What is a VPN on Netflix?

If you’re reading this, I assume you’ve seen the recent Netflix buzz around virtual private networks (VPNs) or are interested in trying one out. Nowadays, it’s hard to avoid VPNs if you’re using a streaming service like Netflix, which is why I think the topic deserves its own entry on this site. In this article, I’ll discuss what is (and what is not) a VPN as used on Netflix, when you should (and shouldn’t) use one, and how much it costs.

What is a VPN on Netflix?

Put simply, a VPN is a tool that allows you to connect to a remote network or service through a private network. Essentially, a VPN creates a secure connection between your computer (or mobile device) and a server (computer or device operated by a company), thus allowing you to access the network resources (e.g. internet, file servers, etc.) as if you were directly connected to the network.

VPNs can be used to securely connect to an office network (home or remote) or public network (such as a hotel room or café WiFi connection) so that you can access resources (e.g. printers, email, etc.) as if you were actually sitting at that computer. They can also be used to protect personal information, such as banking details, during online shopping. Or, if you’re traveling, you can use a VPN to access blocked content (such as local TV stations) or to provide a better user experience by making connections faster.

You can use a VPN to encrypt all your internet traffic, so that your personal information is not intercepted by third parties while you’re online (see: What is HTTPS?). If you want to learn more, I recommend checking out this informative primer from Cisco on using VPNs.

When Should You Use a VPN On Netflix?

Now, to put it simply, you should use a VPN when you’re on public networks or if you don’t want your personal information (such as IP address) to be accessible to the public. Let’s say you’re using public WiFi at a cafe or hotel. You don’t necessarily need a VPN to use these services, but it certainly makes things a lot easier if you do. If you use public WiFi without a VPN and later log in to your email account or other services through the same connection, you could potentially expose your personal information to security breaches. A VPN makes it much harder for hackers or other third parties to access your personal information. The same concept applies if you’re staying at a resort and using a shared WiFi connection—without a VPN, anyone around the same WiFi network could potentially access your personal information. If you want to know more, here are some good resources to read:

While you should use a VPN when you’re on public networks, there are times when you might not need to. For example, if you plan on using a VPN to encrypt your internet traffic only when you’re on public networks, you might not need to use one when you’re on private networks. But if you do want to use your VPN on private networks, it’s perfectly acceptable to do so (as long as you’re careful and understand the limitations).

How Much Does a VPN Cost On Netflix?

Now, this is a common question for anyone who’s just learning about VPNs and wondering if they’re worth the investment. To start, let’s get one thing clear—a VPN is always a good investment, especially if you’re using it on a regular basis. After all, it may be a pain to setup and use a VPN every time you log on to a public WiFi network, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. A VPN allows you to connect to a private network easily and securely, whenever you want, which makes it worth the cost. Additionally, some VPNs come with useful extras, such as a kill switch that prevents connections from being interrupted by software or hardware failures. These add-ons can be very affordable and help to make a VPN even more cost-effective.

As far as pricing goes, there are a variety of VPNs offered on the market, so it’s important to do some research before making a purchase. Essentially, the cost of a VPN will be based on the following:

  • How fast does the VPN server(s) run?
  • How many devices can you connect to the VPN at once?
  • How much data can you transmit (i.e. how much bandwidth does the plan include)?
  • What level of encryption does the VPN offer?
  • Does the VPN include a kill switch?
  • Does the VPN come with an ad-supported or ad-free option?
  • How much does the support plan cost?

In general, the more you pay the more you get. But keep in mind that there are cheaper (and sometimes free) VPNs out there, so you should not expect to spend exactly the same as you would for a premium VPN. As a general rule of thumb, the more upscale and exclusive the location the more expensive the VPN. For example, the NordVPN service is usually quite expensive. It has expensive hardware and proprietary algorithms for encryption, which makes it harder for hackers to break through. In most cases, a VPN without a kill switch (easy to implement) costs around $2.99 a month. While a premium VPN with a kill switch, TLS, and an ad-supported plan will cost you $11.49 per month. Again, these are just some examples, so take this information with a grain of salt.

Are There Any Free VPNs On Netflix?

Yes, there are. In fact, there are several reputable, free VPNs available for download on the internet. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

As you can see above, most of these VPNs are compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Additionally, most free VPNs offer more than one server location, making it easier to find a suitable solution for your area.

To learn more, check out this informative blog post from Mashable that discusses some of the best free VPNs available.

When Should You Avoid Using A VPN On Netflix?

While you should use a VPN whenever you’re on public or shared networks, there are times when you might not need to. For example, if you’re already using a strong password and are careful about what software you install on your device (i.e. using only trusted apps), you might not need a VPN. This could potentially save you some money and increase your privacy online. If you’re using a VPN to connect to social media sites or other locations that require you to register or login, then avoid using it on Netflix. Otherwise, it could be a privacy nightmare due to the fact that you’re essentially broadcasting your every move to the public.

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