This Aussie VPN Has Found A Fix For The US Netflix Problem

Image: Netflix

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.)

For what it's worth, the company's privacy policy seems pretty above board. The company logs the user's source IP address, the IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time and total number of bytes used for a period of 30 days. This is kept for the purpose of billing, troubleshooting and "for handling crimes performed over the service." After 30 day period, all customer data is wiped.

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.

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Comments

    I've been with Getflix for a couple of years now (since I first started using Netflix, a year or more prior to the official Australian Netflix going live). I had a few issues when the geoblocking crackdown started, but they seem to have figured out a way around it, too. My US Netflix has been working fine through that service for the past couple of months now, and they're gradually getting the other regions working, too.

    That's obviously just a DNS service rather than a full VPN, although they do also provide a full VPN. I don't really use it, though, so I can't comment on how that side of things stacksup against other VPN's.

      I tried their Melbourne based VPN, output was Singapore. Was a tad slow (I have NBN) but still perfectly usable.

      You can also snag a 30 year sub for Getflix which works out way cheaper than any other service I've ever seen.

      how about regions other than US like Canada or Denmark, I had trouble last time I tried those (about 2 months ago) (the content I ever want to watch is usually on one of the more smaller Netflix regions and not on the major US, UK or Australia regions)
      My renewal for Getflix is due in a few weeks and I am not sure if I want to renew

        Canada is definitely working again - I just used it to watch Ant Man last week.

        I haven't actually been watching a lot lately, but looking at the Getflix Facebook page, it appears that they currently have USA, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Denmark and Japan working again and are still working on the others.

          Sorry, but Ant Man is available on Aus Netflix. Not sure why'd you'd go to canada for that.

            Because Australian Netflix sucks giant, sweaty donkey balls so I don't usually bother switching to that region.

            I looked it up on Flixsearch and it only showed Antman on Canada, so that's what I went with. It actually only just showed up on AU Netflix in the last couple of weeks while it's been on Canada for months.

      never heard of this VPN before, However, I am a big fan of US Netflix and was totally pissed when heard about the VPN ban by Netflix, searched extensively and found one VPN; ExpressVPN https://goo.gl/8iJZfP is working on Netflix US so far. The best part is its speed which is faster than any other VPN I tried earlier for streaming

      Last edited 06/03/17 11:46 pm

    Sounds cool I might try it out and add it to my collection of VPN services that mostly work? People torrenting probably shouldn't use this though

    I should also point out that you can only pay via credit card. the site itself has no SSL cert or secure page to enter your credit card details. Whilst probably safe I can't let me details like that go over the wire in plain fucking text. that was the nail in the coffin for this service for me

      Hi - Our Payment gateway is a plugin on the page, so although the page may not show up as HTTPS, all information is encrypted and transferred over SSL. Our payment gateway is also PCIDSS compliant.

        I noticed this also - stopped me from completing registration and payment. I cannot and will not supply credit card details without SSL.

    What is the speed drop like?

    I'm keen, but I'd want to keep my hd content. Is it just a percentage drop? If it helps I usually get 8-12Mbits down

      The difference in speed differs depending on where you're trying to connect, and which of our nodes that you are using. I suggest that you sign up for our free trial, and test for yourself, as there are too many parameters to be able to accurately predict what your personal experience may be.

    Have a look at the "A records" for
    uatuk.vanishedvpn.com
    uatusa.vanishedvpn.com
    uataus.vanishedvpn.com
    Essentially those three domains are aliases for a dynamic dns service (same subdomains but .dynu.com in this case). They point to digital ocean for the USA and UK addresses, and AmazonEC2 for the Australian one. My guess, as soon as an IP gets blocked they request a new one from their cloud provider and change it over. The TTLs for the domains are pretty low so the DNS can propagate quickly.

      I believe Netflix blocks all Amazon EC2 IP addresses.

    You can also try https://windscribe.com they allow for 10GB/month of free usage, and definitely works with US Netflix (from Canada anyway).

    There's no way in hell, that I am subscribing to this VPN service. Especially, when Australia is part of the 5 eyes.

      It's up to 14 Eyes now, bud!

    Most of the DNS services and VPN services have found ways around geo blocking when you're using a browser etc what people are waiting for is one that can consistently provide a workaround on other devices like AppleTV, ios, android etc without a browser

    Big question with their security method, apparently no SSL at all for payment form

    Any guides on how to set this up on a Linux OS like Ubuntu?

    I haven't use this one. But I have experience of using Hide-My-IP VPN for accessing Netflix US from Australia. Haven't face any problem yet. Happy with its performance.

    Connected to the UK server and cannot access BBC iPlayer shows. Also notice that I can access Australia content whilst connected to the UK server that in theory I should not be able to access from the UK. So I'm thinking this is a scam? Did not use the free trial based on this Lifehacker article, which seems to have been a mistake. Have check US content access whilst connected to the US served, same deal.

