If you have tried shopping for a VPN then you probably noticed one thing. They all claim to be able to successfully unblock Netflix and the other streaming services. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
But to be fair it’s not always a deliberate move to fool you. It could be that the VPN was unblocking Netflix in the beginning but the streaming service caught up with them and began blocking their connections.
In January 2016, the streaming giants announced that they would begin a crackdown on subscribers using proxies and unblockers to access restricted content. The move affected a lot of VPN vendors including Private Internet Access (PIA).
So, to answer your question, Private Internet Access does not work with Netflix.
They tried but were unable to continuously implement the necessary measures required to stay ahead of Netflix. I am talking about adding new IP addresses and configuring new servers that have not been blacklisted by Netflix.
Now, every time you try to login to Netflix using the VPN you are met with the streaming error.
So what are your other options? I will get into that shortly. First, let’s look at why Netflix blocks VPNs.
Why Does Netflix Block VPNs
It is in violation of their terms of service. Netflix is under contractual obligation to ensure that geo-restricted content is not viewed outside the specified borders.
Something you might not know is that Netflix does not own most of the movies and shows they show on their platform. They have to approach movie studios and TV networks and purchase the rights to stream their content in different regions.
These content owners are the ones that impose the geo-restrictions and if Netflix does not take steps to prevent people from using unblockers, then one of these two things could happen.
The first is that they could be sued for breach of contract. Then the other possibility is that the content owners may refuse to partner with them in future deals.
This is because the content owners don’t receive any financial gain when their content is accessed in countries where it’s meant to be blocked.
In fact, it may be advantageous for Netflix since they don’t have to purchase the rights to stream a title in a region where the users are already using VPNs to view it.
How Does Netflix Detect and Block VPN Connections
The most prominent technique is by blacklisting IP addresses discovered to be originating from a VPN. An IP address is a unique identification number assigned to your device every time you connect to the internet and it contains your personal information such as your geolocation and the name of your ISP.
When Netflix receives your connection request they first check your IP address to determine where you are connecting from and they will then redirect you to their content library for that region. Unfortunately, this is also their undoing.
A VPN helps to change your IP address to a different location and thus tricking Netflix into thinking you are in the set location.
And they would get away with it if they had unlimited IP addresses to allocate to their users. But since that’s not the case, one address will usually end up being shared by multiple users. This is what triggers the Netflix detection engine and it will immediately block these types of connections.
The other method Netflix uses to block VPN connections is by identifying the common ports used by VPNs to send and receive data and blocking them.
And in a more advanced technique, Netflix can use deep packet inspection to identify and block VPN traffic.
Best Blocked Netflix Workaround: ExpressVPN
Just because Private Internet Access does not work with Netflix does not mean you miss out on your favorite show. There are multiple other solutions to consider but I won’t tell you about them all. Instead, I will recommend just one that I have absolute trust in. ExpressVPN.
You have already been disappointed once by PIA and am certain you don’t want another VPN that starts out fine unblocking Netflix only to be blacklisted later with no chance of redemption.
Why should you trust me
This is what I do. I test VPNs and rank them from the best to worst. And guess what? No other VPN has been as consistent as ExpressVPN in unblocking Netflix.
In those rare moments when the VPN has been discovered and blocked, they are so quick to add new addresses or configure a new server that the ban barely inconveniences you.
And that’s not all. Here are some of the other reasons why I think ExpressVPN is the best alternative to Private Internet Access when it comes to unblocking Netflix.
- Excellent connections speeds
Unlike some of the other solutions, ExpressVPN does not significantly slow down your Internet connection. It is expected that your speeds will always take a dip when you connect to a VPN but it should not have to hinder your streaming and browsing experience.
In our tests, we were able to watch an episode of Family Guy in full HD and without buffering.
The connection speed was also good enough to handle online gaming if that’s your thing.
- Wide server coverage
ExpressVPN boasts of over 3000 servers that are distributed in 94 countries. Multiple servers ensure that users do not congest on one server which would lead to competition for bandwidth and widespread server location helps you find a server that is closest to you.
By reducing the distance covered by internet traffic to reach the VPN servers you can significantly boost your connection speeds which is critical for quality streaming.
- Excellent customer support
ExpressVPN agents are available 24/7 via live chat and will take less than a minute to respond to your queries.
This means that if you run into any trouble unblocking Netflix, you can raise the issue with the support team and they will promptly direct you to a working server.
And if none of the servers are working they will forward the issue to their technical team who can begin working on updating the IP address list.
- Multiple device compatibility
Which device do you use to access Netflix? A phone, computer, Playstation, Smart TV? Whichever it is, chances are it has a dedicated ExpressVPN app you can utilize.
The apps are very easy to configure and use even for people with no technical skills.
Also, you should have no trouble streaming Netflix on multiple devices at once since ExpressVPN allows 5 simultaneous connections using a single license.
But the best part is that ExpressVPN can be configured on your router which would then protect every other device that connects to your network.
- Security and Privacy
Online security and privacy are the main reasons VPNs were created even though the majority of people only buy them to unblock content.
ExpressVPN excels in both areas. To ensure that you are safe from online spies and hackers, the VPN uses OpenVPN connection protocol coupled with AES 256 bit encryption. Even the NSA is yet to crack this type of security.
ExpressVPN also supports other connection protocols such as PPTP and L2TP which are not as secure as OpenVPN but offer improved speeds for quality streaming.
Then, of course, there is the killswitch which disables your internet when the VPN disconnects unexpectedly to ensure that unencrypted personal data does not leak.
ExpressVPN may not be the cheapest solution in the market but you will not regret investing your money on it. I know because it is the VPN I use.
But if you are still skeptical you can make use of the VPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee which allows you to test the product risk-free. If the product does not meet your expectations during this period, you can request a refund.
- Works with other streaming services
ExpressVPN can also successfully unblock other streaming services including Hulu, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
Private Internet Access is one of the more affordable solutions in the market but unfortunately, it’s not the best solution for Netflix. You may be lucky and it unblocks Netflix but, you cannot rely on it to consistently do it every time.
ExpressVPN, on the other hand, has proved countless times why it is the number one solution recommended by experts.
It has excellent speeds, enough servers and unlike most of the other solutions, you are guaranteed that in the event that it is blocked by Netflix, they will resolve the issue promptly.