Over the last couple of years, VPN users have been increasingly frustrated as Netflix has ramped up their VPN blocking efforts. VPN used to be a simple way to bypass geo-restrictions blocking Netflix, but with Netflix actively blocking VPN, the struggle to unblock Netflix has become real for many VPN users.
Luckily, VPN providers are beginning to find ways to get around these blocks. With the best VPN for Netflix, you can unblock Netflix and enjoy your favorite shows like Stranger Things, Daredevil and Godless.
Why Does Netflix Block VPN Users?
Netflix is currently available in over 190 countries across the globe. However, the content available varies from country to country. For example, if you live in Germany, you only have about 28% of the US TV library and only about 31% of the US movie library. Countries like Egypt, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, and Thailand have less than 15% of the US TV and movie libraries.
The normal fix to this would be to use a VPN to access US Netflix, but since Netflix blocks a large number of VPN servers, this can become difficult.
So why does Netflix block VPN users? Licensing agreements.
Netflix has negotiated licensing agreements in each of the countries that they offer service in. For example, Netflix UK may pay to show Supergirl, Jessica Jones, and Fuller House, but it’s unlikely that a country like Iran will have those shows in their Netflix library.
If Netflix in your country doesn’t pay the licensing fees for the shows you want to see, you won’t be able to watch. They then block VPN users to further protect their licensing agreements, both in the US and internationally.
How Does Netflix Block VPNs?
Most VPNs use shared IP addresses, which means that hundreds if not thousands of users are connecting through a single IP address. As Netflix notices these types of addresses, they block them assuming they are some type of VPN.
Some VPN providers make the mistake of listing their servers on their homepages, allowing Netflix technicians to resolve their IP addresses and add them to the blocked list. In both cases, many VPN services start out being able to access Netflix but are usually blocked in short order.
However, some VPN providers are beginning to get around these VPN blocks. HideMyAss is one provider that was unable to access Netflix until recently. They added additional servers that are able to bypass Netflix’s block.
Other providers have servers that regularly change their IP addresses, thus traffic coming from them look like standard traffic. And then there are other providers that are smaller and the traffic is not presently enough for Netflix to notice – yet.
What Can Be Done?
While the list of services that are being blocked by Netflix is growing, there are still plenty of VPN services that will allow you complete access to Netflix. One of the best ways to find a VPN that has access to Netflix is by finding a provider that offers optimized servers for streaming. These servers are tested and proven effective at accessing Netflix and other streaming services.
Of course, Netflix should not be the only reason that you sign up for VPN service. When choosing a VPN provider, look for those that offer all of the following:
- Large Server Network – This allows better access to geo-restricted content around the globe. It also improves the chances that you’ll be able to connect to Netflix or other streaming services.
- No Bandwidth Cap – This means your connection will never be slowed for using too much data, and Netflix uses a lot of data.
- Fast Speeds – You want a provider that offers top speeds if you want to stream, download or anything that requires a fast connection.
- Wi-Fi Protection – If you use public Wi-Fi a lot, you want a VPN that will automatically protect your devices to protect hackers from sniffing your connection.
- Superior Encryption – A provider offering the latest in encryption technology will ensure that your data is untraceable online.
Of course, you want to know which VPNs are able to access Netflix. Here are some that will give you unrestricted access.
ExpressVPN has one of the best user interfaces, allowing connection in just a single click. They also offer advanced VPN features such as split-tunneling, a VPN kill switch and multiple VPN protocols. Their network is huge with over 1,500 servers in nearly 100 countries.
The main drawback to ExpressVPN is the price. ExpressVPN is a bit pricier than other products at $12.95 a month. You can get six months of service for $9.99 a month. Sign up for their annual plan for just $6.67 a month and get three months free! All plans offer a no-nonsense 30-day money back guarantee.
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for security with 2048-bit encryption, multiple connection protocols, and an internet kill switch. They also offer double-VPN protection, something you don’t see on most services. In addition to strong security, you can unblock websites, stream video unrestricted and more. NordVPN even keeps a running list of servers that you can use to access Netflix.
Pricing is a bit of a drawback here as they only offer monthly or annual plans. Also, their website isn’t exactly the most user-friendly, offering minimal information to new users.
NordVPN is best for those looking for a long-term contract. Their monthly plan starts at $11.95 but you’ll enjoy deep discounts for longer terms. Their annual plan is $5.75 a month while a two-year deal is just $3.29. For the best deal, signup for their three-year plan for just $2.75 monthly. All plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
SaferVPN offers one of the fastest VPN services with self-managed premium servers. They offer unlimited bandwidth, automatic Wi-Fi security, a kill switch and a no logs policy.
The main drawback to SaferVPN is network size. They are only in 34 countries presently. This could cause future problems with access in the future as the network may be more likely to be blocked.
SaferVPN starts at $9.99 a month with a one year plan running $4.99 monthly. Sign up for two years and just pay $3.49 a month. All plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
HideMyAss! is great for accessing Netflix as they offer specialized servers for streaming. Choose ‘Liberty Island’ in the US or ‘Donkey Town’ in the UK. They also offer strong encryption, mobile Wi-Fi security and a multi-platform app that’s simple to use.
One of the biggest drawbacks to HMA is that “The use of HidemyAss! VPN and any parts of our technology are subject to local laws and regulations.” This means that they may be forced to keep logs on certain servers. If a no logs policy is important, this may not be for you.
Monthly service is a bit pricey at $11.52 a month. Save 28% with their six-month plan, paying just $8.33 a month. Get 43% off by signing up for a year’s service at just $6.56 a month. All plans have a 30-day money back guarantee and you can cancel online anytime.
Are Free VPNs Able to Access Netflix?
Generally, you will be unable to access Netflix (or any other streaming service) using a free VPN. This is due to a couple of reasons. First, free VPN services only use a limited number of servers and these servers are often overloaded. Netflix notices these servers quicker because of a large amount of traffic coming from them.
Next, many VPN providers will outright block access to streaming service. Online streaming is a popular feature for VPN and providers can block this feature to force you to pay for the full version.