At a Glance
It’s a cold winter’s night (or it could be a hot summer night, depending on where you’re located). You grab a warm drink, cuddle up to the dog for warmth, turn on your laptop or tablet, load your Ivacy VPN app and settle in for a nice Netflix bingeing session. However, the only thing you see on your screen is:
“Whoops, something went wrong…Streaming Error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”
Dadgummit! It worked yesterday!
More and more, VPN users are finding that their favorite VPN provider can no longer reliably unblock geographically-blocked Netflix content from other regions.
VPN provider Ivacy was one of the most reliable ways to access Netflix’s long list of content from outside a country’s borders. But lately, it lacks the Netflix access that some other providers can offer to binge-happy viewers.
So, if you’re an Ivacy user, what are your options?
Ivacy not working with Netflix? Try this...
Switch to ExpressVPN (which I think is the best VPN provider for unblocking Netflix).
I’ve tested various VPNs and I find ExpressVPN reliably unblocks Netflix US, UK, AUS, CA, IT, FR, DE, JP, and others. It’s extremely fast, so you can watch in HD without the buffering.
ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
Why Netflix Blocks a VPN Provider
Sure, a VPN was the best way to access Netflix content from other countries – four or five years ago. Unfortunately, since early 2016, Netflix has conducted a vigorous campaign designed to block VPN users from accessing the streaming content from outside their designated areas.
It should be noted that Netflix doesn’t block VPN users out of spite. Instead, the streaming provider is required to do so. Their agreements with movie and television studios (the companies that supply the content you view) require them to restrict access to the materials to specific regions.
Sadly, this means that the content you love to binge on while in the United States might not be available to you if you visit France or some other foreign land.
Many VPN providers have been forced to stop offering access to Netflix content outside of a viewer’s usual region, as they simply don’t have the resources to continue to overcome Netflix’s blockades.
The Best Alternative When Ivacy Fails
When a user is connected to a VPN service, they are connected to one of the provider’s servers, along with a large number of other users. When they connect, they receive a new IP address, which makes their location appear to be that of the VPN server. For instance, while they may actually be in Chicago, but they can appear to be located in Paris, France.
All of the users connected to a particular server will receive the same IP address as all of the other users. This makes it appear that all of those users are connecting from the same location. While this provides an extra layer of security, it can also cause issues when connecting to Netflix.
If multiple VPN users on the same server are attempting to access Netflix, it makes it easier for the streaming service to detect that those users are indeed using a VPN.
Once Netflix confirms a VPN service owns the IP address, they block that IP address from being able to access the service, thereby preventing the users from viewing their content.
When Netflix blocks an IP address, a VPN customer will discover that they can no longer access their favorite bingeing materials. Naturally, they complain to the VPN’s customer support department. (Or, at least, I know I would complain.)
When the VPN support agents confirm a server’s IP address is indeed blocked, they then set up a new batch of IP addresses for use by their servers. This once again enables access to Netflix – at least until Netflix discovers the new addresses, and the virtual game of whack-a-mole begins anew.
It takes a lot of resources to hang in there and compete with Netflix in this game of back-and-forth. Many VPN providers simply don’t have deep enough pockets to continually set up new IP addresses when Netflix shuts an old one out.
Some VPN providers, like Ivacy, continue to offer Netflix access to their customers, but they may only offer access to a limited number of regions. (Ivacy limits their Netflix access to U.S. streams, making them worthless if you’re looking for access to Netflix content in another country.)
Luckily, not all providers have thrown in the towel or put limits on their Netflix access. In the upcoming section, I will provide information about the best of these VPN providers.
Best Blocked-Netflix Workaround
ExpressVPN continues to offer what is arguably the best access to Netflix content of any of the VPNs that I have tested. I have used the provider for a few years now and have found it to be my most reliable option for accessing Netflix content, no matter where I’m located.
The provider offers Netflix access in numerous areas of the world, creating new IP addresses whenever Netflix blocks previous IPs. While you may occasionally run into an IP address that the streaming giant has blocked, attempting access via a different server by disconnecting and reconnecting will prove fruitful.
