPN.
Which VPNs are best for streaming Netflix?
Netflix is one of the top streaming platforms globally. They have the resources to throw behind restricting access to their content to ensure that content is viewed only in the country it is intended for. This makes it difficult for smaller VPN providers, such as PIA, to keep up with Netflix’s restrictions. Here are some options that work better with Netflix:
- NordVPN: This my top pick for streaming Netflix. It has fast connection speeds and servers in over 5,500 locations. NordVPN also offers strong security features and stores no logs. It works with the most popular Netflix libraries too. Its subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, ensuring you can use it risk-free.
- Surfshark: A budget VPN option that doesn’t skimp on quality. It has servers in over 3,200 locations and offers an unlimited amount of simultaneous connections. It can access several Netflix libraries and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- ExpressVPN: A great choice for Netflix. It has a network of fast servers in over 94 countries and has no issues accessing Netflix in many cases. It is a secure VPN and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- PrivateVPN: Keeps no logs and provides fast streaming speeds. It works with most of the Netflix libraries I tested it with and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access – Netflix FAQs section
Can I just watch PIA with a free VPN?
While not having to pay for a VPN service seems tempting, free VPNs simply don’t perform as well as paid ones. Free VPNs don’t have the resources to spend on their VPN networks, meaning that they get bogged down by too many users and can be slow, resulting in choppy video playback and overall poor internet connections. Free VPNs may also have limited server locations. They might not have servers in your home country and, on top of that, they might not be good enough to bypass Netflix’s restrictions.
Another issue with free VPNs is that they often have poor security measures in place. Some free VPNs don’t even encyrpt users’ connections. Considering all of these reasons, it’s best to use a reliable paid VPN service instead, ensuring that you get fast connection speeds and a secure connection – cheap VPNs are available.
Will my internet connection be slower if I use a VPN?
Your connection speed will be reduced slightly if you are connected to a VPN. This is influenced by the VPN protocol being used, the type of encryption used, the server load, and how far away from you the server is.
With that being said, some VPN services have a bigger impact on your service even without taking these factors into consideration. The VPNs that I recommended above all have fast Tier 1 servers that provided the connection speeds necessary to stream Netflix in HD. This means that they won’t affect your Netflix streaming experience.
Which shows can I watch abroad with PIA?
PIA does work with some countries’ libraries. This includes popular ones such as the US Netflix library. This means that you will still be able to enjoy some popular titles while abroad, such as:
- Stranger Things
- The Lincoln Lawyer
- Russian Doll
- The Office
- Our Great National Parks
- Servant of the People
- Blue Planet II
- Inventing Anna
Does Private Internet Access have a kill switch?
Kill switches cut off your internet connection complelety if your VPN connection drops out. This means that your browsing activity is then no longer private. This is a problem in countries like China and the UAE where internet access is restricted. PIA does offer a kill switch. It has the options of keeping it off, an automatic mode and a mode where it is always on. The always on mode only allows you to browse while connected to a VPN, while the automatic mode kills your connection if your VPN connection unexpectedly drops out.
How many simultaneous connections are offered by PIA?
PIA allows multiple connections, letting users connect 10 devices simultaneously.
Can PIA be manually set up on a router?
PIA can be manually set up on a router. Note that this can be a bit of a tedious process. See PIA’s setup guides to find out how to complete the installation.
Does PIA store logs?
PIA stores no logs. The only information that it stores is your name, payment information, and email address. This is merely to facilitate logging in to the service and payments.
Why doesn’t PIA work with Netflix consistently?
Netflix is always on the lookout for those trying to bypass its geographical restriction efforts. They dedicate a lot of resources to this. Most likely, since PIA is a smaller operation, they probably can’t afford to keep up with all of Netflix’s blocking efforts. Instead, they focus on prioritizing access to some of the more popular Netflix libraries.
How do I turn off PIA?
You can do this by clicking on the green power button on the main page of the PIA app.
Is PIA a slow VPN for streaming?
No, PIA offers decent speeds. While the speed may not be as fast as a provider such as NordVPN, it is still good enough in many cases to facilitate high quality streaming and smoother internet access.
Will my ISP know that I’m using PIA?
Your ISP will know that you’re connected to a VPN after you connect to a server using PIA. However, they won’t be able to see the activity you’re carrying out. It would have to carry out a careful investigation to figure out that you’re specifically using PIA.
- Instructions for streaming Netflix with Private Internet Access
- Does PIA work with Netflix?
- Which VPNs are best for streaming Netflix?
- Private Internet Access – Netflix FAQs section
- Can I just watch PIA with a free VPN?
- Will my internet connection be slower if I use a VPN?
- Which shows can I watch abroad with PIA?
- Does Private Internet Access have a kill switch?
- How many simultaneous connections are offered by PIA?
- Can PIA be manually set up on a router?
- Does PIA store logs?
- Why doesn’t PIA work with Netflix consistently?
- How do I turn off PIA?
- Is PIA a slow VPN for streaming?
- Will my ISP know that I’m using PIA?