Netflix is one of the hottest streaming services in the world, with millions of users around the globe who use the platform to watch TV shows and movies. Netflix is notably popular in the UK, where most people do not have a cable subscription and so have limited options for channels available on their TVs. However, access to the UK’s exclusive library is as limited for UK citizens traveling abroad as it is for foreign nationals.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty tricky to watch Netflix content from other regions, even if you have a VPN, due to the VPN restrictions that Netflix has in place. However, there are VPNs that do work with Netflix. So today we’re going to talk about the best VPNs for Netflix UK and explain how to unblock Netflix UK and watch it from anywhere.
- 1 How To Use A VPN To Watch UK Netflix
- 2 Netflix’s VPN Blocking And How To Get Around It
- 3 How We Choose A VPN To Recommend
- 4 VPNs Confirmed To Work With Netflix
- 5 Conclusion
How To Use A VPN To Watch UK Netflix
For a long time, if you had a Netflix UK account, it was fairly easy to watch Netflix content from other regions. All you needed was a VPN, which would let you connect to a server in another country. Then all of your web traffic would be encrypted and routed to that server where it would be decrypted and sent on to its original destination. Using the internet with a VPN is just the same as using it over an unencrypted connection, except that your traffic would be secured and would appear to originate from wherever the server was located rather than your actual physical location.
That meant that if you went on holiday in Spain, the USA, or even as far away as Singapore, all you had to do was use your VPN to connect to a server in the UK, and then go to Netflix in your browser. You’d then see the UK version of the site and be able to stream any of the UK-only content that you wanted to watch. Even better, you could use this same trick to access Netflix content from other countries too, like the amazing catalogue of anime that is available on Netflix Japan.
Unfortunately though, in the last couple of years Netflix has started to crack down on VPN use. They have attempted to stop anyone from being able to use a VPN to access content from other regions, due to licensing issues they have with their content providers. This means that many VPNs no longer work with Netflix, and if you try to visit the Netflix site to stream a video while you are connected to a VPN, you’ll get an error message saying that the content is not available and instructing you to turn off your VPN. Because of this, some users have turned to alternatives to Netflix, but many still want to be able to use Netflix and to get around regional restrictions.
Netflix’s VPN Blocking And How To Get Around It
You might be wondering how exactly Netflix’s VPN blocking works. In truth, no one outside of Netflix knows exactly what methods they use to detect VPN use, as these are a closely guarded secret that Netflix wants to avoid people being able to get around. However, it is known what some typical VPN blocking techniques are. Sites which block VPNs do so by using special VPN detection software which analyses incoming connections to the site. If the connection appears to be coming from a VPN server, then the connection is refused and the user cannot load the content that they want to see. This is when the user will get the hated error message: “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.”
How VPN Detection Software Works
In order to be able to use a VPN with Netflix effectively, it helps to understand how VPN detection software determines whether any given incoming connection is from a VPN or not. This works the same whether you are watching Netflix through your web browser or through other software such as the Kodi media centre.
Blacklisting IP Addresses Known To Be Used By VPNs
One method that is commonly use for VPN detection is to block of whole ranges of IP addresses which are thought to be used by VPNs. Because VPN providers often buy up tens or even hundreds of IP addresses within a given region, they often buy these addresses in a similar range. If Netflix discovers that a particular IP address is used by a VPN provider, they can choose to block off other IP addresses which are numerically close to it. This is effective at blocking many VPN connections, but it can also be a problem for non-VPN users: if your IP address happens to fall into a range which is incorrectly believed to be used by VPNs then you won’t be able to use the service, even if you don’t have a VPN turned on!
Another common way that VPN use is detected is through shared IP addresses. Most VPN users connect to a shared IP address, meaning that there can be tens or hundreds of different VPN users on the same IP address. This helps to protect anonymity, as it makes it harder to connect any internet activity with one specific person. However, it means that a site like Netflix can see that many people are accessing the site from the same IP address, meaning that it’s likely that they are using a VPN. Netflix then blocks the connection from that IP address, so all the VPN users can’t access the Netflix service any more.
Some VPNs Still Work!
As you can see, it’s tough to get around the Netflix VPN block as the site has got very good at detecting VPN use. However, there are still some VPN providers which have been found to work with Netflix. These providers use different methods like special servers which are set up just for Netflix access in order to get around the VPN block. Read on for our recommendations of the best VPNs that work to unblock Netflix.
