What Are Popular VPN Services Doing About Netflix Blocks?

While Netflix's plan to block VPNs may prove to be a futile struggle, its efforts so far have been successful in making it difficult for many VPN subscribers to get around their geoblocking. We reached out to some of the most popular VPN providers to find out how they plan to combat the issue.

Netflix image from Shutterstock

VPN subscribers are being forced to change providers or even give up on accessing overseas Netflix altogether, but VPN providers definitely won't be giving up without a fight. Responses from VPNs have ranged between claiming they are unaffected, promising they are working on the problem, engineering fixes that change up the way their services work and even telling customers that the service shouldn't be used for illegally (or semi-legally) circumventing geoblocks.

See Also: US Netflix Is Being Blocked In Australia: What Can You Do About It?

Seeing this message far too often? We contacted some of Australia's most popular VPNs and DNS services to see what actions they were taking.

Getflix:

While Getflix seems to be experiencing problems with their service, as with other services that so plainly have 'flix' in their names, their Twitter suggests that they're actively working on a fix:

In the meantime they're suggesting setting static IP routing:

UFlix:

Melbourne-based UFlix has been having more difficulties than others (as I suspect would be true of any VPN with 'flix' in the name) but claim to have engineered a fix — for US Netflix only, to begin with. This comes from a recent blog post:

So, everything is running again. After a crazy week without sleep, we finally have our new solution ready and deployed. Currently only USA Netflix is unblocked. Each new region added costs a lot of money, so we will only be adding a handful of regions.
uFlix now works on all devices, but you need to install our little router on your network. Currently, the supported router is the TP-LINK MR3020. If you purchase one of these from eBay or your local computer store you can follow the instructions at https://uflix.com.au/setup/urouter/ and it will allow our service to run on all devices.
We will be adding support to another router later this week for users who want a more powerful WiFi signal and LAN ports on the router. So stay tuned for that. You will be able to see the new router firmware available on the uRouter setup page.
Some users are still using our smartDNS service from before. This does still work for some users, but it will eventually fail as Netflix updates their network. Once that happens, please read our setup guides again (they have been updated) and setup our VPN on your devices.
Currently you can set up our VPN on PC, Mac, iOS and Android without the use of the uRouter. We do however encourage users to have a uRouter at their house as we can perform complex tasks on them without any further work for the user. It will also allow us to implement great new features at a later date which will not be available on non-uRouter devices.

UnoTelly:

I wasn't able to get onto UnoTelly directly, but I did receive an auto-reply that was pretty telling about their current situation:

If you are having problems accessing Netflix, we are aware of compatibility issues with UnoTelly and our engineers are currently investigating the situation.
You may still be able to access Netflix by changing the Region Picker to US Test 2, US Test 3, US Test 4 or UK Test 1. Please make sure to Update your IP and close and reopen your browser or reboot your device to eliminate any account related issues.
We will let you know as soon as possible once we have some updates.

NordVPN:

NordVPN reached out to us with the following, claiming to be unaffected. As a service that doesn't operate primarily as a Netflix unblocker, perhaps they have escaped scrutiny so far.

Earlier this month, we reported that NordVPN.com remained unaffected by Netflix crackdown on VPNs. We would like to report that this is still the case — NordVPN still works with Netflix, and we have backup servers prepared in case there are issues.

ExpressVPN:

ExpressVPN, another VPN service that focuses on the security side rather than solely accessing Netflix, has not been widely affected so far:

The actions taken by Netflix have had some effect on ExpressVPN users, though limited.
ExpressVPN believes the measures being taken by Netflix may push millions of honest individuals off the slippery digital slope towards torrenting and piracy. However, an all-out block is incredibly hard to achieve and would require angering countless customers, not to mention millions of dollars in wasted development resources that could go towards creating a better experience for their users.


Many VPN providers seem to believe that this move will make users more likely to unsubscribe from Netflix rather than their VPN service, however, citing the security benefits of using a virtual private network for regular internet use.

NordVPN said:

It seems that many people are willing to unsubscribe from Netflix rather than quit using VPNs. People are discovering diverse benefits of VPNs, and are often choosing their privacy over streaming. We've seen a number of discussions on reddit and other social media channels, saying they would rather quit Netflix than their VPN provider. As NordVPN is security-focused, we are happy that more people are becoming aware of privacy and security issues they face online daily. As Openmedia.org says, privacy shouldn't end where Netflix begins.

