There are a handful of VPNs available that can still unblock Netflix. Netflix has seriously cracked down on VPNs accessing the site’s content. If you are on the receiving end of the dreaded Netflix proxy error, have no fear. We’ve tested several providers in an effort to present you with the best VPN for Netflix. Our primary choice is ExpressVPN. Read on to find more features and important details Netflix proxy error.
To unblock Netflix, get ExpressVPN.
Table of Contents
- 1 My Country Doesn’t Have Netflix
- 2 Not All Netflix Libraries are Created Equal
- 3 Get a VPN, Sit Back and Watch Netflix
- 4 Best VPN Service to Unblock Netflix
- 5 VPN Comparison Table for Streaming Netflix
- 6 The Dreaded Netflix Proxy Error
- 7 How Does Netflix Know I’m Using a VPN?
- 8 Netflix vs VPN
- 9 How to Bypass the Netflix Proxy Error
- 10 Why is Netflix Blocking VPN users?
- 11 VPNs That Do Not Unblock Netflix
- 12 Why do some VPNs Fix the Netflix Proxy Error and Others Don’t
- 13 What if I want to unblock Netflix while abroad?
- 14 Will Netflix work in my country?
- 15 A Warning About Free VPNs for Netflix
- 16 How do I make sure the VPN that I purchased unblocks Netflix?
- 17 Is it Legal to Use a VPN with Netflix
- 18 Should I Get a Dedicated IP Address to Access Netflix?
- 19 What About Proxy Services (Like Unblock US) to Unblock Netflix?
- 20 Can I Use Tor to Unblock and Watch Netflix?
- 21 What has the timeline been for Netflix blocking?
- 22 Getting Netflix Unblocked – Botton Line
Netflix was founded in 1997, and was originally a DVD rental company – it was responsible for introducing the concept of ‘DVD rental by mail.’ In 2007, the company started offering online streaming, allowing subscribers to enjoy videos and TV shows on demand. But, in 2013, Netflix moved into the content-production market, offering original shows and documentaries.
Netflix has grown steadily over the last decade, and it now boasts over 100 million subscribers worldwide, and in 2010 it started offering streaming services internationally. First to Canada, and then to Latin America, before expanding into Europe in 2012. By 2017, Netflix was available in over 190 countries, in 22 different languages.
However, there are still two main issues which prevent Netflix from becoming a truly global TV network:
- It’s not available in every country.
- Netflix has a different library available in each country.
This is due to certain restrictions and content licensing issues. It has caused considerable frustration for many international Netflix users who only receive a fraction of the content that their US counterparts receive. If you live outside the US and want to access the full Netflix library, the best way is to use a VPN.
My Country Doesn’t Have Netflix
Currently, there are only four countries that do not have Netflix:
China: It’s expected that Netflix will reach an agreement soon with the Chinese government. But, for now, the country’s online censorship laws are preventing Netflix from offering its services in the region.
Syria: While Netflix was enjoying its meteoric rise, Syria was embroiled in a deadly civil war. Today, almost 90% of the population live below the poverty line, many are unemployed, and basic necessities, such as food and water, are scarce. Needless to say, an online streaming service is not exactly a high-priority. Even if the ongoing civil war were to end, Netflix would still have to contend with US-imposed sanctions if they wanted to start offering its services in the country.
North Korea: There are only 28 websites available in North Korea, and that’s if you can afford the internet altogether. Before Netflix could offer its services in the country, North Korea would have to repeal its oppressive internet censorship and the population would have to escape from crushing poverty.
Republic of Crimea: The newly founded autonomous State of Crimea is only recognized by Russia. In 2014, then President Obama issued an executive order which prohibited all international trade with Crimea.
Not All Netflix Libraries are Created Equal
Even if your country does have Netflix, that does not automatically mean you have access to plenty of movies, TV shows, and documentaries. For example, UK viewers can only watch 38% of Netflix movies and just 34.5% of Netflix TV shows – and that’s not even the worst of it. If you happen to live in South Korea, you will only have access to a pitiful 10.5% of Netflix shows.
