Netflix is undisputedly the “king of the ring” when it comes to streaming services, even with competition encroaching from all sides.
Known the world over for having one of the deepest and most varied streaming libraries of any service, a lot of people are still surprised to learn that Netflix in the United States rarely has the same content that Netflix in Canada, the UK, or anywhere else in the world has loaded into their libraries.
More and more people are waking up to the fact that some Netflix content is “geo-locked” to specific areas on the planet, though – and many of them have come up with clever workarounds to gain access to all that content without having to physically move around the world to do so.
It turns out all you need is a VPN.
Netflix, however, is aware of this – so much so that in 2016 they sent out a message to millions of users that they weren’t going to be able to continue using Netflix unless they shut off their VPN service.
Why Does Netflix Work So Hard to Prevent VPN Use?
Netflix, obviously, is in the business of making money in the last thing they want to do is mess up any of the licensing agreements that they have with content providers that might make their streaming service less attractive – all while boosting the competition that could then gobble up that content for themselves.
Netflix Has Territorial Licensing Agreements in Place Around the World
As we highlighted above, Netflix has signed a number of territorial licensing agreements that allow them to show some shows and movies in certain parts of the world but not others.
And while Netflix themselves have acknowledged that they would love nothing more than to sign “global licenses” for content that they could share with absolutely all of their customers (going so far as to tweet exactly that in 2016) they haven’t been able to pull it off just yet.
This leaves a lot of content locked behind geographic barriers that just don’t make a lot of sense in today’s hyper connected, always online world.
A VPN Opens Up the Global Netflix Catalog to You
With a VPN, though, the entire global Netflix catalog opens up to you for the ridiculously low price of a monthly Netflix subscription in your area.
Now instead of being able to watch only the shows and movies specifically designed to be provided in your area you can fire up your VPN, digitally bounce to another part of the world that has the Netflix content you’re looking for, and watch that content on your home device – all with very little headache and hassle whatsoever.
Sure, this approach violates some of the agreements set up between Netflix and their content providers as well as Netflix and their customers. But for a long time it was almost impossible to detect VPN activity, which let VPN users watch anything and everything they wanted to with very little risk of getting caught.
What Does Netflix Do When They Detect a VPN in Use?
Today, though, Netflix has a far more robust and advanced security set up that actively hunts for VPN usage.
Netflix as a company denies that they are hunting down VPN users publicly, but recently set of leaked emails between Netflix and Sony show that the companies are working together to try and dramatically curb VPN usage as much as possible.
Combine that with the message that a lot of users received for the first time in 2016 (and continue to see when they jump on Netflix with a VPN these days if they get busted) and it’s obvious that the company is actively trying to minimize this issue as much as possible.
Full Spectrum IP Bans
The way that Netflix bans VPNs is pretty genius (at least from their perspective, anyway) – they go after the entire IP spectrum provided by that VPN, rather than going after individual spoofed IP addresses.
This means that even just one person getting busted using a VPN could bring down the whole house of cards, sending everyone using that same VPN service back to the main Netflix screen telling them that they have to change their IP address or they won’t be able to use any Netflix at all!
Can Still You Use a VPN to Access Different Netflix Content Libraries?
Luckily, though, there are still some top-tier VPN solutions out there that are actively coming up with new and innovative ways to skirt detection and provide access to the global Netflix content library – all at incredibly affordable prices.
You have to be really smart and really careful about the VPN services you choose to use, though, committing to only work with 100% legitimate operations, trusted providers, and VPN services with a reputation for avoiding detection by Netflix completely.
There’s a lot of fly-by-night operations out there that promise the moon and the stars when it comes to VPN capabilities, but most just don’t have the money, the technical team, or the resources to avoid getting scooped up by Netflix detectors every time they run a sting.
Avoid those operations completely by doing your research and due diligence, finding the right VPN provider that specifically offers Netflix in “incognito” mode, and you’ll be good to go!
Obviously you also want to be sure that you are signing up for a VPN that offers:
- Top-tier security and safety features
- Just as much anonymity as humanly possible
- A very easy to use interface and set up process
- The ability to connect the VPN to all of your internet enabled devices (usually through your router)
- And connection speeds that allow you to enjoy the internet (including streaming content from Netflix) without feeling like your connection is running through molasses
Be sure that your new VPN checks all of these boxes and you won’t have anything to worry about going forward.
Find a winner and you’ll be watching all the Netflix content you’ve ever wanted to (from anywhere around the world) in no time at all!
Our Five Favorite VPNs Today.