Getflix is a smart DNS proxy and VPN service provider that made a name for itself by allowing subscribers to unblock Netflix from outside the USA. Netflix has since cracked down on services like Getflix, so despite the name, Getflix is blocked by Netflix and will not work. It can unblock plenty of other streaming services, but the website doesn’t even mention Netflix anymore, so we doubt that part of its service will resume any time soon. If it does we will post updates here.
Netflix cut off most unblocking services in 2016 shortly after its global rollout in order to pander to copyright holders that make money off of country-based licensing restrictions. Only allowing certain shows to be watched in certain countries is bad for both Netflix and the customers–and arguably leads to more piracy–but it does help to line the pockets of studios and publishers.
Netflix’s ban on VPN and DNS proxy services is not air tight. A handful of VPN providers can still bypass the proxy error that Getflix users now encounter when they try to watch Netflix:
“Whoops, something went wrong. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy.”
While it’s impossible to determine how much longer they’ll hold out, VPNs like ExpressVPN have maintained servers that unblock Netflix for well over a year now.
ExpressVPN is our top recommendation for frustrated Getflix users who want an easy way to unblock Netflix. ExpressVPN has a lot going for it:
- Unblocks Netflix in a desktop browser
- Unblocks the Netflix app on iOS and Android
- Sells pre-configured routers and allows users to flash custom wifi router firmware for free on compatible devices, allowing you to connect game consoles, streaming media boxes, and smart TVs to the VPN
- All subscribers have access to MediaStreamer, a smart DNS proxy service that can run separately from the VPN. Useful for game consoles and some streaming media devices like Apple TV
- 24/7 Live chat support that can tell you which servers are currently working with Netflix
Try it risk free: Comparitech readers can get 3 months extra when you buy ExpressVPN’s annual plan. That’s a total of 15 months including the 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk free and get a full refund if you don’t want to keep it.
How to unblock Netflix with a VPN or DNS proxy
How you go about unblocking Netflix depends on your device. Web browsers like Chrome and Firefox on desktops and laptops tend to be the easiest. Just download the VPN software, log in, and connect to a Netflix-optimized server. You may also need to disable IPv6 to prevent leaks that could give away your true location and lock you out. By default, ExpressVPN prevents DNS leaks, but you may need to toggle this setting on other VPN apps.
VPNs tend to have a harder time overcoming the proxy ban on the Netflix mobile apps for Android and iOS, but some have still managed to circumvent it. We recommend turning off your GPS before opening the Netflix app.
Some devices don’t support VPNs but do allow you to change your DNS settings. Look around your device’s network settings to see if there’s a place where you can enter your own DNS servers. You’ll get the IP addresses for these servers from your VPN or smart DNS provider. This is a viable option for Apple TV and PS4 owners, in particular.
If your device doesn’t support VPNs or DNS proxies, then you’ll have to set up the VPN or DNS on a wifi router and connect the device to that. You can do this either on a physical wifi router or create a VPN-enabled virtual router using a spare laptop. A physical router will require VPN-compatible firmware. You can install this yourself if you’re feeling tech savvy and your router model supports it, or you can just purchase a pre-configured router from your VPN provider. We recommend DD-WRT or Tomato firmware if you’re looking for a free and open-source option, but ExpressVPN has the best custom firmware hands down if you have a subscription.
See also: Best VPNs for DD-WRT routers in 2017
Virtual routers use your laptop as a wifi hotspot. You can learn how to set up a VPN-enabled virtual router on MacOS and Windows using our tutorials.
What’s the difference between a smart DNS proxy and VPN?
Smart DNS, also called a DNS proxy, routes DNS requests through a server in a remote location of the user’s choosing. DNS, or the Domain Name System, is used by most devices connected to the internet to match up domain names (like “comparitech.com”) with the IP addresses of servers that those websites and services reside on. When you send a request for “netflix.com”, that request usually goes to a nearby DNS server operated by your ISP, which resolves the domain into a Netflix server’s IP address. This allows Netflix to determine your location.
By changing where your DNS requests are sent, it’s possible to trick Netflix into thinking you’re somewhere you’re not. But it’s also fairly easy for Netflix to spot these attempts to bypass its content restrictions and subsequently block them, hence why Getflix can no longer unblock it.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic–not just DNS requests–and routes it through an intermediary server in a location of the user’s choosing. This changes your IP address to one associated with the country you want to appear to be in. Good VPN services operate their own DNS servers, so both the DNS requests and content itself is sent through the encrypted tunnel. By connecting to a server in the US, users can access the American Netflix catalog.
A VPN slows down your connection slightly more than a DNS proxy but comes with several other benefits. Chief among them, it vastly improves online privacy and security by protecting users from hackers, government surveillance, and snooping internet service providers. They can also be used to bypass censorship systems like China’s Great Firewall.
Like smart DNS proxies, most VPN servers have been blocked by Netflix. But a few companies have the resources and expertise to stay one step ahead of the world’s favorite premium streaming service. Note that not all servers will work all the time, so we recommend consulting your provider’s customer service to ask which ones to connect to.