Netflix detecting VPN - main

If you’re seeing the error message “Oops, something went wrong… You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy”. It’s bad news. Your VPN server’s IP address has been blacklisted by Netflix. Don’t worry though – there’s an easy workaround. In this article, we help you understand how the Netflix VPN ban works and what you can do to beat it! We also list four excellent VPNs that still work with US Netflix (see below).

See also: BBC iPlayer detecting VPN? Here’s how to fix that!

Netflix error code m7111-5059?

The “Netflix error code m7111-5059” simply means that the VPN you’re using has been detected by Netflix (more on this later).

Follow the steps below to find out how to stop seeing the m7111-5059 error code when connecting to Netflix via a VPN.

Netflix not working with VPN: Quick guide

Netflix only blocks the IP addresses of some VPNs. Good VPN still work with Netflix. Follow the steps below to and you’ll be able to watch Netflix (again) from anywhere in the world.

  1. Sign up to ExpressVPN ($6.99/month) or Ivacy ($1.16/month)
  2. Download and install the app
  3. Connect to a server in the US (or whatever Netflix region you want)
  4. Clear your browser’s cookie and cache (optional)
  5. Open Netflix and watch from anywhere in the world

It’s as easy as that.

Can Netflix detect a VPN?

However, Netflix does collect its users’ IP addresses. It then uses this data to monitor the number of accounts connecting from the same IP address, and it actively blacklists any IP address that it suspects belongs to a VPN. More about this below.

However, Netflix does collect its users’ IP addresses. It then uses this data to monitor the number of accounts connecting from the same IP address, and it actively blacklists any IP address that it suspects belongs to a VPN. More about this below.

How Netflix detects VPNs?

Netflix detecting VPN - body

A cheap, oversubscribed VPN is easy to detect.

Too many people connecting from the same (VPN) IP address is basically how all VPN IP addresses get detected and blacklisted.

An IP address is like a telephone number, complete with a dialling code. Every internet connection in the world has its own unique IP address. Your IP address reveals (to a website) which country/city your internet connection is coming from.

VPNs make money by sharing a small number of servers/IPs with a larger number of customers. When you use a low-end VPN, you’re sharing your IP address with a lot of other customers. So naturally, this IP will be detected and blacklisted by Netflix first.

The best VPNs, such as ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) or Ivacy ($1.16/month) provide users with access to a lot more servers and IPs. This is important as it allows them to spread their customers across their IPs. Keeping them undetected as the number of customers connected to Netflix via each IP remains under Netflix’s “abnormal” threshold. NordVPN and ExpressVPN also play a game of Cat and Mouse with Netflix. When one of their IP addresses is detected and blacklisted, they react by shutting it down and opening a fresh (undetected) IP.

What to do when Netflix detects VPN?

The best workaround for the Netflix VPN block is to simply use a VPN with servers/IPs that aren’t blacklisted by Netflix. It’s as easy as that.

These can be tricky to find and verify. So we recommend you use one of the VPNs featured below. These VPNs play a game of Cat and Mouse with Netflix. When Netflix blacklists one of its IP addresses, the VPNs open a new one and direct their customers to it.

If you want to start watching US Netflix (again) all you need to do is sign up with one of the VPNs listed below and connect to a US server.

Netflix detecting VPN

Netflix not working with VPN on Firestick?

If you’re having trouble watching Netflix through a VPN on a Firestick, then try downloading the free Firefox browser. You can play Netflix on your Firestick via a browser just like you do on your laptop.

For more information check out this Netflix not working with VPN on Firestick? Try this EASY fix! article.

Which VPNs still work with Netflix (US)?

1. ExpressVPN

The BEST VPN of 2020!

ExpressVPN UK screenshot

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 10-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Expensive

SPECIAL OFFER – 3-MONTHS FREE!

30-day money-back guarantee

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

  • $6.66/month for 15 months
  • $9.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.95/month for 1 month

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.

SPECIAL OFFER – 3-MONTHS FREE!

Get ExpressVPN for $6.66/month

(30-day money-back guarantee)

2. Ivacy

The BEST low-cost VPN

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • 5-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only 5 devices
  • Sometimes runs slow
  • Occasionally blocked by streaming sites

7-DAY TRIAL – $0.99

30-day money-back guarantee

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

  • $1.16/month for 5-years
  • $3.50/month for 1-year
  • $9.99/month for 1 month

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

Get Ivacy for $1.16/month

(30-day money-back guarantee)

 

3. NordVPN

A solid all-round VPN option!

 

 

NordVPN UK screenshot

 

 

 

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • No logs
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 6-simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

 

Cons

  • No refunds for purchases from iTunes/App store
  • Poor long-term discounts

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30-day money-back guarantee

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

 

 

  • $3.49/month for 2-years
  • $6.99/month for 1-year
  • $11.95/month for 1 month

 

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. 

 

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE 70%!

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4. Private Internet Access

The BEST mid-range VPN for streaming!

 

 

Private Internet Access UK screenshot

 

 

 

Pros

  • Fast and reliable servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 10-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

 

Cons

  • Only 48 server locations

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE 71%!

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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

 

 

  • $2.85/month for 1-year
  • $5.99/month for 6-months
  • $9.95/month for 1-month

 

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).

 

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5. CyberGhost

 

 

CyberGhost UK screenshot

 

 

 

Pros

  • 1-day free trial
  • Reliable servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 7-simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Average speed scores

SPECIAL OFFER – 1-DAY FREE TRIAL

30-day money-back guarantee

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

 

 

  • $2.75/month for 3 years
  • $3.69/month for 2 years
  • $5.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.99/month for 1 month

 

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.

 

SPECIAL OFFER – 1-DAY FREE TRIAL

Get CyberGhost for $2.75/month

(30-day money-back guarantee)

Why does Netflix block VPNs?

It’s common knowledge that Netflix has different size libraries for different countries. This is due to the third-party content Netflix includes in its library.

Let’s use the TV show Frasier for example. You can watch it on US Netflix, but not on UK Netflix. This is because Netflix US has bought distribution rights from Paramount (the show’s producers and rights holders). However, Netflix doesn’t have the same distribution rights for the UK. Channel 4 and 4OD does.

But, if a UK Netflix subscriber uses a VPN to spoof their internet connection to somewhere in the US, they can use their same Netflix account to watch Frasier on US Netflix.

This is a global problem for Netflix. Part of the reason US Netflix has a much bigger library than any other region is that there are more subscribers in the US than any other country.

Data released by Statistica highlights the mismatch. In Q4 2017, Netflix had 54.8m subscribers in the US and 62.8m international subscribers. Netflix has customers in 160 different territories. With 159 of these only just overtaking the number it has in America. Which means more buying power for the US. Hence the bigger and better library.

TV & Film distributors recognise this and sell their content to Netflix accordingly. Netflix’s recent crackdown on VPNs is likely to be due to pressure put on them by the third-party rights holders it licences content from.

See also: How to watch Amazon Instant Video abroad.

List of VPNs blocked by Netflix

  • TunnelBear
  • IPVanish
  • Hotspot Shield
  • VyprVPN
  • Windsscribe
  • CyberGhost
  • HideMyAss!
  • PureVPN

Read next: How to watch 4oD abroad.

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