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 American Netflix streaming treasure trove. Sadly, along about season 4, episode 7 of Shameless, you’re told you no longer have access when using Hotspot Shield.
Ugh! What now?
Hotspot Shield not working with Netflix? Try this...
Switch to NordVPN (which I think is the best VPN provider for watching Netflix).
I’ve tested a lot of VPNs, and I find NordVPN reliably works to unblock Netflix in numerous countries. Its speeds are considerable, so you can binge in HD or 4K without the buffering.
NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
How and Why Netflix Blacklists a VPN or Smart DNS
While it may seem like it sometimes, Netflix doesn’t prevent 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 movie 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. (How shameful!)
Netflix has become quite good at detecting when a VPN is being used to access its streaming servers. When they identify them, they blacklist 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 access Netflix, but when Netflix turns away their customers, they’re slow to respond – except for one.
When they find they no longer have access, VPN users 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 blacklist 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 access 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 prowess.
Best Blocked-Netflix Workaround: NordVPN
NordVPN 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 content unlocking 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.
NordVPN 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 NordVPN, click here.
Fast Connection Speeds
NordVPN’s connection speeds can easily handle even the wildest Netflix binging session. They consistently ranked with some of the fastest speeds of any VPN provider I’ve ever tested. 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” caveat applies here, but NordVPN should easily be able to keep up with your Netflix-bingeing requirements.
Since Netflix is available on pretty much every internet-connected device available today, well-rounded multi-platform support from a VPN provider is a must.
NordVPN offers native apps for the macOS (including native M1/M2 Mac support), Chromebook, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, Amazon Fire, and Android TV device platforms. There are browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox, and above-average router support.
NordVPN also offers a SmartDNS service, which allows VPN-incompatible devices, such as gaming consoles and some set-top boxes, to connect to international streaming content. However, it doesn’t encrypt your connection like the VPN service does.
Up to 6 devices can connect simultaneously to NordVPN’s servers on one account.
NordVPN offers its service at a surprisingly low price, enabling you to enjoy all of its benefits without taking too much out of your wallet.
The provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you have an issue connecting to Netflix or have any other VPN-related problem, NordVPN is quick to react. They offer a support center that includes 24/7 live chat with a support agent, as well as email support and a searchable support library.
This provider has always proved to be quite responsive to any issues I’ve experienced.
Global Server Coverage
NordVPN’s global server coverage is better than most, with 5,600+ servers located in 60 countries. This network provides reliable access to geo-fenced content around the globe.
Privacy and Security
NordVPN has made its home in Panama, where the government doesn’t require VPN providers to keep logs tracking their users’ online travels. That allows NordVPN 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.
For added privacy, NordVPN’s owned-and-operated servers keep outsiders away from your personal info. Plus, all NordVPN servers are run 100% from RAM, saving no data at all to a physical hard drive. That means that each time a VPN server is restarted or shut down, all data is completely wiped.
Your online travels are kept undercover by military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and DNS/IP leak protection.
Hotspot Shield may have let you down when it came to Netflix access, but don’t hate on all VPN providers. NordVPN 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, NordVPN’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.