The Netflix proxy error occurs whenever Netflix detects that a user is trying to stream a video through a proxy server or VPN. A proxy error message displays in the video player and is often accompanied by the error code m7111-5059:
“Whoops, something went wrong. Streaming error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”
In this article, we’ll discuss what the Netflix proxy error is, why it’s there, how it works, and how to continue using a VPN and still enjoy Netflix.
We get into detail on each of the providers below, but if you only have time for a summary, here is our list of the best VPNs for the Netflix proxy error:
- NordVPN Our first choice for Netflix! Offers very high speeds, works well with Netflix, and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark A budget-friendly VPN that works great with Netflix. No speed, bandwidth, or VPN connection limits.
- ExpressVPN Superfast servers in every corner of the globe are great for accessing Netflix at HD quality.
- CyberGhost A great VPN for beginners as apps are easy to install and get working. Streaming speeds are surprisingly good for a low-cost provider.
- PrivateVPN Newish provider with good capabilities at accessing most streaming sites, including Netflix.
- Ivacy Lesser-known provider that works well with Netflix.
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Why does Netflix ban VPNs and proxies?
When Netflix went global a couple of years back, it didn’t have all the licensing rights necessary to stream all of the same TV series and movies to every country. Even before the worldwide rollout, users connected to Virtual Private Networks and other types of proxies to access other countries’ Netflix libraries. The US Netflix library is particularly popular due to its larger and generally newer catalog of TV shows.
A proxy service acts as a middleman between your device and Netflix. Instead of communicating directly with Netflix, internet data is first routed through the proxy server. To Netflix and other websites and apps, it appears as though the user is connecting from the proxy server’s location instead of their own. If the user is in Canada and wants access to US Netflix, for example, they can connect to a proxy server in the USA. In simplest terms, VPNs work the same way but usually encrypt data in transit.
Netflix started blocking connections from all proxies and VPNs in early 2016 to enforce its copyright obligations. Even users who connect to a proxy service or VPN server in their own country get hit with the proxy error, despite the fact they aren’t accessing content from another country.
How to fix the Netflix proxy error
Once you have a suitable VPN it’s easy to avoid the dreaded proxy error.
Here’s how to avoid the Netflix proxy error:
- Sign up for a VPN that works with Netflix, we recommend NordVPN
- Run your VPN app
- Select the server location for the Netflix library you want to access. To watch American Netflix, for example, choose a server located in the United States.
- Hit the Connect button and give it a few seconds to establish a VPN connection.
Open the Netflix app or go to Netflix in your web browser.
- If your VPN is working, you should now be able to stream without the proxy error.
Your VPN provider’s customer support might be able to help choose the correct settings and servers for Netflix.
Best VPNs for Netflix proxy error
The most reliable method to allow access to Netflix from abroad is still a VPN. Below are the best VPNs for Netflix to resolve the proxy error.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN works with at least six countries’ Netflix catalogs, and any server you connect to will allow you to access Netflix. Most of them redirect to Netflix US, the most popular library. NordVPN allows up to six simultaneous connections on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV.
NordVPN speed test data
|Website||www.NordVPN.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||460 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||349 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||299 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.09|
SAVE 62% + 3 months FREE
- Works with Netflix on any server
- Fast speeds
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Strong security
- Zero logs policy
- Desktop apps are a little sluggish
BEST FOR NETFLIX:NordVPN is our top recommendation. It’s extremely fast and works with Netflix no matter which server you’re connected to, which makes it a breeze to get up and running. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is extremely affordable and works with several Netflix libraries including Netflix US, UK, and Japan. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.
Surfshark speed test data
|Website||www.Surfshark.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||317 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||253 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||400 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.21|
Get 3 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
- Reliable connections, reasonable speeds
- Works with numerous Netflix libraries
- Connect as many devices as you like
- Strong on security and privacy
- Doesn’t have as many servers as some of its rivals
- Server speed can vary somewhat
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is highly affordable and works out of the box with Netflix. It’s secure and reliable, and doesn’t impose a connection limit.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN works with Netflix in several countries including the US, the UK, and Canada. You can connect up to three devices on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Linux, and certain wifi routers, all of which work with Netflix. If you’re not sure which server to use, just use the provider’s 24/7 live chat support to get an answer in seconds. If your device doesn’t support VPNs, for example, if you’re using a game console or Apple TV, you can use the MediaStreamer smart DNS proxy included in every ExpressVPN subscription.
