Along with Netflix, other popular streaming sites such as Hulu, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer all have VPN bans at some level. Only a reputable VPN can safely access Netflix from any location. This will enable you to travel abroad while still being able to access your usual home libraries.
Netflix VPN detection technology has advanced rapidly in the past few years. Many VPNs that currently work with the service may be blocked soon and since IVPN doesn’t have as extensive a network as most top-tier providers, Netflix may have already blacklisted several of its IP addresses.
Luckily, there are some tested and proven workarounds you can try to fix this issue. Let’s take a look at some.
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Does IVPN work with Netflix?
IVPN occasionally works with Netflix. However, the company has expressly stated that its primary focus is privacy and online security, not bypassing geo-restrictions. Here’s what IVPN says about using its services to access popular streaming platforms:
“A VPN service can be used to not only protect your privacy but also to gain access to services not available in your current location, such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, BBC, Disney+ and so on.
IVPN, however, is focused specifically on protecting the privacy of our customers and although many customers do use IVPN to access these services we make no guarantee about the availability of these services when connected to our network.”
We ran multiple tests and found out that only two servers could reliably access the US Netflix library: one in Chicago, and the other in Ashburn, Virginia. However, we couldn’t stream Netflix libraries for Germany, the UK, and Japan.
In our latest tests, we’ve also established that IVPN is not ideal for accessing other popular streaming platforms like Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer. However, it’s a solid choice if you prioritize privacy and security. IVPN uses military-grade AES-256 encryption and secure protocols like WireGuard and OpenVPN.
All in all, our tests reveal that it fails to consistently access Netflix, and its middling speeds can be frustrating when performing certain tasks.
What to do if IVPN isn’t working with Netflix
It’s pretty hard for us to say why IVPN only works occasionally with Netflix, as the precise cause can be challenging to identify. However, we’ve tried and tested several fixes to help you get up and running.
Here’s what to do if IVPN is not working with Netflix:
- Ensure you’re connected to the right server: You can’t access a Netflix library specific to a country like the US if you’re connecting to a server in a different location like the UK. While multihop servers could significantly boost your privacy, they’re less suitable for streaming. So just stick with one of the regular servers in the appropriate location.
- Try different servers in the same location: Netflix blocks tremendous amounts of IPv4 addresses and will block yours if it detects you’re using a VPN. And while it could block one server’s IP address, a different server might not yet be blacklisted. Therefore, try different servers in the same location to see if you can still stream securely.
- Check for VPN updates: VPNs typically release updates for their web and mobile apps to fix bugs and other software glitches, bypass geo-restrictions, and improve their overall performance. Ensure you’ve downloaded and installed the latest version of the IVPN app so your connectivity won’t be compromised.
- Clear your browser cache and cookies: Whenever you visit Netflix, your browser or app stores cookie data or a cache version of the page you’re on to ensure it loads faster next time. Clearing your cache and cookies will help you get rid of logs of your blocked visits to Netflix.
- Switch to a different browser: Netflix may block IVPN on one browser, but it can work on another that hasn’t stored cookies of your restricted visits. Curiously, Netflix may have access to your geo-location in one browser and not the other. If Chrome is giving you problems, for example, switching to Firefox might be worth a shot.
- Use Netflix web instead of the app: Try accessing Netflix through a web browser rather than the native app and see if it fixes the issue. Remember, you may get the proxy error on the Netflix mobile app and not the web version.
- Disable location services: Netflix’s VPN detection algorithm can verify your virtual IP address against your true GPS location, and it will block your connection if it spots a mismatch. To keep this from happening, turn off your location services and clear your browser history before trying to connect again.
The best VPN alternatives for Netflix
We understand your frustration if you’ve tried all the above fixes but still can’t access Netflix with IVPN. You might want to use an alternative VPN for Netflix.
We have conducted the most comprehensive study to date and determined which VPNs work reliably with Netflix and in which countries. Our team ran more than 5,000 in-house tests for 59 VPNs in 30 countries and found out that only a few veteran VPN providers can access the streaming service.
We only recommend a handful of Netflix VPNs with a proven track record of fixing the “proxy error.” We can’t recommend VPNs that will only work today and not tomorrow with a clear conscience.
Here’s a roundup of the top VPNs that still work with Netflix:
- NordVPN: Best VPN for Netflix. Works well with American Netflix together with Netflix UK, Australia, Japan, and Canada. One of the fastest and most reliable services on the market. Includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Best budget VPN for streaming Netflix. A secure and reliable way to access most streaming services from abroad. Supports WireGuard, an industry-leading, fast communication protocol for VPNs.
