Is Netflix trying to block VPN use?
Maybe you have heard that a VPN service can help you watch Netflix movies or series which are not available in the Dutch library of the streaming service. This is very useful if you don’t have a need for the Dutch titles on offer, or if you want to keep up to date with the entertainment of your home country. Netflix, however, is trying (unsuccessfully) to prevent this common practice.
How it works
Netflix knows your location by reading your IP address when you connect to them. Depending on your location, the Netflix library will change. The reason for this, is that Netflix does not own the rights to every movie and series in all locations. It will offer local content in the local language, but also the selection of international blockbusters will vary from country to country.
A VPN is a virtual private network that encrypts all data coming from your device. It then sends the package of data to a VPN server, which has the key to open it and sends it on to the final destination. Recipients of the data cannot trace it back to your device. More importantly In the case of Netflix, their computers will assume that your location is that of the VPN server you have chosen. This can be a server in a different country.
If you install a VPN service app on your phone or tablet, you can choose a server from a worldwide list. This basically gives you endless possibilities when it comes to accessing different Netflix libraries.
Does Netflix ban VPN?
Yes and no. Because VPN is legal in the Netherlands and EU laws do not allow geo-blocking within the EU, there is nothing Netflix can legally do to stop people from using VPN.
However, they do have technology to detect a VPN and they do block IP-addresses that are known to belong to VPN servers. You will then get an error message when opening the app. In the Netherlands it will look something like this:
Uit onze gegevens blijkt dat je een unblocker of proxy gebruikt
How can someone avoid a Netflix VPN ban?
When you use a free VPN or one of the lesser VPN services that assign a single IP address to a lot of users at the same time, Netflix will figure out that the IP address is coming from a VPN server and automatically block it.
This is why it is important to choose from the best VPN services. They not only have innumerable IP addresses from all over the world, but they are also able to replace an IP address immediately when Netflix blocks it. Services offering a Netflix VPN will always be one step ahead of the game and holding the door for you.