One of the many reasons internet users connect via a VPN is to unlock otherwise unavailable video content. Video streamers access geographically restricted content by routing traffic through their VPN’s server in the appropriate country or regional area. This disguises the viewer’s actual location and tricks Netflix into delivering the content they want.
However, viewers are often disappointed when it no longer works. A Network Proxy error, videos that won’t play, and other problems occur when Netflix blocks your VPN.
But how does Netflix even know? How does it go about detecting VPN users? And, how can you prevent Netflix from detecting a VPN?
How Does Netflix Detect a VPN
The tough news for VPN users is that Netflix works pretty hard to detect and block VPNs. They need to enforce copyright restrictions and protect the revenue lost by content creators when video is streamed from an unlicensed country or region. This incentive has them on the lookout for VPN usage and workarounds to their restrictions.
So how do they do it? How does Netflix detect a VPN? There are a couple of ways.
Recognizing Known VPN Provider IP Addresses
Netflix likely enlists a service that tracks and provides information about IP addresses, including which ones are associated with VPNs. Once they know which ones belong to VPNs, they can block them. This becomes a problem when users use a service that doesn’t regularly refresh their IP addresses.
Detecting Shared IP Addresses
When you are using a VPN, you may be using a shared IP address that may be used by quite a few other users. If Netflix sees a lot of traffic coming from the same IP address, they can figure out pretty quickly that it is a VPN and block it. This particular issue becomes a problem for those VPNs that have limited servers and available IP addresses.
Sure, your VPN may show you logging in from another country, but Netflix has other ways of knowing where you are. The main one is your billing address. If your billing address is in New York and your traffic is coming from Germany, Netflix may believe you are on a VPN.
Your browser can also be a dead giveaway. If you log onto Netflix and watch a movie without your VPN or with it set to the closest server, Netflix remembers that. When you log on through a VPN and change your location, Netflix knows something is wrong.
Looking for DNS Server Location Mismatches
A slightly more technical way Netflix blocks VPNs is by detecting conflicts between IP addresses and DNS (Domain Name Server) settings. The Netflix app, especially on mobile devices, has some ways to detect this issue, know you are on a VPN, and block access to some or all content.
How to Bypass Netflix VPN Ban
So, how can you prevent Netflix from detecting a VPN and blocking you from viewing regional content? You can try three main things: using a dedicated IP address or server, installing a VPN on your router rather than your devices, and using a VPN that continually renews and updates IP addresses.
Use a Dedicated IP Addresses and Servers
Some VPNs, including NordVPN, can provide you with a dedicated VPN address that only you use. They may be available in the region from which you want to stream content. This will get you around many VPN detection methods. Since no one else uses the address, Netflix will have trouble identifying it as a VPN.
If you don’t want to go that route, there are other services that have specific servers set up for watching Netflix. These servers are specially configured to avoid being blocked and are updated as necessary.
Install VPN on Your Router Rather Your Streaming Devices
One way to get around DNS location mismatches that trigger proxy errors is by installing a VPN directly onto your router rather than on your computers, mobile devices, and streaming devices. Once you have the VPN installed on your router, you can configure your settings to use the DNS servers provided by your VPN.
Use a VPN that Constantly Renews IP Addresses to Bypass the Blocks
Some VPNs are better than others when it comes to renewing IP addresses. One way to avoid Netflix from detecting a VPN is to use an IP address that has not yet been identified as a VPN. The best way to accomplish that is to work with a VPN that has a massive number of addresses and is continuously renewing them. Check out the different providers that are suitable for streaming before choosing yours.
The good news is that VPNs are aware of Netflix’s effort to block their traffic. The best VPNs are continually working on the problem and even offering tips and advice on connecting to the content you want.
These are the best VPNs for Netflix: