It’s common knowledge that Netflix uses geographical restriction measures and provides different movies and TV shows in each country. While that’s unfortunate, there’s a solution that enables you to stream geo-blocked content from anywhere.
With a VPN (Virtual Private Network), you can reroute your connection through a different country and access content from practically anywhere. Of course, streaming services aren’t blind to this and restrict such practices. Luckily, top-notch VPN providers, such as NordVPN, are out there that can beat the Netflix VPN ban into submission.
How to get around the Netflix VPN ban – step by step guide
Not interested in the details and want to unlock Netflix as soon as possible? Here’s how to circumvent the Netflix VPN ban:
- Subscribe to a worthwhile Netflix VPN. Our number one choice is NordVPN, currently available for 60%!
- Install the VPN software on your device and connect to your desired server
- Go to Netflix and enjoy uninterrupted access to all the new content!
If you can’t access Netflix or see any new content – simply connect to a different server and try again. Netflix is blocking VPN IP addresses constantly, yet the top VPN services are rigorously working hard to beat the Netflix VPN ban.
Understanding the Netflix VPN ban
When the full extent of how Netflix uses geo-blocking became apparent, VPNs stepped in to offer a ready-made solution. After all, if the blockers were simply filtering out users located in certain countries, finding a workaround should have been as simple as adopting a native IP address.
VPNs are ideally suited to this kind of deception because they mask users’ original identities and create the illusion that users are based elsewhere.
In theory, it should be challenging for companies like Netflix to prevent geo-unblocking with the help of VPNs. And for a while, the streaming giant has indeed struggled in this regard.
However, in 2017, multiple VPNs were effectively blocked by Netflix. All over the world, thousands of users suddenly found their Netflix VPN not working when the day before they could watch their favorite content with no problems.
How Netflix detects VPN users
Perhaps it was inevitable, but many VPN users were surprised to find that the platform had developed efficient ways to detect and neutralize VPNs. So how do these techniques work, and do they mean that you can’t use Netflix with VPN clients anymore?
One answer to how Netflix knows I’m using a VPN is related to how VPNs work. Many VPNs route large numbers of users through single servers, using closely related IP addresses to hide users’ identities. Bundling masses of individuals together is a great way to anonymize web usage.
Additionally, while using a VPN, any data you send or receive will be secured with military-grade encryption before it leaves your computer, “wrapped” in another layer of encryption. Then it’s re-routed through the server of your choice, effectively hiding your identity and your data.
Still, it has one fatal drawback: platforms like Netflix can detect patterns of similar IP addresses and then ban them, knocking all of a VPN’s servers out of action in one move.
Some specialist companies also collect the IP addresses used by VPNs and sell this information to platforms like Netflix, which makes the task of screening the site’s users much more straightforward (but isn’t the most precise way to filter traffic).
Netflix also has another sophisticated VPN deception system.
Initially, Netflix acts as if there is a version of it in your country. Hence, it’s able to read the country code of the upcoming IP address. Apart from the website, Netflix operates another server that hosts the video content. A strict protocol is used to determine whether a user is utilizing a VPN before allowing to access the server with video content.
However, the ways Netflix detects VPN usage aren’t foolproof. Sometimes they make mistakes and punish entirely blameless users. Most of the time, they fail to notice those who use the best VPNs for streaming. No matter how strict their security measures are, it’s hard to see Netflix blocking VPN services permanently. And that’s excellent news for entertainment fans!
A step by step guide to how to bypass the Netflix VPN block
1. Choosing a VPN
The first step in learning how to bypass Netflix VPN block systems is to research the current selection of VPNs. Not all VPNs can access Netflix outside of your jurisdiction. Since Netflix blocking VPN was exposed, a vast range of previously popular VPNs have struggled to adjust.
We already know how Netflix detects and blocks VPN users and why it goes to great lengths to do so. Yet, there are a few soldiers left to unblock Netflix regularly. Using them will help you stream not only Netflix but also other platforms, including Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and others.
Before you download a VPN client, have a look at their server list as well. Most good VPNs have a broad geographic reach, but some are relatively limited. So if you intend to watch, for example, German or French Netflix, ensure that there are plenty of servers in those countries.
2. Signing up
Unfortunately, these premium VPNs are not free of charge, so you’ll have to sign up for a contract when you download them. Thankfully, some excellent VPN services, such as NordVPN and Surfshark, offer free trials under certain conditions. Alternatively, most providers are insured with a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you the chance to try out the VPN completely risk-free.
When choosing a subscription plan, longer terms tend to come with cheaper per month fees. So if you’re confident that your chosen VPN will remain effective for 12-18 months, they are a cost-effective option.
However, we know that Netflix constantly tries to strengthen its blockers, and users can suddenly find their Netflix VPN not working. So shorter-term contracts are often recommended. It’s worth noting that the best VPNs for streaming, for example, NordVPN and Surfshark, are working reliably with Netflix for years. Therefore, they are solid choices for long-term streaming.
3. Using servers
Once your software is set up, you’ll need to select a server if you want to change your location with a VPN. Most clients will automatically select a server that’s optimized for speed, so you’ll need to unflag this option. The fastest server will generally be geographically close to where you are, which isn’t much help to access Netflix services in another country.
Choose a server in the target country and route your VPN traffic through it. Now, sign onto Netflix, and you should be able to access content specific to that region. If the server fails, don’t panic. Switch to another one in the same country, and you should be able to continue watching TV and movies.
4. Consider using a dedicated IP
If you’ve tried a conventional VPN and you still can’t use Netflix with VPN servers, there’s another option to consider. As we noted before, Netflix can detect bundles of IP addresses coming from the same server. But some VPNs, such as NordVPN and PureVPN, offer a service called dedicated IP addresses, which get around this issue.
A dedicated IP address is essentially a unique address solely for your use and isn’t related to anyone else’s. These addresses come with an extra charge but are a much more reliable way to access streaming services.
Additionally, some VPNs like PrivateVPN offer packages dedicated to Netflix and are constantly tweaked to stay ahead of the streaming company’s security measures. They aren’t quite as reliable as a dedicated IP, but they are another option to consider when getting around Netflix VPN blocking systems.
Does using a VPN slow down Netflix streaming?
Before you download a VPN and start streaming, there’s one other vital issue to get out of the way. As you may know, VPNs are responsible for slowing down internet connections. That’s because superimposing an extra layer of encryption and routing your connection through a remote server inevitably has a cost.
However, the fastest VPN providers use efficient tunneling protocols and the latest server technology to guarantee ridiculously high connectivity speeds. Therefore, you won’t even notice that a VPN is on when streaming in UHD.
Additionally, there’s a way to check VPN provider connection speeds even without downloading the software. With our VPN speed test, you can compare the performance of some of the most popular services.
How Netflix content varies from country to country
You might not be aware of it if you’ve never changed your Netflix region, but the TV shows and movies available on the multi-national platform vary depending on where you are. And as we’ll see in a moment, this variation can significantly alter the range of viewing options at users’ disposal.
According to Netflix themselves, the reasons for this diversity are pretty simple. Across the world, every nation has its own copyright laws, and each rights holder (usually the company which produces the content) sells the right to screen their products.
This means that Netflix can’t just buy global rights to a show like The Office, then screen it everywhere.
Instead, they need to negotiate a deal in each country. Sometimes, other companies may have secured exclusive rights to carry a series, leaving Netflix out of the picture. And when this happens, subscribers won’t be able to stream it, even though it might be listed on the general Netflix directory.
In other cases, shows might be profitable in one country but less popular in another. As each show costs money to carry on the Netflix platform, they may not carry that show everywhere, causing problems for dedicated fans.
In any case, the range of shows available to Netflix users is policed by a system of “geoblockers”, which detects where users are based and delivers the right mix of content. And it’s these issues that we need to work around to get access to the entire repertoire of Netflix shows.
Some of the best shows in certain countries
By using a VPN for specific countries, you can unlock some of the most coveted movies and TV shows on Netflix. Here are just a few examples.
|Country||Show or movie|
|VPN for Turkey||Harry Potter|
|VPN for Canada||What We Do in the Shadows|
|VPN for Australia||Rick and Morty|
|VPN for the UK||Brooklyn Nine-Nine|
Naturally, these shows and movies aren’t exclusive to the countries mentioned above. For example, Rick and Morty is also available in other regions, but it’s unavailable in the US.
Can a VPN help beat Netflix ISP throttling?
There’s another issue that many VPN users encounter: ISP throttling.
Data throttling is a much-discussed but often denied phenomenon where internet service providers limit the speeds of particular users, especially those who use relatively high amounts of data. ISPs aren’t supposed to throttle anyone, but the evidence strongly suggests that they do. And Netflix is one of the data-hungry sites that appears to prompt ISPs to limit user speeds.
As far as we know, not all ISPs are affected by this. But major names, such as Verizon and Comcast, have been implicated. Thankfully, some VPNs offer a simple solution if you think that your Netflix speeds are suffering.
A good VPN will make it impossible for Comcast or any other ISP to monitor and throttle your streams by hiding your data and anonymizing your identity.
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of how to get around Netflix VPN block techniques. Fundamentally, it’s pretty simple. Just find a VPN service that you can rely on to maintain its servers and software so that it stays a step ahead of Netflix.
That sounds simple, but it’s easy to get stuck with a VPN contract that doesn’t provide Netflix access. That’s why you should choose your VPN service wisely and make sure that it has a good track record of unblocking popular streaming services.
But don’t worry. You can beat the Netflix ban and whatever other blockers and filters the entertainment platform uses. With a thriving community of VPN experts and a mass market for privacy tools, corporations will struggle to limit access permanently, no matter what they do.
What’s your favorite service to pummel the Netflix VPN ban? Share your weapon of choice by leaving a comment!
Does Netflix ban VPN users?
No, Netflix does not ban users who use a VPN. However, you won’t be able to watch anything if Netflix detects that you’re using a VPN.
How do I stop Netflix from blocking my VPN?
The best way to avoid Netflix VPN blocking is to use a dedicated IP. That way, no one else will be using your IP address, meaning it’s less likely to be discovered and blocked. NordVPN, the best VPN for streaming, offers a dedicated IP option.
Is it legal to use a VPN?
Yes, it’s perfectly legal to use a VPN in most parts of the world. However, some authoritarian countries that engage in online censorship prohibit the use of VPNs.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.