It’s pretty good at unblocking other popular streaming services as well, like BBC iPlayer and Hulu. ExpressVPN is the cream of the crop when it comes to VPNs, and you can try it risk-free for 30 days. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and certain wifi routers.
StrongVPN is also one of the only VPNs to support the Wireguard protocol. Every subscription comes with SugarSync, a cloud backup service.
How much does StrongVPN cost?
StrongVPN unblocks US Netflix. Netflix has blacklisted most VPN servers, resulting in a playback error that most providers can’t bypass. We tested it on Netflix in a web browser and on the Netflix mobile app for Android.
You can even unblock Netflix on devices that don’t normally support VPNs—game consoles, Apple TV, smart TVs, etc—using the MediaStreamer DNS service that comes packaged with every plan. ExpressVPN unblocks Netflix on every platform tested, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Linux, and certain wifi routers. Plus, every ExpressVPN subscription comes with the MediaStreamer smart DNS proxy. MediaStreamer can unblock Netflix on devices that don’t normally support VPNs, such as Apple TV, PS4, and Xbox One. As you can understand, the movie studios are not happy with this and are claiming that these “illegal” users are costing them a lot of money.
Smart DNS proxies like Unotelly, Overplay, Unlocator, and Unblock-US were a flash in the pan during Netflix’s war on proxies. After Netflix blocked connections from most VPN servers, many users switched to these services instead.
Torrents are supported on some servers, but whatever you’re doing, high performance servers mean it won’t take very long. The company has its own zero-knowledge DNS service, for instance. Its proprietary Chameleon protocol could help you get online even in VPN-blocking countries like China and Iran. And platform support covers everything from the regular Windows, Mac, Android and iOS apps, to routers, Android TV, QNAP, Blackphone, Anonabox and more.
How does StrongVPN compare to other popular VPNs?
A support link provides information about the best servers to use for Netflix access. Its key advantages are a large pool of servers (5,000+), and more than 60 locations around the globe. It can support up to six devices at the same time, and the data gets a 2048-bit encryption. Features like DNS leak protection, killswitch, dedicated IP address and being able to pay with cryptocurrency are also very worth mentioning. While you can find some good free VPNs, even the safest free services can’t compete with low-cost premium VPNs.
MediaStreamer is a smart DNS proxy service that comes with every ExpressVPN subscription. It’s used by default when you connect to the VPN, or you can set it up separately so that it’s used on its own. StrongVPN is a versatile service that’s very user friendly, even for beginners. It bypasses China’s Great Firewall, unblocks a handful of popular streaming services, and offers the security and privacy necessary to torrent with peace of mind. It’s not a top performer in most categories, but it’s a solid all-rounder for the price.
Also, companies selling VPN services have seen a huge increase in users complaining they cannot access their legitimate Netflix-subscriptions anymore. This points towards Netflix blocking IP-ranges of VPN service providers. Morgan says Netflix probably isn’t targeting isolated VPN providers. He believes a combination of techniques is used to block them. One of those techniques, says LiquidVPN CEO Dave Cox, is by identifying connections coming from data centers instead of residences.
This means that instead of having your IP address changed to whatever IP address has been assigned to the VPN server, you’ll have the same IP address every time you switch on your VPN. The static address is yours and only yours; savvy observers will have an easier time correlating online activities to you directly. But Netflix and other services may not block static IP addresses. These can be pricey, so it’s a bit of a risk if you only are concerned about streaming online content. Some VPN services include specialized servers for streaming video, and sometimes those servers are targeted at specific geographic markets.
To do this testing, I installed 11 VPN services one at a time, and attempted to access Netflix while connected to different servers. In these tests, I looked at VPN servers in Australia, Canada, Japan, and the UK. In each instance, I attempted to run an episode of a TV show. When possible, I attempted to use a series I knew was not available in my specific Netflix market.
Some VPNs redirect users to the US version of Netflix regardless of server location. NordVPN, for example, can unblock Netflix when connected to any country, but uses a DNS proxy to route Netflix requests to the US version, except for Australia, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, and UK. Opening Netflix while connected to any other country through NordVPN will return the US version. And though Surfshark users can access Netflix on any server, they all redirect to the US version except France, India, Japan, the Netherlands, and the UK. Similarly, AirVPN redirects many international users to US Netflix regardless of their VPN server’s IP address.
Users who want access to the Belgian version of Netflix have the smallest choice of VPN providers; it can only be unblocked by one of the 59 VPNs we tested (ProtonVPN). Unblocking Netflix in countries like Belgium and Turkey is probably not at the top of the priority list for most VPNs, and many of the VPNs we tested don’t have servers in those countries at all.
