If you’ve had your would-be Netflix binge foiled by the infamous proxy error, we feel your pain. Luckily, there’s a surprisingly easy way to bypass this common streaming error, and that’s to use a VPN. Today, we cover the top VPNs that still work with Netflix, allowing you to watch foreign content catalogues anywhere in the world.
Lots of Netflix users have encountered the Whoops, something went wrong… proxy error page and have no idea what is going on. Netflix explains that the streaming errors has to do with your connection and the fact that you’re “using an unblocker or proxy’. For most people this is mystifying. What exactly is an unblocker or proxy, and why doesn’t Netflix want me to use one? This error is often referring to the use a VPN, but that is not always the case.
In this article, we will explain all. We will detail exactly what Netflix means by an unblocker or proxy and why they won’t let you use them. We will also highlight which VPNs you can still use with Netflix without encountering this error and why these work so well. And we will also make some other suggestions of things you can try to get around this error and continue to enjoy streaming your favorite Netflix shows without interference, no matter where in the world you are.
What does Netflix mean by ‘Unblocker or proxy’?
When Netflix claims you are using an ‘unblocker or proxy’ it means you are diverting all of your internet traffic through a proxy server. This is a third-party server which sits between your device and the internet. It could be a VPN server or other proxy services available, such as Smart DNS — and the reason services like Netflix don’t like you using proxy servers is that they hide your real IP address.
Your IP address is a small bit of code which tells websites you visit where in the world your internet connection is. But when you send your internet data through a proxy server, your IP address is replaced by the IP address of that server. In this way, it is possible to fool services like Netflix into thinking you are based in a different country and so access services that wouldn’t normally be available to you; like accessing the US version of Netflix from somewhere in Europe for example.
Different types of Netflix Proxy
Essentially there are three different types of proxy services that you can use to unblock Netflix. Each of them has pros and cons, but the most popular and most effective for most Netflix users is a VPN. Before we look at VPNs in more detail, here is a little information on the other two options:
A proxy server is a simple server which you can reroute your internet traffic through before it reaches the Netflix site. A proxy server will change your IP Address, and many (but not all) are therefore able to access Netflix. However, there are some downsides to proxy servers. Many are free and run by volunteers. This means they can be unstable, unreliable, and sometimes even malicious. Many are also very slow and finding one which offers sufficient speeds to stream Netflix content can be difficult. There are paid-for private proxy services out there too. These are better, but for the price that you have to pay, they offer far fewer features than a VPN.
Smart DNS is a proxy service which is tailored for streaming online content. It essentially worked like a paired-back VPN or proxy. There is no encryption involved when using Smart DNS and it will also only redirect relevant traffic rather than all of your internet data. This tends to mean connection speeds are a bit faster than a VPN. But again, a good Smart DNS costs money and, for a similar price, you can sign up for a VPN which offers far more features. Some VPNs even come with a free Smart DNS service bundled in.
Why is a VPN best for accessing Netflix?
Both proxies and Smart DNS have their advocates, but most people agree that the best tool for accessing Netflix is a VPN. VPNs offer server networks around the world which act as a proxy. But importantly, they encrypt all of the data being sent between your device and the VPN server. This hides everything you do online from prying eyes, including your own ISP, and means details of what you are watching on Netflix, and which Netflix service you are connecting to, remains private.
Because a VPN encrypts your data, it can slow your internet connection down. But the best VPNs now offer super-fast servers which means any impact on speeds is almost negligible and certainly not sufficient to stop you streaming content on Netflix. And with the concerted effort to crack down on proxies and unblockers by Netflix, and their content providers, it is generally agreed that the extra security and privacy a VPNs encryption offers is well worth the investment.
How to make sure your VPN is right for the job
The reason the dreaded ‘Whoops, Something Went Wrong…’ proxy error comes up on Netflix is usually that you are using a VPN (or another proxy service) which Netflix has identified and blocked. This can happen to any VPN server at any time. However, while some VPN providers have given up finding ways around this, others have kept up the fight and continue to succeed in providing access to Netflix for their customers.
