Not everyone realizes it, but Netflix has a different library of movies and TV shows for every country that it is active in. It’s not alone in this: Hulu and Amazon as well as some Kodi repos have the same restriction. What makes the world’s number one streaming service different is the dreaded Netflix VPN ban; this article is about how to beat it.

In theory, any geoblock like Netflix’s should be easy to circumvent by simply employing a virtual private network, a way to pretend your signal is coming from somewhere else than your actual location. Netflix, however, has put one of the most sophisticated VPN detection systems in place to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Before we get on to the why of the ban, let’s take a look at the why of having different versions of the service to begin with. We’ll then finish up by giving you a few VPNs that have somehow managed to stay one step ahead of Netflix and  will allow you to access different countries’ Netflix — well, most of the time, anyway.

If all these whys and whats are too much information for you and you just want to know the best VPNs to beat the Netflix VPN ban, we recommend you skip ahead to our best VPN for Netflix article. If you’d like to go even faster, signing up for ExpressVPN is the golden ticket of accessing any Netflix from anywhere. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the finer points of copyright law.

Five VPNs That Beat the Netflix Ban in 2018

1
★★★ Best VPN 2018 ★★★
Best for Netflix
  • Payment methods PayPal, Credit card, AliPay
  • Simultaneous connections 3
  • Bandwidth cap
  • Netflix
  • Allows torrenting
  • Logging
Starts from$ 667monthly
ReviewVisit ExpressVPN
2
  • Payment methods PayPal, Credit card, AliPay
  • Simultaneous connections 6
  • Bandwidth cap
  • Netflix
  • Allows torrenting
  • Logging
Starts from$ 127monthly
ReviewVisit NordVPN
3
  • Payment methods PayPal, Credit card
  • Simultaneous connections 5
  • Bandwidth cap
  • Netflix
  • Allows torrenting
  • Logging
Starts from$ 350monthly
ReviewVisit Cyberghost
4
  • Payment methods PayPal, Credit card
  • Simultaneous connections 5
  • Bandwidth cap
  • Netflix U.S. only
  • Allows torrenting
  • Logging
Starts from$ 500monthly
ReviewVisit VyprVPN
5
  • Payment methods PayPal, Credit card, AliPay
  • Simultaneous connections 5
  • Bandwidth cap
  • Netflix
  • Allows torrenting
  • Logging
Starts from$ 391monthly
ReviewVisit Torguard

Netflix and Distributors

It’s copyright law that’s mainly responsible for creating almost 200 Netflixes. Though the service is producing more and more of its own content now, the majority of what it has on offer is still made and distributed by others. This means that these companies, in turn, get a say in what gets shown where.

This is often because Netflix isn’t the only party showing TV shows and movies. Many distributors have deals in place with networks in countries that give away exclusive viewing rights. Distributors can hardly sell the same rights twice, meaning that Netflix may be allowed to show Burn Notice in the U.S., say, it can’t show it in the Netherlands, where a local TV network holds those rights.

This system of licensing creates a weird patchwork of what’s available and what is not in different countries. U.S. subscribers have by far the largest library available to them, while some markets were well and truly sewn up before Netflix even came on the scene.

It’s these distributors who determine what gets shown where, Netflix itself has precious little say in the matter and has admitted it would rather just show everything everywhere; as you can imagine, there are more than a few companies who oppose this.

Netflix and VPNs

As a customer you barely notice any of this: you simply visit www.netflix.com and up pops the homepage you’ve grown to know and love. Behind the scenes, however, Netflix has redirected you to the site of the country you’re accessing it from.

Note that this has nothing to do with the country you created your account in, that only affects how much you pay each month (Asian subscribers generally pay a little less than American ones, while Europeans generally pay a buck or so more). The IP address you’re accessing the site from determines whether or not you’re watching, say, Scandal or not.

Someone with a bit of internet savvy will have figured out by this description that all you need to do is enable a VPN and off you go. A VPN will fake an IP address, placing you wherever you need to be to watch a particular film or not.

