Establishing exactly which Netflix VPN is best for quality, seamless and unrestricted access is a tricky business.
Not because it is tricky finding a VPN provider living up to their promise of continuous Netflix content access, although that is challenging in itself, but mainly because Netflix works aggressively to block VPN IP addresses.
Perhaps the theme of this piece should be: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow!
But, please do not panic just yet. There are providers out there who are more than a match when it comes to playing a complex cat and mouse game, and we intend to reveal exactly what it takes to become part of this exclusive, reliable Netflix VPN club.
An uneven playing field for global users:
Netflix has grown astronomically from its humble 1997 beginnings as a California-based DVD-by-mail service. Need proof?
Q1 figures for 2018 show they now have in excess of 125 million subscribers in over 200 countries across the globe!
Currently 50% of these subscribers are in their home country but an aggressive global marketing plan is working effectively to expand its customer base in other countries.
A fairly uniform pricing policy means that in whichever country you pay to subscribe means you pay around the same price.
The problem is that subscription location affects the amount of content you can access and does so quite drastically. Just 3 examples of countries that get can only gain access to around 1/3rd of what U.S. subscribers have are Denmark, Sweden and France.
While subscribers in these and the vast majority of other countries need to even the playing field by unblocking Netflix for complete content access this is also true for those who travel on a regular basis as well as those who wish to view the service while on annual holidays.
The way to go about this is to use a VPN that works with Netflix.
Do not assume any VPN will do:
Forget the numerous offers stating free VPN for Netflix, it is important to go for a VPN that works with Netflix and will keep working.
The ability of VPN providers to unblock Netflix and keep it unblocked is a specialist art and it must be said that the majority of VPN providers cannot offer this.
Netflix VPN criteria:
To unblock Netflix across regions we have based our testing on the following criteria. Those that match up to these exacting requirements are stand-out recommendations in terms of a VPN that works with Netflix.
The first may be obvious, but overlook it at your peril, and if you do entertain the idea of using one of those free VPN for Netflix services, please make sure to get confirmation of this point from the VPN provider in question (and while you are at it, get them to tick the other 9 boxes!)
- Ability to bypass Netflix proxy blocks – displayed as a Netflix error code
- Checked across multiple regions
- Checked to be working on a regular basis
- Connection speeds
- Legal jurisdiction
- Price – Monthly rental costs showing discounts for longer term contracts, free trial period, money back guarantee
- Strength of encryption
Staying one step ahead of Netflix is no easy challenge:
It is completely understandable that users of Netflix want the best choice of content access in whichever country they happen to be at any given time, but it is also important to understand that running a reliable Netflix VPN service requires considerable investment in terms of technology which maintains adequate unblock Netflix measures.
This is another reason that companies offering free VPN for Netflix services do not live up to their promises.
Having said that, please do NOT confuse such companies with Netflix VPN providers who offer free trial periods or money back guarantees. These companies have confidence, the investment, and the ability to give you a VPN that works with Netflix on a virtually uninterrupted basis.
Accepting something from the off:
It needs to be accepted from the off that the technical division of the streaming giant works very hard to close routes that unblock Netflix content access.
It also needs to be understood that Netflix VPN providers with a dedication to excellent customer service work tirelessly to open new access routes with endless regularity.
Users opting for a Netflix VPN service that is not robust enough to match and stay ahead of these blocking tactics are in for a frustrating time. In short, when attempting to access streaming content as they wish from any region they happen to be in they will be unable to do so.
What goes into the provision of a robust Netflix VPN?
To answer this it is important to understand that VPN’s are a constantly developing technology which as a base premise allow secure, private connection over the public internet.
Due to this privacy, security and anonymity a user can safely and directly connect to a server in the USA. By doing so they will achieve 100% access to the most extensive Netflix catalogue available.
This direct connection negates the importance of where a subscriber purchased their Netflix subscription or where they happen to be in the world at any given time. A reliable VPN that works with Netflix allows for full catalogue content to be unblocked.