This is extremely frustrating for many foreign Netflix subscribers who feel that the company should offer an equal volume of shows to all paying customers. It makes sense – if everyone is paying the same amount per month, shouldn’t they get the same access? Furthermore, US customers can’t watch their favorite shows while vacationing abroad, if that show is not licensed outside the US, even though they’ve paid to watch it.
Unfortunately, Netflix’s hand are tied by content licensing and copyright laws. Right’s holders do not want their content to be available worldwide at the same price. Also, many shows and documentaries have a regional, rather than global, appeal, and Netflix feel that it would be uneconomical to offer them worldwide. Finally, many countries have their own laws regarding foreign services which prevent Netflix from offering their full range of shows in the region.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings does recognize the need for more accessible content, although it’s clear the company does view the use of a VPN as ‘piracy:’
“The basic solution is for Netflix to get global and have its content be the same all around the world so there’s no incentive to [use a VPN]. The key thing about piracy is that some fraction of it is because [users] couldn’t get the content. That part we can fix. Some part of piracy, however, is because they just don’t want to pay. That’s a harder part. As an industry, we need to fix global content.”
Get a VPN, Sit Back and Watch Netflix
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a remote, secure network which you connect to via your home network. You then connect to the internet as if your device were directly connected to the VPN. All data that you send or receive is funneled through the private, encrypted network. This means that internet servers cannot trace your IP address. This fools internet servers into thinking that you’re in a different location.
If you want to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions, then a VPN is by far your best option. Say, for example, you reside in Australia and want to access the US Netflix library. All you need to do is connect to a US server with a VPN. However, it’s not that simple. The Netflix firewall can detect if you’re using a VPN and will block access. But, there are still several VPNs which can avoid the dreaded Netflix firewall and afford you access from anywhere in the world.
Best VPN Service to Unblock Netflix
If you want to use a Netflix VPN, you must ensure that the VPN services has the following features:
- Can unblock Netflix: This is obviously the top thing to look out for. If you try to access Netflix with most VPNs you will receive an error message. Only a select few can bypass Netflix’s VPN ban. Make sure your VPN is one of them.
- Unlimited bandwidth: Streaming shows and movies uses up a ton of bandwidth. If your VPN doesn’t offer unlimited bandwidth you’ll run out of data fast.
- Fast speeds: Some VPNs offer a noticeably slower connection than a regular network. This is very frustrating if you’re trying to stream HD content. Choose a VPN which offers fast speeds, otherwise, your movie will take forever to load, and will keep buffering.
- Money Back Guarantee: Netflix keeps upgrading its security. Choose a VPN with a money back guarantee so you can get a refund if the service stops connecting to Netflix.
- US servers: Only US Netflix offers the full Netflix library. Choose a VPN with US servers so you can connect to Netflix via the US and enjoy the full, unabridged Netflix library.
- Multiple simultaneous connections: Just like Netflix offers a single subscription for the whole family, so too, a good VPN service should allow multiple users to connect at the same time.
- Strong encryption technology: Do you want to be anonymous online? Do you prefer that rather hackers don’t intercept your network? If so, we advise choosing a VPN with powerful encryption technology.
We provide a detailed analysis on each Netflix VPN below, but here’s a quick overview on how our competitors stack up to eachother.
VPN Comparison Table for Streaming Netflix
- Simultaneous Connections
- # Servers
- # Countries
- Money Back
- Yearly Subscription
ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN for Netflix. It is one of the only VPN providers that can reliably evade the Netflix firewall. In addition, it offers super-fast speeds, military-grade AES 256-bit encryption technology, and unlimited bandwidth. ExpressVPN has over 130 server options across 94 countries, including the US. It is a little more expensive than many of its competitors, but there’s no such thing as a free VPN for Netflix. You can try ExpressVPN for 30 days with a full refund on your money if you decide not to engage in a longer contract.
