It’s a pain when Amazon Prime Video is not working with your VPN or proxy. But there are still a few things you can do. Take a look at the steps I’ve outlined below, and you’ll be able to watch Amazon Prime via a VPN again in a few minutes.
Amazon Prime Detecting VPN?
“Your device is connected to the internet using a VPN or proxy service. Please disable it and try again.”
If you see the above error while trying to watch Amazon Prime Video through a VPN or proxy, then it’s bad news. Amazon Prime servers have detected that the IP address you’re using – via your VPN provider – is, in fact, a VPN server (more on this later). There are two things you can do to counter this.
1. Try a different server
The first is to change the VPN server you’re connecting from. Most VPNs have several servers in (most) countries. More popular countries – like the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, etc. – are likely to have 10-1000 servers to choose from. I suggest using the Live Chat function on your VPN provider’s website to find out which servers they recommend you try first. I did this will ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) today and was told to connect to the New Jersey 3 server (and it worked!)
2. Upgrade your VPN!
Your second option is more drastic. Change VPNs. If you’re not with ExpressVPN, Ivacy, NordVPN, then you’re using a second-rate VPN. The lower the quality of your VPN, the more likely it is to have its servers blacklisted by Amazon Prime (and Netflix, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer et al.)
How does Amazon Prime Video know I’m using a VPN?
Amazon Prime Video can detect that you’re using a VPN via multiple methods. There are off-the-shelf services it can use that perform IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks – these are basic tests that good VPNs such as ExpressVPN, Ivacy and NordVPN don’t fail.
However, if you’re using a cheap VPN there’s a chance your connection might not be fully watertight. Making it insecure. And detectable.
More advanced checks involve GeoIP databases, such as MaxMind, to verify the IP address you’re connecting from. If your VPN is using an IP address that’s on one of these lists you won’t be able to watch Now TV.
Annoyingly, most VPNs bulk buy their IP addresses from commercial servers – making it easy for Amazon Prime to initially detect that an IP address, or range of IP addresses, is/are a VPN server, and also detect/block similar IP addresses.
There’s one final way that Amazon Prime can detect that an IP address belongs to a VPN: monitoring the number of accounts connecting from the same IP address. This is the single most effective method way of detecting VPNs. Why? Because most VPNs share a small number of servers with a large number of customers – when an abnormal number of users connect via the same IP address, Amazon blacklists the offending server.
When Amazon Prime Video detects too many of its customers connecting from the same IP address, it knows that said IP is a VPN.
What to do when Amazon Prime Video has stopped working with VPN?
As I said above, if none of your VPN servers are working with Amazon Prime Video – or you’re fed up with your VPN’s poor uptime with APV – it’s time to change to a service that works consistently.
Below I’ve listed the five VPNs that I’ve had the most success with over the past three years. It’s worth noting that these services work best with Amazon Prime Video when connected via a laptop or smartphone/tablet.
Another method I’ve had good success with recently is Smart DNS Proxy. The involves a little bit more work during the setup phase – you need to change your device’s DNS settings – but it’s a good alternative if you don’t want to sacrifice speed or use another VPN. Take a look at How to change DNS settings to find out more.
Best VPN(s) to beat the Amazon Prime Video VPN error
There are tons of VPNs that will *temporarily* unblock Amazon Prime Video. When I first moved to New Zealand I thought I did my research properly and decided IPVanish was the best VPN for me in terms of price and functions. And for the first few days, IPVanish unblocked Amazon Prime Video for me reasonably well. Then, all of a sudden, it didn’t. I reached out to IPVanish’s support team and was told that it no longer supported unblocking Amazon Prime Video as one of its features.
Below are three VPNs that have been able to beat Amazon Prime Video’s VPN ban for the past several years.
The BEST VPN of 2020!
Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speed: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 160 in 94 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
ExpressVPN is the best VPN you can buy. If you can afford the extra few pounds/dollars a month, you won’t regret it.
The first thing you need to know about this VPN is that it’s fast. Really fast! It consistently tops our independent VPN speed tests, with blazingly fast download/upload speeds.
