Netflix VPN Not Working? How to Beat the Netflix VPN Ban in 2021

If you’ve tried to watch a different Netflix region library by using a VPN, you’ve probably run into the Netflix VPN ban that bars you from the site while using a proxy. In this guide we will show you how to get around the ban and provide five recommendations for the best Netflix VPN.

Mauricio PrinzlauSamson Max
By Mauricio Prinzlau (CEO & Co-Founder) & Samson Max (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2021-09-27T18:11:51+00:00 Facts checked by Elisabeth Ivey

Netflix has a different selection of TV shows and movies in each Netflix library due to regional content agreements. If you want to access these different libraries, you’ll need a VPN — but Netflix doesn’t want that to happen. In this article, we’ll make sure you’re wise to all the facts surrounding the Netflix VPN ban, as well as provide step-by-step instructions on how to beat the ban by using the top Netflix VPNs.

Key Takeaways:

  • A good VPN for Netflix needs to stay ahead of the streaming service’s VPN ban and offer servers in a lot of countries.
  • ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Netflix, though NordVPN and CyberGhost are more budget-friendly options.
  • Windscribe that Netflix can’t detect: is the best VPN to stream Netflix for free, though you’ll need more bandwidth if you watch more than occasionally.

If Netflix detects VPN IP addresses, it will throw up the streaming error code m7111-1331-5059 and temporarily block you from the Netflix servers. This type of ban isn’t unusual — other streaming services (like Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and more) also have VPN bans in place. That’s why you need a VPN that unblocks Netflix reliably.

If you’re looking for a quick answer about how to get around the Netflix VPN ban, we suggest you invest in a good VPN like ExpressVPN or NordVPN. However, stick around for more VPN options, plus instructions on how to get around the VPN ban and other nitty-gritty details about the Netflix service agreement, copyright law and other weird lawyerly tricks.

  • 09/21/2021

    Cloudwards updated the list of VPN suggestions to beat the Netflix ban.

  • No, it will not. We’ve been messing around with many Netflix VPN providers to get around the Netflix VPN block for years now and never received a single warning or demand to cease. If you get some kind of email threatening to ban your account, chances are it’s a scammer trying to get something out of you and has nothing to do with Netflix.

  • Except for maybe Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, the Netflix VPN detection system is the best in the business. In fact, only a handful of the best VPNs can get past the infamous streaming error. Despite this, sometimes even those VPNs fail to get past the Netflix VPN block when their servers get detected by Netflix. In this case, it’s best to switch to a different server or wait until the VPN fixes the issue.

  • The best VPNs are those that Netflix can’t detect: ExpressVPN, NordVPN and CyberGhost to name three, though there are plenty of others that do the trick. Even then, though, the whole process can be kind of hit-and-miss.

  • Very few free VPNs can unblock Netflix, and we’ve tried out pretty much all of them. One exception is Windscribe, which has an excellent free plan and a paid plan that usually cracks the Netflix block.

Netflix VPN Ban: Which VPN Services Beat the Ban in 2021?

When looking for the best VPN to get around the Netflix ban, there are a few things to consider. The most obvious is that it needs to be capable of spoofing your geographic location and hiding the fact that its IP address comes from a VPN. Here are the top VPNs that can consistently unblock Netflix.

  1. ExpressVPN — Best Netflix VPN that unblocks streaming services reliably
  2. NordVPN — Great Netflix VPN for the USA
  3. CyberGhost — Best Netflix VPN to stream in Europe
  4. Surfshark — Affordable VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections
  5. Windscribe — Best free VPN to beat the Netflix ban

Using a VPN with the Netflix service primarily revolves around gaining access to streaming content from other countries, so any suitable VPN should also have a large server list. Besides Netflix, it should prevent leaks during DNS requests, and a nice bonus is if the service is immune to VPN bans in general (like with Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and more).

Since you probably don’t want to break the bank just to use a VPN with Netflix, cheaper is better. A 30-day money-back guarantee is also suitable for testing purposes. If you plan to use a VPN to access Netflix libraries in specific geographic locations, such as UK Netflix or American Netflix, you should always look at the actual server lists to make sure your location of choice is well represented.

How to Solve Netflix Blocking VPN Services: Bypass the Netflix VPN Block

Here’s how to get past the Netflix VPN ban in three easy steps. ExpressVPN unblocks Netflix reliably, so we used that VPN service for our steps. 

