There’s trouble brewing in the Netflix space.
Some claimed that “you will get banned for using a VPN on Netflix”.
And we all know this is not true in any sense.
While watching Netflix with VPN might not be apparent to everyone, any Netflix user knows that a secret war has been going on between VPN providers and Netflix, the streaming giant that’s loved the world over.
At least any user who’s tried to access Netflix from a location different from their home base knows it.
Now, what is this that I’m talking about?
Let me be a bit clearer.
Netflix is without a doubt the most popular streaming service in the entire world.
They have a huge number of shows, movies, and original content that viewers simply swear by (and my all-time favorite, “Stranger Things”).
If you’re on Netflix, you can be sure that you’ve got access to the very best of entertainment.
But, as always, there’s a twist in the tale.
Not all Netflix content is available from everywhere around the world.
Netflix’s offerings are segregated into different libraries based on the country of origin.
Some of the genres may not have titles available in your region
This means if you’ve registered as a Netflix user in the US or the UK, you’ll get access to the Netflix libraries of the respective countries. And that country only.
Netflix doesn’t allow a user registered in, say, Japan to view content from US libraries.
Sounds draconian in the 21st century?
Well, it kind of is, but there’s a reason why Netflix does this, as we’ll explore in detail.
But, can’t we use a VPN to unblock and bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions?
This ain’t going to work if you use a proxy. Find out the differences between VPN vs Proxy here.
You can, but as any Netflix user will tell you, the streaming giant has been actively blocking VPNs from bypassing their content firewalls.
This means that even with a VPN by your side, you can’t always be sure that you’ll be able to watch your favorite shows from everywhere.
I faced the same problem the last time I was in Europe, visiting a few of my friends, who also happen to be on my team of VPN testers.
Before I left for the largest continent, I was deeply immersed in some popular Netflix shows (let’s not get into the specifics of what I’m watching!).
Once I was traveling around the continent, however, I started to get blocked by Netflix.
But, as you know, I’m a persistent guy, and naturally decided to investigate the root of the problem.
And today, I’m going to share my findings with you all on how we can access or unblock Netflix.
So strap in and get ready for a ride across virtual borders!
What’s The Deal With Netflix Block Anyway?
The crux of the matter is this: if you’re a Netflix user, then you’re limited to watching the online content of only your particular geographic region.
Netflix has different content libraries for different countries, and the US Netflix and UK libraries are by far the largest and have the best quality content.
But if you’re a Netflix subscriber in say, Australia, or Asia, you won’t be able to directly stream the content on these foreign libraries.
Seems kind of unfair, right?
After all, I’m paying for Netflix, shouldn’t I be entitled to access the entirety of the service from anywhere?
While this is certainly true from the subscribers’ point of view, there is, however, another side to the coin.
Netflix and VPN Ban and its Distributor
If you’re smart enough to notice (and I know you all are), you’ll find that most content on Netflix is made by other networks, who essentially license the shows to the streaming platform.
It’s these show producers that hold the rights to the programs and movies, and they make deals with content distributors for making them available on streaming platforms such as Netflix.
And herein lies the rub.
Not all content producers might want their programs to be available everywhere around the world.
Licensing is a tricky world full of twists and turns, and the same shows may be owned by different distributors in different parts of the world.
All this ultimately results in the creation of separate Netflix libraries for separate regions.
Naturally, the customer gets the raw end of the deal, being restricted only to the local libraries.
But how does Netflix recognize which location I’m logging in from?
To understand that, we have to get under the hood of things and take a sneak peek at the technicalities.
How to Use a VPN with Netflix – It’s All About IPs (Mostly)
To cut a long story short, every user on the internet is identified by their IP, a string of digits that uniquely separates every connection to the internet.
And this is your IP here.
Now, IP addresses are largely location-specific, which means an IP from, say, India can easily be distinguished from one in New York.
And as all internet service providers use servers with region-specific IPs, Netflix can easily distinguish between connections and tell from where they are originating.
What’s more, in the case of mobile devices, the task is achieved more easily by using the Geo-location data of the device.
Netflix can also block connections based on the originating ports, or packet types and origin headers.
This is when the GPS Spoofing feature becomes handy as the like with Surfshark.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that Netflix can, and does, easily block connections across geographic borders.
In fact, there are certain countries, such as China and North Korea, where Netflix is plain banned.
So, does that mean there’s no way around it?
That’s where VPNs come in.
Or at least used to.
VPNs vs Netflix Ban: A Battle to Remember
As my readers, you already know that the prime purpose of a VPN is twofold:
- First, it encrypts your connection to ensure that no one can intercept your data traffic.
- Secondly, it bounces the data off of multiple servers and masks the source or origin.
This means that by using VPNs, users could easily get past Netflix geoblocks and access content across the world libraries.
Sitting in Japan, you could easily watch a movie from the US collection, simply by virtue of using a VPN.
However, things have begun to change.
As an avid VPN user, I’ve noticed of late that Netflix has been aggressively blocking VPN connections to their off-location libraries.
Digging deeper, I realized that due to excess pressure from the license holders globally, Netflix has decided to ramp up its blocking efforts and has been actively blacklisting chunks of VPN IPs.
This means that even if you have a great VPN service that gives you great speeds, you might not be able to access global Netflix libraries using it.
As with the latest victim on PIA or IPVanish.
VPN providers too, of course, haven’t been sitting idle.
Unblocking Netflix libraries is one of the biggest draws for VPN customers, and providers are naturally loath to let go of this profit-bearing source.
VPN services across the world have started to play virtual hide-and-seek with Netflix, where they use techniques such as IP cycling to get past Netflix’s restrictions.
And don’t even start with the free VPNs, not even the best of them are able to get past the Netflix VPN ban.
