Netflix VPN Blocked – How Are They Detecting?
If you watch Netflix, you’ll know that it offers a selection of different TV shows and movies in each region. As such, the shows you get in the US may not be the same that you have access to in the UK. To get around this, many people use a VPN or Virtual Private Network.
Unfortunately, Netflix has become wise to this and has started blocking VPNs, leaving you with an error screen instead of access to your favorite shows. Luckily, there are ways to beat the system. In this article, we explain how Netflix detects your VPN, how to use a VPN that works on a range of devices, and how to connect to a different server.
Netflix VPN Blocked – How Are They Detecting My VPN?
A VPN blocks your original IP address that shows your location. It then reroutes your internet connection through a new IP address in a different geographical location of your choosing. By doing this, you can fool Netflix into believing you are located elsewhere and gain access to that region’s Netflix shows.
However, a VPN service only has so many IP addresses available. Countless other users from different locations could have used the IP address assigned to you. Netflix’s most efficient method of blocking a VPN is to check and see whether your IP address is associated with a VPN. Once it is clear that you are using a VPN, Netflix will block your IP address and tag it in a VPN database.
I’m Not Using a VPN but It Says I Am
When Netflix tags an IP address as linked to a VPN, it will often automatically tag many other IP addresses belonging to the same host. This was a non-issue until VPN providers started using residential IP addresses. When Netflix began blocking these IP addresses, they also blocked valid users.
If your Netflix account is flagging an error regarding VPN use, even if you’re not using one, chances are this is what has happened.
You can contact your internet service provider and ask them to change your IP address to resolve this issue. Alternatively, try unplugging your router for a few minutes before plugging it back in – this can also reset your IP address.
How To Use a VPN That Works
The best way to access Netflix with a VPN is by using a reputable provider that offers hundreds of thousands of IP addresses. These large VPN providers frequently update the IP addresses they use, so you are less likely to end up with one that Netflix recognizes.
There are numerous VPN providers, but the one that works best in our tests with Netflix is ExpressVPN. It is easy to use and secure. ExpressVPN is well worth it, considering it is fast and secure.
Let’s take a closer look at how to use ExpressVPN with Netflix on various devices:
How to Connect to a Netflix VPN That Works on a Firestick
Connecting your Firestick to a reputable VPN provider such as ExpressVPN is simple.
- Open your Fire device and search for ExpressVPN in the Amazon Appstore. Download and activate the ExpressVPN app.
- Sign in to the ExpressVPN app. The app will prompt you to choose whether you want to share anonymous information to make the app faster and more reliable. Make your selection to continue.
- A prompt box will then ask you to accept or allow ExpressVPN’s connection request. Click on “OK.”
- To connect to a VPN server, click the large connection button that shows the same icon as an on/off switch on a TV remote. As a default, ExpressVPN will suggest a “Smart Location.” This location is typically the one that will provide you with the best experience.
- Wait for the “Connected” message to pop up. Once it has, you can navigate to Netflix and begin watching the shows you want to see.
How to Connect to a Netflix VPN That Works on a Roku device
Roku devices don’t support VPN usage on their own. To use a provider such as ExpressVPN, you will need to install ExpressVPN on your router.
To use your router, first ensure that you have an ExpressVPN account and that your router supports this provider. Then, follow the instructions on ExpressVPN’s guide on how to install ExpressVPN on your router at home. Remember, each router will have its own set of instructions, so make sure you find the correct ones. Once you have this setup, follow these steps to stream Netflix unrestricted on your Roku:
- Go to your Roku and navigate to “Settings.” Then, choose “Network” before selecting “Setup Connection.”
- A list of available networks will pop up. Choose the VPN-protected Wi-Fi connection from your ExpressVPN connected router.
- Enter your Wi-Fi password. Your Roku is now connected to ExpressVPN via your router. Navigate to Netflix, and you should be able to watch your shows without geo-restrictions.
How to Connect to a Netflix VPN That Works on an Apple TV
Like Roku, Apple TV doesn’t support VPN software directly. ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer function works well for this purpose and makes it simple to stream Netflix from another location on your 4th Gen Apple TV:
- Make sure your IP address is registered on the ExpressVPN website.
- Now, get your MediaStreamer server IP address. Navigate to the ExpressVPN setup page and sign in. Enter the verification code that ExpressVPN will send to your email address.
- On the right of the screen that opens, you will see the MediaStreamer DNS server IP address. Keep this tab open as you will need this information.
- Open Apple TV and navigate to “Settings” and then “Network.” In the “Network” menu, find your current Wi-Fi connection. Click on this connection.
- In the menu that comes up, choose “Wi-Fi Network” to access the settings. Now scroll down and select “Configure DNS.”
- Choose “Manual” from the options that come up. A manual DNS input screen will open. Here, enter the numbers of your MediaStreamer DNS IP address shown in the ExpressVPN tab you have open from earlier. Close these windows.
- Restart your Apple TV. Now you can stream your Netflix.
How to Connect to a Netflix VPN That Works on a PC
VPN software is compatible with PCs and straightforward to use. Here’s how it’s done:
- Open Netflix in your web browser and sign in.
- Download ExpressVPN onto your PC, launch the app, and sign in. A pop-up tab will then open.
- Click on the icon with the three horizontal dots in the “Smart Location” bar. A side menu will open with various locations you can choose from – select the region you want to use.
- Press “Connect” (the large red circular icon that looks like the on/off button on a remote) and wait for the VPN to make a connection. Once connected, this red button will turn green.
- Minimize your ExpressVPN tab and refresh your Netflix tab. The shows for the particular region you have chosen should now be available.
Netflix VPN Blocked – Connect to a Different Server
Another way Netflix recognizes you using a VPN is when the DNS server location doesn’t match up to your IP address. Often on Android or iOS devices, Netflix will attempt to override your Domain Name Server (DNS) setup and reveal your actual ISP server. If this doesn’t match the IP address you are using, Netflix will flag you as using a VPN. A way around this is to connect to a different server. Fortunately, this is relatively simple to do:
- Open ExpressVPN and locate the connection status and server name.
- Navigate to the “Choose Location” option to see the list of servers available and select the server location you want to use.
- Click the “On” button and wait for the connection to be made.
Why Does Netflix Care if I Use a VPN?
Netflix doesn’t have licenses to show the same content in all regions of the world. Because of these restrictions, Netflix doesn’t want users across the globe using VPNs to access different geo-blocked shows. This could put Netflix in hot water with big movie companies who sell the streaming company its licenses.
Time to Netflix and Chill
Streaming Netflix using a VPN is relatively straightforward once you know how. Follow these easy steps, and soon you will be streaming your favorite shows from any location across the globe.
The only thing you’ll need to worry about is what show to stream next!
Have you watched Netflix shows from a different region using a VPN? Did you use a method similar to those described in this guide? Let us know in the comments section below.