  1. Download and Install a VPN App

    The first thing you want to do is sign up for a VPN, then download the VPN app for your device and install it. Most providers have apps for various devices, including smart TVs, streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV Stick and Apple TV, desktops, mobile devices and gaming consoles.

    download-expressvpn
  2. Connect to a VPN Server

    Open the VPN app and connect to a server in the preferred Netflix region. For example, if you want to watch Japanese Netflix, select a server in Japan and hit the “connect” button.

    Best Netflix VPN-expressvpn-japan
  3. Open Netflix App

    Open your Netflix app or open Netflix on your web browser. The VPN tricks Netflix into thinking you’re accessing the platform from your country of choice. As a result, it serves up movies and TV shows curated for that country’s residents.

    Choose Netflix region japan

Issue: Netflix VPN Not Working

If Netflix blocks VPN servers you are trying to use, you have two workarounds.

  1. Switch server locations by going through the above steps again, but with a different location. 
  2. You can buy a dedicated IP address, if that’s an option with your VPN provider. A dedicated IP is exclusively yours and comes with a clean reputation.

Now let’s take a look at each of the VPN providers that can unblock Netflix.

The 5 Best Netflix VPN Options

We tried out numerous VPNs and the following services proved to be capable of streaming Netflix consistently, despite the VPN ban. ExpressVPN is our top pick for streaming Netflix, so let’s dive straight into it.

1. ExpressVPN

expressvpn usa new york connected
ExpressVPN is the best Netflix VPN, thanks to its lightning-fast speed and unparalleled ability to bypass Netflix geoblocks.

More Details About ExpressVPN:

  • Pricing: $6.67 per month, plus three months free on the one-year plan
  • Website: expressvpn.com 

Pros:

  • Lightning-fast speeds
  • Over 3,000 servers to access all Netflix libraries
  • Unmatched ability to unblock Netflix catalogs
  • Top-notch security to bypass ISP throttling
  • MediaStreamer DNS for Apple TV
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Pricey

ExpressVPN is our favorite VPN that unblocks Netflix. We’ve been testing it for years now, and every time, it claims the top spot on our fastest VPN list due to its blazing-fast speeds and unmatched consistency. You can now use the Lightway protocol that’s two times faster than OpenVPN and secure enough to beat the dreaded Netflix geoblocking.

Servers With IP Addresses That Get Around the Netflix VPN Ban

ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers, which isn’t the most extensive compared to top competitors like NordVPN. However, it has the best geographical server spread. Plus, no other VPN has quite as many servers around the globe that can get into the streaming site while also maintaining fantastic speeds (read our how to watch Netflix with ExpressVPN piece).

ExpressVPN for Netflix
ExpressVPN offers instant access to Netflix movies and TV shows.

The only real downside to ExpressVPN is its price, which is quite a bit steeper than the competition. It costs a little more than double its closest competitor, NordVPN, which claims the second position in this ranking.

ExpressVPN is pretty much impossible to beat as a package — that is, if you have a hundred bucks per year to spend on a VPN. It’s secure and easy to use, has an extensive server network and friendly live chat, and is the fastest VPN as well. You can try out ExpressVPN risk-free before deciding, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. NordVPN

nordvpn-server-selection
NordVPN is one of the best VPN apps for unblocking Netflix U.S.

More Details About NordVPN:

  • Pricing: $3.30 per month plus three months free on the two-year plan
  • Website: nordvpn.com

Pros:

  • Incredibly fast NordLynx protocol
  • More than 5,200 servers to access Netflix locations
  • Advanced SmartPlay technology to enhance Netflix streaming
  • Easy to install & use
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Speeds are a little inconsistent across locations

When it comes to Netflix, NordVPN is reliable (it’s no slouch, even if it does come in second), though not quite as reliably fast as ExpressVPN. The new NordLynx protocol (a version of WireGuard protocol) seems to have improved NordVPN’s ability to beat the Netflix geoblocking, and you’ll rarely have to switch servers to get into your favorite Netflix library.

Dedicated IP Addresses

Netflix systems can detect and ban bundled IP addresses that route traffic through a single server. NordVPN’s dedicated IP is an ideal workaround. With it, you get an IP address that’s exclusively yours, allowing you to sidestep IPs that turn up on Netflix blocklists. This does come at a cost, however, and more than doubles the price of a one-year NordVPN plan.

NordVPN for Netflix
NordVPN works seamlessly on all streaming devices, whether Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Windows or macOS devices. 

NordVPN’s minor niggles are very easy to live with, considering its pricing. You get two years of VPN service for $89 plus three months free — the same price as one year with ExpressVPN — which is pretty cheap (though not as cheap as our next entry, CyberGhost). If you think that’s too much of an investment, though, you get a 30-day refund window to consider your purchase.

