How to watch Netflix in China with a VPN or DNS in 2019
Netflix (the most popular paid video streaming site in the world) is available in every country in the world, with only 4 exceptions - China, North Korea, Syria, and Crimea.
Does that mean you can't watch Netflix in China?
Of course not. You can still watch Netflix in China with the right VPN. But be careful.
Not all VPNs work for Netflix and not all VPNs work in China.
Finding a VPN that both works well for Netflix and works well in China in 2019 is no easy task. Combining these requirements together doesn't leave many options.
Nevertheless, I am still able to watch Netflix every day in China. Here are the top 2 VPN services for unblocking Netflix in China.
#1 Solution - ExpressVPN - VPN or DNS
Price - $12.95 per month paid monthly or $8.32 per month paid annually. The MediaStreamer DNS (Smart DNS) is included with every subscription, it is not available standalone.
Special Offer for ExpressVPN
Get an additional 3 months free with the annual plan (15 months total). This brings the price down to $6.67 per month for the annual plan.
Claim special discount for ExpressVPN
Free trial / money back guarantee - 30 day no-hassle money back guarantee. Cancel any time for any reason within 30 days and get a full 100% refund. No strings attached.
Working Netflix regions (VPN) - USA, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, Taiwan
Works on (VPN) - All devices. Devices without VPN settings such as Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Playstation, Xbox, etc can be connected using the ExpressVPN router app (tutorial here), or you can use your computer as a virtual VPN router (tutorial here).
Working Netflix regions (DNS) - USA only
Works on (DNS) - All devices. Devices without DNS settings can be connected to a router with DNS settings. Some devices such as Roku and Chromecast will require static routes to block Google DNS.
Not only is ExpressVPN the top VPN for China, it's also the top VPN for Netflix.
Whether you are using a VPN for Netflix or general use in China, you can't go wrong with ExpressVPN.
Tips for using ExpressVPN to stream Netflix from China
- I have found that sometimes the DNS gives faster streaming speeds and sometimes the VPN gives faster streaming speeds. I suggest you try both to see what works best for you. Both methods are extremely reliable for Netflix, the only real challenge is to get the best streaming speed possible so you can watch in high definition.
- If you are using the VPN, not all server locations will work for Netflix streaming. The working server locations are not public, but you can contact ExpressVPN support to get them. Luckily, this is very quick and easy using the 24/7 live chat available on the ExpressVPN website.
- For the best streaming speed, use the servers in Hong Kong or Taiwan (if the show you want to watch is available in Netflix catalog for those countries). If you want to watch something that is only available on USA Netflix then use the server location on the west coast (there is only 1 that works, contact support to find out which one).
#2 Solution - VyprVPN Pro - VPN Only
Price - $12.95 paid monthly or $6.67 per month paid annually. I currently have 2 promotions available.
Get 50% off your first month (3 day free trial included)
Get 25% off your first year (3 day free trial included)
Free trial / money back guarantee - Both of the special offers mentioned above come with a 3 day free trial. You will not be billed if you cancel within the first 3 days.
Working Netflix regions (VPN) - USA only
Works on (VPN) - All devices. Devices without VPN settings such as Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Playstation, Xbox, etc can be connected with a VPN router or you can use your computer as a virtual VPN router.
Working Netflix regions (DNS) - N/A (VyprVPN does not offer DNS for Netflix)
Works on (DNS) - N/A (VyprVPN does not offer DNS for Netflix)
Tips for using VyprVPN to stream Netflix from China
- Any US server location will work for streaming Netflix but you sometimes need to re-connect and get a new IP address if you get the proxy error. I recommend using the server location with the lowest ping time as shown in the VyprVPN software. That will likely be Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Seattle.
- OpenVPN is faster but Chameleon is more reliable for evading the great firewall and for getting an IP address that works for Netflix. Unfortunately, VyprVPN is not reliable with standard OpenVPN in China. If OpenVPN doesn't work, then you must use the Chameleon protocol. ExpressVPN is still working great with OpenVPN in China.
- If you are connecting to VyprVPN from a router, I suggest Tomato firmware because VyprVPN has a router app for Tomato. This is the only way to connect on a router using the Chameleon protocol. Personally, I like the Advanced Tomato builds but the router app should work with any Tomato build on a supported router.
- Although VyprVPN US server locations work for Netflix, I am not a big fan of their service for general use because none of their Asian servers have direct peering with China ISPs (they are routed via USA to China). I always prefer to use low latency Asian servers such as ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 or Hong Kong 1 for general VPN use. Check out the 2018 VPN in China blog for the latest updates on the best working VPN servers for China and compare the speeds of VyprVPN with other providers.
- One thing you need to be careful of with VyprVPN is torrenting. They will log the IP address that you are using while connected to their VPN, and they will ban your account if they receive DCMA notices originating from that IP address (they won't give up your information to anyone, they will just ban your VPN account). If you plan on torrenting and watching Netflix, then ExpressVPN is the only good option. You are safe torrenting witih ExpressVPN because they protect your anonymity by using simultaneously shared IP addresses and not keeping activity logs. More info on ExpressVPN logging policies.
How to watch Netflix with Chinese subtitles
If Chinese is your first language, or if you watch Netflix with your Chinese SO, Chinese subtitles can be very useful.
Chinese subtitles are available on the Hong Kong and Taiwan versions of Netflix, both locations are supported by ExpressVPN.
Here is a screenshot showing the subtitle options on Netflix using the ExpressVPN Hong Kong supported server.
Not only do you get Chinese subtitles, but the streaming speed is much faster on the ExpressVPN Hong Kong and Taiwan servers (both have direct peering to China Telecom) compared to US servers.
Supporting multiple Netflix regions (including Asian countries) is one of the biggest advantages of ExpressVPN over VyprVPN.