It’s the end of a long day, you’re away from home, and you’re ready to unwind. What better way to do that than to Netflix and chill (out).
While you usually can’t access the U.S. version of Netflix, you recently bought a Hotspot Shield VPN subscription, which promises to open up access to the U.S. Netflix streaming treasure trove.
Sadly, you receive this notification in place of season 4, episode 7 of Shameless.
Ugh! What now?
Hotspot Shield not working with Netflix? Try this...
Switch to ExpressVPN (which I think is the best VPN provider for unblocking Netflix).
I’ve tested a lot of VPNs and I find Express reliably works to unblock Netflix US, UK, AUS, CA, FR, IT, JP, DE and others. It’s really fast as well so you can binge in HD without the buffering.
ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
How and Why Netflix Blocks a VPN or Smart DNS
While it may seem like it sometimes, Netflix doesn’t block your access to their out-of-country content just because they can. Instead, the streaming provider is required to block access to their content by users outside of the regional licensing area.
Netflix licenses the content they stream from movies studios, television networks and other content providers. In the contracts they sign, there are clauses that require separate licensing agreements for each region Netflix is available in. This means that Shameless isn’t available everywhere. (What a shame!)
Netflix has become quite good at detecting when a VPN is being used to access their streaming servers. When they identify them, they block them. The service is getting so good at this that many VPN providers have given up trying to keep a path open for their users.
There are still VPN services that claim to unblock Netflix, but when Netflix blocks their customers, they’re slow to respond – except for one.
Being blocked understandably upsets the VPN users, who then complain to their VPN provider. Hopefully, the provider reacts by setting up new servers with fresh IP addresses, thus restoring peace to the Netflix user landscape once more.
Once again, it’s Netflix’s turn on the board; they again notice new IPs, and they again block them…(wash, rinse, repeat.)
This battle of wits eventually takes its toll. Not on Netflix, but on some VPN providers, as some VPNs don’t have the resources to continue to wage battle with the streaming provider, eventually giving in and dropping Netflix-unblocking from their feature list.
Luckily, there is still a VPN provider that has found their inner Bobby Fischer and is not afraid to challenge Netflix’s VPN-blocking prowess.
ExpressVPN is a proven way to maintain access to Netflix content based in other countries. The provider makes use of their extensive resources to ensure that you are not just a pawn in the VPN chess game.
The VPN provider offers unblocking abilities for a large number of streaming services and has always been quick to respond when I experienced issues with my VPN connection. When I find that my usual VPN server no longer allows access to Netflix, I am usually able to find one that does with just a few clicks of my mouse.
In addition to reliable connections, the provider offers an abundant amount of Netflix-related info on their website. The knowledge treasure trove includes an FAQ, tips on how to optimize your Netflix sessions and a list of browser extensions to use with the service.
The provider also offers 24/7 customer support, streaming-optimized connections, apps for most connected devices and a 30-day get-your-money-back guarantee.
For a full review of ExpressVPN, click here.
Fast Connection Speeds
ExpressVPN’s connection speeds can easily handle even the wildest Netflix bingeing session. A handy in-app speed test even helps you find which ExpressVPN server is offering the fastest connection speeds.
I’ve been an ExpressVPN subscriber for quite a while, and I find that the provider’s average connection speeds usually come in at around 80% as fast as my regular connection speeds. I’ve never had issues with buffering, stuttering video or any other problems you might experience with a slow connection.
As usual, a “depending on your usual connection speeds” warning applies here, but ExpressVPN should easily be able to keep up with your Netflix-bingeing requirements.
Comprehensive multi-platform support is a hallmark of ExpressVPN’s service. The provider offers apps for all popular connected devices.
When you consider the level of service you receive from ExpressVPN, the provider’s tariff of USD $8.32 per month (payable annually at $99.95) is more than reasonable.
Quite a bit of that monthly income goes back into the provider’s services, which include broad global server coverage, optimal connection speeds and top-notch customer support.
If you’d like, you can subscribe monthly for $12.95 per month. There’s no risk either way, as the provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you have an issue connecting to Netflix or have any other VPN-related problem, ExpressVPN is quick to react. They offer a support center that includes 24/7 live chat with a support agent.
This provider has always proved to be quite responsive to any issues I’ve experienced.
Global Server Coverage
ExpressVPN’s global server coverage is better than most, with 3,000+ servers located in 94 countries.
ExpressVPN has made its home in the British Virgin Islands, where the government doesn’t require VPN providers to keep logs tracking their users’ online travels. That allows ExpressVPN to go sans activity logs.
Additional privacy protection is available in the subscription payment portion of our program for those who choose to pay using Bitcoin.
Hotspot Shield let you down when it came to Netflix access, but don’t hate all VPN providers. ExpressVPN is still able to offer you unfettered access to the streaming service.
The provider makes Netflix access a priority for their customers, responding quickly to customer complaints, adding new IP addresses when needed and delivering 24/7 live chat support gratification.
Also, ExpressVPN’s streaming-optimized connections, wide-ranging global server coverage and excellent privacy protections all add up to the best way to keep the lines open to Netflix.