At a Glance
You’re on vacation, and you decide to take a break from sightseeing. You head to your hotel room, connect your iPad to the hotel Wi-Fi and prepare to stream your favorite TV show. You load up your shiny new VPN, StrongVPN, and tap the Netflix icon. And then:
“Oops, something went wrong…Netflix Streaming Error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”
But you thought a VPN opened up access to U.S. Netflix while you’re out of the country. What happened? StrongVPN doesn’t claim to offer access to Netflix, even though I’ll admit that now and then they’ve come through for me when I tried it just for the heck of it.
However, now and then isn’t good enough if you’re looking for a reliable way to view Netflix content from a region other than the one you’re currently in.
So, if you’re a StrongVPN user, what can you do?
StrongVPN not working with Netflix? Try this…
Switch to ExpressVPN (In my opinion, it’s the best 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. With speeds fast enough to watch Netflix in HD without the buffering.
ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.
Why Netflix Blocks a VPN Provider
In the early days of Netflix, using a VPN made for an efficient way to open access to Netflix content housed in other countries. However, since 2016, Netflix has kept ever-vigilant for VPN users attempting to access content from outside of their own region.
Netflix doesn’t do this out of spite (although I’m sure they have bad days, just as we all do). The streaming giant is required to block VPN users due to the contracts they have signed with the movie and television studios that supply the content they stream.
These agreements restrict the content to being streamed only to customers in specific regions. If Netflix allows VPN users from outside those regions to view the content, they could be sued. And no one enjoys dealing with entertainment industry lawyers, not even folks who are in the entertainment industry.
The Best Alternative When StrongVPN Fails
When you connect your computer or other internet-capable device to your VPN provider of choice, that server could be located almost anywhere in the world (depending on how comprehensive your VPN provider’s global server coverage is. More about that later).
When you connect to the server, your device is assigned a new IP address for use on the internet. This means that, despite your physical location being in Paris, Texas, you could appear to the rest of the internet to be connecting from Paris, France. This allows you to access content that may usually only be accessible from France.
When you connect to a VPN server, you don’t get the server all to yourself. Instead, you share it with a large group of other VPN subscribers. All of your connections are using the same IP address. (Don’t worry, the VPN server keeps track of who requests what, just like your Wi-Fi router does at home or in the office.)
Sharing an IP address is one of the ways a VPN provider protects you from online monitoring and attacks. However, this IP address-sharing can cause issues if you’re using the VPN to access Netflix content stored outside of your region.
If a large number of you and your fellow VPN users all attempt to connect to Netflix at the same time, it raises red flags at Netflix. When the streaming giant sees a large number of users from the same IP address connecting to their servers, they will then check to see if the IP address belongs to a VPN provider.
If it does, the chances are excellent that Netflix will block that particular IP address from accessing their servers. Users will then naturally complain to the VPN’s customer support department that the IP address no longer allows access to Netflix.
The VPN support agents look into the situation and see that Netflix has blocked the IP. That’s when the VPN network’s folks set up a new IP for use by their customers. This once again opens access to the content – at least until Netflix notices the new IP address and blocks access, starting the whole vicious cycle over again.
Many VPN providers have given up on offering access to Netflix content, as they just don’t have the resources to continue the battle to overcome Netflix’s blockades. Others, like StrongVPN, may provide access to Netflix, but not by design.
Luckily, there are VPN providers that are hanging in there, providing access to the streaming service. Some even have no limits on where they offer that access. Below, I provide information about the best of these providers.
Best VPN to Unblock Netflix
ExpressVPN provides what is arguably the best Netflix access available in the VPN industry today. The provider offers top-notch global server coverage, meaning it offers wide global access to Netflix. Plus, the service has shown a past willingness to replace any blocked IP addresses with fresh IPs quickly.
I will note that there have been times I’ve run into a VPN server where Netflix access was blocked, when it had previously overcome the blockade. However, a few quick clicks of the mouse and I was connected to a server that reopened access.
In addition to keeping access to Netflix open, ExpressVPN also offers a wide variety of information designed to aid you in optimizing your Netflix experience. They offer tips and tricks for using the service, a helpful FAQ and links to browser extensions to use with Netflix.
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 you have reliable access to your favorite streaming content, you don’t want to wait forever for the entertainment to begin. That goes the same for any files you’re downloading, such as new in-game content or torrented files.
That’s why ExpressVPN’s fast connection speeds are so handy. Even 4K UHD content takes only a few seconds to start playing. Plus, file downloading takes a fraction as long as what I’ve observed while connected to other VPN providers.
Netflix is available on every popular desktop, mobile, gaming and streaming platform. Netflix compatibility is a must-have for any platform that expects the support of movie fans.
There is an excellent chance that ExpressVPN has you covered, no matter which platform(s) you use. The service has native apps on hand for macOS, Windows, Android and iOS devices. In addition, browser extensions for the Safari, Chrome and Firefox platforms are also available.
If your entertainment platform of choice is an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Apple TV or any similar set-top device, you can make use of ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer service. However, keep in mind that while MediaStreamer opens up access to blocked content, it does not keep your online activities undercover, like their VPN does.
ExpressVPN is rather stingy when it comes to the number of devices you can use to simultaneously connect to the service, limiting it to 3. Luckily, the provider is compatible with a large number of makes and models of wireless routers, allowing a single login to protect all of your devices. (Pre-configured routers are available through FlashRouters.com.)
Make no mistake, ExpressVPN is not cheap. However, I firmly believe that you’ll find that service that this provider delivers is well worth the few extra dollars you’ll be paying each month.
Since we’re on the subject, expect to pay $12.95 per month for the monthly payment plan. You’ll see that fee drop to $8.32 per month ($99.95 paid annually) for the annual plan. There’s also a 6-month subscription option, which is $9.99 per month ($59.95 every 6 months).
If you visit the ExpressVPN website by clicking the link at the end of this article, you’ll get 3 free months extra added to your annual subscription.
A 30-day money-back guarantee is available, so there’s no risk.
For more information, visit the ExpressVPN website.
While I will always wish my readers fast and well-encrypted connections, I realize this won’t always be the case, and occasionally you’ll need to contact your VPN provider’s customer support department. That’s one of the reasons that I’m such a fan of ExpressVPN.
This provider offers support around the clock, with 24/7 live support text chat, a trouble ticket tracking system, email support and a searchable knowledge base.
Whenever I have had an issue with my account or with connecting, the ExpressVPN support team has always been at the ready, helping me solve any issues I have.
Global Server Coverage
A VPN owes much of its content-unblocking power to its global server coverage. The more countries where the provider has servers, the better the chance it can unblock Netflix in your favorite region. ExpressVPN has 2,000+ servers, spread out among 94 countries around the globe.
ExpressVPN provides some of the best privacy protections in the VPN industry.
The provider is located in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, where the government does not require VPNs or ISPs to keep any logs related to their customers’ online travels. ExpressVPN takes full advantage of that lack of oversight, following a strict no-logs policy.
Protection for your payment information is also readily available thanks to a Bitcoin cryptocurrency payment option.
ExpressVPN Is the Best VPN for Netflix
If you’re a Netflix customer, you’ll do well to select ExpressVPN as your VPN provider of choice. The provider does an excellent job of opening up access to Netflix content from around the globe. Its fast connection speeds mean you’ll never suffer an extended delay before enjoying the latest episode of the current object of your bingeing passion.
The provider does an excellent job of protecting their customers’ privacy and does an equally excellent job of supporting customers when they need it.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.
“Watching Netflix” by Stock Catalog licensed under CC BY 2.0