ExpressVPN speed test data
|Website||www.ExpressVPN.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||472 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||499 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||453 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$6.67|
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
- Reliably works with Netflix
- Fast speeds
- Strong security
- Servers in 94 countries
- Includes standalone smart DNS
- 24/7 live chat support
- A bit expensive
- Only 5 devices can connect at one time
STREAM WITH EASE:ExpressVPN is fast and security-conscious. It’s been reliably working with Netflix since the proxy error first appeared. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost provides access to US Netflix and is a great budget option. You can easily browse through any of the streaming services shown in the app, and there are many of them. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
CyberGhost speed test data
|Website||www.Cyberghost.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||853 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||480 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||312 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.29|
SAVE 82% on the 3 year plan + 3 months FREE
- Netflix servers labeled in the app
- Easy to set up and use
- Fast speeds
- Strong security and a no-logs policy
- Limited configurations
- Won’t work in China, Iran, UAE or Saudia Arabia
EASY-TO-USE apps:CyberGhost specifically lists Netflix servers in its apps, so you don’t have to guess at which locations work. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is a smaller provider, but it works with Netflix in 20+ countries. If you’re trying to access a show or subtitles only available in a specific country, try this one. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV.
PrivateVPN speed test data
|Website||www.PrivateVPN.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||94 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||57 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||62 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.00|
SAVE 82% on the three year plan
- Works with Netflix in 20+ countries
- Fast speeds
- Strong security
- Strong no logs policy
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Smaller server network
- Live chat support not 24/7
ONE SIZE FITS ALL:PrivateVPN works with Netflix in more countries than any other provider we’ve tested, so it’s great if you want to access international libraries. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 Days
Ivacy allows access to US Netflix for a lower price than most of the competition. Users get 24/7 customer support and can install the app on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire.
- Works with Netflix US
- 24/7 live support
- Fast speeds
- Strong security
- A few unreliable servers
- Only US Netflix
UP AND COMER:Ivacy reliably allows access to US Netflix from anywhere globally on both mobile and desktop devices. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Ivacy review.
Methodology: How we found the best VPNs for fixing the Netflix proxy error
Most VPNs struggle with Netflix which often results in the Netflix proxy error. We don’t expect you to test each and every VPN to find one that works! That’s why we used our methodology to find the best VPNs for fixing the Netflix proxy error. Here’s what we looked for in each VPN:
- Servers worldwide: Netflix is available in most countries so we’ve looked for VPNs that cover as many of these locations as possible. In all cases, you’ll find servers across dozens of countries including popular locations such as the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.
- Speed: According to Netflix, streaming its content in 4K requires connection speeds of at least 25 Mbps. All of the VPNs covered in this post offer far more than this. Furthermore, each includes unlimited bandwidth. That way, you can stream not only in high definition and 4K, but do so all without lag and buffering.
- Access streaming services: Not only do we test all of the aforementioned VPN with Netflix, we also check that they securely access the likes of Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. Not all VPNs excel in this area but those selected were found to be the most reliable options available.
- Security: If you want to be able to securely access Netflix while traveling abroad, you’ll need a VPN service that uses 256-bit AES encryption. This combined with a kill switch and DNS leak protection ensures you’re protected from cybercriminals. If you’re looking for even greater protection, note that some VPNs offer extras such as an ad blocker.
- Privacy: The best VPNs offer a strict no-logs policy. This ensures that there’s no user data to share, even if requested by authorities. We’ve looked at some 140 VPN logging policies and found those that protect your privacy (as well as those that don’t!). For full anonymity, you can always choose a VPN that lets you pay in Bitcoin.
- Ease of use: We’ve only selected VPNs that offer user-friendly apps for desktop and mobile platforms. These are quick and easy to navigate and even come with 24/7 support which you can contact via live chat and email. You’ll also find a wide range of additional help in the form of setup and troubleshooting guides.
- Value for money: Just because a VPN offers the above, doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. This is particularly the case for the best VPNs for fixing the Netflix proxy error. That’s because we provide VPN discount coupons for each so you can save even more. Better still, all of them come with a money-back guarantee of at least 30 days.
