Not all VPNs work with Disney Plus. Why? Because not all VPNs are equal. If you want to watch Disney Plus from outside the US, Canada, Netherlands, Australia or New Zealand, you’ll need a VPN that plays ‘Cat and Mouse’ with Disney (see below).
Disney Plus not working with VPN? Here’s how to fix that
- Download ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.85/month)
- Download the VPN app on your device
- Connect to a server where Disney+ is available
- Watch Disney Plus
It’s as simple as that.
Why do I need a VPN to watch Disney Plus?
You don’t. If you’re in a region where Disney Plus is available, you can’t use your local Disney account to watch Disney Plus just at you would at home.
However, at the time of writing, Disney Plus is only available in the United States, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. If you’re not in one of those countries, you’ll need a VPN to watch your favourite Disney+ content.
But not all VPNs work with Disney Plus (as you know). The reason for this is simple. Disney detects and blocks some VPNs from accessing its servers – continue reading to find out why Disney does this.
How does Disney Plus know I’m using a VPN?
The way Disney detects a VPN is simple. First, Disney Plus checks for IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks. Next, it checks GeoIP databases, such as MaxMind, verify the IP address you’re connecting from are genuine and not VPNs servers.
These are basic tests that good VPNs – such as Express, Ivcay and CyberGhost – 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.
The final test is more thorough. Disney checks how many users are connecting via the same IP address – if the number is abnormally high, Disney will blacklist the offending VPN.
This is an effective method as (cheap) VPNs are guilty of funnelling too many users through the same server (IP address).
The good news is that the Best VPNs don’t overfill their servers. Better still, they play a game of ‘Cat and Mouse’ where they check their connections with Disney Plus – and other top streaming sites – at least once a day. If the VPNs (featured below) detect any streaming issues with Disney Plus, they react by closing the server/IP and replacing it with a fresh, undetected, server/IP.
Why does Disney block VPNs?
As I said above, Disney is only available in a few different countries. If you’re not in one of these countries, Disney doesn’t want you watching its content via Disney Plus. Why?
Licensing. Disney has sold the licenses to its films and TV shows to broadcasters all over the world. Take the UK, for example. It’s the biggest English-speaking country that doesn’t have Disney Plus (yet).
That’s because Sky TV owns the rights to Disney films and TV shows. If UK viewers want to watch a Disney film, they have to do so via Sky’s outlets until the licenses expire. When that happens, Disney will, presumably, launch Disney Plus in the UK too.
Until then, Disney needs to guard its digital borders to honour its contract with Sky in the UK (and other broadcasters in other regions).
Best VPNs for Disney Plus
The BEST VPN of 2021Number 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 the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing 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.
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The BEST low-cost VPNNumber 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.
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A very reliable and fast VPNNumber 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 still one of the best VPNs you can buy. However, we’ve got it ranked in the number three spot for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s the most expensive VPN on the market. This was understandable when it was also the fastest and most reliable VPN too. But now it’s not. NordVPN is. ExpressVPN has recently been struggling to unblock some big streaming sites – BBC iPlayer and BeIN Sports – too. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc. ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites (apart from BBC iPlayer). 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.
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5. CyberGhostNumber 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.
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