ExpressVPN added that the blocks were unfair to those who used VPNs for security purposes:

we think that a generic VPN block on Netflix’s platform is devastatingly unfair to the average Netflix user. Should a paying Netflix subscriber who wants to stream from public wifi at an airport or coffee shop not be able to take advantage of the privacy and security a VPN can offer?
ExpressVPN’s core mission has been and will continue to be to make it easy for everyone to use the Internet securely and freely.

See Also: Netflix Blocking Your VPN? Here's How To Build Your Own

WATCH MORE: Entertainment News

Comments

    > shouldn’t be used for illegally (or semi-legally) circumventing geoblocks.

    But it's not illegal. It's grey at best. It's against their ToS, but that's not illegal.

      Agreed that it's grey not illegal. One more thing which i want to mention that PureVPN claim that they recover through this action of Netflix and now their servers working well. http://www.vpnranks.com/purevpn-review/

        US Netflix works with Express VPN http://bit.ly/ExpressVPN-Netflix at this moment in Australia. Still, I am one of the people with a AU point of payment account. I can easily watch the Australia Netflix as well. Other services work with Express VPN (Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Spotify, HBO Now etc.)

        Last edited 30/01/17 3:00 pm

      My point is what the heck Netflix doing with its users, instead of bringing the similar library its wasting its time and resources on blocking VPNs. ExpressVPN https://goo.gl/YH6Ok6 still working on US Netflix on Many US servers, LA is however the fastest

      Last edited 06/03/17 11:52 pm

    How about a list of providers that it does work on so we can kick our current VPN provider to the curb?

      That would be great - pretty keen to get rid of Getflix ASAP seeing as their service was pretty terrible even when it did work

        I use Pure VPN for Netflix in other countries. Cost me only $4.16 for a month. Great reliable service I found when I was looking and does the job with no issues https://www.purevpn.com/

        Last edited 15/04/16 7:47 pm

        Getflix doesn't work anymore. I don't want to pay for it while they try to fix it. Any others work?

      I'm using SaferVPN, currently it works for Netflix US, UK and apparently Germany and Italy too (I think, not using these, but that's what their support says). It's a great VPN overall and they're not a huge company so hopefully they might stay under the radar :)

      NordVPN works for me!

        yeah? which servers? because I havent seen it work on any for month or so now

    unblock-us has stopped working completely.

      yup cancelled subscriptuion with unblock-us.

        ? unblock-us hasn't skipped a beat - using it now

          UnblockUs seems to be progressively failing for more and more people. It worked for us up to around a fortnight ago even though plenty of others were reporting being blocked. But now we're getting the "you seem to be using an unblocker ..." message too.

          So while it might be working now, I'd consider this temporary only. It's very easy for Netflix to start blocking on a per-account basis and target people accessing a region different to their billing location.

        Yeah I cancelled my year long sub a month or so ago after about 2 months of constant troubleshooting and whenever I asked to just refund me the money for the rest of my year sub they just restarted the troubleshooting process. I mean I understand this is out of their control but their service is terrible.

      Pretty appalling customer support too. They don't have anything on their website about the Netflix issues, they're just keeping quiet and trying to scam new subscribers out of money.

        Yeah, agree.

        I've contacted them half-a-dozen times now to request more information on progress. Each time I just get the stock response.

        Our year's subscription is due to expire at the end of this month. At this rate, we won't be renewing.

    NordVPN isn't working with US Netflix or Hulu for that matter.

      NordVPN works for me - just needed to chat with their tech support to get the workaround info.

    "I wasn’t able to get onto UnoTelly directly"
    Yep, thats my situation aswell.

    Hasn't worked for weeks and no communication from them.

    Bastards :(

    tuboflix.com are back up and works perfectly!

    Got the dreaded message on the weekend and switched getflix to one of its test servers. Going fine now!
    I expect to be blocked again at some point depending on how long this game of whack a mole keeps going on for.

    Can't get it to work at all. Their solution to wipe DNS settings and reset everything but it only lasts a couple of hours. How can you still be working? Are you doing anything ?

