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Why Is My VPN Not Working with Netflix? – How to Fix?

Justin Oyaro

By Justin Oyaro . 25 January 2024

Cybersecurity Expert

Miklos Zoltan

Fact-Checked this

Netflix continues its campaign against VPNs and other tools that bypass geo-location restrictions. Currently, Netflix has blocked nearly all VPNs from accessing its content.

This streaming giant blocks VPN connections by banning their IP addresses. VPNs with fewer IP ranges, such as free VPNs and lower-quality VPNs, have no chance against Netflix.

Premium VPNs still add new IP addresses that you can use to stream Netflix. However, you will need to try and connect to several servers until you find one that works.

In this guide, I will take you through various workarounds you can use to get your VPN to work again with Netflix.

Summary: This article delves into the methods Netflix employs to block VPNs and other tools designed to circumvent geo-location restrictions.

I explore the reasons behind Netflix’s decision to ban VPN IP addresses and offer several strategies to resolve issues when your VPN stops working with Netflix.

Additionally, I present alternative solutions compatible with Netflix, including acquiring a Netflix-specific VPN, utilizing Smart DNS technology, or opting for a dedicated or residential IP address.

Towards the end, the article sheds light on how Netflix detects the use of a VPN by its users.

Why Netflix Bans VPN IP Addresses?

Apart from Netflix originals, Netflix offers content from other film and entertainment studios. The content is usually contractual and comes with various territorial licensing and distribution agreements.

Thus, Netflix can only show the content in specific regions while restricting it to other regions. To adhere to the agreements, Netflix implements geo-location restrictions.

This is why one regional catalog, such as the US, differs from the UK regional catalog.

Nonetheless, VPNs can bypass Netflix restrictions and access various ge0-restricted content. This makes it look like Netflix isn’t honoring its agreements with the content owners.

To avoid this scenario, Netflix bans VPN IP addresses and blocks connections from other tools that try to bypass geo-restrictions.

What to Do if Your VPN Is Not Working with Netflix

Here are some fixes you can use to bypass Netflix blocks and stream geo-restricted content. But first, restart your devices, check your internet connection, and update your VPN apps.

1. Ensure your VPN is not leaking

A VPN bypasses Netflix geo-restrictions by masking your IP address to that of your chosen location. However, this might not be the case if your VPN is leaking.

To check if your VPN is leaking, disconnect from the VPN, go to IP leak and note your IP address. Also, note the location of your DNS servers. Netflix will see your IP or DNS address and offer content available in your region.

Connect the VPN and do the test again. If you get the same IP address, the VPN is leaking. If you get your VPN’s server location IP address, but some DNS addresses are still from your actual location, your VPN connection is leaking.

Talk to your VPN’s customer support about this issue.

2. Turn off location services

Location services such as GPS will override your chosen VPN server location. Your browser may tap into your location, and Netflix will use it to provide content.

On your smartphone, revoke the nearby permission for the Netflix app.

3. Clear Netflix browser cookies and cache or use a private browsing session.

Like other online services, Netflix stores cookies on your browser that might reveal your location. Even if you use a VPN, you will still get content from your region.

To avoid cookies, use incognito mode/private browsing when changing Netflix regions via a VPN. Nonetheless, here is how you can clear Netflix cookies data correctly on popular browsers:

Chrome: Click the Menu icon > Settings > Privacy and security > Site settings > View permissions and data stored across sites > search “Netflix” and click Clear all data

Firefox: Click the Menu icon > Settings > Privacy & Security > Manage Data under Cookies and Site Data, search “Netflix,” click Remove All Shown, and click Save Changes.

Edge: Click the Menu icon, scroll to Settings > Cookies and site permissions > Manage and delete cookies and site data > See all cookies and site data > Type “Netflix,” click Remove all shown

Clear Netflix’s app cache before using another VPN server location on your smartphone and other devices.

4. Use a different server

Your VPN might not work because all the IP addresses in your current server are blocked. Try connecting to a different server in the same location; chances are its IP addresses have not been blocked.

5. Change to another VPN protocol

Some VPN protocols are better at bypassing Netflix blocks and geo-restrictions than others. Some protocols, like OpenVPN, might not work with Netflix. In this case, you might want to ditch security for a bit.

Try using WireGuard, IKEv2, or other proprietary protocols offered by your VPN provider. Avoid outdated protocols since they are more vulnerable to attacks and might not help you.

6. Talk to your VPN’s customer support

Customer support is the last resort if all the above fixes have failed. Ask customer support to provide you with the current list of server locations working with Netflix.

Alternative Solutions That Work with Netflix

Besides trying to fix a VPN that is not working with Netflix, you can try out the following solutions.

Get a Netflix VPN

Upgrade to a premium VPN that streams Netflix effortlessly. Top VPNs in the industry, such as ExpressVPN, regularly change their IP addresses to keep up with Netflix bans.

Premium VPNs offer features and functionalities, such as streaming servers dedicated to unblocking and bypassing Netflix restrictions.

Usually, these VPNs allow you to stream US, UK, and other on-demand Netflix catalogs. You can even request a specific server location.

Besides Netflix, these premium VPNs will allow you to stream content from other services such as Hulu, Disney plus, HBO, BBC iPlayer, and sporting activities.

Check out our VPN roundup for tips.

Use Smart DNS

A Smart DNS offers a sure way of streaming Netflix. A Smart DNS is reliable and gives you faster speeds than a VPN.

However, a Smart DNS will not protect your online privacy and security. Unlike a VPN, a Smart DNS doesn’t encrypt your connection or online traffic.

Also, a Smart DNS routes your online traffic through the DNS servers of your chosen location. This doesn’t mask your actual IP address. Internet entities will know your IP address.

If you want to stream geo-restricted content from Netflix and other services without experiencing blocks, a Smart DNS is your go-to solution.

Choose a premium Smart DNS with many DNS servers to enjoy content from most locations. Most Smart DNS services only offer a few locations.
You can also try your VPN’s Smart DNS. Premium VPN providers include it for free.

Use a dedicated IP address or a residential IP Address

Netflix rarely blocks dedicated and residential IP addresses. Since they are not shared, Netflix will overlook them as non-VPN IP addresses.

These IP addresses are not meant for streaming since they only offer one region and are expensive. You can use them for other online tasks that block VPN connections.

You can get dedicated IP addresses from some premium VPN providers. Premium proxy providers and some VPNs offer residential IP addresses.

How Does Netflix Know I’m Using a VPN?

Netflix uses sophisticated techniques to detect a VPN connection. Nonetheless, sometimes VPNs make it easy for the system to flag the VPN connection.

Most VPNs use shared IP addresses to increase privacy and anonymity. This is a double-edged sword when you use a VPN for streaming.

Online entities will find it hard to trace your online activities back to you, but for Netflix, it is a red flag. As more people stream using the same IP address at once, the system will know it is a VPN.

Netflix also matches your IP address with the DNS servers. If they don’t match, Netflix will know you are using a VPN. This is why you should ensure your VPN is not leaking.

Additionally, it is why unblocking Netflix on your web browser is easier than on the Netflix app.

Wrap Up

Unblocking Netflix and bypassing geo-restrictions with a VPN is a cat-and-mouse game. However, using a premium Netflix VPN can be ahead of the game.

Premium VPNs regularly add new IP addresses and change their server infrastructure to work with Netflix without detection.

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