How Does Netflix Detect You Are Using A VPN

How Does Netflix Detect You Are Using A VPN? 5 VPNs That Work

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Last Updated on May 19, 2021 by Calvin C.

Background of Netflix and VPN services

In one article, we looked at 20 best streaming services and from the list you can see that Netflix is by far the most popular of the bunch. You can access content from any of these services using a VPN but Netflix is notorious for blocking VPNs. How does Netflix detect you are using a VPN? We break it down in this article so continue reading..

Content that is watched on Netflix varies from region to region. This is because content creators target specific countries and are not paid if viewers come from other regions.

In the end, to align to the agreements between Netflix and content creators, viewers access different Netflix content depending on where one lives. If creators don’t receive revenue from your region, it is blocked.

This has lead to the use of VPNs to unblock Netflix content so that you can access all content that is available without being limited by your geo-location.

However, not all VPNs are able to do this task and that is what separates top VPNs from the herd.

  • At a glance, these are the top VPNs we recommend to unblock Netflix

According to Netflix, their goal is to provide all content to everyone.

  • It is not illegal to use a VPN to access Netflix content from any part of the world so your account is safe.

In fact, Netflix gets more revenue because more viewers sign up to stream movies, shows and other content.

how does netflix detect you are using a vpn

If you have used a VPN or proxy to unblock Netflix and got the message “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy” then you are using an inferior VPN.

  • Overally, the VPN of choice for Netflix is NordVPN
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Antimalware
  • Adblock
  • 68% off a 2-year plan
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Strong security

In the next section, we look at how Netflix is able to detect that you are using a VPN and show you more VPN services that give you seamless access to all Netflix content.

How Netflix detects weak VPNs?

Netflix is able to block most IP addresses from a VPN or proxy. That’s why VPNs with a few servers and few available IP addresses are easily blocked by Netflix.

This happens a lot with free VPN services and I know how frustrating it is to try different VPNs so that you watch Netflix content without getting the error message above.

Netflix does this by in the following ways:

Cataloging known VPN IP addresses

Netflix is able to detect IP addresses that belong to a particular VPN server and when you try to access content with any of those IP addresses, you are blocked.

Like what I have highlighted, if you use one of those free VPNs, you don’t rest. Every time you try to use a different IP address and things seem to be going well, it doesn’t take long before Netflix blocks it.

The more the servers, the more the IP addresses that are available for example, NordVPN has over 5000 servers, hence tens of thousands of IP addresses to choose from.

Monitoring multiple users and their IP addresses

One of the ways in which a VPN accommodates users is through the use of shared IP addresses. However, if Netflix detects that a lot of users are using the same IP address it is blocked.

This is where it all ends for most VPNs because their features are limited and Netflix can easily detect VPN traffic from these services.

An analogy you can use goes like this…

  • If many people drive the same car on different days chances are it’s a rental car. Similarly, if many people use the same IP address chances are it’s coming from the same VPN server.

DNS server mismatches

The Netflix app may override DNS settings on your device and expose your real ISP DNS server. This is common in those VPN services that leak DNS and have poor configuration.

Once this happens, the IP address accessing Netflix is blocked because whilst it shows a different location, your ISP server shows your actual location.

One way to prevent this is to set up your VPN on a router but this usually results in slower network speeds. Not good for streaming for most VPNs, unless you use fast VPNs like ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

What’s the way forward?

The only way forward is to use premium VPN services mentioned above and these are:

There are other excellent VPN services to unblock Netflix and we have reviewed them in detail but the ones listed emerge at the top.

What’s common about these VPNs is that they have vast networks of VPN servers that are maintained continuously.

In the end, new IP addresses are generated giving you endless options and that makes it difficult for Netflix to block traffic from these VPNs.

To get a peace of mind, you need to sign up for a paid plan which gives you access to all the servers.

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If there are other ways that we have not captured let me know in the comments below.

Tech writer and VPN expert. DIY enthusiast and loves anything to do with space science.

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