This is what a lot of people were doing until January 2016: all our best VPN providers would let you access Netflix without a hitch. What changed then was that the distributors Netflix had partnered with were starting to realize that they were losing money because people were using Netflix to watch shows.

Since losing money goes against the core principle of any business, Netfli id=x found itself under a considerable amount of pressure to prevent people from using a VPN, without just seeming to do so. In reply, the service set up what’s possibly the best VPN detection system outside of the People’s Republic of China to catch perpetrators.

The result was mass consternation as subscribers everywhere were hit with proxy errors left, right and center, making it impossible for them to keep watching a show unless a VPN was disengaged.

Of course, any time a large-scale solution is implemented there is going to be some collateral damage. In this case it made it so people that were using a VPN to protect their privacy were also unable to access Netflix, opening the company up to accusations that it was waging a war on privacy.

The main reason here at Cloudwards.net we advocate using a VPN is not to watch movies — that’s just a bonus. VPNs are the first line of defense against government surveillance as well as spying by governments’ corporate cronies. Not being able to use a VPN, even just while you’re binging away on a rainy Sunday afternoon, is a bad thing.

VPNs That Beat the Netflix Ban

Thankfully, several of the best ranked providers among our VPN reviews have managed to put together the needed security and avoidance systems to avoid being detected by Netflix. Cloudwards.net favorite ExpressVPN (read our ExpressVPN review) leads this particular pack, with NordVPN (NordVPN review) and VyprVPN (VyprVPN review) closing out the top three.

Any of these three will get you into Netflix U.S., at least, with NordVPN also allowing you access to Netflix France and ExpressVPN casting the widest net worldwide: there are very few countries where it can’t get you in. VyprVPN only allows access to U.S. and UK Netflix, but has so many servers in both that you’re guaranteed to get a server that works.

Which brings us to a last point: in this cat-and-mouse game between Netflix and VPNs there are no guarantees. One day a server will work perfectly, the next you’re out of luck and you get a Netflix proxy error. All that helps is switching servers and praying that your old one will be back up sooner rather than later.

Conclusion

Though it’s not an exact science by any means, using any of our favorite VPNs for Netflix should get you into most Netflixes most of the time. Through trial and error, as well as keeping a close eye on Cloudwards.net, you should be able to watch whatever you want without too much trouble. Once you’re in, so to speak, check out our Netflix hacks for an improved viewer experience.

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What are your experiences with the Netflix VPN ban? Do you have any thoughts on it? Please join the discussion in the comments below. As always, thank you for reading and good luck staying a step ahead of Netflix.

81 thoughts on “How to Beat the Netflix VPN Ban”

  1. I’m just learning about vpns and the only reason I want one is for cheap cable, netflix, and amazon prime.

    If I’m a US subscriber to Netflix, they know my account login is a US subscriber and if I log on to my vpn using a US IP, why would they block me? I don’t really care about watching it in other countries.

    I feel stupid asking this, but it makes no sense to me. All they have to do is match your login with your IP location and leave you alone.

    1. Hi Gianna,

      They won’t block you if you’re accessing U.S. Netflix from the U.S., so no worries there.

      1. I’m in the same situation as Gianna, but both Netflix and Amazon Prime block my access when I use my PIA VPN. I tried a trial version of NordVPN but it was blocked as well. At least some of the servers in SoCal.

          1. I know it’s like the easiest way, but it’s a bitch to find good snacks.

      2. I get block from the US, but I am using a proxy that goes to another site in the US. So traffic doesn’t leave the US, yet I still get blocked.

        VyprVPN w/Chameleon worked
        Windscribe has not so far

        1. That’s probably because you’re using an IP address through your proxy that is on Netflix’s blacklist.

      3. Except yes they do. If you are on a vpn connected to an area close to you, in this case the U.S. you can in fact still be blocked. Happens to me daily when I forget to turn mine off.