This VPN offers a massive, reliable server network, it gets into most streaming services (like BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video), and it’s our best VPN for torrenting. Plus, it has excellent multiyear deals that will save you heaps of money.

3. CyberGhost

cyberghost desktop app
Although CyberGhost doesn’t cut it for services like BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video, it’s one of the best Netflix VPNs. 

More Details About CyberGhost:

  • Pricing: $2.25 per month plus two months free on the two-year plan
  • Website: cyberghost.com

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Pocket-friendly
  • More than 6,900 servers to unblock Netflix libraries
  • Netflix-optimized servers
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • 45-day money-back guarantee on longer plans

Cons:

  • Speeds can be slow over longer distances
  • Can’t control the kill switch

If NordVPN’s biggest draw for you is its discounted two-year plan, then CyberGhost may be an even better option. It’s one of the most affordable VPNs out there and packs quite a punch for the price, as you can read in our CyberGhost review. It offers decent speeds, an intuitive interface and gets into Netflix easily most of the time.

Dedicated Streaming Servers 

CyberGhost comes with an array of streaming servers. In our testing, the servers didn’t cut it for BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, but they breezed through Netflix streaming. We tried various streaming servers like the UK and U.S. servers, and each time, they unblocked Netflix without a hitch.

cyberghost for kodi
CyberGhost is the best VPN for Netflix streamers on a tight budget.

Beyond the streaming-optimized servers, only a minority of CyberGhost’s servers will work for accessing streaming sites. It doesn’t have the server location spread of NordVPN, either, so it’s a teensy bit more hit and miss than our top two picks. We have a guide for how to watch Netflix with CyberGhost, though.

However, CyberGhost is among the cheapest VPNs out there, offering two years for just $58.50. At that price, we figure it’s worth putting up with the very occasional annoyance. Plus, there’s a generous 45-day money-back guarantee on longer plans (14-day money-back guarantee on the monthly plan), so it’s easy to get a CyberGhost refund.

4. Surfshark

Surfshark app netflix
Whether you’re accessing Netflix on Apple TV or a mobile device, Surfshark allows you to enjoy lag-free HD streaming.

More details about Surfshark:

  • Pricing: $2.49 per month on the two-year plan 
  • Provider website: surfshark.com

Pros:

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Affordable on extended plans
  • Easy to use
  • Over 3,000 servers to access Netflix catalogs
  • CleanWeb to block ads & malware
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Can take several attempts to unblock Netflix libraries

Surfshark is a relatively new service working its way up to the top VPN echelon. It’s not there yet, but its excellent speeds and decent ability to bypass Netflix geoblocking earned it a spot on our best Netflix VPN list. It gets you into multiple Netflix libraries (including the UK and U.S. ones), although it sometimes takes several attempts to do so, as you can read in our Surfshark review.

Unlimited Simultaneous Connections

Surfshark unblocks Netflix and also offers unlimited simultaneous connections, ensuring every device in your home is covered. In other words, when you organize movie nights at home, you’ll protect all your friends’ devices simultaneously so they can browse social media as you enjoy Netflix movies on your smart TV.  

surfshark geo restrictions
Surfshark is one of the most affordable Netflix VPNs.

As is typical with VPNs, the month-to-month price is pretty hefty at $12.95, more than double its other plans. However, Surfshark’s two-year plan is very affordable, costing only $59.76. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, just in case you change your mind.

Surfshark isn’t the fastest VPN we’ve tested, but it’s fast enough for HD streaming on any streaming device: smart TVs or mobile apps. Besides that, even though it sometimes takes several attempts to bypass Netflix geoblocking, it gets the job done. The minor frailties should be easy to put up with, considering you’re getting the service at nearly one-third of ExpressVPN’s price.

5. Windscribe

Windscribe app
Windscribe has 10 free locations and is quite adept at unblocking Netflix or any other streaming service. 

More details about Windscribe:

  • Pricing: Free plan; build-a-plan option
  • Provider website: windscribe.com 

Pros:

  • Generous free plan
  • Cheap build-a-plan option
  • 10 free VPN servers to access Netflix
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections

Cons:

  • Inconsistent connection speeds
  • Three-day money-back guarantee

Windscribe is a great VPN for Netflix, though you wouldn’t think it at first because it’s usually touted as the best free VPN. However, if you go a little further than the free plan, you’ll find a powerhouse VPN that will get you into Netflix U.S. without too many problems, and for a reasonable price, to boot.

