Despite other online streaming services growing in popularity, as well as creating a lot of great original content, Netflix is still the most popular. A Netflix subscription gives you access to their incredibly successful original series and movies. It also gives you access to a large range of series and movies from other networks.
Or so it should.
Unfortunately, if you live outside the U.S., you may not have access to the majority of content available on American Netflix. Due to copyright conflicts with regional cable suppliers, Netflix is forced to block certain series and movies depending on the country. You might be lucky to have access to almost everything. Or you may have access to a mere percentage.
For this reason, people around the world have been using a VPN for Netflix access. A VPN (virtual private network) routes your connection through a remote server, making it seem like you are connecting from the U.S. (or anywhere else).
But it’s no longer a simple choice. This is what you need to know before paying for a VPN to unblock Netflix.
Netflix are getting good at blocking VPNs
Although it’s probably beneficial to Netflix to let things be (and rack up more and more subscriptions from around the world), authorities have come down hard on the streaming service. This has subsequently caused Netflix to increase its security measures, and can now detect and block VPNs that were once quite handy.
One of the popular alternatives is to use a Smart DNS service. These are proxies that are usually cheaper than VPNs, and have had success beating Netflix’s block. However, since they do not encrypt your data, it is recommended that you stay away from them. Data security is more important than the couple of dollars you might save.
And, importantly, there are VPNs that still work.
Which VPNs still unblock Netflix?
Although Netflix’s block managed to counter many fan-favorites, there are still some great VPNs that unblock Netflix. These include ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, Buffered, PrivateVPN, and more.
It is crucial, however, that before you dive into a subscription with one of these sites, you do the requisite research. What worked yesterday may no longer work today. This is also a reason to purchase short-term subscriptions, rather than paying a discounted price for a full year upfront.
You should also research exactly what each service provides. Some have stronger encryption services. The ideal is that they have a “no logs” policy. However, if they do keep logs, it is far better that they keep only connection logs and not usage logs. Usage logs will reveal your actual activity.
Use a VPN even in the U.S.
One more important point to consider is that a VPN is recommended even to those who have full access to Netflix (or whatever other streaming services they like). VPNs encrypt your data, keeping you protected from hackers and government surveillance.
It is really frustrating that Netflix blocks these services even to those who are not trying to access blocked contents. So, even if you live in the U.S., make sure the VPN you choose is going to work with the streaming service you love.