Does Netflix block VPNs

As the world’s leading streaming service, Netflix boasts a vast library of films and series worldwide. However, that collection varies across regions due to licensing agreements.

For the keen binger eager to explore content beyond their shores, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are a brilliant tool for accessing Netflix libraries outside your region.

But the question remains, does Netflix block VPNs?

This article delves into the tug-of-war between Netflix and VPN providers, exploring whether the streaming giant truly blocks VPNs and what it means for users.

Does Netflix block VPNs?

Yes, Netflix blocks VPNs. The streaming service has implemented measures that aim to prevent users from bypassing regional content restrictions using VPNs.

This is primarily due to licensing agreements. Netflix acquires rights to show films and television programmes on a country-by-country basis. Thus, what is available in one country might not be available in another. To uphold these agreements, Netflix has developed technology to detect and block VPN users.

When a user tries to access content through a VPN, Netflix’s systems can often recognise the VPN’s digital signature. When detected, Netflix will block your connection and you’ll come across Netflix not working with VPN issues.

How does Netflix block VPNs?

Netflix employs a range of techniques to identify and block VPNs, ensuring that users only access content licensed for their specific region. One primary method is the monitoring and blacklisting of IP addresses. VPN services use specific IP ranges, and once Netflix identifies a cluster of users accessing their content from the same IP address – which is atypical for regular users – they may flag it as a VPN and restrict access.

In addition to IP monitoring, Netflix scrutinises data traffic patterns. The way data moves when using a VPN can differ from that of a standard connection. By observing these irregularities, Netflix can suspect VPN usage and act accordingly.

Lastly, Netflix may also work directly with hosting companies. If they discover that a significant number of IP addresses from a particular hosting provider are used to bypass regional restrictions, they might block all traffic from that provider. This approach can sometimes lead to false positives, blocking users not on VPNs, but Netflix tends to err on the side of caution to meet licensing agreements.

Is there a way around Netflix’s VPN blocks?

There are ways to bypass Netflix’s VPN blocks.

One of the most common methods is by using a one of the best VPNs that regularly updates its server IP addresses.

Since Netflix often blacklists known VPN IP addresses, the best VPNs for Netflix respond by frequently rotating their IPs to avoid detection. This means if an IP address provided by the VPN is blocked by Netflix, you can change to a different server and get a different, unblocked IP address.

A good VPN for Netflix will use a technique called “obfuscation” to make its traffic appear like regular, non-VPN traffic. This makes it difficult for Netflix’s algorithms to detect it. Additionally, when one IP gets blocked, these providers quickly switch to another, making it a continuous game of cat and mouse.

In short, while Netflix employs a range of methods to detect and block VPNs, many VPN providers are equally committed to finding ways around these barriers, allowing users to access content from regions other than their own.

What happens if Netflix blocks my VPN?

If Netflix blocks your VPN, you will be unable to access content from other regions outside your own. If you’re coming across VPN not working errors, you’ll know the IP address you’ve been given has been blacklisted. This means if you’re in the UK and you’re using a VPN to watch Netflix shows available only in the US, once your VPN is detected and blocked, you’ll be restricted to UK content.

If your VPN is blocked, you can try switching to a different dedicated server or IP address. Some VPN providers are agile and regularly add new servers, which might not be blocked.

The good news is watching Netflix with a VPN is legal however, always remember that while using a VPN to access content from other regions can be a convenient solution, it does technically violate Netflix’s terms of service. This means that Netflix is within its rights to ban your Netflix account. However, as of time of writing, no one has been banned for accessing Netflix with a VPN.

If changing to a different server doesn’t fix Netflix not working with VPN, your best bet is to upgrade to a VPN that has measures in place to ensure it works reliably with the streaming service. You need a safe VPN that uses a fast, secure protocol, has fast VPN speeds and can reliably beat Netflix’s VPN blocks.

We test VPNs and we’ve found these ones are the best for watching Netflix:

The best VPNs for Netflix

1. ExpressVPN πŸ₯‡ $6.66/month

The fastest and most reliable streaming VPN of 2023

  • βœ”160+ IP addresses in 94+ countries
  • βœ”5 simultaneous devices
  • βœ”Live chat support
  • βœ”Over 3,000 servers
  • βœ”>80% connection speed
  • βœ”Unlimited bandwidth
ExpressVPN review

ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) is still the best VPN. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN $3.19/month

An incredibly fast and trustworthy VPN

  • βœ”Over 5,000 servers worldwide
  • βœ”6 simultaneous devices
  • βœ”Reliable customer service
  • βœ”Fast NordLynx protocol
  • βœ”Cybersec ad and tracker blocker
  • βœ”Easy to use interface
NordVPN Best VPN image

NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And it’s 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 a 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.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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3. Private Internet Access $2.03/month

An affordable, reliable VPN

  • βœ”35,000 servers worldwide
  • βœ”Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • βœ”24/7 chat support
  • βœ”Servers in over 80 countries
  • βœ”MACE ad blocker included
  • βœ”Supports multiple protocols
Best VPN list - PIA

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, MAX, Disney+ Amazon Prime, and many more.

Even better, it allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time. So you can share the account with all of your friends.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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4. Ivacy $1.00/month

A trustworthy and affordable VPN

  • βœ”5700+ servers worldwide
  • βœ”10 simultaneous devices
  • βœ”24/7 customer support
  • βœ”Dedicated IP address option
  • βœ”Available on all major platforms
  • βœ”Great price
Ivacy Best VPN image

If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.00/month) is a great option.

While it doesn’t do much more than the other VPNs on this list, the main attraction is the price. This is an affordable VPN that will allow you to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick. You’ll also be able to unlock other services like US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, MAX, Amazon Prime, etc. with ease.

Read our full Ivacy review.

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5. CyberGhost $2.19/month

A solid VPN package

  • βœ”Deloitte verified no logs policy
  • βœ”Servers in 91 countries
  • βœ”7 simulatenous devices
  • βœ”Proprietary NoSpy servers
  • βœ”Multiple protocol options
  • βœ”Split tunneling support
CyberGhost Best VPN image

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.

It also offers NoSpy servers which are specially designed to provide an extra layer of security and privacy for users.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

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