Trouble is, some VPNs are actually better than others at this, and it’s not very easy to determine the best VPNs for bypassing geo-blocks.
That’s why, from Asia, I decided to test out as many options as I could.
My target was to zero in on the top three VPNs which can get past Netflix’s restrictions and shows you how to watch Netflix with VPN.
After all, US libraries carry the most content and of course my favorite Marvel movies as well.
And here’s what I found.
VPNs That Work With Netflix – Top 3 That Unblock Netflix Ban
After some intense rounds of testing, I’ve narrowed down the choice to the following three VPNs.
These, I’ve found, have the best capabilities to unblock Netflix and open the doors to unlimited entertainment.
Differentiator: Unmatched speed and consistency
With a global network of over 5000 servers spread across 58 countries, NordVPN allows you to enjoy blazing speeds, fetterless bandwidth, and complete server access for bypassing geoblocks.
Using its Onion service, you can effectively cycle IPs every five minutes, thus preventing Netflix and other streaming providers from following your tracks.
Also, NordVPN gives you the option of buying static IP addresses, which is another way you can get past Netflix’s security measures.
What’s more, due to using a double-encryption protocol and a no-logs policy, you can rest assured that your online activity remains safe from prying eyes.
And in case you’re not satisfied, you can always go with the 30-day refund option.
… or read my NordVPN review here.
Differentiator: Unmatch global coverage
Military-grade encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and over 6000 servers spread across the globe… CyberGhost truly leaves nothing to be desired.
It’s a safe and secure VPN service that works seamlessly with Netflix.
CyberGhost’s commendable customization capabilities allow the use of random ports with every connection, which makes it harder for streaming service providers to track and block your connection.
Add to that a 45-day money-back guarantee, and you’ve got a steal deal.
Find out more at CyberGhostVPN.com
… or read my CyberGhost review here.
3. Surfshark – Access Netflix without banning
Differentiator: Master of parallel connections with GPS Spoofing
The highlight of Surfshark is its ability to support an unlimited number of parallel connections. Plus, it provides unlimited bandwidth access to servers in over sixty countries.
This ensures that users of this VPN get worry-free access to Netflix from most locations.
As it can support an unlimited number of connections, Surfshark users can use a single account to support the VPN needs of the entire family.
On top of all this, the app also includes built-in ad trackers and anti-malware capabilities.
All these features, together with less than $2 per month ensure it’s a perfect VPN for Netflix that your money can get.
With GPS Spoofing for mobile devices, you can be sure that you are nearly invisible across all the available platforms for Netflix.
Find out more at Surfshark.com
… or read my Surfshark review here.
How to use a VPN for Watching Netflix (Best to have)
So now you know my top recommendations unblock the Netflix VPN ban.
But wait! We’re not out of the woods yet.
Using a top-quality VPN is decidedly one of the prerequisites to unblocking Netflix, but let me tell you honestly, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem.
The VPN that was working fine today can very well be blocked the next.
That’s why, in this section, I’m going to share with you some of the techniques that you can use along with a top-quality VPN.
This will ensure that you can access most Netflix libraries with ease.
1. Use Obfuscating Servers
When you’re using a VPN, your browser traffic is no doubt hidden.
But your ISP and other monitoring agencies can understand that you are encrypting your traffic using a VPN.
Hence, they can choose to block your traffic altogether.
Obfuscating servers like ExpressVPN go a step further and hide your VPN signature.
This means that when you use this technology, your traffic, although encrypted, appears to be a normal data stream.
Hence it’s not blocked and can access all Netflix’s restrictions.
2. Go For a Static IP
When you route your traffic through a VPN, you’re using a shared IP most of the time.
This means multiple users have to use the same IP, and Netflix can easily recognize and block traffic from these sources.
However, if your VPN provider gives you the option of getting a static IP, then this means only you can use it for accessing the internet, even when you use a VPN.
This essentially translates to the fact that when you access Netflix, they can’t understand that you’re using a VPN.
Hence, they don’t block your traffic.
3. Try Switching Your Server
If you can’t access Netflix using a server, then this means that a particular one has been blacklisted by Netflix.
In case this happens, you can simply try switching to another server within the same country.
Also, make sure that your VPN provides you with regular IP switching, so streaming sites can’t track you across IPs.
Of course, the VPN you choose must have the option of unlimited server switching.
Are There Any Free or Cheap VPNs for Netflix
NO. In short, most free VPNs just do not work with Netflix.
Mostly because of the technology the VPN provider is having, Netflix is able to detect and block them out.
Not to mention the limitation that free VPN carries such as limited bandwidth.
Though, there’s an exception from ZoogVPN from the UK.
I am able to stream the US library from Netflix but the streaming experience was not great due to the speed cap limitation from the free plan.
It’s difficult to come along with a free VPN for Netflix. Even if you do, it’s only a matter of time before Netflix plays the catch-up game.
Final Words – Unblock Netflix Servers is Workable
As I mentioned before, Netflix has already made a name for itself by blocking VPNs, and I don’t see them stopping anytime soon.
Although I did not think it would benefit them in either way too.
Thankfully, the best VPN providers to are upping their game, and as they continue to incorporate newer features in their services, one can hope that Netflix’s geoblocks won’t pose a problem.
Whatever the case, it’s obvious that sticking with a top VPN provider is your best solution for bypassing geoblocks on Netflix.
And if your VPN can get past Netflix’s safeguards, you can be sure that you’ll be able to drill through the walls put up by other streaming sites.
After I’d done the needful, I was able to access Netflix everywhere, and with a bit of working so can you.
With that, I’ll leave you to begin your adventures in streaming.
And if you’ve already begun, then I wish you good luck in getting past the Netflix firewall.
With or without a VPN, you should really start practicing these 7 habits to protect your privacy online instantly.