NordVPN is one of the most reliable and secure VPN services. It can bypass the Netflix firewall and it boasts over 1,374 different servers across 61 countries, including the US. It offers fast speeds, up to 6 simultaneous connections, a 256-bit AES encryption and an OpenVPN protocol. NordVPN guarantees your anonymity with a kill switch feature and a CyberSec Ad Blocker. It’s located in Panama, a country with no data retention laws or prying government. With their 30-day money back guarantee, you can decide if you want to continue with the service or not.
PrivateVPN is also a zero-log VPN which offers 80+ servers locations in 56 countries and it can access US Netflix. The overall performance is sometimes a little slow, but that’s because it’s using 2048-bit AES encryption technology. PrivateVPN network is dependable and has unlimited bandwidth. With PrivateVPN you can enjoy up to 6 simultaneous connections and free remote installation. They also offer a 30-day money back refund.
As the name would suggest, SaferVPN is one of the most secure and safe VPN networks available. It operates a strict no-logs policy, which means it records none of your internet activity. It offers a fast, secure network, with a 256-bit encryption and an OpenVPN protocol. It also offers 700+ servers in 36+ countries (including the US), unlimited bandwidth and up to 2 simultaneous connections. SaferVPN also offer you a try out period of 30 days with full refund on your money.
CyberGhost offers unlimited bandwidth, access to over 1000 servers worldwide (including the US) and a 256-bit AES encryption. It also provides super-fast speeds, an automatic kill switch feature and up to 5 simultaneous connections. CyberGhost is a Netflix VPN, but you must select the “unblock streaming – Netflix” option when you set up your profile. They are granting you a 60-day money back guarantee if you don’t want to pursue with their service.
The Dreaded Netflix Proxy Error
If you try to access Netflix using a proxy server or a VPN, you will be confronted by an ominous error message, which reads:
“Whoops, something went wrong. Streaming error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again. Error Code: m7111-1331-5059.”
This error message is the source of a lot of frustration for Netflix users. Many people prefer to use a VPN for their everyday internet use, even if they’re not trying to access geo-restricted content. However, Netflix restricts access to all VPN and proxy servers.
How Does Netflix Know I’m Using a VPN?
Netflix has not released any information as to how it can detect VPN usage. However, there are few methods that it may use. First, many VPNs recycle IP addresses. This means that thousands of people try to access Netflix from the same encrypted server with the same IP address. This throws up an obvious red flag, and Netflix can simply block the IP.
Also, Netflix could conduct a reverse DNS lookup. This can determine whether the IP was assigned by a normal internet service provider or a VPN service. They could also liaise with ISPs to find out which IPs are not trustworthy and then blacklist them all. They could also look for discrepancies in your geo-location data, i.e. if your system clock has a different time to your supposed local time.
A lot of people have reported being blocked by Netflix, even though they don’t use a VPN. This may just be collateral damage, i.e. their IP address was erroneously blacklisted. It could also mean that Netflix using advanced methods to detect VPNs, such as checking network packet sizes or round trip times. As well being very technical, these methods also have a considerable downside. Namely, there may be a lot of false positives and many people will be blocked for no reason.
Netflix vs VPN
Here at Secure Thoughts we wanted to survey Netflix users to see how they have responded to the Netflix crackdown.How is this going to change people’s media consumption? Here are the results:
How to Bypass the Netflix Proxy Error
The only reliable way to bypass the Netflix proxy error is to use a VPN that works with Netflix. Despite the VPN ban, certain VPNs are still able to unblock Netflix using advanced cloaking methods that even the Netflix firewall can’t detect. No free VPNs work for Netflix, and most smaller VPN companies have long given up trying.
Be sure to clear your cache and cookies as well. Google tracks your user data along with time-stamps and location settings. If you were in Australia at breakfast time, you’re probably not in New York for lunch. You should also sign-out of all your Google accounts and set your computer clock to your geo-spoofed time-zone.
Why is Netflix Blocking VPN users?