- ExpressVPN: A lightning-fast service with robust security and privacy measures. Works with a wide range of Netflix libraries.
- CyberGhost: Works reliably with several Netflix libraries. Apps are intuitive and beginner friendly.
- PrivateVPN: Impressive connection speeds and apps for all platforms. Works well with Netflix in 20+ regions.
- IPVanish: Works well with Netflix US and UK on Android, iOS, and desktop.
- AtlasVPN: A reasonably priced VPN with incredibly fast speeds. Works great in many Netflix regions.
IVPN and Netflix FAQs
How do I use a VPN with Netflix?
Provided your VPN service supports Netflix, setting it up is easy. Once you’ve signed up for any of the recommended services above, here’s how to use a VPN with Netflix:
- Download and install the VPN software from the provider’s website. Be sure to confirm beforehand that it works reliably with Netflix.
- Choose a VPN server in the US that will let you access the US Netflix library. If you can’t figure out which one to use, contact the VPN provider’s Customer Service.
- Connect to the VPN, then sign in to your Netflix account in your browser or mobile app.
- If you’re still having trouble connecting, clear your browser or app cache and cookies, then reload Netflix. You may also have to tweak a few settings, like your IPv6 or DNS configurations. If none of these work, contact the VPN provider’s customer service for more technical assistance.
Can I use a free VPN to watch Netflix from abroad?
Simply put, we don’t recommend using free VPNs. While you could find several free VPNs on the market, they’re just not fit for streaming.
TunnelBear is the only VPN with a free tier that you can rely on to securely access Netflix. But even so, it only offers 500 MB monthly data, which may only be enough for one episode of your favorite TV show.
Other free VPNs don’t work consistently with Netflix because they just don’t have enough resources for the job. They often have a few servers that are highly congested, leading to slow speeds, lag, and frequent buffering.
Moreover, we strongly advise against using free VPNs on serious security grounds. Most of them lack encryption, suffer from DNS and IP leaks, and have invasive privacy policies. This allows them to mine and sell your data to third parties like marketing companies.
If you’re on a budget and don’t want to risk the security of your data and devices, you can try any of the secure VPNs we’ve highlighted in this guide. They have money-back guarantees to let you test their service and stream Netflix on your vacations abroad.
Why does Netflix ban most VPNs?
Netflix sees VPNs as a means of bypassing geographical licensing restrictions, even if you’re using a VPN for other reasons like enhancing privacy. From their point of view, it would be a breach of licensing restrictions to openly allow users access to movies and TV shows in countries where they have no license to stream.
Understandably, Netflix doesn’t expressly distinguish between users living in other countries from those who have recently traveled abroad and want to access their home streaming services.
Why do we recommend using a VPN with Netflix?
VPNs are in everyone’s best interest when it comes to privacy and online security. It’s not just some proxy tool to fool websites and streaming services that users are somewhere else they’re not.
Therefore, we wholeheartedly recommend everyone to sign up for a reputable VPN service, whether they’re a Netflix subscriber or not.
As it turns out, Netflix’s VPN ban is a blunt instrument meant to appease copyright holders. It blocks VPN users irrespective of their location, provided Netflix’s powerful algorithm detects a proxy.
This is incredibly unfair to paying customers and presents them with an impossible dilemma. Users connected to unsafe public WiFi networks or those traveling to surveillance states are forced to compromise their privacy in exchange for entertainment.
Can I watch Netflix using a smart DNS proxy?
Smart DNS proxies like Overplay, Unotelly, and Unblock-US were a craze during Netflix’s war on proxies. After Netflix blocked connections from several VPN servers, many users switched to these proxies.
Sadly, they only worked for a few months, after which Netflix eventually caught up with them. The subsequent crackdown blocked most smart DNS proxy users, and today you’d be incredibly lucky to find a proxy that still works smoothly with Netflix.
The only one we’ve proven to work consistently with Netflix is ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer service, which comes with every ExpressVPN subscription. You use it by default whenever you connect to the VPN, but you can also set it up separately.
Can I access Netflix libraries from countries other than the US with a VPN?
A VPN that works with US Netflix may not necessarily work with Netflix catalogs from other countries. While the US version of Netflix currently has the highest demand, we’ve compiled lists of some of the best VPNs for a few other countries like: