At a Glance
While you were visiting the United Kingdom, you fell in love with some of the television series Netflix offers over “across the pond.” Now that you’re home, you’d like to finish up the binge you started while there.
You load your Astrill VPN app, select a U.K.-based VPN server, tap an episode of the TV series and see the following:
“Error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”
Many long-time VPN users are finding that their formerly-reliable VPN, which used to easily open access to geographically-restricted Netflix content, no longer works.
While many VPN providers enable access in select regions, users are finding their entertainment options are often limited. (Astrill VPN only offers access to U.S. Netflix content.)
So, if you’re an Astrill VPN user and want to access Netflix content in countries other than the U.S., what can you do?
Astrill VPN not working with Netflix? Try this…
Switch to ExpressVPN (my go-to VPN for unblocking Netflix).
I’ve tested various VPNs and ExpressVPN can reliably unblock Netflix US, UK, AUS, CA, IT, FR, DE, JP and others. Speeds so fast, you catch Netflix in HD without the buffering.
Try ExpressVPN risk-free with their 30-day money-back guarantee.
Why Might Netflix Block Astrill VPN?
First off, let’s take a quick look at why Netflix blocks VPN users from accessing streaming content from other countries.
Just a few years ago, all was right in the world of VPN providers. Most any VPN could give you access to Netflix shows and movies intended for audiences in other regions.
However, since 2016, the streaming monolith has made an active effort to block VPN users from accessing their servers.
Netflix hasn’t erected these virtual barriers merely out of spite.
The service is required to do so thanks to the agreements they make with the television and movie studios from which they acquire their content. These agreements require Netflix to limit access to the shows and films to specific regions.
This means that the shows you might enjoy on Netflix inside U.S. borders are unavailable when you’re visiting or living in another country.
Many VPN services have given up trying to offer access to Netflix in multiple regions. More about that below.
The Best Alternative When Astrill VPN Fails
When you connect your computer or other device to a VPN service, you are connecting to one of the provider’s VPN servers. A large number of other users are doing the same.
When connected, you and the other users all receive the same new IP address, which makes it appear that you are located in the same place as the VPN server. For example, you may be in New York City, but it can appear that you’re in London, England.
While this is a good thing from the standpoint of security, it can be a bad thing when you’re connecting to Netflix.
If Netflix detects multiple viewers coming from the same server, the company may decide to investigate who owns that particular IP address.
If and when Netflix confirms that a VPN provider owns this IP address, they will block that IP address from accessing their service. This prevents those VPN users from viewing that region’s content from outside of its borders.
The VPN users consequently discover that they no longer have access to their favorite bingeing materials and are rightfully upset. Naturally, they complain to the VPN provider’s customer support department. (I would. Wouldn’t you?)
The support agents investigate, and if they confirm that Netflix has blocked their server’s IP address, they set up a new one, once again providing access to the content in question.
Well, at least until Netflix notices the flood of traffic from that new IP address, blocks it, and, well – you get the idea.
Any VPN provider that expects to be able to hang in there and keep up with Netflix in this game of virtual chess had better have enough financial and human resources to quickly set up new IP addresses when they’re needed.
Some providers don’t have the resources and have given up completely, no longer attempting to provide Netflix access to their customers.
Meanwhile, other providers, like Astrill VPN, limit their Netflix access to just a few countries, or even just one. (Astrill VPN limits their Netflix access to the U.S. alone.)
Luckily, not every VPN has given up or placed artificial limitations on their customers’ Netflix access.
Best Blocked-Netflix Workaround
ExpressVPN continues to provide what is arguably the finest Netflix access in the VPN business. Of all of the VPNs that I have had the opportunity to test, ExpressVPN offers the most reliable Netflix access of them all.
The provider offers access to Netflix in multiple regions around the globe and is quick to respond when new IP addresses are needed.
While it’s true that you’ll occasionally run into an ExpressVPN IP address that the streaming service has blocked, access is usually regained by disconnecting and reconnecting to the service.
In addition to doing an excellent job of keeping the lines to Netflix open, ExpressVPN also offers a large amount of information designed to enhance your Netflix viewing experience while connected to the VPN provider.
Information includes tips and tricks for using the service, a helpful FAQ and links to browser extensions for use with the streaming service.
Additional services from the provider include 24/7 support chat, streaming-optimized connections, excellent global server coverage, top-notch app support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Once you have access to your favorite streaming materials, a long wait before you can watch them is just irritating.
ExpressVPN provides fast connections that are more than up to your streaming needs. Even 4K content begins streaming quickly. (Your mileage may vary, depending on your usual, ISP-provided connection speeds.)
If you can name a popular connected device, there’s a good chance you can watch Netflix on it.
ExpressVPN offers native app support for the 4 most popular computing platforms (iOS, Android, macOS and Windows). Plus, they provide browser extensions for the Chrome, Safari and Firefox platforms.
Game console and streaming box owners can use another of ExpressVPN’s services, called MediaStreamer. However, be advised that while MediaStreamer can enable access to Netflix from another region, the service does not offer any of ExpressVPN’s encryption or other security-related features.
Although ExpressVPN’s allowance of 3 simultaneous connections to the service on the same login is rather limiting, the fact that the service works with a large number of wireless router makes and models means you can protect all of your connected devices through one connection point.
Preconfigured routers are available from FlashRouters.com.
ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPNs around, yet you’ll find that its monthly subscription cost is actually less expensive than Astrill VPN’s monthly tariff. All things considered, ExpressVPN is an excellent value for the money.
This provider’s monthly subscription price is $12.95 per month, falling to $9.99 per month for the 6-month subscription ($59.95 every 6 months) and $8.32 per month for the annual option ($99.95 paid annually).
A 30-day money-back guarantee is available, which should allow plenty of time to decide whether ExpressVPN is the right VPN for your needs.
For more information, visit the ExpressVPN website.
I hope none of my readers are ever afflicted with technical issues while using their VPN. However, things do go wrong, no matter which service you select.
If things do go south, it’s good to know that you have a VPN provider that offers top-notch customer support.
ExpressVPN’s support department is a model for the rest of the VPN industry. The provider offers 24/7 online support chat, email support, a trouble ticket tracking system and an easy-to-use support library.
I’ve seldom needed to make use of the provider’s support options, but when I have, I have received top-notch support, with quick, knowledgeable replies to my questions.
Global Server Coverage
A VPN makes an excellent tool for accessing streaming and gaming content from spots around the globe that you might normally lack access to. Therefore, a VPN is only as good as its global server coverage.
That means ExpressVPN is very good, as it has 2,000+ servers stationed in 94 countries around the world.
ExpressVPN does a top-notch job of protecting their customers’ privacy.
The British Virgin Islands-based VPN takes full advantage of their home country’s lack of logging requirements and keeps no logs of any kind connected to their users’ online antics.
Plus, the provider’s willingness to accept the privacy-enhancing cryptocurrency Bitcoin for subscription payment means your payment information can also be kept under wraps if you wish.
The VPN for Netflix
If you haven’t noticed by now, ExpressVPN is my top pick for the best VPN to open access to Netflix in other countries.
The provider consistently offers a high level of service, keeping the lines to Netflix open and free-flowing.
The provider offers a large number of servers that work with Netflix and is quick to react when new IP addresses are needed.
Top-notch connection speeds, optimal global server coverage, and excellent customer support and privacy protections help the provider stay on top of things.
I won’t say I’ve had a 100% success rate when using ExpressVPN to connect to Netflix, but my success rate is well above that of other VPN providers I’ve tested.
The virtual game of chess between Netflix and VPN services means there will always be times when a favorite VPN server no longer successfully connects to Netflix, but having a provider like ExpressVPN means it won’t be long until things get rolling once more.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.