The popular VPN provider UFlix recently announced it will no longer support foreign Netflix access following a spike in geo-blocking measures from the streaming giant. If you were a UFlix customer, this means you no longer have access to Netflix's extensive US library of movies and TV shows. Thankfully, there's one VPN provider that still appears to be working.
VanishedVPN claims to have solved the geo-blocking issue with Netflix and other US streaming sites. We've tested the service and the workaround appears to be on the level. The service also boasts unlimited data, an affordable annual subscription and a dedicated sports channel.
What is it?
VanishedVPN popped up a few months ago in the wake of Netflix's aggressive VPN crackdown in Australia. Unlike many of its competitors, it has managed to find workaround that can successfully circumvent geo-blocks imposed by Netflix and other companies (for the time being, at least).
Here's a video showing US Netflix up and running in Australia using VanishedVPN:
How does it work?
VanishedVPN works like any other VPN. Connecting to the service is a piece of cake for anyone who has set up a VPN before. For tech-shy users, there are video demonstrations on the website for Mac, Windows, OSX, Android, PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows devices. There's also a dedicated app in development to streamline the process.
For obvious reasons, VanishedVPN is keeping its geoblocking workaround a closely guarded secret.
"The team behind VanishedVPN has decades of experience in delivering and managing large scale commercial IT Services, including several multinational telcos & finance organisations," the company explained to Lifehacker.
"This has enabled us to design and deploy an innovative solution to bypass the current geoblocking for US and UK based streaming services."
The VPN provides access to US, UK and Australian-based servers. The latter is handy if you frequently travel overseas and want to access local streaming services such as Stan or ABC iView while abroad.
Is it safe to use?
Unlike many VPN providers, VanishedVPN is a genuine business startup registered in Australia. This means they can actually be held accountable if things go wrong. (Although there doesn't appear to be a phone number on its website, which usually doesn't bode well.)
VanishedVPN does not log user's traffic or the content of any communications, will not perform deep or shallow packet inspection of traffic (unless requested by the customer) and does not throttle users' internet connections for any reason.
What's the quality like?
We tested out the service while connected to a US server and the quality was pretty good. Netflix required a minute or two of buffering but after that it looked no different to a local connection. (Apart from all the extra movies and TV shows, that is.)
While browsing the web, you might notice unfamiliar ads popping up on websites. This isn't some sneaky revenue raising scheme: rather, they're just regular ad bots from Google AdWords and the like. The reason they are appearing is because they can’t track your real geo location. Still, it's probably best not to click on them.
How much is it?
VanishedVPN used to have a range of pricing plans, but currently the only option is a monthly subscription for $8.99 per month. You can cancel at any time and won't be billed for the following month.
Provided VanishedVPN can keep the geo-blockers at bay, this could be our new favourite VPN provider for US Netflix.
This story has been updated since its original publication.