      4. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is true. I’m in Canada and I tried accessing Netflix while connected to a VPN server still in Montreal. Ideally, there should have been no problem…I’m a Canadian subscriber VPNing through a Canadian server to access Canadian content. I was still blocked.

        1. That’s probably because you’re using a VPN IP address that Netflix knows about. Hence the blocking, doesn’t matter where you are accessing the VPN from.

        1. Hi George, as I keep saying in all our Netflix-related articles as well as these comments, you need to try different servers. NY is indeed blocked currently (5/29/18), but I found two other East Coast servers that work just fine. So, once more, all together: try different servers.

      1. Hi Rob, you probably need to switch servers. Netflix started blocking ExpressVPN’s DC server about two weeks ago, switch to a different U.S. server should fix any problem you’re having. I won’t tell you which one, cuz that’ll just make it easier for Netflix to find you 🙂

    2. What you don’t understand is when you use a VPN your IP is blocked so they don’t know if it is you operating your account or someone abroad.

    3. I’m in the same boat. I am military stationed in Japan, I have a US login for Netflix, but I’ve put a US vpn on my wifi router, also US, to be able to access amazon prime, Hulu, and netflix. I could access Netflix Japan, but I want to be able to stream all my other US shows, and I can’t do that without a vpn. Sometimes I can get Netflix to work and it will stream some videos, but not others.
      I currently use unblock-us.com, but thinking about switching to expressvpn to get it to work for everything.

    4. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is true. I’m in Canada and I tried accessing Netflix while connected to a VPN server still in Montreal. Ideally, there should have been no problem…I’m a Canadian subscriber VPNing through a Canadian server to access Canadian content. I was still blocked.

      1. That’s because you’re still using a VPN that Netflix knows about and has flagged. Look around till you find a server that works.

      2. I can confirm this retarded mechanism is still in effect. I am in a remote area and my available ISP uses some form of tunneling for load balancing etc which is outside of my control. It’s still all within the same country though. There’s also no whitelist so their tech support pretty much says “You’re an isolated case, so thanks for your money but if you don’t like not being able to use our service, tough luck.” Whoever designed their region locking system is clearly a shoulder biter.

  2. Agree that you should just use the chat support for Express VPN and they’ll tell you exactly which server to use (I even told them what show I was trying to watch because it doesn’t stream on Netflix in the US or UK).

  3. When you think about it, it’s funny that we are willing to pay for netflix and to pay for a vpn, when we could just download everything

  4. People, wake up, just pay for the VPN and download the shows on piratebay or other torrent sites. Also you can use Kodi if you are lazy.

    1. That’s definitely a solution, Barry! I think that more and more people are getting sick of the draconian Netflix ban, but can’t bring themselves to download the shows on torrent sites.

    1. Netflix seems to go pretty hard for PIA IPs, they seem to get blocked every few days. If you’re a PIA customer, the best advice seems to be “keep trying.”

  5. Both Netflix and Amazon Video are now blocking U.S.-only content through VPN.Asia as well.

  6. I have a dedicated server which acts as my personal VPN for streaming.

    My Netflix stop working with this server recently after some proxy detection service like IP2Proxy listed my IP address as proxy.

    How can I whitelist it to enjoy my Netflix US?

  7. I live in Vanuatu where we don’t have a decent tv station. I very much doubt there is any distributor that has locked in any program rights here. That being said Netflix should be able to stream its whole content here without a problem but we get very limited selections. I use Vypr VPN to access overseas selections but still get proxy issues. I think it is a case of Vanuatu being such a small market that Netflix couldn’t be bothered to give us decent look.

    1. Hi,

      Well, that sucks. However, rather than Vanuatu is overlooked, my guess is that Netflix can’t/won’t pay for licenses to show certain shows there, thinking that the market is too small too support it. Again, that’s just a thought. Good luck with Vypr, if you’re having trouble with them, maybe gove ExpressVPN a shot, never had a problem with them.

      Cheers,
      Fergus

  8. Trying to understand what the Netflix ban means . I have a subscription for Netflix and want to use a vpn to access the us content. If Netflix find me will they ban my vpn ip or my home ip? Will my home subscription still work if Netflix bans me?