Our VPN testing methodology post goes into even greater detail on how we test VPNs in areas including speed and security.
How does the Netflix proxy error work?
Netflix doesn’t publicly disclose how the VPN ban and proxy error work, but through our extensive testing, we can surmise a few things.
An IP address is a unique string of numbers and decimals assigned to every internet-connected device. Public IP addresses are visible on the web and correspond to specific countries. Whenever you connect to a VPN or proxy service, your device’s public IP address is masked by that of the proxy server.
Netflix blacklists most proxy and VPN server IP addresses. Rather than weeding out individual servers, we believe Netflix simply blocks entire ranges of non-residential IP addresses. Netflix knows most proxy servers are hosted in data centers, which use different ranges of IP addresses than residential networks.
Netflix can also detect when some VPNs and proxies are being used through DNS. Short for Domain Name System, DNS works like a phone book for the internet that associates IP addresses with domain names.
Whenever you go to the Netflix website, for instance, your web browser sends a DNS request to a DNS server. The DNS server looks up the IP address for Netflix and returns it to your device, which then fetches the video from the Netflix server. Netflix can determine which DNS server was used in this transaction.
By default, your DNS server probably belongs to your local Internet Service Provider and corresponds to a specific country or region. Many proxies and VPNs only route web traffic and not DNS traffic. If Netflix spots a mismatch between your DNS server location and your IP address location, it knows a proxy service is in use and throws the error.
Most good VPN providers route DNS traffic along with everything else through their servers, but the Netflix apps for iOS and Android compound the issue by overriding these DNS settings. The website version that you access in a web browser doesn’t do this, though, so accessing Netflix in a browser is typically easier than on mobile apps.
Why Netflix bans VPNs
Netflix cracked down hard on VPN and smart DNS proxy providers after its global rollout. Despite its efforts, a handful of VPN providers persevered and still provide access Netflix today.
The ban on VPNs does not take into account the fact that these tools are used widely as a means of protecting privacy and allow those traveling abroad to securely access services from home.
Despite the ban, VPNs and smart DNS proxies remain the easiest and most popular means to access Netflix abroad. We’ll explain how each can resolve the proxy error.
How do VPNs work with Netflix
As mentioned above, a VPN encrypts a device’s internet traffic and routes it through a middleman server in a location of the user’s choosing. By connecting to a VPN in the US, you can access the internet as if you were physically located in the US.
For the average Netflix user, a VPN comes in the form of a desktop or mobile app and usually requires a small monthly fee.
Most VPNs that can reliably access Netflix don’t share how they do so. Again, however, we can surmise how they manage to do it.
Because Netflix blacklists most data center IP addresses, VPN providers set up a handful of servers that use residential IP addresses. These IPs are off Netflix’s radar, and blocking them could result in some non-proxy users being unable to access videos. If Netflix happens to block a residential IP anyway, the VPN provider simply swaps it out with the next one in line.
A few VPNs have also managed to force the Netflix app to use the VPN provider’s DNS servers instead of local ones. All of this ensures Netflix cannot determine whether the user is accessing videos through a VPN.
Smart DNS proxy
A smart DNS proxy is a clever way to only use a proxy on an as-needed basis for certain websites, apps, and services. It is usually configured in the DNS settings of your device’s network settings menu. Like VPNs, DNS proxies often require a monthly subscription.
We mentioned before that DNS works like a phone book for the internet. Smart DNS alters entries in the phone book for specific domains like “netflix.com.” Instead of Netflix’s IP address, a request for netflix.com on a smart DNS proxy sends your traffic to a proxy server in the US (or the location you want to access).
These proxy servers likely use residential IP addresses in lieu of commercial data center IP addresses so as to avoid Netflix’s firewall, similar to some VPNs. Unlike VPNs, however, your internet traffic is not necessarily encrypted, so you don’t get the same level of privacy or security. They are useful, however, on Smart TVs when no VPN app is available.
Combining smart DNS and VPNs
Most VPN providers that can access Netflix only operate a small handful of servers that can do so. This means users have to look up or ask customer service which server or location to connect to. To get around this, some providers combine a VPN with smart DNS to let users use Netflix regardless of which server they’re connected to.
