Hasn’t Netflix Banned All VPNs? – So What’s With All the “Netflix VPN” Claims?

Updated on: 11 March 2019
Updated on: 11 March 2019

So I’m a regular poster with over 10,000+ posts on a popular gaming forum and in a forum topic someone asked what VPNs still work with Netflix. I wrote that I’m using NordVPN and it works with Netflix all the time. I was immediately attacked by a lot of people claiming that it’s BS because Netflix has banned all VPNs.

So, what’s up with all the articles and stuff here on VPNTeacher.com about VPNs for Netflix? Why do I keep posting such stuff if supposedly no VPN works with Netflix?!

If Netflix detects a VPN “it will ban it” (you will understand why the quotation marks later), right? So all VPNs are banned. Why do I keep promoting popular and known VPNs like NordVPN then? Everyone knows about these and as such Netflix too, they should be banned 100%. Right?

Well, not really.

Read below to find out why VPNs such as NordVPN still work with Netflix and why this will never change and also why many other VPNs are still “banned”.

1. How does Netflix Ban VPNs?

In order to understand why certain VPNs like NordVPN do actually work with Netflix and why this will be the case in the future too you will have to understand how Netflix actually “bans a VPN”. Netflix cannot “ban an VPN”. (Hence the quotation marks). It can ban individual IP addresses that belong to a VPN. How does Netflix know if an IP belongs to a VPN? – Simple. An actual Netflix employee manually signs up at a VPN provider and manually connects to every one of their servers, then goes to Google and types in “my IP address” to get the IP of that server and then will add that IP address to a list. That person will have to manually connect to every single server a VPN provider has and check the available IP address. Once a large enough list is created, it will be forwarded to some IT rep who will have to manually ban all the IP addresses. So, you can imagine this is not a simple process. NordVPN, for example, has over 4,000 individual servers running at the same time. So, Netflix will have to ban a minimum of 4,000 IP addresses just for NordVPN.

But (and these are extremely important!), there are a few things that make this almost impossible to do for a VPN such as NordVPN (and some others too, I’m just using Nord as an example):

1. A server can have multiple IP addresses A Netflix employee will have to connect manually to all 4,000+ servers at NordVPN to get 4,000 IPs which then can be blocked. But the huge problem is that one server has multiple IP address and you cannot influence what IP will get allocated to you. You will have to connect multiple times to the same server to get all IPs from that server, and this is random so you will never be sure if you got all IPs. NordVPN for example has more than 20,000 individual IP addresses in operation at the same time. All these IP addresses will have to be banned at the same time for Netflix to truly “ban NordVPN”. And I imagine that’s just impossible. It would take weeks or months for a manual team to compile the list of all IP addresses.

2. VPNs will replace their IP addresses on a regular basis It’s ridiculously easy for a hosting server and VPN company to get new IP addresses from an ISP. They get thousands of new IP addresses all the time. This allows them to always replace the banned IPs with extreme ease. Imagine Netflix bans 500 IP addresses of NordVPN every day. It literally takes 5 minutes for NordVPN to replace all 500 IPs at once without any issues. While compiling that list of 500 IPs probably took a full working day for Netflix employees. So, just stop for a few seconds and think a bit about points 1 and 2. You can very easily see why it’s almost impossible for Netflix to ban all IP addresses of a VPN. And even if they somehow do the VPN will quickly replace them with extreme ease. Seriously, just stop and think about the above a bit.

2. So, why are so many VPNs still banned then?

The reality still is that many VPNs do not work with Netflix. Why? Why is it then that some VPNs such as NordVPN work and others don’t? What’s so special about some VPNs? Why can’t all of them work if it’s so simple to bypass Netflix as claimed in the previous segment?

There are several reasons:

1. Some VPNs simply do not target streamers There are many VPN companies that market themselves to different types of customers and are not interested in streamers for several reasons. A VPN for streaming and Netflix is expensive to maintain because it requires high-speed and latest technology servers that can run HD content without buffering issues as well as money to constantly get new IP addresses and a lot of staff to constantly monitor and replace the banned IPs. Some VPNs simply do not want to do this and instead focus on other types of clients such as privacy enthusiasts, for example. Not all VPNs are multipurpose, some are just good for one specific thing only. In this case these VPNs do not care if their IPs are banned by Netflix. For example, PureVPN is such as VPN. It does not work for Netflix as all their IP addresses are banned and they don’t care to update them because they don’t target streamers as customers.