Many ask why the blocking is being instituted at all. Netflix is blocking VPN users because deliberately circumventing its geographic restrictions simply represents a violation of its terms of service. Many governments impose laws to regulate the availability of foreign multimedia sources, as well, many countries do not have the licensing necessary to show certain content. This applies to both traditional broadcasting channels, such as television, as well as more recent media, such as the internet-distributed content that Netflix hosts. The company has to adhere to these provisions to legally operate within a territory.
Luckily, there are still a handful of VPNs that are effective at unblocking Netflix. When you utilize a VPN from outside the US, you can route your connection via a US server, and get access to US content on Netflix.
VPNs That Do Not Unblock Netflix
To save you the trouble of trying some of those that won’t be of service in your efforts to watch Breaking Bad, here are some of the services that we can say with certainty do not currently allow access.
- Ironsocket: as a smart DNS service, this fell afoul of Netflix blocking efforts some time last year.
- UnblockUS: likewise, this was a relatively early victim of the company’s methods to block users attempting to mask their true geography.
- Blockess: Reddit users report that this has stopped working for Netflix.
- Overplay: According an article from The VPN Guru this month, this still won’t play nice with the video streaming giant .
- PureVPN: A Quora user is giving this one a nay.
- Unotelly: Angry users have taken to the interwebs to confirm that this will not grant access .
- Cactus VPN: This company took the unusual step of actually announcing to users that it had “lost the battle” to unblock Netflix. Kudos for the transparency, but no joy here!
- VPNSecure: We have no change to report on previous assessments. Although strides have been made to assure access, it has been a valiant but failing battle .
- StrongDNS: According to an update late last year , this only supports Netflix streaming from Windows of Mac browsers. A partial option, certainly, but why settle for less?
- Private Internet Access: A recent thread on the dedicated Netflix Via VPN subreddit (yes, that’s really a thing!) confirmed that the service isn’t working, although the company had previous announced its intention to release thousands of IP addresses in rotation.
- AceVPN: The reports remain that its servers do not unblock Netflix.
- IPVanish: According to Reddit threads, this one fell fairly early in the day and lacks some of the heavy-weight tech needed to push past the company’s restrictions.
- VPN Master – A pretty poor VPN service overall, VPN Master cannot unblock Netflix, despite adverts claiming the contrary.
- Betternet – A free VPN which is actually decent, but it can’t unblock Netflix
- Hotspot Shield – A great VPN service. It offers Netflix streaming for premium subscribers only, but the connection is very unreliable – not to mention, often blocked.
- Tunnelbear – Another solid VPN service which tried valiantly to fight Netflix. Unfortunately, Netflix won.
- PureVPN – For some time, PureVPN claimed its servers could access Netflix. However, more and more people have reported that they get an error message when using PureVPN.
- BufferedVPN: As of recent tests and reviews (November 2017), Buffered doesn’t not support Netflix.
**Please note that as of November 1st, CyberghostVPN added a number of servers and claim to be able to unblock Netflix. You can try them with a free trial here.
Why do some VPNs Fix the Netflix Proxy Error and Others Don’t
If you’re of a technical bend, or just curious, you may be wondering how some of the above services manage to get Netflix unblocked while others fail. The answer is multi-factorial, but depends primarily on the number of users attempting to access Netflix from the same server (the more users, the more likely that IP is to raise the company’s suspicions). In truth, Netflix’s anti-VPN efforts can be expected to continue, and any service could be blacklisted at any time. The best way to be sure of finding a reliable VPN that works with Netflix is to search online before choosing one.
What if I want to unblock Netflix while abroad?
VPNs disguise your true location by tunneling your traffic through a server in another country – in this case, one where Netflix content is not blocked. For that reason, so long as you have a VPN that works with Netflix installed on your computer, where you are really physically located is immaterial. Install a VPN to unblock Netflix abroad – even if you are in Germany, you can still watch US Netflix, and Netflix will never know the truth.
Will Netflix work in my country?
