I imagine that upon first accessing the US Netflix library, most Australians begin to belt out the classic Aladdin jam “A Whole New World” - it truly is like stepping into an alternate, content-filled universe of TV and movies. Unfortunately, since Netflix cracked down on VPNs at the beginning of 2016, its been much harder to access the US library, but fret not! Here’s some reliable VPNs that will grant you a golden ticket to Netflix-and-chill-ville.
In Australia, we only receive around 35 per cent of the content that the US gets, due to various media-rights holders and copyright owners, so if you want access to all those extra TV shows and movies, a VPN is the only way to do so. Netflix is aggressively chasing down and blocking access to international libraries via VPN all the time so even those listed below may have unreliable connections but the providers listed below are doing their best to stay a step ahead.
As an option that isn't overwhelmingly complex for new users, NordVPN provide a good service but don't expect the speeds to amaze you. A lot of users report inconsistency when using Netflix in particular, but it is fairly reliable in actually accessing the content. As with most providers on the list, it is a constant game of cat-and-mouse, but having spoken to a customer service representative, I was assured that at the time, NordVPN can provide access to US Netflix through their huge list of servers.
Further to that, NordVPN maintain a constant line of contact with their users regarding access to US Netflix access and troubleshooting through their support page. If you are experiencing connectivity issues, this is the place to go, but their 24/7 live chat is also a good resource for curing any woes.
You can purchase NordVPN for around $15/month or $87/year.
ExpressVPN is certainly more expensive than the competition, but they provide fantastic service, excellent speeds, support a huge range of devices and are committed to ensuring you can access US Netflix libraries.
I contacted ExpressVPN via their website’s live chat service and asked how they tackle the problem of Netflix hunting down and blocking VPNs. They responded with this:
We are aware of the statement that Netflix put out regarding VPN providers. We have not been affected, and ExpressVPN continues to allow access to US Netflix library. While we are unsure of what future steps Netflix may take, rest assured that our engineers work around the clock to continue to provide you with the best VPN experience. In case you should ever encounter difficulties in watching Netflix, you may contact us back for assistance :)
Sure, that seems pre-prepared (the smiley is a nice, personal touch) but it still gives me confidence that they are actively working to ensure their users can access the US library without issue.
You can purchase ExpressVPN for $16.30/month or $126/year.
TorGuard has a huge advantage over other VPN providers on the list by offering dedicated streaming IPs. Essentially, this is a service that allows you to buy a US IP address which will grant you access to the US Netflix library. As you are the only one using the IP address, it is less likely that a red flag will be raised and that Netflix will block the offending address. Thus, if it's purely US Netflix access you're after, then TorGuard is the service you'll want to go for.
The process is a little more complex than rival VPN providers and it may be off-putting having to jump through a few extra hoops, but the ability to connect using a dedicated IP is a critical difference, and TorGuard's live support will run you through the necessary steps for set up. I contacted a representative of TorGuard to discuss what would happen if my dedicated IP address ended up blocked and was assured that if blocked, the IPs would be replaced for me.
TorGuard can be purchased for $12.58/month or $76/year without a dedicated streaming IP address. You can purchase this address for half-price [$5/month] if you use the code 'TGLifetime50' at checkout.
VyprVPN isn't big on features but it does provide great speeds for using Netflix across a wide range of devices. It seems that for most of 2016, US Netflix connectivity was limited, but more recent attempts at using US VyprVPN servers has resulted in better returns.
VyprVPN's customer service representative told me that they "cannot guarantee access to streaming services but ... do monitor Netflix access and many of our users do rely on VyprVPN to access Netflix content that is georestricted" and their official line, from back in 2016, is that they cannot guarantee VyprVPN will "work with Netflix but they will continue to provide the most capable and fastest VPN connection possible."
VyprVPN is available for $16.31/month or $101/year.
VanishedVPN's website feels like you're stepping into the dark web but these guys are Australian and they have the best interests of Aussie users at heart. They also claim that they are "the only reliable solution for unblocking US Netflix in the world" and it seems most of their users concur. As we reported a year ago, VanishedVPN have kept their geoblocking work around a closely guarded secret, but it gets us onto US Netflix, the speeds are decent and that's really all we're asking for.
Unlike other providers on this list, these guys don't have a 24/7 live chat, but their forums are helpful for setup and they have extensive written and video guides should you get stuck.
VanishedVPN also offer a competitive pricing package that will set you back $11.99/month or $100/year.
One tip I will leave you with is that as these services have both monthly and annual fees, it may be worth investing in the shorter options even though they cost a little more. In the event that Netflix swing the hammer down on any of these particular providers, you'll be able to switch and find a new one and not worry about paying for a service you're unlikely to use.
Village Roadshow and Foxtel have already managed to get a total of 61 domains across five torrent websites blocked in Australia. Now Village Roadshow wants to add a further 74 domains on the list and has applied to do so in the Federal Court.