2. It’s probably a free VPN Almost no free VPN works with Netflix. The above-mentioned reasons are valid here too. It takes a lot of money to maintain a VPN that targets streamers. The servers need to be high-speed and as such are very expensive plus new IP addresses will have to be acquired all the time. No free VPN has the resources to maintain this. Free VPNs simply do not work with Netflix and this has been the case for about 2 years already. If you have ever tried a VPN for Netflix and it didn’t work then I’d guess it was a free VPN. You then assumed that no VPN works with Netflix because Netflix has “banned VPNs”. While it’s true for free VPNs, it’s not for some premium VPNs.

3. A lot of VPNs are just not that good Honestly – and I know this for a fact – a lot (A LOT!) of the currently existing VPN providers are actually white-labels only. What does this mean? This means they don’t actually have any servers of their own. Instead they use the servers of a different – usually bigger – VPN, but they have their own website and brand. Usually these VPNs simply suck because they aren’t really owned by any real VPN tech company. And the company that supplies them with servers is using the same servers for several other VPN companies too, which means they will be extremely overcrowded. So, chances are that if you were using a VPN and it did not work for Netflix then it was either a free VPN, a VPN that does not even focuses on streamers at all or a VPN that is just simply bad overall.

3. VPNs that do actually work with Netflix

So, if you have read all the above then now you know that Netflix does not actually “ban a VPN”. Instead it can only ban individual IP addresses owned by a VPN, after Netflix employees have manually discovered those IPs. Premium VPNs usually have over 2,000-4,000 individual servers and 20,000-40,000 IP addresses making it extremely hard for Netflix staff to discover all these IP addresses. Also, it’s ridiculously easy for a VPN to replace the banned IPs. This is why Netflix will never be able to ban all VPNs. On the other hand, many VPNs are simply not focusing on streaming therefore all their IPs may be banned but the VPN won’t replace them. Also, free VPNs do not work with Netflix because they don’t have money for servers and new IPs. So, what are then the VPNs that do actually work with Netflix?

Alright, here it is (these will also work great for unblocking YouTube):

NordVPN – If you were using NordVPN before 2018 then you will probably remember it as a VPN that did not work with Netflix. It’s now totally different in 2018 because NordVPN has gone through a complete overhaul with a new website, new platform and many many new and fast servers. NordVPN is now a true Netflix and streaming VPN, dedicating most of it’s resources and staff to allow fast streaming and bypassing Netflix. They now have over 4,000 servers and 20,000 IP addresses. I’m sure many of their IP addresses get regularly banned by Netflix but it appears they quickly replace them because I have personally never experienced the Netflix proxy error using NordVPN. And I watch Netflix almost every single day, so.

ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN has been “the Netflix VPN” before NordVPN joined the game and went through the server upgrades. It was pretty much the only VPN for a while that still worked with Netflix. It still works and has thousands of servers along with thousands of IPs. Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN work with Netflix. I personally use NordVPN because I like how the platform looks over the ExpressVPN platform but this is just a personal preference. Both work 100% so it doesn’t really matter which one you choose. There is a little bit of difference when it comes to pricing though. If you want to pay month-by-month then ExpressVPN costs $12.95 while NordVPN $11.95. Also, ExpressVPN only has a maximum of 12 months subscription package with a price of $99.95 (meaning $8.32 per month). NordVPN, on the other hand, has a subscription of up to 3 years that costs $99, meaning $2.75 per month. So, at Nord for the same price as at Express, you get 3 years instead of just 1 year. Nord also has a 12 months package for $83.88 instead of $99.95 as it’s at Express. Honestly price is just the only difference between these VPNs. Everything else is pretty much the same. Both have fast servers and both do work with Netflix. So I personally would go with the cheaper one. So, that’s it. I hope now you do understand why certain VPNs do work with Netflix and why others don’t.

Written by: Elizabeth March

Advanced ITSEC Specialist Based in Cambridge, England, Elizabeth has held notable positions for a range of high-profile vendors and clients in the European IT Security and Communications Sector. As a former IT Trainer, Technical Specialist, and Product Manager; she transitioned into the role of an expert IT Copywriter in 2015. Since then, her works have been published globally, and she continues to help people easily decipher complex technical challenges and make informed decisions about their digital lives.

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