In addition to keeping the lines to Netflix wide open, ExpressVPN also offers a plethora of helpful information to aid you in optimizing your Netflix experience. The information includes tips and tricks for using the service, a helpful FAQ and links to browser extensions for use with the streaming service.
The provider also offers 24/7 live support chat, connections optimized for streaming, top-notch global server coverage, app support for popular desktop and mobile devices, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Once your favorite content is unblocked, you’re not going to want to wait for an extended period of time while the content buffers enough to begin playing.
ExpressVPN provides excellent connection speeds, meaning even 4K content will begin streaming in only a few seconds (depending on your usual connection speeds, so your mileage may vary).
Netflix is available on nearly every connected device, be it your computer, mobile device, game console or streaming device. (Note to self: Check to see if the new Samsung internet-connected refrigerators offer Netflix.)
ExpressVPN has you covered on most platforms, with native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices. In addition, they also offer extensions for the Safari, Chrome and Firefox browser platforms. Extensive router support protects all of your connected devices, even those on platforms with no native app support.
If you use a game console or set-top streaming box, you can access Netflix content from other regions by using ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer service. However, be advised that MediaStreamer does not offer encrypted protection for your connection.
The provider has a limit of 3 simultaneous connections to the service on the same login. However, it also offers compatibility with numerous makes and models of wireless routers, including Asus, Linksys, D-Link and others. This allows all of your connected devices to use a single login to connect. Pre-configured routers can be purchased from FlashRouters.com.
While ExpressVPN will never be lauded as a low-price leader in the VPN industry, I believe the provider offers an excellent level of service for the amount they ask.
If you opt to pay monthly, you’ll see $12.95 taken from your bank account each month. A 6-month or a 12-month subscription will cost you $9.99 per month ($59.95 every 6 months) or $8.32 per month ($99.95 paid annually), respectively.
By the way, If you click the link below to visit the ExpressVPN site and choose the annual subscription, you’ll get 3 free months tacked onto your subscription.
A 30-day money-back guarantee means you’ll have a reasonable period of time to try the provider and make sure it’s the right one for you.
For more information, visit the ExpressVPN website.
I assure you that I would never wish any type of technical issues on my readers. However, stuff happens, and it is likely that whichever VPN provider you select, you may experience issues using their service.
ExpressVPN’s customer service is among the best in the business. The provider offers 24/7 online support chat, as well as email support, a trouble ticket submission form and an easy-to-search support library.
I’ve always experienced satisfactory results when I sent support inquiries to the provider. I received fast and well-informed replies, and when I was in a do-it-myself mood, I was able to quickly find resolutions for my issues in the ExpressVPN support library.
Global Server Coverage
A VPN is an excellent tool for opening access to previously blocked streaming and gaming content. ExpressVPN has over 2,000 servers located in 94 countries, providing superior unlocking power for Netflix and other types of streaming content.
ExpressVPN’s privacy protection is second to none. The provider, based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, keeps absolutely no logs of their customers’ online antics.
In addition, the provider offers Bitcoin as a privacy-protecting subscription payment option, ensuring that your privacy is protected all-around.
The VPN for Netflix
ExpressVPN is my pick for the best VPN to unblock access to Netflix in other regions when Ivacy lets you down. The provider consistently offers an excellent ability to unblock Netflix, and it reacts quickly when Netflix blocks any of its IP addresses.
The provider offers top-notch connection speeds, excellent global server coverage, and superior customer support and privacy protections.
While I won’t claim that I’ve never had to try a different VPN server when attempting to view Netflix content originating in another country, I will note that I’ve always been able to quickly find a server that worked to open up access.
As mentioned before, VPNs offering Netflix access are engaged in a virtual game of hide and seek, and access can vary from day to day. But for now, ExpressVPN continues to provide reliable access to U.S. Netflix content when you’re outside of U.S. borders.
Visit ExpressVPN for more information or to purchase a subscription.