Who doesn’t love Netflix? The service hosts tons of films and series for all audiences and ages. Netflix also makes its own content, which started with The House of Cards released in 2013.
This year Netflix even got its original programming nominated for Oscars. The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Mank aim for the Best Picture, while other titles have various nominations from Cinematography to Costume Design.
At the same time, the service isn't perfect. Many titles are geo-restricted, meaning you can watch them only in particular countries.
One example is Twin Peaks, which is available only for American subscribers.
But why is it like that, and how can a VPN help bypass Netflix location restrictions? And what's more important, why can't you trust any VPN to help you access other countries' Netflix? We'll answer all these questions below.
There are two main reasons for that.
The first is the interests of the country's viewers. All cultures are different, and often their sense of humor isn't the same.
A British comedy can be a hit in the UK, while people in other countries may have difficulty understanding it. Netflix tries to put the suitable content for suitable audiences. Taking the example of the British TV shows, you can watch Mr. Bean and Only Fools and Horses only in the UK, Ireland, and the Isle of Man, but not anywhere else.
The second and more significant reason is the copyright agreements between Netflix and the studios that produce content.
In the USA the market of video-on-demand streaming is more developed than in any other region. There are many streaming services, and most of them are backed up by big movie studios. Disney owns Disney+; Warner Bros has HBO Max, etc. Of course, they don't want their content to be streaming on platforms other than their own. For example, all Warner Bros blockbusters like Zack Snyder's Justice League and Godzilla vs. Kong are streaming exclusively on HBO Max.
Sometimes the companies can even pull out a title from Netflix. That's what happened to The Office. The show left the US library in early 2021. To watch all its seasons in the USA, you'll need to subscribe to Peacock Premium.
Before we go into that, let's see how VPNs bypass Netflix's geo-restrictions. A viewer's Netflix library depends on their IP address, as it shows where the user lives. So for example, if your IP is from Ireland, you'll have Irish Netflix. If your IP changes from Ireland to the UK, your Netflix library will change too — and you'll be able to watch all the UK-only titles.
Replacing the IP address is the best way to access new Netflix libraries. And VPNs rock this. Due to VPN tunneling, a technology that sends data through a server in another country, VPNs help users mask their IP address by assigning them with the server's IP.
Sounds easy, isn't it? Get a VPN, change your location to the USA, and voila! Your Netflix library is now American. Sadly, it's not that simple. You can't trust any VPN to help you access other countries' libraries. The thing is, Netflix knows about VPNs and doesn't want the viewers to use them. There are many agreements with other companies that don't allow streaming shows and films in regions where Netflix isn't licensed to distribute them.
Well, they have a database of IP addresses associated with VPNs. As most free and unreliable VPNs use the same IPs for multiple viewers, it's evident to Netflix that an overused IP address belongs to a VPN. When they spot a viewer with an IP from a VPN, they will send them the "You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy" error.
Subscription-based VPNs have more resources to run quality servers, which lets them have many users watching Netflix without any problems. They don't assign multiple users to one IP and often check their servers for working with Netflix.
In most cases, the answer is no. It's not against the law to watch Netflix with a VPN, as long as you live in a country where VPNs themselves are allowed. Most countries have no limitations on this, but in Iraq, Belarus, North Korea, and Turkmenistan, VPNs are illegal. In many other states, VPNs are not unlawful but strictly controlled by the government, like in China, Iran, and others.
As now you know everything about the Netflix-VPN relationships, let's see what the total must-haves for your Netflix VPN to finally binge-watch Twin Peaks (if you live outside the USA) or Rick and Morty (if you're American) are:
Split tunneling 📊 To put it simply, split tunneling is a VPN feature that allows only some parts of your web traffic to go through a VPN. This way, only your interactions with Netflix have the American IP (if you want to access Netflix USA), while all others maintain your original IP address. It improves your internet speeds and lets you access more than one network at the same time. So you can quickly google something and get your local results while streaming USA Netflix with a VPN.
OpenVPN & WireGuard protocols 📡 We covered these guys more thoroughly in this article. Here's a quick recap. They are VPN protocols that deliver your data to the VPN server. OpenVPN is privacy-first, while its speeds might be slower. WireGuard puts speed first, while your privacy might be less protected. When going after complete privacy, OpenVPN is the way to go. When binge-watching Netflix, WireGuard is the best choice. A good VPN masters both protocols and adapts them to your needs accordingly.
Servers in countries with best Netflix libraries 🌍 As Netflix libraries vary, it's best to have access to the servers in countries with the best content. Australia, UK, the USA, Canada, and India have some of the most extensive Netflix libraries with quality content. Spanish Netflix has slightly less but features lots of exclusives, including some highly-anticipated anime titles.
24/7 Customer Support 📞 When signing up for a VPN service, it's essential to be able to reach for support if something goes wrong. No software is perfect, and issues can happen even with the best VPN services. Look for a VPN that has a support team working 24/7 that's ready to help you anytime.
Undetectable servers 🥷 As we've mentioned before, Netflix can detect VPNs that use the same IP address for many users. When choosing a VPN for Netflix, omit free services that do this frequently and those from companies with little or no authority on the market.
Different devices support 💻📱🖥 Netflix is cross-platform. Your Netflix VPN should also be. Look for ones that support major platforms like Mac, Windows, Android, and iPhone. Another great benefit is the number of devices you can connect to a VPN with a single account. This way, your family members will be able to watch other countries' Netflix too.
Refund guarantee 💸 Yep, it's also crucial for a Netflix VPN. It's always better to be able to get your money back in case your VPN doesn't unlock other countries' Netflix libraries as it was supposed to.
When looking for a VPN for Netflix, pay attention to ones that have split tunneling, support OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols and maintain undetectable servers in countries with the best Netflix libraries. Other important things to look out for our 24/7 customer support and a refund guarantee. Also, your Netflix VPN should allow connecting multiple devices per one account and, of course, be multi-platform.