ExpressVPN is an expensive but all-around solid VPN. It has some good features including apps for most platforms, plenty of servers, BitTorrent support and an easy-to-use interface. But how well does ExpressVPN work with American Netflix?
To find out the answer, I put ExpressVPN to the test in Budapest, Hungary to see if I could use the well-known VPN service to unlock all the Netflix titles I have access to back home. Continue on to read the results of my test.
Why Use a VPN With Netflix?
If you’re located outside the US, content that you can’t normally access abroad will suddenly appear on your Netflix account if you log in after connecting to an American VPN server that works with Netflix.
Because I currently live in Budapest, Hungary, I can’t access the Netflix content that I enjoy when I visit family at home.
My Netflix subscription fee never changes, but the amount of content I get does depending on where — and how — I log in.
Without a VPN, I can watch 171 TV shows and 548 movies when I’m in Budapest. With a VPN, though, I can get nearly ten times more content by logging into American Netflix.
For example, the The Walking Dead won’t normally show up if I search for it without a VPN in Hungary.
But if I connect to one of the many VPNs that still works with Netflix, I can access a lot more content.
Does ExpressVPN Work with American Netflix?
- The TL;DR answer: ExpressVPN does work with American Netflix. However, ExpressVPN is slow compared to other VPNs — and you’ll have to contact customer support to find out which server to use.
The first time I tried to access American Netflix with ExpressVPN, I ran into this annoying error message:
According to the ExpressVPN website, all you have to do to get into American Netflix is sign up, select a US server and log into Netflix. In reality, however, the actual process for getting into American Netflix with ExpressVPN is more complicated than that.
After messaging ExpressVPN support, I found out that only two ExpressVPN servers actually work with Netflix. After logging into the correct server, I was able to successfully load American Netflix content.
Configuring ExpressVPN software for Netflix
The design of ExpressVPN’s software couldn’t be any simpler. In the center of the client, there’s a giant off/on button. The “hamburger” menu in the top left corner of the app lets you change some basic settings.
When picking out a server with ExpressVPN, you have two options: “Smart Location” and “Choose Location.” Choose Location is the option you’ll need to select to get into American Netflix. After you open up the Choose Location menu, you’ll be able to choose from various ExpressVPN servers.
The American Netflix server my ExpressVPN customer service rep told me to use was “Washington D.C.” However, the company likely rotates its Netflix servers on a regular basis.
If Washington D.C. doesn’t work for you, open up a chat and ask which server you should use.
In order to test out how well ExpressVPN performs with Netflix, I watched an entire movie while connected to ExpressVPN’s Netflix server. Though I managed to get through the film, I wasn’t impressed with the picture quality I got.
ExpressVPN’s quality of service issues may be connected to the fact that not all their servers work with Netflix. The ones that do work with Netflix are likely busy all the time.
Another aspect of ExpressVPN that I wasn’t very impressed with was its high subscription price.
ExpressVPN offers three pricey payment options: $13 per month, $100 for a year or $60 for 6 months. Compared to the competition, ExpressVPN is not a great deal.
Two ExpressVPN Alternatives
StrongVPN and NordVPN are both cheaper than ExpressVPN, yet they’re also both much faster and easier to use.
- American Netflix: Yes
- Apps: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Routers, Linux
- Plans: $10 per month, or prepay $70 for a year or $24 for 3 months
- Trial: 7-day money back guarantee
StrongVPN is currently my VPN of choice. It’s the VPN I turn to when I want to watch movies and TV shows that I can’t normally access abroad.
Unlike ExpressVPN, all of StrongVPN’s servers work with American Netflix. StrongVPN’s software does not require any special configuration and you can start accessing American Netflix as soon as the installer finishes setting up your client.
- American Netflix: Yes
- Apps: Windows, Mac, iOS, Apple TV, iPad, Android, Routers
- Subscription plans: $12 per month, or prepay $70 for a year, $80 for 2 years or $100 for 3 years
- Trial: 3-day free trial
If you’re skeptical about VPNs, you may want to give NordVPN a spin. Unlike every other VPN I’ve tested, NordVPN does not require you to whip out your credit card or provide your PayPal info to start your trial period.
Like StrongVPN, all of NordVPN’s American servers work with Netflix. However, in my experience NordVPN is not quite as fast as StrongVPN.
ExpressVPN costs more than other VPN services, so you might mistakenly assume that it’s better — but it’s not. Other VPN services cost less and offer better performance with Netflix.
The extra money ExpressVPN charges likely helps the company pay for its ad campaigns. ExpressVPN seems to spend more money on promotions compared to other VPN services.
Though ExpressVPN does work with Netflix, it is a hassle to set up. I had to contact customer support to get in, and even after I connected I ran into picture quality issues when I tested it out.