Unless they’re explicitly forbidden by law (and there are a handful of these countries with tight restrictions and internet censorship laws), VPNs should work in any county that computers do. And even in countries where they’re banned, the VPN software will probably still work. (Although do you really want to learn the hard way whether that’s the case?)
A Warning About Free VPNs for Netflix
Using a free VPN for Netflix certainly sounds tempting. However, free VPNs are very unreliable and few, if any, are capable of bypassing Netflix’s smart filtration system. Also, using a free VPN is generally not advisable. A ‘free’ service has its own ways of making money. There have been reports of free VPNs infecting computers with malware, and relaying personal information to ad companies. Also, some free VPNs come with a limited amount of bandwidth per month, which will make Netflix binging near-impossible.
How do I make sure the VPN that I purchased unblocks Netflix?
Truthfully, as things can change at any moment, there’s only one way to really find out. When you download a VPN, try one server location. If it isn’t able to unblock Netflix, don’t lose hope just yet. Keep trying available servers that can unblock Netflix. If none of them work, it may be time to move on. (Which is why we recommend VPNs with a money-back guarantee, like ExpressVPN.)
Is it Legal to Use a VPN with Netflix
Whether or not using a VPN to access Netflix is legal depends on your jurisdiction. In some countries, VPNs are illegal altogether, no matter what you’re using them for. Even if VPNs are legal, you will certainly be violating the Netflix T&Cs.
In general, using a VPN is not illegal. But, depending on which show you watch and where you live, you may be breaking copyright laws.
Should I Get a Dedicated IP Address to Access Netflix?
Purchasing a dedicated IP address to access Netflix may be useful, but it depends on which VPN service you subscribe to. If, for example, you’re an ExpressVPN customer, you don’t need a dedicated IP address. Just log in to the VPN server and you can browse Netflix freely. But, if you use TorGuard VPN, you will have to buy a dedicated IP address. This is because their regular VPN service does not get Netflix unblocked.
What About Proxy Services (Like Unblock US) to Unblock Netflix?
As unencrypted means of tunneling traffic through servers, proxy services tend to be less sophisticated in their mechanisms than full-fledged VPNs. If one of the above options don’t work, it’s highly unlikely that a simple proxy service will.
Can I Use Tor to Unblock and Watch Netflix?
In theory, you can use the Tor browser to unblock Netflix. Most VPNs use large blocks of IP addresses which are easily identifiable and easy for Netflix to block. Tor uses a wider range of exit nodes, and you should be able to bypass the Netflix firewall.
However, Tor is notoriously slow and streaming HD videos is almost impossible. Moreover, Tor has limited bandwidth so using it for streaming would affect other Tor users.
What has the timeline been for Netflix blocking?
Netflix has been rapidly cracking down on georestriction circumvention these past two years, and that train isn’t likely to stop until they find a way to make the same content selections available worldwide.
Here’s what’s happened so far:
January 1st, 2016
The word is out – Netflix is out to squash the use of VPNs.
January 22nd, 2016
Netflix begins actively blocking the use of VPNs and SmartDNS services.
January 27th, 2016
Netflix makes US content available in US military bases around the world.
March 7th, 2016
An update from Netflix causes VPNs to stop working with the Android app. Take a deep breath – there’s a workaround.
April 18th, 2016
The CEO of Netflix releases a statement saying that VPN users just don’t make a dent in their profits. Do your happy dance – this means they’re probably not interested in pursuing you.
April 19th, 2016
Netflix cuts off access to more VPNs, angering Canadian users.
Netflix makes another sweeping move against VPNs, banning more IP address and forcing users to find alternatives (don’t worry, everything in this guide still works).
IPVanish is down for the count, and no longer works to unblock Netflix. Sad face.
Getting Netflix Unblocked – Botton Line
Paid VPNs will cost you. But, if you want to get the most out of your Netflix subscription, the only surefire way is to use a VPN. With a VPN, you can access the full Netflix library, without having to move to the US. Also, VPNs are a great way to safe online. The private network is far more secure than a regular network, plus you get to be anonymous. Sign up now to enjoy all that Netflix has to offer.