- Most of NordVPN’s servers can unblock Netflix, although the majority will redirect you to the US version even if you’re connected to another country.
- Despite its low price, NordVPN doesn’t skimp on security or privacy.
- Thanks to a low monthly price and the option to connect up to six devices at one time, NordVPN is a great budget option especially if you share an account with friends or family.
A smart DNS proxy is a server that monitors any DNS requests sent from your device. DNS requests are a means of looking up which domain names (e.g. “netflix.com”) are associated with which servers. If it detects a DNS request for Netflix, it sends all the browser traffic for that request through the server to an American Netflix server, thereby changing both your IP address and DNS server.
StrongVPN utilizes its own private DNS servers and even offers a standalone smart DNS proxy service, dubbed StrongDNS. We won’t delve too much into the StrongDNS service in this review, suffice to say you can use it to unblock geo-locked content but won’t get the privacy or security bundled with the VPN. If your device doesn’t support VPN apps but does allow you to alter the default DNS servers, this could be a good alternative for unblocking geo-restricted content. Once you’re past any multi-device issues, VPN Unlimited performs very well. It runs on almost anything (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Apple TV, even Windows phone), and unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer with ease.
Security, privacy, and logging
He goes on to explain that the Netflix apps combat SmartDNS services by forcing you to use a public DNS server and frequently change the URLs that do geolocation for their content. This makes it impossible for services that could support thousands of customers streaming at a time by only forwarding the geolocation packets through their servers. IPVanish recently added servers for users who want to unblock US and UK Netflix. We have tested it and confirmed it works on both desktop browser and Netflix’s mobile app on Android and iOS. We recommend you contact IPVanish’s customer support to ask which server to use and troubleshoot any issues you might have connecting.
To assist you in your decision, Comparitech has conducted the most comprehensive study to date of which VPNs unblock Netflix in which countries. We tested 59 VPNs in 30 countries with Netflix in a desktop web browser and the Netflix iOS and Android apps.
With all of ProtonVPN’s free users connected to one of just three locations, its servers are often overloaded and your connection speed could be slow. A few VPNs bundle smart DNS proxies with their subscriptions, and some of those DNS proxies can unblock Netflix (e.g. Ironsocket DNS, Keenow Unblocker, ExpressVPN MediaStreamer). Due to time constraints and practicality, however, we elected not to test smart DNS services and instead solely focus on VPNs.
As I’ve previously mentioned, Netflix and other streaming services have become adept at detecting and blocking VPN users from accessing their streaming servers. NordVPN’s global server network consists of over 5,100 servers, laid out in 60 countries.
Most of NordVPN’s servers can unblock Netflix, although the majority will redirect you to the US version even if you’re connected to another country. Thanks to a low monthly price and the option to connect up to six devices at one time, NordVPN is a great budget option especially if you share an account with friends or family. Despite its low price, NordVPN doesn’t skimp on security or privacy.
They are forcing Netflix to take action, and the company is reportedly trying out ways to block users from getting to content they are not allowed to have access to. Netflix has made some changes to its Android app to force it to use Google DNS, thus making it very difficult to use a location unblocker.
In all, our team ran more than 5,000 manual tests on real devices. ExpressVPN and NordVPN will unblock the Netflix app on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
But other devices–Roku, Chromecast, smart TVs, game consoles, Fire TV, etc–do not support any VPNs. For those devices, you need to configure a router or buy a pre-configured one. This approach worked for a few months until it caught the attention of Netflix, and a subsequent crackdown blocked most smart DNS proxy users. Today, a handful of smart DNS proxy services can still unblock Netflix, but the only one that’s consistently worked for us is ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer service.
A premium service offers the best security, as well as streaming and torrenting support. And, unlike most free VPNs, premium VPNs offer you unlimited data and bandwidth. You’ll be able to access more servers and enjoy faster connections. Although Hotspot Shield has 3,200+ servers in 70+ countries, the free version only gives you access to the US virtual location.
CyberGhost, for instance, has a server expressly for accessing the BBC iPlayer from outside the UK. Poke around your VPN and see if there isn’t something similar.
IPVanish is built with privacy and security in mind while also offering decent speeds to stream in HD. ExpressVPN is a premium option with faster servers, more locations, apps for more devices, and a longer list of region-locked streaming services that can be unblocked. Like StrongVPN, it has strong security, a no-logs policy, allows torrenting, and works in China.