Using Netflix with a VPN is a must if you want to get the most out of it. Otherwise, you have to settle for a limited selection of content since geo-blocks will stop you from watching everything you want.
Pretty much everyone will tell you that using a Netflix VPN will help you unblock more content. But here’s one thing you don’t see many people talking about – what are the do’s and don’ts of using a VPN with Netflix?
Like are there any rules you need to follow to have an enjoyable streaming experience?
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about that in this article. So, here’s what you should do and not do to have fun while using a Netflix VPN:
Don’t Use a Free VPN
Let’s start with the first thing that might come to mind – free VPNs. You’re probably thinking about using one because, well, it’s free. So, it’s definitely a convenient way to unblock Netflix.
Here’s why you shouldn’t do that – free VPNs can’t really unblock Netflix. The best they can do is give you intermittent access to the site. Most of the time, you’ll just end up on this page:
That right there is the Netflix proxy error. If you see it, it means Netflix detected and blacklisted your VPN’s IP address. With free VPNs, that happens very often.
Because the providers don’t exactly have a sustainable business model. Without steady revenue, they can’t continuously refresh their servers’ IPs. And if they don’t do that, Netflix will eventually detect them.
Even if you’re okay with intermittent access, free VPNs are still not worth it. Here are five good reasons why:
- Their speeds are pretty bad. They’re either slow to begin with, or you experience slowdowns because all the servers are overcrowded.
- Most free VPNs use bandwidth caps, meaning you have to constantly check your data usage before letting the Next episode or movie play.
- The apps are usually pretty buggy.
- The apps also spam you with annoying ads.
- If you encounter issues, you’re basically on your own since there’s rarely any (good) 24/7 support.
Do Use StreamCatcher to Find a Good Netflix VPN
It’s not just free VPNs that have a hard time unblocking Netflix. Even paid services experience issues. Netflix is just that good at detecting and blocking VPNs.
To find a VPN that actually works with Netflix, we recommend using StreamCatcher from ProPrivacy.
It’s an online service that tells you where Netflix titles are available, and also shows you which VPNs are currently working well with the site. Click here to find out which providers are a good pick right now.
The recommendations are backed by ProPrivacy’s data, and they’re one of the biggest VPN review sites on the web. They also stress-test the VPNs they review to be 110% sure they unblock Netflix. So, you know the suggestions are legit.
Do Use a Nearby Server
If you use a server that’s too far away, your speeds will be slower. After all, it will take longer for data packets to travel between the VPN app on your device and the server you’re connecting to.
Obviously, you’re limited to using servers in countries where the show or movie you want to watch is available. So here’s what you should keep in mind:
- If the title is available in multiple countries, connect to a server in the closest region. If you’re from Spain and want to unblock a show that’s available in Romania, Thailand, and Japan, use a Romanian server.
- If the title is only available in one country, see if you can use a server in a city close to your geo-location. For example, if you’re in the UK and want to unblock a US-only title, use a US server on the East Coast, not the West Coast.
Do Use a Lightweight Protocol
OpenVPN is an excellent VPN protocol, but its speeds aren’t very ideal for Netflix. It’s just too resource-intensive, only uses one CPU, and has tons of extensions. All of that contributes to the slowdown you’ll experience.
Instead, you should binge Netflix using speedier options – like WireGuard, L2TP/IPSec, and IKEv2. But don’t use PPTP. While it’s fast, it’s not secure at all.
What if OpenVPN is your only option, though?
In that case, make it run over UDP. It’ll be much faster than if it were to use TCP.
Do Use Wired Connections
VPN speeds are usually slower over WiFi if you have a weak signal. You’ll get a smoother experience if you use Netflix with a VPN over wired connections.
If that’s not possible, try bringing the device as close to the router as you can. Or just get a range extender (like these ones from TP-Link).
Don’t Worry About Getting Banned
People often worry that they’ll lose their Netflix accounts if the site catches them using a VPN.
You can relax – that won’t happen. We never heard of anyone getting a ban for something like this. Worst case scenario, you’ll just see the Netflix proxy error.
Don’t Use Double/Mutlihop VPN Connections
A double or multihop VPN is when you chain two or more VPN servers. Basically, instead of this:
Your Device – VPN Server – Netflix
Your connection will look like this:
Your Device – VPN Server 1 -VPN Server 2 – Netflix
Double and multihop VPNs are ideal when you need extra privacy.
But they’re not good for streaming. Since your traffic bounces through multiple servers and gets encrypted/decrypted multiple times, your speeds will be much slower.
What Other Do’s and Don’ts Should We Add to the List?
If you know other “rules” about using Netflix with VPNs, please let us know in the comments below.
Also, if you found the information in this article helpful, please share it with anyone who you think might find it helpful.