For example, when you connect to any NordVPN server through a VPN, you use NordVPN’s DNS servers. Those are smart DNS servers that, in most cases, will route requests to Netflix back to the US version, regardless of actual server location. This allows NordVPN users to access Netflix USA from any server location, although they might not get the localized version they’re expecting. In this case, even though you’re connected to a server in, say, Mexico, your connections to Netflix still run through US servers.
Some VPN providers like ExpressVPN allow you to use smart DNS either with the VPN or as a standalone service.
Netflix Proxy Error FAQ
Does Netflix work with split tunneling on my router?
It may be that you’d prefer to use a direct connection with Netflix in order to enjoy the best possible speed. In order to do this, you’ll need to choose a VPN that allows split tunneling and is also compatible with routers. ExpressVPN offers custom router firmware while you can even purchase a router with the firmware pre-installed. Take a look at our guide on how to split tunnel VPN traffic on your DD-WRT or Tomato router.
If I keep using a VPN, will Netflix ban me?
Don’t worry, Netflix won’t ban you for using a VPN. It’s worth knowing that using a VPN to access region-locked content is against the streaming platform’s terms of service and that Netflix has the right to restrict access. However, there is no evidence that Netflix is banning users for using VPNs. The worst case scenario is that an IP address becomes blocked. In this case, you’ll need to connect to another VPN server for a different IP address.
Can I connect to a VPN and still watch my local Netflix?
There are two ways in which you can connect to a VPN while still being able to watch your local version of Netflix. The first is to simply connect to a server in your location. This allows you to still be able to enjoy the various security benefits offered by the VPN. The second option is to use split tunneling. With it, you can stay connected to a server in another country while the Netflix app bypasses the VPN and uses a direct connection.
Is a VPN an unblocker?
Yes, a VPN can function as an unblocker. If the content you want to access is restricted by location, you can use a VPN to connect to that location and unblock it. All of the VPNs we recommend can unblock Netflix.
Why does Netflix say “unblocker” and “proxy” but not VPN?
A VPN is a type of proxy and unblocker. Although VPNs are the most reliable and effective way to unblock Netflix, other types of proxies and unblockers have been used, such as smart DNS proxies.
Can I use a free VPN to get around the Netflix Proxy error?
Probably not. Although a handful of free VPNs might be able to unblock Netflix, those that do usually cap your data or restrict bandwidth. That means you'll get through one or two episodes before getting cut off, or you'll encounter constant buffering.
Free VPNs are not to be trusted, anyway. Many of them spy on user activity and sell that data off to third parties. Some carry malware. A lot of them don't have very good security and could put your data at risk.
In short, stick with paid VPNs. You can always take advantage of the money-back guarantee if you decide it's not for you.
What is the m7111-1331-5059 Netflix error?
Netflix is blocking users with a VPN. If you see the m7111-1331-5059 error code, it means that you're likely using a VPN or proxy server to access the service. Netflix has been cracking down on these services in recent months, and is better blocking them.
There are a few ways to get around this block. The first is to switch off your VPN or proxy and try again. If that doesn't work, you can try a different VPN supplier as recommended above.
Do local copyright laws affect my Netflix Library?
Local copyright laws can definitely affect your Netflix library. For example, if you live in a country where copyright protection is relatively weak, you may find that you have access to fewer movies and TV shows than someone living in a country with stricter copyright laws.
This is because Netflix has to obtain the rights to stream each title in every country it operates in, and some countries are simply more difficult (and expensive) to obtain the rights for than others.
So if you're ever wondering why your Netflix library looks different from someone else's, local copyright laws are likely one of the reasons.
Why is Netflix says I'm using a proxy when I am not?
It could be that Netflix might say you're using a proxy because your IP address has been assigned to a public proxy server. This could happen if you're using a VPN service that doesn't correctly route all of your traffic, or if you're accidentally connected to a public proxy server.
The second possibility is that Netflix has detected some unusual traffic coming from your IP address. Several things could cause this, but the most likely explanation is that you're using an unblocker or proxy service to access Netflix content that isn't available in your country.
If this is the case, then you'll need to disable the service and restart your browser in order to continue watching Netflix.
See also: How to fix Netflix m7111-5059 error code