    Pretty trivial to set up your own proxy overseas for a few measly dollars a month...

      most of the cloud vps providers' IP rangers are blocked! Have tried to do this with many providers using openvpn and squid. It's irrelevant if the massive IP blocks that these hosting providers own are blocked

    I was using Media Hint (which isn't a VPN, as far as I understand it) and it's stopped working.

    I've given up on Getflix. Australian Netflix is dismal in comparison too so I'll be cancelling my account before the next billing cycle if one of these unblockers don't find a fix. Just means I'll be visiting KAT a lot more.

      I cancelled Netflix to end mid month... I have been on the Aussie library for the past 2 months and its not even really worth the $12 a month...

    We've had this message once using Getflix DNSMasq settings in router. Solution was to open the Getflix app, and switch Getflix location and haven't seen it since.
    Inconvenience time of roughly 60 seconds.

    Last edited 05/04/16 11:47 am

    Unblock-Us totally failed for me in the past few weeks. Previously it was fine. I've had 3 rounds of customer support suggestions from them but unfortunately it didn't work. If it doesn't work in the next week I will cancel the service.

      They will keep sending you through the troubleshooting process again and again. Ive still been trying to get a refund on my year sub.

    Same – I use Unblock-us and it went down for a day a few weeks ago but I have since updated the settings and it hasn't missed a beat. We use it for iPads, AppleTV, laptops, desktops and phones. All good!

    http://smartflix.io works for US Netflix. they have a 7 day free trial no credit card or paypal to test it out if you don't believe me. The only downside is that its an app for only Windows and Mac. I mean it's not perfect you're gonna need a long ass HDMI cable to hook your PC up to your TV :) there are also apps that will let you mirror apps on your PC to a chromecast, not sure what to suggest for appleTV, rokou users ,etc. I have tried everything else i can think of. the biggest problem and i've said it before on the other netflix/vpn posts on lifehacker is that Netflix is actively blocking entire IP address blocks owned by these hosting companies (even the smaller ones) so you can't even roll your own VPN/DNS/proxy server.

    The trick is netflix are progressively working through blocking accounts. This is why some people are saying X method/company is working and some are not.

    You either have no checks, title list check, or stream and title screen check. If you get lumped with the last one you are pretty much stuffed.

    Last edited 05/04/16 11:01 pm

    NordVPN are lying. All their countries with the exception of US do not work any more. They used to be good for region hoping between Europe, Canada etc now all they have is a US connection which is not any good. Canada, Sweden & Brazil have great Netflix catalogues. US doesn't come close.

    To @hayleywilliams,

    So far I have tried...
    * ExpressVPN [ NY*, TS, CG ]
    * VyperVPN [ NN, TG, CG ]
    * NordVPN [ NN, TS, CG* ] (its ok)
    * Astrill [ NY, TG, CG ] (Netflix WORKS + Highspeed Torrenting and Client is good for OSX, not great, but solid and good.) [You can use my affiliate link to sign up, no benefit to you but I could get 1 month free, https://astrillaff.com/of244ae1, your choice totally to use or NOT to use.]
    * PIA [ DB ]
    * HMA [ DB ]
    * PureVPN [ DB ]
    * Dot VPN ( browser based only )
    * IP Vanish [ DB ]
    * SlickVPN [ NY*, TG, CS ] (flaky)
    * IVACY [NN, TG, CS*] (client looks good, but does nothing but crash on OSX)

    DB = Don't bother = NN + TS + VPN Client may be crap (mac)
    NY = Netflix MAY work
    NN = Netflix doesn't work
    TS = Torrents speed suck
    TG = Torrents speeds are good (50+ MBPS)
    CS = VPN Client software SUCKS (on a Mac)
    CG = VPN Client software is useable or better (on a Mac)

    Phew! I have tried and tried and I am almost ready to give up the f%$^ing battle. I live in Brissy and have a near 80MBPS download speeds from Telstra Cable (using speed boost). Testing is being conducted on an iMac 27" with Samsung Pro SSD.

    IMHO VPN client software also needs to play a part in the research, Mac and Windows.