    Perhaps Vanished provides privacy even if content outside Australia is not made available, but how can I tell? Again, could just be a scam.

    Last edited 04/06/16 2:00 pm

    I got a Lifehacker special on Celo VPN. A lifetime membership for $40. They don't have loads of servers, but I have yet to run into any problems with any type of Geoblocking. Also just did a speedtest whilst connected to one of their US servers, and it hit 12Mbps down, with a 196ms ping. I'm on TPG ADSL2+, in the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

    Your article needs to address a couple of things.
    Vanished vpn, while Australian, charges with American dollars. It's in their terms of service, and in the 'welcome' email that they provide you at the start of the whole process.
    While you can set up on individual devices, the process to install on your home router is not very clear at all, with diagrams that are not helpful to the user. If you're new to VPN, this will be a bugbear. They also don't mention anywhere that if you have a modem from the major telcos, that you are more than likely not going to be able to use their service.
    The support appears to come from the creator of the service, while this is good, he isn't very helpful, especially when you've made some suggestions to make the website more user friendly for new users (I was someone who wanted to use them after reading the lifehacker reports), the 'support' becomes more hostile, and negative. Yes, everyone has a bad day, but to not attempt to offer any support, other than tell your user that your organisation would have to hire a network engineer to help with your problem, which would come at a cost of $100 per hour of assistance, is not helpful, or supportive at all.

    This in comparison to Express VPN (which is much more expensive, in all fairness) has amazing customer support, provides live chat support, and also utilises open VPN tech ( PPTP and L2TP as well). Maybe there is a much larger team there, and maybe Vanished is a one man show pony. I'm not saying that Vanished is a poor product, but the customer service support, lack of clarity about prices which are actually American, and a hard to use website and support don't make for a good start for new VPN users, especially ones who want to support Australian businesses.

      Not to mention the fact that Express VPN don't have a reliable working solution for US Netflix, which is what this article is about.
      Good discussion point though. Would you rather pay a premium fee for a call centre, or pay less and have to work out the setup yourself (with the help of some how to guides). Also interesting that you would expect your service provider to pay $100 an hour for an expert to assist you when you're annual subscription is only $38. Not very good business sense.

        Actually, they have got a good workaround which is consistent.

        Also, I would rather pay for a service which is at least willing to offer support, than have a service which doesn't appear to want to provide support more than non-descriptibe diagrams and when an issue occurs with the service, respond to the customer with 'well it works on our end, so you must have done something wrong'. Phil, you need to stop being so defensive and actually support your user base, now drive them away.
        Also, stop lying. Your service is only $38.88 American dollars, stop trying to sell your (lack of) service without transparency.

      I use Express VPN and happy to pay the fee. As it is more expensive than others the difference is only a few dollars but for the multitude of nationalities in Australia, most of their countries' networks are available.
      The point of making the cost factor a priority is least important as people don't bother too much when spending on other things they want.
      The difference in cost between Vanished VPN US$2.99 per month and Netflix US$8.32 per month is Netflix being US$0.56 cents per week more over 12 months, converted to Aussie money is still only a few cents per week, and irrespective of the "We can, they can't" I have not had any problems with Express VPN, going to USA, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore and others.
      The is no cast-in guaranteed perfection to date with VPN's, even real life doesn't have any either, the whole situation in most everything is based on personal choice.

    Another way round all of this is a one off purchase of Android TV box (E.G Minix Neo), these can be purchased on line or from JBHIFi. The box runs a neat piece of software call Kodi, download an install SALTs and Specto Addons and you will have access to all the movies and TV series you would like. All streamed and no need for Netflix or paid VPN service.

    Happy days.

      Shhhhhhh.... Don't tell 'em about Kodi or OpenElec... I like Kodi and the many add-ons... So many channels so much content!!!! Although watching a handy-cam version of a current cinema release film is laughable at times at least one can watch it and decide if we want to spend $ in an overpriced setting... Good call Max!

    This article is total garbage. Any VPN can do this. Even worse though is that this particular VPN VanishedVPN, is a waste of money if you want to use a VPN for its intended purpose, to be private on the internet. A good VPN keeps no logs at all.

    Netflix didn't come down in the last shower, so it's only a matter of time before VPN servers gets blacklisted. Especially since they only seem to have three exit points and only one in the US.

    As we have seen that most of the VPNs are not working with US Netflix outside but one of the best Australia VPN service - PureVPN is working fine, speed is good.

      Join the real world with StrongVPN and StrongDNS......
      [quote]"As we have seen that most of the VPNs are not working with US Netflix."

      As YOU have assumed, without evidence...read above....wake up, get with it, stop guessing!

    Wangle VPN works.

    Only on mobile (iOS or Android) but if you can AirPlay or Chromecast then all good.

    It works well with slow wifi - I get better streaming AirPlaying US Netflix with Wangle on than I do watching Australian Netflix directly through Apple TV. Go figure...

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