    1. You won’t be banned, the ban applies to VPN services. You can mess around with VPNs and Netflix free of all consequences..

  9. I’m in the US, just trying to watch my normal US content without my landlord spying on me, which I caught the company doing just last month. So I’m not about to turn off my VPN just to access Netflix. This is stupid. I’m just going to cancel my Netflix account.

  10. Does anyone know of a VPN service that supports Netflix Mexico or any of the other Netflix Latin America?

    1. Hi Veena, we checked quickly (very quickly) and found that ExpressVPN’s Argentina server works, but not the one in Mexico. NordVPN’s Mexico server works as well, though we didn’t check any of the other LatAAm ones. Hope this helps!

  11. Well am using Express VPN but it doesnt allow me to watch US content..it gives me that Error screen So how you saying that Express VPN is better for Netflix

    1. Hi Stalin, as we keep saying time and again in these articles as well as in the comments below them, you need to periodically switch servers to keep watching Netflix content. If one server doesn’t work, try the next, if that one doesn’t work, switch to your first one. Rinse, wash, repeat. Good luck.

        1. Because changing servers isn’t quite as easy as it sounds: there would be a disconnect every five minutes and in the end Netflix could still track IPs. In the end, though, it’s not that big a deal to manually find a server that works, if we’re honest. Good idea, though 🙂

  12. I used Cyberghost to access Netflix Germany from the US. It worked for a few days, but then I started getting the denial message.

  13. You keep talking about switching VPNs back and forth but what’s the cost? I just wanted to go the VPN route for security but losing Netflix would be a blow and all the VPN services I’ve looked at have monthly fees.

    1. Hi Tina, we’re not talking about switching VPN services, but servers. No need to get more than one subscription.

  14. I’ve tried ExpressVPN’s and none of its US or Canada servers work with amazon prime. Windscribe was working until last week. Is there any fix besides switching servers? it just doesn’t work anymore..all VPN servers are blocked

  15. It is not working anymore! I am from Europe and I use ExpressVPN but that doesn’t work anymore. I also bought a dedicated VPN IP @ Pure VPN but this also isn’t working. I am so f*cking frustrated. There must be another way?!
    if someone else from europe found it out comment below please!

    1. Hi, I just tried several ExpressVPN US servers and found three that worked, so I suggest you try again.

  16. Hey Fergus! First thanks for all the advice and feedback. Crystal ball a little clearer. Im Intl teacher and this is 9th country. Here in ME netflix choice is limited and I used PIA but they are having issues. Thinking of Cyberghost for price/speed and access. your thoughts buddy???

    1. Sure, no problem. By ME I’m thinking Middle East, right? Yeah CyberGhost is probably a good bet, especially if you want to access European Netflix. The nice thing about most VPNs is that if you don’t like one, you can get your money back if you cancel on time, so feel free to shop around.

  17. netflix started sending out notification emails telling me which country i logged in from, …this kind of concerns me with vpn’s now because they’re obviously keeping a log now

    1. Hi AJ, I’m pretty sure you’re the victim of some kind of scam: I just messed around and visited several countries’ Netflix using ExpressVPN and no emails yet. Maybe switch servers or check if you’re on a spam list?

  18. I have been using NordVPN to access Netflix for over a year. Suddenly (July 1?), even though I have a French IP address, i can only get the US version. I’ve tried at least a dozen servers, but no joy. Does anyone know what happened? French Netflix is awesome.

    1. Did you try different servers? We’ll get one of our editors to mess about a bit as well and post back to you.

      1. I have the same issue. Since I only recently subscribed to a VPN, I didn’t get to enjoy France Netflix much. Now whenever I log into a French server and go on Netflix, I have access to their shows, but not the right language for them!