    Sites or resources I have used to make my decision were from here...
    * VPNanalysis.com
    * One Privacy Guys VPN comparison Chart
    * https://greycoder.com/best-vpn-service/
    * https://torrentfreak.com/anonymous-vpn-service-provider-review-2015-150228/
    * http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/06/the-best-vpn-providers-what-you-need-to-know/
    * thevpn.guru

    I'll keep updating this comment with my findings, so hopefully the author of this article may choose to incorporate my findings along with some of theirs into a future article (please feel free to do so).

    Hope this helps others in deciding.

    Update 1: I am out of SlickVPN, they dont have support for SMTP connections while on VPN, kind of a moot point, when trying to protect privacy. Click for OSX sucks too, too many freezes and crashes.

    Update 2: Trying out ivacy... and its worthless.

    Update 3: Going BACK to Astrill, to make Netflix work use their recommended servers. (wont list them here in case Netflix is watching...)

    Last edited 11/04/16 10:31 am

      Hey, thanks for the info, it's really awesome that you've put it together.

      As far as Netflix and VPNs go, however, it's difficult to make a definitive story on whether VPNs work with Netflix or not, as both parties are consistently working around each other. Certain VPNs might work one day and be blocked the next.

      Still, it's definitely a good reference to have here at least, cheers :)

        Thanks for the reply, and yes its exhausting to get here.

        I must thank all the support staff at each of these VPN Service providers for helping me get around the Netflix block (successfully or not) and for issuing a refunds (either as per policies or even giving me free trials.)

        Finally, I'd like to stress the one point that is often missed in reviewing VPN Service providers, how easy (VPN client software) is it for the end-user to get the bloody thing going?

        The most impressive software (at times tedious to use too) is from ExpressVPN, then Astrill (which is surprisingly simplistic yet easy to use.) Here is my ranking order...
        1. ExpressVPN (or DotVPN, if they come up with a Mac/Windows desktop version)
        2. Astrill
        3. NordVPN
        4. VyperVPN
        5. SlickVPN...

        Last edited 11/04/16 5:09 pm

    Anyone here can recommend any more VPN service providers...?

      Proxmate extension for Chrome still works.

      Last edited 13/04/16 8:42 pm

        So I have to use Proxy for NetFlix, what about torrenting? I use transmission, do they provide Socks 5 proxy?

          Unfortunately, ProxMate is not a full fledged proxy application, it only provides proxy services for in-browser applications like region locked websites and Netflix. That's all I really need and want so I'm happy enough about that but of course it's up to you whether that's enough for $20 a year.

          There's a free trial though so you can use it for a month without paying I believe.

          Last edited 17/04/16 12:18 pm

            I have applied for the trial, waiting on the email. I tried IVACY and it crashes on OSX so its a bust. I am going back to ASTRILL, netflix works and so are the torrenting speeds great too. The only down side is they are expensive.

    Confirmed!!! ASTRILL works with Netflix, high speed torrenting and privacy! But damn they are expensive...
    All I can say is that if you'd like to try out Astrill you can use my affiliate link https://astrillaff.com/of244ae1 I get an additional 1 month for each signup and there is NO benefit to you (sadly). I wont mind if you DONT use this link, its up to you. :-)

    I have tried different VPNs to access Netflix. Same issue with most of the VPNs. After working 3-5 days they stopped. It happened with Unblock-us, HMA etc. Currently using Hide-My-IP. It has been working perfectly for more than 12 days. Still working without any issue.

    I'm trying out uFlix and it seems to work fine with Netflix. It's super easy to set up .

    I left Netflix because I got sick of them raising their prices but refusing to add the ability to download videos for offline viewing. Amazon offers the ability to watch videos offline for a similar price so why pay Netflix the same or more to not be able to play videos offline? Bring that up to Netflix as the reason you're leaving and they won't respond. Because not enough people are willing to leave over that for them to care. I also cancelled my Spotify Premium subscription because it became pointless to choose Spotify over Apple Music when you have to take more steps with Spotify to listen to your songs offline than you do with Apple Music. Apple Music the moment the song is downloaded it's in offline mode even if the rest of the playlist isn't downloaded. With Spotify you not only have to put your playlist in offline mode you have to go into settings and put your whole device in offline mode (which means you can't search and add new songs during that time). Now why would I pay Spotify the same money for more steps? The whole purpose for choosing certain services is for more convenience not more of a hassle.

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