For many years, it was easy for Netflix customers anywhere in the world to watch all of the streaming service’s content. If they were traveling or living in a country where the content they wanted to watch was “blocked,” all they had to do was use a VPN (virtual private network) service which made it appear they were accessing Netflix from an allowed location. Customers in America could do the same thing if, for example, they were on a break at work but their company’s network wouldn’t let them access Netflix.
This landscape changed drastically in early 2016, when Netflix began aggressively blocking VPN access to its service. The company took the action because of pressure from movie studios; their agreements with Netflix include “regional licensing agreements” which only allow films to be shown in specific countries or areas of the world. Netflix depends on keeping the studios satisfied in order to be able to show their content, so it decided to start banning VPN access in order to prevent people from watching content they “shouldn’t be able to see.”
Knowing there’s a reason behind the action, though, doesn’t help the millions of VPN customers who have been blocked from watching Netflix content.
What can help them is using one of the services able to get around the issue and still provide VPN Netflix viewing.
The way that Netflix is able to prohibit VPN access to their service is simple: it looks for IP addresses which have a large number of open connections to Netflix at the same time. Since a “normal” customer only needs one connection, Netflix labels IPs with many connections as VPNs and prohibits further access.
There are several ways to circumvent the problem. One is setting up your own VPN server, which isn’t difficult if you have some computer savvy. Another is using a “no-name” VPN service with a relatively small customer base, since it probably won’t have enough customers simultaneously connecting to Netflix to raise suspicions. Of course, no-name services usually aren’t very good at providing overall Internet privacy, but you can’t have everything.
The optimal solution is choosing a VPN which has solved the problem for you. The best VPN service options for this purpose can either provide you with a dedicated, private IP address to be used for Netflix access, or have enough flexibility in the number of servers and banks of IP addresses they have available to be able to change them regularly and avoid detection.
The best VPNs in 2016 which can provide this service won’t make it a secret. When you’re looking to resume your VPN Netflix viewing, be sure to check a VPN’s website or advertising information to make sure it is able to offer complete access to Netflix anywhere in the world. There are added benefits to finding a virtual private network with Netflix access, because other video streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime are also cracking down on VPS connections to their systems.
Tens of thousands of customers have protested the VPN blocking, but because of the importance of studio distribution agreements to Netflix and other streaming companies, it’s likely that the bans will remain in place and that more media companies will follow suit. The VPN-Netflix battle doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon.