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Study Shows Which VPNs Have Managed To Overcome Netflix Bans, And In Which Countries They Successfully Did So

A recent study has delved into just how effective Netflix VPN bans have been across different proxy platforms. The answer? Not all too much. Let’s get down to discussion.

The massive popularity of Netflix is nothing to bat one’s eye at. The streaming giant has had a huge hand in leading the “streaming” generation of online media. While it could be argued that the origin of this practice lies with platforms such as YouTube, which was and still is a major site for watching online content, it was the likes of Netflix that introduced legally streaming TV shows and movies at one’s convenience. No longer did individuals have to struggle through insanely long buffering times at ad-heavy insecure websites. You could now easily watch your favorite form of big and small screen media at any time, on any device. All for a rather affordable monthly fee. Naturally, companies such as HBO and Amazon took note, revealed HBO Max and Amazon Prime, and the rest is history. But, all ups have their downs, and Netflix hasn’t had smooth sailings in all of its endeavors.

Let us expand more upon this. Netflix, as this author is sure many of you are aware, dishes out its content on the basis of regions. This way, it can avoid doling out shows and movies that would be deemed “controversial” in, for example, Saudi Arabia. In other instances, there are disputes with distribution and not all regions receive certain movies and films. “Good Will Hunting”, for example, could be available in Europe and yet not be available in South Asia or North America. A random example, but bear with us. Naturally, not every user is happy with such restrictions and tries to overcome them. The answer? Utilizing a virtual private network. (VPN). VPNs are software that allow users to protect their online identity, and use servers that are in completely separate regions. This way, an individual from Canada, India or Pakistan could use a server in France and access the European library.

Naturally, Netflix wasn’t happy with this and started blacklisting VPN IP addresses. When users would log in using a VPN, all they’d encounter was an error screen. But, to quote Ian Malcolm, “life, uh, finds a way”. Comparitech, a research firm dedicated to testing VPNs and their limits, conducted a study, listing what VPNs managed to overcome their bans. And the answer ended up being so many. Just, so many VPNs. Major examples include the likes of NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Hotspot Shield, StrongVPN, PureVPN, SurfShark and Cyberghost, but they’re only at the start of a long list. Of the 37 VPNs, which were tested across 20 countries, Speedify was the only service that couldn’t bypass any of the bans in any regions. It was followed by Unlocator, which could only bypass the ban in the USA and the UK.


On the other end of the spectrum, the VPN services that proved successful across all regions ended up being ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN, PrivateVPN, and Hola. Popular candidates such as NordVPN, Tunnelbear, and Cyberghost also did well, passing 32 of the 40 tests. On average, VPNs unblocked Netflix across 15 countries, which is a definitive improvement from similar tests Comparitech conducted in 2018, when the average rounded out to 6. Due to the study’s parameters, these VPNs do not require external support or software in order to unblock the average 15 regions. No VPNs were considered to be successful in a test if constant reconnecting was deemed necessary to bypass the ban, since that would be considered unfeasible.


Naturally, these results aren’t set in stone. As Netflix and its devs stay hard at work eliminating server access, VPN services keep finding ways to wrestle it back. It’s a pendulum-like motion that will sway for a long time to come.

Read next: Study Shows Vast Majority of Americans Don’t Like Censorship

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