How We Choose A VPN To Recommend
When we choose a VPN provider for recommendation that you can use to unblock Netflix UK, we work off the following most important factors:
- Works with Netflix. Most importantly, we look for VPN providers that are known to work with Netflix. The Netflix VPN detection is constantly evolving, so sometimes some of the servers from these providers might be blocked by Netflix. But switching to another server usually fixes the problem, and these providers have a history of responding swiftly to Netflix blocks by setting up new and better servers.
- A large number of servers in the UK. If you want to access Netflix UK, then you need to connect to a server in the UK. We look for VPN providers with plenty of servers in the UK, and in other countries so that you can unblock content from different countries as well.
- Fast connections. When you’re streaming high definition video on Netflix, you need a fast VPN connection so that you don’t have to put up with buffering or lag on your video.
- Support for different operating systems. When you purchase a VPN subscription, you can use that one subscription to protect all of your internet connected devices as well as using it to unblock Netflix. We look for VPN providers that support many different operating systems so that you can install the software onto all of your devices. Some VPN providers also offer browser extensions which are handy for Netflix users.
- Strong security. A VPN should keep you safe as well as letting you unblock websites. We look for excellent security, such as the use of strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy to protect your privacy.
VPNs Confirmed To Work With Netflix
Taking these factors into consideration, here are our recommendations for the best VPNs to use to unblock Netflix UK and watch it from anywhere:
ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPNs among serious internet users due to its strengths in speed, security, and flexibility. It has super fast connections which are ideal for streaming, plus strong security with 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy. The server network is one of the biggest of any VPN provider, with with over 1500 servers in 145 different locations in 94 countries including the UK, so you’ll be able to unblock UK content and watch it from anywhere. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Linux, plus some games consoles and modems.
- Unblocks US Netflix
- Super fast servers (minimal speed loss)
- Very simple and easy to use
- No logging policy well enforced
- Customer Service (24/7 Chat).
- Slightly more expensive than some other options.
ExpressVPN is one of the most reliable VPNs for use with Netflix, but as a popular VPN service it does occasionally get blocked. If that happens, you can always contact support and they can advise you on which server to connect to in order to watch Netflix. There’s also a handy guide on their website to using Netflix with a VPN.
When your focus is on security as well as accessing Netflix content from other regions, then you should try NordVPN. The key security features offered include the standard strong 256-bit encryption and no logging policy, but in addition it has a killer security feature called double encryption. This works by encrypting your data and sending it to one server, then encrypting the data again and sending it to yet another server for decryption. This means that the security is top notch and is essentially completely impossible to crack.
The connections are not the fastest in the world, but they are fast enough to stream video, and the server network has more than 3300 servers in 59 countries including the UK, so you can use it to watch Netflix UK. The NordVPN software can be installed on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, and Windows Phone, and extensions are available for the Chrome and Firefox web browsers.
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- Mind-boggling number of servers
- No IP/DNS leaks found
- Extra-secure Double VPN for data encryption
- Great customer service via chat.
- Some servers can have average d/l speeds
- Sometimes slow in procesing refunds (but always do).
Another advantage of NordVPN is that in our testing we have found it to be the most reliable in terms of accessing content which blocks other VPN providers. This includes Netflix, and there is even a guide available online with specific numbers for servers which are certain to work with Netflix in various countries, including the UK.
There’s another situation where many VPNs don’t work, and that’s in countries with very strict internet censorship like China. If you’re looking for a VPN that you can use in these places as well as for unblocking Netflix, then a great choice is VyprVPN. This service has the good security we look for with 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, plus an additional essential feature called the Chameleon protocol. This protocol works by encrypting both your data and your metadata. The metadata contains information about the data, such as its origin and destination, and is often used in VPN detection. A network will check whether the origin in the metadata matches the apparent origin of the data, and block the connection if it does not. This means that most VPNs don’t work with this sort of blocking – but because VyprVPN encrypts the metadata too, it can’t be read and no mismatch is detected, so the VPN works even on these blocked networks.
As well as its excellent security and flexibility, VyprVPN has connects fast enough for video streaming and a reasonably large server network of more than 700 servers in 70 different countries including the UK. The software is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
While not every US server will do the trick for allowing you to access American content, VyprVPN overall works well with Netflix. For more information about using their VPN with Netflix take a look at their guide.
Netflix users who want to access content from other regions, such as the content on Netflix UK, will have problems using many VPNs. Netflix’s VPN detection is now so good that most VPN connections will be blocked and will not allow you to stream content from other regions. However, there are still a few VPNs that work with Netflix, thanks to their use of special servers and their dedication to setting up new servers when the old ones stop working. We have recommended three of our top VPN providers that are the best VPNs that you can use to unblock Netflix UK and watch it from anywhere.
Which VPN provider do you use with Netflix, and what has your experience been like? Let us know in the comments below.