Skip to main content

Does Netflix allow VPN use?

watching netflix on a laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock / wutzkohphoto)

Netflix doesn’t possess global distribution rights for all the content in its streaming catalogue. As a result, you could find that a movie or show you’re desperate to see might not show up in your Netflix account if you log in from a region that the company hasn’t purchased a license for.

That’s why many Netflix customers choose to use a virtual private network (VPN) to trick Netflix into thinking that they are accessing the service from a different location, enabling them to access region-locked content. 

Using a VPN is against Netflix’s terms and conditions

Although there are many Netflix VPNs that work and are able to unblock Netflix content, technically doing so is against Netflix’s Terms of Use agreement which all users have to accept in order to access the service. 

Section 4.3 of Netflix’s terms page states that “you may view Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we have offered our service.”

In other words, you won’t be playing by the rules if you stream shows that aren’t meant to be available in your region. 

Netflix will block your connection if it detects VPN use

Although VPNs might not technically be permitted by Netflix’s terms, you shouldn’t get into too much trouble for using one. Although you should always double-check the law in your local jurisdiction, in most places, using a VPN to access region-locked Netflix content is legal. Do be aware, however, that in a few nations using a VPN for any purpose is against the law - for example, using a VPN in China.

If Netflix manages to detect that you are using a VPN to access its service, you will see an error message such as: “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”

Netflix error

(Image credit: Netflix)

If this occurs, it probably means that Netflix knows the IP address you’ve been assigned is associated with a VPN. To solve the problem, you can try out a different server or switch to a separate VPN service. 

Netflix has been blocking users from streaming via VPNs for years, and, as a result, it’s rather good at detecting VPN connections. Besides comparing your IP to a list of know VPN addresses, Netflix automatically looks for DNS conflicts that could expose VPN use. 

Because Netflix’s VPN-detection tech is so advanced, it’s important to subscribe to a high-quality VPN service if you want to unblock region-locked Netflix content (at your own risk, of course). The best Netflix VPNs and streaming VPNs regularly update their server IPs and offer advanced DNS proxy features to give you a better chance of getting through to the service.

Does Netflix allow VPN use?

With more than 180 million users, Netflix is the world’s most popular streaming service. A major reason for its success is an enormous library of titles that extends from original productions to classic movies. Using a VPN enables you to access region-specific content but is a violation of the Netflix Terms of Use agreement.

Read more: