Netflix started as a DVD-by-mail service that had a lot of people excited about the future of movies. Years later the company found an even better solution to delivering TV shows and films to our home TV: by streaming them through the internet. No stamps, no wait times, just instant access to all your favorite films.
The downside to running a worldwide service like Netflix is that the television and movie industries haven’t exactly kept pace with globalization. Region restrictions make it illegal to stream movies in certain countries before a specified time, forcing companies like Netflix to pull them from their virtual shelves if you happen to live in a particular area.
Geo-restricted content is frustrating for everyone, but Canada’s close proximity to the main source of blockbuster content makes it even more infuriating. A vast amount of content from the U.S. is blocked on Netflix in Canada due to region restrictions. Fortunately you don’t have to wait months or years for new films to cross the border. With the right VPN on your side, you can unblock Netflix in Canada and watch any movie from anywhere!
- 1 How to Choose the Best VPN
- 2 Best VPNs for Unblocking Netflix in Canada
- 3 How Netflix Blocks Access in Canada
- 4 Netflix Still Blocked? Try These Fixes
- 5 Conclusion
How to Choose the Best VPN
When you’re in the market for a new VPN, you suddenly find you’re overwhelmed with options. Hundreds of services are available, each one claiming the fastest speeds, the strongest security, and the best experience no matter what device you’re using. Researching each of these VPNs means wading through a tangle of information, most of which isn’t as reliable as it should be.
The good news is you don’t have to be an expert in network security to find the right VPN. We’ve done most of the research, all you have to do is check out our evaluation criteria and recommendations below, and you’re set.
Which is more important for unblocking Netflix in Canada: encryption strength or traffic logging policies? Both help secure your identity each time you go online, so when it comes down to it, both are just as important! We picked out the top criteria for evaluating the best VPNs and listed them below. Before you sign up with a VPN, go down this list and make sure your chosen service scores high in each category.
- Reputation – It’s tough to measure a VPN’s reputation, but it’s arguably the most important criteria on the list. A trustworthy service can keep you safe, but a shady service can destroy your privacy in an instant. Stick with reliable paid VPN services whenever possible.
- Netflix compatibility – Netflix has started blocking VPNs left and right, including some of the top services on the market. If you want reliable, stable access, you need a VPN that goes out of their way to sidestep Netflix’s VPN blockade.
- Security features – Privacy and security are both important when choosing a VPN. Strong encryption is crucial, as are features like automatic kill switches and DNS leak protection.
- Logging policy – VPNs can store logs of your online activity without your knowledge, just like an ISP. If you want to keep your data safe from third parties, always make sure your VPN has a strict zero-logging policy in as many areas as possible.
- Software availability – Want to use your VPN on your phone? Fire TV device? Xbox One? You need a VPN that offers just the right software for the job. If you can’t install the app on your device of choice, you won’t be able to take advantage of the VPN’s full capabilities.
- Network size – The more servers a VPN runs, the better your chances of landing a fast, low-latency connection anywhere in the world.
Best VPNs for Unblocking Netflix in Canada
Picking out a good VPN doesn’t have to be a hassle. Using the criteria above, we ranked some of the top VPN services to find the best one for unblocking Netflix in Canada. Each one offers full access to a wide range of servers, including locations in the U.S. for maximum movie availability.
1. ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN
ExpressVPN has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the fastest VPNs on the market. The company runs a network of hundreds of servers across 94 different countries, with dozens of locations in the U.S., Canada, and Europe alone. This ensures you’ll always have access to a fast connection in the region of your choice, unlocking just the right content without issue. And if your speed ever starts to lag behind, ExpressVPN offers a built-in speed test so you can find a faster server and connect without waiting.
For privacy, ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption on all data combined with a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. These thorough measures ensure your identity never leaves your device, giving you solid anonymity each time you go online. You also get to take advantage of DNS leak protection and automatic kill switch features on every device thanks to ExpressVPN’s excellent custom software.
Netflix access with ExpressVPN is simply superb. You can stream from a large number of servers in several different countries, both from the browser and from the apps. Just make sure you’re connected to ExpressVPN when you start Netflix, then let the binge watching begin.
2. NordVPN – Strong Protection
NordVPN makes it so you never have to worry about your privacy again. The service is stable, trustworthy, and reliable, and it deploys a massive network of over 3,300 servers in 59 different countries for optimal connection speeds around the world. This network also offers a number of features you won’t find with other VPNs, including double encryption and DDoS protection.