And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the market at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites. Meaning, whenever one of its servers is blacklisted it creates a new one – giving its users a constant stream of servers that aren’t blocked. Needless to say, this is a valuable attribute if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming sites.
Its app is easy-to-use and free to download on pretty much any device you can think of. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireStick, Android TV, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Linux, even Apple TV (with a workaround). It’s got it all covered.
The app is another main reason this VPN is so good at unblocking TV streaming sites (that claim they block VPNs) is that its software takes a pragmatic approach to user management. While other VPNs tempt customers by promising them access to hundreds/thousands of servers in multiple countries, ExpressVPN does things differently.
With ExpressVPN you only have a handful of server locations to choose from. Once you select your location the app takes care of the rest. Assigning you to the fastest available server that’s not oversubscribed. This simple technique is so important, as it keeps ExpressVPN’s servers operating at lightning-fast speeds and prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.
ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than the other VPNs. But if you want the most reliable VPN on the market, there’s only one choice. ExpressVPN is the best.
The BEST mid-range VPN for streaming!
Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speeds: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 48 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
Private Internet Access is one of the leading no-log VPN services with over 1 million paying customers.
This VPN is one of the best in the industry at beating streaming sites’ VPN bans. It provides reliable connections with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ Amazon Prime Video, etc. It also allows 10 simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time, so you can share the account with your close friends.
If, for whatever reason, you’re not happy with Private Internet Access, there’s a 24/7 live chat support available to assist you with your problem. PIA also offers the industry-standard 30-days money-back guarantee.
From my tests (from New Zealand) I was able to get download speeds of 70 Mbps while connected to a UK server using the Private Internet Access VPN (my non-VPN speed is 100 Mbps).
The BEST low-cost VPN
Number of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.16/month) is a great option.
This VPN has all the features you need to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world. I’ve been testing the app recently on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick and the results have been impressive – unlocking BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. with ease.
The Ivacy app is a little different in regards to its UX (user experience). Instead of just selecting a UK server, you need to select the specific BBC iPlayer server. Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing – by connecting to a dedicated BBC iPlayer server, it simply means that you’re connecting to an IP address that Ivacy knows works with BBC iPlayer.
For an extra $1.99/month (£1.74) you can add-on a dedicated IP. This will buy you sole access to an IP address in a country of your choice, meaning you won’t have to share your IP (and speeds) with any other use. I don’t recommend this though, using the regular Ivacy servers is enough 95 per cent of the time.
7-DAY TRIAL – $0.99
(30-day money-back guarantee)
A solid all-round VPN option!
Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And its easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers.
It’s pretty reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. – but its record isn’t perfect. NordVPN claims that’s all changed now as a result of hiring full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers connections with popular TV streaming services) and aggressive investment in its network of IP addresses in key locations.
Another interesting thing to note is that NordVPN is an industry leader in its development of Nordlynx technology. Nordlynx is built using the WireGuard, a new VPN tunnelling protocol designed to outperform current standards (OpenVPN and IPSec). The benefits, according to NordVPN, are dramatically faster transfer speeds while connected to a VPN. My tests – New Zealand to London – confirm that Nordlynx is currently the fastest VPN on the market. However, the difference isn’t dramatic, a few Mbps is all.
Number of servers: 6,000+ | Speeds: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 200 in 90 countries | Devices supported: 7 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well.
From my tests over the past several months, CyberGhost has no trouble at unblocking major streaming services – US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max etc. This VPN performed well at maintaining download speeds, well above 65 per cent of my regular (non VPN) ISP speed.
That said, there’s nothing really unique about the service. Which forces you to look at its price-point. And there’s nothing special here. Its short-term $12.99/month price tag puts is well above the industry average of $10.10/month. Similarly, its long-term $2.75/month for 3 years deal isn’t much of a “deal” either.
Oddly, CyberGhost’s most unique feature is its a 1-day, no obligations, free trial. This is an appealing offer to customers who are new to VPNs. However, it’s important to remember that most reputable VPNs will offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try not to be too seduced by the offer.