        1. Well, that’s just weird. Maybe the tunnel is routed through a third country or something?

  19. NordVPN does not work. Tried multiple servers, in multiple countries. Every time is blocked

  20. This is so stupid.

    I’m from South africa and can’t watch dr zhivago which was produced in 1965 because Dstv (the only cable here) has rights to it but never shows it, but can go to a video store in town and rent it …….

    Way to go copyright law makes so much sense lol

    1. Yet we’re asked why we torrent… I feel ya, man. Also, Dr. Zhivago fist bump, I love that film 🙂

    1. Try different servers. If you look around long enough, you’ll eventually find one that lets you stream Netflix.

  21. ExpressVPN does NOT work. I’m living in Japan and want to watch Japanese anime and movies. The problem is without a VPN, English subtitles aren’t available. I tried using ExpressVPN to appear in the US so I can have English subtitles but it doesn’t work. 100 bucks down the toilet.

    1. Hi Byron,

      Every time we get a comment like this I log into ExpressVPN, check a few servers and find that there’s always one or two that work. Keep looking, is all I can say. A server that worked fine yesterday won’t work tomorrow, a server that doesn’t work today will be okay next week. Don’t quite give up on your $100 investment yet. Good luck!

      Regards,
      Fergus O’Sullivan, chief editor

  22. NordVPN DOES NOT bypass the Netflix VPN ban…

    I use NordVPN and was using it to watch movies not available to the US..and it no longer works.,.as Netflix detects im using a VPN and will not let me watch it.

    1. Did you try different servers? Because I tried about ten just now and four worked….

  23. I can’t get Nord VPN to work for the US netflix either (just signed up). Just says Netflix is unavailable right now, which I guess means it has blocked me?

    Fergus, when you say to try different servers, do you mean different servers in different countries? Cause from what I can tell they only have one in each country. Is that right?

    1. Weird. It could have been that Netflix was out for a bit, because you usually (usually) get a black screen after the show has loaded saying that you’re using a proxyor VPN and you should switch it off. Alternatively, it could be that the server you were using was so slow that Netflix wouldn’t load: there’s a threshold there (I think it’s around 1MB/s, but I’ll take the next best guess, too). As for server amounts, NordVPN has at least 100 in the States, just click on the top left button in the client and you get a full list. Most countries Nord serves have more than one server there.

      LMK if there’s anything else 🙂

  24. Right now im using ExpressVPN (the last version) and i get the error message from netflix everytime . No matter wich server HK, any places in US, Express vpn doesnt work anymore to let you watch netflix in China .

    1. Thanks for your input Jeremy, but I’d like to just point out that this comment is absolute nonsense: I just checked US servers as well as three in HK and found several in each country that worked just fine.

  25. Hey Fergus!
    I’m based in Germany and use NordVPN to access Netflix for other countries successfully – mainly UK and US Netflix.
    For the past week I’ve also been trying to access Australian Netflix (it has the new season of Brooklyn 99!) but every time I set up my NordVPN for Australia, Netflix takes me to the US site.
    It’s not providing any errors, and it lets me watch US Netflix without a worry. I know it’s US Netflix because of the content on there.
    When I check the ISP (with any of NordVPN’s Australian servers) it seems to be working fine, and says that I’m successfully in Australia.
    And yet Netflix refuses to show me Aussie Netflix and keeps taking me to US Netflix.
    Any ideas what’s happening here? :/

    1. Hi Ellen,

      Yeah, that sounds weird. Oddly enough, I had something similar happen a few weeks ago with another server. What I think is happening is that you’re going through a virtual server, so the IP is in Australia but the server is in the States. Somehow Netflix picks up on that. It’s the only thing I can think of, but I’d be ,more than happy to have someone else chime in here because this stuff gets tricky.

  26. OK I’m an idiot! How do you change/try different servers? What does that mean?In US using Bitdefender Premium VPN and no Netflix for me!

    1. Hey Bill, you’re far from an idiot, new software is always tricky to figure out. Most VPNs, I don’t know about Bitdefender’s, allow you to switch between servers to optimize speed. Usually it’s a button in the main interface or under settings that says something like “servers.” Good luck!

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