Speed is never an issue with NordVPN, and neither is privacy. The company has a strict zero-logging policy that covers bandwidth, traffic, time stamps, and DNS access, which is far more than most competitors even bother with. NordVPN also offers an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection features and 256-bit AES encryption to keep every packet of data locked down tight.
NordVPN’s wide variety of servers makes it one of the best VPNs to unblock Netflix in Canada. You can use it on any device to stream through the Netflix app, or settle in for some good old fashioned worldwide browser streams.
3. CyberGhost – Reliable Security
CyberGhost offers an incredible selection of online privacy features designed to keep you safe at all costs. It starts with solid 256-bit AES encryption, the industry standard for unbreakable cryptography, which pairs well with the company’s zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address. Both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch lock down your identity from the moment you connect, as well, letting you surf and stream without a care in the world.
CyberGhost also has an impressive network of servers on call and ready to connect to. Over 1,320 servers are online at any given time, covering 60 countries with dozens of locations in each area. CyberGhost has over 200 servers in the U.S. alone, meaning you can unlock Netflix and get top quality movie streams on both browser and app connections with just a couple of clicks.
How Netflix Blocks Access in Canada
Few things are more frustrating in life than running into the famous Netflix error page “Whoops, something went wrong…” Most of the time this means you’re trying to stream a video while sitting behind a VPN that Netflix has blocked. The company uses a few different methods to keep VPN users from streaming. Below we take a look at the most common one along with a few VPN-related workarounds you can try out.
IP Address Blocks
An IP address is a series of numbers assigned to every device the moment they connect to the internet. They serve a similar purpose as a mailing address. If you want to send a package to someone all you have to do is write their address on the box and it finds its way there. IP addresses work in much the same way, only the packages that get delivered are bits and pieces of data.
When you turn on your home computer it accesses your router first, then your modem to connect to the internet. The modem is reaches out to your local internet service provider and requests an IP address. This number is then used to direct traffic back to your device. Without it, you can’t do anything on the internet, as there would be no way to find you!
How Netflix Blocks VPNs
Netflix deploys some pretty simple measures to block VPNs. The company keeps a huge master list of all IP addresses associated with VPN services. When someone with a matching IP tries to connect, Netflix simply denies them access. The list is constantly updated when VPNs add new IP addresses, but it’s not instant, and it’s not quite perfect, either.
VPNs with a large number of constantly changing server locations are often able to slip through Netflix’s blockade without even trying. The company can’t keep up with the VPN’s shifting list of IP addresses, which means you can log on and connect without issue.
Netflix App vs Browser
There’s a slight catch with unblocking Netflix in any country. While the website uses IP addresses to search and forbid streaming access, Netflix deploys a more sophisticated DNS sniffer to find out if you’re accessing the service through the Netflix app while a VPN is active. These are much more difficult to get around, even with a reliable VPN.
The Netflix app includes any device that streams movies without using a web browser. Android and iOS devices are the most common platforms, but you can also install the app on gaming consoles or desktop operating systems like Windows and MacOS. Most users who encounter this app block simply switch to a browser like Firefox or Chrome and try accessing the movie again.
Netflix Still Blocked? Try These Fixes
Even with a good VPN, Netflix’s everlasting effort to block all proxy services from their streams can cut your movie night short without warning. If you do run into an unexpected blockade, here are some tips to get around it.
If you get a proxy streaming error from Netflix, you might be able to bypass it by switching servers. Keep your VPN connected but pick a different location in your desired country. Most services offer dozens of choices throughout each area they operate in, all you have to do is find one that Netflix hasn’t blocked yet. It’s seemingly random which servers work at any given time, and what works one day may not work the next. With a little patience you can land the right combination of region location and Netflix availability.
Switch to a Browser
If you’re trying to stream Netflix on a device using a dedicated app, you may encounter Netflix’s more sophisticated blocking mechanism. It’s practically impossible to get around, so if your VPN doesn’t work with the Netflix app, you could be out of luck. Try a different VPN service to see if that works, or simply switch to a web browser and reload the video.
Try Again Later
Netflix’s VPN blockade isn’t completely consistent. Non-working servers suddenly get through on occasion, and reliable connection stop functioning without warning. If you have a favorite server that’s located in the right country and gives you good streaming speeds, don’t give up on it entirely. Try loading Netflix again later and it might just make it through.
Canada’s selection of Netflix movies and TV shows is more robust than a lot of regions, but it’s still lacking a great deal of popular content. With the right VPN you can sidestep these geo-restriction issues and stream movies from around the world. Want U.S. films on Netflix in Canada? How about TV shows from the UK, Japan, or France? Not a problem!