So, which VPN should you choose to unblock Netflix and get around the proxy error? You will need to find a VPN that fulfils the following criteria:
- A reputable VPN provider with a track record of unblocking geo-restricted content.
- Fast connection speeds suitable for streaming online video content
- Available to users anywhere in the world.
- Offer a great range of servers based in the USA (or whichever country you want to access Netflix in)
- Guarantees to enable user access to Netflix USA despite their VPN block
- Is also able to work with the Netflix app on Android and iOS mobile devices.
Best VPNs for beating the Netflix proxy error
On the basis of these criteria and our extensive testing, we have identified four VPNs which you should have no problem getting around the Netflix proxy error and accessing their service from anywhere in the world:
ExpressVPN is quite simply the best VPN on the market right now for unblocking Netflix. It offers super-fast connection speeds ideal for online streaming and combines them with strong encryption and excellent privacy protections too. Their network consists of servers in 3,000+ cities across 90 countries, including hundreds of US servers in places such as New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, and Seattle. While this whole network doesn’t work with Netflix at the same time, there are always plenty of servers which do and if you can’t find one, their helpful customer service team will always point you in the right direction. ExpressVPN can also get around the proxy error on the Netflix app for Android and iOS devices too making it the perfect VPN for streaming Netflix on every device.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
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- Reliable and fast connections
- Supports ALL devices
- No logging policy well enforced
- Live chat support available.
- Power-users configuration options.
NordVPN costs a little less than ExpressVPN, but still delivers a superb all-around service and is also capable of unblocking Netflix on any device. Like ExpressVPN, their encryption and privacy policies are above industry standard. There was a time when their connection speeds left a bit to be desired, but recent investment in new super-fast servers means they are now one of the fastest VPNs around, and perfect for streaming on Netflix. The NordVPN server network is huge, with 5,500 servers in 59 countries including 1,600 based in different locations across the United States. Their inbuilt SmartPlay technology is guaranteed to ensure that the Netflix Proxy error should be a thing of the past. And if you do encounter any issues, they also have a great customer support team to help.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer without breaking a sweat
- Most VPN servers with different IP addresses
- Strong security features
- “Double” data protection
- Great support (24/7 chat).
- Very little
- They can take 30 days to process refunds.
For those who are new to VPNs and perhaps a little wary of them, CyberGhost is probably the best choice to unblock Netflix. It is an easy and user-friendly VPN, with simple features anyone can use. Just open up their app on any device and select ‘Unblock Streaming Sites’. Choose a country and CyberGhost will do the rest. This ease-of-use doesn’t mean compromising in other areas either. CyberGhost also offers excellent security with 256-bit encryption, a no user logs policy, and great connection speeds. Their server network is another big one too, with 5,900 servers available in 90 countries, including 1,100+ in the USA. Not all of these will work with Netflix, but again their friendly help desk will point you towards one that does if you have any problems.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
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- Torrenting allowed
- Robust encryption standards
- Zero logs
- 24/7 Live Support.
- WebRTC IPv6 leak in macOS
- Doesn’t unblock all streaming services.
Private VPN’s focus on privacy and security makes them a great bet for unblocking Netflix. And the way they do it, which is unique amongst rival VPNs, brings guaranteed results. Their unique dynamic dedicated IP address system means every Private VPN customer is given a unique IP Address, which changes each time they connect. This makes it almost impossible for Netflix to identify that your connection comes via a VPN. The rest of their service is pretty good too, with 256-bit AES encryption as standard and a guaranteed no user logs promise thrown in too. They only offer 150 servers in 60+ countries at the moment, but there are still plenty of US-based servers to choose from. And because Private VPN deploys the same technique through their Android and iOS apps too, they should work with Netflix apps on any mobile device as well.
Why use a Proxy to access Netflix?
Netflix is proud to offer its service to almost every country on earth these days. But it is also working hard to ensure that users can only access the service for their home country. Why would you want to access a different version of Netflix? Quite simply, some country’s Netflix service offers a great deal more content than others. And some are much more reasonably priced too.
For example, if you have access to the US version of Netflix, you can enjoy up to 5,600 different titles for a price of $14 a month. However, if you are in the UK, the number of available titles drops to just over 2,900, but the cost is £9.99 (US$13.20). So, for just 80 cents more a month you can access almost 50% more titles. And for US subscribers, you might want to take an envious look at Japan, because they have 6,340 available titles on their Netflix service, and pay just ¥1,450 (US$12). And if saving money is your main motivation, then try Netflix Mexico, which is available at just over US$10 a month.
All of these prices are for the premium subscription rate but clearly illustrate the disparity which exists over different subscription rates. And while some people are motivated by a desire to save a few dollars, it is the wider range of content available in places like the USA and Japan which tempts many people into using a VPN or another proxy service to access Netflix.
What to do if you are still getting the Netflix proxy error?
Whether you choose one of our recommended VPNs or another proxy option, there is always a chance that the server you are connecting to might suddenly throw up the dreaded ‘Whoops, something went wrong error.’ It can happen at any time and without any warning and all it means is that Netflix has decided that the IP Address you are using belongs to a proxy and has, therefore, blocked it. If this happens halfway through an episode of your favorite show it can be extremely frustrating. But don’t worry, there are a few simple things to do to get around the problem:
Try a different server
If Netflix has found out the IP Address you are using belongs to a proxy, you just need to start using a new one. With a VPN, this is easy. Just switch to another server and try Netflix again. If that one brings up the same error message, try another. If you are using any of our recommended providers, it will only be a matter of time before you find one which works.
RELATED READING: How to get a static IP address to bypass VPN blacklists
Contact Customer Support
If you don’t have the patience to find a working server using trial and error, a quicker option might be to contact your VPNs customer support. Most VPNs offer live chat facilities on their websites which means you can get a response almost instantly. Even if you have to submit a ticket, most help desks are pretty fast these days and will respond within a few minutes. Just ask them to point you towards a server which can unblock Netflix in whichever country you are connecting to. Follow their advice and you will soon be streaming again.
Clear your cookies
Netflix may start throwing up the proxy error because some of the cookies on your browser are telling them your actual location. By clearing your browser’s cookies, you remove this possibility, and, in some cases, Netflix will start to work again.
Update geo-location data in your browser
Another possible cause of the error is that your browser might be leaking your actual geo-location to Netflix. We often tell browsers which country we are in to speed up performance, but if that data doesn’t match your IP Address, Netflix can spot something is wrong and decide you must be using a proxy. To fix this, try to avoid telling your browser where in the world you are. If you have already done this, most browsers will allow you to disable it again in the browser settings menu. Do this, and Netflix might start working again.
Fix a DNS leak
A DNS leak is when your device is leaking information which tells Netflix your actual location even when you are using a proxy. Most VPNs include DNS Leak Protection as standard these days. Certainly, all of our recommended providers do. But, others may not and certainly some proxy services can be more vulnerable to this problem. If you do have a DNS leak, you will need to fix it to get Netflix working again.
Sign up for a VPN which guarantees to unblock Netflix
If you haven’t already signed up for one of our recommended VPNs, are getting the Netflix proxy error, and none of the above is helping to fix it, it is probably time to sign up. All of the above VPNs pledge to unblock Netflix and, for the prices they charge, that represents a great value-for-money offer. So, if you are getting the proxy error, one of the best ways to get around it is to use a service which guarantees to be able to do just that. A VPN!
A Netflix proxy is a service which is able to unblock Netflix from different countries such as the USA. There are a number of different types of proxy you can use, but the most effective and most popular is a VPN. As we have explained, not every VPN is able to unblock Netflix, but we have given you a selection of our recommended VPNs which can do the job. We have also explained why it is in your interests to use a VPN to unblock Netflix. So, why delay? Sign up for one of our recommended VPNs today and start getting the most out of your Netflix subscription.
What is your experience of using a proxy to unblock Netflix? Do you agree that VPNs do the best job, or have you had a good experience with another type of proxy? Which of our recommended VPNs do you think does the best job of unblocking Netflix? We always welcome the thoughts and views of our readers, so why not share them with us using the comment box below?
If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. NordVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.