Accessing American Netflix with a VPN

article by Cheyenne M author
Netflix is the most popular streaming service worldwide, but its selection of TV shows and films varies depending on your location. Distribution rights and other legal issues prevent content from being available everywhere.

Users outside of the U.S, Canada and Brazil felt they deserved to enjoy ABC’s TGIT lineup too though. (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder are only three examples of programs with limited accessibility.) For a while, a simple free proxy was enough to unblock American Netflix. (It has the most extensive library, so it is the most sought after version.) Proxies though, no longer suffice, but we know what does.  Here is everything you need to know about using VPNs with Netflix before you take a crack at unlocking it yourself.

What You Need to Know Before Trying to Unblock Netflix

Netflix is getting better at detecting all unblocking technology including free and smart DNS proxies. Even strongly encrypted VPNs are not often a match for the streaming technology anymore. But some VPN services still work. We’ve done our best to compile a list of trusted services that unlock with Netflix and explain how to use them. Remember, the VPNs that work and methods used to access the site change every day. If you are purchasing a VPN to access Netflix, do your own research first, no matter what. Many of the best companies have live chat or FAQs available to users so they can ask questions before they buy.

Since many VPNs don’t work for Netflix access, free proxies definitely won’t work either. But there are some Smart DNS services that claim success. They can be attractive options because they are cheaper than VPNs, but they are not secure or private. As your information travels to the desired server with Smart DNS technology, it is not encrypted. So any third party that is snooping can see what you’re doing. That is why it is so much easier for Netflix to detect these proxies than VPNs. We don’t recommend any service that is exclusively a Smart DNS proxy.

Using A VPN with Netflix

Some VPN services that still unblock Netflix as of early 2017 include ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, Buffered, PrivateVPN, VPNArea, NordVPN, StrongVPN, and LiquidVPN. They all use standard strong encryption and security to access a specific remote server and bypass Netflix geo-restrictions. Encryption scrambles your data so your activity is not as easily readable to Netflix and other third parties.

No service is perfect. Check each service’s privacy policy to learn just how anonymous you’ll be while using the site. The best choices for privacy have a ‘no logs’ policy and are located outside of a country in the “Five Eyes” Intelligence Alliance. The alliance includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, The United Kingdom and the United States. If your service does keep logs, connection logs are better than usage logs because usage logs reveal your exact activity while connection logs only record general statistics about your session.

640x427_Netflix and VPN

It is impossible for us to choose the best Netflix VPN. All services are vulnerable. Sometimes a VPN stops working on the site, only to work a few months later. Sometimes only specific Netflix-designated servers work. Sometimes most work, but one or two are down. Services also have different ways of telling users which servers work, so a step-by-step guide is difficult to provide here. Check your VPN’s help center.

Some tips for success include:

  • Clear your cache/cookies before you attempt access.
  • If you’re having trouble, restart your browser or log out and back in to your VPN service.
  • If one server doesn’t work, try another option (but start with one closest to your actual location.)
  • If you are still having trouble, don’t be afraid to ask customer service for help.