Key features of a Netflix VPN:
Two key features that need to be mentioned for access to the US Netflix service are listed below. These will maintain a reliable service in terms of the ability to unblock Netflix:
- A speedy server: The Netflix VPN server in question must offer high speeds that have the ability to rapidly stream HD content. Using a VPN with overloaded servers will result in overloaded user frustration due to constant buffering. Those attempting to use free VPN for Netflix providers constantly come up against such frustration.
- Servers capable of overcoming geo-restrictions: Obviously to unblock Netflix USA content from another region the servers you use must have the ability and technical configuration to overcome geo-restriction traps. Again, the inability of free VPN for Netflix providers to consistently achieve this will be a cause of immense frustration for those choosing such a service.
Restrictive access measures cannot be blamed on Netflix alone!
While certain agencies, authorities and copyright lawyers may not live in the real world the global online community certainly does.
The streaming giant is 110% aware that global users have the ability to unblock Netflix through the use of Proxy servers and effective Netflix VPN servers.
Indeed, the reality is that they would like nothing more than to give global, unrestricted access to their massive content vaults.
However, they are also fully aware of differing country-wide regulations and a whole heap of licensing regulations that prevents them from doing so.
Red flags mean blocked Netflix VPN servers:
To comply with such demands Netflix has a duty to closely monitor IP addresses being used for access and be aware of the number of people logging in from each one.
Once a red flag appears indicating that too many people are using the same Netflix VPN server the streaming giant is duty bound to block that server.
Users of free VPN for Netflix access are more often than not victims of this discontinuation in service. The nature of these ‘free’ services means server load is generally excessive and is guaranteed to raise that red flag sooner rather than later.
The times they are a changin’ – but not in a hurry!
Bob Dylan mentioned those words as far back as 1964, so patience please! You can be assured that if ever things change in terms of regulations and the easing of restricted access that Netflix will be first in line to allow such access.
Until then users who have every right to access unrestricted content will have to settle for doing so through the use of a reliable VPN that works with Netflix.
Frustrations of users whose Netflix VPN stops working:
The ability to establish and maintain a reliable unblock Netflix VPN requires special expertise, investment and resources.
It is a known fact that the majority of VPN providers out there do not have these abilities, and by the very nature of companies offering free VPN for Netflix access these providers cannot maintain a reliable, resilient unblock Netflix VPN service.
To avoid this frustration you can rest assured that I have only recommended Netflix VPN providers who have the ability to provision and constantly maintain access to Netflix USA content.
This is achieved through the constant implementation of replacing blocked servers.
Is it NOT illegal to use a VPN that works with Netflix?
The answer to this question is a very definite NO. Paying subscribers of the Netflix service are fully entitled to access this streaming content.
To date such a disconnection has never happened and in all likelihood it never will. By the nature of your paid subscription Netflix sees you as a valid, profit-making user of their services.
And let’s face it, which company in their right mind wants to lose such lucrative custom? This is why the Netflix major initiative is to focus on the blocking of Netflix VPN IP addresses.
It is seen as a proactive approach and as such helps to appease the powers that be.
Different folks / Different strokes:
A further sticking point on ‘legality’ of access is with regard to copyright laws. By their nature these differ from country to country and can be taken advantage of.
I must stress that it is highly unlikely you will get such guarantees and continuous service from those providers who tout free VPN for Netflix packages.
Getting your money’s worth by using a reliable Netflix VPN:
As the world’s largest streaming service Netflix offers an excellent range of content.
Sadly, due to restrictions and your country of subscription this impacts greatly on the amount of content you have access to and it should also go without saying that accessing the full US catalogue has to be the target for non-US subscribers.
To ensure that you are getting maximum value for your subscription you need to make full use of a solid VPN that works with Netflix wherever you happen to be in the world, and at any time you please.
I hope my lowdown and recommendations on the best Netflix VPN providers helps you choose one that will offer hours and hours of uninterrupted content on whichever genre(s) personally appeal.
There is much more in my bag of VPN advice along with recommendations for specific services so do watch this space.