Streaming-Optimized Servers to Bypass the Netflix VPN Ban

When it comes to Netflix, Windscribe used to offer special “Windflix” servers that did a darn good job of getting past any VPN blocks and at a decent speed, too. Now their functionality has been extended to every server on its network, which means you can enjoy a great streaming experience even on Windscribe’s free plan.

Windscribe for Netflix
Windscribe is undoubtedly the best free Netflix VPN.

There are 10 free server locations, which let you unblock popular libraries like Netflix UK and Netflix U.S. free of charge. However, some free locations are hit-or-miss, and you have to switch servers to beat Netflix’s VPN ban. The story is the same for the paid server options, as you can read in our Windscribe review

Unlike most other VPNs, Windscribe has an extremely limited refund policy. Instead, it relies on its generous free plan to help people get acquainted with the service before they decide to purchase. Free is always nice, so we recommend you give it a spin (and you can read our guide on how to use Windscribe to get started).

Build a Plan
  • : Per “Pro” server location
  • : 10 GB
  • : Unlimited
  • :

How VPNs Get Around the Ban to Access Netflix

As many companies have found out before, you can’t keep geeks down, and plenty of VPNs started quickly developing block-busting techniques. This whole thing has become a bit of a cat-and-mouse game, where VPNs figure out new ways to cycle IP addresses, and Netflix finds new ways to detect them.

Exactly how VPNs circumvent these blocks is a little unclear — it likely has to do with regularly cycling new IP addresses — but what is very obvious is that some VPN services are better at it than others.

How Does Netflix Know I Am Using a VPN?

Netflix has a security system that detects when multiple users log on from the same IP address, which indicates that the associated traffic is coming from a VPN server. If your Netflix VPN suddenly stops working, it means Netflix has blocklisted the IP address of the VPN server you’re connecting to.

Netflix originals
Netflix originals (titles to which Netflix owns full rights) are available in nearly all countries worldwide. 

What VPNs Are Blocked by Netflix?

Truth be told, Netflix blocks most VPNs. The number of VPNs that do get past the block are dwarfed by the massive majority of VPNs that get hit with a proxy error when connecting from abroad. The VPNs on our list should do the trick, though we place ExpressVPN, NordVPN and CyberGhost (in that order) at the top of the pile.

Can a Free VPN Unblock Netflix or Another Streaming Service?

There are some VPNs you should avoid. For one, any VPN provider that advertises itself as free and able to get into Netflix is trying to sell your data (though it’s not only free services that do that, as you can read in this Avast SecureLine VPN review).

That said, some paid VPNs come with free plans capable of unblocking Netflix. Windscribe is a good case in point. The service offers 10 free server locations, including some popular Netflix hubs like the UK, U.S. and Germany, enabling you to enjoy favorite movies for free. Even so, you have to be content with a 10GB monthly data limit, which can be a hurdle for Netflix binge-watchers.

Also, be careful of any new services, as they generally lack the expertise necessary to become one of the best Netflix VPNs.

Why Is Netflix Blocking VPN Services?

In short, some shows are only available to watch in certain countries, because Netflix has the rights to stream those shows only in those countries. Since a VPN can make it seem like you’re in another country, this makes it hard for Netflix to uphold its licensing deals. We’ll explain how those deals work next.

Why Netflix and Other Streaming Services Use Geoblocks

When a network produces a show or a studio makes a movie, it makes deals that determine which distributors can show the content and where — and that’s not always necessarily the same company. For example, Showtime produced the hit show Homeland and, as such, it’s available in the U.S. on Showtime’s streaming site, and can’t be accessed from anywhere else.

VPN not working for Netflix
Netflix may block a VPN if it notices streams of traffic emanating from a single VPN server. 

However, Showtime has also made a deal with Netflix to make Homeland available for international users in countries other than the U.S. In Germany, you can watch it just fine on Netflix, while in the United States, Netflix users need to hook up to Showtime.

To keep its business model sailing along without breaching contractual agreements, Netflix deploys geoblocks to regulate the shows users can access based on their physical location. The system uses residential IP addresses to determine your location before serving up content specific to your country of residence.

Final Thoughts: VPN That Unblocks Netflix

There you have it: the skinny on the Netflix VPN ban and how to get around it to access titles. ExpressVPN is the ticket for anybody looking to thumb their nose at copyright restrictions, though plenty of other VPNs will do the deed as well.

Do you have any tips on how to watch Netflix in other countries? Or maybe some questions we haven’t answered? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thank you for reading.