The Netflix VPN Ban and How to Dodge It
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Netflix has played a significant hand in the way the entertainment industry works today. You pay a monthly fee and in turn get unlimited access to numerous shows, films, and documentaries, ad-free (of course, it’s ad-free since it’s a paid service), and other streaming services have followed this model.
However, Netflix offers different libraries to different geographic regions, and not all libraries are created equal. The US, Canada, and UK Netflix libraries, for instance, are considered to be the richest. And yet they’re only available in those specific countries. The way that people try to bypass this geo-restriction is by using VPNs, which in turn has led Netflix to impose a ban on streaming via VPNs. And yet, some VPNs manage to get around the ban.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you want to know about the Netflix ban – why it exists, how it works, and how you can dodge it, and watch any Netflix library you wish using a VPN.
The Netflix VPN Ban: Why’s and How’s
Let’s first answer some questions about Netflix geo-blocking and the VPN ban.
Why Does Netflix Use Geo-Blocks?
In addition to the content of their own production, Netflix also features content that’s produced and owned by other vendors. Such content has some licensing and copyright regulations, which often include restrictions as to where, i.e. in which countries, that content can be aired. This is called territorial licensing. The exclusive ownership rights, which vary based on country and vendor, can sometimes mean that your country of residence isn’t eligible to view a certain film or show. The way that websites manage which countries can view certain content is through geo-blocking, a process that limits content based on geographic location.
So, in order to go by the book and avoid violating copyright and licensing regulations, Netflix uses geo-blocks. And the way that Netflix can figure out your geographic location if you’re not using a VPN is through your IP address.
Why Would You Want to Access the Netflix Library from Another Country?
As we already mentioned, not all Netflix libraries were created equal. A lot of shows that are popular worldwide are only available in the US Netflix library. Another scenario in which you may want to access a certain Netflix library is if you live abroad, and want access to your favorite show while you’re away.
Why Does Netflix Have a VPN Ban?
Since VPNs have become everyone’s go-to trick for bypassing geo-restrictions, Netflix imposed a VPN ban. Even though you’re the one using the VPN, Netflix, i.e. the streaming service, is directly responsible for any violation of territorial licensing and copyright agreement.
How Does Netflix Know You’re Using a VPN?
There are a couple of methods that Netflix uses to figure out if you’re using a VPN and prevent you from accessing their content via VPN. Some of these methods include:
- Shared IP addresses: most VPNs give shared IP addresses to their users. While this helps protect privacy, Netflix can detect a given IP range that comes from a VPN provider. Once they figure it out, they block the whole IP range.
- Matching DNS server and IP address:while this isn’t a problem for computers, the apps on some smartphones will override the DNS settings and expose the mismatch to the Netflix algorithms.
- Blacklisting VPN providers and proxies: blacklisting is preventing access from certain services. Netflix has blacklisted most popular VPN providers and proxies.
- Blocking IPv6 tunnels:IPv6 tunnels, as opposed to IPv4 tunnels, allow users to change their geographic location. Thus, Netflix has banned access via IPv6 tunnels.
How to Use a VPN for Netflix
Now, let’s see how you can trick Netflix, i.e. geo-spoof them anyway by using a VPN to access libraries from any country.
Can VPNs Bypass the Ban?
Some VPNs can. The best streaming VPNs usually do manage to consistently bypass both the Netflix ban on VPNs and geo-blocking. It’s really a game of cat and mouse, with some VPNs consistently managing to stay ahead of the curve. VPNs do this by buying and distributing more IP addresses if they find a certain range has been blacklisted by Netflix.
Which VPNs Work with Netflix?
The best streaming VPNs have also consistently proven to give you access to Netflix in the past. So one of your options is going for one of the big players that can afford to stay ahead of the game by regularly purchasing new IPs, although not all big VPNs can manage this – PIA, for instance, doesn’t do well with geo-spoofing. Your other option is choosing a small VPN, which isn’t even on Netflix’s radar.
Keep in mind, however, that different VPNs provide access to a different array of Netflix libraries. Make sure your VPN of choice can give you access to the Netflix library you have your eyes on. The top contenders that work with Netflix are:
- ExpressVPN – Netflix libraries: US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, India, Hong Kong, etc.
- NordVPN – Netflix libraries: US, UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, etc.
- CyberGhost – Netflix libraries: UK, US, Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, etc.
- SurfShark – Netflix libraries: US, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, Singapore, France, Germany, Italy, etc.
All these options unblock the US and UK libraries, but the lists are not conclusive. There are more country libraries than those listed above.
How To Change Location From Your VPN
In order to access geo-restricted content, you’ll need to connect to a server located in the country where the content is available. Connecting to a server in that country will give you a local IP address, allowing you to view the content that’s limited to that region.
To change your IP location from your VPN, all you need to do is open the VPN app from your PC, mobile, or tablet, and select a server from a drop-down list or a map. Some VPNs, like CyberGhost, connect you automatically to a server based on what you want to do online – like accessing a certain country’s Netflix library.
A Few Words Before You Go…
Netflix doesn’t ban VPNs or geo-block certain content because it’s mean, they do it because they have to. After all, the distributor of content is also responsible for preventing any possible rights violations. But then again, having understanding for them doesn’t mean you’ve given up on your favorite shows, either.
Luckily, some VPNs manage to stay on top of their game, reliably paving the way for you to, well, bend the rules. With the right VPN, you’ll be able to access any Netflix library you wish, no matter where you are in the world.
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